Monday News, February 16
Le Mars City Council To Convene On Tuesday
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and among the action items scheduled include: the approval of the funding allocations as recommended by the Convention and Visitor's Board. The council will also discuss engineering projects for 2015, as well as engineering project involving the sewer and water line along 27th street southwest. The council is scheduled to discuss the CDBG Main Street facade rehabilitation project. The city council will again be discussing the proposed fiscal year 2015-2016 budget.
Supervisors To Hold Two Public Hearings
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have scheduled a couple of public hearings for Tuesday when they convene for their weekly meeting. The Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the amendment to the Plymouth County and Le Mars Highway 75 Bypass Urban Renewal Area and to approve a resolution of the urban renewal plan amendment and to approve a resolution of a tax increment financing or TIF revenue sharing agreement with the city of Le Mars. The County Board of Supervisors will also hold a public hearing on vacating part of Otter Avenue.
Advocates Say Slow Down When Closing Mental Institutions
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Closing some of Iowa's four state mental hospitals might be needed, but people who work in the field warn that any changes should be made carefully.
Governor Terry Branstad said last month he plans to close state mental institutions at Clarinda and Mount Pleasant and move any remaining patients to the other two state institutions this summer.
Ron Honberg with the National Alliance on Mental Illness says it can be dangerous to close facilities like this quickly.
Suzanne Watson is CEO of the new, nine-county Southwest Iowa Mental Health and Disabilities Region. She hopes to open a crisis center by the time the Clarinda hospital closes, but she would like to have more time to prepare.
Two California People Arrested On Forgery Charges
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two Californians are accused of using fake credit cards and identification in a scheme to defraud Iowa banks and credit unions.
A 45-year-old man and 53-year-old woman were arrested Thursday. Both face several forgery charges and one charge each of ongoing criminal conduct.
Court documents say the pair visited two credit unions in Sioux City and requested $9,800 cash advances on credit cards. When the bank called to verify the credit card, an accomplice would provide answers.
When police searched the car they rented, the pair had a map of credit unions throughout Iowa. Authorities say the pair had attempted to get cash from Iowa credit unions and banks more than 100 times in the past three weeks.
Mason City Man Arrested Following Standoff
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Mason City man has been arrested and charged after a standoff with police at a residence over the weekend.
Fifty-four-year-old Philip Todd Geilenfeld is charged with felony domestic assault strangulation.
Sgt. Steven Klemas of the police department says dispatchers received a report about an assault on Saturday and that firearms were involved.
Authorities were able to get an injured woman safely outside of the home, but Klemas says Geilenfeld refused to leave. Other law enforcement officials were called to the scene, including the Iowa State Patrol.
Klemas says after several hours of attempted negotiations with Geilenfeld, authorities entered the house and found him inside the basement.
He was arrested and booked into the Cerro Gordo County jail. Online jail records don't list an attorney for him.
West Des Moines High School To Add Security
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A high school says it's increasing security efforts following three fights in a single day on its campus last week.
Principal Tim Miller of West Des Moines Valley High School sent a message to students' families on Sunday night, saying more police will be at the school.
He also says there will be increased supervision of hallways and backpack checks at the school's main entrances.
The increase in security measures follows three fights that broke out Thursday. School officials reported that about 75 percent of students came to school the next day. The school's average attendance rate is 97 percent.
Miller says the additional security will continue until "we return to our normal and expected learning environment."
Street Potholes That Cause Damage To Vehicles May Qualify For Insurance Claims
(Des Moines) -- The freeze-thaw cycle we're in is making some monster potholes in Iowa's streets. The road craters can ruin tires and rims, damage suspension and alignment and they can even knock the exhaust system off your vehicle. Ann Avery, a spokeswoman for State Farm Insurance in Iowa, says if there's a lot of damage from a pothole, you may be able to file a claim.
Avery says you can't prevent potholes but you can help protect your vehicle by driving carefully.
If you spot a chuckhole, Avery says to break before impact, as there's less damage when the tire is rolling, rather than skidding over a hole during breaking. She offers another tip:
She reminds, always check with your agent first to see what is -- and what is not -- covered.