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Tuesday Afternoon News, July 8

Supervisors Hear Quarterly Recorder's Report

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors heard a report from County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild during their Tuesday morning meeting.  Goodchild informed the supervisors that the county has collected more than $115,700 this past quarter.

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Goodchild reported most of the money collected was from mortgages

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The county supervisors also heard from County engineer Tom Rohe who informed the board, debris clean up from the June flooding is still occurring.

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Despite the flooding, and the subsequent debris clean up following the flooding, Rohe told the supervisors he thought his crew and contractors were still on schedule with many of the county's culvert and bridge replacement projects scheduled for this summer.


Iowa To Pay Army $750,000 For Drowning Victim

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The state of Iowa will pay the Army $750,000 for the medical care of a boy who died after nearly drowning during a university-operated camp in Germany.
     The State Appeal Board on Monday approved the settlement with the Army, which had been seeking $1.8 million reimbursement for the cost of treating Blake Jermon.
     Jermon was 10 when he nearly drowned in 2003 at a municipal swimming pool during an outing with Camp Adventure, a University of Northern Iowa program for the children of U.S. military personnel. His mother was an Army sergeant in Germany.
     Jermon suffered brain and spinal injuries and had to use a wheelchair. He died from complications during a 2006 surgery.
     The state in 2012 paid a $2.1 million settlement to Jermon's mother, following years of litigation.


Trial Continues For Death Of 20 Month Old Dead Boy

  MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - More than 2,000 documents, photographs and cassette tapes have been discovered recently in connection to the case of a man charged with killing a 20-month-old Mason City boy in 1994.
     A retired state Division of Criminal Investigation agent was testifying last week in the case of 38-year-old Michael Cisneros when his comment over 20-year-old crime scene photographs sent both prosecutors and defense attorneys searching the evidence room of the local police department. A judge sent the jury home on July 2 in response. 
     Cisneros is accused of killing John Snyder Jr., whose body was found in a creek. Cisneros was an acquaintance of the child's father. He has pleaded not guilty.
     The Mason City Globe Gazette reports ( testimony in the case resumed Monday.


Attorney General Says Iowans To Receive Refunds From Fraudulent Membership Club

   IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - More than 400,000 Iowans who were tricked into signing up for buying club memberships will be eligible for refunds ranging from $6 to hundreds of dollars or more.
     Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced Tuesday that refund notices are being sent to Iowans who had memberships with Connecticut-based Vertrue Inc. and two other buying clubs.
     The $40 million refund is the culmination of Miller's 11-year investigation and prosecution of Vertrue, which was found to have tricked Iowans into buying 864,000 memberships dating back to 1989. Most of the memberships weren't used.
     Miller says the checks will be sent later this year, likely between October and December. Des Moines man Richard Schulz says he expects to receive $1,500 in refunds from Vertrue after he unknowingly had a paid membership for years.


Ames Closes Water Slides

AMES, Iowa (AP) - An Ames pool has temporary closed its slides to the public because of design cracks.
     Officials at the Furman Aquatic Center said in a news release Tuesday that they recently discovered cracks in the structural supports of the drop slide and the tube slides.
     The slides will be closed until a structural engineer can investigate the issue.
     Ames Parks and Recreation Director Keith Abraham says the public's safety comes first. The rest of the center, which includes a lazy river, diving boards and a water playground, remains open during regular hours.


Prosecutors Ask Victims Of Salmonella Food Poisoning To Decribe Illness Affects

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Prosecutors are asking the victims of a 2010 salmonella outbreak to share their stories as a judge considers how to punish the corporation and executives responsible.
     The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa is asking anyone who was sickened by eggs produced by Quality Egg, LLC to come forward. Victims have the right to submit statements to the court describing what they had to endure.
     Quality Egg owner Austin "Jack" DeCoster and his son, Peter, have pleaded guilty to distributing adulterated eggs in interstate commerce. Quality Egg pleaded guilty to the same charge, as well as bribery and introducing misbranded food.
     The DeCosters and the company are awaiting sentencing, which hasn't been scheduled. They face up to one year in jail, plus fines and restitution.



Tuesday News, July 8

Supervisors To Hear County Recorder's Quarterly Report

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet today at the County Courthouse Board Room at 9:30.  The supervisors will decide upon several sub-division requests.  The Supervisors will hear from County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild as she presents her quarterly report, and county engineer Tom Rohe will update the governing board on construction projects.


Lee Drive Closed For Repairs

(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars has announced it will close Lee Drive from 4th Ave East to 6th Ave East  for the next few weeks due to street repair.


Project A.W.A.R.E. To Clean Big Sioux River

(Le Mars) -- An effort to navigate, and at the same time, clean up the Big Sioux River is being planned.  Several hundred people are expected to  participate in the Iowa Project Aware which will begin this coming weekend.  Mark Bohner of Le Mars has been associated with Project Aware for the past ten years and explains the schedule.

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Bohner says the mission of Project Aware is to help clean up Iowa Rivers.  This is the first time the group has focused its efforts on the Big Sioux River and it is the first time since 2006 the group has been in northwest Iowa. 

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Bohner says in past years, Project Aware has recovered several unusual items from various rivers.

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Two Men From Maine Arrested On Drug Charges

(Le Mars) -- On Friday, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men from Maine on drug charges. Arrested were Thomas Greaney Jr., age 34 of Norridgewock, Maine and Timothy  Lancaster, age 34 of Madison, Maine for drug charges.  The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle driven by Lancaster on Hwy 3 and Noble Ave east of LeMars for equipment violations.  Open containers of alcohol, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia was located inside the vehicle.  Lancaster was arrested for Possession of Marijuana 1st offense (serious misdemeanor), and possession of drug paraphernalia (simple misdemeanor).  Greaney was arrested for Possession of Marijuana 1st offense (serious misdemeanor), possession of drug paraphernalia (simple misdemeanor) and Open container (simple misdemeanor).  Lancaster and Greaney were jailed at the Plymouth County Jail and bond was set at $1,000.


Plymouth County Historical Museum To Host Garden Tour

(Le Mars) -- Three gardens in Le Mars will be on tour for a “Garden Party” hosted by the Plymouth County Historical Museum on Wednesday, July 16.
The gardens will be open from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with all proceeds from this benefit going to the Museum.  Showcased will be gardens belonging to Mary Valentine at 10 Prospect; a second one owned by Larry and Luene Petersen at 1250 Central Ave. SE;  and a third garden owned by Bill and Mary Bomgaars  at 1260 Central Ave. SE. Participants should start their tour at the Valentine garden. All three gardens are within walking distance. The gardens are located across from Kluckhohn Elementary School.
The Valentine garden is an array of wildflowers, perennials, and some annuals. Many of the wildflowers are over 60 years old and originated from the Loess Hills.
The Petersen lawn includes a back deck with floral planters.
The Bomgaars garden features a variety of flowers, including a unique garden shed built by Bill Bomgaars and friends of Westmar many years ago.
Refreshments will be available at the end of the tour on the Bomgaars’ patio. A freewill donation will be taken for the Museum.  A rain date will be announced, if needed.
To complete the “Garden Party,” participants may attend the Municipal Band Concert at 8 p.m. in Foster Park.


Sioux City Police Officer Injured From Accident

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City police officer has been treated for minor injuries following a two-vehicle collision.
     The Sioux City Police Department says the officer was traveling in a squad car Sunday morning when it collided with an SUV near an intersection. Sgt. Dane Wagner says the driver of the SUV failed to yield at a stop sign and was cited.
     The officer was taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. The four people in the SUV were not injured.
     The name of the officer and others has not been released.

Graettinger Fire Claims Lives Of Two Children

(Graettinger) -- A fatal fire caused the death of two children living in the Palo Alto community of Grettinger.  The Graettinger Fire Department responded to a call on Monday morning.   
While it wasn't officially confirmed, Fire Chief Brad Anderson believes smoke inhalation was the cause of 5 year old Gavin Hasbrouck and 7-year old Collin Reed's death.  The mother, 27 year old Stefanie Gaston was also taken out of the house, and was taken to the Palo Alto County Hospital in Emmetsburg, but later was transported to an Iowa City hospital.  The State Fire Marshall's office was called in to investigate, and it has been determined the fire originated in the living room.  There was extensive fire and smoke damage to the house, and the investigation continues.  The house, apparently did not have any smoke detectors.


Branstad Asks President Obama For Disaster Declaration

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has requested a presidential disaster declaration for nine Iowa counties affected by recent severe weather.
     Branstad addressed President Barack Obama in a letter Monday and requested the declaration for counties affected by winds, hail, rains and thunderstorms between June 3 and June 4. Branstad says more requests are possible.
     The severe weather in early June resulted in three state disaster proclamations. Branstad says damage assessments were conducted later in June.
     The counties under the declaration request are Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Mills, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Taylor, and Wayne counties.


Crops Show Signs Of Setbacks In Weekly Condition Report

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The trend toward strong storms and too much rain is beginning to take a toll on Iowa crops.
     Farmers report yellowing corn plants, a sign of too much moisture, and stress to soybean plants.
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in its weekly crop update that 76 percent of Iowa corn is in good to excellent shape, a decrease of 3 percentage points from the week before. Soybeans are blooming ahead of schedule and 73 percent of the crop is good to excellent, condition, down 2 percentage points.  
     Farmers struggled to get into fields again last week, the third consecutive week farmers had fewer than three days to work in the fields. This time of year weed control spraying, adding supplemental nitrogen fertilizer, and baling hay are common activities.


Fort Dodge Woman Sentenced For Hatchet Slaying

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A Fort Dodge woman has been sentenced to four years in prison in connection to a hatchet slaying last year.
     23-year-old Holly Ekstrom received the sentence Monday. A judge told her he rejected a recommended probation sentence as part of a plea deal because Ekstrom admitted to lying to investigators.
     Ekstrom recently pleaded guilty to aggravated misdemeanors in connection with the July 2013 death of 22-year-old Steven Fisher. She said she saw Ronald Dilley kill 22-year-old Steven Fisher. She admitted to driving Dilley away from the scene and disposing of evidence in the case.
     Dilley earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case. He is serving 50 years in prison.









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