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Thursday News, October 25

Absentee Voting On the Increase For Plymouth County

(Le Mars) -- With less than two weeks before election, Plymouth County Auditor Stacy Feldman says the county has had more than 4000 absentee ballot requests. Feldman says it is the most number of requested absentee ballots for an election. 
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Iowa is one state that allows for early voting, and the Plymouth County auditor offers her reasons as to why people choose to vote early.

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For those people wishing to cast their vote on election day, Feldman says the polling places basically have remained the same as they were for the June primary, with one notable exception...those residents living in the city of Struble, Elgin Township, and America township will now vote at the Courthouse Annex building, instead of the Le Mars Public Library.  Feldman says if you haven't voted since the last general election, then you will see some changes.

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Aside from the Presidential, Congressional and state-wide races, Plymouth County voters will have only one other contested race...and that is for Extension Council. Election day is scheduled for November 6th.

 

County Road C-70 To Have Detour Due To Railroad Repair

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Secondary Road Department is reporting that County road C-70 from Highway 75 to Imperial Avenue will be closed on Thursday as the Union Pacific railroad officials will perform crossing repairs on the C-70 crossing.  The detour will be north on Highway 75 to Hinton, east from Hinton on County road C-60 to K-42, and then south on K-42 to C-70.

 

Burn Ban Continues Despite Recent Rains

(Le Mars) -- Despite the recent rains, Plymouth County and many of the western Iowa counties remain in a burn ban.  Both the Le Mars Fire Department and the Akron Fire Department had to respond to illegal burns on Wednesday.  Le Mars Fire chief Dave Schipper says the burn ban will probably stay in place until we get some snow cover.
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The local fire chief says many buildings and piles are still quite dry.

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ABC News Wants Lawsuit To Be Held In Federal Court

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) - Lawyers for ABC News are asking to have a defamation lawsuit against the company filed by a South Dakota beef processing plant transferred from circuit court to
federal court.
Beef Products Inc. sued ABC News Inc. for defamation over its coverage of a meat product. The company alleges that the network created an inaccurate impression that the product is unsafe.
BPI is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.
The lawsuit was originally filed in circuit court in South Dakota's Union County in September. Lawyers for the broadcasting company want the suit moved to federal district court in South
Dakota because it says the parties involved are from different states.
A lawyer for BPI didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

 

Le Mars Businesses Gear Up For Halloween Trick and Treating

(Le Mars) -- It's time for your kids to load up on sugar...it's time for trick-or-treating in Le Mars. This weekend the trick-or-treating fun begins with the businesses opening their doors to the masked kiddos.  Jenni Smit, Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Vice President, says multiple things are going on for kids Saturday morning.

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Then at 11am the official trick-or-treating begins at the Olsen Cultural Event Center.  A couple dozen businesses that are located away from downtown will all be set up right there at the Events Center. After making the rounds there, kids and their parents can proceed from there to go door-to-door downtown.

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Jenni added that there's a special treat for kids at the library as well.

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Residential trick-or-treating is on Halloween night in Le Mars.

 

Fired Bank Employee Says He Won't Return To Work

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 68-year-old Des Moines man fired from Wells Fargo Home Mortgage over a minor crime 50 years ago says he won't accept an offer to return to work unless the company changes
its background checks policy.
Richard Eggers says the policy discriminates against low-level workers. He was fired in July for putting a cardboard cutout of a dime in a washing machine at a Laundromat in 1963.
Banks have been firing employees like Eggers since new federal banking and mortgage employment guidelines were enacted. The regulations are aimed at bank employees guilty of identity theft or
money laundering.
Wells Fargo spokeswoman Vickee Adams says the company is disappointed Eggers rejected the job offer and didn't recognize its "responsibility to apply the law equitably and fairly" for all employees.


Landfill Fire May Be More Expensive Than Previously Estimated

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A city official says the damage from the Iowa City landfill fire is worse than expected.
Project engineer Dan Scott says  that the assessment is continuing, but "it's not good news."
He estimated the total damage costs at $5 million.
Crews on Wednesday used a remote-controlled camera to inspect underground piping. Scott says at least one 600-foot pipe will likely need to be replaced rather than repaired.
He says it's still not clear whether the city insurance policy will cover any of the damage.
The fire began May 26 on roughly 7 1/2 acres, primarily in an unused portion. The fire spread to a layer of shredded tires used for drainage. The fire cause hasn't been determined.
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Iowa Parks Hope To Make Improvements

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Armed with results from a user survey, state park supporters intend to proceed with a public-private effort to improve Iowa's 87 state parks.
The Iowa Parks Foundation said at a Capitol news conference on Wednesday that its mail survey of more than 1,200 Iowans found 79 percent of those who responded said they'd visited a state park in
the past two years. And 74 percent indicated the desire for more
trails in the parks.
Foundation leaders and Gov. Terry Branstad say it's too early to put a dollar figure on the work. But state parks division head Kevin Szcodronski says the total easily could run into hundreds of millions of dollars.
The foundation will team with an architectural and planning firm on plans for getting the parks in top condition.


   

Wednesday News, October 24

Local School Enrollment Increases

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Community Schools have more students attending than last year.  Assistant Superintendent Steve Webner reported to the Board of Education that the certified enrollment is listed at 2066 which is an increase of 26 students from last year's certified enrollment.  School district officials also released the annual progress report to the Le Mars Community School Board during their meeting held Monday.  Assistant superintendent Webner says the school district is required to provide the information as per the stipulations of the No Child Left Behind, and it follows the district's mission statement. 

Webner says Le Mars community students have performed well and in many cases they score better than students from across the state.
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Webner says Le Mars graduating seniors have performed well on their college entrance ACT exams when compared to other students across the state.
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Those annual progress reports will be published and distributed to the public within the next few weeks.


St. Joseph Catholic Church Hosts Community Day

(Le Mars) -- Today is Community Day for the new St. Joseph Catholic Church in Le Mars.  Following Sunday's dedication ceremonies, the church is welcoming everyone from the greater Le Mars area, regardless of religious preference, to come and visit the new church building. St. Joseph's is hosting the weekly Chamber coffee that begins at 9:30 and continues until 10:30 a.m.  In addition, Father Kevin Richter will offer several "teaching tours" to explain the various elements of the Catholic Church environment and liturgy.  Throughout the day, the open house will continue for the entire Le Mars community, providing the opportunity for friends and neighbors who are not parish members or who are not Catholic to tour the new facility.  The teaching tours are scheduled for 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.


Smoke Detected At Plymouth County Historical Museum

(Le Mars) -- Staff members of the Plymouth County Historical Museum smelled and saw smoke in their building yesterday afternoon which prompted a call to the Le Mars Fire Department.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the reason for the smoke was a motor that had burned out with the furnace.
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There was no damage done to any of the museum's artifacts as a result of the smoke.

 

Chamber To Hold Halloween Trick or Treat Activities

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce is planning some extra fun for area children this Halloween.  On Saturday, October 27th children can come to the Olson Cultural Event Center and go trick or treating.  Businesses located outside of downtown Le Mars will hand out treats at the event center.  Jenni Smit, Le Mars Chamber Main Street Vice President says there will be an area set up at the Olson Cultural Event Center with scarecrows and pumpkins for families to take some fun photos.  Children can come in costume to the Olson Cultural Event Center beginning at 11:00 a.m.  Face painting will occur at the Le Mars Arts Center between 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.  Following the distribution of candy and other treats at the Olson Cultural Event Center, the children can visit the downtown businesses for additional treats, and end at the Le Mars Public Library where children will be given a gently used book.


Sioux City Man Hangs Himself At Wapello County Jail

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an inmate at the Wapello County jail in Ottumwa was found dead in his cell from an apparent hanging.
The Ottumwa Courier says the sheriff's office says 18-year-old John Connell, of Sioux City, was found unresponsive in his cell on Monday. He was charged in Wapello County with a number of sex
crimes and possessing contraband inside a correctional facility.
An autopsy by the state medical examiner's office is pending.

 

Branstad Considering Changing Tax Liability

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he's considering a proposal that would let Iowa taxpayers decide if they want to deduct the federal taxes they pay from their state tax liability or just pay a lower flat state income tax rate.
Branstad says discussions are in the early stages and models are being used to determine what the proposed flat tax rate might be.  Currently, Iowa's top marginal income tax rate is 8.9 percent, but
ends up in the 6 percent range once federal taxes are deducted from a taxpayer's state liability.
Branstad says the proposal is part of a tax reform package for the 2013 legislative session on property and income taxes.
He spoke about the plans on Tuesday to members of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress.


Woman General In Charge Of Iowa Air National Guard

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Air National Guard has its first female brigadier general.
The guard says Jennifer Walter, of Indianola, was promoted to brigadier general on Oct. 14 during a ceremony at the 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines. She will assume duties as the Iowa Air Guard's
chief of staff.
Walter was promoted to colonel in 2005. Since January 2011, she has served as the 132nd Fighter Wing's vice wing commander.
Walter is a native of Springfield, Mo., and graduated from North High School in Sioux City in 1974. She began her military career in 1975 in the Kansas Air National Guard before joining the Iowa Air
Guard later in the year.
She has been deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan.





   

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