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Tuesday Afternoon News, March 25

(Updated) -- House Fire Near Hinton Displaces Family Of Four

(Hinton) -- A house fire occurred early this morning at 29254 County Road K-22. west of Hinton.  The Hinton, Merrill, and the Le Mars Fire Departments all responded to the two-story house structure fire.  Hinton Fire Chief Chad Beck says the fire was detected at about 3:35 a.m.

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Beck says the fire appears to have started in the garage area and quickly moved to the attic of the house.

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Beck says the home is a total loss.

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The Hinton Fire Chief  says the American Red Cross has been notified and has contacted the family to offer assistance.  Four people were at the home at the time the fire was detected, and as Chief Beck says, fortunately, all were able to escape the burning inferno.  

 

School Board Approves Contract For New Playground And Infrastructure Finance Plan 

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education approved the bid and contract to construct playground equipment at all three Le Mars Community elementary schools.  The School Board made its decision last evening during their regular meeting.  National Playground of Carlisle, Iowa submitted a winning bid of $364,596 to dismantle existing playground equipment, perform needed landscape to the school grounds, and construct the new playground equipment.  In its bid, National Playground indicated they would use some local subcontractors for the project.  The Le Mars Community School Board also approved the 2014-2015 Infrastructure Finance Plan totalling $1,775,000. Included in the plan is the purchase of two new school buses, remodeling of the concession stand at the football stadium, new energy efficient windows for Franklin elementary school, sealant for the stadium, new lighting for the Little theatre, high school lockers, carpeting and flooring, a replacement of the Franklin elementary boiler burner, and the replacement of steps and retaining wall at the Education Service Center.

 

Senator Says Session Will Not End Until Branstad Answers Questions About Juvenile Home

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Senate Democrat says this year's session will continue until Gov. Terry Branstad provides information about the Iowa Juvenile Home, which he closed in January.
     Sen. Steve Sodders of State Center says Tuesday lawmakers sought information from Branstad more than two months ago about how the state cares for troubled girls and the administration's plans for treating delinquent juveniles.
     Sodders says there's been no response.
     The Democratic-led Senate passed a bill re-establishing a state-owned facility for girls, but it has since been declared dead.
     In response to a lawsuit filed by Sodders and other lawmakers, a judge also ruled Branstad can't unilaterally close the home.
     Branstad closed the home in Toledo following allegations children were improperly treated.
     Sodders says the legislative session won't end until an agreement is reached.

 

Borlaug Statue Dedicated At Nation's Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) - The scientist credited with agriculture's so-called "Green Revolution" has a permanent home in the U.S. Capitol.  
     Lawmakers unveiled a statue of Norman Borlaug on Tuesday in a ceremony on what would have been his 100th birthday. Borlaug died in 2009.
     The Iowa native and University of Minnesota graduate is credited with saving as many as 1 billion people from hunger by creating a type of wheat that was disease-resistant and high-yielding. His work won him the 1970 Nobel Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
     Borlaug's statue will serve as one of two for Iowa in the Capitol and will replace one of James Harlan, a former senator friend of Abraham Lincoln. It had been in place for more than 100 years.

 

FEMA Offers Settlement To Des Moines For Flood Lawsuit 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines Waterworks board is scheduled to consider a settlement offer of more than $2 million from the federal government to resolve a lawsuit over flood repair funding approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and later withdrawn.
     The utility filed the lawsuit last year after FEMA withdrew $7.6 million in approved disaster funding to help repair damage along the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers caused by the 2008 flood.
     FEMA approved money in 2010 but rescinded it in 2011 after the waterworks agency had already spent $2 million. FEMA concluded after a review that improvements on natural river banks do not meet funding requirements.  
     Waterworks CEO Bill Stowe says he recommends approval of the $2.17 million settlement offer.
     The board is to meet Tuesday afternoon to consider it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Tuesday News, March 25

Multi County Investigation Leads To Arrest For Theft, Burglary, And Narcotics

(Le Mars) -- A multi county investigation into several area burglaries has led to the arrests of an Alta couple on several theft, burglary, and narcotics charges.  On March 3rd the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office investigated a burglary report of a residence located northwest of Alta.  During the course of that investigation, it was learned that approximately $14,440 of personal property stolen.  A few days later, Buena Vista County Deputies took a report of a burglary that had occurred to a vacant house within a half mile of the first burglary.  Following a joint investigation of the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, the Sioux County Sheriff's Office and the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office, search warrants were executed at residences in Plymouth, Sioux, and Buena Vista Counties.  Items of stolen property were recovered from burglaries in Plymouth, as well as Buena Vista Counties, and narcotics were located at all three counties. 

Charged in this investigation are Chad Braun, age 36 of Alta, formerly of Le Mars, and Patience Braun, age 30 of Alta.  Chad Braun has been charged in Buena Vista County with one count of theft first degree, a class C felony, and one count of burglary in the third degree, a class D felony.  Patience Braun has been charged with possession of stolen property, a class D felony, and possession of controlled substance with the intent to deliver, class D felony.  Chad Braun is being held on bond in the Plymouth County jail and Patience Braun is currently being held on bond at the Buena Vista County jail.

 

Hinton, Merrill, And Le Mars Fire Departments Fight Early Morning House Fire

(Hinton) -- A house fire occurred early this morning at 29254 County Road K-22.  Hinton, Merrill, and the Le Mars Fire Department responded to the structure fire.  Hinton Fire Chief Chad Beck says the fire was detected at about 3:35 a.m. 

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Beck says the fire appears to have started in the garage area and quickly moved to the attic of the house.  Beck says the home is a total loss.  At this point in time, fire officials are not certain as to what was the origin or cause of the house fire.  Beck says the American Red Cross has been notified to offer assistance to the family.  Le Mars Fire Department was on the scene for three hours, but as of 7:30 a.m. Hinton and Merrill Fire crews remain on the scene. 

 

Hinton Fire Department Responds To Grass Fire 

(Hinton) -- The Hinton Fire Department also had to fight a grass fire last evening at South Ridge Road and County Road C-60.  The alarm was sounded at about 5:45 p.m.  Fire officials were battling the blaze for nearly an hour.

 

Supervisors To Meet

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the County Courthouse Board Room.  The supervisors are expected to review and possibly approve the cost advisory services allocation for 2014-15 for local administrative expense reimbursement from the Iowa Department of Human Services.  The county governing board is also expected to approve a pictrometry ariel flight contract.

 

School Board Approves Contract Bid For New Playground Equipment

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education approved the bid and contract to construct playground equipment at all three Le Mars Community elementary schools.  The School Board made its decision last evening during their regular meeting.  National Playground of Carlisle, Iowa submitted a winning bid of $364,596 to dismantle existing playground equipment, perform needed landscape to the school grounds, and construct the new playground equipment.  In its bid, National Playground indicated they would use some local subcontractors for the project.

 

North West REC To Hold District 3 Annual Meeting Tonight

(Le Mars) -- North West Rural Electric Cooperative will hold its District 3 annual meeting and banquet this evening.  The event will begin with a dinner at 5:30 p.m. and the meeting to start at 7:00 p.m. all to be held at the Le Mars Community High School.  Election of directors will occur.  Steve Brown and David Milbrodt are seeking board of director positions.  Reza, a magician and illusionist will provide the entertainment.  All members of the North West REC are invited and encouraged to attend. 

 

New Scam Tagets Customers Of Wells Fargo Bank

(Sioux City) -- A new scam has hit northwest Iowa.  Cell phone users are receiving text messages, presumably from Wells Fargo Bank, directing people to go to a phony website and enter their private account information.  Angie Kaipust, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo Bank, says the bank and its customers are victims of a "phishing scam".

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Kaipust suggests if you receive such a message, just erase it, and don't act upon it.

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The bank official reminds people that the bank does not need to ask for private account information, because they already have it.

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One customer reported falling victim to the scam, costing him $1700. Kaipust says if people believe they are the victim of a bank scam to contact their bank immediately.

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Youth Pastor Facing Prison For Sexual Abuse Of Teen Girls

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former Des Moines youth pastor has been given 15 years in prison for sexually abusing two teenage girls.
     Twenty-seven-year-old Ryan McKelvey was sentenced on Monday in Polk County District Court. He had pleaded guilty to charges of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation by a clergy.
     McKelvey was a youth pastor at Heritage Assembly Church in Des Moines. Officers began investigating him after a girl and her parents alleged a sexual assault by McKelvey. A second girl then reported similar incidents.

 

Smoking Study Shows Higher Rate In Rural Counties

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new study shows higher rates of smoking in rural Iowa counties.
     The  study says some Iowa counties have double the smoking rates of others.
     The national report from the University of Washington says Iowa's Dallas County had the seventh-fastest decline in smoking from 1996 through 2012, when it went from 19.4 percent to 10.9 percent. 
     The report also shows that all Iowa counties have had declines in smoking.
     The researchers used data from phone surveys taken for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
     ---

 

Legislature Approves Tax Break For NASCAR And Iowa Speedway

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill that extends a sales tax rebate for the Iowa Speedway in Newton by 10 years has passed the Iowa Senate and moves to the House. 
     The racetrack, bought by NASCAR in November, has about $9 million left on the tax rebate originally approved for the track. The original law said it could only be collected if the track was owned by an Iowa corporation and was nullified by a change of control. 
     The bill, which passed 36-9, allows NASCAR to collect the remaining $9 million through 2026. 
     Sen. Bill Dotzler, a Waterloo Democrat, says the money will help NASCAR make improvements to the track.
     Sen. Mark Chelgren, a Republican from Ottumwa, opposed the bill saying a 10-year extension of tax credits is excessive.

 

 


    

 

 

 

 



 

   

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