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Tuesday Afternoon News, September 8

Competency Report On Jonathon Neunaber Finished - Judge Orders It Be Confidential

(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.




Northey To Offer "Condition Of Agriculture" Report To Farm Bureau Members

(Le Mars) -- Iowa's Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey is scheduled to appear in Le Mars this evening as he delivers the address for the Plymouth County Farm Bureau annual meeting. Northey is a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, and he says he will offer his perspective on the condition of Iowa agriculture.

(sot) Northey1

Northey is scheduled to address the county farm bureau members at 7:00 p.m. at the Century Hall at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.





NIPCO Names Washburn As Successor To Pauling

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.  Washburn 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,  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.




Meredith Corporation's Merger Will Mean More Des Moines Jobs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A spokesman for Meredith Corp. says the acquisition of Meredith by Virginia-based Media General will eventually result in more jobs in Des Moines.
Meredith Spokesman Art Slusark says the $2.4 billion deal will make the newly named Meredith Media General a stronger company. 
He says Meredith will maintain its Des Moines presence and most of the nearly 1,000 employees create content for the company's magazines, television programs and websites and are needed.
He says no definitive answer on staffing can be provided this early but the merger "will result in higher employment levels in Des Moines over time." 
Meredith CEO Steve Lacy will be the CEO of the new company and remain in Des Moines. Slusark says he's been a long-time champion of Des Moines and that will not change.





Iowa National Guard Proposes Having Helicopters Stationed At Des Moines Airport

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa National Guard spokesman says a proposal to station 200 soldiers and 10 helicopters at the Des Moines airport would resolve the Guard's lease dispute with city officials.
The dispute arose after F-16 fighter jets flown by the Air National Guard's 132nd Wing were moved away from Des Moines. To receive federal airport grants, the airport must charge a market rate to all tenants, except military units with an aeronautical mission. The question is whether the 132nd Wing's new work involving unmanned aircraft, surveillance and cybersecurity qualifies as an aeronautical mission. 
Col. Gregory Hapgood Jr. says that stationing the Black Hawk helicopters at the airport would justify continuing the Guard's discounted rent. The Guard pays $1 a year to lease 172 acres.





University Of Iowa Faculty Upset Over Hiring Of New President

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A day before the decision, the University of Iowa's governing board was warned that choosing Bruce Harreld as president would badly damage its relationship with the faculty.
In a Sept. 2 email obtained by The Associated Press, Faculty Senate President Christina Bohannan told the Board of Regents that Harreld had a "clear lack of faculty support." 
She warned that choosing him over three other candidates who had "tremendous support from campus constituencies" would lead to calls for a no-confidence vote in the regents. She says regardless of how the vote turned out, "it is hard to see how the Regents' relationship with faculty could thrive under such circumstances."
The next day, the regents voted unanimously to hire Harreld, a former IBM executive with no prior experience in higher education administration.


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A group representing some University of Iowa professors is condemning the hiring of former IBM executive J. Bruce Harreld as the school's next president.
The campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors says the Board of Regents ignored faculty, staff and students who overwhelmingly felt Harreld was unqualified for the position.
The statement issued late Monday says that "only a pre-conceived determination by the regents to appoint Mr. Harreld" can explain his hiring. The group noted that Harreld's performance at an open forum before his hiring was widely panned and that he acknowledged an inaccuracy on his resume.
The AAUP chapter is offering its "heartfelt apologies" to three finalists who weren't selected.
The Faculty Senate is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon for the first time since Harreld's hiring.












Tuesday News, September 8

School Board Elections Scheduled For Today

(Le Mars) -- Today is school board election day.  Polls in Le Mars will open at 12:00 noon and will remain open until 8:00 p.m.  Remsen and Kingsley will also be voting for their school board directors between 12:00 noon and 8:00 p.m.  Akron, Westfield, and Hinton voters have already starting voting.  Their polls opened at 7:00 a.m. and will remain open until 8:00 p.m.  Le Mars voters will decide among three candidates seeking two positions for the At-large district.  Candidates include: Angela Catton, Mark Hemmingson, and Patrick Murphy.  Fred Zenk is running unopposed for the District 5 seat, and in District 3, no one filed for nomination papers.  The position is open for write-in candidates.





Election Polling Locations

(Le Mars) -- Voters in precinct #1 will cast their votes at the Akron Public Library conference room.  Precinct 3, which includes the town of Struble, along with the townships of Elgin, America, Marion, and Fredonia which are part of the Le Mars Community School District will vote at the Plymouth County Courthouse Annex building.  Precinct #4 which includes all of the towns of Brunsville and Craig, along with the townships of Grant, Preston, Washington, and Johnson as part of the Le Mars Community School District will cast their votes at the Brunsville Legion Club in Brunsville.  Precinct #5 includes the Remsen-Union school district will vote at the Remsen Public Library located at 211 Fulton Street in Remsen.  Precinct #7 includes the city of Merrill, all of Liberty, Plymouth, Stanton, and Lincoln township that includes the Le Mars Community School District will vote at the Kissinger Community Center in Merrill. Precinct #9 includes all of the Hinton School District will vote at the Hinton Community Center in Hinton.  Precinct #10 includes the Kingsley-Pierson school district will vote at the Kingsley Community Center in Kingsley.  Finally, Precinct #11 which includes the corporate city limits of Le Mars, and includes the Le Mars Community School District will vote at the Le Mars Convention Center, Lower Level, located at 301 12th Street, in Le Mars.




Akron-Westfield Voters To Decide On Bond Issue

(Akron) -- Akron-Westfield voters will be deciding whether the school will approve a $6.15 million bond issue to upgrade many of the facilities.  The proposed bond would raise the district levy by $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.  School officials say a home owner with a $100,000 valuation could expect to pay an additional $10 per month if the measure is approved.  The 20-year bond would fund five years of projects that include renovations and additions to the middle and high school science rooms, industrial arts, and vocational agriculture facilities, an activity center addition that would house a new weight room, dance studio, and wrestling room, elementary classroom renovations and updates to the athletic field.




No County Board Of Supervisor Meeting Today

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will be taking the week off.  There is no meeting scheduled for today.




County Road Crews To Close Two Roads For Repairs

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced they will be closing 160th Street from Pioneer Avenue to Polk Avenue beginning today.  The road will remain closed until late-October.  Crews are replacing a bridge with a box culvert. Road crews will also be closing Jet Road from county road K-42 to Juniper Avenue.  The road is closed due to resurfacing of pavement on the south side of Brunsville.




Regents Request $4.5 Million For University of Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter says he plans to ask the Iowa Legislature for an additional $4.5 million in funding for the University of Iowa for next year.
Rastetter says in a statement released Monday he'll bring up the issue at Wednesday's board meeting.
He says after meeting with faculty, staff, students and incoming President Bruce Harreld, whose controversial appointment was approved Thursday, it is clear "additional funding to support the long-term reinvestment in the core mission of teaching and research is needed."
He says additional money is critical for the university "to continue to provide the highest quality education to our students."
Earlier this month documents indicated the regents planned to seek additional funding for the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University but not Iowa.





Parents Suing American Airlines For Incident Involving Daughter

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The parents of a girl who reported being inappropriately touched by a man while flying alone from New York to Iowa have sued the man and American Airlines, saying the airline failed to protect the girl.
Muhammad Asif Chaudhry was arrested after the July flight on charges including engaging in sexual contact with a victim between the ages of 12 and 16. The Pakistani citizen has denied the accusations. He's been released on bond.
The lawsuit alleges he moved to an open seat beside the girl, who reported being woken up by the inappropriate touching. She alerted a flight attendant when Chaudhry left to use the restroom. The FBI met Chaudhry when the flight landed.
American Airlines says it's cooperating with law enforcement and cares deeply about its young passengers.





Hillary Rodham Clinton Says She Doesn't Need To Apologize For Emails On Private Server

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton says she does not need to apologize for using a private email account and server while at the State Department because, "what I did was allowed."
Clinton spoke to The Associated Press during a Labor Day campaign swing through Iowa.
The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination says the lingering questions about her use of email while serving as President Barack Obama's first secretary of state have not damaged her campaign for president.
She says, "It's a distraction, certainly. But it hasn't in any way affected the plan for our campaign, the efforts we're making to organize here in Iowa and elsewhere in the country.




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