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Saturday news, October 6

Le Mars Fire Department Responds To False Alarms At School

(Le Mars) -- Over a twelve hour time span, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to the Le Mars Community High School three separate times for what turned out to be a faulty alarm system that kept sounding.  Fortunately, no fire was reported at any time.  Fire officials first responded to the alarm on Friday afternoon at about 4:30 p.m.  Le Mars High School girls' volleyball team was told to evacuate the building while fire officials investigated.  The volleyball team sought refuge in the school's bus barn while officials investigated.  The second alarm came in this morning at about 4:45 a.m.  Within a half hour, the alarm once again was activated at the Le Mars Community High School sending fire officials to again investigate.


Plymouth County Historical Museum Schedule October Events

(Le Mars) -- A Halloween haunted house, is on the October schedule for the Plymouth County Historical Museum in Le Mars.  The Halloween event set for Saturday, October 20th, is intended for all ages and will be staged from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The haunted house will take place in the museum's basement.  The haunted house tour will wrap up with "Candy at the Cabin."  This will be at the Weber Log Cabin on the east lawn of the museum.  Other activities scheduled for October at the Plymouth County Historical Museum includes Nathan Summerside presenting another Civil War battle.  Summerside is scheduled to speak on Sunday, October 21st.  The museum is planning to feature a ghost town exhibit at the old study hall.  The many ghost towns of Plymouth County will be honored with photos and memorabilia.  At the end of the month, the museum will feature its ethnic food fair which is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 28th.


Mapleton Receives Loan For Tornado Recovery

(Mapleton) -- The city of Mapleton has received a loan for more than $295,000 from the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division to help with recovery efforts after the 2011 tornado.  Mapleton city clerk, Karla Uhl, says the community disaster loan will help fill gaps in the city's budget in line with projected revenue losses.  Damage from the tornado has led to lower property tax collections.  Uhl did not comment on when the loan is needing to be repaid.

Upper Iowa College President On Sabbatical

FAYETTE, Iowa (AP) - Upper Iowa University in Fayette says its president will be on sabbatical.
The private college says in a statement Friday that its Board of Trustees granted Alan Walker a sabbatical for the rest of the academic year.
Trustees Chairman Robert Firth says the board is aware of the "schedule and pace" that Walker has kept and the sabbatical is "well-deserved." He says Walker will be on sabbatical through
June 2013, and he plans to spend time reading, conducting research and spending time with family and friends.
The college acknowledged earlier this week that Walker was on a leave of absence, but wouldn't say why.
Walker has led Upper Iowa for more than eight years.

Waco School District To Try Four-Day Week

WAYLAND, Iowa (AP) - The Waco school district in southeast Iowa is planning a four-day school week with extended classes Monday through Thursday and optional time for activities Friday.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids says the district is working toward the four-day week ahead of next year. The district has about 500 students and includes Wayland, Crawfordsville and Olds.
The plan, which has been approved by the state Department of Education, will be closely watched by education officials.
School Board President Tim Graber says Waco is the first in Iowa to be given the opportunity.
While school on Friday is optional, officials believe most students will participate. The activities will vary between grade levels. Elementary students, for example, will get reading assistance while high school students will be directed toward career advancement.


Woman Injured When Bridge Trestle Falls On SUV

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A woman has been injured when part of a railroad bridge fell on her SUV in Des Moines.
Authorities say the trestle was damaged Friday afternoon after it was hit by a pickup truck towing a crane on the city's north side. Parts of the metal support beams were knocked off and fell on
the SUV.
Jana Rooker of the Polk County sheriff's office says the driver of the SUV was rescued and flown to a hospital. There was no immediate word on her condition, but authorities say she was talking to rescuers.
Officials brought in another crane to lift the beams off the car.


Council Bluffs Investigate Home Invasion

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Council Bluffs police are searching for suspects in a home invasion where a man ended up in the hospital with a head injury.
The Daily Nonpareil newspaper in Council Bluffs says the man was injured Friday morning when he and a brother tried to fight off three masked men.
Emergency Medical Services Director Rick Benson says the injured man was taken to a hospital in Omaha, Neb. He says the man was likely struck in the head with a blunt object, and had likely been
shot with a pellet gun.
Benson says the man was alert and talking when paramedics took him to the hospital.


Coralville Woman To Use Intoxication As Defense

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An attorney for a Coralville woman charged in a house fire that killed a 14-year-old relative plans to use intoxication as a defense during her trial.
Court documents show the attorney for 50-year-old Lillie Williams filed notices of intoxication and diminished responsibility on Friday in Johnson County District Court.
Williams is charged with first-degree murder in the fire that killed Raymone Bryant in September 2011.
Williams' attorney, Sarah Hradek, also filed a motion to move the trial, citing pre-trial publicity.
Earlier this week, a judge ruled that Williams' 6-year-old grandson is competent to testify. The boy told authorities that he saw his grandmother pouring gasoline on a pillow and later saw the
pillow on fire.

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