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Friday News, November 28

Black Friday Begins

(Le Mars) -- Today is known as Black Friday, a day when bargains are to be found and retail businesses open their doors early for the start of the Christmas shopping rush.  Some larger big box retail stores, such as Sears, Kohl's, and Best Buy to name a few, had an early start to Black Friday, as they opened their doors on Thanksgiving hoping to take advantage of the shopping frenzy. Nationally, holiday sales are forecast to grow 4.1 percent over last year, the highest increase since 2011.

 

Fire Department Called To Check Carbon Monoxide Levels In Home

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called at about 1:12 a.m. this morning to check a carbon monoxide level at the home located at 234 2nd Avenue southeast.  No word as to whether the home had dangerous high levels of carbon monoxide.

 

Museum To Unveil "Museum Manger" And Prepares For Christmas Open House

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Historical Museum will unveil its Museum Manger display beginning this afternoon.  The "Museum Manger" features hundreds of nativity scenes in the old Study Hall.  The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Ron Burkard, who started the nativity display in 2010, prior to his death in 2011.  The Plymouth County Historical Museum is preparing for its Christmas Open House which is scheduled for Sunday, December 7th.  In addition to the "Museum Manger" display, the museum will show its new wildlife displayed in the Loess Hills Hall.  Lois Pausch of Le Mars has donated the wildlife, which belonged to her late husband, Harry Pausch.  The gifts include: a pintail duck, a wood duck, a mallard drake and hen, and a ringneck duck, a partridge in brush, a silver fox taken near Oyens, and an opossum from a north farm in Oyens.  Tying in with the Pearl Harbor Day, Garry Pape of Le Mars will be autographing his new book, "The Bats: the History of Iowa's Air National Guard 174th Squadron - From Fighter to Tanker.  Music will also be featured at the museum during the open house with piano students of Inez Hoogeveen of Le Mars will play between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.

 

Sioux City Looking At Establishing A Downtown Grocery Store

  SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A downtown business advocacy group is exploring the idea of establishing a specialty grocery store in downtown Sioux City.
     The store would be called Trader Sioux and feature local merchandise and fresh food. The store also could showcase products sold at the Sioux City Farmers Market, which is held twice weekly during the spring, summer and fall near the Tyson Events Center.
     The group, Downtown Partners, hasn't announced a budget or a timetable. Chris Bogenrief leads the Downtown Partners committee organizing the project, and he says the project "is an economic initiative, so we want to make sure we spur as much spinoff development as we can."
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Oil Pipeline Meetings For Northwest Iowa To Begin On Monday

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) - Landowners that would be impacted by a proposed oil pipeline through Iowa will be able to get more information at some upcoming public meetings 
     The  Texas-based company seeking to build the $3.8 billion pipeline will start holding informal public meetings on Monday in Northwest Iowa. 
     Meetings are also scheduled in the other areas the pipeline would touch. A spokesman for the Iowa Utility Board said the company must hold the meetings before seeking a permit.
     Energy Transfer Partners, of Dallas, wants to build the 1,100-mile underground pipeline across Iowa and three other states. The pipeline would carry crude oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, where it could be redirected.  The meetings are scheduled at 1:00 p.m. at the Inwood Community Center, at Inwood on December 1st.  Sioux Center's Terrace View Event Center will hold a meeting at 6:00 p.m.  On December 2nd, an informational meeting is scheduled for the Sheldon Community Services Center beginning at 9:00 a.m.  Cherokee Community Center will hold a meeting on December 2nd at 3:00 p.m.  Buena Vista Universitiy will host an oil pipeline informational meeting on December 3rd at 9:00 a.m.
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Council Bluffs May Implement Rental Inspections

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Council Bluffs is considering whether to begin regular city inspections of rental housing, but the idea has drawn fire from some landlords.
     The current policy requires self-inspections by the property owners. 
     Mayor Matt Walsh says Council Bluffs is the only city in Iowa with a population of 15,000 or more that doesn't have professional inspectors.
     The proposal would increase the city registration fee to $35 per unit every two years from $15. The plan would be to inspect every rental unit in the city at least once every three years.
     Local landlord Carla Limmer told the newspaper that there's no need for the change and that landlords "maintain things on a safe level."
     A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Dec. 15.
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High School Soccer Coach Pulls Gun On Officers

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a high school coach in Iowa City was arrested after trying to pull a handgun when he was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving.
     Thirty-one-year-old Edgar Arceo faces weapons and drunken driving charges. A public phone listing for Arceo couldn't be found. It's unclear whether he has an attorney.
    Police say Arceo's vehicle was pulled over late Wednesday night in Iowa City. Police say that when officers approached and talked to him he reached into his pocket and began pulling out a pistol. Police say an officer stopped him and took away the loaded weapon. 
     The website for Iowa City High School lists Arceo as the girls soccer coach and director of the student advisory center.
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Dog Saves Owner's Life From House Fire

  CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man survived a house fire Thanksgiving morning and likely owes his life to his helpful dog.
     A Cedar Falls man was asleep when a fire broke out in his home early Thursday. Cedar Falls Fire Chief John Schilling said the fire consumed the entire home, which did not have any working smoke detectors.
     The owner's dog woke the sleeping owner and both escaped to safety.
     The fire is still under investigation. Schilling said having working smoke detectors in the home should be as "essential as having running water."
     ---

 

Two People Arrested After High Speed Chase From Stealing A Snowmobile

 GRIMES, Iowa (AP) - Two people were in custody after leading Polk County law enforcement officials on a high-speed chase early Thursday.
     The Polk County Sheriff's Office reports that they arrested two people early Thursday. Chaiya Cavan and Samantha Dickerson are charged with theft, possession of stolen property and related charges.
     In a news release, officials said that on Thursday, just after midnight, they noticed a truck pull up behind a store in Grimes that sells motorcycles, scooters and other vehicles. Then they saw Cavan put a snowmobile into an attached trailer. When police tried to stop the truck, it sped away.
     The couple crashed the vehicle and fled on foot before they were apprehended. Police confirmed that the snowmobile was stolen.

 

Seven Vehicle Accident In Kossuth County

 SEXTON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say people only minor injuries were reported after a seven-vehicle pileup in northern Iowa's Kossuth County.
     The accident was reported Wednesday on U.S. Highway 18 near Sexton.
     The Iowa State Patrol says an eastbound semitrailer hit the back of a car that slowed for a snowplow. The car was pushed into a truck, and then other vehicles crashed. The semitrailer driver was cited later for failing to ensure he had adequate room to stop.
     Kossuth County Deputy Sheriff Chuck Robinson says two semitrailers, a delivery truck, a pickup and three cars were involved in the pileup.

 

Anonymous Donor Pays Off Lay-a-way Bill 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An anonymous benefactor paid off a Walmart layaway balance for an Iowa City woman this week.
     Someone paid the $54 that April Cardenas owed to the Iowa City Walmart Supercenter. Cardenas, a 50-year-old home daycare provider, learned of the anonymous gift Monday.
     Cardenas received a note that said "Happy Holidays" and was signed "Positive for Poppy." She said the generosity lifted her spirits.
     Walmart spokeswoman Erin Hofmann said the woman who gave the gift wanted to stay anonymous. She said workers at the Iowa City store think this woman may have made similar gifts in the past.

 

Vilsack Reports More Employed People Using SNAP Benefits

(Washington) -- Most people were perhaps able to enjoy a feast from the Thanksgiving meal, but About 13-percent of all Iowans now put food on the table each day with the help of SNAP benefits. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. The latest Farm Bill is providing some 200-million dollars in grants that will be used to help those receiving SNAP benefits to find jobs -- or better paying jobs. U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the face of the SNAP program has changed in the last 40 years.

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 Almost 421-thousand Iowans receive monthly SNAP benefits, about 13-percent of the state's population. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, says the majority of those receiving SNAP benefits work but are under-employed or under-paid. 

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 Vilsack says the grant money will be used to provide education and training, rehabilitative services for individuals in need and target hard to serve areas.

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Several of the pilot programs, he says, will be tested in what are considered hard-to-serve areas, including rural parts of Iowa.


  



   

Thursday News, November 27

Semi Truck And Pickup Involved In Accident Near Remsen

(Remsen) -- Plymouth County authorities are investigating an accident that occured Tuesday at about 12:00 noon between a semi truck and trailer and a pickup truck.  The accident happened on the east side of Remsen at the intersection of Beck Avenue also known as 165th Street and county road highway L-14.  The semi truck and trailer heading eastbound on Beck Avenue/165th Street had made a stop at a stop sign.  However, the semi truck, being driven by 28 year old Justin Pick of Remsen pulled out in front of a pickup truck, heading northbound and driven by 40 year old Tony Kellen of Alton.  Pick was crossing the intersection when Kellen tried to swerve and miss the semi truck, but was unable to avoid the collision. The pickup hit the semi truck on the passenger side.  Kellen was transported to the Orange City Hospital by the Remsen ambulance.  

 

Semi Truck Rolls Over On Side

(Sioux City) -- Meanwhile, Woodbury County deputies were dispatched shortly after 2:00 p.m. this afternoon to a single vehicle accident at the intersection of 170th Street and Delaware Avenue of rural Woodbury County.  A semi-tractor trailer entered the ditch at the intersection and rolled onto it's side. The driver was treated for injuries at the scene by Bronson Rescue and Woodbury County EOC personnel and transported for treatment by Mercy Air Care. The driver's name and condition are not being released.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

 

Rejoice Church To Serve Thanksgiving Meal

(Le Mars) -- Imagine having to cook 48 turkeys, baking 25 pumpkin pies, and serving 600 people.  That's the task at hand for the 100 plus volunteers preparing the Community Thanksgiving meal to be served at the Rejoice Community Church of Le Mars on Thursday.  Pastor Tony De LaRosa talks about how the idea got started.

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Originally, the meal was provided for the elderly and to shut-ins, but DeLaRosa says it soon evolved to include anyone and everyone.

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DeLaRosa says he is thankful for all the volunteers and area businesses that contribute in someway with the Community Thanksgiving meal.

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The Community Thanksgiving meal is free to the public, and will be serving between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. with home delivery beginning at 10:30 a.m.  The Rejoice Church pastor says if you are needing transportation, the church is willing to assist with those needs.

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DeLaRosa says if you find yourself with nothing to do on Thanksgiving, he has some suggestions.

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For more information, you can contact the Rejoice Church at 548-4430.

 

Branstad Answers Questions About Firing Administrator

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad is facing hours of questions under oath about his administration's treatment of a gay former state administrator.
     The governor was being questioned in a deposition Wednesday by an attorney for Chris Godfrey, the former workers' compensation commissioner.
     Godfrey has filed a lawsuit against Branstad and aides alleging he was singled out for harsh treatment because he's openly gay.
     He contends that Branstad demanded his resignation in 2011, and the governor cut his pay by $40,000 when he refused to quit.
     Godfrey had been confirmed by the Iowa Senate for a six-year term. He argued his job was independent from political pressure so that injured workers could get fair hearings.
     Branstad has denied discrimination. His lawyers say the resignation request was routine and the pay cut was legal.

 

Chinese Woman To Face Trial For Stealing Patented Seed Corn

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge says a Chinese woman accused of conspiring to steal trade secrets from U.S. seed companies and send them to China will be tried alongside her brother.
     Mo Yun is among seven people charged in the case, though only she and her brother have been arrested. The other five are believed to be in China.
     Investigators say they worked for a Chinese company and conspired to steal patented seed corn from cornfields in Iowa and Illinois to ship it to China.
     The judge overseeing the case acknowledged Friday that evidence against her is thinner than evidence against the other suspects. But he said that wasn't enough to hold a separate trial, as her attorneys requested.
     Mo is married to the chairman of a large biotechnology firm in China.

 

Fort Dodge Woman Burns Down Home For Insuance Money

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Fort Dodge woman will spend ten years in federal prison for conspiring to burn down a house and collect the insurance money.
     Federal authorities announced Wednesday that Shirley Weimer received a ten-year sentence for the crime. She pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced Tuesday. Three others have already been sentenced for involvement in the crime.
     According to the trial proceedings, Weimer hired a tenant to burn down a rental property. Weimer received over $78,000 from her insurance company.
     Weimer will have to repay the money, plus interest, to State Farm Insurance. She will serve a three-year term of supervised release after her prison time.

 

Des Moines Woman Home Burns While She Is Shoveling Snow

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines woman has reported that she was outside shoveling snow when flames erupted in her home's kitchen.
     Firefighters were dispatched to the house on Wednesday afternoon.
     Fire spokesman Brian O'Keefe says the woman had been cooking and left the stove on when she went outside to shovel snow. She says she went in to check the food once and then went back outside. She says she went back in when she heard a popping noise. She found her kitchen ablaze. 
     O'Keefe says the house is a total loss. No injuries to the woman or any firefighters have been reported. A pet cat died in the fire.
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Assessor Arrested

 MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - The assessor in northern Iowa's Cerro Gordo County has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving.
     63-year-old John Boedeker entered the plea on Wednesday.
     Mason City police say Boedeker was pulled over around 8:15 p.m. Friday for driving without his vehicle lights on. He was booked into county jail that night but posted $1,000 bond and was released.
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