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Monday News, October 20

Tragic Combine Accident Claims Life Of Le Mars Farmer

(Le Mars) -- A deadly accident happened Friday evening when a combine harvester was traveling on 220th Street near Impala Avenue southwest of Le Mars, towing a soybean head on a trailer, when apparently, the trailer broke loose and struck the left rear of the combine.  The impact forced the combine into a ditch and caused the farmer to be thrown from the cab.   The operator of the combine was 55 year old Gene Sitzmann of Le Mars.  Sitzmann was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City where he died as a result of injuries suffered in the accident.

 

Friends Help With Fallen Farmer's Harvest

(Le Mars) -- Within hours of that tragic and deadly accident involving Plymouth County farmer, Gene Sitzmann, nearly 40 fellow farmers, neighbors, and friends appeared at a soybean field about a mile east of Merrill to organize a harvest bee.  Chuck Kellen of Le Mars helped organize the harvest bee.

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The gathering was able to harvest 200 acres of soybeans within three hours.  Kellen explains how the harvest bee was able to be organized in such a short time period following Friday night's accident.

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Kellen says the soybeans were delivered to the Le Mars Agri Center.  Kellen says everyone was a friend to the fatally wounded farmer, Gene Sitzmann.

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The harvest bee organizer says a similar effort may occur within the next few weeks when the gathering of friends help the family with the corn harvest.

 

Le Mars Water Department To Flush Water Mains

(Le Mars) -- The City of Le Mars water department will be flushing the SE part of town starting today at 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM. Flushing will continue the rest of the week from 8:00 AM – 3:30. If customers experience discolored water please refrain from using hot water and washing cloths until cleared. Check the outside hose bib or cold hard water tap to monitor for clarity.
Depending on progress and startup of the new booster station, flushing will happen in the booster area after the new booster station is put on line. Notice will be given after this date is known. This area consists mainly of homes south of 12th street and east of 1st Ave. SE.

 

Secondary Roads Department To Close 260th Street

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced they will be closing 260th Streert from Noble Avenue to Omega Avenue beginning today and continuing through November 17th.  The purpose of the road closure is to replace an old bridge with a culvert pipe.

 

Woodbury County Fugitive Re-captured

  SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa fugitive has been apprehended in northeast Nebraska's Dakota County.
     Iowa prisons spokesman Fred Scaletta said Monday that 42-year-old Cletus Armell already has been transferred to Woodbury County Jail in northwest Iowa.
     Armell was listed as escaped on July 14 after he didn't return to the Sioux City work release facility from an appointment. 
     Records show Armell escaped from a residential work release center in Sioux City in 2012. He was captured a short time later and was returned to prison. 
     In November 2013 he was again transferred to work release. His original sentence was 15 years for armed robbery.

 

Iowa Hospitals Prepare For Ebola

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Hospitals and doctors' offices in Iowa are preparing for the unlikely possibility of a case of Ebola in the state.
     The Des Moines Register reports clinics have started asking whether patients have visited the countries where the Ebola outbreak is based West Africa.
     And area hospitals are practicing using protective equipment that would be needed to treat an Ebola patient.
     Doctor Daniel Gervich with Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines says the risk of an Ebola patient here is extremely low, but it's important to have a plan in place.
     Hospitals will have to be ready to isolate patients with symptoms consistent with Ebola - such as vomiting, fever and diarrhea - while testing is done.

 

Senator Warren Campaigns For Braley In Iowa

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Senator Elizabeth Warren focused on stumping for Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley during a campaign stop in Iowa Sunday, but some liberal activists in the state that holds the first presidential caucus of 2016 made it clear they want her to run for the White House.
     Warren, a popular Democratic campaign surrogate who focuses on economic inequality, campaigned for Braley in Iowa City and Des Moines. Her vigorous speech drew huge applause from several hundred supporters gathered at the Hotel Fort Des Moines Sunday afternoon.
     Braley, a four-term congressman from Waterloo, is in a tight race against Republican Joni Ernst, a state senator and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard. The seat is viewed as crucial as Republicans seek to gain six seats and achieve a Senate majority.

 

Efforts Underway To Have Unified Stun Gun Policies

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Law enforcement policies on the use of stun guns vary greatly across Iowa's 99 counties, and civil rights experts who recently reviewed the policies say many of them are inadequate.
     The Des Moines Register obtained a new report that identifies several deficiencies in the stun gun policies.
     The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the University of Iowa College of Law Clinic conducted the study after questions were raised about stun gun use in lawsuits and previous stories.
     Last year, two people died after being stunned by officers during confrontations.
     State lawmakers considered requiring stun gun training and policies on their use but failed to pass a law.

 

Des Moines Woman Charged For Hit-And-Run Accident

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines police sergeant says a woman charged in a fatal hit-and-run panicked when she left the scene of the accident. 
     Sgt. Jason Halifax says that 20-year-old Ashley Brown is remorseful about the Saturday death of 55-year-old Kenneth Wallace. She has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and not having insurance.
     Wallace had been walking and was found dead in the road. 
     Halifax says Brown turned herself in after a witness identified her to police. Authorities are examining surveillance videos from businesses near the scene of the crash.
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Saturday News, October 18

Deadly Combine Harvester Accident Kills Le Mars Man

(Le Mars) -- A deadly accident happened last evening just before 8:00 p.m. when a combine harvester was traveling on 220th Street going eastbound on a gravel road, just past Impala Avenue.  The combine harvester was pulling a soybean head on a trailer, when due to a mechanical failure the trailer broke loose and struck the left rear of the combine.  The impact forced the combine into the south ditch and it is believed the operator of the combine was thrown from the cab of the combine at that time.  Witnesses of the accident were following behind the combine harvester and immediately called 9-1-1. The operator of the combine was  55 year old Eugene Sitzmann from Le Mars.  Sitzmann was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City where he died as a result of injuries suffered in the accident.  Plymouth County Sheriff's deputies are continuing to investigate the accident to determine the cause.  The sheriff's office was assisted by the Merrill Fire Department and Ambulance, Le Mars Fire Department, Merrill Police Department, and the Iowa State Patrol.

 

City to Flush Water Mains On Monday

(Le Mars) -- The City of Le Mars water department will be flushing the SE part of town starting Monday 10/20/2014 at 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM. Flushing will continue the rest of the week from 8:00 AM – 3:30. If customers experience discolored water please refrain from using hot water and washing cloths until cleared. Check the outside hose bib or cold hard water tap to monitor for clarity.
Depending on progress and startup of the new booster station, flushing will happen in the booster area after the new booster station is put on line. Notice will be given after this date is known. This area consists mainly of homes south of 12th street and east of 1st Ave. SE.

 

Dordt College To Dedicate Science And Technology Center

(Sioux Center) -- Dordt College of Sioux Center will hold a dedication ceremony scheduled for this morning beginning at 10:30 a.m.   The project involves the renovated Science and Technology Center at a cost of more than $12 million.   A short presentation will be given by Dordt College students, faculty, and leaders.  Tours of the facility will follow.  Groundbreaking took place in May 2013, and the first phase of construction was completed before classes began this fall. To foster interdisciplinary interaction across campus, a two-story addition connects the current science building to the classroom building. The new addition contains faculty offices, technology-enabled classrooms, computer learning labs, an engineering wing, greenhouse, informal learning spaces, and areas for public presentation and display of ongoing work.

Dordt is now beginning fundraising for the final phase of construction, set to be completed in 2015. Still to be completed are new and renovated classroom and lab spaces for chemistry, biology, environmental studies, and construction management, as well as a new astronomy observatory and renovation of the current agriculture and physics laboratories. Finally, the Science and Technology Center will be connected to the Campus Center to create a fully integrated and connected academic complex.

 

Extension Service To Host Farm Bill Information Meetings

(Le Mars) -- Iowa farmers and landowners will learn about the new programs authorized by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (commonly referred to as the Farm Bill) at informational meetings conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and local USDA Farm Service Agency staff members. Meetings will be held across northwest Iowa to explain options available under the new Farm Bill.
Farm Bill 2014 meetings will focus on the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) that will be administered by USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), and the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) administered by the USDA Risk Management Agency through federal crop insurance providers.
The meetings will be facilitated by Melissa O’Rourke, the ISU Extension Farm and Agribusiness Management specialist.
O’Rourke will discuss decisions farmers and landowners will need to make in the coming months regarding Price Loss Coverage, County Agricultural Risk Coverage, and Individual Agricultural Risk Coverage options.  The Plymouth County meeting is scheduled for December 3, 2014, and will be held at the Le Mars Convention Center, beginning at 9:00 a.m.  The Sioux County meeting is scheduled for December 2nd and will be held at the Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.  Western Iowa Technical Community College in Sioux City will host the meeting for Woodbury County farmers and landowners.  It is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Cargill Room.  Cherokee County will hold the informational meeting at the Western Iowa Technical Community College in Cherokee.  That meeting will be held on November 17, at 9:00 a.m.  For other meeting locations, you can contact your local Iowa State University Extension and Outreach office.

 

CoOpportunity Backs Out Of Providing Health Insurance Coverage

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One of two health insurers providing coverage to low-income Iowa residents through a state program is withdrawing its services.
     The Iowa Department of Human Services announced Friday that CoOportunity Health will soon no longer be an insurance option for those enrolled the Iowa Health and Wellness Program, the modified Medicaid expansion offered as part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. 
     Under the federally funded program, some people are enrolled in a state-run health plan and others get premiums covered for private insurance. About 112,000 people are in the program, with roughly 26,000 on private insurance.
     CoOportunity covered 9,700 people. State officials say they will now be covered by the state-run health plan. CoOportunity spokeswoman Leigh McGivern says it was too costly for the insurer to continue coverage.

 

Rolfe Student Faces Charges After Having Explosives

 ROLFE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa student and his mother face felony charges after authorities say they searched the boy's home in Rolfe and found enough explosive materials to level a two-story building.
     Pocahontas County Sheriff Bob Lampe said Friday that the 14-year-old boy, who was not identified, reportedly planned to blow up a building in November.
     Lampe says the boy apparently researched how to make the explosive materials and had perfected the formula. The boy was charged with possessing explosive materials with intent to use the material to commit a public offense.
     The teen's mother was charged with possession of explosive materials, child endangerment and aiding and abetting reckless use of explosives. She was not named.
     Authorities say a teacher saw the boy researching explosives on a school computer.

 

Off Duty Deputy Charged With Sexual Assault

 NEW HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - An off-duty Iowa sheriff's deputy has been charged with assault and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.
     The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Friday that 35-year-old Jeffrey Athey, a Chickasaw County sheriff's deputy, was arrested on October 4th in New Hampton.
     Athey was initially charged with assault causing injury, a serious misdemeanor, and taken to the Bremer County Jail. He was released the following day, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was contacted to help with the investigation.
     Authorities say a subsequent investigation led to the additional charge filed Monday of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor.
     Athey has been on paid suspension since October 5th. He has worked at the sheriff's office for six years.

 

Character Counts

(Des Moines) -- Iowans will be celebrating the six pillars of character starting Sunday during Character Counts Week. Amy Smit, spokeswoman for Character Counts in Iowa, says they're putting out a new challenge to the state's residents for this year's observance. 

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 Smit says cities and schools across Iowa will be taking part in the week-long event.

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The six pillars of character are: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Learn more at: www.charactercountsiniowa.org

 




 

 

   

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