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Tuesday Afternoon News, October 14

Branstad And Hatch Ready For Final Debate

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and Democratic challenger Jack Hatch will face off in their final debate in the race for Iowa governor.
     Branstad and Hatch will appear in Sioux City on Tuesday night at the Orpheum Theatre.  This is last of three debates in the race.
     Polls have shown Branstad, who is running for a sixth non-consecutive term, with a sizable lead in the race. He has touted his recent achievements, including a commercial property tax cut and new education spending, as reasons for re-election.
     Hatch has argued that he would do more for middle-class families, pledging to raise the minimum wage and create jobs.


Libertarian Candidate For U-S Senate Dies In Plane Crash

  DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A Dubuque doctor who was running as a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate has died in a plane crash.
     The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says Dr. Douglas Butzier (boot-ZEE'-ay) was the pilot of the plane that crashed around 11 p.m. Monday near Dubuque Regional Airport. He was the sole occupant of the aircraft.
     Butzier worked at Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque. Jennifer Faley, a hospital spokeswoman, confirms Butzier was running for U.S. Senate against Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst.
     Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the plane took off from Ankeny Regional Airport about an hour before the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.


Inmate Transfer

  FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - Inmates in a minimum-security prison at the Iowa State Penitentiary complex are moving down the road to a unit originally designed for the state's most dangerous offenders.
     More than 170 inmates from the John Bennett Unit in Fort Madison boarded buses Tuesday for a 400-yard move to the Clinical Care Unit, built in 2001 at a cost of $26 million to house maximum-security offenders with mental health and behavioral problems.
     The Iowa Department of Corrections has relocated most of those inmates as part of a reorganization.
     Prison officials are removing locks from the secure doors and adding a visiting room as they try to transform it into a minimum-security environment. They say John Bennett's building had structural concerns, and it made no sense to keep the newer building empty.


Supreme Court Rejects Defamation Lawsuit Over Campaign Ad

  WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has declined to revive a defamation lawsuit that an Iowa Republican state senator filed against his Democratic opponent over a misleading campaign ad.
     The justices on Tuesday let stand the Iowa Supreme Court's decision dismissing state Sen. Rick Bertrand's lawsuit.
     Bertrand said Democrat Rick Mullin and the Iowa Democratic Party had libeled and slandered him in a TV ad run before the November 2010 election that Bertrand won. The ad said Bertrand's employer sold "a dangerous sleep drug to children."
     A jury in 2012 agreed with Bertrand that the ad falsely suggested he personally sold the drug and awarded him $231,000 in damages.
     The Iowa court ruled that the ad's false implication may have been negligence, but wasn't a "reckless disregard for the truth."


State Supreme Court To Listen To Arguments Regarding Traffic Cameras

  STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday that Sioux City's ordinance on traffic cameras is unconstitutional.
      Michael Jacobsma challenged the ordinance after a traffic camera recorded his vehicle speeding in August 2012 and he was ticketed. He says the ordinance violates his rights by requiring him as the vehicle owner to disprove the citation rather than requiring prosecutors to prove his guilt.
     The Supreme Court is set to hear the case starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Anderson Auditorium in the Walter Siebens Forum on the Buena Vista University campus in Storm Lake. The court conducts evening sessions in various Iowa cities so more people have chances to see the court's sessions.








Tuesday News, October 14

Fire Leaves 11 People Homeless

(Le Mars) -- An overnight fire leaves eleven people homeless after the fire destroyed their home.  The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to 301 Central Avenue for a house fire that started at about 11:45 p.m.  Fire fighters were on the scene and battled the blaze for nearly four hours.  The two-story home serves as two apartments. A total of eleven people with three adults and eight children were at the home when it started on fire.  When firefighters arrived, flames were seen coming from the windows. 

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Two people, a 40 year old male and an eleven year old male, suffered injuries and were transported to the Floyd Valley hospital   Both are thought to have suffered burns as well as smoke inhalation.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the fire was so hot, that he was concerned about the possibility of neighboring houses catching on fire.

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The fire spread from the main portion of the home to the garage, where it then caught a car on fire.  Schipper explains the tactics used to bring the fire under control.

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The Le Mars Fire Department received mutual aid assistance from the Orange City Fire Department. The American Red Cross also responded to the scene to offer assistance to the displaced families.   Fire Chief Schipper says he has not had the opportunity to visit with the family, or to determine the origin and cause of the fire.  He says fire investigators will examine the scene during the daylight hours in hopes to determine what may have started the fire.  Also assisting at the scene was the Le Mars Police, Le Mars Ambulance, and MidAmerican Energy Company. 


Le Mars Community Schools Has Enrollment Of 2,126 Students

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board was informed the school district has a total of 2,126 students currently enrolled for the 2014-2015 academic school year.  Assistant Superintendent Steve Webner told the board of eduation that the certified number indicates an increase of 38 students from last year's numbers. 


Jimmie Johnson Racing Helmet Makes A Visit To Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Foundation Board showed off the helmet of NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson to selected students Monday afternoon.  The helmet of the race car driver is on tour as part of the "Helmet of Hope" campaign.  It is appearing at the Le Mars Community Schools since Le Mars was one of the national winners of a $25,000 grant from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.  The Le Mars Community Foundation Board visited each of the three high school English classrooms that received laptop computers as a result of the grant.  Blue Bunny ice cream is also a sponsor of the "Helmet of Hope"


Optimist Club Hosts "Just Say No" Assembly

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Optimist Club hosted a "Just Say No" assembly consisting of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students from the Le Mars elementary schools.  The speaker at this year's annual program was the Director of Training for the Pizza Ranch franchise, Chad Klocke.  Klocke used a motivational speech asking the students "what is their story?"

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Klocke, a former 3rd grade teacher, kept the students' attention by relating personal experiences he encountered flying on Southwest Airlines.

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He also told the students about a waitress that made him feel special while ordering coffee at Carribou Coffee.

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The students were given free t-shirts, designed by a Kluckholn student, with a large moustache printed on the front with the saying "If you moustache, I don't do drugs, with a play on the words moustache to represent the words "must ask".


Chamber of Commerce Selects "Little Ambassadors"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has announced its selected group of "Little Ambassadors".  The Little Ambassadors will assist the Chamber in publicity efforts for the Ice Cream Days, as well as other Chamber-sponsored events like the upcoming Halloween party at the Olson Cultural Events Center.  The "Little Ambassadors" are all between the ages of four to six and they include: Amiah Means, daughter of Micheal and Gina Means; Britt Hessenius, daughter of Shane and Andrea Hessenius; Dalani Youngers, the daughter of Aaron and Katie Youngers; Delainey and Payton Kerns, daughters of Jake and Missy Kerns, and Kynlee Schmidt, the daughter of Adam and Amy Schmidt.  The boys include: Dylan Kramer, the son of Chad and Theresa Kramer; Colin Murphy, the son of Mike and Melanie Murphy, Jordan Pedroza, the son of Christal Pedroza; Damian Feller, the son of Brandy Feller; Drake Peters, the son of Nate and Krista Peters; and Gavin Clarey, the son of Casey and Krystle Clarey.


Supervisors To Meet This Morning

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors is expected to release a mortgage for a lot sale in the Le Mars Industrial Park, second addition when they convene for their weekly meeting this morning at the County courthouse.  The county supervisors are also expected to approve and sign the 2014 Homestead, Military, and Disabled veteran credit application.  Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo is scheduled to appear before the supervisors to offer his quarterly report. Attorney Craig Bauerly will be seeking approval of a minor subdivision located in Johnson township, and County engineer Tom Rohe will offer a construction update.  


Prosectutors Keep Secret Plea Agreement Involving Day Care Provider 

ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) - Prosecutors are keeping secret, for now, the details of a plea agreement with an Iowa daycare provider charged with fatally injuring a three-year-old girl in her care.
     The Iowa Attorney General's Office and the Sioux County attorney refused Monday to release the agreement reached with 34-year-old Rochelle Sapp of Orange City.
     Judge Edward Jacobson had signed an order requiring the agreement to be released Monday. The attorney general objected, saying both sides agreed the deal would be publicly filed "at or before" Thursday's plea and sentencing.
     Jacobson issued an amended order Monday, agreeing the deal could be filed then.
     Sapp's charged with first-degree murder in the October 2013 death of three-year-old Autumn Elgersma. Investigators say she slammed the toddler to the floor, causing head injuries that killed her days later.










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