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Wednesday Afternoon News, Feb. 6

City Council Discuss Change Of Start Time For Meetings

(Le Mars) -- The start time for Le Mars city council meetings was briefly discussed during the Tuesday city council meeting.  In the past, discussion focused on whether or not the council meetings should start later in the day in order to accommodate constituents wanting to visit and give the opportunity to speak at council meetings.  The council received only one written comment regarding the matter and Mayor Dick Kirchoff shared with the council his opinion regarding the topic.
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Councilman John Rexwinkle informed the council that he has received two additional comments, both advocating a preference of a 12:00 noon start time, so he offered a motion on the topic.
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The city council voted unanimously on the motion keeping the start times for council meetings to remain at 12:00 noon, unless a civic issue justifies otherwise.


City Retains Sitzmann Real Estate For City-Owned Property Transactions

(Le Mars) -- In other action taken by the city council, the council approved using the Lance Sitzmann Real Estate Services as the official realitor for city-owned property.  The current contract didn't conclude until March 31st.  Speaking on behalf of the Lance Sitzmann Real Estate was Shane Sitzmann. 
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The Lance Sitzmann Real Estate Services assisted the city in selling many of the former Westmar College facilities including the Mock Memorial Library and Centennial Hall.  In addition, the Lance Sitzmann Real Estate Company was able to sell the former Iowa Department of Transportation Machine Shed located on the north end of Business Highway 75.


Voters Approve WITCC Tax Levy

(Sioux City) -- Voters approved the continuation of a tax levy for Western Iowa Technical Community College.  The levy is for a ten-year duration. In Plymouth County, the tally was 171 in favor and 61 voting opposed to the levy.  Woodbury County voters approved the measure with 2144 favoring the levy and 892 voting against the levy.


Remsen-Union To Change School Board Elections

(Remsen) -- Residents living in the Remsen-Union school district overwhelmingly passed a measure during a special school election held Tuesday.  At issue, was a proposal to change the method of electing school board directors from specific district representation, to all directors elected from an at-large position.  Voters approved the measure with 72 votes in favor and 30 votes opposed.

Sioux City Woman Charged With Vehicular Homicide

DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (AP) - An Iowa woman has been charged with vehicular homicide for the Nebraska crash deaths of a 57-year-old woman and her 3-year-old granddaughter.
Twenty-seven-year-old Heather Reisdorph, of Sioux City, Iowa, has pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor counts.
Authorities say her vehicle ran into the back of one that was waiting to turn left off U.S. Highway 75/77 south of Dakota City on Jan. 6. The impact pushed the vehicle into oncoming traffic, where
it was struck by another vehicle.
Patricia Oldenburg, of Homer, Neb., and her granddaughter, Regan Coenen, of Sioux City, Iowa, died. Eight-year-old Braden Coenen was injured.
A public phone listing for Reisdorph could not be found. Online court records don't list the name of her attorney.

Debate Continues Over State's Revenue Surplus

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State lawmakers continue to debate what Iowa should do with surplus budget dollars. Should they put the money into services and programs or give it directly to taxpayers?
A House subcommittee on Wednesday discussed Republican-sponsored legislation that would use the state's surplus funds to provide credits to taxpayers. Rep. Peter Cownie of West Des Moines says
individual taxpayers would get $369 income tax credits. He says the plan would cost over $500 million and calls it the fairest way to deal with the money.
But Democrats and advocates questioned whether this was the best use of state funds, saying it would be better to spend the money on services and infrastructure.
The subcommittee approved the bill. It now goes to the full committee for deliberation.


Audit Says U of I Officials Followed Correct Procedures

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An audit says University of Iowa officials properly followed internal policies in handling high-profile sexual harassment allegations against an athletics department official.
The report by the university's internal auditor released Wednesday says the university provost's office was made aware of allegations against associate athletic director Peter Gray on Sept. 25.
The school's sexual misconduct response coordinator was immediately notified as required, and an investigation was launched. Gray was placed on leave Oct. 8.
An investigative report was issued Oct. 24 concluding Gray violated the university's sexual harassment policy by improperly touching students and athletes. The report came 20 days after a
formal complaint was filed, far ahead of a 45-day guideline in UI policy.
The report also found that athletics department officials had received mandatory training on sexual harassment.


Mason City Hospital To Get Helicopter

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa has scheduled resumption of medical helicopter service following a fatal crash.
The service was suspended following the crash on Jan. 2. The helicopter had been headed to Emmetsburg, about 80 miles west of Mason City, to pick up a patient when it slammed into the ground
just north of Ventura.
The crash killed flight nurse Shelly Lair-Langenbau, of Hanlontown; paramedic Russell Piehl, of Forest City; and pilot Gene Grell, a native of San Antonio.
Weather permitting, the service will return on Tuesday.


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