Monday, May 30, 2016
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School Enrollment Drops

The enrollment numbers were announced by Assistant Superintendent, Steve Webner during last evening's school board meeting.  The total enrollment for the LeMars Community School District numbered 2109 students.  A year ago, the total enrollment was 2129 students.  The high school had an increase of 12 students at 647 students over a year ago figures, but the middle school saw a drop of 28 students and the elementary schools had 16 fewer students. This year, the middle school has 443 students, and the elementary schools has 870.5 students.  Webner explained the half a student is because of an elementary student that is taking some classes at LeMars Community and some at Gehlen Catholic.  The remaining student count makes up of those students in special education, home school, open enrollment, and concurrent credits with Western Iowa Tech.  The school board also approved action to purchase a new bus, and a new pickup truck.

(LeMars) -- LeMars Police responded to a shooting incident that occured at the Red Hanke Saloon Saturday evening.  Patrons of the bar complained to police that someone was shooting a BB gun from the apartment across the street toward the bar's patrons.  A patron confronted the suspect and took his BB gun and broke it.  A short time later, the suspect identified as 34 year old, Peter Hedglin of LeMars came back out of his apartment building yelling at patrons and waving a handgun.  Hedglin then discharged the firearm.  Officers found evidence of a firearm being discharged.  LeMars Police searched Hedglin's apartment and fourn a .45 calibar pistol.  Hedglin was arrested and charged with intimidation with a dangerous weapon, which is a class C felony.

(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will gather for their regular weekly meeting this morning.  The supervisors will hear the quarterly report from the Jolynn Goodchild, the County Recorder, as well as they will review the county insurance policy.

(LeMars) -- The Floyd Valley Hospital Trustees will meet this evening at the hospital to review the quarterly reports, and to discuss the hospital's marketing plan.

(Sioux Center) -- Republican Minnesota Congresswoman and presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann will speak at noon in Sioux Center on Friday in the lower level of the Dordt College Campus Center.  The Dordt College Political Action Club, a nonpartisan student group that hosts political candidates on campus as an educational service to students and the community is sponsoring Bachmann's appearanceat Dordt College.

(LeMars) -- With 460 concrete or steel bridges, 120 wooden bridges, 365 miles of paved roads, 1025 miles of gravel roads, and 40 miles of dirt roads, you can easily see how it would be a challenge for the Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department to keep up with the constant repairs.  Add to the problem that highway repair budgets are shrinking and repair expenses are on the increase, you begin to realize why some road repairs are put off for a year or two.  Tom Rohe, serves as the Plymouth County Engineer.  He says the summer construction projects are all nearing completion. In general, Plymouth County roads are in good condition, but Rohe says he does struggle with the never-ending maintenance schedule against higher costs.  

The county engineer says up through the 1990's, the county's budget allowed his crew to keep up with the needed repairs.  However, he says in 2005 was when financial conditions changed, and it changed the way road repairs were given priority.

Rohe says it costs the county about one million dollars for every mile of pavement for a complete new construction. For pavement overlays, such as is the case on C-38, it is about $300,000 per mile, and the county spends about $3,000 per running foot on bridge repairs.  So a new bridge that spans more than 20 feet, would cost more than $60,000. Asphalt overlays run the county about $250,000 per mile, and gravel can costs up to $2000 per mile.  Rohe says concrete road repairs are now designed to last at least 30 to 40 years.

He says in recent years Plymouth County roads and bridges have seen a substanial increase in the number and weight of truck and farm traffic, He says there are a great number of bridges that were first constructed in the 1960's that are at the end of the lifespan.  He says those bridges are unable to support the weight and the width of today's farm equipment, particularly the new combine harvesters.


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