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Friday Afternoon News, Feb. 15

Plymouth County To Work On 20 Road Construction and Bridge Projects

(Le Mars) -- It won't be long before spring will be upon us, and with spring also comes
those orange cones, barrels, and barricades as road construction projects begin.  Plymouth County engineer Tom Rohe says there are 20 different construction projects slated for this spring and summer for the county. Rohe says that includes two bridges that will be replaced.
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Rohe says a lot of attention in terms of road construction projects will be devoted to the Merrill area this spring and summer.

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The county engineer believes it will be April or May when construction is to start for all the projects around Merrill.  The Iowa Department of Transportation will widen Highway 75 to include a left-hand turning lane, while the city of Merrill will upgrade 5th Street, and at the same time, Plymouth County will place over-lay asphalt on  county roads C-38 and K42, the roads that serve the Plymouth County Energy and Plymouth County Oil Companies.  Rohe says the Merrill over lay projects and the two bridge replacements will come with a price tag.
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Rohe says most of the other road construction projects through out the county involve replacing old bridges with box culverts.

Sioux City Man Pleads Not Guilty To Weapons Charges

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man accused of shooting and killing his two dogs has pleaded not guilty to two weapons charges.
Jon Holloway won't be prosecuted on animal abuse charges. Sioux City Police Lt. Mark Kirkpatrick says it's technically not illegal to shoot your own pets.
Holloway is charged with reckless use of a firearm and discharging a gun within city limits. Authorities say the 51-year-old Holloway shot his two dogs Tuesday with a rifle in his backyard.
Police say Holloway had been arguing with his sister about the dogs being aggressive.
Holloway's trial is scheduled for April 24.


Four Sentenced To Prison For Meth Distribution

(Sioux City) -- Two men and two women have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.  30 year old Joseph Hough of Dakota City, Iowa; 50 year old Diane Kletsch of Superior, Iowa; 48 year old Timothy Lamb of Fort Dodge, and 46 year old Yolanda Hernandez of Donna, Texas after pleading guilty in October to a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Hough was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment, while Kletsch received seven years and three months sentence, and Lamb got over eleven years, and Hernandez was sentenced for eight years and one month.


Mexico Man Sentenced To 24 years of Prison For Methamphetamine

(Sioux City) -- Meanwhile, a Mexico man who had been living in Sioux City was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison for the distribution of methamphetamine.  33 year old, Angel Solano-Fierro was found guilty of distributing 280 grams of pure methamphetamine.  Solano-Fierro admitted to distributing the methamphetamine between February and May of 2012.


Supreme Court Says Farmers Liable For Ag Tour Accidents

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says farmers who host educational tours are not shielded from personal injury lawsuits under Iowa's recreational use law.
The court ruled 5-2 on Friday that the owners of a dairy farm can be sued by a chaperone injured when she fell through a hole in a hayloft during a kindergarten class field trip.
The Iowa Farm Bureau had warned that allowing farmers to face liability would jeopardize tours that teach children about animals and farming. The group says farmers may no longer host such events
if they're worried about lawsuits.
At issue is a law that bars injury lawsuits against landowners who open their land for public recreational uses such as snowmobiling and hunting. The court says playing on a hayloft in a
barn doesn't qualify.


DNA Links Suspect To Home Invasion

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Waterloo police say DNA samples taken from a pair of tennis shoes link a suspect to a home invasion.
Joseph Holmes was charged Thursday with first-degree burglary in the Jan. 19 robbery at Dennis Fix's home.
Fix told police that someone broke in his home, assaulted him and stole his television and surround sound system. Fix was treated for brain bleeds on both sides of his head.
At the hospital, officers observed a shoe print on Fix's face.
The investigation later led them to search Holmes' residence, where they found bloody white tennis shoes that were consistent with the tread marks on Fix's face. Police say DNA testing at a
state crime lab recently matched the blood on the shoes with that of Fix.
Holmes is jailed on $50,000 bond.


Branstad Wants Olympics To Keep Wrestling

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is launching a campaign to keep wrestling an Olympic sport after the International Olympic Committee announced its recommendation to drop it.
Branstad will be joined at a Friday news conference by Olympic wrestling gold medalist Dan Gable, University of Iowa associate head wrestling coach Terry Brands and University of Northern Iowa
wrestling coach Doug Schwab. They'll gather at the Iowa State High School Wrestling Tournament to kick-off their campaign called "Let's Keep Wrestling."
Branstad and each member of Iowa's congressional delegation have signed a letter they will send to the IOC on Friday morning describing the importance of wrestling to Iowans and the Olympics.
Rep. Bruce Braley on Thursday noted it would be an "absolute shame" if young Iowans' could not live their Olympic dream.






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