Tuesday News, January 21
Weather Conditions Cause Icy Roads
(Le Mars) -- Yesterday's turn around in weather conditions created icy roads which were responsible for numerous vehicles in the ditch and some accidents. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department along with the Le Mars Ambulance responded to a one vehicle roll-over accident that happened shortly after 6:00 p.m. on Highway 60 about a mile from the 60/75 intersection. The car was north bound when apparently it lost control and went into the ditch and rolled. Fire and Rescue personnel had to help the victim from the car. No name of the victim and other details regarding the accident are known at this time, but the victim was transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital. Also responding to the accident were the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department and the Iowa Highway Patrol.
Supervisors Hope To Finish Budget
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the County Courthouse Boardroom. The supervisors don't have much on their agenda, but they will still remain busy as they attempt to finish the county's budget.
Le Mars Downtown Property Owners Sign Up For Renovation
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council will convene at the Council Chambers at noon today, and they will finalize plans for the architech assigned to work on the downtown renovation development program. More than a dozen property owners in downtown Le Mars are taking part in a program to improve building exteriors.
15 property owners have submitted contracts and deposits for the exterior work, and City Administrator Scott Langel says he expects more to sign up.
The project is financed through a $500,000 federal grant. The federal money must be matched by a combination of city funding and money from the property owners. The result is a total budget of $1 million.
The work will focus on facades, windows and trim in an effort to restore buildings to their historical appearance.
Gehlen Catholic Endowment Fund Reaches $3 Million
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Gehlen Catholic Schools Endowment Fund has reached a milestone mark of $3 million at the end of 2013. The Endowment Fund, since its inception, has received gifts of cash, stocks, bonds, annuities, life insurance, farm land, and bequests. While the principal has never been spent, the Endowment's Fund's Trustees have invested the earnings from the fund into Gehlen Catholic School. Gehlen Catholic has utilized the Endowment's Fund's gifts to fund local tuition assistance requests. While reaching the $3 million in assets is a milestone for the fund, the trustees remain charged with an important responsibility. Chuck Kellen, the Endowment Fund chair says the group wants to achieve a five to ten percent growth in the Fund per year, so over the next ten years, Gehlen can more than double the Fund's current asset balance.
Caucuses Scheduled For Tonight
(Le Mars) -- The political process for Iowa begins as counties across the state host caucus events this evening. Plymouth County caucuses will begin at 7:00 p.m. Plymouth county Democrats will hold only one caucus for the county and it will be located at the Le Mars Community High School Commons. As for the Republican caucuses, there will be six locations. They will be at the American Bank in Le Mars, Hinton Community Center in Hinton, Kissinger Community Center in Merrill, Kingsley Community Center at Kingsley, and the Remsen Public Library at Remsen. Don Kass serves as the co-chair of the Plymouth County Republican party. He explains a caucus is the grassroots effort of formulating ideas into party platforms, and selecting delegates.
Kass says Iowa is fortunate to have a caucus system that allows ideas to grow from the bottom up. He says if people feel strongly about a particular topic, then a caucus is the venue to express your idea and generate support.
The County Republican chair says because of so many candidates seeking the U-S Senate seat, including Plymouth County's own Sam Clovis, this year's state convention may prove to be even a more important event than usual, and Kass encourages delegates to attend.
John Neunaber of Akron serves as the county chair for the Democratic party. He says caucuses offer a good opportunity for people to meet candidates and to volunteer for future political activities. Neunaber admits since this is not a presidential election year, the local caucuses may be overlooked.
Neunaber says like their counterparts in the Republican party, the Democrats will also be selecting their party's voting delegates. He suggests people to bring a pen.
Two People Died From Industrial Explosion At Omaha
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Omaha officials say two people are dead and all other workers are accounted for in the animal feed plant that exploded.
The explosion Monday morning brought down part of the International Nutrition plant. Two people were killed and 10 others seriously hurt.
Omaha Police Lieutenant Darci Tierney said all of the other people who were working have been accounted for.
Authorities don't know what caused the blast.
Interim Omaha Fire Chief Bernie Kanger noted that there were no hazardous chemicals at the plant.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will determine the cause.
The explosion knocked out the lights in the building and sent workers scrambling for safety.
Worker Jamar White said he heard a loud crack and looked up to see the back wall of the building collapsing. White said he then ran to safety.
U Of I Professor Files False Report
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A University of Iowa lecturer has been accused of falsely reporting the theft of a laptop computer that contained pornography.
55-year-old Brent Sandy is charged with theft, providing a false report and possession of a controlled substance.
Police say Sandy reported his laptop was stolen on Jan. 13. University tech workers later traced the laptop to his home, and officers found the laptop and some marijuana there after they obtained a warrant for a search.
Police say Sandy acknowledged taking the laptop from his office because the laptop contained pornography and he was scheduled to get a new machine.
Sandy didn't immediately respond to a message Tuesday from The Associated Press. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.
No Foul Play Suspected In Death Of Infant
SPENCER, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in northwest Iowa say no crime was involved in the death of a 15-month-old child.
Spencer Police Chief Mark Lawson says investigators and doctors found no evidence of foul play. The exact cause of death has not been determined.
Paramedics were called to a home in Spencer on Friday evening, and the child was taken to a hospital. The little boy died at the hospital.
Tyson Food Workers May Be Called Back To Work
CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) - The 60 workers who lost their jobs at the Tyson plant in northwest Iowa's Cherokee could return if business were to pick up and more production were needed.
After Friday's layoff, the plant still employs about 500 people. The plant produces deli meats.
Tyson spokesman Dan Fogleman says the company will be working with the 60 to see whether they meet job requirements for openings at Tyson's other northwest Iowa plants. And, he says, jobs also could open up with normal attrition at the Cherokee plant.
Tyson finished an expansion at the Cherokee plant in 2010 after it shifted production from an Oklahoma plant. The Cherokee plant has lost a couple hundred jobs in recent years.
Narcisse To Run For Governor
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Publisher and Des Moines community activist Jonathan Narcisse (NAR-siss) says he will seek the Democratic nomination for governor.
Narcisse made his announcement Monday morning at the African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids.
Narcisse ran as an independent for governor in 2010.
Des Moines Senator Jack Hatch also is seeking the Democratic nomination to face Republican Governor Terry Branstad, who announced last week that he would run for a sixth term.
Narcisse has owned a number of publications, including the Iowa Bystander.
He served on the Des Moines School Board for two years.
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