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Tuesday News, April 14

School Board Approves Budget And School Calendar

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board approved its 2015-2016 budget during its regular meeting held last evening.  The school board approved the total operating fund spending authority for the district at $25,015,959.  The recommended budget for the operating fund equals $21,713,776.  The operating fund balance is projected to be approximately $3,302,183. The school board also approved the school calendar for the next school year.  Classes will begin on Thursday, August 27th and are scheduled to conclude on May 27th.

 

 

Supervisors To Meet Today

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will meet today, and on their agenda the supervisors will discuss whether they want to help offer financial support for litigation expense for Sac, Calhoun, and Buena Vista counties as they defend themselves against a lawsuit by the Des Moines Water Works.  The supervisors are expected to appoint Curt Moodie to the Veteran Affairs Commission.  Moodie will replace Don Beitelspacher who recently passed away.  The supervisors will also review and approve Cost Advisory Services Administrative Expense reimbursement for Department of Human Services expenses and indirect costs analysis.  Plymouth County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild will present the quarterly report to the county supervisors, and Plymouth County Engineer Tom Rohe will present the budget of the secondary road program.

 

 

Floyd Valley Hospital Trustees To Discuss Annual Audit

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees are scheduled to meet this evening. The hospital trustees will hear a medical report, a financial report, including approval of the hospital's annual audit as performed by the Denman and Company.  Hospital administrator Mike Donlin will offer the trustees an update on the north addition expansion project.  The hospital trustees will also review and expected to approve capital acquisitions.

 

 

Farmers Co-op Society To Construct New Feed Mill

(Boyden) -- Farmers Coop Society’s board of directors has announced the approval of constructing a new feed mill in Boyden.  The $14.75 million project will help FCS meet the needs of their customers both now and in the future. The new mill will include many technological features that will improve the all-around efficiency of the mill as well as the time it takes to load and unload semis. This new feed mill will have the ability to manufacture a total of 3000 tons per day with 1000 of those tons being in pellets. When the mill is fully operational it will require 45 semi loads of ingredients, up to 70 loads of corn, and produce 115 semi loads of complete feed per day. FCS’s feed business continues to grow and they have been anticipating the need for an additional mill for the last year and a half. The feed team and management are excited about the opportunity to grow their business in northwest Iowa and the surrounding area.

 

 

Farmers Prepare Fields For Crop Production

(Le Mars) -- Farmers have been taking advantage of the warm weather by preparing their fields for crop production.  Iowa State University Extension Crop Specialist for Northwest Iowa, Joel DeJong says so far, farmers are off to a good start.

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Soil temperatures have been rising according to DeJong, but still a bit cooler than desired for crop production.

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As for sub-soil moisture levels, and despite some reports indicating drought-like conditions, the crops specialist says for most of Northwest Iowa the levels are sufficient.

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Most Iowa farmers will probably plant this year's corn crop between April 20th and May 10th.

 

 

Fire Hydrant Flushing To Continue Today

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars City Water officials hope to resume the fire hydrant flushing today, following last week's water main break which caused a delay. City water superintendent Gayle Sitzmann explains the water flushing schedule.

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DeCosters Sentenced To Three Months In Prison For Contaminated Eggs

(Sioux City) -- The two former operators of an egg production facility in Wright County were each sentenced Monday to three months in prison and fined 100-thousand dollars in connection with a nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2010. Eighty-one-year-old Jack DeCoster of Turner, Maine was the owner of Quality Egg, and his 51-year-old son Peter of Clarion, Iowa, was the chief operating officer. Jack and Peter DeCoster each pleaded guilty to one count of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Their former company, Quality Egg, pled guilty to one count of bribery of a public official, one count of introducing a misbranded food into interstate commerce with intent to defraud and one count of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. The company was sentenced to pay a fine of six-point-79 million dollars and placed on probation for three years. Court records show the company knew of salmonella in their egg laying plant, but mislead customers and tried to bribe inspectors to conceal the positive salmonella tests prior to the disease outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control says the outbreak likely caused nearly two-thousand people to become sick.

 

 

Cherokee Man Sentenced After Police Standoff

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) - A Cherokee man has been sentenced in connection to a lengthy standoff with police.

36-year-old Joshua Allender was sentenced Monday to up to 10 years in prison. He took a plea deal in March to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and assault on a peace officer, dropping attempted murder, assault and weapons charges.

Police responded to a call on Oct. 30 about a suicidal person in Cherokee County. Officers say Allender refused to leave the home and fired a gun from an upstairs window.

Over six hours later, officers fired tear gas inside, and Allender was soon in custody.

Allender must serve at least five years of his sentence before he's eligible for parole.

 

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Two Top Drake University Officials Resign

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The vice president and provost of Drake University have submitted their resignations as the Des Moines private college prepares for a new president to assume office this summer.

Outgoing president David Maxwell notified faculty and staff about the resignations in a letter last week.

Vice President and Treasurer Debbie Newsom's resignation will become effective June 30. Provost Deneese Jones will be stepping down effective May 30.

The letter says Jones' resignation as provost will allow Drake's incoming president, Earl F. "Marty" Martin, to develop his own team. A national search for the provost position won't begin until Martin takes office in July.

The school's board of trustees in January picked Martin as president.

Maxwell has served for 16 years as the college's president.

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Woman And Boyfriend Arrested After Toddler Tests Positive For Meth

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) - Newton police have arrested a 22-year-old woman and her boyfriend after a toddler tested positive for methamphetamine.

Court documents say test results for the 1-year-old boy who the woman cared for showed he had five times more meth in his system than the woman did.

The woman's 27-year-old boyfriend was arrested for child endangerment.

The Newton interim police chief says he credits neighbors and an apartment property manager for alerting authorities to the child's welfare.

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Second Doctor Testifies In Legislator's Sexual Assault Trial

GARNER, Iowa (AP) - Another doctor has testified in the trial of a former Iowa lawmaker accused of sexually abusing his wife, saying the woman's mental capacity deteriorated rapidly in the months before the alleged incident.

Dr. John Brady, medical director of Garner's Concord Care Center, testified Monday in the third-degree sexual abuse case against 78-year-old Henry Rayhons.

Prosecutors allege Rayhons had sex with his wife, Donna Lou Rayhons, in May at the nursing home after being told his wife was no longer mentally capable of consenting. She died in August.

Rayhons' defense attorney says there's no forensic evidence proving his client had sex with his wife on the day alleged by prosecutors.

Brady says Donna Lou Rayhons might have responded positively to interactions with her husband, but those reactions don't equate consent.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Monday Afternoon News, April 13

Secondary Roads Department Closes Two Roads For Bridge/Culvert Repairs

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced Fawn Avenue between County Road C-38 to 200th Street will be closed beginning Monday at 12:00 noon and it will remain closed until July 28th.  The road is closed due to the replacement of a bridge.  In addition, 280th Street between county road K-30 to Hedge Avenue will be closed beginning today until Wednesday for a replacement of a culvert pipe.

 

 

 

Water Main Break Interrupts Hydrant Flushing Schedule

(Le Mars) -- Last week while the city was flushing some fire hydrants, they encountered a water main break, resulting in an interruption of the flushing, and causing the city water crews to be delayed with their schedule.  Gayle Sitzmann is the city water department superintendent, and says the water main break occurred near 501 2nd Avenue northwest.

 

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Sitamann says hydrant flushing will continue on Tuesday.

 

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Local Ethanol Producer Reacts To Supreme Court Ruling

(Marcus, Iowa (AP) - Rejecting a challenge from the ethanol industry, the Iowa Supreme Court says the state's tax on the use of natural gas is constitutional.

Several ethanol plants argued the law is unfair because it requires them to pay higher taxes than many competitors for natural gas, which is heavily used in the manufacturing process.

The affected plants are those that obtain natural gas directly from interstate pipelines rather than local utilities. They are assessed the tax based on the amount they use and their geographic location.

Little Sioux Corn Processors, which operates an ethanol plant in Marcus, and Plymouth Energy, an ethanol plant in Merrill are both affected by the higher taxes.  They, and other ethanol plants, argued the tax was unconstitutional because it treats similar plants differently and punishes consumers who buy gas from out-of-state suppliers.

The court says the tax may not create uniform results, but it is constitutional.

Steve Roe is the manager of the Little Sioux Corn Processors ethanol plant and explains how he believes the tax is unfair.

 

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Roe says under the current law, the Little Sioux Corn Processors have to pay about six times the amount in the tax rates, as opposed to some other ethanol plants.

 

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The Little Sioux Corn Processors executive says the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the lobbying organization that represents ethanol and biodiesel plants, were trying to convince lawmakers to change the law.  He says it is too late for this legislative session to act upon it, but the ethanol industry will bring the matter to the attention of lawmakers in future sessions.

 

 

 

Farmers Making Progress On Field Work

(Le Mars) -- Farmers have been taking advantage of the warm weather by preparing their fields for crop production.  Iowa State University Extension Crop Specialist for Northwest Iowa, Joel DeJong says so far, farmers are off to a good start.

 

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Soil temperatures have been rising according to DeJong, but still a bit cooler than desired for crop production.

 

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

As for sub-soil moisture levels, and despite some reports indicating drought-like conditions, the crops specialist says for most of Northwest Iowa the levels are sufficient.

 

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Most Iowa farmers will probably plant this year's corn crop between April 20th and May 10th.

 

 

 

Osceola Authorities Looking For Person Who Dumped Puppies In River

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they're searching for the person who dumped a bag of dead puppies near a northwestern Iowa bridge.

The Osceola County Sheriff's Office says the bag was located near a bridge north of Sibley, Iowa on Northwest Boulevard. The sheriff's office received a report of the puppies April 6.

The puppies have been described as medium or large breed dogs. Officials say they were seemingly left near the bridge sometime in the winter.

The case remains under investigation.

 

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Bank Robbery Case Sent To Federal Trial

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The case of an Urbandale man accused of robbing a central Iowa bank at gunpoint has been sent to a federal grand jury.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa says 35-year-old Hussam Fayiz Abusharkh appeared in federal court Friday on a criminal complaint. He is accused of robbing the Farmers and Merchants State Bank in St. Charles on March 25, when Madison County deputies responded to reports of a man with a handgun ordering employees to fill a bag with money.

Abusharkh turned himself in to authorities Thursday on a state first-degree robbery charge.

It was unclear Monday whether Abusharkh has an attorney. Online court records don't yet list the case.

A judge ordered that Abusharkh remain detained pending the grand jury's review of his case.

 

 

 

 

Two People Killed In Brandon, South Dakota Home Fire

BRANDON, S.D. (AP) - A homeowner and a firefighter have died in a house fire in the Minnehaha County city of Brandon.

Police Chief David Kull says 47-year-old homeowner David Smith was taken late Sunday to a Sioux Falls hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities identified the firefighter as 38-year-old Steven Ackerman, a volunteer with the Valley Springs fire department.

Firefighters responded to the scene shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday. They were ordered out of the burning home about 40 minutes later. Ackerman was reported missing about 11 p.m. His body was found in the home's basement about 1:30 a.m. Monday.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire but authorities say they do not believe it is suspicious. Kull says it appears the blaze started in the basement.

 

 

 

Carbon Monoxide Death

DELHI, Iowa (AP) - An 18-year-old man found unresponsive in a running car in eastern Iowa has died.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office say Cole Haan died Monday morning after he and 17-year-old Nichole Lucas breathed in carbon monoxide from the car. Deputies found the pair in the car near Maquoketa Valley High School in Delhi on Saturday night.

The  car had been running for about an hour when authorities found the teens. They were transported to the Regional Medical Center in Maquoketa before being airlifted to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Investigators say the vehicle's exhaust pipe was broken, allowing fumes to enter the vehicle.

The sheriff's office says Lucas remains at the Iowa City hospital, where her condition is said to be improving.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

   

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