(LE MARS)–The names of those from Plymouth County who died while serving their country since 9/11 are carved in stone in Le Mars.
The new monument at Plymouth County Veterans Memorial Park is topped with the battlefield cross, according to American Legion Wasmer Post 241 Adjutant Tom Baack.
Larry Petersen of Le Mars tolled a bell Monday as the number of veterans from major wars honored at the park was read by Don Law. Law’s listing include the newest monument with the names of Tobias Meister; Chad Groepper; Thomas Nilles; and Joseph Delashmutt.
The dedication of the new Operation Enduring Freedom Memorial opened with prayer from Wasmer Post 241 Chaplain Bud Vander Well and was followed by a rifle volley from the Wasmer Post firing squad.
Housing construction in Le Mars tops June report
(LE MARS)–Housing starts started to take off in June in Le Mars.
Code Enforcement officer Jason Vacura issued three permits for new houses which is one-third of the year-to-date total of nine permits. The estimated construction value is 626-thousand dollars.
The nine total is up two permits from the seven issued in all of 2009 and matches the total for the entire year in 2008.
Other building permits included five for home remodeling estimated at about nine thousand dollars in construction.
A commercial building in southwest Le Mars, a garage and four sign and fence permits were also part of the 15 permits issued in June.
Since January, Vacura has issued 54 permits for nearly five-million dollars in construction. The city has collected about 22-thousand dollars in fees.
Bridge project slated to begin east of Akron
(LE MARS)–Work to replace a bridge east of Akron is slated to begin today (Tuesday, July 6, 2010).
According to County Engineer Tom Rohe, Plymouth County road C-16, from Fir Avenue to Granite Avenue, will be closed starting today. The bridge replacement project is funded, in part, with federal bridge replacement dollars.
The work is expected to continue until September 24th.
Three charged after search of Westfield residence
(WESTFIELD)–Three arrests on drug-related charges were made in Westfield Saturday night.
The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office, Akron and Le Mars Police Departments were joined by the Iowa State Patrol in executing a search warrant.
After the search at 416 Elm Street in Westfield , deputies seized one pound of suspected marijuana, drug paraphernalia and cash.
Authorities charged 28-year-old Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Rojas and 27-year-old Armando Gutierrez, both of Westfield, with the felonies of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and failing to having a drug tax stamp.
Twenty-year-old Jose Orozco of Westfield is charged with gathering where drugs are sold or used.
Jurors in Plymouth County do not report Tuesday
(LE MARS)–Plymouth County jurors who are called to duty in the month of July do not need to report today, Tuesday, July 6, 2010.
Jurors are asked to call the Clerk of Court’s office Monday, July 12, 2010 after 3 p.m. to find out whether to report on Tuesday, July 13, 2010.
Schleswig native is part of ag team in Afghanistan
(JOHNSTON)–Sixty Iowa National Guard members are part of the “Agribusiness Development Team” that’s headed to Afghanistan. A send-off ceremony was held last Thursday at Camp Dodge in Johnston. Colonel Neil Stockfleth says he and his troops hope to address a number of concerns.
“There is just a whole series of problems but the biggest is Afghanistan is not feeding itself as a country. Most of these people are subsistence farmers,” Stockfleth says. “The biggest crop they’re raising is wheat. They’re grinding that wheat for bread and baking that bread for their families, so it’s truly a subsistence form of agriculture.”
The 60 Iowa National Guard soldiers will take over from a group of Californians who’ve been helping Afghan farmers modernize and rebuild. According to Stockfleth, the Soviets destroyed orchards and irrigation systems as they fought their own Afghan war from 1979 to 1989.
“When we were over there — we did a short visit this spring — we saw fields that obviously had historically been farmed that weren’t today, so there’s ground that needs to be brought back into production,” Stockfleth says. “Their wheat — their primary crop — their yields could certainly be improved with some improved management practices which might be fertilization, seed selection, irrigation timing — those kind of practices, so there’s just a whole host of things that we can look at.” Herds of goats and sheep will get attention from the Iowa soldiers, too, as Stockfleth says they’re suffering from parasites and other maladies.
“We have to be very careful to meet the needs that the Afghan people want met,” Stockfleth says. “Not just what we think should be done, we need to ask them and work with them on projects that they want to see accomplished.” Stockfleth grew up on a northwestern Iowa farm near Schleswig and he worked for the U.S.D.A. for 20 years. Stockfleth and his team will be working in an area of Afghanistan that’s about the size of one and a half Iowa counties.
“I’ve often said to the team members that we aren’t going to make wholesale changes. It’s just not possible in the short period of time, even though we think a year is a long time. In the seasons of agriculture, we know that’s just a drop in the bucket. We hope to have a positive impact, incremental changes,” Stockfleth says. “Now we are following a California team that’s in there and we are going to be followed by an Illinois team, so what we want to do is make sure that our projects line up with the teams proceeding us and following us so that we build a consecutive effort that over time we can have maybe a lasting impact that’s going to help these people improve their lot.”
As part of their preparation, some of the Afghanistan-bound soldiers, including Stockfleth, went to Living History Farms in June to practice hitching teams of horses and oxen to wagons, and driving the wagons around the historic area in Urbandale. (News report courtesy of Radio Iowa)
Parade rampage to be reconstructed
BELLEVUE, Iowa (AP) Witnesses say the rampage of a pair of runaway horses at an eastern Iowa town’s Fourth of July parade was cut short when the horses crashed into a float and collapsed.
Virgil Murray, the mayor in Bellevue, a town of about 2,300 along the Illinois-Iowa border, says officials have been working to reconstruct exactly what happened in Sunday’s rampage. A woman was killed and nearly two dozen other people injured.
Police say the horses became startled after rubbing heads and one’s bridle fell off. They ran about six blocks, plowing through children lined up along the parade route.
Parade-goers say the buggy attached to the horses hit a sign and overturned, dumping its four passengers. One of them, 60-year-old Janet Steines of Spragueville, died Sunday evening at an Iowa City hospital.
Des Moines River continues fall despite rain
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Des Moines River continues to fall despite recent rains, and officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say the critical moment has passed for a levee that protects a neighborhood that was swamped when the levee failed two years ago.
The river fell below 24 feet Monday near the Birdland neighborhood, down more than 2 feet from its crest of 26.05 feet Friday. It is expected fall below flood stage at 23 feet on Wednesday.
Tom Heinold, the Corp’s flood risk management coordinator, says the Corps is now beginning to focus on areas in southeast Iowa as the high water makes its way downstream. He says it’s too early to forecast the severity of that flooding despite heavy rains there Sunday night.
Boy hurt in fall from bluff at Iowa park
CLINTON, Iowa (AP) A 12-year-old boy has been hurt after he fell up to 60-feet from a bluff at Eagle Point Park in Clinton.
Clinton fire officials say the boy suffered scrapes, bruises and a possible spine injuries in the fall Sunday afternoon.
They say the boy was alert when rescue crews reached him.
Police and family members of the boy watched from a lookout point on a trail overhead as crews loaded by the boy onto a backboard and took him to a hospital.
The boy’s name has not been released and no other information has been made available.
4 hurt in SE Iowa buggy crash
KALONA, Iowa (AP) Four people were hurt when a car struck a horse-drawn buggy from behind just west of Kalona in southeast Iowa.
The accident happened late Sunday evening on Iowa Highway 22.
The Iowa State Patrol says the buggy, operated by 29-year-old Ada Kauffman, of Kalona, was westbound about 10:20 p.m. when it was hit by a car driven by 21-year-old Nichole Cady, of Kalona.
Kauffman and two passengers in the buggy were taken to University Hospitals in Iowa City. Cady was taken to Washington County Hospital in Washington, Iowa.
No other details were released.
Police ID bodies found in Cedar Rapids apartment
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Police have identified the bodies of two people found last week in a Cedar Rapids apartment building.
Police on Monday released the names of 52-year-old Anthony Stokes and 43-year-old Malinda Kennedy.
Police responded to the apartment where Stokes and Kennedy lived Friday morning.
They say there was no sign of foul play.
An autopsy has been requested but results of the exam, including toxicology tests may not be available for weeks.
The investigation is continuing.
Worker hurt in Waverly school construction dies
WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) A construction worker injured at the site of the new Waverly-Shell Rock middle school has died.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier is reporting that 51-year-old Larry L. Reisner, of Oelwein, died Saturday at University Hospitals in Iowa City.
The newspaper cites information from the Jamison-Schmitz Funeral Home in Oelwein that says Reisner died on Saturday. The funeral home has an obituary for Reisner posted on its website and a person answering the phone at the funeral home confirmed Reisner’s death.
The school district’s superintendent, Jere Vyverberg says the accident happened Thursday.
Reisner was injured when a brace supporting a concrete cast hit him in the head.
Iowa provides election resources to military
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa secretary of state says there are resources for the state’s military voters as the November general election nears.
Secretary of State Michael Mauro says the Independence Day holiday weekend is a good time to remind military voters that election information is available online. That includes how to register to vote and how to request, receive and return an absentee ballot.
The state Website is www.iowavotes.org and there is a “Military and Overseas Voters” link.
The Iowa Secretary of State’s office and the American Legion partnered earlier this year to provide voting resources to military families in the state. AP-IA–RightNow
Cooks hope giant pork burger will set record
HUMBOLDT, Iowa (AP) Organizers are hoping a 240 pound pork burger grilled in Humboldt will be one for the record books.
Five cooks began grilling the burger at 7 a.m. Saturday during the city’s inaugural Pork and Putt Classic. When they were done 10 hours later, the giant burger was slid onto a bun of similar proportions.
Cook J.D. Myers says it took two days to prepare the burger, which was placed in a specially constructed pan and placed in a cooler at a local Hy-Vee grocery store overnight Friday. The store also baked the bun for the burger.
Lead griller Gary Vinsand says the biggest challenge was sliding the burger onto the bun in one piece.
The men say they hope the burger, which measured 42 inches across and 10 inches thick, is big enough to make it into Guiness World Records.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email email@example.com, by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.