Thursday News, October 16
City To Clean Sewers
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars City Waste Water officials are announcing the city will be conducting its annual sewer cleaning. Ron Kayser, Superintendent for the City's Waste Water Department says the routine and necessary maintenance reduces the likelihood of sewer lines plugging. The Le Mars Waste Water Department has hired an outside contractor to do the annual sewer cleaning, beginning today (Thursday). Kayser says the process could take up to six weeks to complete. The area designated for sewer cleaning includes all the area west of 4th Avenue Northwest and Southwest extending from 6th Street Northwest to 14th Street Southwest, and the entire area south and west of Central Avenue to 14th Street Southwest. Kayser says it may be possible that residents experience some minor sewer problems and/or traffic congestion in these areas. If you have questions regarding the sewer cleaning, you are urged to contact the Waste Water Treatment Facility at 546-5003 during normal business hours.
Brenda Gengler Honored As Chamber "Employee Of The Month"
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce honored its latest "Employee of the Month" Wednesday morning during a chamber coffee event held at Northwest Iowa Credit Union. Brendqa Gengler has been selected as this month's "Employee of the Month." Brenda was nominated by Steve De Boer CEO of Northwest Iowa Credit Union. Brenda has been an assistant manager and loan manager for the past 28 years at NW Iowa Credit Union in Le Mars. She is a dedicated employee who has faithfully served the members of the NW Iowa Credit Union for 28 years. She knows every job function in the workplace and willingly performs any and all duties as needed. Members always get great attention and care when they deal with Brenda. Co-workers respect and appreciate the examples she sets. She is trully worthy of the recognition as Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month. Our congratulations to Brenda Gengler of the Northwest Iowa Credit Union for being honored as the Chamber's "October Employee of the Month."
Woodbury County Supervisors Settle Lawsuit
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Woodbury County Board has agreed to settle a woman's lawsuit over what she said was mistreatment at the county jail.
The board approved the settlement on Tuesday. The county will pay Nicole Clay $15,000, and Sioux City will pay her $7,500.
Clay said in her lawsuit that corrections officers tore off her top and bra and banged her head against a wall when she was being booked into the jail on Aug. 12, 2011, for public intoxication. Clay also says the arresting officer who searched her purse and looked through photos on her cellphone didn't have a warrant.
Attorney Tom Verhulst, who represented the county, says the county "maintains no liability but decided to pay the settlement and move on."
Iowa Supreme Court Hears Arguments On "Speeding Cameras" Case
(Storm Lake) -- The Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday evening on a Sioux City case involving traffic cameras. Michael Jacobsma, a lawyer from Sioux Center, sued the city after receiving a speed camera ticket for going 67 miles-an-hour in a 55-mile-an-hour zone. Jacobsma represented himself before the justices, saying he was denied due process because the ticket was mailed to him after the photo was taken without an actual officer confirming he was driving.
74 Year Old Man Charged With Stabbing Woman To Death
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 74-year-old man has been charged in the fatal stabbing of a woman in Des Moines.
Officers were sent around 3:10 p.m. Wednesday to check a report of a fight at an apartment building office. They found the 54-year-old woman suffering from stab wounds. Police say she died later at a hospital. Her name won't be released until relatives are notified about her death.
Police say 74-year-old Norman Wadsworth had blood on him and was found near the crime scene. He was interviewed, jailed and charged with first-degree murder. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney in the case.
African Leaders Say Food Is In Jeopardy Due To Ebola Outbreak
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Agriculture ministers from West African nations at the center of the Ebola epidemic say only money and global coordination will keep the health care crisis from becoming a food emergency.
In Sierra Leone, where thousands are infected and more than 900 have died, 40 percent of the nation's farmers have abandoned their fields. Agriculture Minister Joseph Sam Sesay says annual economic growth of more than 11 percent has dropped to an expected 3 percent.
Liberia Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth says billions of dollars of outside agricultural investment is gone as farming has been decimated.
The officials spoke Wednesday at the World Food Prize Foundation annual meeting in Des Moines where government, academic, corporate, nonprofit agriculture and food experts gather to discuss issues of hunger and boosting agricultural productivity.
Ammonia Released In Water Tributary
VILLISCA, Iowa (AP) - An unknown amount of ammonia has entered a small unnamed tributary of the West Nodaway River in southwest Iowa.
The state Department of Natural Resources says the anhydrous ammonia was released from the United Farmers Mercantile Co-op in Villisca between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. It went into a city storm sewer before entering the tributary.
DNR officials detected high concentrations of ammonia throughout the tributary to the river, but no fish kill has been reported.
Co-op employees are pumping contaminated water out of the tributary. They are also pumping contaminated water from an on-site pit.
The case remains under investigation.
Democrats Try To Tarnish Ernst Image
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - As time runs short in the competitive Iowa Senate race, Democrats are trying to tarnish the centerpiece of Republican Joni Ernst's successful Senate campaign - her appealing image as a down-to-earth farm girl.
In recent weeks, Democrats have promoted stories about a dispute Ernst's husband had with a house painter, construction contracts awarded to her father when she was Montgomery County Auditor and local political conflicts during her time in county office.
Ernst supporters say the attacks won't change their opinions. Ernst, a state lawmaker and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard, is running against Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley.
Recent polls have shown a close race. The candidates and outside groups are spending millions on television advertising and bringing in big-name surrogates to boost enthusiasm.