Saturday News, February 28
Fire Department Responds To Chimney Fire
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a chimney fire at about 8:00 p.m. Friday evening. The alarm was at 139 5th Avenue Southwest, the home of Le Mars City Councilman Ken Nelson. According to fire officials, there was very little damage to the home, or the roof, as a result of the fire. Fire fighters were on the scene for a little more than an hour.
Two People Arrested For Various Drug Charges
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Police and Plymouth County Sheriff's Deputies conducted a joint drug task force search warrant Friday morning at 401 6th Avenue Southeast in Le Mars. Officers located numerous prescription pills that were packaged for sale, a small amount of marijuana and methamphetamine, scales and packaging materials. As a result of the search, two arrests have been made. Arrested were 20 year old Brenden Arens of Le Mars and 24 year old Dionicio Hernandez also of Le Mars. Arens was charged with possession with intent to deliver Vyvance a schedule II controlled substance, a class C felony. He was also charged with possession with intent to deliver Focalin, a schedule II controlled substance a class C felony. Hernandez was charged with conspiracy to deliver Vyvance, and Focalin both a schedule II controlled substance, and both are a class C felony. Hernandez was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor. The investigation is continuing and more charges are expected.
Lawmakers To Hold Legislative Forums
(Des Moines) -- Republicans State Senator Bill Anderson and State Representative Chuck Soderberg will be visiting Plymouth County communities on Saturday for legislative forums. The lawmakers will begin their day at the Hinton Elementary School at 8:30 a.m. Their next stop will be at the Le Mars Community Education Center to meet with school officials at 9:30 a.m. At 10:30 a.m. Anderson and Soderberg will be at the American Legion Hall in Brunsville for a legislative forum. Their last stop is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. at the Westfield Community Center. The legislative forums are open to the public and constituents are encourged to discuss any issues relating to the Iowa Legislative Session.
Pheasants Forever Banquet Scheduled For This Evening
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County chapter of Pheasants Forever will hold its annual banquet raffle and auction this evening. Chris Anderson, the president of Plymouth County Pheasants Forever says this year marks the 30th anniversary for the event.
The Plymouth County Pheasants Forever banquet has attracted more than 500 people in the past, and Anderson expects similar results for this year's banquet. He says a wide variety of people take an active interest in the local chapter.
Anderson says the local Pheasants Forever chapter is consistently an active chapter participating in many different events.
Again, this year the annual banquet will feature several shotguns, and travel excursions which will be raffled or auctioned.
The Pheasants Forever president says a labordor retrever hunting dog will be auctioned as well as several pheasant forever themed artwork and prints. The event will be held at the Le Mars Convention Center on February 28th beginning at 5:00 p.m.
Water Quality Discussed At Commodity Classic
(Phoenix) -- Farmers from across the nation have gathered this week in the sunbelt city of Phoenix, Arizona to discuss market prices, planting intentions, the new farm bill, and even environmental and other issues as they relate to agriculture. Cleghorn, Iowa farmer Tom Oswald serves as the president of the Iowa Soybean Association. He says water quality has been discussed in great detail at the annual Commodity Classic, and other states are turning to Iowa's leadership involving water quality issues.
Oswald says farmers have no other choice, but to show results of reduced nitrates and phosphorus, otherwise, other entities such as enviromental groups will demand more regulations and mandatory actions.
The soybean leader says the Iowa Soybean Association is working with its membership and offering several educational seminars to assure farmers are taking the appropriate steps to reduce nitrates and to improve water quality.
Commodity Classic concludes on Saturday.
Body Found Near Grimes
GRIMES, Iowa (AP) - Police say they have discovered a body in the area where a car had earlier been found in an icy Iowa creek.
Authorities say the car was found Friday morning just north of Grimes with no one inside. The body was later discovered nearby. The identity of the body has not yet been released.
Officials say it wasn't immediately clear how long the car had been in the water, but that snow on top suggests it had been there since earlier this week. The car sustained severe damage to the rear.
The car belongs to a woman who was reported missing on Monday.
Arbritrator To Decide Contract For State Employees
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An arbitrator will decide new contract terms for state workers after union leaders could not reach a deal with Governor Terry Branstad.
Both sides presented their final proposals to a neutral arbitrator Thursday for a two-year contract for about 19,000 workers. A final decision must be made by March 15th.
The two sides are at odds over health insurance. According to data supplied by the Branstad administration, the union has offered to have members pay a fixed monthly premium, which would be a first for many members. But the administration wants workers to pay a larger portion of their health care costs.
Danny Homan, president of the Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, would not comment. A spokesman for Branstad also declined.
Authorities Investigate Threats Against Ames Mosque
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they're investigating a letter left at an Ames mosque that contained anti-Muslim messages and threats.
Ames Police spokesman Jason Tuttle says officers responded around 4 p.m. Thursday to a report that the note had been left on the door of Darul Arqum Islamic Center. Tuttle said Friday that authorities have since begun working with leaders at the mosque to implement a safety plan and provide extra patrol in the area.
Scrawled on the envelope was an anti-Muslim slur. Inside were three short notes, including a vague threat to the Muslim population.
Tuttle says there doesn't appear to be any immediate threat to the mosque, but that the comments in the letter are "concerning" to the department.
Investigation into who left the letter is ongoing.