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Tuesday News, December 31

No Supervisor Meeting Scheduled

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will not meet today, however, they will convene on Thursday morning to conduct the swearing in ceremonies.  Likewise, the Le Mars City Council will gather on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the council chambers to conduct their swearing in ceremonies.

Dive Team To Recover Truck In Missouri River

SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (AP) - A dive team is expected to help recover a truck that was spotted in the Missouri River southwest of Sergeant Bluff.
     An Iowa Natural Resources Department crew saw the truck roof around 1:40 p.m. Monday. Woodbury County sheriff's Lt. Tony Wingert says the truck was submerged near the boat ramp at Weedland Access Area off 235th Street.
     The dive team will help a towing company hook up to the truck so it can be pulled out.
     Officials don't know when the truck went into the water.
     ---

 

Spirit Lake Man Pleads Not Guilty To Murdering Minnesota Woman

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A northern Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder for the death of a Minnesota woman.
    21-year-old Tailer Handsaker filed the written plea Friday in Dickinson County District Court. A trial date has not been set.
     Handsaker is accused of killing 36-year-old Sarah Grimmius, of Jackson, Minn., on Dec. 5 at his home.
     Police found Grimmius' body while responding to a Dec. 7 call about a woman who was unresponsive. Authorities have not said how Grimmius was killed or how she and Hansaker knew each other.
     If convicted of first-degree murder, Handsaker would face a mandatory life prison sentence.
     ---

 

More Doctors Are Practicing In Iowa, But Ratio Is Low

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Medicine says the number of physicians in the state is increasing, but Iowa still has far fewer doctors for its population than the national average.
     The board says in a news release Monday that Iowa had 6,414 active physicians in 2012, for a rate of 208.6 physicians per 100,000 people.  That compares to a national rate of 260.5 physicians.
     Nationally, Iowa ranks 41st in active physicians.
     Massachusetts ranked first, with a rate of 421.5 physicians.  Mississippi ranked last, with a rate of 180.8 physicians.
     Iowa dropped from 40th to 41st even though the number of Iowa physicians increased from 6,294 in 2010, when the rate was 208.2 active physicians per 100,000 people.
     The statistics are based on a report by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

 

State Climatologist Comments On 2013 Weather

(Des Moines) -- Looking back on 2013, the weather may be first to come to mind. In 2013, we had a snow storm in April, three inches of snow that fell on Le Mars on May 1st, followed by the hottest day of the year just two weeks later on May 14th when the mercury reached 102 degrees.  Flooding in late May and early June.  Mild temperatures that reached only the mid 80's in late July and early August, and finally tornadoes on October 4th.  State Climatologist Harry Hillaker  says temperatures in Iowa for 2013 have averaged out to slightly below normal.

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Hillaker says. This past spring was very wet and the late summer and early fall were dry, which means precipitation levels for 2013 in Iowa average out to be average, according to Hillaker.

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The months of May and April were the wettest ever recorded in Iowa, while August and September were very dry, but don't rank as some of the driest ever. Hillaker says there were pockets of southeast Iowa that were exceptionally dry this summer. 

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Hillaker uses the phrase "consistently cool" to describe the temperatures recorded in Iowa this past year.

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The temperature dropped to 27 degrees below zero on Christmas Eve in Osceola.

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Hillaker says. The year's record high -- of 106 degrees -- was recorded in Sioux City on May 14th, while here in Le Mars on that date, we were at 102.

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Hillaker says that 133-degree variation between highs and lows is unique on the planet. The only other place besides the upper Midwest that sees such wide temperature swings is in Russia. Hillaker says the climates in these two areas are "so contrasting" because they are in the middle of a large land mass, without the "moderating" influence of oceans or large lakes. Russia actually straddles two continents and Hillaker says South America isn't as large as North America, so that's why temperatures in the southern hemisphere don't vary that much.
.........................

 

Iowa Couple Dies In Auto Accident On Their Way To Outback Bowl

 WILTON, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa couple traveling to the Outback Bowl in Florida has died in a crash in Georgia.
     64-year-old Kenneth Behrens and his 65-year-old wife, Margaret Behrens, died in the Sunday evening crash on Interstate 75 in Georgia. A 13-year-old boy riding with the couple wasn't injured.
     The Behrens were from Wilton.
     The Georgia State Patrol says the crash happened in south-central Georgia when traffic slowed. A car hit the Behrens' sport utility vehicle, causing it to overturn.
     Relatives of the Behrens were in a minivan ahead of the SUV.
     A family friend, Arnie Kempf, of Durant, says the Behrens were longtime University of Iowa fans and were looking forward to attending the Hawkeyes' game with Louisiana State University in Tampa.
     The crash remains under investigation.
     ---

 

Businessman Posing As Homeless Gives Away Donations

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines businessman gave away nearly $1,000 while posing as a homeless man, rewarding people who paused to help him.
      Jonnie Wright stood in the frigid weather on Christmas Eve at a busy intersection in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston. People who rolled down their vehicle windows to help him got a sealed envelope in return.
     Inside the envelope were a $10 or $100 bill and a letter from the man, Jonnie Wright. It explained that he wasn't homeless. It said he just wanted to pay back people who helped others. He encouraged the people to use the money as they wished or to pay it forward.
     Wright doubled the money he was given and gave it to a homeless shelter.
     ---

 

Des Moines Police Officer Charged With Injuring Ex-Girlfriend

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 33-year-old Des Moines police officer has been charged with injuring his former girlfriend.
     Polk County Jail records say Cody Grimes remained in custody on Tuesday, facing a charge of domestic assault causing injury. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.
     Sgt. Jason Halifax says Grimes is on paid leave pending an internal investigation. 
     The 25-year-old woman told officers that Grimes grabbed her by her jacket and threw her down some stairs at his home early Friday morning.  She also says he grabbed her and threw her inside the house and against a door. 
     Grimes has been on the force for more than six years.

 

Chariton Settles Suit Over Use of Police Tazer On Mentally Handicapped Woman

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A southern Iowa town has agreed to pay $67,500 to settle a lawsuit filed by a mentally disabled woman who was shocked with a police Taser.
      Cherish Storm was shocked three times by a Chariton police officer in August 2010, including once while she lay in the back of a squad car in leg shackles and handcuffs.
     A video of the incident shows Storm resisting being handcuffed. She was shocked seconds after her boyfriend told Officer Tyler Ruble that she had a mental disability and had undergone electroconvulsive therapy two days earlier.
     Storm was convicted of interference with official acts and assault causing bodily injury.
     The settlement was released in response to a records request by the newspaper. City officials declined to comment.
     --- 

Iowa State University Caring For Two Pelicans
 

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Staff at Iowa State University's Wildlife Care Clinic are treating two pelicans after one of the birds was injured and the other stayed with him.
     The clinic began treating the birds Dec. 14 after they were found at a frozen pond near Iowa City.
     One of the pelicans suffered an injury and had to have one wing amputated. The other bird had a droopy wing.
     Lacey Slutts, an intern at the center, says the birds probably stuck together to help each other. Now, they're inseparable.
     Staffer Andrea Moeller says the pelicans get anxious if they're apart.
     One of the pelicans will be released, but the bird with the missing wing may have to remain in captivity.
     Those who can donate live fish should call 515-294-4009.
     ---
   

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