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Monday News, August 17

Fatal Accident Claims Life Of 16 Year Old Teen (Victim Now Identified)

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have released the name of the fatal accident that happened Sunday afternoon on Highway 75, four miles north of Le Mars.  The accident victim has been identified as 16 year old Zachary Rolfes of Le Mars.  Rolfes crossed the centerline, and was hit by a semi truck and trailer.  He was pronounced dead at the Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.  The driver of the semi truck, 43 year old Jon Edwards of Sibley suffered only minor injuries.

(Le Mars) -- A Le Mars 16 year old teenage boy is dead after being involved in a two vehicle accident involving a passenger car and a semi truck and trailer.  The accident happened Sunday afternoon at about 3:50 p.m. on Highway 75 about four miles north of Le Mars.  Apparently, the teen driver was driving a Honda Accord and was traveling north bound when the car swerved into the southbound lane of traffic and was struck by the semi truck.  The driver of the car was ejected from the vehicle and was transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars where he was pronounced dead.  Authorities are still investigating the accident to determine as to why the driver lost control and entered the southbound lane of travel.  The name of the teen driver is being withheld pending the notification of family members.  The driver of the semi truck is identified as 43 year old Jon Edwards of Sibley.  He was taken to the Floyd Valley Hospital with minor injuries.





Heavy Rains Fall On Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- More than six inches of rain fell on Le Mars last evening causing some street flooding, and backed up street storm drains.  Last evening's storms that came through Le Mars had also caused some tree branches to fall.  City crews were called to the 500 block of Central Avenue North to remove a tree limb that had fallen and was blocking part of the street.  A portion of the town was without power for awhile.  Mid-American Energy reports more than 130 residents and businesses, particularly in the south central region of town were without power.  Plymouth County and other parts of northwest Iowa were under a flash flood warning during the overnight hours. A check with Tom Rohe, Plymouth County Engineer, indicates as of early this morning there were no reports of washed out roads, or other roadway problems from the excessive rains.  Plymouth County Sheriff's office also indicated they did not receive any reports of structural damage from the heavy rains.






Sioux City Bank Robbery

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are looking for a suspect that robbed the Security National Bank branch office located inside the Hamilton Blvd Hy-Vee store.  The robbery took place on Saturday morning at about 9:50 a.m.  The suspect gave the teller a note stating the he had a weapon and demanded cash.  The suspect then fled the area on foot traveling to the north of the store.  No one was injured during the incident.  The suspect is described as having a medium complexion, black hair, a slight build, and stands about 5 foot seven inches tall.  The suspect was wearing a gray sweatshirt and pants, a print t-shirt, and a baseball hat with the number 87 on it.  The suspect also had eye glasses and had a mustache and goatee that may have been fake.  The person seen in the images from the bank and the supermarket store also appears to have slightly stretched out earing holes.  Any information on the identity of the suspect should be directed to the Sioux City Police Department.





Denison City Officials Help Displaced Tyson Employees After Plant Shutdown

DENISON, Iowa (AP) - Officials are working to help Denison cope with the closing of a Tyson Foods plant there that employed about 400 people.
Mayor Brad Bonner says that Tyson's announcement Friday was a surprise, and the city is now using its economic disaster response plan.
Tyson has said workers could apply for jobs at the company's other plants. Economic development officials will try to help workers find other jobs if they want to stay in the area.
Bonner says it's sad to see the plant close because it has a long history in Denison. It opened in 1961 as the first plant run by Iowa Beef Packers. That company grew into a major player in the industry before Tyson acquired it in 2001.





Poultry Producers Brace For Return Of Bird Flu

RUDD, Iowa (AP) - Iowa poultry farmers are bracing for the possibility that bird flu will return this fall when wild birds migrate, but they hope the disease won't return.
The industry that had to slaughter more than 35 million chickens and turkeys earlier this year is just starting to recover.
But agriculture officials say migrating birds might bring the disease back.
The Iowa Poultry Association's Randy Olson says the industry is doing everything it can to prevent another outbreak.
Tony Halsted says he's grateful that his hatchery near Rudd escaped bird flu in the spring.
Halsted says he has divided his birds up and moved some flocks into Missouri to make sure that a bird flu infection at one location wouldn't cripple his operation.






Jeb Bush Super PAC To Spend $10 Million For Television Ads


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The powerfully funded super PAC backing Republican Jeb Bush will spend at least $10 million on television time in the earliest voting presidential primary states.
That's only the first round in a massive TV ad campaign to support the former Florida governor's bid for the Republican nomination.
Officials with Right to Rise USA tell The Associated Press that they will buy time in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina TV markets and on cable television in the three states. Ads are scheduled to begin in Iowa and New Hampshire on Sept. 15, in South Carolina a week later and then run continuously through the end of the year.
The buy planned for Monday taps the nearly $100 million Right to Rise USA had on hand last month.





Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Speaks In Iowa

LONG GROVE, Iowa (AP) - In the state that launched the nation's first black president, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making racial injustice a touchstone of his presidential campaign after facing disruptions from activists promoting the Black Lives Matter movement.
During three days of campaigning in predominantly white Iowa, Sanders says he would fight institutional racism, address police brutality and criminal justice reform.
The Vermont senator has become Hillary Rodham Clinton's main rival for the Democratic nomination. But he has lagged behind the former secretary of state in building a coalition resembling the diverse voting bloc that twice elected President Barack Obama.
Sanders told voters in Iowa on Sunday that he plans to introduce legislation to address the role of private corporations in the nation's prison system.





Republican Presidential Candidate Ben Carson Visits Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has been holding court with hundreds of Iowans, declaring that he can be president of the United States.
At the Des Moines Register's Political Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair, Carson, a Republican candidate for president, said Sunday: "We shouldn't let the political class pick our presidents."
Carson, who has a rags-to-riches story, has ignited curiosity and enthusiasm from conservatives with his call for a more civil, less partisan dialogue in the federal government. On the stage, he said: "Just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean you're their enemy."
He sprinkled his 15-minute speech with jokes about aspiring to be a doctor while growing up in inner-city Detroit.
Though offering little details on how to address it, he said the chief problem facing the country is its long-term liabilities, which Carson said amount to $211 trillion over time.






Million Dollar Powerball Ticket Sold In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Someone who bought a Powerball ticket in the eastern Iowa community of Washburn has won $1 million. 
Iowa Lottery officials say the winning ticket in Saturday night's drawing was purchased at the Pronto convenience store. 
The ticket matched the first five numbers but missed the Powerball number. 
The store will receive a $1,000 bonus from the lottery for selling the winning ticket.



Saturday News, August 15

Tyson Closes Denison Beef Packing Plant


(Denison) -- Tyson Foods has closed its Denison, Iowa beef packing and processing facility, leaving nearly 400 people without jobs.  Friday was the last day of operations for the Denison plant.  The plant in Denison was the very first beef slaughtering facility for the former IBP, which was purchased by Tyson in 2001.  Tyson officials blame the shift in the cattle industry and lower cattle numbers for the closure. Gary Mickelson is the spokesman for Tyson.

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Mickelson says it was a difficult decision for Tyson officials to close the Denison facility.

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Tyson Foods has another cattle processing facility located in Dakota City, Nebraska which was recently remodeled and expanded to handle additional cattle numbers. Mickelson says Tyson will work with the displaced workers to find other employment opportunities with Tyson.

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With the closure of the Denison beef packing plant, what will that mean for area cattle producers?  Tony Schroeder feeds cattle on his farm located between Le Mars and Remsen, and has sold cattle through Tyson.  He says the closure will have little affect as to where he markets his cattle.  Schroeder says he and other cattle producers will transport his cattle to the Dakota City, Nebraska facility.




Farm Credit Services Donates $2000 To Fire And Rescue Department

(Le Mars) -- Farm Credit Services presented a $2,000 check to the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department this morning, as part of the "Working Here" grant.  Cody Griffin, Financial Loan Officer, with Farm Credit Services, explains why the agricultural lender is interested in providing grants to area fire departments.

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Recently, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department received some equipment allowing for grain bin or other confined space rescues.  Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the grant money from Farm Credit Services will be used to purchase special type of air masks filters for when fire or rescue personnel need to perform a rescue inside a grain bin.

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Schipper says fire and rescue personnel will be able to wear the air filter mask and perform a grain bin rescue, without having to equip themselves with an air tank.

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Schipper says the fire and rescue department has purchased eight of the special air masks filters.

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The Le Mars Fire Chief says the fire department has had to perform three grain bin rescues in recent years. Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department is one of 55 organizations to receive a "Working Here" fund grant. Farm Credit Services has awarded a total of $91,460 during the latest grant cycle.




Jeb Bush Visits Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - No endorsements were made, but Jeb Bush got the next best thing Friday from the top three Republicans in Iowa - personal time at the Iowa State Fair.
Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst welcomed the former Florida governor to the fair early Friday and Governor Terry Branstad joined him to flip pork loins on the sizzling grill at the Iowa Pork Producers tent later in the morning. Bush's comprehensive tour included snacking on a deep fried Snickers bar, sampling pork chops on sticks and appearing on the political soapbox - where he got pinged on Iraq, capping a week in which he focused heavily on foreign policy.
Recent polls indicate the former Florida governor is struggling in Iowa, but Bush said many voters are still looking at the field.





Kim Weaver Announces Candidacy For Congress

(Clear Lake) -- A Department of Human Services Medicaid case manager has announced her candidacy for Iowa's 4th District Representative.  Kim Weaver made the announcement last evening at the Democratic "Wing Ding" fundraising event, held at Clear Lake.  Weaver informed the Democrat crowd that it is time to replace Republican Congressman Steve King.  In her speech, Weaver says, "Everyone in this room knows that Steve King does not represent real Iowa values.  We hardly go a week without seeing King on television, embarrassing us with attacks on immigrants and other minorities."  Weaver says she is a life-long resident of Iowa, having grown up in Des Moines.  She raised her three children in Sheldon.  Weaver informed the crowd she is an active member of the AFSCME union, and she says unions, along with family farms, small businesses and union jobs are the key to protecting and building Iowa's middle class.  Weaver says she will do everything she can to support Iowa's hard working families and protect them from Washington corruption.  Weaver says she will put Iowa families first by reforming the student loan system, protecting Iowa's farms, and making sure that corporations and the super-rich pay their fair share.





School Superintendent Appeals Suspension

TREYNOR, Iowa (AP) - A schools superintendent has appealed the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners' decision to suspend his state license for 30 days.
The attorney for Kevin Elwood told the Daily Nonpareil that the appeal was filed Wednesday in Polk County District Court and that Elwood may continue in his Treynor district post during the appeal process.
On August 7th the board suspended Elwood's license, saying he should not have let his son work unsupervised as a custodian for the district after the son was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct. Elwood was accused of two violations of Iowa code, including failing to make reasonable efforts to protect the health and safety of students.
In September 2013 Elwood's son, Kreighton Elwood, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and one of false imprisonment.





Fort Dodge School Not Structurally Sound

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Classes for about 350 elementary students in Fort Dodge will be held this fall elsewhere due to structural concerns recently discovered at the school.
The Messenger reports that Duncombe Elementary's students will start the school year at the former Fair Oaks Middle School building.
Issues with the school's structure were discovered during summer remodeling efforts. The school district's superintendent says they weren't a result of neglect, but rather due to the building being at least 100 years old.
The middle school closed in 2013 and was sold to Foutch Bros. LLC of Kansas City, Missouri.
The company told district officials the former school could be used for elementary students at no cost for a minimum of two years.


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