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Monday Afternoon News, July 22

Motorcycle Accident Injures Le Mars Man

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a motorcycle accident with injuries early Sunday morning.  The accident happened near the Bo-Dean's waffle factory at about 1:20 a.m. early Sunday morning. According to a police report by the Le Mars Police Department, there were four motorcycles riding in a group heading southbound on Lake Avenue southwest in the 2000 block.  The third motorcycle in the group was being driven by 20 year old Ryan Kuiken of Le Mars.  As the group approached a slight turn or bend in the roadway, Kuiken, without warning left the roadway.  He continued through the ditch until striking a tree.  Kuiken was thrown from his motorcycle, sustaining a head trauma.  He was transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital.  The other three motorcycle drivers were not involved with the incident.

Woodbury County Officials Investigate Possible Drowning

(Sioux City) --The Woodbury County Sheriff's Department says boaters discovered a body in the Missouri River at about 10:30 Sunday morning.  The body was retrieved by the Weedland Boat access south of Sergeant Bluff.  Little is known about the victim at this point.  Authorities say they have not identified the individual and no information about how the person came to be in the river.  Reports of an empty boat are also being investigated, but at this time, there is not known association between the drowning victim and the boat.  The investigation is continuing.

Sioux City Wants To Control Odor Issues

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City officials are considering a plan to strengthen the city's odor ordinance.
The City Council will take up the issue Monday in an effort to reduce odors from private companies and the city's sewer facilities.
Officials have been working on the plan for the past year.
Among the proposals are plans to require the city to investigate if there are seven complaints within a 30-day period. Currently, the requirement calls for at least 10 complaints in a six-hour period.
An Odor Control Committee also could review compliance plans and recommend enforcement action.
Failure to deal with problems could result in initial penalties of $750 and up to $1,000 for each following offense.
Three council votes are required before the proposal could take effect.

Iowa Offers Driver's License Renewal Online

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa drivers can now head to the state department of transportation website and renew their licenses online.
Gov. Terry Branstad says Monday that a new online renewal system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He says it will give residents more flexibility when they have to renew their
Nearly 284,000 Iowa drivers will be eligible to renew a license or identification card on the new system. The system is available, with some restrictions, to those who are at least 18, but younger
than 70.
This online system does not apply to commercial drivers. And drivers can only renew online every other time they need a new license. Officials said they thought it was important for safety
reasons to have that limitation.


Former Casino Employee Files Lawsuit

OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) - A former employee at an Iowa casino is accusing its general manager of making inappropriate sexual comments to employees and patrons.
Gail Wilson, a former guest services manager at Lakeside Casino in Osceola, alleges in a lawsuit that she was fired in November 2011 after speaking up about some of the incidents.
Wilson also alleges that the casino's human resources manager gave favorable treatment to subordinates she slept with, according to reports.
The lawsuit says general manager Bob Thursby cracked jokes about prostitutes and once told a patron he didn't recognize her without her clothes on. Thursby and human resources manager Carol Eckels both deny the allegations.
A jury trial has been set for March 3 in Osceola.


Ottumwa High School Won't Feature "Laramie Project"

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Ottumwa High School administrators have halted plans for a student production of "The Laramie Project," but the show will go on at a local performing arts center.
Principal Mark Hanson decided to cancel the performance. Hanson says he agrees with the play's message, but would rather see more family-friendly productions on the high school stage.
Ottumwa high school drama teacher Natalie Saunders is working with a local theater director to show the play at the Bridge View Center in October.
The play was inspired by the events that led to the 1998 murder of a 21-year-old gay man, Matthew Shepard, outside of Laramie, Wyo.
The debate has played out in schools across the country, including West Des Moines' Valley High School in 2006.


Cupola Returns To Top Old Ottumwa Naval Station

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Workers have installed a cupola atop the old Naval Air Station Ottumwa administration building.
Workers used a crane Saturday to lift and swing the cupola onto the building.
It's unclear when the cupola was removed from the building, which dates to World War II when pilots were trained at the site.
Stephen Black, who is working with other volunteers to restore the building, speculates it came down after a 1962 storm that destroyed a hanger.
Volunteers built the cupola based off original plans as part of the restoration effort. They have cleaned out the building and have a number of other projects planned, including restoring a second
floor office used by President Richard Nixon when he was stationed in Ottumwa as a Navy lieutenant.


Barbara Mack Honored By Iowa State University

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University's journalism school is honoring a media law professor and lawyer who died last year.
The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication announced Monday that Barbara Mack was the winner of the 2013 James W. Schwartz Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Communication.
Mack died on Aug. 23, 2012, at age 59.
Mack was an Iowa State graduate and former general counsel for the Des Moines Register and Tribune Company.
She also helped found the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.
A ceremony honoring Mack is set for Nov. 8 at Iowa State's Reiman Gardens.
Anne Mack, who teaches English at the University of Missouri, will accept the award on behalf of her sister.






Monday News, July 22

Fair Activities Begin Today

(Le Mars) -- The official start of the Plymouth County Fair is on Wednesday, but there will be plenty of activity happening on the grounds today and Tuesday.  Beginning at 9:00 a.m. today is the fairgrounds cleanup.  Reduced gate passes for 4-H and FFA members will be between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and then again between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.  Livestock stall assignments will start at 1:00 p.m. 4-H static exhibits will be entered between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.  Later this evening at 7:00 p.m. will be the 4-H and FFA Horse Show timed events at the Horse Arena.


Le Mars School Board To Meet This Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will meet this evening.  The school board will discuss the Iowa Association School Board's Fiscal Management Conference as well as the upcoming school board election.  The school board will discuss legislative priorities for the 2014 legislative session.  The local school board is expected to approve a head start transportation agreement with Mid Sioux Opportunity, as well as review and approve shared vocational program agreements with Remsen-Union, and Hinton to allow students from those schools to attend trades and industry classes and vocational agriculture.


Fire And Rescue Department Responds To Motorcycle Accident

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a motorcycle accident with
injuries early Sunday morning.  The accident happened near the Bo-Dean's waffle factory at
about 1:20 a.m. early Sunday morning.  No other details regarding the accident are known at
this time.

Remsen To Restrict Water Usage Beginning Today

(Remsen) -- Beginning today, the city of Remsen will implement its water restrictions.  There is to be no watering of lawns between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Remsen residents will follow the odd-even watering schedule, with odd numbered homes allowed to water lawns and gardens on odd calendar days, and even numbered homes can water on even calendar days.


Merrill To Have Water Outages

(Merrill) -- Also, starting today, the residents of Merrill may experience some water outages as construction on 5th street continues.  City officials say some of the side streets near 5th Street may also have some water outages in Merrill.


Sibley Explosion Injures Five

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are trying to determine what caused an explosion that injured five people performing electrical work at a manufacturing plant in northwest Iowa.
The Osceola County Sheriff's office says the explosion happened at the Timewell Tile plant in Sibley Saturday morning while workers were switching some power lines to a newer transformer.
Lieutenant Seth Hoffman says five men sustained burns in the accident. Some of the burns were extensive, but authorities didn't immediately release their names so their current condition wasn't
Hoffman says two of the injured workers were employed by Timewell. The other three were employed by Current Electric. Two city workers outside the plant were unhurt.


9-1-1 System Working Again

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's 911 system is working again after a problem that routed some calls to out-of-town call centers.
Problems started Friday evening and continued until Saturday.
The greatest affect was on 911 calls made from cellphones.
David Lingren, executive director of the Iowa Communications Network, says the problem stemmed from faulty equipment in the state-owned fiber-optic system. A vendor tried to install new software to fix the problem, but that worsened the situation.
A backup system also failed to activate.
After working all night, Lingren says most of the system was operating normally by Saturday morning.


Drake Officials Hoping Political Papers Will Attract People

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Drake University officials are hoping a new archive with documents from two longtime Iowa elected officials will provide another reason to lure political junkies to the state.
The private Des Moines-based university recently announced plans to house the official documents of retiring Democratic Senator Tom Harkin and many of the papers from former Republican Governor
Robert Ray.
The records will eventually go into a new archive and special collections center being constructed in the Cowles Library in the center of campus.
Drake University President David Maxwell says the new archival material will benefit students and professors at the school, where undergraduates frequently assist with faculty research projects.
Maxwell says the archives show that for students interested in politics and research, "you can do real world stuff" at Drake.

Lawyers Question Juvenile Center's Use Of Solitary Rooms

TOLEDO, Iowa (AP) - Human rights lawyers are questioning the Iowa Juvenile Home's use of solitary rooms for teen girls in foster care for months at a time.
The state-run home where as many as 57 youths with behavior issues are treated uses isolation cells and sometimes withholds classroom instruction to control behavior.
Attorney Nathan Kirstein, with Disability Rights Iowa, says the home is violating state and federal rules, but because it's run by Iowa's Department of Human Services no one inspects it.
Iowa Department of Human Services Director Charles Palmer says the use of isolation rooms is warranted at times.
But since questions were raised, the home's superintendent retired. And the new director says now the isolation rooms are used for minutes, not months, at a time.


Vilsack To Visit Iowa Today

AMES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be in Iowa to speak at the Iowa Farm Bureau's 2013 Economic Summit.
Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, will speak Monday afternoon at the event at Iowa State University in Ames.
Vilsack says in a news release that he will discuss the need for a food, farm and jobs bill.
Vilsack says President Barack Obama's administration has prioritized legislation that promotes rural development, preserves a farm safety net, maintains nutrition programs, honors international trade commitments and advances agricultural research.


Wyoming Business Lost To Fire

WYOMING, Iowa (AP) - Firefighters from several departments are battling a blaze that destroyed one business in the eastern Iowa town of Wyoming and damaged several others.
At least nine different fire departments were called in to help battle the fire on Sunday.
The fire started in the building that housed Ted's Swinging Door restaurant. That building was destroyed and several surrounding businesses were damaged, including the Wyoming Museum.
Volunteers carried artifacts out of the museum until firefighters forced them to stop because of the danger.
One firefighter was taken the hospital for treatment, but condition and his name wasn't immediately available.
Jones County Emergency Management Coordinator Brenda Leonard says no one was in the restaurant building when the fire started.


Missing Person Feared Drowned

DECORAH, Iowa (AP) - Authorities believe that someone who was reported missing on the Upper Iowa River this weekend likely drowned.
Rrescue crews were still looking for the person on Sunday. Witnesses say someone went underwater near a dam east of Decorah on Saturday.
The Winneshiek County Sheriff's office says the search resumed Sunday morning after being suspended the previous day because of darkness.
Officials have not said what the missing person was doing before disappearing.





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