(LE MARS)–Earth work for future business development is underway in southwest Le Mars.
According to city administrator Scott Langel, students from Northwest Iowa Community College are working on two projects in the Le Mars Industrial Park Second addition which is south of 24th Street and east of Lincoln Street Southeast.
For the second project, Langel says the students are moving on site material to create the roadway of Industrial Road and the industrial tracts. There are two student crews working in Le Mars.
(LE MARS)–Le Mars fire fighters were out on a call to a greenhouse for less than an hour this morning.
A Le Mars Police officer reported the fire at Plymouth Rock Garden Center on Business Highway 75 about 2:15 this morning. Plymouth Rock Garden Center is open for business today.
The Le Mars Fire Department completed the call in about 30 minutes.
(LE MARS)–A person who responds to emergencies and helps a Le Mars health care provider prepare for emergencies is being honored.
Floyd Valley Hospital administrator Mike Donlin says the “Employee of the Month” is Le Mars Fire-Rescue chief Wayne Schipper.
Schipper was surprised with the honor at the hospital’s leadership forum this week. He will retire in June after more than 40 years of fire service to Le Mars. It was also a time for the hospital’s leadership group to meet the person who will work as fire chief after July first, Dave Schipper of Spencer. He is a deputy fire marshal who director of patient services Loretta Myers says has assisted Floyd Valley with training for staff such as hazardous-materials.
(ARNOLD’S PARK)–The original five members of the 1960s Iowa-based rock ‘n’ roll band DeeJay and the Runways will reunite Saturday at the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Museum in Arnold’s Park. One of the band members, John Senn, says they had their biggest hit in 1966 with the song, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”
He says the song reached #44 and #46 of the Top 100 on the two major record “charts” of the time, Cashbox and Billboard, while it stayed on the charts for 11 and 14 weeks. Senn says the song’s popularity propelled the band into taking a national concert tour, which he says was an eye-opening experience for the young men. The tour also included a national T-V appearance.
“You can imagine what six guys from the state of Iowa, who had never really been that much out of the state, here we were traveling on our first national tour,” Senn says. “We went to Chicago and on to Norfolk, Virginia, to do the ‘Dick Clark Where The Action Is’ TV show on the USS Forrestal, which was an aircraft carrier in drydock.”
Some members of the band still live in the Iowa Great Lakes region. The program starts at 1 PM on Saturday. Appearing along with Senn will be: Denny Storey, Gary Lind, Bob Godfredsen and Denny Kintzi. They’ll hold a panel discussion about how they met, formed the band and came to record “Peter Rabbit.” There is no admission charge. See the group perform on the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame website at www.iowarocknroll.com. (News report by Radio Iowa)
(SIOUX FALLS)–While entrepreneurs in northwest Iowa’s Lyon County launch plans for building a new casino, that facility could soon have competition just across the border. South Dakota state Senator Gene Abdallah says he’ll sponsor a bill allowing a casino to be built in or near Sioux Falls. Abdallah says the just-approved casino in Iowa, about seven miles from Sioux Falls, will be a mega-money-maker.
“The economic impact on Sioux Falls, particularly Sioux Falls, and all of South Dakota, is going to be tremendous,” Abdallah says. “I think we made a big mistake and Sioux Falls is going to pay. So is Flandreau.” The town of Flandreau, about 20 miles north of Sioux Falls, is home to the Royal River Casino. Meanwhile, Iowa’s proposed Lyon County casino is expected to draw 80-percent or more of its business from out of state, mostly from Sioux Falls. Abdallah says the location of the new Iowa casino certainly deserves a response from South Dakota.
“We thought it did a couple of years ago when we proposed putting it on this side of the line but the powers that be, there was not enough support for it.” Dan Kehl the C-E-O of the company that’s building the Lyon County casino was asked Thursday about competition from South Dakota.
“I think they’ve got a tough road ahead of them to do anything,” Kehl says. He says it would likely take 10 years to get a tribal casino going, and it would take some time for the state to get one going too. On Thursday, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved an application for a casino license in Lyon County, while rejecting requests from Fort Dodge, Ottumwa and Tama County. (NEWS REPORT BY RADIO IOWA)
DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (AP) A judge says a confession by a Sioux City man can be used against him in his Nebraska trial on a charge that he killed a 3-year-old girl last year.
Attorneys for Melecio Camacho-De Jesus of Sioux City say Camacho-De Jesus had not been properly advised of his rights. They also say the confession was forced out of him after several hours of questioning at the Sioux City, Iowa, police station.
In his ruling Wednesday, Judge William Binkard disagreed, citing precedents and police statements about what happened before and during the interview.
Camacho-De Jesus has pleaded not guilty to murder and burglary in the girl’s slaying on May 23, 2009, at her South Sioux City home.
His next court hearing is set for June 1.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield says a computer glitch caused roughly 24,000 claims in Iowa and South Dakota to be mistakenly denied.
Wellmark, which is based in Des Moines, says it discovered the problem last fall. Its computer system was denying some claims for health services because certain riders, or exclusions of coverage for certain conditions, were incorrectly applied.
Wellmark says that less than one in 1,000 claims over a 10-year period were affected. The majority of those affected are owed less than $100, though 236 of them are owed $5,000 or more.
Wellmark says it voluntarily reported the error to the Iowa Insurance Division and the South Dakota Division of Insurance.
Wellmark says it will pay back the affected claims with interest, though it will take several months for all those payments to be made.
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A former night shift supervisor at an Iowa slaughterhouse says minors definitely worked at the plant.
Mark Andrew Spangler testified Friday that anyone who walked through the plant could tell children worked there by the way they looked and how they acted. He says they would throw things at each other and flirt and he compared it to “walking into a junior high school gymnasium.”
Spangler testified during the Waterloo trial of former Agriprocessors Inc. manager Sholom Rubashkin that he reported to the plant manager who in turn reported to Rubashkin’s brother.
Rubashkin faces 83 counts of child labor violations stemming from a May 2008 raid at the Postville plant where 389 illegal immigrants, including children, were detained.
PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) The police department in Pleasant Hill has fired an officer who crashed his patrol car April 1.
Police Chief Tim Sittig confirmed Friday the firing of 42-year-old Sgt. Daniel Edwards.
The dismissal came on the same say as law enforcement officials announced that Edwards faces additional charges of third-degree burglary and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Edwards turned himself in Friday to the Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa State Patrol.
He had already pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled substance.
The state patrol says Edwards was in possession of methamphetamine after the crash.
Edwards was promoted to sergeant last year. He served as a police officer in Macomb, Ill., before joining the Pleasant Hill force.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is suing a Louisiana company, claiming it used deceptive ads for used-car sales events in Iowa to “trick” customers into thinking they were getting a deal.
The lawsuit filed Friday names Smart Automotive Group LLC, of Metairie, La., and its president, Bernard Burst III.
Miller alleges the company used deceptive ads and terms such as “emergency disposal event” to convince customers the vehicles were being sold at bargain prices. Miller says the cars and trucks were from the dealers’ regular inventories, and consumers sometimes ended up paying prices higher than normal.
Efforts by The Associated Press to reach the company on Friday were unsuccessful because its telephone number was consistently busy. A telephone call to a listing for Burst went unanswered.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The head of Iowa’s prison system plans to name a Michigan warden as warden of the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.
Corrections Director John Baldwin on Friday said he will appoint Nick Ludwick to replace John Ault, who’s retiring next month.
Baldwin will recommend Ludwick’s appointment to the corrections board at next weeks’ meeting in Iowa City.
Ludwick began his career as a prison guard in Michigan in 1975. In 2007, he was named warden of two prisons in Michigan the St. Louis Correctional Facility and the Mid-Michigan Correctional Facility.
In Iowa, Ludwick will oversee the state’s maximum security prison and development of the new $130 million penitentiary now under construction. WOODWARD CENTER
New superintendent for Woodward Center
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Human Services has named a new superintendent for the Woodward Resource Center, which is home to more than 200 mentally disabled residents in central Iowa.
The new superintendent named Friday is Marsha Edgington-Bott, a veteran administer of services for people with intellectual disabilities.
The DHS administers the Woodward facility, where Edgington-Bott has been interim superintendent since former Superintendent Jim Finch accepted a position in Tennessee in February.
Edgington-Bott was instrumental in bringing Woodward into full compliance with a November 2004 civil rights consent agreement with the U.S. Justice Department.
Edgington-Bott will start her new duties immediately. Her annual salary is $117,000.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Wallaby babies are now peeking out from their mother’s pouches at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines.
Zoo officials said Friday that they’re having a “wallaby baby boom” and at least seven and possibly more of the babies, called joeys, are at the zoo. A wallaby is the smaller cousin of a kangaroo.
Kevin Dress is director of animal care and conservation at the zoo. Dress says its rare for a zoo to have this many wallaby babies born in a season. The zoo says that it has 14 wallabies plus the new babies.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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