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Saturday News, January 31

Soderberg And Anderson Hold Legislative Forums

(Le Mars) -- State Representative Chuck Soderberg and State Senator Bill Anderson will hold legislative forums in Kingsley, Remsen, and Akron this morning.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend.  The lawmakers will discuss legislative issues from the 2015 General Session.  The forums will take place at the Kingsley Community Center at 8:30 a.m., the Remsen Public Library at 9:45 a.m. and at the Akron Jo's Cafe at 11:30 a.m.

 

Chamber To Hold Annual Awards Ceremony During Banquet

(Le Mars) -- Tonight at the Le Mars Convention Center, beginning at 6:00 p.m. the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual awards banquet.  The chamber will recognize those people selected as the "Employee of the Month" and the "Bosses of the Quarter".  The awards ceremony will also announce the Le Mars "Citizen of the Year" and the "Business of the Year".

 

Le Mars School Board To Hold Special Meeting On Monday

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will hold a special meeting scheduled for Monday, February 2nd.  The meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Education Administration Center.  The school board will present their initial bargaining position offer to the Le Mars Teacher Association.  In their proposal, the teacher association proposed a $2000 increase in the base salary from $34,585 to $36,585.  The teacher association had also requested an additional $100 per month for insurance coverage boosting it from $945 per month to $1,045.  The local teacher association also asked for an additional personal day off going from two personal paid days to three personal paid days.

 

Wold Arrested For Drug Possession Charges

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have placed a Sioux City woman under arrest for various drug related charges, and for a warrant for failure to appear.  Sheriff's deputies made the arrest of 32 year old Shelly Wold.  She was found to be in possession of a controlled substance for a third offense, drug paraphernalia, and prescription pills without a valid prescription.  Wold was booked into the Plymouth County jail.

 

Maclem Arrested For Assault Charges

(Le Mars) -- A Le Mars man has been arrested by Plymouth County sheriff's deputies for assault with intent to inflict serious injury.  23 year old Andrew Macklem was booked into the Plymouth County jail and held on a $2,000 bond.

 

Supervisors Work On County Budget Nearing Completion

(Le Mars) -- "Plymouth County is in an enviable position." That comment was made by Jim Henrich, chairman of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors, when he describes the financial condition of Plymouth County.  The county supervisors have been working on the fiscal year budget during the last few weeks. 

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Henrich says one area that was expanded was the supervisors approved the addition of another deputy to be added to the sheriff's staff.

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For any county, road and bridge repair seems to be one of the largest, if not the largest expenditure.  Henrich says the county has increased the funding for additional road and bridge repair, however, he says it may not go very far.

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Another major expense for the county is funding for mental health programs.  Henrich says that area is still up in the air, due to a reorganization process within the state over mental health funding.

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The county supervisors have set February 24th at 10:00 a.m. as the date for a public hearing regarding the county budget for fiscal year 2015-2016.

 

Snow Is Likely For The Weekend

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two storm systems merging over the Midwest this weekend are expected to produce significant snowfall across Iowa and lighter accumulation in Nebraska.
     The National Weather Service says precipitation beginning late Saturday morning in some areas and late afternoon in others will transition into snowfall overnight. Accumulation of up to nine inches is possible in southeastern Iowa, and anywhere between one to four inches is expected across northern portions of the state.
     Meteorologist Melinda Beerends says a storm entering the region from the southwest and another dropping out of Canada will meet. She says snowfall will get heavier as the storm moves through the state, with central and southeastern Iowa anticipating higher totals.
     Beerends says light snow is expected in Nebraska, with predicted snow totals highest in the northeast.

 

Legislators Working On A Sales Tax Program For Road Repair

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State Rep. Walt Rogers is working on legislation that would use sales tax revenue to pay for road improvements.
     Rogers, a Republican from Cedar Falls, said Friday he plans to introduce a bill next week that would shift a portion of state sales tax revenue to roads and bridges. Rogers said he is trying to find an alternative to increasing the fuel tax, which has been discussed by legislative leaders.
     The proposal would require amending the state constitution, a process that takes years. It would need approval twice in the Iowa Assembly before going to a statewide vote.
     Sen. Tod Bowman, a Democrat from Maquoketa who heads the Senate transportation committee, said the sales tax proposal would shift money out of the state general fund.

 

School Enrollment On The Increase 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Enrollment in Iowa's public schools is on the rise for the fourth year in a row.
     The Iowa Department of Education released a report Friday that shows the overall number of students enrolled for the 2014 to 2015 school year again increased from the year before. The pattern follows 17 years of declining enrollment.
     The state education department says student enrollment will likely follow the same pattern the next few years, but that the rate of growth is slowing and will eventually plateau.
     According to the report, nearly 82 percent of Iowa's largest districts posted enrollment gains, which contributed significantly to statewide growth.
     Despite the increase, a majority of the state's school districts saw declining enrollment, with the smallest districts facing the largest losses.

 

Attorney To Refile Lawsuit For Senate Legislative Staff Employee

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An attorney for a former Iowa Senate Republican Caucus aide says he plans to refile her sexual harassment lawsuit after a judge dismissed the case over a minor filing dispute.
     Judge Dennis Stovall ruled that Kirsten Anderson's petition failed to mention that she's exhausted her administrative remedies as required by the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
     Attorneys on both sides agree Anderson exhausted those remedies, but the petition simply didn't mention it. Granting the state's motion to dismiss, Stovall called the omission "fatally defective" but said the case could be refiled.
     Anderson's attorney, Michael Carroll, said he disagrees with the ruling and wants Stovall to reconsider. He plans to refile the lawsuit otherwise.
     Anderson contends that she was fired in 2013 after complaining about sexual harassment by male aides and lawmakers.
 

 



 

 



 

   

Friday Afternoon News, January 30

School Board To Hold Special Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will hold a special meeting scheduled for Monday, February 2nd.  The meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Education Administration Center.  The school board will present their initial bargaining position offer to the Le Mars Teacher Association.

 

Iowa School Enrollment On The Increase

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Enrollment in Iowa's public schools is on the rise for the fourth year in a row.
     The Iowa Department of Education released a report Friday that shows the overall number of students enrolled for the 2014-15 school year again increased from the year before. The pattern follows 17 years of declining enrollment.
     The state education department says student enrollment will likely follow the same pattern the next few years, but that the rate of growth is slowing and will eventually plateau.
     According to the report, nearly 82 percent of Iowa's largest districts posted enrollment gains, which contributed significantly to statewide growth.
     Despite the increase, a majority of the state's school districts saw declining enrollment, with the smallest districts facing the largest losses.

 

Parts Of The Midwest Suffering From Drought Conditions

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Parts of Iowa, Missouri and other Midwest states are teetering close to drought status.
     The National Drought Mitigation Center on Thursday classified a large swath of southern Iowa, areas along the northern Missouri border and the region east toward Illinois and Wisconsin as abnormally dry. This is one level below its moderate drought category.
     The label comes just a week after the center categorized the area as normal.
     The Omaha World-Herald reports much of the Plains, including Minnesota, the Dakotas and southern Nebraska, were already near drought or in drought, and most of the region remains unchanged from last week.
     Much of the country has experienced a warmer and drier winter than normal.
     The drought center is located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

 

Snowmobile Accident Claims Iowa Life

   MCMILLAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Police say a 31-year-old Iowa man has died following a snowmobile crash in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
     Michigan State Police say in a statement that the crash happened late Thursday along Trail No. 8 in Ontonagon County's McMillan Township.
     Police say Brandon Laubenthal of Bancroft went off the trail and struck a tree. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
     The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

 

Trial Set For Marshalltown Shooting

 MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - An April trial has been scheduled for a 31-year-old man accused of shooting a woman earlier this month at a motel in Marshalltown.
     Online court records say Jean Martinez-Velazquez, of Marshalltown, has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and several other charges. The Marshalltown Times-Republican says his trial is set to begin April 7.
     Police say officers who responded to the Flamingo Motel on Jan. 4 found the woman suffering from a chest wound. Martinez-Velazquez also was in the room, and he was soon arrested.

 

Trucking Company Moves To Iowa

  DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - An Illinois-based trucking company has plans to take its corporate headquarters to the Iowa side of the Mississippi River.
 
     Hirschbach Motor Lines, based in East Dubuque, Illinois, announced its plans Thursday to relocate to Dubuque, Iowa, pending incentives from state officials. The project will cost about $9 million.
 
     The Des Moines Register reports that Hirschbach is seeking $650,000 in tax credits and refunds from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The company's request is expected before the authority in February.
 
     If the incentives are approved, the company plans to open its new headquarters by mid-2016.
 
     Hirschbach said it plans to move 99 employees to Dubuque and keep 35 jobs in East Dubuque, where the company will invest $4 million in a training facility.
 

 
Coralville Motel Ordered To Close

  CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - The owner of a Coralville motel that's been under the threat of closure by the city has agreed to shut down the operation.
     J&M Motor Lodge owner Mike Moreno says he'll voluntarily close the 18-room motel and an adjacent apartment building by July 1. His decision comes after he dropped an appeal against the city in November.
     The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the city had issued an order in 2013 threatening closure if the model didn't change its business model. The city said the motel was operating as an apartment building without a valid permit, because many of its occupants have lived there for years.
     Moreno says he held on as long as he could, but he knew the property would eventually have to be put up for sale.

 



 

 

   

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