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Wednesday News, August 7

Voters Approve Extending Local Options Sales Tax

(Le Mars) -- Voters approved the extension of the Local Options Sales Tax, and Le Mars says
yes to the Hotel/Motel tax.  By a wide margin, voters of Plymouth County agreed to continue
the one percent local option sales tax, of which a portion of the money raised is slated
for the expansion of the Floyd Valley Hospital.  Voters approved the measure by a
county-wide average of 70 percent.  More than 1500 people voted, and with the exception of Craig, each community and rural areas easily passed the measure.  Craig was the only community to reject the one percent local options sales tax.


Le Mars Votes Yes To Hotel/Motel Tax

(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars decided to continue the Hotel/Motel tax.  By a margin of 83 percent to 17 percent, voters in each of the three precincts approved the tax on visitors to our community.

Akron Fire Department Responds To Carbon Monoxide Alarm

(Akron) -- The Akron Fire Department was called to a possible carbon monoxide contamination
last evening at about 6:20 p.m.  The call came from 130 Main Street, where two elderly people reported not feeling well.  Fire officials were on the scene for about an hour.

Le Mars Fire Department To Conduct Training

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department will be holding a training exercise
this evening.  The fire department will be working from an abandon house located at 120 4th
Avenue northwest.  The street will be closed during the training session which is scheduled
to last from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Fire chief Dave Schipper says the home will have smoke
coming from the structure, but there will be no intentional blaze.  Schipper says having
the opportunity for the fire department to work on search and rescue simulations from a
house will prove to be valuable training.


Plymouth County Officials Meet With FEMA For A Second Time

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County officials recently met with FEMA officials a second time to discuss damages resulting from the Memorial Day flooding.  Plymouth County engineer Tom Rohe informed the county supervisors of that second meeting. 

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Rohe explained the reimbursement schedule that FEMA officials will pay the county.

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Much of the discussion centered on the bridge that had been washed away from the raging
waters.  Rohe says there is some question as to how much FEMA and the state of Iowa will reimburse Plymouth County for the bridge.  Rohe believes  the replacement bridge needs to be wider and longer than the original.

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Sioux City Police Investigate Domestic Assault And Shots Fired

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are investigating a shooting report stemming from a domestic assault incident.  The incident occurred on Tuesday evening at about 7:55 p.m. when the police received a report of shots fired from the 2600 block of Rustin Street.  42 year old Issac C. Rayford of Sioux City pointed a gun at his son, Issac C. Rayford, age 20 also of Sioux City after he was pushed by him.  During the confrontation, the gun accidentally discharged.  Rayford senior fled the scene in his vehicle with a 19 year old female and her 8 day old child who had been involved in the disturbance.  When officers tried to stop the senior Rayford, he did not immediately stop and continued driving for over a mile.  When Rayford finally did stop, he was taken into custody without incident and the gun was located in the vehicle.  The 42 year old man was charged with Aggravated Domestic Assault, felon in possession of a firearm, child endangerment, and traffic related charges.  The younger Rayford was charged with simple domestic assault.  No injuries were reported during this incident.


Crop Dusting Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing

VINTON, Iowa (AP) - No injuries have been reported after a crop-dusting helicopter made an emergency landing in an eastern Iowa farm field.
The aircraft came down around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in a field behind a store on the west side of Vinton.  Authorities say the pilot noticed engine problems that forced him to quickly land. The
helicopter sustained minor damage. The pilot wasn't hurt.




Tuesday Afternoon News, August 6

Branstad Appoints New Education Director

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has named the superintendent of a small Polk County school district as director of the Iowa Department of Education.
Branstad announced Tuesday that he'd appointed 44-year-old Brad Buck to head the department.
He will replace Jason Glass, who left the position in June to take a job with a Colorado school district.
Buck has worked as superintendent of the 1,300-student Saydel school district since July 2011. He previously was an administrator in the Waukee, Hudson and North Mahaska school districts.
He began his education career in 1992 as a middle school science teacher in Ankeny.
Branstad says Buck has the skills to implement education reforms approved by the 2013 Legislature, including a teacher leadership program that will be phased in over several years.


Trucking Company Fined For Sexual Harassment

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has ordered the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to pay an Iowa trucking company $4.7 million in legal costs for bringing frivolous claims during a six-year sexual harassment lawsuit.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade's judgment for CRST Van Expedited is believed to be the largest-ever fee sanction against EEOC.
EEOC spokeswoman Christine Nazer said Tuesday the agency is "deeply disappointed" in last week's ruling and considering an appeal.
EEOC sued Cedar Rapids-based CRST in 2007 on behalf of female employees who had allegedly suffered sexual harassment by male drivers and trainers.
CRST paid $50,000 to settle one woman's claim, but more than 250 others were dismissed. Reade says EEOC brought 153 "unreasonable or groundless" claims and made an unsupported allegation that CRST had a practice of tolerating harassment.


Des Moines Construction Accident

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A construction worker from Marshalltown has been seriously injured after being run over by an excavator on Interstate 80/35, just north of Des Moines.
The Iowa State Patrol says 50-year-old Trinidad Banderas was hurt Monday night in a construction zone in the interstate's westbound lanes.
Excavator driver Jason Uhlenhopp, of Allison, didn't see Banderas as he walked in front of the equipment, which then ran over the worker with its front tires.
Banderas was taken to a Des Moines hospital.
The state patrol says charges against the 41-year-old driver aren't expected.


Suspect Caught In Woman's Death

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they have captured a possible suspect in the death of a woman who was found injured Monday at a northern Iowa park.
Division of Criminal Investigation agent Mike Krapfl said Tuesday an autopsy is being conducted to determine the woman's cause of death, which appears to be foul play.
Krapfl said 39-year-old Tyrone Washington Jr. is considered a possible suspect in the death. He's being held in Scott County on traffic charges.
The woman called 911 seeking help before noon Monday at Swensrud Park in Northwood. She was found by deputies suffering injuries, and later died at a hospital.
Washington was captured four hours later near Walcott in eastern Iowa after a pursuit with a state trooper. Authorities say Washington was driving the victim's 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix.


Court Rules Inmates Don't Need To Be Compensated

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal appeals court has ruled the state doesn't have to compensate inmates who were held beyond their proper release date.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Mahaska County sex offender Richard Scott and other inmates.
They argued they were held too long under a 2011 Iowa Supreme Court decision dealing with credit for time served when probation has been revoked.
The ruling prompted officials to release 551 inmates and recalculate release dates for 2,588 others.
The class action lawsuit was filed against Corrections Department Director John Baldwin, seeking compensatory damages.
The Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday Baldwin was protected from liability, ending the case because government entities can't be defendants in federal lawsuits.
Scott's attorney, Jeff Lipman, couldn't be reached for comment.






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