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Tuesday News, June 10

Dekkenga Updates Community On Police Issues During Business Builder Seminar

(Le Mars) -- Community civic and business leaders learned a little more about the Le Mars Police Department as Chief Stuart Dekkenga explained about some of the issues local officers are facing on an daily basis.  Dekkenga was the speaker at the first Business Builder seminar sponsored by the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce and the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Plymouth County.  Nearly 40 people attended the noon luncheon seminar held at the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor.  Dekkenga used the opportunity to update the group on the officers on the police force and to inform them of the latest technical equipment used by the Le Mars Police Department.

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The Le Mars Police Chief says in recent years, the police department has been called upon several times to help with the parenting of troubled teens.

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Dekkenga says the use of social media has added responsibilities and duties to the police department's job.
In lieu of several recent accidents, the group asked questions regarding the traffic patterns on Business highway 75 with the intersections of 18th and 24th streets. Some suggesting a turning lane may in fact prevent future accidents.  There were questions about the amount of drug use in Le Mars, and even questions about gang activity within our community.


School Board Approves Salary Increase For Wendt

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education approved a three percent raise in salary for school superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt for the third year of his three-year contract.  Last February, the school board approved a one-year extension on the contract, but did not establish a salary for the extended year.  Wendt is about to start his second year of the contract with a salary of $155,613 which is scheduled to begin on July 1st.  Next year's salary will be set at $161,838. The new approved salary would begin on July 1st of 2016, and would be $166,693. 


Floyd Valley Hospital Trustees Get Update On Expansion Addition 

(Le Mars) -- The Floyd Valley Hospital board of trustees are meeting this morning for their monthly meeting.  Hospital administrator Mike Donlin is expected to offer the trustees a general update with the hospital, as well as an update on the north addition expansion project.  The trustees will review a proposal of surplus equipment and decide if the equipment should be listed for public sale.


Supervisors To Canvass Primary Election Results

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will meet this morning at the County Courthouse board room.  The supervisors will canvass the primary elections.  The supervisors will also review and sign an engagement letter with Williams and Company for the fiscal year 2013-2014 audit.  The county governing board will review and sign the revised courthouse and annex security safety plan.  The County Supervisors will hear a construction update from County engineer, Tom Rohe.


Body Found At Little Sioux River Near Cherokee

 CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating the death of a person who was found in the Little Sioux River in northwest Iowa.
     Investigators say a local resident discovered the body in the river near Wescott Park on Monday afternoon. Authorities have confirmed the body is that of a local resident, but a name wasn't released.
     Investigators say they aren't ruling out foul play.


Carroll Councilman Concerned About Overcrowding In Library

CARROLL, Iowa (AP) - Officials in Carroll are more closely enforcing maximum occupancy limits in the city's public library after a former City Council member threatened to report overcrowding to the state fire marshal.
     Former council member R.W. Collison sent the letter last week to Fire Chief Greg Schreck.
     Collison noted that hundreds of children attend summer reading programs at the library and would be in danger if the building had to be vacated quickly because of a fire or other emergency.
     Officials were measuring the building and planned to post maximum occupancy signs of about 100 people.
     Some library programs may need to be moved to other sites.
     Collison has supported redevelopment of the library. He's opposed proposals to build a new library.


Two People Charged With Theft Of Flag Poles

  CARROLL, Iowa (AP) - Two western Iowa men are accused of stealing more than 500 flagpoles from the Carroll American Legion over Memorial Day weekend.
     37-year-old Christopher Lee Gay and 20-year-old Chance Abel Kinney, both of Lake City, were arrested on Sunday. The men were charged with first- and second-degree theft and were released from jail on a promise to appear in court.
     Police Chief Jeff Cayler says investigators are seeking a third suspect, whom he declined to identify.
     The suspects allegedly stole two trailers with an estimated 550 metal flagpoles and tried to sell them at two salvage yards. Salvage yard workers declined to buy the poles, and were able to identify at least one of the suspects.
     The poles are worth an estimated $16,500.


Government Oversight Committee Investigating Misuse Of Funding

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Senate Government Oversight Committee continues its investigation into executive branch practices with a hearing focused on construction projects at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.
     The committee Monday placed seven witnesses under oath to discern whether state bidding practices were followed and money was appropriately spent on construction projects designed to update and expand the housing facilities at the home.
     About $100 million in projects were authorized by the Legislature and were eligible for federal grants that pay 65 percent of the costs. The first project began in 2008. 
     Democratic Sen. Matt McCoy says he's concerned money has been misspent and companies were hired without proper bid procedures.
     The committee set another meeting for June 25 to again turn the focus on secret settlement agreements.


Weekly Crop Condition Report Shows Improvement Excpet For Areas Hit By Hail

(Des Moines) -- Overall, the state's weekly crop report is showing improvement to both the corn and soybean crops.  The exception is in southwest Iowa where recent heavy rains, hail, and strong winds have virtually destroyed the emerged crops, forcing many farmers to re-plant their crops.  Ninety-eight percent of the corn acreage has emerged, 18 percentage points ahead of last year and 4 percentage points ahead of the five year average. Corn condition rated 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 64 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. With soybean planting nearing completion, 87 percent of the crop has emerged, 3 weeks in front of last year and just over a week ahead of normal. The season’s first soybean condition rating came in at 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 16 percent fair, 64 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. Twenty-four percent of the oat crop has headed, ahead of last year’s 14 percent but behind average by 7 percentage points. Oat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 1 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 12 percent excellent.


Cicadas To Emerge This Year

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The 17-year cicadas have been emerging in some parts of Polk County and other Iowa woodlands and have been loudly searching for mates.
     Polk County Conservation naturalist Heidi Anderson says"the woods are alive with cicadas." 
     Experts say up to 40,000 of the winged, black-and-orange bugs often can be found in one tree, and about 1.5 million can be found on just one acre.
     Adult cicadas can live up to six weeks after emerging from the ground where they lived as nymphs for 17 years, feeding on the sap of roots. The females will lay eggs after mating, and then both males and females in the 2014 brood will die.


Branstad And Reynolds Like Ernst Style With Pork Production

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - To be a successful politician in Iowa, it apparently helps to have some animal-handling skills.
     Asked Monday about U.S. Senate Republican nominee Joni Ernst, who won the primary election last week, Gov. Terry Branstad says he admires her gutsy campaign style in which she touted her ability to castrate pigs.  Branstad says he respects the fact that she grew up on a farm, as did he and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.
     Branstad says he didn't castrate pigs while living on a farm, but he held animals while a veterinarian did.
     Reynolds says she's never castrated a pig but joked she might now that she sees the name recognition Ernst gained. Reynolds adds that she knows how to skin a chicken very well.
     Ernst will face Democrat Bruce Braley in November.




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