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Thursday Afternoon News, May 26

City Closes Streets For Repairs

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars city crews will be closing 6th Avenue southeast between 4th Street and 5th Street southeast for some street repairs.  The road work will be done just south of 4th Street southeast, so residents living in the one block area will be able to access their driveway coming in on 6th Avenue southeast from the south by 5th Street.  City crews estimate the work will take about ten days to complete.




Preparations Being Made For Water Main Construction

(Le Mars) -- City officials are announcing Vander Pol Construction will be closing down the outside South bound lane between 4th St . S.W. and 2nd St. S.W. sometime Tuesday May 31st in the evening  to start construction of the new water main going in on the west side of Business 75, they will also be closing down the S.W part of the intersection at 4th St S.W. and 75 to do some boring underground then within a couple days they will have the S.W. part of the intersection closed at 3rd St. and 75 . The water main replacement is to start at the intersection of 4th St S.W. and continue on all the way up to 4th St N.W.  and take  approximately 12 weeks, they plan on doing two blocks at a time so there will be other intersections and parts of business 75 that will be affected as they move North,  Citizens are being asked to drive with caution and slow down as they drive through the construction zone. We will try to keep everyone updated to what roads will be affected as they move North.






Fire Department Reminds Residents Not To Burn Yard Waste

(Le Mars) -- We have received a lot of rain this spring, which means our lawns have grown fairly quickly, and some people may be tempted to burn that yard waste in their backyard recreational fire pit.  However, Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says that is against city code ordinance.

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The fire chief reminds people that the city does offer a disposal site located on the west side of town near the Riverview ball parks in which yard waste may be deposited on Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays.  Schipper says the fire department has responded to a few fire calls in which people were burning their yard waste.

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Schipper says burning yard waste creates problems for many people, especially if that yard waste is damp and only smolders.

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Judge Bennett To Decide If Iowa's Sexual Offender Laws Are Unconstitutional

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge is planning a trial to determine whether Iowa's sex offender treatment program is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett said in an order Wednesday that he hopes to set the two-week trial for Nov. 28.
The case concerns sex offenders who completed prison sentences but are locked up at a state institution in Cherokee for treatment, based on findings that they'll likely reoffend.
They've argued the program is unconstitutional because it doesn't give them adequate treatment, and that they're essentially serving life sentences because few offenders complete it. Testimony from employees has confirmed staffing shortages and cutbacks in treatment.
Bennett says the trial will determine whether the program violates constitutional standards, is punitive rather than therapeutic, and is the least restrictive way to treat sex offenders.



Thursday News, May 26

Preparations Being Made For Annual Memorial Day Avenue Of Flags Program

(Le Mars) -- Preparations are being made for the annual Memorial Day Avenue of Flags program to be held at the grounds of the Plymouth County Courthouse on Monday.  This year will mark the 51st anniversary of the event in which flags are dedicated in honor of a passed loved one.  The Le Mars American Legion, Wasmer post #241 will again host the program.  To date, more than 1200 flags of veterans that have died are remembered as the roll call of those veterans are read each year.  The flags represent veterans of all wars from the Civil War up to the Persian Gulf war.  This year, more than 40 additional flags will be dedicated.  Any family that wishes to dedicate a flag of their family veteran who has passed, need to notify the Le Mars legion club.  The deadline for submitting new flags is set for Friday.  Questions can be directed to either Jim Rolfes at phone number 546-8398, or you can contact the post commander, Wayne Schipper at cell phone number 540-3773.  The Memorial Day parade is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. with the program at the County Courthouse to begin at 10:00 a.m.  Be sure to listen to KLEM radio if inclement weather should occur, the event would then be moved to the Le Mars Community Middle School auditorium.




Primary Election Scheduled For Tuesday, June 7th

(Le Mars) -- Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm on Tuesday, June 7th in all 13 Plymouth County voting precincts. 
Voters going to the polls will be nominating officials for partisan offices ranging from State and County offices.  Voters must be 18 years of age and be registered to vote to be eligible to vote at the polls, or the EDR (Election Day Registration) process can be used at the polls to register prior to voting.  Unofficial election results will be made available on the Plymouth County website at after the polls close at 9 pm once they are tallied. There is one contested race in the Republican primary for District 5 County Supervisor position.  Jim Henrichs has decided to not seek re-election, leaving his seat open.  Dan Smith of Merrill and Gary Horton of Akron are facing each other for that open supervisor seat.  Meanwhile, republican voters will decide between incumbent Steve King of Kiron and challenger Rick Bertrand of Sioux City for the 4th District U-S House of Representatives position.  There are no local primary races for the Democratic party.





Storm Derails Train In Crawford County

DENISON, Iowa (AP) - Winds gusting to 87 mph have knocked over train cars and toppled trees in western Iowa.
Authorities say no injuries were reported from the storms that ran through Crawford and other counties early Thursday morning. 
Crawford County emergency management coordinator Greg Miller says 17 double-stacked container cars are blocking two sets of tracks about two miles west of Westside. Miller also says trees and branches are down in several communities and that power also had been briefly lost.
The National Weather Service says the 87 mph gust was reported at the Denison Municipal Airport around 2:15 a.m.
To the east, the service reported that a home east of Albion lost a large portion of its roof and that inch-and-a-quarter hail had been seen two miles west of Minburn.




Des Moines Police Arrest Suspect For Killing Bicyclist

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say they have arrested a suspect in connection to the death of a Des Moines man who was assaulted while riding his bike. 
The Des Moines Police Department says 28-year-old Michael Scott, of Des Moines, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 65-year-old Charles Brown. 
Police say Brown was riding a bicycle on the east side of Des Moines on May 1 when he was assaulted by two men. Brown was seriously injured and hospitalized. He later died as a result of his injuries.
Online court records don't list an attorney who could comment for Scott.




Investigation Into Iowa Medical And Classification Center

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - State agents are conducting an investigation at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.
Spokesman Alex Murphy for the Iowa Department of Public Safety has confirmed that an investigation is underway but has declined to comment further. 
Iowa Corrections Department spokesman Fred Scaletta says a prisons employee has been put on administrative leave, but Scaletta would not provide more details.
The Coralville institution is a reception center for all male offenders. There also is a psychiatric hospital.





Parkersburg Continues To Recover Following Tornado Eight Years Ago

PARKERSBURG, Iowa (AP) - It's been eight years since a massive tornado destroyed nearly 300 homes and killed nine people in the northern Iowa city of Parkersburg, but city leaders say the town's revival is a model for other cities recovering from natural disasters. 
The May 25, 2008, twister caused $100 million in damage. 
City Administrator Chris Luhring says the community didn't dwell on the destruction and moved quickly to work on repairs.  
He highlights the fact that Aplington-Parkersburg High School was reconstructed a little over a year after the tornado destroyed the school, allowing the school to hold fall classes in 2009. 
The school's reconstruction restored hope in the community, and the city has awarded 250 new residential building permits since 2008.  







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