(LE MARS)–The Le Mars City Council this (Tuesday) afternoon decided to give staff more time to study the issue of storm water drainage charges.
Since 2006, City residents have paid $2 a month on their water and sewer bills to fund storm water drainage work. The proposal before the council was to increase the amount one dollar per month to raise 50-thousand dollars a year. The present funding is 100-thousand dollars a year. The city has a deficit in the fund for storm water drainage of more than 400-thousand dollars.
The Council approved 25-thousand dollars for Main Street facade improvements. Council member Ken Nelson voted no on the issue. The council also asked for new rules for the program.
Jan Wagner of Le Mars was appointed to the vacancy that will occur on the Le Mars Planning and Zoning Commission. Tom Ryan has asked not to be reappointed when his term expires. Tom Kurth of Le Mars was reappointed to a five-year term.
A handicap parking space was designated on First Avenue Northeast for the Postal Playhouse Board request.
A fifth option for paying city bills will be available. The council authorized the fifth option of setting up a PayPal standard account to allow credit and debit card payments online for city services such as utility bills, building permits and other city fees.
(LE MARS)–Plymouth County’s auditor says June primary election voters may use the absentee ballot option now.
According to auditor Stacey Feldman, absentee ballots for the June 8 Primary Election are available in the Auditor’s Office at the Courthouse in Le Mars during regular business hours of 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday to vote in person.
Absentee ballots may be cast in the Auditor’s office until Monday, June 7th till 5 pm.
Absentee ballots to be mailed to voters must be requested in writing. Forms are available at the Plymouth County Auditor’s Office or at www.co.plymouth.ia.us under Online Services and then County Forms. Absentee ballot request forms can be mailed to the Auditor’s office at 215 4th Ave. SE, Le Mars, IA 51031.
Voter’s may contact the Auditor’s office and an absentee ballot request form can be mailed to a voter.
Voters requesting an absentee ballot to be mailed to them must have the request form to the Auditor’s office no later than 5 pm on Friday, June 4th, as that is the last day absentee ballots can be mailed out to voters.
The auditor’s office provides the postage for all absentee ballots returned by mail. Ballots must be postmarked prior to midnight, June 7th, 2010 (the day prior to the election), or can be delivered to the Auditor’s office before the polls close at 9:00 pm on June 8, 2010 (Election Day.)
If you wish to absentee vote in the Auditor’s office Monday, May 31st through Monday, June 7th and are not pre- registered to vote, you will be required to complete the EDR (Election Day Registration) process at the Auditor’s Office prior to casting your absentee ballot. The EDR voter registration process requires a valid photo identification, and one form of proof of Plymouth County residency. Examples of proof of residency can be a valid Iowa drivers license with your current Plymouth County address, a utility bill, cell phone bill, residential lease, bank statement, paycheck, government check, vehicle registration, or tax assessment.
Questions may be answered by calling the auditors’ office. This information is also on the Election Information portion of the KLEM web page. Use the pulldown menu under KLEM Stuff.
(DES MOINES)–A top history honor in Iowa is going to a Plymouth County School. Akron-Westfield Middle School received the “School of the Year” honor at junior division National History Day in Iowa Monday.
According to the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, 32 Iowa junior division students in grades six through eight were chosen to advance to the National History Day contest in Maryland next month. They’ll join 24 senior division students.
Le Mars Community School’s top winner is Middle School student Jarod Ernst. The student of Jeannie Rust was chosen for the national competition with his historical paper, “Evolution Through Natural Selection: Impacting Science and Changing Culture.”
Akron-Westfield students led by instructors Valorie Philips and Colleen Westergard received several top honors.
The group exhibit winners include Akron-Westfield students Chandra DeRocher, Ryleigh Schnell and Kelcie Wakeman with “Martha Graham’s Dance: Innovation that Changed the World of Dance.” Group documentary went to Corbin Bundy, Bethany Eastman and Eliza Kjar for “Devil’s Rope: the Wire that Fenced the West.”
Akron-Westfield’s Emily Meerdink advances in individual performance with “The Innovative Beginning of Conservation in America: The Lacey Acts.”
Group performance winners for Akron-Westfield are Lexi Hageman, Kortney Hedlund, Hannah Koele, Desi Oltmanns and Cali Westergard with “The Golden Age of Radio: Changing America with the Turn of the Dial.”
The students’ work will be featured at the Plymouth County Historical Museum’s annual meeting May 20th.
(LE MARS)–The caring career of a Le Mars business’s employee is being recognized with the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce “Employee of the Month,” award.
Sally Kneip of Good Samaritan Society-Le Mars was honored today with the chamber award. Kneip is a registered nurse who has worked at Good Samaritan for about 33 years.
A nomination for Kneip describes her as someone who has touched the lives of many residents and their families who can always be found taking time with them. Her work with the staff of Good Samaritan is also described as showing caring and helpfulness.
Kneip is being wished the best in her retirement by the staff of Good Samaritan.
(ASHTON)–An Ashton man faces drug charges after a residence in Ashton was searched by the Osceola County Sheriff’s office last Wednesday.
Authorities issued written information about the arrest of 29-year-old Tony Blair of Ashton. About one-pound of marijuana was seized.
Blair is charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute or manufacture marijuana; failing to have a drug tax stamp, possession of drug paraphernalia; and prohibited acts.
He is being held in the Osceola County Jail.
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) Council Bluffs police are looking for suspects who set a homeless man on fire.
Police were called to the area on Tuesday where they found the man with burns over his clothes and body. The man told police he was sleeping and when he woke up, he was on fire.
Police say he saw three men leaving the area as he tried to put out the fire. Police don’t know if the men are suspects or witnesses.
The injured man was taken to a hospital. His name has not been released, and there was no immediate information on his condition.
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) Operations are slowly returning to normal at the state prison in Fort Dodge following a lockdown after two inmates allegedly attacked three guards.
Corrections department spokesman Fred Scaletta says the prison began progressing toward normal routines on Monday, but not in the cellhouse where the assault took place Friday night.
The three officers suffered facial cuts and bruises. Their names were not released. Scaletta says the officers haven’t returned to work, but are doing OK.
Officials say the attack happened when an officer tried to put an inmate in restraints, and he resisted and punched the officer. When another officer intervened, a second inmate got involved and assaulted both officers. A third guard was also hit.
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) Two distinguished graduates of the Army’s Command and General Staff College will be inducted next week into the Fort Leavenworth Hall of Fame.
The honorees are Leonard Boswell, currently a Democratic congressman from Iowa, and the late Col. Charles W. Davis, a hero of World War II.
The ceremony is set for May 11 at the Lewis and Clark Center at Fort Leavenworth. Both men were students and instructors at the Army college.
Boswell is a Vietnam veteran who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. He retired as a lieutenant colonel and was first elected to the U.S. House in 1996.
Davis led a small team in 1943 at Guadalcanal against a Japanese machine gun position. His display of courage inspired other soldiers to follow and break Japanese resistance.
Davis died in 1991.
CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) A pretrial hearing has been set in the case of a Charles City teenager accused of sexually assaulting and choking to death his 3-year-old cousin.
Officials say all pending motions are to be considered Friday in the case of 15-year-old Edgar Concepcion Jr. Concepcion is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, first-degree sexual abuse, second degree sexual abuse and child endangerment.
Concepcion was to go to trial starting Tuesday, but the trial date has been postponed.
Concepcion is accused in the death of Krystel Banes. He has pleaded not guilty.
WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) A former accountant from Webster City has pleaded guilty to charges he cashed in $260,000 of a client’s investments and deposited the money into one of his personal accounts.
Sixty-five year-old Doug Messerly pleaded guilty Monday in Hamilton County District Court to a felony charge of theft by misappropriation. In exchange, a second felony charge was dismissed.
A judge set Messerly’s sentencing for June 1. He is free on bail until sentencing. He faces at most 10 years in prison and fine of between $1,000 and $10,000. Hamilton County attorney Pat Chambers say Messerly also will have to pay about $31,000 in restitution.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The University of Iowa is extending the hours for its free bus-ride service for women during final exams next week.
NITE RIDE is for women only and will operate from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Sunday through May 14.
The bus service, which normally ends at 3 a.m., will support round-the-clock access at some of the university’s main buildings. That includes the Iowa Memorial Union and the main library, which will be open 24 hours during finals week.
The university started the bus service in 2007 in the wake of a string of groping incidents.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A troubled school board association, which ousted its director for allegedly raising her own salary by $157,000, has hired an interim director.
The Iowa Association of School Boards has hired Veronica Stalker, a retired educator who once served as superintendent in Waukee. She will serve as interim director of the taxpayer-supported group through Dec. 31.
The board’s finances are currently being investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Education’s inspector general and state officials.
Maxine Kilcrease was fired in March amid charges she inflated her annual salary to nearly $400,000 and presided over lavish spending that included trips to Bora Bora and elsewhere.
DECATUR, Ill. (AP) Archer Daniels Midland Co. reported that its third-quarter profit soared to more to $421 million from just $3 million in the same period last year, as global demand for biofuels boosted the company’s corn processing business.
The Decatur-based company said Tuesday that it earned 65 cents per share, compared with zero cents per share last year.
ADM reversed last year’s loss in bioproducts thanks to lower corn costs and better margins on ethanol.
ADM shipped the first commercial product from its joint-venture Mirel bioplastics plant as well.
Still, the results still came in below Wall Street expectations, with analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecasting a profit of 72 cents per share.
Revenue rose 2 percent, to $15.1 billion, from $14.8 billion last year.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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