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Wednesday Afternoon News, January 2

Supervisors Elect Officers

(Le Mars) -- During their opening meeting for 2013, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors voted to keep Jim Henrich of District 5 as the chairman and Don Kass was elected to serve as vice chairman.


Wells Enterprises Concludes Tax Credit Program

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors heard from Dave Smetter of Wells' Enterprises during this morning's supervisor meeting. Smetter informed the supervisors of Wells decision to conclude a tax credit program that was created to help the local dairy industry establish jobs when the corporate offices was built.  Smetter informed the supervisors that the Iowa Department of Economic Development approved a program allowing Wells to secure up to $4.4 million dollars to help attract 126 potential jobs.  Wells used about $983 thousand of the tax credit money to create and retain 52 jobs.
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Smetter says at the time the tax credit agreement was created it was for a ten year duration.  The Wells official says with today's business climate sometimes requires fast action, and a ten-year agreement is not always viable.
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Smetter says the 52 jobs that were created under the program are good paying jobs.
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Supervisors Approve Bo Deans Request

(Le Mars) -- In other action by the county board of supervisors, they gave their approval and support in the form of a resolution to the Rock Island Clean Line Electric Transmission Project.  That project would involve the installation of wind power electrical generation farms within northwest Iowa, although none are to be placed within Plymouth County.  The supervisors unanimously approved a request from Bo Deans for their request for tax credits through the Iowa Department of Economic Development Authority.  Bo Deans hopes to utilize the tax credits to expand its facilities and create eleven full-time additional jobs. 

Le Mars Fire Department Issues December Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has issued its monthly report for December.  All told, the city fire department responded to 26 calls for December, 11 of which were fire calls, one rescue, nine investigations including vehicle accident clean us, odor investigations, and illegal burning, one mutual aid call with Hinton's Fire Department, and four requests for services.  Fire chief Dave Schipper noted on his monthly report that the fire department responded to two calls nearly simultaneously on Christmas morning, and 25 of the 30 member crew left their families on Christmas morning to assist with the fire calls.  Schipper is quoted as saying "he is very proud of the members of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department."


Corn Milling Accident

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Officials say one worker has been fatally injured and one hurt in an accident at a corn wet mill in Cedar Rapids.
A statement from Archer Daniels Midland Co. says the two were found unconscious at the mill around 7 a.m. Wednesday. One of the workers died at Mercy Medical Center. The other worker was being treated at another hospital.
Their names and other details about the accident have not been released. ADM says the company has contacted the workers' families.
The accident cause is being investigated.


Tax Credits Extended For Wind and Ethanol

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The bill Congress approved Tuesday night providing tax relief for most taxpayers also helps wind energy and ethanol producers by extending tax credits designed to encourage continued development.
States like Texas, the nation's leading wind energy producer, and Iowa, the leading ethanol maker, should benefit from the incentives. Many of the credits had expired in 2012.
The bill extends to the end of the year a production tax credit for wind energy on any facility under construction before the end of 2013.
The bill also extends a $1.01-per-gallon tax credit for cellulosic ethanol made from corn plants, grasses, algae, and sources other than corn kernels. The bill allows ethanol makers to
depreciate equipment for new plants placed in service in 2013 and extends biodiesel production tax incentives for two years.


Biodiesel Production On The Rise

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - A group that monitors the biodiesel industry in Iowa says a record has been set for production.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says the state's biodiesel plants produced 184 million gallons in 2012. That's up from the previous 2011 record of 169 million gallons.
IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw says he expects more production in the new year after Congress reinstated the biodiesel tax incentive that had expired. He says that will be beneficial for
jobs, the environment and energy security.
The group, which represents the state's liquid renewable fuels industry, says soybean oil accounted for more than 70 percent of production. Animal fats came in second at 18 percent. Canola oil,
inedible corn oil, and used cooking oil made up the remaining 10 percent.

Public Hearing Set For New Voting Rules

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A hearing is scheduled for Thursday to allow the public to weigh in on a new rule that establishes procedures for removing voters from registration rolls if they
cannot prove citizenship.
The rule proposed by Secretary of State Matt Schultz is opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and other civil rights groups.
They say the rule intimidates voters and claim Schultz doesn't have the authority to pass such a rule without legislative approval.
The rule was first proposed on an emergency basis before the November election but was temporarily halted by a judge after the ACLU filed a lawsuit to block it.
The judge hasn't yet issued a final ruling but Schultz now is moving forward with a permanent rule.









Wednesday News, January 2

Fire and Police Departments To Train At Clark School

(Le Mars) Over a month before the tragic events in Connecticut, Le Mars Community Schools in cooperation with Le Mars Police and Fire Departments had made arrangements to conduct
a training drill at Clark Elementary School for today, Wednesday, January 2nd.  Similar execersizes have been held at various school buildings in the district in the past.  Le Mars Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt notes that there is no school today on January 2nd when the training session will be held.  The event is important for emergency personnel to practice their response to various scenarios at different school buildings.

Supervisors To Make Appointments

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning and on their agenda will be the selection of the board chairman and vice chairman.  The supervisors will also make appointments to the Veteran Affairs Board, County Health Board, County Board of Adjustment, and County Zoning Board.  The supervisors are also expected to appoint a member to the County Conservation Board, as well as appoint five people to the Local Options Sales Tax Board.  The supervisors will hear from Dave Smetter of Wells Enterprises as they review and approve a settlement agreement between the Iowa Department of Economic Development and Wells Enterprises.


Police Seek Help In Solving Area Burglaries

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police Department is asking for help in solving several business burglaries in Le Mars over the past month.  Police report that two food restaurants and a auto repair shop were burglarized. Taco Johns was burglarized on December 8th, Bob's Drive In was broken into sometime on December 19th as was the Northwest Iowa Auto Center.  All three businesses are located on Business Highway 75.  With Taco Johns and Northwest Iowa Auto Center, an undetermined amount of cash was stolen.  Bob's Drive In was broken into, but nothing was reported as being missing.  In addition to these burglaries, Storm Lake, Remsen, Akron and Orange City have also reported a rash of break-ins.  Anyone with information on the Le Mars or surrounding area burglaries is encouraged to call their local law enforcement agencies or crime stoppers.

Gehlen and Spalding Catholic School Boards To Meet

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic school officials have announced that Spalding Catholic School Board and Gehlen Catholic school board will meet Wednesday evening at 7 pm in St. Joseph Catholic Church's social hall to decide on a merger and unification between the two schools.

Tate Langel First Baby Born At Floyd Valley

(Le Mars) -- Tate Steven Langel is the first baby to be born in the Floyd Valley Hospital for the new year of 2013.  Tate was born at 4:06 p.m. on Tuesday, January 1st.  He weighed five pounds and 14 ounces and is 18 inches long.  The proud parents are Ashley and Brent Langel of Le Mars.


Animal Shelter Saved

HAVELOCK, Iowa (AP) - An animal shelter in northwest Iowa has found a comfortable new home, thanks to donations from pet lovers and community members.
The Safe Haven Animal Shelter in Havelock successfully relocated after it was given a choice: move,or get rid of all its animals.
Shelter co-director Pam Orr says the facility was told in June to remove animals from the property, because neighbors were complaining about the odor. In August, shelter officials were told
they had to move.
Orr says the shelter found a new location in September.
The new space had no lights or indoor plumbing. But as word spread about the shelter's troubles, donations began to pour in.  Some people gave cash, while other supplied paint to improve the
new shelter space.


"Field of Dreams" Land Sold

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) - The purchase of the "Field of Dreams" movie site in eastern Iowa has been completed.
The investors group Go the Distance Baseball LLC says it closed last week on the deal reached with owners Don and Becky Lansing.
The final price was $3.4 million plus interest. It was listed for $5.4 million more than two years ago when it went on the market.
Go the Distance plans to transform the Dyersville landmark into All-Star Ballpark Heaven, a 24-field youth baseball and softball tournament complex.
Construction is expected to begin this spring, with the first tournament games scheduled for 2014.




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