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Tuesday Afternoon News, May 13

County Supervisors Learn Of Cell Towers To Be Placed In Plymouth County 

(Le Mars) --  Plymouth County Zoning Administrator, Alan Lucken appeared before the County Supervisors to inform them of two new cell phone towers to be constructed.  Verizon Wireless has requested a conditional use permit for building and operation of a 170 foot communications tower to be located in America township. The other tower, to be constructed by A-T&T will be located in the northwest corner of the county in Grant township.  A-T&T wants to construct a 395 foot tall communications tower. 


Supervisors Approve Contractor Bids For Culverts And Bridge Repairs

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth county Board of Supervisors accepted bids involving three bridge and culvert construction projects during today's weekly meeting.  The projects totaled $327,237.  Kooiker Incorporated of Le Mars and Dixon Construction of Correctionville, Iowa were the contractors with the accepted bids.


Northwest Iowa Farmers Nearly Done With Corn Planting

(Le Mars) -- Last week was a busy one for Iowa farmers, who took advantage of dry conditions to plant nearly half of the expected corn crop.  Joel DeJong, Iowa State University Extension crops specialist for northwest Iowa believes farmers in this area are catching up in terms of corn plantings

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday that farmers planted about 7 million acres. About 20 percent of the soybean crop, or 2 million acres, also was planted.

Northwest Iowa is rated as being the driest region of the state with one-third of the topsoil reported as very short or short of moisture.  DeJong says the recent rains were welcomed, but he says more is needed.

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Another concern for farmers is the roller coaster ride of temperatures.  Friday's forecast is calling for a possibility for frost as the temperature may dip to the mid to lower 30's.  DeJong says it depends upon how long and how cold the conditions as to whether emerged corn will be hurt.

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Ice Cream Days To Offer Create A Flavor Contest

(Le Mars) -- First National Bank and Blue Bunny® will be sponsoring an Ice Cream Flavor Creation Contest on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.  The contest will be held at the Olson Cultural Event Center, 33 1st St NE, in Le Mars.

This contest is in conjunction with Ice Cream Days and is open to people age 16 and older (individuals or teams).  There will be prizes given to include cash, gifts and a trophy.

During the contest, participants will be provided with one 56 oz. container of Blue Bunny® premium vanilla ice cream and given 20 minutes to complete the flavor creation and present to the judges for scoring.  Participants provide all ingredients required to complete their flavor creation, along with any bowls, utensils and preparation materials needed.  Judging will be completed at the contest and winners announced.

Interested parties may register, which includes a $15 entry fee, by contacting the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce at 712-546-8821 for full details and an entry form.  All paid entries will receive two Blue Bunny® coupons to purchase product for concepting.

Deadline to register is June 13, 2014.


Department Of Administrative Services Official Resigns

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Department of Administrative Services official who had been questioned about payments made to former state employees has abruptly resigned.
      The  agency chief operating officer Doug Woodley resigned effective Monday.
     Agency interim director Janet Phipps announced the resignation in an email sent to department employees late Monday afternoon.
     Phipps thanked Woodley for his service but didn't offer details about his departure.
     Woodley was questioned last month by a legislative committee that is investigating payments made to state employees who agreed to keep quiet about settlement agreements.
     More than 320 state workers have entered settlement agreements to leave their jobs since Gov. Terry Branstad returned as governor in 2011. More than two dozen were asked to sign confidentiality agreements, with the total paid out exceeding $500,000.


Ernst Clarifies Position Regarding Comments About Iraq And Weapons Of Mass Destruction

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst is clarifying comments she made that critics say implied that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S. invasion of the country.
     Ernst said in a statement Monday that she did not mean to suggest Iraq had such weapons at the time of the 2003 invasion. She said she was trying to explain that Iraq had such weapons in the past.
     Ernst made the initial comments during a meeting with the Des Moines Register's editorial board on Friday. Iowa Democratic Party officials later questioned her remarks.
     Ernst is one of five candidates vying for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Harkin, a long-serving Democrat. The primary is June 3.


Dog Rescued From Auto Accident

  DENVER, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have rescued a dog from a car wreck in northeast Iowa that also injured two people.
     The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office says the young female mastiff was found Monday trapped against the dashboard of an overturned pickup in Denver. The dog was in the pickup prior to its collision with another vehicle.
     Emergency personnel used special equipment to free the dog. She was able to walk.
     The pickup driver, 32-year-old John Bliss, of Readlyn, received cuts and bruises. The other driver, 46-year-old Caroline Ledeboer, of Cedar Falls, received multiple injuries, but additional information was not released. Both were treated at a hospital.
    Bliss was cited for disobeying a stop sign and having no insurance. He told authorities the dog had distracted him.


Students Defend Red Oak Principal

   RED OAK, Iowa (AP) - Some students and other residents of western Iowa's Red Oak have defended the embattled high school principal.
     Several dozen people attended a forum at the end of Monday night's school board meeting to inquire about principal Jedd Sherman and praise his commitment to students. 
     The board voted May 5 to consider terminating Sherman's contract. The board said in its notice to Sherman that reasons for his potential termination included failures to develop good relationships with the superintendent, other administrators, outside consultants and some teachers.
     Board members declined to answer questions asked Monday night, saying that they couldn't because it was a personnel matter.
     Sherman acknowledged having a disagreement with a consultant but disagreed with the board's other allegations. He's filed a request for an appeal hearing.






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