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Tuesday Afternoon News, February 9

Plymouth County Finances Are In Good Shape

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County's financial situation is in good shape, that according to Jeff Peters of Williams and Company auditing firm.   Peters appeared before the county supervisors Tuesday morning to review the county's finances following a recent audit performed by the Le Mars company.

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The supervisors were told by Peters that accounting requirements now include a new category regarding pensions and other benefits as provided to county employees by IPERs.  Peters says Iowa and Plymouth County are in a good position to meet the payments of pension holders.  The certified public accountant says the issue was brought to light when other states or municipalities are unable to meet the obligations of funding pension benefits.

 

 

 

 

Supervisors Approve Land Sale To South Dakota DOT

(Le Mars) -- In other action taken by the county supervisors, the supervisors approved an easement agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation regarding land adjacent to the Big Sioux River near Akron.  A total of 14.23 acres will be sold to the South Dakota Department of Transportation for the amount of $135,000.  Plymouth County will still have access to the land in order maintain the drainage area.  The purpose behind the agreement is so the South Dakota DOT can abide by federal regulations requiring entities to replenish or replace lost wetlands.

 

 

 

County  Board Approve New Three-Year Contract With Sheriff's Department Employees

 

(Le Mars) -- The county governing board also gave approval to a new three-year collective bargaining contract with employees of the Sheriff's office.  That  contract agreement, covers sheriff's deputies, correction officers and communication personnel.  Salary and benefits are based upon the employee's job, rank, as well as their longevity time with the Sheriff's Department. Kurt Hatting, Director of the County Communications Division, and representative negotiator for the Sheriff's employees said it is a fair agreement.

 

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Some Iowa Legislators Want The State To Distribute Medical Marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some Republican House lawmakers are supporting legislation that would create a system for manufacturing, distributing and possessing some forms of medical marijuana in Iowa, though it's unclear what type of support the bill will get from party leaders.
The bill would expand the state's current law on medical marijuana, which allows some epilepsy patients to use cannabis oil. The new legislation would expand it to include more products and patients, though it would prohibit the smoking of medical marijuana.
Rep. Peter Cownie, chairman of the House Commerce Committee, discussed the bill during a press conference Tuesday while surrounded by a handful of Republican lawmakers. The West Des Moines Republican was vague when asked about the bill's support within his caucus. He asked lawmakers to keep an open mind.

 

 

 

Legislators Look At Increasing Speed Limits On Rural Roads

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers have advanced bills that would raise the speed limit on rural roads despite warnings that the change could lead to more fatal crashes.  
A three-person subcommittee approved two bills Monday that would raise the speed limit on rural, two-lane roads. One bill would increase the speed limit from 55 mph to 60, and another would bump it up to 65 mph.
The bills now go to the full Transportation Committee.  
Steve Gent, with the Iowa Department of Transportation, cautioned that increased speed limits are linked to a higher number of fatal crashes. He also noted it would cost roughly $5 million to implement changes including new mileage signs and road markings.
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Pacific Junction City Clerk Charged With Unauthorized Expenditures

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) - A former Pacific Junction city clerk accused by state auditors of giving herself unauthorized Christmas bonuses and vacation and sick pay has been given probation and must pay a civil penalty of $625.
Forty-three-year-old Kari Williams, of Glenwood, pleaded guilty to tampering with records and was sentenced Monday to a year of probation. Williams was granted a deferred judgment, which means that if she successfully completes probation, the conviction will be wiped from her record. Mills County prosecutors dropped charges of theft and felonious misconduct in office.
Williams resigned in March before the results of the auditor's investigation were announced in April. The charges were filed in August following an investigation by the Mills County Sheriff's Office. The investigation found Williams took nearly $32,000 in improper payments.

 

 

 

 

Simpson College To Offer Shooting Club

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa college is sticking with its decision to hire a full-time coach for its shooting sports club, despite opposition from alumni and other supporters who say guns have no place on a liberal arts campus.
Simpson College President Jay Simpson said in an email that the school's board of trustees considered two dueling petitions about the student club's future at its regular winter meeting Friday.
Simmons said the board will still hire a full-time coach and that an offer for the position will likely be made to a candidate this week.
An online petition favoring a "weapons-free Simpson" opposed a $10,000 grant the club accepted from the National Shooting Sports Foundation in 2012. The petition asked the trustees to not hire a coach and to stop allowing firearms to be stored on campus.
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Tuesday News, February 9

Primebank Makes Donation To Gehlen Catholic

(Le Mars, IA) – During halftime of the Gehlen Catholic boy’s basketball game versus Hinton Friday, Primebank President and CEO, Matt Ahlers along with Kelli Langel presented a check for $2,894.83. to Gehlen Catholic President, Fr. Kevin Richter, and Principals, Mr. Jeff Alesch and Mrs. Lorie Nussbaum.

Each year since the program started in 2000, Primebank has donated a percentage of total purchases made using the Gehlen Visa® Card to Gehlen Catholic Schools.  In total, Primebank has donated $47,538.87 to Gehlen Catholic.

“Gehlen Catholic appreciates the continued support from Primebank with the Visa® program as well as our athletics, fine arts and the Friends of Gehlen Ball,” commented Alesch.

Proceeds from the card are used to enhance the local tuition assistance program at Gehlen Catholic, assuring a focus on faith, values, service and academic excellence to low and middle income students.

 

 

 

 

Le Mars Community School Board Approves 2016-2017 Academic Calendar

(Le Mars) -- During last evening's Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting, the school board approved the school calendar for the academic year of 2016 through 2017.  Classes are scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 25th with winter break between December 23rd and January 2nd.  Graduation commencement will take place on Sunday, May 21st, and the last day of scheduled classes will be on Wednesday, May 24th.

 

 

 

MidAmerican Urges Businesses To Have An Energy Assessment Survey

(Le Mars) -- MidAmerican Energy officials are urging residents, businesses, and industries to have an energy assessment study conducted, which may result in having an energy rebate.  Phil Ramsey spoke at Monday's Lunch and Learn session.  He says if consumers of energy are energy efficient, that in turn makes MidAmerican energy efficient.

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Ramsey says MidAmerican Energy has expanded it renewable sources for energy to help the utility company be more efficient.

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The MidAmerican official says once an energy efficient study has been scheduled, the timetable might take up to a month to get your business evaluated by an energy efficient engineer, but he says the process will be completed with in a day.  Ramsey says the rebate structure may be less in 2016 than it was in 2015, but he offers an example of the rebate amount for businesses that change from an incandescent light bulb to the newer LED lighting.

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Ramsey says once a business conducts its energy survey, MidAmerican will present a detailed action plan report offering suggestions as to how best save energy, and then it is up to the business to initiate the plan.  He says rebates are offered after new lighting fixtures and other energy efficient plans are ordered.  Ramsey says businesses have six months to install the new energy efficient fixtures to qualify for the rebates.

 

 

 

 

Two Teens Arrested On Drug Related Charges

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have arrested two teenagers for various drug related charges.  The incident dates back to late December when a Plymouth County Sheriff's deputy made a traffic stop on a vehicle on Highway 75 near Merrill.  As a result of that traffic stop, 19 year old Corey Peters of Le Mars was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.  Peters was also charged with an operating vehicle while intoxicated, first offense; and possession of a controlled substance, along with possession of drug paraphernalia. 18 year old Terril Henrich of Hinton was a passenger in the car, and was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Both individuals were booked into the Plymouth County jail.

 

 

 

 

County Supervisors To Meet This Morning

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to convene this morning at the Plymouth County Courthouse Board Room.  The supervisors are expected to approve the County Conservation purchase agreement.  They are also expected to approve the 2015 employee wages paid.  The supervisors are expected to approve a resolution to set a public hearing for amending the Plymouth County Ethanol Urban Renewal Area.  The supervisors will approve a resolution naming Plymouth County Depositories for 2016.  Kirk Hatting, Plymouth County Sheriff Bargaining Unit will appear before the supervisors to approve a three-year bargaining unit contract.  Surveyor David Wilberding will appear before the county governing board to seek approval for subdivisions.  County engineer Tom Rohe will also appear before the county supervisors to submit a permit from Southern Sioux Rural Water Association and to have the supervisors sign a right-of-way contract for a bridge construction project.

 

 

 

 

Floyd Valley Healthcare Trustees To Hear Reports

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Healthcare Board of Trustees will meet this evening.  The healthcare trustees will hear reports from administrator Mike Donlin regarding the progress of the north addition expansion project, as well as a quality improvement quarterly report, and the Press Ganey quarterly update.  Donlin will devote some time discussing with the trustees the National Rural Accountable Care Organization update.  The trustees will hear financial reports from Daryl Friedenbach, an Avera update from Craig Hohman as well as a hospital auxiliary update.

 

 

 

Sioux City Police Release More Information Regarding Officer Shooting

(Sioux City) -- More details are now known regarding that shooting of a Sioux City Police officer on Sunday.  Sioux City Police have identified the officer who was shot by a suspect at the Valley Park apartments early Sunday morning.

Police Chief Doug Young says Officer Ryan Moritz (more-Its') was shot while suspects were being apprehended in a burglary and robbery investigation at the apartments.

The chief says one suspect, 18 year old Isaiah Mothershed of Sioux City, was handcuffed and sitting on a couch inside an apartment waiting to be transported to jail:

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Officer Moritz then began struggling with Mothershed for the gun.

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One other officer was in the room at the time of the shooting.

Officer Moritz was treated and released from a local hospital.

Young says Mothershed remains hospitalized and is facing several charges:

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In that incident two masked assailants, including 21 year old Austin Cummings, held a woman at gun point and assaulted her 19 year old son with a crowbar.

The intruders fled with electronic gaming systems and tv's.

Mothershed was also charged last July with two counts of first degree kidnapping and two counts of willful injury in what police called a drug deal gone bad.

Court documents stated Mothershed, armed with a shotgun, allegedly bound and blindfolded two men who had come to buy drugs from him.

He allegedly heated a metal object and burned the men on the face and neck, and bound and placed the victims in the trunk of his car.

Those charges were dismissed by the Woodbury County Attorney in the furtherance of justice, but could be refiled.

Chief Young expressed his concern over Mothershed being at large and now charged with shooting one of his officers:

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Moritz is the third Sioux City police officer to be shot in the line of duty in three years.

Chief Young says some public attitudes about police officers appear to have changed:

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Six other suspects were arrested Sunday at the apartment complex.

There is no word on Mothershed's condition at this time.



   

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