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Saturday News, August 22

ATV Accident Claims Life Of Plymouth County Man

(Hinton) -- A 24 year old Plymouth County man is dead after the All Terrain Vehicle he was riding struck a tree.  Authorities were called to 32954 Fox Avenue shortly before 7:00 a.m. Friday morning,   Apparently, the individual, identified as Carlton Smith Jr. had struck a tree with the ATV.  Plymouth County authorities have determined Smith was traveling  through a grassy area on private property, when he hit the tree.  Smith was thrown from the ATV and discovered by a family member. The deceased ATV driver was taken to Floyd Valley Hospital where the Plymouth County Medical Examiner determined that the cause of death was a result of head trauma.





Harris Man Dies From Tractor Roll Over Accident

HARRIS, Iowa (AP) - A 78-year-old man has died after a tractor he was driving rolled over in a northwest Iowa farm field. The accident occurred Thursday at a farm northeast of Harris. The Osceola County Sheriff's Office says Harvey McClain was driving the tractor on a hill when the tractor rolled.




Sioux City Police Looking For Missing Woman

(Sioux City ) -- Sioux City Police are looking for an adult woman that has gone missing. On Tuesday, August 18th, Raquel Munoz-Perez left her residence on 13th street in Sioux City at 6:30 a.m. to go to work at the Cloverleaf Cold Storage, but never arrived.  Her normal route to work was via Interstate 29.  She was driving a white 2000 four-door Chevy Cavalier with River Auto plates.  She had recently purchased the car and as of yet did not get state issued license plates.





Groetken Named Employee Of The Month

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce awarded its Employee of the Month on Friday. This time the award was presented to Steve Groetken at Nor-AM.  Pat Kenaley and Dave Johnson submitted the nomination for Steve Groetken.  In their nomination this is what they wrote: Steve Groetken deserves the LeMars Area Chamber of Commerce  Employee of the Month award almost every month of the year.  Steve works countless hours not only for Nor-Am internal and external customers, but also for the community at large. Steve has parlayed his years of professional experience, integrity and quality in everything he works on.  Nor-Am is fortunate to have Steve on our team.  He is willing to wear many hats including expertise in networks, information security, programming, Warehouse Management Systems, computers, printers, mobile RF equipment, marketing, social media and various software applications that are critical to our operations.  Steve consistently volunteers to work any hours and do what it takes to resolve issues for his internal and external customers, working from home before work hours, during his commute (when his wife is driving) and extended hours in the office.  He supports Nor-Am companies at 10 locations in five states.  If anything needs to be done we can count on Steve to pitch in and get it done.  His extensive leadership experience is evident in the way he calmly deals with crisis situations, much like a highly trained Air Traffic Controller.  His customers always feel confident with his calm, methodical trouble shooting and issue resolution. Steve cares about his colleagues and Nor-Am in general.  He is also always attending community events representing Nor-Am in a professional way and skillfully uses social media to support other community organizations and events through Nor-Am.  We believe nobody deserves to be honored as the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce August Employee of the Month more than Steve Groetken.  Our congratulations go to Steve Groetkin for being named the Employee of the month.





Grassley To Present Medals To Two Plymouth County Veterans

(Washington) -- U-S Senator Chuck Grassley will be presenting two medals to two World War II veterans from Plymouth County while he makes a stop in Le Mars on Wednesday. He will present World War II victory medals to. John Hart of Le Mars and Robert L. Taylor of Westfield.

Grassley will present the medals at 3:45 p.m. before his scheduled town hall meeting at Floyd Valley Hospital conference room in Le Mars.  The medal presentation will be a surprise to both veterans.

Hart enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944 and served on a U.S. landing craft support ship during World War II.  Hart witnessed the signing of the Japanese surrender on  when his ship was anchored alongside the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Taylor also enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944.  He served as a Petty Officer Second Class in the Pacific theater, the American campaign and the European campaign during World War II.

Hart and Taylor went to boot camp together in Idaho where they became friends before serving on different ships.  The two men haven’t seen each other in almost 65 years. This year marks the 70th anniversary since the end of World War II.





Utilities Board Tells MidAmerican Energy To Hold Down Costs On Windfarm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Utilities Board has adopted an order encouraging MidAmerican Energy to hold down costs on its $900 million project to build two more Iowa wind farms.
In a 2-1 decision Friday, the board said it would allow MidAmerican to later increase rates by up to $1.61 million for every megawatt of electricity generated.
The investor-owned utility and the Office of Consumer Advocate had agreed on a higher cost cap of nearly $1.64 million per megawatt. For the 552-megawatt plan, the difference comes out to $16 million.
Board members Libby Jacobs and Nick Wagner wrote that the lower cap would reduce risk to customers and provide an incentive to MidAmerican to keep costs low. 
Dissenting board chair Geri Huser says she would have approved the higher cap, calling it reasonable.





Egg Production Rises Slightly From Last Month, But Down From Year Ago Levels

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa egg production in July rose slightly from the previous month but remained 44 percent below year-ago levels, the lasting impact of the bird flu which decimated the state's hen flocks.
Iowa lost nearly 25 million egg layers in the bird flu outbreak that lasted from mid-April to mid-June.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in a weekly report Friday says Iowa produced 775 million eggs in July up 2 percent from June. That's the lowest monthly production since February 2002.
The average number layers on hand in July was 33.6 million down 43 percent from a year ago. It's the lowest inventory since October of 2001. 
United States egg production totaled 7.67 billion during July, down 10 percent from last year. That included 6.53 billion table eggs.





Governor Walker Says He Is Uncertain About Children Of Illegal Immigrants

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker says he is not taking a position on whether children of immigrants here illegally should automatically be citizens.
The Wisconsin governor said in a CNBC interview Friday that he wouldn't take a stand "one way or the other" on the Constitutional guarantee of birthright citizenship. Walker's statement comes after he gave mixed answers on the issue earlier in the week, including saying that the U.S. should "absolutely" end birthright citizenship.
Rival Donald Trump has said he wants to end the automatic granting of citizenship to children of people here illegally, leading Walker and other candidates to be asked their positions on it.
Walker previously reversed his position on allowing a chance for legal status for those in the country illegally.





Jeb Bush Promotes His Experience At Tea Party Conference

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is highlighting his experience cutting taxes and overhauling Florida's education system in an appeal to tea party conservatives.
Bush received polite applause from one of the nation's most active tea party conservative organizations at its annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday.
Speaking to Americans for Prosperity's annual conference for the first time, the former Florida governor focused on his two terms in office.
Bush told more than 3,000 conservative activists from around the country that talking is fine "but now we need leadership."
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal also was speaking on Friday, a day before Saturday's tea party stars and GOP rivals, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, will address the group.


Friday News, August 21

Another Serious Accident Involving Teen Driver

(Le Mars) -- Another auto accident involving a teen driver occurred Thursday afternoon at about 3:45 p.m.  The accident happened near 160th Street and Marble Avenue, just northeast of the city limits of Le Mars.  17 year old Tyler Kennett was driving his Ford Ranger pick up truck heading east on 160th street and tried to make a right hand turn on to Marble Avenue.  Kennett stated he lost control of the vehicle an rolled into the east ditch.  Kennett was flown to Mercy Medical Center by Mercy Air Care helicopter with what is believed to be serious injuries.  19 year old Troy Recker of Le Mars was a passenger with Kennett, and was transported to Floyd Valley Hospital by the Le Mars Ambulance with unknown injuries.  The accident is being investigated by the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office.  The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, Le Mars Police, Le Mars Ambulance, and Mercy Air Care all assisted at the scene.




Orange City Hospital Nationally Recognized

(Orange City) -- Orange City Area Health System has been named to Becker's Hospital Review's first-ever list of "50 Critical Access Hospitals to Know" in the United States. This list features Critical Access Hospitals that "have demonstrated excellence in caring for their communities." According to Becker's Hospital Review, "Providing quality healthcare in a rural setting presents its own set of specific challenges, but these organizations are rising above to meet the needs of their patients.” The editorial team selected hospitals for inclusion based on recognitions they have received, specifically the iVantage list of Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals, the National Rural Health Association's list of Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals. Orange City Area Health System has been on both of these lists the past two years.





The Browns Hope To Have Musical Theater Located In Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- In the famous baseball movie "Field of Dreams", which was filmed in Iowa, there was a famous quotation that said, "If you build it, they will come."  A local musical group is hoping for the same reaction.  Shelly Brown of the family musical group "The Browns" of Merrill has confirmed the group has purchased a downtown building with the hopes of converting it to an musical theater auditorium.

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Brown says the music group doesn't think that Le Mars will become a second Branson, but she says they do hope to tap into the tourism interest of the ice cream parlor.

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Brown says she hopes the renovation and conversion of the old bank building into a musical theater will be completed by November.

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The matriarch of the The Browns says the new theater will provide for an intimate setting with just 150 seats.  She says part of the plan is to offer some dinner theater shows.

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Brown says the building's architectural features will have a separate appeal to visitors.

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Brown says the local family musical group will still continue to tour across the country.




Long Time Judge Passes Away


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A longtime federal judge in Iowa known for rulings that improved jail and prison conditions has died at age 91.
A statement released by the federal court for the Northern District of Iowa says Donald E. O'Brien died Tuesday at his home in Sioux City after an illness. O'Brien had continued working up until his death.
The statement released by O'Brien's colleagues calls him an extraordinary judge "known far and wide for his unsurpassed compassion, fairness and commitment to doing justice." President Jimmy Carter appointed O'Brien to the bench in 1978.
One of O'Brien's most significant rulings came in 1997, when he declared the conditions at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison to be shameful. In response, the state took steps to improve treatment for mentally ill inmates.





Bank Employee Charged With Conspiring To Rob Bank

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An employee at a bank in northwest Iowa has been accused of conspiring with an acquaintance to stage a robbery at the bank.
18-year-old Heaven Zevenbergen is charged with second-degree theft in connection with the robbery Saturday at a Security National Bank branch at a Hy-Vee supermarket.
Court documents say Zevenbergen knew 18-year-old Angelica Perez, who is accused of entering the bank in a disguise and warning Zevenbergen via a note that she was armed. Zevenbergen, then a teller at the bank, gave Perez $10,000.
Perez was arrested Wednesday and posted bail Thursday for release from the Woodbury County Jail. She faces a theft charge. Zevenbergen remains at the jail.



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