Tuesday, May 24, 2016
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Six Fire Depts Fight Blaze in Hawarden

(Hawarden) -- Fire officials from six different communities were busy fighting a structural fire last evening in Hawarden.  Fire broke out at about 10:30 p.m. and fire crews battled the blaze for more than five and a half hours.  Jon Strong is the fire chief for the Hawarden fire department.  He says the 90 feet by 250 feet building was used primarily for storage.

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He doesn't know the damage estimate, but says it will be in the several thousands of dollars.  Strong isn't certain of the origin of the fire but says the state fire marshall is scheduled to arrive on Thursday to investigate. There were no injuries involved with the fire.  Those fire departments that responded included: Hawarden, Akron, Ireton, Sioux Center, Alcester,South Dakota; and Hudson, South Dakota. 

(Akron) -- Prior to responding to the fire in Hawarden, the Akron Fire and Rescue Department were called to the scene of a roll-over auto accident.  The accident happened about 8:45 p.m. last evening.  The accident occured at the intersection of K-18 and 314th Street.  The subjects of the accident were reported to be pinned inside the vehicle.  The names and the conditions of those involved in the accident are not known at this time.

(LeMars) -- Each year the LeMars Junior Varsity Boy's Basketball team hosts the Hall of Pride Game at the LeMars Community High School.  Both workers and team players donated their time with all proceeds going to support non for profit organizations in our area.  The event was able to raise several hundred dollars. This year, team members chose to donate $570 to the new LeMars Area Dialysis Services and the remainder of the funds were donated to the Nohava Backpack for Kids program.  Mike Donlin, president of the LeMars Area Dialysis Service accepted the donation and says the board of directors are very pleased and delighted that the Junior Varsity basketball team chose to support our cause.

(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors once again heard from Gene Pluegger of LeMars who appeared before the Supervisors again asking if they would consider paving a stretch of road about a mile long near a cemetery.  Pluegger asked the supervisors to consider placing the paving project on the five-year plan.    Chairman Jim Henrich said they can't give any promises that the road will be placed on the five year plan.  Supervisor Mark Loutsch tried to explain that the county sometimes is able to receive funding from the state and that many times determines which roadway is placed on the prioritiy list.

The Board of Supervisors also heard from Dick Sievers, the executive director of Mid-Sioux Opportunity.  

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Sievers informed the supervisors that all funds stay in Plymouth County, although the charity organization helps people in a five-county area.    Sievers says it is likely the funding from the federal and state government will likely be cut over the next 2 to 5 years.  He didn't say which programs would be adversely affected but only to say the budget cuts will be inevitable in most programs.  Supervisor Craig Anderson asked the question if Mid-Sioux had calculated how many employees may lose their jobs as a result of the proposed budget cuts.  Sievers replied, he hasn't looked at that as of yet.  Mid-Sioux employs more than 80 people and the headquarters are located at Remsen.  The Supervisors also heard funding requests from Tony Schroeder representing the Plymouth County Fair, and from Judy Bowman representing the Plymouth County Historical Museum.


(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are asking for the assistance of the public to find a suspect involved with an assult.  At about 7:00 this morning, the Sioux City Police Department received a report of an assault at 17th and Jones Streets.  A 16 year old female reported that while she was waiting for her bus, an unknown male grabbed her from behind.  The suspect covered her mouth and threatened to harm her.  The girl was able to escape when a car passed and the male released her.  The victim ran home and appears to be uninjured.  The only description of the suspect is that he is male, about 6 feet tall and thin.  He was wearing a dark brown work style coat, jeans, and a mask or scarf over his face.  The Police are asking if you were in the area of the incident and have a better description of the suspect or witnessed the incident, please contact Detective Troy Hansen at 898-4554. You can also contact Crime Stoppers by calling 258-TIPS, texting to CRIMES with SCPDTIP in the message.

(LeMars) -- Plymouth County Republicans have announced the locations for the January 3rd caucuses.  Precincts 1 & 6 which include the townships of Portland, Westfield, and Sioux will gather at the Security National Bank community room at Akron.  Precincts 2,3,4,11,12,and 13 that includes the townships of Preston, Grant, Johnson, Washington, Elgin, America, and LeMars Wards 1,2,and 3 will caucus at the LeMars Convention Center Lower Level in LeMars.  Precinct 5 that includes the townships of Fredonia, Meadow, Marion, and Remsen will gather at the Remsen Union High School Auditorium in Remsen.  Precinct 7 that includes the townships of Liberty, Plymouth, and Stanton will meet at the Merrill Community Center gym.  Precinct 8 including Hancock, Perry, Hungerford, and Lincoln townships will meet at the Hinton Community Center in Hinton.  Precinct 10 includes the townships of Union, Henry, Elkhorn and Garfield will caucus at the Kingsley Community Center at Kingsley.  Caucuses will begin at 7:00 p.m. and continue until 9:00 p.m.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's jobless rate has fallen below 6 percent for the first time in two years, in part because of a growth in manufacturing.
     The latest employment numbers show the jobless rate in November fell to 5.7 percent. That's the lowest since September 2009 when the rate stood at 5.9 percent. It is also down from 6 percent in
     Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert says the decline in the rate shows the Iowa economy is on firmer ground and the economic recovery has "stepped up a notch."
     About 1,100 manufacturing jobs were added in November with 3,700 jobs being created overall.
     The Iowa Policy Project, an Iowa City-based think tank, argues Iowa's economy remains sluggish with not enough jobs being created to offset those lost since 2008.


City Council Has Full Agenda

(LeMars) -- The LeMars City Council will assemble today at noon, and before them is a large number of items for discussion.  To start off the meeting, the mayor and two council members will be sworn in following last month's election.  Committee assignments will also be conducted. The council will hold a public hearing regarding the sale of the city's share of LeMars Communications L.L.P.  The council will have its second reading of the new proposed water rate ordinance and new water meter upgrade.  The council is also expected to act upon the Dogwood Properties Development Agreement.  Speaking of dogs, the council is expected to review the current dog and cat licensing and to decide whether or not to continue the program.

(LeMars) -- The LeMars Blue Zone Project Committee is looking for civic-mined volunteers to serve on the Initiative Committees as part of the well-being improvement blueprint.  The volunteers will help lead the Initiative Committees and act as a sounding board for the Blueprint Planning Team.  Because there are many varied interests in the Blue Zone Project, the Project Committee is in need of community members in a wide range of areas of expertise.  The committee are looking for people familiar with Gardening...Biking...Walking...Cooking...Faith Initiative...Event Coordinating...Neighborhood Gathering plus other groups.  If interested you can contact Jessica Lingren at the city convention and visitor's office, or Todd Lancaster at the LeMars YMCA.  They are asking the volunteers sign up prior to the December 28th deadline. 

(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will meet today and they will hear budget requests from Mid-Sioux Opportunity, the Plymouth County Historical Museum, and the Plymouth County Fair Board.  They will also discuss and review new library contract county allocation of funds for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013.

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two Iowa men have pleaded guilty to federal charges of child pornography possession.
     A news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa says 23-year-old Donald Coffey and 26-year-old Justin Slattery each pleaded guilty last week to a single count.
Both men are from Cherokee.
     The release says that in plea deals with prosecutors, Coffey agreed to 12 years in prison and Slattery agreed to seven years.
     A sentencing date has not been set.


(Orange City) -- A Sheldon man has been sentenced for five years in prison for escaping from custody.  24 year old Tristan Schulz was sentenced in Sioux County district court on Monday for the crime of escape from custody, a class D felony. The case arose when Schulz left without permission in October from the Residential Treatment Facility located in Sheldon.  At the time, Schulz was serving five years for burglary in the third degree, which is a class D felony.  Schulz was arrested on November 18th.  Schulz must now serve the original five years for the burglary charges and another five years consecutively for the escape charges.

(Anthon) -- Woodbury County Sheriff's office is reporting a farm accident has claimed the life of a rural Anthon man.  48 year old Donald Graves was killed on Saturday while attempting to stand up a Bobcat skid loader that had rolled on to its side.  Graves was using chains and tow straps while attempting to get the skid loader in an upright position.  The skid loader spun around and struck Graves with the attachment on the front of the skid loader.  The attachment then came to rest on Graves.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

(LeMars) -Christmas is known as the season for giving.  So, are people being generous when it comes to local charities?  Pat Warner works with the LeMars Christian Needs Center.  The Christian Needs Center is a local charity that distributes food and clothing to Plymouth County residents.  Warner has helped with the Christian Needs Center for three years and she says there are many people who are making contributions. 

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At the same time, Warner says the demand for the Christian Needs Center's services has been on the increase, mainly due to the economy.

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Warner says fortunately, the donations have been able to keep up with the increased demand.  

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The Christian Needs Center is now closed until January.


(Des Moines) -- Vice President Terry Branstad?  The topic was discussed during the governor's weekly news conference on Monday morning.   Iowa Governor Terry Branstad believes the race for president is still "wide open" and he expects the polls to shift in the closing days of the Iowa Caucus scheduled for January 3rd.
Branstad has occasionally chided candidates for failing to campaign as intensely in Iowa as candidates have in the past, but  during his weekly statehouse news conference, Branstad says he is "pleased" with the "amount of activity" in the state from each of the candidates.
Branstad, just elected to his fifth term as governor in 2010 is not endorsing a candidate before the 2012 Caucuses.  In 1996, he had endorsed and campaigned extensively for Kansas Senator Bob Dole.  Now, Dole has called upon Branstad.  Dole has announced that he endorses Mitt Romney for President and this weekend Dole contacted Branstad to share with him about his endorsement, and that is when the topic of Vice President Branstad came up in conversation.  Dole told Branstad that he believes Branstad would make for a good vice president.
Branstad told reporters he "didn't want to start any rumors" and the position of vice president is not something he's interested in because he wants to stay in Iowa.
Branstad is Iowa's longest serving governor.  Dole had campaigned for Branstad back in 1978 when Branstad was running for lietenant governor.  Branstad was first elected as governor in 1982.




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