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Monday News, June 22

Early Morning Storms Create Down Trees And Power Outages


(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Fire Department were at the 600 block of 4th Street Southwest, near the truck stop, where apparently a tree was on fire, after strong winds had blown the branches into the power line.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says a blast of strong winds passed through the area causing the tree to touch the electrical highline.  Power was interrupted for a few minutes. Traffic lights near the Dairy Queen were also out for a while this morning. MidAmerican Energy officials have been notified and are expected to arrive at the scene shortly.  Strong winds have also created some downed trees and power lines in an area east of Highway 75 near county road C-12, as a storm passed through the region.  Plymouth County Sheriff's office is reporting several reports of downed power lines and trees at various locations within the county.





Ice Cream Days Declared A Success

(Le Mars) -- By all accounts, the Le Mars Ice Cream Days can be considered a success.  Thousands of people had lined both sides of Central Avenue to view the big parade.  The parade lasted slightly over an hour, with over 80 floats and exhibits.  Many of the ice cream days activities drew significant crowds during the four-day festival.  To view the different activities from ice cream days, you can visit the KLEM website at  There, you will find more than 200 photos of the various events and activities, including the Ice Cream Days parade.




Le Mars Community School Board To Meet This Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will meet this evening, but they have a fairly short agenda.  The school board will discuss the Iowa Association of School Boards fiscal management conference.  The school board will also discuss the IASB legislative priorities for 2016.  The school board will discuss superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt's progress on the goals established as part of the superintendent's evaluation process.  The school board will also discuss the goals and plan of action for the next few years.




Restaurants Finding It Difficult To Locate Eggs

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Restaurants are struggling to deal with higher egg prices and an inability to get enough eggs in the midst of a shortage brought about by a bird flu virus that has wiped out millions of chickens on commercial farms.
Some owners are looking at passing the costs along to egg-eating customers, while others have taken especially eggy dishes off the menu.
An Omaha breakfast and lunch eatery owner says his supplier's inventory has dwindled because of demand and production is down because of federal testing.
The owner of a Des Moines, Iowa, cafe says the rise in prices is costing him $400 to $500 a week.
Egg prices began falling last week, but officials say it could take up to two years to return to normal production.





Ohio Governor May Enter Presidential Race

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Governor John Kasich (KAY'-sik) is hitting the road again later this week.
The Ohio governor will be making his first trip to Iowa since he began exploring whether to enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Kasich has yet to officially announce his decision on the 2016 presidential race.
He recently was in South Carolina, Michigan and New Hampshire.
Kasich's trip to Iowa on Wednesday will have him making several stops in Des Moines and Council Bluffs.





Report Shows Motorists Don't Appeal Traffic Citations From Cameras


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Data show motorists in Iowa's largest cities don't often appeal citations from traffic enforcement cameras.
Just 2.7 percent of motorists in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines and Sioux City appeal such citations. The city of Davenport doesn't track the information and officials in Muscatine didn't provide the data.
The success rate ranges for motorists who appeal citations. In Council Bluffs, 83 percent of motorists who appealed had them dismissed. The rate ranges from 20 to 50 percent for motorists in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Sioux City.
The newspaper reports motorists may not often appeal because the process can require visiting a city department during a weekday.
City officials say the cameras make roads safer by enforcing speed limits.






Two Des Moines Men Jumped Into River After Beer Event

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say two men will be charged with public intoxication after jumping into the Des Moines River.
According to authorities, police and rescue crews responded to reports of someone jumping into the river and not resurfacing just after 5 p.m. Saturday. Two men were taken out of the water uninjured. 
According to police, the two men had jumped off a ledge near the Riverwalk Hub. The Iowa Craft Beer Festival was just ending in the area, and Iowa Brewers Guild President Dave Ropte said this was the lone incident at the sold-out event.




Authorities Say 68 Year Old Woman's Death Ruled As A Homicide

MELCHER-DALLAS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say the death of a 68-year-old woman in Marion County is being investigated as a homicide.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office says Shirley Carter was found dead Friday morning in her residence near Melcher-Dallas. Preliminary results from an autopsy report indicate she died from a gunshot wound.
Additional information about the death has not been released. Local and state authorities are investigating.





Palo Woman Dies After Being Struck By Lightning

PALO, Iowa (AP) - State officials say a Hiawatha woman died after she was struck by lightning at a recreation area in eastern Iowa.
The state Department of Natural Resources says 42-year-old Rebecca McCarty was camping with family and friends at Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area near Palo when she was struck by lightning shortly after 5:30 p.m. Saturday. She was pronounced dead at a Cedar Rapids hospital.
McCarty had been walking between camping spots at the time.
The National Weather Service says heavy rainfall and strong thunderstorms were recorded Saturday across eastern Iowa.





Des Moines Man Dies Following Stabbing Fight

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 27-year-old man was stabbed to death after a fight broke out at a party in Des Moines.
Police say officers responded to a 911 early Sunday and found the 27-year-old man along with 23-year-old person. Both had stab wounds and were taken to a Des Moines hospital. The 27-year-old man later died from his injuries.
A third person, identified as a man, showed up at a separate hospital with injuries.
Police say the three people were linked to a fight that broke out at a party on the city's east side and spilled into the street.
The case remains under investigation.





Two Teenagers Injured During Tubing Incident On Lake Panorama

PANORA, Iowa (AP) - Officials say two teenagers were injured while tubing on Lake Panorama in Guthrie County, and one of them was airlifted to a hospital.
The state Department of Natural Resources says 15-year-old Angela Cary and 16-year-old Rachael Anfinson were on a three-person tube being towed by a boat Saturday afternoon when the tube hit a wave. The girls and a 19-year-old woman were thrown into the water.
Cary, of West Des Moines, suffered a head injury and was airlifted to a Des Moines hospital. Anfinson, of Urbandale, also suffered a head injury and was taken by private car to another Des Moines hospital. She received stitches and was released. The 19-year-old woman was not hurt.
Additional information about Cary's condition is unavailable.





Woman Survives Fall From Cliff

MADRID, Iowa (AP) - Officials say a woman is alive after falling about 40 feet from a cliff at a state park in central Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says 19-year-old Shannon Novak fell Saturday afternoon from a cliff along the Lost Lake Trail at Ledges State Park in Madrid.
Novak was with two friends when she lost her footing. Officials estimate she fell about 40 feet onto a ledge.
Novak was conscious and talking to bystanders when she was rescued. She was taken to a Des Moines hospital for injuries to her back and ankle.









Saturday News, June 20

Vehicle Catches On Fire Friday Night

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to a vehicle fire last evening at about 11:15 p.m.  The 2013 Chevy Impala caught on fire at the intersection of county road C-12 and Highway 75, or about 7 miles north of Le Mars and a mile east of Struble.  Apparently, the engine malfunctioned causing flames to come from under the hood.  The driver and the passenger of the vehicle were able to escape the burning car and did not suffer any injuries.  Responding to that car fire were the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, Plymouth County Sheriff's Office and the Iowa State Patrol.  Fire fighters were on the scene for a half an hour.




Museum Has Smoke From Ballast Light Fixture


(Le Mars) -- Shortly before 2:30 Friday afternoon, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to the Plymouth County Historical Museum.  Smoke was detected on the third floor near the Miller's Lunch Stand. That exhibit is popular during Ice Cream Days because of the root beer floats that are sold to guests.  Museum administrator Judy Bowman says at the time of the alarm, the museum may have had 35 guests.  Everyone had evacuated the building, and there were no injuries.  Fire officials determine the smoke was from an old electrical ballast.  Fire officials used fans to help ventilate the smoke from the building.  Anthony's Electric Company was called and removed the ballast.  Fire officials rendered the building to be safe and the visitors returned to view the exhibits.  There was no other damage to the museum or the artifacts.  The fire department was on the scene for about 45 minutes.





Fire Department Issues Quarterly Report


(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has issued its quarterly report with the statistics showing a total of 111 calls for the months of March, April, and May.  The fire department responded to 35 fire calls, 19 rescues, 25 investigations, five mutual aid calls, and 27 request for services.




Final Day Of Ice Cream Days

(Le Mars) -- Today is the fourth and final day for Ice Cream Days.  The day will begin with a rib rally at the Olson Cultural Events Center, and of course the big parade.  Brad Pick with the Chamber's Ice Cream Days Organizing Committee previews the parade.

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Immediately following the parade will be the Art In The Park to be held at Foster Park.

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Pick says a toy show and toy auction are scheduled for the Century Hall of the Plymouth County Fairgrounds which will begin at 9:00 a.m. and continue all day long.

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Other events scheduled for Saturday include the Scream for Fashion to be held at the Knights of Columbus hall at 1:00 p.m.  Also starting at 1:00 p.m. is the Radio Controlled Airplane and Helicopter Fun Fly which will be held at the north end of the airport on Holton Drive.  The Plymouth County Historical Museum will hold its Log Cabin Days on Saturday.  A Disc Golf Tournament is scheduled between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to be held at the West Floyd Disc Golf Course.  At noon, Bike Central will host its Summer Cross at the Municipal park.

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The musical group "The Jammers" will perform from the Olson Cultural Events Center late Saturday afternoon, and the Fishing Derby at the Municipal Park will round out the days events.




Construction Accident In Ames Kills One Man

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Ames police say one man has died and another was critically injured in a construction accident at Iowa State University.
Emergency crews were called Friday afternoon to an apartment building under construction across the street from the ISU Memorial Union.
Police say the accident that killed one man and hurt another involved a fall from scaffolding.




Utilities Chairwoman Offers Explanation Regarding Vote On Proposed Oil Pipeline

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The new Iowa Utilities Board chairwoman is explaining her decision to participate in a vote on a major oil pipeline despite a potential conflict of interest.
In a June 8 filing, Geri Huser told parties in the case that her brother is no longer representing a farm family that has filed an objection to the pipeline proposed by Dakota Access LLC.
Huser noted that she wasn't on the board when her brother wrote a December objection letter, which will remain part of the case file. She said any appearance of a conflict of interest has been addressed by his withdrawal from the case.
Days before Huser's filing, a board spokesman said that Huser wasn't planning to formally disclose the issue in the case.
The board could vote later this year.




New York Psychic Company Agrees To Pay Fines, Charged With Fraud

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A New York City company the Iowa attorney general says was running a fraudulent psychic mail campaign targeting elderly Iowans has been ordered to pay $200,000 to a state consumer protection fund.
Court documents filed Friday say Faircom New York Inc. and company senior account director Audrey Corvino agreed to the restitution and will permanently halt mailings to Iowans. Faircom was further ordered to ensure that no one else uses Iowa mailing lists it compiled.
Attorney General Tom Miller says the company helped fraudulent operators in Switzerland, France, and the United Kingdom distribute mailings to older Iowans and people in other states promising psychics would miraculously deliver health, wealth and happiness for a fee of $20 to $35.
He says Faircom acknowledges helping with hundreds of thousands of mailings nationwide.




Clear Lake Fire Department Gets Boat To Help With Fires And Rescues

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A new fire and rescue boat named after a longtime Clear Lake firefighter is ready for use. 
A christening ceremony was held Thursday for the 26-foot boat. 
Diane and Mark Holt of Mason City donated $275,000 for the watercraft. It was named in honor of Diane Holt's late father, Frankie "Bud" Meyers. 
Meyers was assistant fire chief from 1974 until his retirement in 1993. He also was the father of current Clear Lake Fire Chief Doug Meyers.  
Frankie Meyers' widow, Helen, also was on hand for the ceremony. 
The boat will be kept in a covered lift at City Beach until needed.





State Grants Financial Incentives To Fertilizer Plant

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state board has approved $25 million in extra tax breaks for a company building a giant fertilizer plant in southeast Iowa.
The  Iowa Economic Development Authority Board on Friday approved the tax breaks for the Lee County plant after the Iowa Fertilizer Company pledged to add 11 more jobs. The project's total cost now totals $1.9 billion, and it will employ 180 people.
According to board documents, approval of the request brings the total amount of tax benefits the state has provided to the company to $107.5 million.
The construction of the plant near Wever is one of the largest economic development projects in state history.




Iowa's Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's unemployment rate is remaining stable at 3.8 percent.
Iowa Workforce Development released the May rate on Friday and noted the number of unemployed residents dropped slightly to 64,700. That's down from 65,600 in April.
The state unemployment rate compares to 4.4 percent in May 2014.
Workforce Development says there were about 1.6 million working Iowans. That's about 2,000 less than in April.
The national rate for May was 5.5 percent.




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