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Thursday News, April 4

Supervisors and City Officials To Meet

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will meet with city officials from the county's municipalities this evening during a meeting scheduled for the Courthouse annex.  That meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. It is expected the county and city officials will discuss issues of mutual interests and concern.


Northwest REC Looks To The Future

(Le Mars) -- For 75 years, Rural Electric Cooperatives have provided rural residents with power, and last evening, the members of the Northwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative gathered in Le Mars to celebrate and to hold its annual meeting.  Lyle Korver serves as the C-E-O of the local cooperative utility company.  Northwest Iowa R-E-C serves Plymouth, Sioux, O'Brien, and Ida counties.  Korver says the local utility cooperative has more than 3500 miles of electrical line that provides power to 9500 services and serves more than 7000 cooperative members. Korver says the local cooperative has been able to grow through the years, especially after the consolidation of 15 years ago.  He says through the use of government grants three years ago through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, the local utility cooperative has been able to finance needed improvements.

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The utility official says the local cooperative has utilized several forms of technology in order to remain competitive.

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Korver says along with technical advancements, the Rural Electrical Cooperative has a drive to be more efficient.

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Members were treated to a banquet and an evening of entertainment provided by The Brown Family.


Storm Lake Woman Charged With Theft

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A Storm Lake woman has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 in insurance proceeds from family friends.
45-year-old Tum Soulin was arrested Tuesday in Storm Lake and faces felony charges of ongoing criminal conduct and theft. Iowa online court records list her name as Soulin Tum, who also is known as
Khamphavongsa Tum.
Assistant Storm Lake Police Chief Todd Erskine says Tum Soulin took the money as she supposedly was investing it for family friends.
A Buena Vista County jailer said Tum Soulin remained in custody on Wednesday. Online court records don't list the name of her attorney.
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House Judiciary Committee Chair Stops Window Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A House Judiciary Committee chairman has blocked legislation that would put tougher safety restrictions on windows in new buildings to prevent children from falling out.
The Senate had approved the bill, which was passed by a House subcommittee Monday, but Republican Rep. Chip Baltimore of Boone announced Wednesday he wouldn't let the full Judiciary Committee take up the proposal.
The bill would have modified safety requirements so windows installed in new or renovated multifamily dwellings, hotels and motels had to adopt window fall prevention devices meeting industry
guidelines.
In a statement Wednesday, Baltimore says he hadn't seen sufficient data proving the bill would be the way to prevent such
accidents.
The bill stemmed from a 2011 incident in which 4-year-old Hannah
Geneser (GIN'-uh-sur) died after falling out a third-story window.


Iowa State Fair Wanting "Blue Ribbon Ideas" for Blue Ribbon Concrete Statues

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Organizers of the Iowa State Fair are encouraging people to submit designs that can be used for concrete ribbons on display throughout the fair grounds.
The contest celebrates the fair's blue ribbon winners. The painted concrete ribbons will be 3  1/2 feet tall.
Participants can be individuals, clubs and companies. Entries must be submitted by May 15, and must include a description and detailed drawing of the paint design. Selected applicants will be
contacted by June.
A panel of judges will award prizes on originality, creativeness and overall look. There will be a novice and professional division, for individuals working in graphic design or an artistry-related field.
Winners will receive other goodies including a state fair plaque and admission tickets.
The Iowa State Fair will be held Aug. 8-18.


Refugees In the Midwest Conference

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A three-day conference at the University of Iowa will shine a spotlight on refugees living in the Midwest.
The "Refugees in the Heartland" conference begins Thursday evening in Iowa City with a keynote speech by Kenneth Quinn, the former U.S. ambassador to Cambodia who now leads the World Food
Prize Foundation.
Panel discussions on Friday and Saturday will examine the experiences of groups such as Somalis who have settled in the Twin Cities and Bosnians and ethnic Burmese who are now living in Iowa.
Speakers will also address issues such as immigration reform.
The university says the conference is designed to educate the public and generate discussions about refugee and resettlement policy and practices. Refugee leaders and service providers are
among those expected to be in attendance.


Lobbyist Faces Prison

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A sex offender faces up to two years in prison following accusations that he didn't report a legislative lobbying job to Iowa authorities.
24-year-old Michael Byars has been pushing legislation that would let sex offenders have lifetime parole sentences lifted under certain circumstances.
Byars was convicted in 2008 of lascivious acts with a child because he'd had what he described as a consensual relationship with a 13-year-old when he was 18. His parole curbs his interaction
with children, including his son.
Byars tried to register as a lobbyist but was told he didn't need to because he wasn't advocating for another person or any group. But a police affidavit says Byars "obtained employment" as
a lobbyist but didn't report that to authorities as required.
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Fire Departments To Receive Grants In Order To Purchase Trucks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Four Iowa fire departments are getting federal grants to help them buy fire trucks and to improve and update their operations.
The Monona Fire Department gets more than $53,000 and Independence nearly $50,000. The Nashua Fire Department will receive just over $15,000 and the Grant Lee Township Fire
Department near Alden will receive $3,325.
Sen. Tom Harkin says in announcing the grants Tuesday that the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program is designed to increase the effectiveness of fire operations and to support firefighter
safety.
Harkin co-sponsored the legislation that authorized the grants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Wednesday Afternoon News, April 3

Floyd Valley Honors Volunteers

(Le Mars) -- More than 200 volunteers were recognized during an award luncheon at the Floyd Valley Hospital this morning.  All told, the volunteers contributed over 10,800 hours of service to the local hospital during this past year.  Yvonne Law was given an award service pin for contributing 2500 hours during the past five and a half years.  She says she started volunteering for the hospital gift shop as a way to keep busy after her retirement. 
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Law says depending upon the week, but generally will average at least 10 hours each week.  Nancy Augustine serves as the chairperson for the Floyd Valley Hospital Auxiliary.  She says the hospital needs and appreciates the contributions of service time and financial donations made by the volunteers.
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Augustine says the hospital auxiliary generates revenue through special fund raisers such as bake sales and the gift shop items.
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The auxiliary chair says the volunteer organization also provides "E-R bags" to young people.

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Augustine says the E-R bags contain crayons and coloring books, puzzles, or toys.

 

April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

(Le Mars) -- April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Cathy Van Maanen of the Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence says there are some startling statistics when you look at the number of sexual assaults that take place. 
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Van Maanen says sexual assaults and domestic violence are often times a "silent crime" because too many times they go unreported, or if reported, sometimes is ignored.  Van Maanen says the CSADV is setting up a new program entitled "From Darkness to Light" which serves as an adult education program about sexual assault cases.

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The Council on Sexual Abuse Director says the Le Mars Community School will participate in the program, and she hopes within the near future to share the program with other school districts within Plymouth County.  Van Maanen says her agency, like so many others, have felt the financial belt tightening as budget cuts have reduced funding.  Although she remains hopeful and confident that no one will be turned away.

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Storm Lake Woman Accused Of Stealing Insurance Funds

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A Storm Lake woman has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 in insurance proceeds from family friends.
45-year-old Tum Soulin was arrested Tuesday in Storm Lake and faces felony charges of ongoing criminal conduct and theft. Iowa online court records list her name as Soulin Tum, who also is known as
Khamphavongsa Tum.
Assistant Storm Lake Police Chief Todd Erskine says Tum Soulin took the money as she supposedly was investing it for family friends.
A Buena Vista County jailer said Tum Soulin remained in custody on Wednesday. Online court records don't list the name of her attorney.
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Centerville Man Arrested For Threatening School

CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) - A Centerville man has been charged with threat of terrorism after complaining about the lack of security at local school buildings.
Centerville police say 51-year-old Brian Joseph Davis is being held in the Appanoose County Jail on $50,000 bond.
A statement released by police Wednesday says Davis made multiple threats allegedly saying he could walk into any school in Centerville and start shooting kids. Police say he made the
statements hoping security at the schools would change. School administrators were notified of his remarks and contacted police.  Officers arrested Davis on Tuesday.
The charge is a felony in Iowa punishable by up to five years in prison.
The case had not yet been entered in online court records and it was unclear whether he has retained an attorney.

 

Water District To Repay Money To USDA

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A financially struggling central Iowa rural water supplier has reached a debt repayment agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and bondholders to keep it
operating while it restructures debt.
The Xenia Rural Water District, based in Bouton, distributes water to 9,400 customers in 11 counties west of Des Moines. It has $45 million of debt owed to the USDA and private bondholders.
The USDA says in a statement Tuesday that it continues oversight of the water district, its operations and its finances after working for 3  1/2 years to help Xenia improve operations.
A recent debt repayment agreement between Xenia and bondholders cleared the way for USDA Rural Development to move forward with a debt restructuring plan.
The district's board approved a 7 percent rate increase in December.


DNR To Improve Rice Lake Water Quality

LAKE MILLS, Iowa (AP) - The state Department of Natural Resources will begin reducing the level of Rice Lake in northern Iowa as part of an effort to restock fish and improve water quality.
The DNR says that starting Thursday, it will draw down the lake by 4 feet. The lower level will help re-establish aquatic plants that offer fish habitat and improve water quality.
Plans call for restocking the lake with sport fish.
State officials say they believe the lake, which is just south of the Minnesota border near Lake Mills, will have a higher recreational value after the work is complete and it's refilled.

 

 

 

 

   

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