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Tuesday News, August 5

Supervisors Set To Meet Tuesday Morning

(Le Mars) -- After taking last week off, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will again convene today at 9:30 a.m. at the Courthouse Board Room.  The Supervisors have a light agenda before them today.  County Treasurer, Shelly Sitzmann will appear before the board to review and ask for approval of the semi-annual settlement of funds. Other business to be discussed by the county governing board will be the courthouse holiday schedule.  The County Supervisors will also hear from County Engineer, Tom Rohe.  Rohe will discuss with the supervisors a contract for a bridge project, as well as he will visit with the board about obtaining some right of way property for a culvert repair project. 


City Council To Discuss Lowering Speed Limit

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council will hold their meeting at the City Hall Council Chambers today.  One item on the agenda for discussion, is whether the council should lower the speed limit on Business Highway 75.  Several serious accidents have occured in recent months between 12th Street southwest and 24th Street Southwest where vehicles were wanting to make a left hand turn and were hit from behind. The Council will discuss re-zoning for Cresent Ridge.  It is expected they will set a hearing date.  The city council will hear from Roger and Betty Athens who are asking the city to take ownership of nearly an acre of waterway.


Le Mars Fire Department Responds To Gas Leak And Auto Accident

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was busy yesterday late afternoon.  First, they were called to 7th Street Southwest and 1st Avenue Southwest for a gas leak.  Contractors were digging in the area when they ruptured an underground gas line. The gas leak occurred shortly after 4:30 p.m.  Firefighters were able to stop the gas leak from the cut line in the ground.   Air monitoring equipment was used to check the area and no dangerous levels of natural gas were detected so everyone was allowed to stay in the area and not be evacuated.   Firefighters stood by until MidAmerican Energy Officials arrived to repair the line.   Then at about 6:30 p.m., the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to an automobile accident at the junction of Highway 75 and County road C-38.  Two vehicles had collided, one vehicle was a Mercury Sable, the other a GMC van. The accident at the intersection caused the van to be flipped on its side.  There were no serious injuries as a result of the accident. The accident remains under investigation.  The fire department assisted with the cleanup of debris and fluids.


Tall Corn Obscurs Vision At Intersection Which Leads To Accident

(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista authorities are reminding motorists to be alert and extra cautious when approaching an uncontrolled rural intersection. Early Monday morning, two pickup trucks collided with one another at an intersection that was uncontrolled and had tall corn from all four sides, obscurring the vision.  The investigation into the accident determined the collision occured between a northbound pickup truck being driven by 41 year old Walter Morris of Newell, and an eastbound pickup truck driven by 61 year old Steven Williams of Storm Lake.  It is thought the Morris vehicle hit the Williams vehicle.  The Williams vehicle rolled numerous times, ejecting Williams from the vehicle.  Both Williams and Morris were transported by ambulance to the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center.  Williams was then transported via Lifeflight helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in SiouxCity.  The extent of the drivers' injuries and conditions are unknown at this time.  The accident remains under investigation. 


Storm Lake Man Gets Probation After Admitting Stealing Pigs

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man has been sentenced to about a month in jail after pleading guilty to selling 195 pigs that didn't belong to him.
      44-year-old Monty Grote pleaded guilty Friday in Buena Vista County District Court to three counts of third-degree theft. He received a 30-day jail sentence and was placed on two years of probation.
     Grote also has to pay about $14,600 in restitution.
     Court documents show Grote had been contracted to raise pigs from a Minnesota company. Authorities say he sold the animals, claiming he owned them, in August and October.


King Wants Eboa Virus Patients Treated In Africa

(Sioux City) --  Concerns are rising among Iowans about the ebola virus after an infected American doctor was brought from western Africa to Atlanta over the weekend and another infected health care worker should arrive in the U-S Tuesday.
    Iowa Congressman Steve King does not approve of bringing those infected with ebola to America:
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    The 4th district Republican says he would prefer to see medical aid provided on site instead of treating victims in the United States:
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    King says his heart goes out to those who have gone to Africa to help victims, but he says those who have gone there knew what the risk was:
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      More than 880 people have died of ebola in three west African nations in recent months, making it the largest outbreak since the discovery of the virus.


Cost-share Funds Available For Conservation Measures

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says more than $6.75 million is available to help farmers and landowners prevent erosion and control field runoff through a state cost share program.  
     Farmers may qualify for up to half of the cost of projects which may include terraces, waterways, ponds, buffers, cover crops, and several other conservation measures.
     Farmers who apply now may have approval to begin construction after crops are harvested this fall.
     Soil and Water Conservation District offices are taking applications.
     Money also is available for projects aimed at protecting 13 lakes in Iowa. The cost share for those projects is 75 percent.
     Lakes include Big Creek, Lake Darling, Lake Geode, and Lake Macbride.


Former Worker's Compensation Commissioner Finds New Job

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's workers' compensation commissioner is resigning to take a top federal job, but his lawsuit against Gov. Terry Branstad and aides will continue.
     Commissioner Christopher J. Godfrey told The Associated Press on Monday that he's been appointed chief judge of the Employees' Compensation Appeals Board in Washington, which decides workers' compensation claims filed by federal employees.
     Godfrey was appointed by Democratic Gov. Chet Culver in 2009 and confirmed by the Iowa Senate to a six-year term as state commissioner.
     After Branstad won election in 2010, he asked for Godfrey's resignation. Godfrey declined, saying his job is supposed to be independent. The governor ultimately slashed Godfrey's salary from $112,000 to $73,000, the lowest allowed, and administration officials criticized his performance.
     Godfrey, who is gay, is suing for discrimination, defamation, and extortion.


Des Moines Shopping Mall To Close Animal Exhibit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines shopping mall has announced it will close its caged animal exhibits following public outcry. 
     The Merle Hay Mall's chief operating officer says that the bears, wolves and other animals will be moved out of the mall by Oct. 31. 
     The Academy of Wildlife Education exhibit was met with public backlash in June. An online petition to "stop the zoo" has gathered 74,000 signatures. 
     The spokeswoman says the announcement isn't connected to the backlash. She says a $14 million redevelopment of the mall will necessitate more room for larger storefronts.






Monday Afternoon News, August 4

Red Cross Offers Aid To Fire Victims

LEMARS, -–American Red Cross workers are comforting two people following a fire in LeMars overnight. Based on their needs, the Red Cross provides food, clothing, shelter and other emergency items. Red Cross case workers may work with the family in the coming days to determine if there are other ways the Red Cross may be of assistance.
Meanwhile, the American Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with everyone who lives in the home. People should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home in case of a fire.
Other safety steps include: Follow the escape plan in case of fire. Get out, stay out, and call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms.  Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.
Download the Red Cross First Aid App to get access to life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies including burns. The app is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android.

People can visit for more steps they can take to lessen the chance of a fire in their home.  The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the American people to fulfill our mission.  Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and home fires can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief  by visiting, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from disasters big and small.


Secondary Roads Department To Close Two Roads For Culvert Repairs

(Le Mars) -- 240th Street between county road K-49 to Marble Avenue is scheduled to be closed for the next two weeks, beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, August 5th.  The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department says the road closure is so crews can replace a bridge with a culvert pipe. The Secondary Roads Department has also announced they will close Bluebird Avenue from 180th Street to 170th Street in order to replace a bridge with a box culvert.  Bluebird Avenue will also be closed for about two weeks, beginning tomorrow.


Study Calls For Updated Maintenance On Tunnels To State Capitol Building

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 2008 study calls for improvements to tunnels connecting the state Capitol to nearby buildings and notes potential hazards from compressed steam that travels near areas with pedestrian access.
     Newly released records show some have called for closing the tunnels to pedestrians but they remain open. 
     The independent study by architectural firm Shive-Hattery warned about "many conditions that threaten public safety" in the more than 4,500 feet of tunnels. It outlined several fixes.
     About $1 million in improvements to the tunnels have been made since the study was released. State officials requested more money in 2013 for additional improvements, but the Legislature did not approve it.
     Tim Ryburn, administrator of the Capitol complex's maintenance, says the delay in improvements hasn't jeopardized public safety.


Northwestern College Earns Fundraising Honor

ORANGE CITY, Iowa—Northwestern College is among the recipients of a 2014 Educational Fundraising Award, an honor given to superior fundraising programs at educational institutions around the country by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Northwestern is one of four private liberal arts institutions with endowments under $100 million recognized for overall improvement. The award is based on three years of fundraising data provided through the Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey, conducted annually by the Council for Aid to Education. This year 1,010 higher education institutions participated in the VSE survey; just 79 won an award for either overall fundraising performance or improvement.

The Educational Fundraising Awards evaluate institutions against their peers based on increases in total support; breadth and growth of program areas; growth in the number of donors; percentage and contributions of alumni donors; and impact of the 12 largest gifts on total support.


University Of Iowa Drops To 2nd Place For Top Party Schools

(Iowa City) -- The University of Iowa has slipped from first in the nation to a new ranking of second, but university officials are probably relieved, and would hope for a continuation of a decline.  The latest survey by the Princeton Review has been released indicating the "Top Party" schools in America.  This year's "top party" school is Syracuse University.  The other colleges and universities to make the top five include: Iowa at second, University of California at Santa Barbara at third, West Virginia University holds down the fourth position, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign rounds out the top five.  Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah is again listed as the top "stone-cold sober schools".  About 130,000 students on 379 campuses were surveyed for the book, which contains 62 top-20 lists ranking factors like financial aid awards, athletic facilities and food.




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