(LE MARS)–A program for sump pumps is being developed by city staff after direction from the Le Mars City Council earlier this month.
The city council focused on an amnesty through the end of the year to give those whose sump pumps discharge into the sanitary sewer system time to change that to meet city requirements. The move is designed to reduce water that needs to be treated at the Wastewater Treatment facility. City administrator Scott Langel emphasizes the voluntary compliance.
Listen to Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel speak about the sump pump program
Langel says the city hopes to have the work on a program done in a month’s time.
(LE MARS)–Transitional kindergarten at Gehlen Catholic School is getting a new name and is no longer a pilot program.
Gehlen Catholic Elementary Principal Lori Nussbaum says the transitional kindergarten program will be renamed Junior Jays’ Academy.
Gehlen Catholic began a three-year pilot transitional kindergarten program in the 2007-2008 school year.
School officials say enhancements mark the end of the pilot program and the commitment of the Gehlen Catholic Board of Education to make the program a main-stay in the community.
The Junior Jays Academy will provide an additional tuition assistance program to incoming Junior Jays through the school’s new collaboration with Northwest Early Childhood Iowa. Tuition assistance is also available through the Monsignor Lafferty Student Tuition Foundation.
The program this fall will have two sections of 16 students each, serving a total of 32 children from all denominations. Interested families may contact the school to enroll or receive financial aid information.
(Le Mars) No comments were heard in the first of two public hearings Tuesday morning during the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meeting. The supervisors say they would like to issue General Obligation Local Option Sales Tax refunding bonds not to exceed three-million-five-hundred-thousand dollars.
Supervisors indicated they had not heard any objections before the meeting.
Listen to the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors discussion
Craig Anderson said, “I haven’t heard anything derogatory towards changing this.” Jim Henrich, supervisors’ board chair responded, “I haven’t heard a word. Nobody has said anything.”
Supervisor Don Kass said, “Well we’re saving $40,000. Why wouldn’t we?”
County auditor Stacey Feldman told the board, “In the letter we drafted to the cities it was explained that there will be a new schedule sent to them and it will reduce their payment amount, with no other change or effect to them. The other bonus is the county side, that it does allow that ten percent, $540,000, not necessarily have to be reserved.”
A resolution to issue the bonds has been set for next week’s board of supervisors agenda. A May 18th
date has been set for the bond approval. (News report by Dave Ruden)
(LE MARS)–The April “Employee of the Month” for the Iowa Soil Conservation Division is a Le Mars woman. Lynn Bohnenkamp is the secretary for the Plymouth Soil and Water Conservation District who has received the “Employee of the Month” award.
Ken Gard of the Woodbury County Soil and Water Conservation District attended the award presentation. Gard expressed the Woodbury Commissioners’ appreciation for Bohnenkamp’s assistance to the Woodbury board when their secretary was on leave.
According to Gard, the Woodbury Commissioners appreciated Bohnenkamp’s enthusiasm, personality and skills that enabled her to work well in both counties
(BRITT)–Some lanes of Highway Nine in Emmet County will be closed to traffic beginning tomorrow, weather permitting.
According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, intermittent lane closures will allow crews to resurface sections of Highway Nine from just east of Estherville east to the Emmet-Kossouth County line.
When lanes are closed, traffic will be assisted through the work area by flaggers and a pilot car. From Thursday to May 10th, a 14-foot width lane restriction will be in place. After May 10th, the width restriction will be 10 feet. The lane closures are expected to be completed by mid-November.
BLOOMFIELD, Neb. (AP) A 64-year-old Crofton man has died after a grain-bin accident in northeast Nebraska.
Bloomfield Police Chief Bryan Ruhr said Rod Hennings suffocated after falling into the grain at the Bloomfield Co-op early Monday afternoon. Hennings was a co-op employee.
Ruhr said Tuesday that it wasn’t known why Hennings was working in the bin.
The chief said it took emergency responders almost seven hours to recover Hennings’ body.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) President Barack Obama has criticized Senate Republicans for continuing to block debate on a bill to impose greater financial controls on the financial industry.
Obama spoke at a town hall meeting in Ottumwa, Iowa, after Republicans refused Tuesday for the second straight day to allow debate to begin. A third vote is expected Wednesday.
Obama said it’s one thing to oppose reform, but that it’s not right for Republicans to be against even talking about it.
The president said it’s been almost two years since the financial crisis began and that the American people deserve an “honest debate” on the bill.
FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) Many people who couldn’t get into President Barack Obama’s events in southeast Iowa lined roads in Fort Madison to see him pass.
Even if some disagreed with the president, most who watched his motorcade pass Tuesday say they appreciated that he was spending time in the rural Midwest. Others added that they just wanted to see history.
People stood along the service roads and driveways off Highway 61 to watch as Obama’s car whisked past. Some then stuck around, rolling down their car windows and blaring out a local radio station that broadcast his speech at a nearby wind energy plant.
Obama also made stops in Mount Pleasant and Ottumwa.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Chet Culver has signed into law measures aimed at helping military families.
Culver signed the bill Tuesday, saying Iowa is the first state to meet Pentagon standards for helping soldiers and their families.
He says the Department of Defense asked all states to address 10 quality of life issues related to military families.
The measures Culver signed include protecting parental rights of deployed soldiers, offering educational benefits for families of deployed soldiers, banning utilities from disconnecting service while a soldier is deployed and informing state workers of their rights and benefits while deployed.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Republican congressional candidate says comments he made suggesting illegal immigrants be microchipped so they could be more easily tracked were taken out of context.
Pat Bertroche is seeking the 3rd District nomination. He made the comment Monday during a forum in Toledo.
Reached Tuesday, he said he doesn’t support microchipping anybody and that it didn’t occur to him that he was comparing illegal immigrants to dogs.
He says he was only trying to “illustrate a critical social commentary on how radical” the immigration issue has become.
Bertroche says he compares the idea of microchipping to what he says are other radical ideas, such as building a fence and shooting illegal immigrants at the border.
Bertroche is one of seven candidates vying to challenge Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A former manager of an Iowa kosher slaughterhouse faces a possible sentence of life in prison for fraud, a punishment that even six former U.S. attorneys general say goes too far.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin Wednesday for Sholom Rubashkin, a former manager at the Agriprocessors Inc. meatpacking plant. He was convicted of 86 financial fraud charges in November 2009.
Rubashkin has support within his own Hasidic Jewish community, but even those outside it question whether he should get the life sentence prosecutors are seeking for crimes that cost a bank $26 million.
Several former prosecutors, including former U.S. attorneys general Janet Reno and Edwin Meese III, have sent the judge a letter arguing for a shorter prison term.
INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Public Safety reports that an injured Drake University student found leaning over the side of a bridge near Indianola has died of his injuries.
Authorities say 19-year-old Benjamin Backstrom of Norwalk was found on the bridge about four miles north of Indianola early Tuesday morning. Backstrom was taken to Iowa Methodist Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators say they are treating this case as a homicide, but the cause of Backstrom’s death will not be determined until an autopsy is performed by the Polk County Medical Examiner’s Office.
MARENGO, Iowa (AP) A Belle Plaine woman has been found guilty of first-degree murder in connection with the death of her employer.
Jessica Dayton was found guilty Tuesday by an Iowa County District Court jury in the July 18 beating death of Curtis Bailey in his Marengo home.
Dayton is one of three people charged in the case. Bailey’s common-law wife, 44-year-old Denise Frei of Marengo, and her son, 19-year-old Jacob Hilgendorf of Belle Plaine, are also accused in his death. Their trial is set for January.
Prosecutors say the three conspired to get the 33-year-old Bailey drunk so they could kill him. The 20-year-old Dayton worked in the man’s Belle Plaine restaurant.
The defense didn’t put on any witnesses during Dayton’s trial, with defense attorney Doug Eichholz contending the state didn’t prove Dayton was involved in the murder.
WASHINGTON, Iowa (AP) A Washington County jury has found a Kalona woman guilty of insurance fraud but has acquitted her husband on similar charges.
Roger and Lynne Holdeman were charged with three counts of insurance fraud apiece for allegedly attempting to obtain two $1 million life insurance policies and a $75,000 policy on a former resident of an Iowa City nursing home they helped run.
Lynne Holdeman was found guilty last week on all three counts. The same jury found Roger Holdeman not guilty on all three counts.
The Holdemans reportedly invited the resident to move into their private home in 2005. At the time, Roger Holdeman was business manager and Lynne Holdeman was director of nursing at Greenwood Manor. They left those posts in the next several years.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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