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Tuesday News, August 12

County Supervisors To Meet Today

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to convene this morning at the Plymouth County Courthouse Board room. The Supervisors are expected to fill some vacancies.  The supervisors will appoint a trustee and a clerk for Portland Township.  They are also expected to appoint Don Mathews to the Board of Adjustment.  The supervisors will hear a report from County Engineer, Tom Rohe.  Rohe will submit a permit from Premier Communications requesting to do work in the Hungerford Township near County road C-60.  Southern Sioux Rural Water Association is also requesting a permit for Sioux Township on county road K-18.  Rohe will also present a resolution to the supervisors attention regarding a traffic safety improvement program application for county road C-60.


Deputy To Assist Motorist Ends Up Arresting Him For Possession Of Methamphetamine

(Le Mars) -- A Plymouth County Sheriff's Deputy who offered assistance to a motorist ended up arresting him for possession of methamphetamine.  Saturday evening, at about 10:24 p.m. 58 year old Jeffrey Raby of Fort Dodge was expereincing issues with his vehicle on Highway 75, just south of County road C-38.  The deputy started assisting Raby and became suspicious of criminal activity.  Further investigation led to the arrest of Raby, as he was charged with possession of paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor and possession of a controlled substance with the third offense which is a class D felony.


School Board Hears Principals' Year End Reports

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education met last evening, and were given updates from each of the district's principals regarding the end of year reports relating to student achievement with test assessments.  In most cases, Le Mars Community students have scored well on the assessment tests, showing improvement over the years, and reaching the assessment goals.  Students were tested in mathematics, reading skills, and science.  Middle School Principal Steve Shanks reported to the school board that in many cases Le Mars students ranked either first or second among the schools within the Northwest Area Education Agency in the assessment categories of mathematics, reading, and science.  Shanks believes the improvement is due in part to the school's emphasis on PLC SMART program which identifys goals focussed on essential learnings.  In other action during the school board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Steve Webner reported to the board of education that for the most part, Le Mars Community is meeting the expectations of the federal program, "No Child Left Behind."  The school board approved three new policies to be included in the student handbook.  The school board also approved an agreement with Remsen-Union School district allowing R-U students to participate in Le Mars Vocational Agricultural classes and FFA.  The school board approved the contracts for eight different staff members, and they also approved open enrollment for six students wanting to attend Le Mars Community.  The school board also awarded a contract to Langel's Electric of Le Mars for the installation of new lighting in the small theater.  The submitted bid was for $119,000 which was nearly $30,000 lower than the second place bid.


Hospital Trustees To Meet

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees are scheduled to meet this evening at the hospital board room.  The trustees will begin their meeting at 6:00 p.m. and will review the community health advisory quarterly report.  The hospital trustees will be given an Auxiliary Update, as well as a city update, and a report from Avera McKennan, Floyd Valley's management partner.   Hospital administrator Mike Donlin will brief the trustees on the latest developments regarding the North Addition Expansion project.


Gengler Awarded Musson Scholarship

(Le Mars) -- Greg Gengler has been awarded the 2014 Steven H. Musson Memorial Emergency Services Education Scholarship.  The Musson family established the Steven H. Musson Emergency Services Education Endowment in 2003 to recognize and honor Steve for his passion for emergency care.  This year, the committee has been able to award a $500 scholarship.  
     Gengler is currently an EMT with the Le Mars Ambulance Service and will be attending the paramedic program in Sioux City.  Gengler also leads the First Responder Team at Dean Foods where he works full-time.    
     He stated in his application, “My largest goal within EMS is to provide the very best care and leave a lasting impression of the care they receive to all I may encounter along the journey.”  He also adds, “EMS is a very rewarding career and towns are faced daily with hard times of getting others interested in becoming part of the EMS family.  I will do my part in trying to show others what a rewarding career EMS is and also volunteering to help your fellow neighbor.”


Le Mars Chamber To Host Business Builder Seminar

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce will hold its second Business Builder seminar today over the lunch hour.  The program will feature Neil Adler, the executive director with both the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce and the Le Mars Business Inititative Corporation.  That program will be held at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor.


Des Moines School District To Pay For All School Breakfasts and Lunches

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines school district says some parents want to pay for their children's free meals at school.
     District food director Sandy Huisman says that the parents made the offer after the district announced last month that all students at 35 of the district's 60 schools would be offered free breakfasts and lunches. 
     Most of the 18,000 students at the 35 schools qualify for free or reduced-price meals. The district determined it was cheaper to provide free meals for all than keep track of students' eligibility. The U.S. Department of Agriculture agreed to the change and will pay the entire cost of the meals. Breakfasts cost $1.93 each and lunches cost $2.98.


Iowa Crops Look Good

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A U.S. Department of Agriculture report indicates Iowa's corn and soybean crops are looking good.
     The USDA says Monday that 76 percent of the corn crop was in good to excellent condition, and 75 percent of the soybean crop was in good to excellent condition.
     Topsoil moisture also was in good shape in most areas, with 71 percent of Iowa farmland rated as adequate, 23 percent short and 3 percent very short. The remaining 3 percent had surplus moisture.
     Recent rains soaked some areas of Iowa while leaving others relatively dry. That's reflected in the survey showing some areas had only three days suitable for field work while other had more than six days during the week ending Aug. 10







Monday Afternoon News, August 11

Neunaber Arraignment Hearing Scheduled For August 18th

(Le Mars) -- The arraignment trial for an Akron man accused of murdering his mother is scheduled for next Monday morning, August 18th at the Plymouth County District Court.  Jon Neunaber of rural Akron will face the judge at that time.  He is being charged with first-degree murder of his mother Esther Neunaber.  Neunaber shared a home with his parents, Donald and Esther, when their bodies were found dead at their rural Akron home on July 9th.  Neunaber is not charged with the death of his father.  The state medical examiner has yet to release the findings of that autopsy.


Le Mars Fire Department Responds To Fire At ICON Ag And Turf

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has had a busy Monday morning.  The Fire Department was called to ICON Ag and Turf at about 7:10 a.m. Fire was reported in the upstairs level.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the alarm was called in by employees of the agriculture equipment dealer.  He says it appears a computer got too hot, but he also mentions the fire sprinklers had properly been activated.

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Fire officials were on scene for nearly an hour.  Shortly after the fire call, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched to an auto accident at 4th Street and 1st Avenue Southwest near the Plymouth County Historical Museum.  The fire department was asked to assist with debris clean up process. The accident was reported at about 8:08 a.m.  Fire officials were on the scene until 8:39 a.m.


Weather Meterologist Talks About Cold Air Funnels Seen In Plymouth County

(Le Mars) -- Several people witnessed what they thought was a tornado Sunday afternoon, at about 1:40 p.m. south of Le Mars.  As it turned out, the funnel was not a tornado, but what officials call a cold air funnel.  Several cold air funnels were spotted near Le Mars and throughout Plymouth County due to an approaching cold front.  The National Weather Service assured local authorities that the funnels would occur but none were likely to touch the ground. Meterologist Mike Gillispie offers an explanation of cold air funnels.

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Gillispie says cold air funnels are usually not considered strong enough to cause damage.   Three funnel clouds were observed south and east of Le Mars.   The closest one passed eastward over county roads C-38 and K-49 just southeast of City of Le Mars. Local authorities were constantly monitoring the cold air funnels and were in constant contact with the weather service and there was no eminent danger or the sirens would have been activated in the City of Le Mars.   Several people did call 911 stating that they saw these cold air funnel clouds.  The weather meterologist says a funnel does not necessarily mean it is a tornado. 
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We can have funnel clouds quite often that never turn into tornados thus causing a tornado warning.  Gillispie says numerous cold air funnels were spotted within northwest Iowa, southeast South Dakota, and southwest Minnesota.


Le Mars Community Board Of Education To Meet Monday Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will meet this evening at the School Administration Building.  The principals will deliver their end of the year reports to the school board.  Assistant Superintendent, Steve Webner will present a report regarding the district's progress during the 2013-2014 school year with the federal "No Child Left Behind" requirements.  The school board is also expected to approve eight different contracts.  The school board will also address six students requesting to attend Le Mars Community Schools through the open enrollment program.  The Board will also discuss the Vocational Program Sharing Agreement with Remsen-Union.


Lt. Governor Reynolds Exhibits Top Steer In Governor's Annual Celebrity Steer Show

(Des Moines) -- Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds proved to be the best celebrity showperson as she took top honors in the 32nd annual Governor's Celebrity Steer Show held on Saturday afternoon at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.  Reynolds showed a market steer that was the champion market beef animal from the Crawford County Fair, and owned by Ben Von Glan of Vail, Iowa.  Following the celebrity steer show, all the market beef was then sold at auction with the proceeds to benefit the various Ronald McDonald homes located in Des Moines, Iowa City, and Sioux City. A new record was achieved when the charity auction brought $225,300. There were a total of 25 celebrities from government, media, colleges and universities, and businesses.


Co-Pilot Loses Appeal For Unemployment Benefits

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A co-pilot who didn't lower a plane's landing gear has lost his appeal for Iowa unemployment benefits.
     The Des Moines Register says 49-year-old Donald Scarsella was co-pilot on a SeaPort Airlines plane Feb. 14 as it attempted to land at Salina Regional Airport in Kansas. Records say Scarsella and the pilot didn't lower the gear, causing the plane to crash on its belly. The two weren't injured, and there were no passengers aboard.
     The airline soon fired both. Scarsella filed for unemployment in Iowa. He lived in Iowa at the time.
     The Iowa benefits were granted, but SeaPort appealed.
     Last week the Iowa Employment Appeal Board denied the benefits, saying Scarsella disregarded steps required to safely fly an airplane.
     Scarsella declined to comment.


Juvenile Found With Explosives

 WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in Webster City detained a juvenile and seized material suspected of being an explosive device.
     The Fort Dodge Messenger reports Webster City police detained the juvenile Sunday after being called to a home for a disturbance. The juvenile, whose name wasn't released, was taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation. He hasn't been charged with any crime.
     The Iowa State Fire Marshal's office took the apparent explosive material and planned to dispose of it.
     The Webster City Fire Department also responded to the home.



NTSB Investigates Fatal Iowa Airplane Crash

  RUSSELL, Iowa (AP) - The National Transportation Safety Board is leading an investigation into a weekend plane crash that killed two people in southern Iowa.
      Spokesman Peter Knudson says investigators have recovered at least one GPS unit from the rural crash site in Wright Township, near Russell. They will try to extract data that may be relevant to the investigation.
     Knudson says a preliminary report about the crash will be released in a few days, but a full report with details about what caused the crash may take about a year.
     The Wayne County Sheriff's Office says two people were killed in Saturday's crash, which involved a single-engine RV-7A aircraft. The state medical examiner's office completed autopsies Sunday, but additional information about the victims has not been released.


Attorney And Four Businessmen Charged With Bank Fraud

   IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines attorney and four businessmen are charged with fraud for allegedly deceiving banks into approving short sales on homes that were purchased at steep discounts and immediately resold for profit.
     The charges are filed against attorney Jason Springer, business partners Nathan Smith and Patrick Steven, real estate agent Rick Makohoniuk and mortgage broker Jerod Hogan.
     A federal indictment says the scheme involved 19 Des Moines-area homes.
     Struggling homeowners contacted a company owned by Smith and Steven for help negotiating short sales in which homes would be sold for less than what was owed.
     Smith and Steven then used another company to purchase them below market value. They would resell the homes the same day, without banks' knowledge, for a higher price.
     Springer conducted the closings and received commissions.











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