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Thursday News, May 16

Accident Has Car Catch Fire

(Le Mars) -- A one vehicle roll-over accident occurred  Wednesday afternoon at about 3:40 p.m. on Highway 3 near the Highway 75 by-pass causing the vehicle to burst in flames.  According to a sheriff's report, 16 year old Thomas Toel of Le Mars was driving his vehicle  traveling west on Highway 3 and started to loose control, when the driver over-compensated and ended up going to the south ditch when the vehicle hit some small boulders causing it to roll and become engulfed in flames.  Toel was able to escape the burning vehicle with some assistance, but was transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital with what is thought to be non-life threatening injuries.  The Le Mars Fire Department responded to extinguish the flames on the burning car.  Also assisting at the scene was the Le Mars Police Department and the Iowa Highway Patrol. The Plymouth County Sheriff's Department is investigating the accident scene.

 

Westfield Drainage District Meeting Scheduled For Tonight

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Supervisors along with the Plymouth County Engineer's office will again host a drainage district meeting.  This week the focus is on the Westfield Drainage District.  County Engineer Tom Rohe says tonight's meeting will be held at the Westfield Community Center and will begin at 5:30 p.m.  The Westfield Drainage District contains about 200 parcels of land.  Rohe says this week the focus will be to remove the unwanted trees within the drainage areas.

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The Plymouth County Supervisors acting in the role of the district drainage board estimates the cost at approximately $60,000.  Rohe explains what the local levy will be for landowners.

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Bridge Repair Project Closes Road

(Le Mars) -- A bridge replacement project is scheduled to begin today causing the Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department to close 130th Street between county road K-22 and Hedge Avenue.  The road is expected to remain closed until July 19th.

 

Bank Warns Customers Of Another Scam

(Le Mars) -- Local bank officials are warning their customers of yet another phishing scam.  This time around instead of a phone call or voice message telling the customer that their ATM card has been deactivated, customers are being notified via text messaging on their cell phone.  American Bank of Le Mars and Remsen have been informed that some of their customers have had such text messages sent to them.  Bank officials again emphasize that the messages are not coming from the local bank, and in fact the messages are not true.  Customers are encouraged to ignore the message and not to respond to the listed phone number.  Banks officials are telling their customers to never reveal any personal information regarding bank accounts.  Customers that have questions can contact American Bank.


Gehlen Catholic Announces Its Valedictorian and Salutatorian

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic High School has announced this year's Valedictorian and Salutatorian from the senior class.  Maggie Dickman, the daughter of Stewart and and Donna Dickman is the Valedictorian while Andrew Lipp, the son of Christopher and Linda Lipp has been selected as the Salutatorian.  Both seniors will speak at Sunday's graduation ceremonies.


Late Start To Planting Means More Farm Equipment On Roads

(Le Mars) -- With corn planting having a late start this year, farmers are scrambling from field to field, which means more farm equipment on the roads and highways.  Iowa State University extension crops specialist Joel DeJong reminds motorists to be especially aware of the slower moving, and often times, larger and wider equipment.

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Levin Murder Trial To Move From Sac City To Fort Dodge

SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) - The trial of a northwest Iowa man accused of killing his mother and kidnapping another woman has been moved to a courtroom nearly 50 miles away.
A judge on Tuesday granted a change of venue request for 21-year-old Kirk Levin's trial. It will be moved from Sac City in Sac County to Fort Dodge in Webster County. Levin's attorney
requested the change based on extensive media coverage in the county and surrounding counties.
The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/YWw4HN ) Levin's trial is scheduled to begin on June 3. He is charged with first-degree murder and third-degree kidnapping.
Prosecutors say Levin repeatedly stabbed Marilyn Schmitt in Early on Jan. 3, then kidnapped a 21-year-old woman. She later escaped.
Levin had been released from prison days earlier after serving time for burglary.
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Lawmakers Approve Administrative Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State lawmakers have approved about $55 million in spending for state administrative and regulatory agencies.
Lawmakers in both the Senate and House approved the budget plan Wednesday. It passed Iowa House 89-6 and the state Senate 26-19.
The budget will next move to the governor for approval.
Lawmakers settled on the final budget figure in a joint committee made up of legislators from both chambers and parties.
The general fund spending for the next fiscal year is about $2 million more than this fiscal year's budget. The budget also includes spending from other funds.
The plan includes budgets for the governor's office, the Public Information Board, Treasurer of the State, Secretary of the State and departments of human rights, inspection and appeals, management, and revenue.

 

Economic Development Budget Is Approved

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislature has approved a $41 million compromise economic development budget.
The House and Senate both easily approved the plan Wednesday. It funds the Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Workforce Development, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa
Finance Authority and the Public Employment Relations Board.
The budget is $31 million under what Republican Gov. Terry Branstad proposed. That's because leadership has decided to move some budget items into a different fund paid by gaming revenue.
Those items include a jobs program that provides tax incentives for businesses, and economic development programs for the regent universities.
The budget will move to the governor next for approval.

 

Legislature Reaches Compromise On Justice Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa legislators have approved a compromise budget plan for the state justice system.
On Wednesday, lawmakers in the state House and Senate approved $547 million in spending that largely goes to prisons and public safety.
The budget plan is an increase over the spending in the current fiscal year. It is more than the $534 million proposed by the House and less than the $560 million pushed by the Senate.
It includes some of the funding sought by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller to regionalize state domestic abuse and sexual assault assistance. Miller wants to shut down some domestic abuse shelters
and hire more advocates to assist victims. Miller had wanted $6 million and the plan offers nearly $4 million.
Next, the plan moves to the governor's office.

 

U-S Geological Services To Shut Down Stream Gages

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Geological Service says it will shut down three stream gages in Iowa due to federal budget cuts.
The agency announced Wednesday it would shut down the gages on the West Fork Cedar River at Finchford, the Des Moines River at Humboldt and the East Fork 102 River at Bedford.
The move was prompted by automatic federal spending cuts that have required reductions by most federal agencies.
The monitors are used to measure stream flows and warn of possible flooding.
The USGS says the three gages were chosen because their shutdown
would have limited impacts on other organizations and were least
likely to affect public safety.

 

Iowa State University Researchers Trying To Build A Better Wind Generator Turbine

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Engineers at Iowa State University are working on a way to make wind turbine towers taller by building them from concrete instead of the steel currently used.
Increasing tower height to about 328 feet from the current 260 feet would mean steadier less turbulent wind conditions and longer turbine blades. ISU Professor Sri Sritharan says those changes
could increase energy production by 15 percent.
He says the work he's done with engineering graduate student Grant Schmitz and other engineers at Iowa State shows towers made of precast concrete panels and columns withstand necessary
stresses.
He says the concrete towers would last longer than steel towers and would be easier to transport.
A $109,000 Grow Iowa Values Fund grant from the state helped fund the research which is ongoing.


 

 

 

   

Wednesday Afternoon News, May 15

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

(Le Mars) -- May is recognized as mental health awareness month and the Plains Area Mental Health Center located in Le Mars held a noon luncheon for city and county officials on Tuesday calling attention to the ever expanding need for mental health care.  Patrick Schmitz, the executive director of the local mental health clinic says the latest statistics indicate that one of every four Iowans need some type of mental health assistance.  He says many times people have the wrong idea when discussing mental health.
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He says efforts within the mental health industry are trying to call attention to the issue and bring about a better understanding.

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Schmitz says the need for mental health services is constantly increasing as more patients are seeking assistance.  However, the mental health official is concerned that some services may be cut or people may not be given prompt assistance due to budget cuts and regional mental health services.

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Bank Warns Customers Of Another Scam

(Le Mars) -- Local bank officials are warning their customers of yet another phishing scam.  This time  instead of a phone call or voice message telling the customer that their ATM card has been deactivated, customers are being notified via text messaging on their cell phone.  American Bank of Le Mars and Remsen have been informed that some of their customers have had such text messages sent to them.  Bank officials again emphasize that the messages are not coming from the local bank, and in fact the messages are not true.  Customers are encouraged to ignore the message and not to respond to the listed phone number.  Banks officials are telling their customers to never reveal any personal information regarding bank accounts.  Customers that have questions can contact American Bank.

 

 

Gehlen Announces 2013 Senior Class Valedictorian and Salutatorian

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic High School has announced this year's Valedictorian and Salutatorian from the senior class.  Maggie Dickman, the daughter of Stewart and and Donna Dickman is the Valedictorian while Andrew Lipp, the son of Christopher and Linda Lipp has been selected as the Salutatorian.  Both seniors will speak at Sunday's graduation ceremonies.

 

Betty Shea Presents Knights of Columbus Chalice To Father Richter

(Le Mars) -- The Knights of Columbus have a special memorial program to honor fourth-degree Sir Knights, the highest honor in the Catholic men’s fraternal organization. 

Co-Chairmen of the Chalice Fund and Past Faithful Navigator for the Michael J. McGivney Assembly 3088 4th Degree Knights of Columbus in Le Mars, Jim Kestner and Jack Frus, stated, when a fourth-degree Sir Knight passes away, a chalice with his name engraved on it is presented to the family.  The family is encouraged to give the chalice to a priest of their choice.  The family also may give the chalice to a newly ordained priest, or a missionary priest to use in a third world country or the local parish to be used by visiting priest.

On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, Betty Shea, wife of the late Sir Knight Steven Shea, had Steve’s chalice presented to St. Joseph’s-LeMars parish priest and Gehlen Catholic President, Rev. Kevin Richter.  The Sheas are members of St. Joseph’s Parish-LeMars.  Sir Knight Shea taught at Gehlen Catholic School until his unexpected death on March 26, 2013.

Faithful Navigator (FN), Jim Peters, said Betty visited with Father Richter at length as to who should receive her husband’s chalice.  When Betty learned that Father Richter’s chalice, which he received when he was ordained, was worn from the acidity of the wine, Betty selected Father Richter as the recipient. 

Father Richter uses his chalice when distributing the Eucharist to the sick and in his travels.




 

Remsen And Marcus Fire Departments Battles Hay Bale Fire

(Remsen) -- Remsen Fire Department along with assistance from the Marcus Fire Department was at the scene of a hay bales fire for more than two hours.  The call came in at about 3:10 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, and was located at 48135 County Road C-38. 

 

Branstad Says He Will Sign DNA Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is set to sign a bill into law that would require people convicted of certain aggravated misdemeanors to submit DNA samples.
The bill signing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
The measure would require adults convicted of crimes like aggravated misdemeanor assault and theft to submit DNA samples to the federal DNA database.
Currently, only convicted felons and sexual offenders must submit samples.
The Senate changed the bill to exempt deferred judgment cases and misdemeanors related to hazardous waste, agricultural production and gambling. Traffic offenses are also exempt unless a person has three operating while intoxicated convictions in 12 years.

 

Cab Driver Accused Of Stealing Jewelry

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A cab driver and his wife face charges in connection with the theft of $15,000 worth of jewelry in Iowa City.
Iowa City police say 40-year-old Stacy Levell and his wife, 38-year-old Melissa Levell, each face one felony count of first-degree theft.
Police say the couple stole the jewelry from an Iowa City man in early March. The man told police the jewelry included a dozen rings that belonged to his deceased wife. They were valued at $15,000.
Authorities recovered 11 of the stolen rings from a pawn shop, where they had been exchanged for about $1,300.
Court records do not list attorneys for the couple.
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Auditor Says Attorney Overcharged Clients

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - The state auditor's office says an attorney filed nearly $91,000 in overbillings to the city of Indianola, and used fake names from a phone book to beef up his
reports.
John Hoyman is accused of filing inaccurate information about prosecution services between June 2006 and the end of August 2012.  That includes filing invoices for hourly charges that were already
covered by advanced payments through the city.
The audit says Hoyman admitted to investigators that he filed the incorrect information, but he said they reflected hours he worked for the city.
Copies of the report have been filed with the Indianola Police Department, the Warren County Attorney's Office, the Attorney General's Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation.
A message left at Hoyman's law office was not immediately returned Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

   

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