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Tuesday Afternoon News, December 31

Le Mars Police Arrest Woman For Burglaries

(Le Mars) -- Following an investigation of numerous burglaries and attempted burglaries to downtown businesses, the Le Mars Police Department has arrested a Le Mars woman suspected of committing the crimes.  On December 18th, Twice Is Nice located at 109 Plymouth Street NW reported that during the evening, someone had attempted to gain entrance by setting fire to the rear door with what appears to be torch.  Entrance was gained by breaking out the front glass door.  Glenn's Copiers, located at 17 Central Avenue NW and Rust's Western Shed located at 19 Central Avenue NW also reported that someone had attempted to gain entry by using a torch to set fire to the rear doors.  No entry was gained to either business. 

During the same period, Le Mars Nails located at 27 Plymouth Street NW had someone try to gain entry by prying the rear door.  No entry was gained.  On Christmas Eve, December 24th at about 5:30 p.m. a vehicle left running while the customer was in Casey's was stolen along with Christmas gifts inside the vehicle.  The vehicle was recovered on Christmas Day with the gifts missing.  The following day, December 26th at about 4:00 p.m. Le Mars Police officers served a search warrant at 335 3rd Avenue NW.  Evidence was found that led to the arrest of 23 year old Crystal Marie Finchum who lives at the address. 

Finchum was charged with one count of criminal mischief in the 4th degree, which is a serious misdemeanor...three counts of Arson in the 3rd degree, a class C count of burglary in the third degree, a class D felony...three counts of attempted burglary, an aggrevated count of burglary in the third degree involving a motor vehicle, an aggrevated count of operating motor vehicle without the owners consent, an aggrevated count of theft, posession of stolen property, a simple count of ongoing criminal activity, a class B felony, and she was given a citation for driving while license is suspended. 

While the officers were executing their search warrant, they also arrested Brian Daily with posession of a controlled substance, a class D felony; and posession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.  Daily shares a residence with Finchum.  Finchum is being held in the Plymouth County jail on a $10,000 bond.  Dailey was also booked into the Plymouth County jail.


City Employees Will Not Pick Up Discarded Christmas Trees

(Le Mars) -- The City of Le Mars Public Works Department will not be picking up live Christmas Trees curbside this year.  However, beginning today, December 31st, through Friday, January 10th live Christmas trees may be dropped off at the Public Works Department at 331 1st Street NE.  City officials ask that you remove all lights, plastic covers, tinsel, stands and garland.


Supervisors To Meet On Thursday

(Le Mars) -- Thursday, January 2nd will be the day for county and city officials to take the oath of office as they start the new year's business.  The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will select a chairman and a vice chairman for 2014.  Once a new chairman and vice chairman is selected, the supervisors will authorize claims and payroll, and investment officers.  The supervisors will discuss and assign committee memberships.  The supervisors will also appoint the official county newspaper per the Iowa Code.  The Supervisors will re-appoint all current members of the County Compensation Commission, and fill vacancies for various county boards.  The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will begin their meeting on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. from the county courthouse board room.


City Officials To Take Oath Of Office On Thursday

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Mayor and City Council, along with the elected trustees of the Floyd Valley Hospital, will hold the ceremony to formally install the newly elected officials for the City of Le Mars on Thursday, January 2nd beginning at 11:30 a.m.  Mayor Dick Kirchoff will be the first city official to take the oath of office, followed by Councilman Rex Knapp, new council member Clark Goodchild, then Ken Nelson.  Hospital Trustees Craig Bauerly and Bill Young will be sworn in after the mayor and city council members.  Judge Robert Dull will be presiding over the official ceremonies.


Monona County Auditor To Serve Two Days In Jail

 ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - A former Monona County auditor arrested on drug charges in July has been sentenced to two days in jail.
     Brooke Kuhlmann, of Onawa, pleaded guilty Monday in Monona County District Court to a serious misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. A charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was dismissed.
      Kuhlmann's sentence includes $450 in fines and fees, plus a revocation of her driver's license for six months. She will report to the county jail on Jan. 10.
     Investigators say the 28-year-old Kuhlmann bought methamphetamine from an undercover Iowa State Patrol officer in late July. She was later arrested during a traffic stop. 
     Kuhlmann, a Democrat elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, resigned in December.


Pharmacy Lawsuit Against U of I Racking Up Attorney's Fees

     IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A personal injury lawsuit in California against a University of Iowa pharmaceutical lab has cost the school thousands of dollars in legal fees and rising.
     Iowa is paying a Los Angeles law firm up to $500 hourly to contest the lawsuit filed by pharmacist Cynthia Wong, who claims she was injured by exposure to a trial drug made at UI Pharmaceuticals.
     The legal fees have cost $27,000 and will increase after a California judge last week rejected Iowa's request to dismiss the claim.
     Wong works at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. She claims that she unpacked a box of trial drugs in March 2011 containing a vapor that injured her eyes.
     UI Pharmaceuticals made the drugs for a company trying to develop treatment for Lou Gehrig's Disease.


Pilot Education Program To Help Students Before And After School 

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Education officials in Iowa are hoping the state will support a pilot program aimed at helping students learn before and after school. 
     The state Department of Education says the extended learning pilot project could boost Iowa's graduation rate. The department submitted a proposal for the $1 million program in November, but Gov. Terry Branstad hasn't said whether he will support it.
      A report commissioned by the state and prepared by a consulting firm recommends that the proposed program focus on high-need students.
      Proponents of such programs say the measure is further evidence that support for out-of-school learning is growing in Iowa.









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