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Monday News, March 11

Snow Covers Northwest Iowa

(Le Mars) -- As you might imagine, the roads in northwest Iowa are 100 percent snow and ice packed.  U-S Highways 10, 20 and 30 are all reported to be blocked.  The Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting that Highway 20 between Moville and state Highway 110 that goes to Schaller is reported to be blocked and impassable.  Towing is prohibited.  Highway 59 between Denison and Holstein is blocked and the route is impassable.  Again, towing services are prohibited.  There are warnings of white out conditions. There have been reports of 12 inches of snow between Holstein and Ida Grove. The Iowa DOT says snow removal operations have been temporarily suspended due to hazardous weather conditions.  Other reports of impassable roads include Highway 141 between Mapleton and Denison.  Highways I-29, 75, 60, 3, 18, 71, and 9 in northwest Iowa are all 100 percent snow and ice covered and travel is not advised.  The National Weather Service is reporting snow depths of eleven inches in
Woodbury county near Oto.


Several Accidents Reported On I-80 Due To Snow Storm

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Transportation officials are reporting multiple car accidents along nearly 200 miles of Interstate 80 between Nebraska and Iowa.
The Nebraska State Patrol closed westbound lanes of I-80 Sunday between Lincoln and Grand Island after numerous reports of car accidents.
The Iowa Department of Transportation says westbound lanes of I-80 between Shelby and Avoca are closed overnight. Northbound lanes of Interstate 29 near Little Sioux have reopened, though a
southbound lane remains closed.
Nebraska State Patrol spokeswoman Deb Collins says there are several reports of vehicles hitting the median or going into ditches. No additional information is available about how many accidents have been reported, or details about injuries or fatalities.
The National Weather Service says up to 8 inches of snow could fall in parts of Nebraska and Iowa.

Drug Task Force Make 10 Arrests

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office along with the Le Mars Police Department drug task force conducted an investigation into the transport and sale of marijuana in the Remsen and Le Mars areas, 10 arrests have been made so far.
During the investigation it was learned that unknown subjects were bringing marijuana from Aurora, Colorado into northwest Iowa.  The marijuana was then packaged and resold in the Remsen and Le Mars area.  Based on information obtained during the investigation, task force members were able to locate the vehicle they believed to be involved. The Iowa State Patrol stopped the vehicle in question last Saturday on I-29.  Placed under arrest was 56 year old Randy Brent of Aurora, Colorado.  Brent was charged with possession of marijana, a serious misdemeanor; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.  Brent was also charged with conspiracy to deliver marijuana which is a Class D felony.  The joint drug task force executed five separate search warrants as a result of the investigation.  Those arrested include: 59 year old Randy Holsinger, 22 year old Jesse Holsinger, 22 year old Cameron Gengler, and 20 year old Jessica Weaver all of Remsen.  Also arrested were 28 year old Kayla Hutton, 30 year old Ryan Toel, 50 year old Danie McEvoy, 35 year old Timothy Ruhland, and 55 year old Charles Maddox all of Le Mars.  Each of the charges ranged from possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, which are misdemeanors of conspiracy to deliver, and drug tax stamp violations which are both classified as a Class D felony. All subjects were taken to the Plymouth County Jail, and either posted bond or were released after seeing a judge.
As of Friday, the Task Force has seized approximately 2 pounds of marijuana, over $15,000 in cash and 2 vehicles that were used for transport.  The investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are expected to occur.

Good Samaritan Society Prepares For Spring Fling

(Le Mars) -- It's becoming a passage into spring for the ladies of Le Mars... The Annual Good Samaritan Society's Spring Fling Brunch and Style Show.  This years event is coming up on Saturday, March 16th.  Amy Harnack of the Good Samaritan Society tells us what you can expect.

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This years speaker is Theresa Rose, motivational humorist out of Minneapolis, MN.  Harnack says Theresa is also known as "The Hoop Woman."

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The Spring Fling will end with the ever-growing Style Show MC'd by Christy Batien.  Many Le Mars stores will have clothing on display, kids styles will be included this year as well.

The Good Samaritan Society of Le Mars is one of 240 locations across the U.S. that provide skilled nursing and other types of senior care.  Harnack describes the Christian based services they offer.

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In the last couple of years, the Le Mars Good Samaritan Society has completely redone their facility.. The changes included making the atmosphere more home-like, aiding in an easier transition for residents.

Good Samaritan Society is a non-profit organization and 100% of profit from local fundraisers, including next Saturday's Spring Fling, go to support the works at the Le Mars location. 
The Spring Fling Brunch and Style Show is March 16th from 8:30am to 12:30pm in the Upper Level of the Le Mars Convention Center. Limited amounts of tickets are still available, and reservations must be made by the end of the day Tuesday by calling Amy Harnack at 546-2125.

Sioux City Proposes To Have Fewer Polling Places

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City is considering a proposal to have fewer polling places for voting in an effort to save money.
The Sioux City Council will discuss a proposal Monday that would cut polling precincts down from 28 to at least four or six. The plan would save the city $5,000 per election.
The plan would allow registered voters to go to any voting location.
Supporters say the popularity of early and absentee voting means there will be limited impact. Others say the plan prevents elderly and disabled voters from voting. They also say it affects voters in
low-income neighborhoods.
The council will not vote on the issue Monday. Woodbury County Elections Commissioner Pat Gill will make a final call on the number of polling places.

State Auditor Vaudt Comments On Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State Auditor David Vaudt is set to offer his views on the governor's budget plan.
Vaudt has scheduled a Monday morning press conference to brief reporters on Branstad's budget for the next two years. Vaudt, a Republican, is often critical of lawmakers and the governor over
budgeting practices.
Branstad in January unveiled a $6.5 billion spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1 that includes funding for new education programs, as well as commercial property tax cuts.
Republicans who hold a majority in the state House have called for spending a little less than the governor, and Democrats who control the Senate have proposed spending several hundred million
dollars more.

Gun Permits Have Increased After Change Of Laws

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The majority of Iowans who have applied for a permit to carry a gun in the past two years have been approved under a new state law.
The Des Moines Register reports more than 148,000 people in the state have applied for a permit during that time. Records show 99.6 percent have been approved.
Just about 620 permit applications have been denied since a 2011 state law went into effect that requires all sheriffs to follow the same rules when issuing permits.
The newspaper reports some county sheriffs are concerned the new law is hindering their ability to deny permits to people who should not have guns.

Senate To Debate "Gift Bill"

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate this week will debate a bill that would require state executive branch employees to report any gifts over $100 to the ethics board.
On Monday, the Iowa Senate will debate the bill proposed by the state Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board.
The proposed rules would apply to employees in the governor's office and state agencies and boards, including the Iowa Board of Regents.
Current law sets limits on gifts public workers can accept, such as travel reimbursement or lunches.
State gift policies received scrutiny in 2011 when Iowa Education Department director Jason Glass was accused of accepting a free trip to Brazil, but the ethics board later dismissed a complaint.


Child Identification Fair Held In Eastern Iowa

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A child identification fair in eastern Iowa this weekend included volunteers recording digital fingerprints.
Cedar Rapids television station KCRG (http://bit.ly/ZaTV1P ) says recordings were saved on a compact disk Saturday for parents to keep on file. The information is then more readily available if
an Amber Alert is needed for the child.
Parents are encouraged to keep the disk along with DNA samples and a photo identification card.
The station reports Chris Stechman, a relative of slain Iowa cousins Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins, helped organize the fair in Dubuque. Stechman says this early step helps with awareness and
publicity if a child goes missing.
The girls disappeared in July while riding bikes in Evansdale. Their bodies were found in a wooded area in December.







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