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Tuesday Afternoon News, April 12

County Approves Bids For Culvert And Bridge Installation Projects

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Supervisors accepted the bids for five construction projects that will begin this summer.  Richards Construction of Sac City was successful in submitting the lowest bid on four of the five projects.  Richards Construction offered a bid of $49,924 for the installation of a concrete box culvert located near Hedge Avenue and 270th Street.  The county's estimate for the project as prepared by county engineer Tom Rohe was $48,684.  A second concrete box culvert project located west of Le Mars near the intersection of Iris Avenue and 190th Street was also given to Richards Construction of Sac City as they submitted the low bid of $55,064.50 and the county estimate was at $59,323.  Richards Construction placed a low bid of $105,169 for a precast concrete culvert installation located in the northeast portion of the county near County Road L-22 and 150th Street.  The estimate cost for installation was at $108,975.  Another large culvert installation project located near Kingsley at Tamarack Avenue and 280th Street was successfully bid by Richards Construction of Sac City with a bid of $144,213.  The county estimate for the construction project was listed at $146,707.  The final project is a steel bridge located east of Le Mars near County Road C-30 and Otter Avenue.  The bridge project was approved on a low bid of $147,010 submitted by Dixon Construction of Correctionville, Iowa.  The estimate on the project was listed at $135,455.

 

 

 

 

Plymouth County Pork Producer Completes Asian Trade Mission

(Le Mars) -- A Plymouth County pork producer recently returned home after participating on a trade mission to Singapore and Malaysia. Joe Rotta is a director with the Iowa Pork Producers Association and in late march he traveled to the far eastern nations to help promote red-meats.  Rotta says representatives of the Iowa Cattlemen Association were also on the trade mission.  He says two-thirds of the Malaysian nation are Muslim, which creates a problem for U-S pork exports.

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The rural Merrill pork producer says the beef consumed in Malaysia must be inspected separately, and be given a special blessing, before it can be consumed.

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Rotta says a beef packing plant located in Sigourney, Iowa is adapting its facilities to serve the Malaysian market.  Rotta says Singapore is a different story, and the far-eastern nation offers U-S pork producers great potential for pork exports.

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Rotta says Singapore is a growing nation in terms of both its population and with its economy.  He says the people of Singapore appreciate the quality of U-S pork and U-S beef.

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Both the U-S Meat Export Federation and the U-S Grains Council helped organize the trade mission.  Rotta says it is good to have those associations with staff in place to help with the export of U-S red meat products.

 

 

 

 

Legislature Decides To Wait A Year On Reading Program Requirements

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers in a legislative budget group plan to propose delaying a state-mandated summer reading program for struggling third-graders because there's no money to pay for it.
The joint Education Appropriations Subcommittee said Tuesday the roughly $14 million needed to support the program is not available. They want to add language to a budget bill that would delay implementation from 2017 to 2018.
Sen. Brian Schoenjahn, an Arlington Democrat and subcommittee co-chairman, says there's bipartisan support to delay the program. At least one education group applauded the move.
Gov. Terry Branstad didn't include money in his budget recommendations for the program, which could hold back some third-graders who don't complete it. A spokesman for Branstad says the governor will reserve judgment until he sees the legislation in its final form.

 

 

 

 

Iowa House Passes Water Quality Initiative Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Republican-controlled House has passed a bill that would fund water quality initiatives in Iowa, though it's unclear if the Democratic-majority Senate will support it.
The House voted 65-33 Monday night in support of the legislation. Democrats in the chamber attempted several changes to the measure but failed.
The GOP proposal would use money from a special infrastructure fund and a tax on water use, which typically goes to the general fund and a separate fund for education infrastructure. Democrats say those sources of funding should be left alone.
Gov. Terry Branstad has said he supports the House legislation, though it drastically shifted away from his own water quality plan. The bill now heads to the Senate, where legislative leaders plan to introduce their own water quality proposal soon.

 

 



   

Tuesday News, April 12

Rohmiller Joins Le Mars Police Department

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police Department has a new officer that has joined the ranks of the thin blue line.  29 year old Robert Rohmiller of Sioux City began his career on Monday as Le Mars mayor Dick Kirchoff administered the oath of office. Rohmiller is a Certified Iowa Reserve Officer, and had previously worked with the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office in that capacity.  Rohmiller will begin his duties as a Le Mars Police Officer immediately.

 

 

 

Sioux County Authorities Investigate Hit-And-Run Accident

(Orange City) -- Sioux County authorities are investigating a hit-and-run accident that happened on Sunday afternoon at about 5:00 p.m. just a mile west of Sioux Center on 400th Street.  52 year old Lorene Vander Plaats of Sioux Center was driving a Dodge Grand Caravan eastbound on 400th Street when a red Pontiac Grand Am was going westbound.  Apparently, the Pontiac Grand Am crossed over the center line and struck the Vander Plaats' vehicle head-on. Both vehicles were severly damaged and were unable to drive.  The Vander Plaats' Dodge Caravan sustained $8,000 in damages, and the Pontiac Grand Am had more than $4,000 in damage.  Although both vehicles were unable to move following the collision, the driver of the Pontiac Grand Am fled the scene on foot.  Vander Plaats suffered injuries and was transported by the Sioux Center Ambulance to the Sioux Center hospital.  Sioux County Sheriff's Deputies have named 19 year old Audencio Lopez-Chilel as a person of interests in the collision.  If you have information about the accident, or about the person of interest, you are asked to contact the Sioux County Sheriff's Office.  Assisting at the scene were the Sioux Center Police Department, Sioux Center Fire Department, Sioux Center Ambulance and the Iowa State Patrol. 


 

 

 

 

Former Remsen Teacher Given Probation Following Sexual Relations With Student

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - A former northwestern Iowa teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student has been given probation time. 
Judge Jeff Neary on Monday sentenced 25-year-old Samantha Kohls to one year of probation. 
Kohls, a former Remsen-Union Community School teacher, has already lost her teaching license and must register as a sex offender. She previously pleaded guilty to lascivious conduct with a minor. 
Arrest affidavits say Kohls had sex with a 17-year-old male student while she was a teacher at the school. The documents say the sexual encounters happened at her apartment in 2014.
She was initially charged with two counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee but Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond agreed to the reduced charge, saying jail time was not appropriate.

 

 

 

 

Melissa Ebert Trial Delayed Until June

(Le Mars) -- The trial originally set to begin today, involving 29 year old Melissa Ebert, the woman charged with attempted murder by causing an vehicle accident on County road C-38 last September has been delayed.  Attorneys for the defense had asked for a continuation in the case.  According to court documents, Ebert is accused of threatening to kill herself and her passenger, Damian Johnson, before veering her car into the path of an on-coming car driven by Dustin Boll of Le Mars.  All three people were seriously injured in that accident.  Apparently Ebert and Johnson had been arguing prior to the collision.  On Monday, Judge Jeff Neary approved of the delay until June 21st.

 

 

 

 

Supervisors To Meet Today

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the County Courthouse Board Room.  Auditor Stacey Feldman will present the results of the special bond issue election for the Akron-Westfield school district.  It is expected the county supervisors will canvass the election results.  Plymouth County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild will present her quarterly report to the supervisors, and County Engineer, Tom Rohe, will ask for a final approval of the budget regarding construction programs.  Rohe will also seek final plan approval for a May 3rd letting on three culvert replacements and two bridge repair projects.

 

 

 

 

Floyd Valley Healthcare Board Of Trustees To Hold Public Hearing On E-R Renovations

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Healthcare Board of Trustees will convene this evening to conduct a public hearing regarding the proposed renovation of the emergency department.  That public hearing will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will occur at the board room located in the lower level of Floyd Valley Healthcare.  Following the public hearing, the board of trustees will hold their regular monthly meeting.

 

 

 

 

Soil Conditions Nearly Ready For Planting

(Le Mars) -- The calendar says it is time to be doing field work.  However, the soil conditions remain a little cool. So, should farmers be concerned?  Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist for Northwest Iowa Joel DeJong says despite the cooler temperatures, soil conditions are showing signs of being ready.

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Ideally, soil temperatures should be at least 50 degrees before planting takes place. DeJong says the four-inch soil temperatures are currently in the low 40's, but he says the ten-day weather forecast is favorable.

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Many farmers are still applying anhydrous ammonia for their fertilizer needs, and DeJong says conditions are still favorable, if farmers make certain they are applying that anhydrous ammonia at deep enough levels.

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DeJong says southern Iowa farmers have already started with their planting, but he says northern Iowa farmers may want to wait a few more days, even though research studies indicate better yields are obtained with early planted seed.

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The extension crops specialist says farmers still have plenty of time to plant their seed, and there is no reason to rush.

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