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Monday Afternoon News, November 12

Le Mars City Council Delays 27th Street Project

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council met on Monday afternoon to discuss the 27th Street RISE project, but additional hurdles were put in place, causing the city council to again table the project until the next regularly scheduled meeting for Tuesday, November 20th.   The city council was originally wanting to award the construction project to Vander Pol Escavating  of Orange City, Iowa for having the lowest bid.  However, RISE projects are partially funded by the Iowa Department of Transportation, and the IDOT did not give their approval for Vander Pol Escavating.  Instead, the IDOT informed the city council through JEO engineering of South Sioux City, Nebraska that the project should be awarded to Concrete Specialty, Incorporated, the project's second to the lowest bidder.  The IDOT indicated that Concrete Specialty, Incorporated meets all the requirements of a Targeted Small Business by having a portion of the ownership retained by a woman, minority, or handicapped individual.  Vander Pol was unaware they no longer met the criteria for such construction projects as stipulated by the IDOT.  Officials from Vander Pol appealed to the city council to delay its decision until such time they had a chance to appeal the IDOT's decision.  The city council would like to see the project started yet this month.


Police Respond To Stand off in Hawarden

HAWARDEN, Iowa (AP) - A 31-year-old man has been released on bond following an eight-hour standoff with officers near Hawarden.
A woman called authorities around 7 p.m. Saturday to report a domestic assault. The woman told Sioux County authorities that she'd been threatened by Paul Long and that he'd said officers
would have to shoot him if they came inside the house, where there were several weapons.
The Plymouth-Sioux-Le Mars Special Response Team were called to help resolve the incident.   
Officers who responded say they found Long hiding in the attic when they entered the house to end the standoff around 3 a.m. Sunday.
No gunshots or injuries have been reported.
Jail records say Long has been released. A phone listing for him couldn't be found. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.

Police Arrest Bank Robbery Suspect

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 26-year-old man has been accused of robbing a bank in Sioux City.
Online court records say Johnnie Hawkins Jr. faces robbery, assault and firearms charges in connection with the robbery on Saturday morning at Heritage Bank.
Authorities say Hawkins flashed a handgun as he confronted an employee while she was opening the bank.
Police say Hawkins was arrested later Saturday in Sergeant Bluff. The bank money and a handgun were recovered.
A Woodbury County jailer said Hawkins remained in custody on Monday, pending bail of $102,000. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.




Monday News, November 12

Fatal Auto Accident Claims Remsen Life

(Le Mars) -- A fatal auto accident occurred in rural Plymouth County on Saturday afternoon.  The accident happened at about 2:30 p.m. near the intersection of Polk Avenue and 190th Street.  17 year-old Matthew Gerrietts of Remsen died as a result of the accident.   Deputies, Remsen Fire and Ambulance and the Iowa State Patrol responded to the scene and three persons were taken to Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.  Gerrietts was the driver of the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.  The other two individuals are being treated at Floyd Valley.  The preliminary investigation indicates that the 1998 Ford Explorer was traveling south on Polk Avenue, when Gerrietts lost control of the vehicle and it rolled several times, throwing the driver from the vehicle.  The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office is being assisted by the Iowa State Patrol and the Plymouth County Medical Examiner's Office.

City Council To Hold Special Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council has scheduled a special meeting for Monday, November 12th at the city council chambers.  The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. and council members will continue their discussion of the 27th Street RISE Improvements.  RISE stands for Revitalize Iowa's Sound Economy, and it is governed by the Iowa Department of Transportation.  The city council is expected to award the contract on Monday, with the IDOT's concurrence.  Construction could begin as early as next Friday.  The RISE grant allows for 50 percent funding to be financed by the state, and 50 percent local funding from the Joint Urban Renewal using Tax Increment Financing or TIF dollars.  TIF allows the city to borrow money that will be paid in the future.


Le Mars School Board To Meet Monday Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board will meet this evening to discuss the teacher compensation and leadership task force report.  Dr. Jason Glass, Director of Iowa Department of Education and Linda Fandel, Special assistant to the Governor for Education Policy presented the task force report at a meeting in Sioux City on November 1st.  The board members that attended the meeting will share the information.  Dr. Todd Wendt, Superintendent of Schools will present to the board a report on discussions being held between Le Mars Community, Gehlen Catholic, and Western Iowa Tech Community College to provide post-secondary opportunities for juniors and seniors.  The Board of Education is also expected to discuss the upcoming State School Board Convention scheduled for this week.


Construction Worker Killed In Sioux City

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The death of a construction worker is being investigated in Sioux City.
Police say the worker died Saturday while helping build the new Sabre Industries campus in a Sioux City industrial park.
The incident was reported around 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Details of how the worker died weren't immediately available.
Police did not immediately release the name of the worker who was killed.


Parole Board Proposes Changes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Parole Board is proposing to reduce the number of board votes needed to parole high-risk inmates but would toughen the risk assessments.  The legislature's Administrative Rules Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the proposal. The proposal would trim the number of votes to three needed for parole from the five votes needed under current rules guiding the five-member board. The proposal also adds new risk assessments, including those that would rate the likelihood that an inmate would engage in violent crimes after being released. Opponents say that despite the new assessments, the proposal raises risks to the public.



Burlington Man Fined For Not Listening To Judge

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man learned an expensive lesson about following a judge's orders last week.
The Hawk Eye reports that Des Moines County District Associate Judge Mark Kruse added $5,000 to David Good's bond on Friday after Good failed to stay quiet.
After Kruse, increased the 45-year-old Burlington man's bond to $15,000, he ordered deputies to remove him from the courtroom.
Good had been making an initial appearance on a charge of domestic abuse.
Good tried to discuss details of the fight he had with his wife's son, but Judge Kruse didn't want to get into evidence in the case at Friday's hearing.
Good was arrested early Friday after the altercation with his wife's son.
Good remained in custody Sunday afternoon.


Vietnam Veteran Gets Ring Back

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Vietnam veteran has regained a special ring he lost at Lake Delhi 41 years ago.
John Jones served in what was South Vietnam during parts of 1968 and 1969. At that time he had a gold ring made that included his initials and Social Security number, which also served as his Army serial number.
He lost it in 1971 while swimming at Lake Delhi.
When the lake's dam broke in 2010, collectors using metal detectors scoured the lake bottom. One of them, Steve Gola, from Grayslake, Ill., found Jones' ring.
It took a couple of years to locate Jones, but Gola finally was able to return the ring to him during a Veterans Day event at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines.



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