(LE MARS)–A fire at a house in Le Mars Thursday afternoon caused a substantial amount of smoke damage.
The fire was at a home owned by Ron and Mary Morris at 309 Fifth Street Northwest.
Le Mars Fire-Rescue Chief David Schipper says the origin of the fire, the cause, the amount of damage and other details are being investigated.
Fire fighters were on the scene for about two hours.
Pay recommendations to be considered today
(LE MARS)–Recommendations that will be part of budget work for Plymouth County government will be developed this afternoon.
The Plymouth County Compensation Board meets in the driver’s license room in the lower level of the Courthouse at 2 p.m.
The public meeting involves representatives of the county’s elected officials who will recommend salary for a budget year that begins next July.
The board of supervisors determines the wages of elected officials after receiving the recommendations.
DeRochers help Monsanto tell the story of America’s farmers
(AKRON)–An Akron area family is helping to tell the story of America’s farmers.
Tyson Pruitt of Monsanto says Kevin and Sandi DeRocher are featured in some television and web messages.
According to Pruitt, the DeRocher family conveys the sense of what the American farmer is.
Monsanto’s web-based messages Pruitt describes as webisodes will also include the DeRochers.
The marketing began at Thanksgiving.
Odd and even parking may be enforced until April
(LE MARS)–Odd and Even Parking is in effect until April.
The city of Le Mars regulation of parking on streets began November first.
Drivers are asked to park on the odd-numbered side of the street on odd-numbered calendar days. On even-numbered calendar days, drivers are asked to park on the even-numbered side of the street.
Le Mars Police will issue tickets for violations of odd and even parking when a snow emergency is declared by Public Works Superintendent Steve Hansen.
KLEM 1410 AM and 96.9 FM Radio announces snow emergencies.
Merrill man charged after dispute
(MERRILL)–A Merrill man was charged after Le Mars Police and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s office responded to a report of an assault Thursday.
The sheriff’s office charged 23-year-old Joshua Andrew Iverson with going armed with intent which is a felony and aggravated assault.
Police said their investigation determined that Doretta Button of Merrill and Iverson, who is her son, had gotten into a disagreement.
Authorities were called after Button when to Floyd Valley Hospital.
Iverson is accused of striking his mother with his fist and threatening her with a knife.
He was located in Sioux City by police and taken to the Plymouth County Jail.
Boone officer cleared in fatal shooting at grocery
BOONE, Iowa (AP) A prosecutor has ruled that a police officer was justified in fatally shooting a Boone grocery store employee who was swinging a knife.
In a news release Friday, Boone County Attorney Jim Robbins said Officer Rod Thompson used reasonable force in shooting 29-year-old Gerald Beals II.
Robbins says Thompson confronted Beals in the Hy-Vee store freezer area on Oct. 25 and repeatedly ordered Beals to drop the knife. Police Commander Charles Pepples soon arrived and told Thompson to use his stun gun. The stun gun didn’t stop Beals, who advanced on Thompson, swinging the knife.
Robbins says Thompson fired his handgun, knocking down Beals, who stood back up. Then Pepples fired his stun gun and Thompson again fired his handgun. Beals finally went down less than 3 feet from Thompson.
Davenport woman pleads guilty in child-abuse case
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) A Davenport woman faces up to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to child endangerment in the battering of a 3-year-old girl.
Television station WQAD says 27-year-old Tausha Ruhl will be sentenced in January.
Ruhl is one of three people charged in the assault last year, including the little girl’s mother.
The girl had burns on her hands and had been battered and choked. Officials say she’s been adopted by another family.
Sentencing for convicted UI professor is delayed
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The sentencing for a University of Iowa professor convicted of assaulting a female laboratory assistant has been delayed for at least two months.
Assistant professor of pathology Toshiki Itoh was scheduled to be sentenced on Friday after being convicted of two counts of assault causing bodily injury after a jury trial in October. The jury could not agree on whether to convict him on a more serious charge of sexual abuse.
His attorney filed a motion asking for the sentencing to be delayed so his defense could have more time to file post-trial motions.
Prosecutor Elizabeth Beglin says the sentencing will now likely be held after Itoh is retried on the sexual abuse charge. That trial is scheduled for February.
Itoh remains on paid leave earning his $93,000 annual salary.
Iowa Planned Parenthood units plan merger
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Officials say abortion, adoption and other services could be added after Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa merges with the Des Moines-based Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.
Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports that the merger was announced Thursday and will occur next year.
Vanessa Solesbee is board chairwoman of Planned Parenthood of East Central Iowa. She says the group’s clinics in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque will remain.
The president of the Des Moines group, Jill June, says there is no plan to offer adoption, abortions or other new services immediately. Abortions and adoption services are not currently provided at either the Cedar Rapids or Dubuque clinics.
Solesbee and June say the merger will allow more efficiencies in purchasing and technology.
Pawlenty book launch takes him back to Iowa, NH
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans to spend two days each in Iowa and New Hampshire during an upcoming tour to promote his forthcoming book.
Excerpts of “Courage to Stand” and details of the corresponding rollout tour were announced Friday. The likely 2012 Republican presidential candidate’s book is due out Jan. 11.
The released excerpts lean heavily on his upbringing in a meatpacking town. Pawlenty writes about getting used to the stench of rotting meat when helping his father clean truck trailers that carried beef.
After the book’s release, Pawlenty immediately leaves on a multi-state tour with stops in early presidential voting states New Hampshire and Iowa. Pawlenty begins the tour with appearances on such TV programs as “The Daily Show” and “The View.”
Regents approve plan to demolish Iowa’s `Bubble’
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Say bye-bye to the “The Bubble.”
The Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday approved a plan to demolish the Iowa football team’s 25-year-old indoor practice facility nicknamed “The Bubble” and build a $19.5 million replacement nearby.
“The Bubble” had long been a recognizable campus landmark, but critics said the site had become an outdated, energy-wasting eyesore that presented safety risks by having the field too close to its concrete foundation.
The new facility will be modern and sleek, with a metal roof that will match the Kinnick Stadium press box, panels that will allow daylight inside and video platforms inside.
Construction is expected to begin next fall and finish in 2012.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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