Tuesday News, August 21
Phase II Project Dedicated
(Le Mars) -- About 1200 people turned out Monday evening to see the new Phase II addition to the Le Mars Community High School. It was seven years in the making from beginning to completion. The new addition includes a new gymnasium, band room, art room, multi-purpose/wrestling room, locker rooms, public restrooms, and the renovation of the choir room. Current School Board Director and past president Pat Murphy praised the leadership of his fellow board members, the administration, and the community for taking on the project. Murphy says it took both leadership and creativity to make the project a reality. He says seven years ago, members of the booster club approached the school board with a plan to expand.
The school board director says he and his colleagues knew Le Mars Community deserved such a facility, but financing such a project, perhaps would stand in the way of progress.
Murphy says it was a courageous move for everyone to go ahead with the construction of Phase II, and he says he is proud of how the board approved the project, without placing a higher tax levy on the community.
Community pride was evident on nearly everyone's face as they toured the new addition. That pride carried over to the Bulldog spirit night when the students of autumn activities were introduced.
Supervisors Meet New Patrol Dog
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet the latest member of the Plymouth County Law Enforcement team, during this morning's meeting. "Fala" is a new canine patrol dog and is being trained by Deputy Jacob Wingert. Fala is a German Shepard breed, and she is four and a half years old. Fala will be used to detect drugs and weapons, apprehend criminals, crowd control, and public safety awareness.
The Supervisors are also scheduled to meet with PLymouth County CPC Director, Sharon Nieman. The board is expected to review for approval the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation contract renewal for leasing space at 2nd Avenue Services Building.
City Council To Discuss DOT Property
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to meet at noon today, and their agenda includes discussion on the former DOT property. The council will review an offer to purchase the property. The council will also discuss a fence easement request, and an extension to the Madison Avenue water main.
King Answers Questions At Le Mars Townhall Meeting
(Le Mars) -- Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King told a group of 50 plus people attending a townhall meeting in Le Mars, that he has a goal to get a balanced budget. But, when he was asked if he believes the Republican leadership has the will to push for a balanced budget, King has his doubts.
King says perhaps the only way is if a constitutional amendment would be passed, and he challenges his home state of Iowa to lead the nation. King says there is little time left before the United States is in some serious trouble with its spending and ever-growing deficit.
Crop Specialist Tells Farmers To Check Corn For Nitrates
(Le Mars) -- Many farmers have started chopping their corn for silage since the summer drought prevented the corn from full development. Iowa State University crop specialist, Joel DeJong says farmers need to continue to check their corn for nitrates. He says the recent rains may have actually increased the nitrate level.
DeJong says he has witnessed marginal improvement with the area's crops due to the cooler temperatures and the rainfall. The weekly crop condition report shows the state's corn crop still 53 percent as being poor to very poor, 32 percent is fair, and only 14 percent is listed as good condition. Soybeans are slightly better with 37 percent as being poor to very poor, and 38 percent as fair, and 23 percent as good.
Terrorism Charges Dropped For Sioux City Man
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A terrorism charge filed against a Sioux City man over comments he made on his Facebook page has been dismissed.
Woodbury County prosecutors say Gabriel Rodriguez wrote suicidal and homicidal-themed messages between Aug. 2 and Aug.9. According to court documents, Rodriguez asked if he needed to "shoot up a mall before people understood."
Assistant County Attorney Terry Ganzel says there was insufficient evidence to meet the legal requirement of the crime in order to prosecute Rodriguez.
Ganzel says words that don't constitute a true threat are protected under the First Amendment. He says there isn't enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Rodriguez made
"true" threats and, even if they were, that the act was "imminent."
Rodriguez's attorney didn't immediately comment.
Mapleton Man Sentenced For 10 years
ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - A 33-year-old western Iowa man has been given 10 years in prison for twice arranging to have someone shoot him in attempts to gain sympathy from his ex-wife.
Darren Hieber, of Mapleton, pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy and two counts of solicitation for the shootings. Prosecutors dropped other charges in exchange for the pleas.
Hieber was accused of persuading Brady Chapman, an employee at Hieber's trucking business, to shoot him in a leg on Feb. 5. Hieber told police he'd been shot by a burglar.
Hieber also was accused of hiring Joseph Roberts and Timothy Culley, both of Omaha, Neb., to shoot at him on March 8 in Mapleton. No one was injured in that incident.
Roberts, Culley and Chapman have been given probation.
Bridges Named After Fallen Highway Patrol Troopers
CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Officials will dedicate two bridges in eastern Iowa to honor two Iowa State Patrol troopers who died in the line of duty.
The bridges will be dedicated Wednesday in honor of Troopers Allen Nieland and Harold DeGear.
Nieland died Oct. 14, 1990, when the plane he was flying crashed while he was helping other troopers locate a robbery suspect.
DeGear died Feb. 19, 1954, of injuries he received the night before when he was struck by a vehicle while he was issuing a citation for another motorist.
Both bridges cross the Iowa River in the Coralville area.
The dedications are part of a statewide effort to honor the 10 troopers who died while serving the state during the patrol's 77-year history.
Des Moines Police Officer Wins Lottery Jackpot
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A newly retired Des Moines police officer will have extra spending money for retirement after winning a special $1 million lottery jackpot at the Iowa State Fair.
The Iowa Lottery announced Monday that Dean Stuhr was the winner of Sunday's "Mystery Millionaire" drawing at the fairgrounds in Des Moines.
Two others won $100,000 prizes and 12 claimed prizes of $25,000 or $50,000 during the event. Stuhr won the big prize.
The Lottery says Stuhr retired in April after 42 years on the Des Moines police force. He told the Lottery that his plans for the winnings were to "help out family, more than anything."
The Lottery's "Mystery Millionaire" campaign gave away $2 million in prize money, using Iowa's share of two multistate jackpots that went unclaimed.