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Landfill Says No to Tree Stumps

(LeMars) -- Tree stumps are no longer welcome at the Plymouth County Landfill.  That decision was made Wednesday evening by the Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency and its board of directors.  Solid Waste Agency manager Mark Kunkel says it was a topic that garnered a lot of discussion at the board meeting, but because of the expense and growing concerns, the board approved the action to stop accepting tree stumps.

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Kunkel says the board looked into the cost of purchasing a machine that would grind the stumps, but at $70,000 it just would not be feasible.  

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Kunkel says the county landfill's decision to stop accepting tree stumps is effective immediately. 

 

(LeMars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital employees have made a donation to the LeMars Back Pack program.  At their Christmas luncheon held Wednesday, a check was presented to Brenda Nohava from Mary Helen Gibson representing the Floyd Valley Hospital.  Gibson says in past years Floyd Valley hospital would offer a gift to their employees, but many times the employees would refuse to accept the gift, and instead instruct the hospital to offer that gift to someone else.  Gibson says it was through the generosity of the hospital employees that led the hospital to give the option to its employees.


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The check was in the amount of $930 or $10 per employee.  Gibson says the donation represents about one-third of the hospital employees.  She says some employees chose to accept the gift, but they also made a donation to the local charity.   Gibson says it's not just at Christmas time that the hospital employees are generous.  She says many local programs have benefitted from the employees' generosity throughout the entire year.

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For the past two years Floyd Valley employees have donated both money and their time for the "Then Feed Just One" project, and they have contributed can goods to the Christian Needs Center, and the employees have adopted a family in need.
 

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Over the course of the entire year, the Floyd Valley Hospital employees have contributed more than $15,000 to various charitable organizations and events.

(Storm Lake) -- Following a joint cooperative investigation by the Sioux Rapids Police Department and the Buena Vista County Sheriff's office into several Sioux Rapids burglaries, a Sioux Rapids man has been charged.  On December 21st, the Sioux Rapids Police Department arrested and charged Matthew Chindlund, age 19 of Sioux Rapids with two counts of burglary in the third degree, one count of burglary of a motor vehicle and one count of theft in the second degree.  These charges consist of three class D felonies and one aggravated misdemeanor.  A search warrant was executed yesterday by the Sioux Rapids police and the Buena Vista sheriff's office.  Siezed in the search warrant were several items of stolen property from several area burglaries.  Chindlund is currently in custody of the Buena Vista county jail on bond.  The investigation is continuing.

(Storm Lake) -- The long-time Storm Lake police department office manager has been fired and charged with theft in connection with missing city funds.  Public Safety director Mark Prosser says 43-year old Lee Martin of Storm Lake was arrested Tuesday in connection with an investigation that began earlier this month.  On December 2nd, Prosser was notified of possible irregularities in funds transferred from the public safety office to city hall.  On December 6th, Martin was placed on administrative leave and Prosser ordered an investigation.  Police allege Martin had been taking cash from deposits transferred to city hall totaling over 12-thousand dollars in the past 12 months, and also altered receipts.  Additional investigation is underway into previous years of cash transfers from Martin's office to city hall.  Martin worked for the public safety department the past 21 years.  Prosser says the very person charged with insuring the department's books were balanced and funds were appropriately transferred to city hall is the one who allegedly was circumventing the system.  He termed it a very disappointing case of violation of the public's trust.  Prosser says additional safeguards have been put into place to insure that similar incidents are prevented.  Tuesday afternoon, Martin was charged with ongoing criminal conduct, and first-degree theft.  Martin was jailed on a  $35,000  bond and her employment with the city was terminated.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa's gas tax will eventually increase but there will be enough money in the state's transportation budget to avoid an increase next year.
     In an interview, the governor says he has asked transportation department officials to find $50 million in savings, and the department expects to have an extra $128 million for projects in 2012 because of favorable bids, budget savings and more federal funding.
     Branstad says 2012 should be a robust year for road-building programs in Iowa.
     He says he expects a gas tax increase "down the road" to support a projected $200 million annual shortfall.
     Democratic State Sen. Matt McCoy, of Des Moines, says he expects lawmakers will push for a phased-in gas tax increase when they convene Jan. 9.
    

 

 

 

   

School Bus Accident Near Rock Valley

ROCK VALLEY, Iowa (AP) - School officials say no one was seriously injured when a school bus tipped over on a gravel road while picking up students near Rock Valley yesterday morning.
     Rock Valley Superintendent Chad Janzen says there were ten students on the bus when the accident happened about 8 a.m.  Janzen says most of the injuries were "nicks and bruises," but one student was  taken to a hospital as a precaution.
The bus driver wasn't hurt.
     Janzen says the bus had picked up two students and wasn't going very fast when it went off the road and tipped over in a ditch. The cause of accident in under investigation.
     Janzen says the students ranged in age from preschoolers to ninth graders.

(Akron) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's office is investigating an auto accident that occurred Tuesday evening when a vehicle was reported to have rolled and trapping the two occupants.  The investigation found that Joseph Tripp of Akron was driving southbound on K-18 and was being passed by another southbound vehicle.  The passing vehicle clipped the driver's side of Tripp's vehicle, causing him to temporarily lose control.  Tripp went through the west ditch and was nearly stopped on 314th Street when Tripp accelerated, swinging his car around, again losing control.  Tripp went into the south ditch where his vehicle rolled once and came to a rest on the passenger's side.  Tripp and a passenger, Heather Rodriguez, also of Akron were freed and transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center with injuries not believed to be life threatening.  The investigation continues and charges are pending.

(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Fairboard is asking the county for some financial assistance.  Fair board president, Tony Schroeder appeared before the supervisors on Tuesday and informed them of the many changes that are occuring at the fairgrounds.  The fairboard has received funds from the county in the past and is asking for $20,000 for the upcoming fiscal year.


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Supervisor Guenthner questioned Schroeder about the fairboard's plan for financing and its current financial situation.  

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Schroeder says since the year 2000, the fairboard has spent nearly one million dollars on maintenance and upkeep. The newly elected fairboard president did tell the supervisors that the fairboard does not have any debt.

(LeMars) -- Plymouth County Republicans have announced the locations for the January 3rd caucuses.  Precincts 1 & 6 which include the townships of Portland, Westfield, and Sioux will gather at the Security National Bank community room at Akron.  Precincts 2,3,4,11,12,and 13 that includes the townships of Preston, Grant, Johnson, Washington, Elgin, America, and LeMars Wards 1,2,and 3 will caucus at the LeMars Convention Center Lower Level in LeMars.  Precinct 5 that includes the townships of Fredonia, Meadow, Marion, and Remsen will gather at the Remsen Union High School Auditorium in Remsen.  Precinct 7 that includes the townships of Liberty, Plymouth, and Stanton will meet at the Merrill Community Center gym.  Precinct 8 including Hancock, Perry, Hungerford, and Lincoln townships will meet at the Hinton Community Center in Hinton.  Precinct 10 includes the townships of Union, Henry, Elkhorn and Garfield will caucus at the Kingsley Community Center at Kingsley.  Caucuses will begin at 7:00 p.m. and continue until 9:00 p.m.

 

(Storm Lake) -- The long-time Storm Lake police department office manager has been fired and charged with theft in connection with missing city funds.  Public Safety director Mark Prosser says 43-year old Lee Martin of Storm Lake was arrested Tuesday in connection with an investigation that began earlier this month.  On December 2nd, Prosser was notified of possible irregularities in funds transferred from the public safety office to city hall.  On December 6th, Martin was placed on administrative leave and Prosser ordered an investigation.  Police allege Martin had been taking cash from deposits transferred to city hall totaling over 12-thousand dollars in the past 12 months, and also altered receipts.  Additional investigation is underway into previous years of cash transfers from Martin's office to city hall.  Martin worked for the public safety department the past 21 years.  Prosser says the very person charged with insuring the department's books were balanced and funds were appropriately transferred to city hall is the one who allegedly was circumventing the system.  He termed it a very disappointing case of violation of the public's trust.  Prosser says additional safeguards have been put into place to insure that similar incidents are prevented.  Tuesday afternoon, Martin was charged with ongoing criminal conduct, and first-degree theft.  Martin was jailed on a 35-thousand dollar bond and her employment with the city was terminated.

 

DENISON, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa fire chief has been charged after an audit suggested he spent thousands of dollars for his personal benefit.
     A complaint filed Wednesday charges former Denison Fire Chief Michael McKinnon with first-degree theft and felonious misconduct in office.
     McKinnon left his job last year under a cloud of questions about his management. An audit last month questioned $95,000 in spending, including about $40,000 paid to businesses he owned that included invoices for post office boxes that did not exist. Other spending included a motor for his boat.
     Special Agent Terry Klooster of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says McKinnon has moved to New Mexico but is expected to turn himself in when he makes his initial court appearance
December 30th.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State health officials say a new flu strain that was detected in north central Iowa has dropped out of sight.
     The Iowa Department of Health says the H3N2 strain sickened three children in Webster and Hamilton counties. All three recovered.
     State Medical Director Doctor Patricia Quinlisk says the virus apparently failed to continue spreading.
     The new strain of  flu is a hybrid of viruses that have infected pigs over the last decade and a gene from the H1N1 strain that caused the pandemic two years ago.
     About a dozen cases of infection with H3N2 have been reported nationally.
     Quinlisk says health officials continue to watch closely for new cases, but haven't seen any.
    

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The number of deer killed during the recent shotgun seasons in Iowa is down about 9 percent from last year and about 30 percent lower than in 2006.
     The Iowa Department of Natural Resources released the deer kill numbers Wednesday, saying about 70,000 fewer deer were taken during the recent hunting seasons than in 2010.
     The chief of the Iowa DNR Wildlife Bureau, Dale Garner, says the reduced kill is the result of a reduced deer population in the state. He says the number of deer is near the state's objective and
hunters are being encouraged to be more selective.
     Officials say they will review the harvest and deer population and make proposals to stabilize the deer population.
 

 

 

   

   

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