Saturday, May 28, 2016
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School Bus Accident Near Rock Valley

ROCK VALLEY, Iowa (AP) - School officials say no one was seriously injured when a school bus tipped over on a gravel road while picking up students near Rock Valley yesterday morning.
     Rock Valley Superintendent Chad Janzen says there were ten students on the bus when the accident happened about 8 a.m.  Janzen says most of the injuries were "nicks and bruises," but one student was  taken to a hospital as a precaution.
The bus driver wasn't hurt.
     Janzen says the bus had picked up two students and wasn't going very fast when it went off the road and tipped over in a ditch. The cause of accident in under investigation.
     Janzen says the students ranged in age from preschoolers to ninth graders.

(Akron) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's office is investigating an auto accident that occurred Tuesday evening when a vehicle was reported to have rolled and trapping the two occupants.  The investigation found that Joseph Tripp of Akron was driving southbound on K-18 and was being passed by another southbound vehicle.  The passing vehicle clipped the driver's side of Tripp's vehicle, causing him to temporarily lose control.  Tripp went through the west ditch and was nearly stopped on 314th Street when Tripp accelerated, swinging his car around, again losing control.  Tripp went into the south ditch where his vehicle rolled once and came to a rest on the passenger's side.  Tripp and a passenger, Heather Rodriguez, also of Akron were freed and transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center with injuries not believed to be life threatening.  The investigation continues and charges are pending.

(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Fairboard is asking the county for some financial assistance.  Fair board president, Tony Schroeder appeared before the supervisors on Tuesday and informed them of the many changes that are occuring at the fairgrounds.  The fairboard has received funds from the county in the past and is asking for $20,000 for the upcoming fiscal year.

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Supervisor Guenthner questioned Schroeder about the fairboard's plan for financing and its current financial situation.  

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Schroeder says since the year 2000, the fairboard has spent nearly one million dollars on maintenance and upkeep. The newly elected fairboard president did tell the supervisors that the fairboard does not have any debt.

(LeMars) -- Plymouth County Republicans have announced the locations for the January 3rd caucuses.  Precincts 1 & 6 which include the townships of Portland, Westfield, and Sioux will gather at the Security National Bank community room at Akron.  Precincts 2,3,4,11,12,and 13 that includes the townships of Preston, Grant, Johnson, Washington, Elgin, America, and LeMars Wards 1,2,and 3 will caucus at the LeMars Convention Center Lower Level in LeMars.  Precinct 5 that includes the townships of Fredonia, Meadow, Marion, and Remsen will gather at the Remsen Union High School Auditorium in Remsen.  Precinct 7 that includes the townships of Liberty, Plymouth, and Stanton will meet at the Merrill Community Center gym.  Precinct 8 including Hancock, Perry, Hungerford, and Lincoln townships will meet at the Hinton Community Center in Hinton.  Precinct 10 includes the townships of Union, Henry, Elkhorn and Garfield will caucus at the Kingsley Community Center at Kingsley.  Caucuses will begin at 7:00 p.m. and continue until 9:00 p.m.


(Storm Lake) -- The long-time Storm Lake police department office manager has been fired and charged with theft in connection with missing city funds.  Public Safety director Mark Prosser says 43-year old Lee Martin of Storm Lake was arrested Tuesday in connection with an investigation that began earlier this month.  On December 2nd, Prosser was notified of possible irregularities in funds transferred from the public safety office to city hall.  On December 6th, Martin was placed on administrative leave and Prosser ordered an investigation.  Police allege Martin had been taking cash from deposits transferred to city hall totaling over 12-thousand dollars in the past 12 months, and also altered receipts.  Additional investigation is underway into previous years of cash transfers from Martin's office to city hall.  Martin worked for the public safety department the past 21 years.  Prosser says the very person charged with insuring the department's books were balanced and funds were appropriately transferred to city hall is the one who allegedly was circumventing the system.  He termed it a very disappointing case of violation of the public's trust.  Prosser says additional safeguards have been put into place to insure that similar incidents are prevented.  Tuesday afternoon, Martin was charged with ongoing criminal conduct, and first-degree theft.  Martin was jailed on a 35-thousand dollar bond and her employment with the city was terminated.


DENISON, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa fire chief has been charged after an audit suggested he spent thousands of dollars for his personal benefit.
     A complaint filed Wednesday charges former Denison Fire Chief Michael McKinnon with first-degree theft and felonious misconduct in office.
     McKinnon left his job last year under a cloud of questions about his management. An audit last month questioned $95,000 in spending, including about $40,000 paid to businesses he owned that included invoices for post office boxes that did not exist. Other spending included a motor for his boat.
     Special Agent Terry Klooster of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says McKinnon has moved to New Mexico but is expected to turn himself in when he makes his initial court appearance
December 30th.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State health officials say a new flu strain that was detected in north central Iowa has dropped out of sight.
     The Iowa Department of Health says the H3N2 strain sickened three children in Webster and Hamilton counties. All three recovered.
     State Medical Director Doctor Patricia Quinlisk says the virus apparently failed to continue spreading.
     The new strain of  flu is a hybrid of viruses that have infected pigs over the last decade and a gene from the H1N1 strain that caused the pandemic two years ago.
     About a dozen cases of infection with H3N2 have been reported nationally.
     Quinlisk says health officials continue to watch closely for new cases, but haven't seen any.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The number of deer killed during the recent shotgun seasons in Iowa is down about 9 percent from last year and about 30 percent lower than in 2006.
     The Iowa Department of Natural Resources released the deer kill numbers Wednesday, saying about 70,000 fewer deer were taken during the recent hunting seasons than in 2010.
     The chief of the Iowa DNR Wildlife Bureau, Dale Garner, says the reduced kill is the result of a reduced deer population in the state. He says the number of deer is near the state's objective and
hunters are being encouraged to be more selective.
     Officials say they will review the harvest and deer population and make proposals to stabilize the deer population.




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