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Saturday News, December 14

County Compensation Board Proposes A 3.5% Raise For County Elected Officials

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Compensation Board voted to offer county elected officials a pay raise consisting of three and a half percent, and an increase of two and a half percent for the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.  The county compensation board consists of seven members of the community.  They met Friday afternoon to hear the salary requests of the county elected officials.  The compensation board approved the recommended increase for the County Auditor, Attorney, Recorder, Treasurer, and Sheriff on a 5 to 2 vote.   Compensation Board member Jeremy Bunkers of Remsen voted for the recommended pay scale, however, he admitted having reservations.  Bunkers says the Board of Supervisors, who have the final word relating to county employee salaries, have not followed the County Compensation's Board's recommendations for the last several years, having approved a smaller rate of pay increase than what was initially proposed.  Supervisor Don Kass spoke on behalf of the supervisors and informed the compensation board that they don't need to increase the supervisor pay, but instead to use the money and offer higher salary increases to the other elected officials.  Sheriff Mike van Otterloo told the compensation board he wished that he could accept a two percent raise, if it would mean his deputies and other employees under his supervision could receive a five percent raise.  Each of the compensation board members complimented the elected officials and publicly stated that Plymouth County is fortunate to have such good elected officials and county employees.


Monona County Auditor To Resign

   ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - The Monona County auditor is resigning after efforts by officials to remove her from office following her arrest on drug charges.
      Auditor Brooke Kuhlmann submitted a letter of resignation.
      At the request of county commissioners, Monona County Attorney Michael Jensen filed a motion last month to remove Kuhlmann from office. The motion noted Kuhlmann hasn't been coming to work since she was charged last July with buying methamphetamine from an undercover state trooper.
     Kuhlmann has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. Her trial is scheduled for Feb. 18.
     Kuhlmann was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. She's a Democrat.


Des Moines Airport Has Two Million Travelers

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines airport again has topped the 2 million traveler mark and appears headed to a record year.
   Figures for November pushed the airport's passenger total to 2.02 million.
    Ridership is 5.6 percent ahead of last year, when more than 2 million passengers flew out of the airport for the first time. For years, the passenger count hovered close to 1.7 million.
     Although more people are flying out of the airport, the amount of freight is down 4.3 percent from 2012. Airport Executive Director Don Smithey says that's due in part to online retailers who are moving freight by truck or rail.


Supreme Court Upholds Domestic Abuse Order

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a domestic abuse protection order a woman filed against her husband, rejecting his argument that the order wasn't valid because she'd fled to another county.
     The court found the woman resided in the county to which she sought refuge with her children even though she lived there just a few days.
     The case required the court to determine for the first time the definition of residency in the context of a spouse fleeing abuse.
     Justices say anyone seeking protection need only demonstrate they currently live in a county and maintain a dwelling to declare residency.
     The case affirms the protective order Teri Root obtained against her husband Talton Toney, who challenged the order.
     Court records say she fled after being choked with a belt.




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