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Wednesday Afternoon News, September 9

Pauling Named Chamber's "Boss Of The Quarter"

(Le Mars) -- A NIPCO executive was presented the honor of "Boss of the Quarter" on Tuesday morning.  Kent Pauling serves as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the cooperative utility company. He was nominated by the employees of the Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative.  The nomination reads: The staff of Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative (NIPCO) would like to recognize the outstanding leadership of our boss, Mr. Kent Pauling.  In early 2016, Kent Pauling will retire as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of NIPCO after 41 years of service to this organization.

It would be fair to say that Kent and NIPCO have grown together and the supportive and familiar “team” culture at NIPCO has certainly been perpetuated by Kent.  Starting in the accounting department in 1974, Kent rose through the ranks and today manages the operations of nearly 50 front office staff and outside field personnel.

Not one to enjoy recognition, after 41 years of quiet and dedicated leadership to this organization, to pay tribute to a man who cares as much for his NIPCO family as his own seems appropriate as he enjoys his farewell tour of duty. Committed to NIPCO’s Vision to be the “Best In Class” provider of safe, reliable, and economical energy supply and related services for the benefit of our rural electric cooperative members, Kent stands as the epitome of NIPCO’s values.  Some of these values reflected in Kent’s leadership include respecting NIPCO employees and our membership, striving for excellence in every way, leading by example, and promoting community involvement.

It is his dedicated, positive attitude, and high ethical standards that motivate his team to come to work every day.  We would like to thank Kent for his 41 years of service and to showcase his leadership qualities to our organization with this honor of being named the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce 3rd Quarter Boss of the Quarter.





Puetz Family Honored With Environmental Award

DES MOINES – Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa Sec. of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Chuck Gipp presented 95 Iowa farm families with the Iowa Farm Environmental Leader Award during a ceremony at the Iowa State Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 19.  The award is a joint effort between the Governor, Lt. Governor, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources to recognize the efforts of Iowa’s farmers as environmental leaders committed to healthy soils and improved water quality.  It seeks to recognize the exemplary voluntary actions of farmers that improve or protect the environment and natural resources of our state while also encouraging other farmers to follow in their footsteps by building success upon success.
This is the fourth year for the award program and to date more than 300 families have received recognition.
One family in Plymouth County received the award this year at the Iowa State Fair; Bob and Lisa Puetz with Cory and Kari Puetz.




Crops Showing Signs Of Maturing

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's corn and soybean crops endured the hottest week of the year so far last week but largely remain in good shape.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly crop report released Tuesday says 10 percent of Iowa's corn crop is mature. That's three days ahead of last year but nine days behind the five-year average. Seventy-nine percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition.
Farmers report some fields are showing signs of disease stress.
Soybean development is three days ahead of last year but a day behind average with 76 percent of the crop in good to excellent condition.
State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the first week of September was the hottest week of the year. Temperatures as a whole averaged 10 degrees above normal.


Students Join Faculty With "No Confidence" Towards Regents Decision For New President

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - University of Iowa students are joining the faculty in issuing votes of no-confidence in the school's governing board, days after the hiring of a president with little campus support or higher education experience.
The measures approved Tuesday by the UI Student Government and the Graduate and Professional Student Government add to the backlash against the Iowa Board of Regents. 
Earlier Tuesday, the Faculty Senate voted for a similar measure rebuking the regents for hiring corporate executive Bruce Harreld, despite overwhelming negative feedback. The regents picked the former IBM executive over three candidates who enjoyed wide support.
The UISG resolution said regents showed a "willful disregard for the opinions" of students. The graduate student government said the regents' actions "portray a board not acting in the best interest of the university."




Lottery Official Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former lottery security official has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for rigging a computerized Hot Lotto game in 2010 in an attempt to win a $14 million jackpot in Iowa.
Eddie Tipton, of Norwalk, never got any of the money, but a jury convicted him in July on two counts of fraud. The 52-year-old also was accused of trying to get acquaintances to cash the prize for him without revealing his identity.
During a sentencing hearing Wednesday, Judge Jeffrey Farrell told Tipton his violation of trust was the biggest factor in him receiving the maximum sentence on each count.
Prosecutors say Tipton inserted a stealth program into the computer that picks numbers for the game and then bought tickets.
Tipton is appealing and remains free on bond.




Miss Iowa Wins Talent Competition For Miss America Contest

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Miss South Carolina has won the swimsuit competition and Miss Iowa has won the talent portion of the first night of preliminaries in the Miss America pageant.
Daja Dial of South Carolina won the swimsuit contest on Tuesday night.
Taylor Wiebers of Iowa won the talent portion with a vocal performance.
The new Miss America will be crowned in Sunday night's nationally televised finale.
Contestants from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are vying for the crown. The U.S. Virgin islands, which competed last year, could not field the required minimum number of entrants this year, pageant officials said. It is eligible for future competitions.
Preliminary competition in talent, interviews, evening wear and swimsuit competition will run through Thursday.








Wednesday News, September 9

School Board Election Results

(Le Mars) -- In Tuesday's school board election, Angela Catton and Patrick Murphy were victorious and will be placed on the Le Mars Community School Board at At-Large directors.  Catton received the most votes with 293, and Patrick Murphy was able to retain his position on the local school board with 272 votes.  Mark Hemmingson was unsuccessful in trying to get back on the school board.  Hemmingson received 196 votes.  District 3 did not have any candidate seeking the position.  However, outgoing school board member Chris Collins did receive 12 write-in votes.  Matthew Macek received seven write in votes and Kim Clay was able to pick up three write in votes from District 3.  Fred Zenk was running unopposed in District 5.  He was re-elected and received 347 votes.

Akron-Westfield voters turned thumbs down on the proposed bond levy.  The measure, which was asking for voters to approve a $2.50 per $1000 of assessed property value failed on a 58 to 42 percent.  The measure needed to win at least 60 percent support in order for it to be approved.  The levy was designated to finance upgrades with the facilities.

Hinton approved their PPEL levy of 65 cents per $1000 of assessed tax property value.  The measure won with a 66 percentage points in favor, and 34 percent opposed.

Kingsley voters overwhelmingly approved their bond issue with 78 percent in favor, and 22 percent against.

Area school board election results:


Winning school board positions include: Sara Krier with 107 votes, and Jim Miller with 92 votes. Talon Penning received 75 votes and Travis Tentinger was a write-in candidate and received 54 votes.

Kingsley election results include the winners of Phillip Herbold with 198 votes, Matt Bubke with 184 votes, and Angela Haggin with 171 votes.  Bobbi Hirschman had 113 votes, and Becky Wenzel received 74 votes.

Hinton election results include: Kyle Hoefling with 169 votes, Brett Stanley with 122 votes, and Ed Vondrak with 118 votes.  Others included Tracy Bader with 111 votes, Robert Held with 116 votes, and Sara Vaydich with 102 votes.

Akron-Westfield school board election did not have any contested races, so, Jodi Thompson, Debra Jordt, and Nick Mathistad all were elected to the Akron-Westfield school board.

At the Marcus-Merriden-Cleghorn school board elections they had three positions that were uncontested.  Winning school board seats include: Michelle Rupp for District 4, Karla

Prunty for District 5, and Vernon Letsche is the school board director for District 6

Again, the Le Mars Community School Board election had newcomer Angela Catton and incumbent Patrick Murphy winning the two contested seats.




University Of Iowa Faculty Give A No-Confidence Vote To Board of Regents

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - University of Iowa faculty leaders have issued a vote of no-confidence in the school's governing board over the selection the school's next president.
The Faculty Senate voted to rebuke the Iowa Board of Regents during a meeting Tuesday evening, saying the regents failed the university and the state's citizens by hiring former IBM executive Bruce Harreld.
The measure says the board also failed to live up to its own standards for ethics, communication, transparency and others articulated in its strategic plan.
Hundreds of professors packed into the Old Capitol for the meeting. They erupted in cheers after the motion carried.
During nearly two hours of speeches, professors said the regents ignored overwhelming faculty input that Harreld was unqualified. 
Faculty Senate President Christina Bohannan said the regents "betrayed" the university.




President Obama To Visit Iowa To Discuss Colleges Affordability

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - President Barack Obama will visit a Des Moines high school on Monday to discuss college affordability.
Obama announced his plans Tuesday in a message sent to the White House's email list. In the note Obama says he'll be with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and they'll have a conversation with high school students and their parents. 
Obama notes his efforts to increase funding for college scholarships and provide more affordable student loans.  
Obama says that every student "deserves a quality education," no matter where they grew up or how much money they have.




Northwestern College Ranks 5th As Best Colleges

ORANGE CITY, Iowa—Northwestern College has moved up to a tie for fifth place among 96 Midwestern regional colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best Colleges guidebook and is the highest ranked Iowa college in its category. This is the ninth year in a row for Northwestern to be in the top 10 of its category. The rankings, which include 1,376 schools nationwide, are available at




Competency Report Finished For Neunaber

(Le Mars) -- A competency report on Jonathon Neunaber has been filed in Plymouth County. Neunaber is being held at the Plymouth County jail under suspicion that he killed his mother back in July of 2014. Both Donald and Ester Neunaber's bodies were found dead at their rural Akron residence.  An autopsy report indicated Donald died of natural causes, but Ester died as a result of blunt trauma to the head.  Judge Andreasen has ruled the contents of the competency report are to be confidential at this time.  No further hearings have been scheduled at this time.





Deputies Arrest Man For Domestic Assault

(Le Mars) -- On Saturday, the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department received a report of a Domestic Assault that occurred at a residence in the southern part of Plymouth County. A deputy sheriff spoke with the female victim and an investigation into the incident took place. Then on Sunday, the deputy sheriff arrested Jeremiah Shortenhaus, age 22 of rural Sioux City, in reference to the Domestic Assault. Shortenhaus was charged with Aggravated Domestic Assault, an aggravated misdemeanor. Shortenhaus was held with no bond until seeing the judge.




Property Taxes Now Due

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Treasurer, Shelly Sitzmann, reminds property owners that the first-half real estate and mobile home taxes are due now and can be paid in the office, online, or through the mail. The delinquent date is Thursday, October 1, 2015.   Mail must be postmarked on or before September 30, 2015 to avoid delinquent interest.   Send your payment before the last day, as mailing your payment on September 30 does not guarantee a September 30 postmark.   Delinquent interest of 1.5% per month rounded to the nearest dollar attaches to all unpaid taxes on October 1, 2015, and an additional 1.5% penalty on the first of each succeeding month thereafter.  There is a minimum $1.00 penalty on all taxes.





NIPCO Selects Washburn For Next General Manager

LE MARS, IOWA - The Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of its current Chief Operating Officer Matt Washburn as the individual that will succeed current General Manager Kent Pauling following his anticipated retirement at the end of this year.  Mr. Washburn has been employed at NIPCO since 2001.  He has served as the Vice President of Management Services & Chief Financial Officer.  Since 2014 has held the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  Matt also served as the Chief Operating Officer of NIPCO Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Cooperative, from 2006 until its operations were merged into the Cooperative in 2011.  NIPCO is pleased to have the opportunity to select an individual that is familiar with NIPCO and its member systems and is also very familiar with the issues surrounding NIPCO's recent decision to join the Southwest Power Pool, an RTO.  Prior to joining NIPCO, Mr. Washburn was an auditor with Williams & Company PC, a CPA firm in Le Mars, Iowa.  Mr. Washburn is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting.  He is a Non-Public Licensed Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.




Crops Starting To Mature

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's corn and soybean crops endured the hottest week of the year so far last week but largely remain in good shape.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly crop report released Tuesday says 10 percent of Iowa's corn crop is mature. That's three days ahead of last year but nine days behind the five-year average. Seventy-nine percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition 
Farmers report some fields are showing signs of disease stress.
Soybean development is three days ahead of last year but a day behind average with 76 percent of the crop in good to excellent condition 
State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the first week of September was the hottest week of the year. Temperatures as a whole averaged 10 degrees above normal.





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