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Monday Afternoon News, April 8

Dorr Named Firefighter of the Year

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department held its annual awards  banquet on Saturday evening.  The Le Mars Fire Department honored Nick Dorr as its Fire Fighter of the Year, and also recognized the efforts of retiring fire fighters, Wayne Schipper and Kim Wiltman.


Chamber Plans Next Cash Mob

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce is planning on holding Cash Mobs again this year. The first Cash Mob will be held on Thursday, April 25 in Le Mars. The first targeted businesses will be current Chamber members, retail businesses located downtown.
The Le Mars Chamber held four “Cash Mobs,” in 2012. Similar to flash mobs, Cash Mobs organize customers to spend money at locally owned businesses to help support the independent retailer.
Everyone is invited to join in the fun. Meet in front of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce, 50 Central Ave SE, at 12:15pm Thursday, April 25. Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff will draw one retail store name out of the qualified downtown businesses, and we’ll mob that store.
Each person participating in the mob guarantees to spend $20 in the selected store.
Have some fun, meet new people and help support downtown retail businesses.


School Foundation Awards Banquet Set For Tuesday

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education and the Le Mars Community School District Foundation are co-sponsoring the annual foundation banquet scheduled for Tuesday evening at the Le Mars Convention Center.  The event will be held at the Lower Level beginning at 6:30 p.m.  The banquet will honor this year's "Teacher of the Year", Jayne Willer, a Kindergarten Teacher at the Kluckholn Elementary School.  Recognition of the school district's employees of the month, district employees with 25 years of service, and the top five percent of the senior class.  New this year will be the presentation of the first "Distinguished Alumni" award.


Death Rates Higher At Rural Hospitals

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A new study says the death rates in small rural hospitals are worse than at most hospitals.
The study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association notes that the death rate in remote hospitals got worse between 2002 and 2010.
The death rate at other hospitals improved over that same time period.
Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas and Kansas are the states with the most critical-access hospitals.
Nebraska has 65 of the smaller, rural hospitals that qualify for special treatment from Medicare because they provide critical access to care.
The study's lead author, Doctor Karen Joynt, says it may be harder for rural hospitals to afford the latest technology and advancements that are helping other hospitals.

Branstad Says Economic Development Program Helping Businesses

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says a state economic development fund is helping boost technology startup firms in Iowa.
Branstad on Monday released a study on the activities of the Demonstration Fund, which is managed by the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The fund was started in 2007 and offers
funding to help grow manufacturing, science and information technology firms.
The study says that between 2007 and 2012 the fund has provided about $13 million to 101 firms still in existence. The 79 firms that responded to surveys for the report said they had added about
600 jobs and grown revenue.
Branstad calls the results "impressive" and says Iowa must continue to "grow its own high tech information companies."


Iowa's GOP Party In Disarray

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republicans in Iowa had looked forward to capturing a U.S. Senate seat after their longtime Democratic nemesis, Tom Harkin, announced in January that he was retiring. But
months later, the GOP is no closer to naming a top-tier candidate to run next year.
One popular option, Congressman Tom Latham, has decided not to seek the post. Another congressman, Steve King, is considering the possibility, but some believe he is too conservative and outspoken to win. Two other lesser known officials are also thinking of running.
The Iowa GOP has been another reflection of the national party's confusion after its presidential election defeat. In addition to the uncertainty about the Senate race, supporters of libertarian
Ron Paul are clashing with mainstream Republican leaders over the state party's direction.


Monday News, April 8

Sheriff's Office Releases More Details On Accident

(Le Mars) -- More information has been released regarding the auto accident on Loop Road from early Saturday morning.  The Plymouth County Sheriff's office received a 9-1-1 phone call indicating a vehicle had rolled into the north ditch and was on its top with a subject still inside the vehicle.  The driver was identified as Anthony Snodgrass, age 24, of 405 37th place street in Sioux City. Snodgrass was driving north when he came to a "T" intersection and failed to make the right hand turn onto 320th Street.  Snodgrass was transported to Mercy Medical Center by Siouxland Paramedics.  Hinton Fire Department assisted at the scene.  The Plymouth County Sheriff's office is still investigating the accident.

Deputies Arrest Man Laying Next To Road

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's office received a call on Saturday evening, just before 11:00 p.m. regarding two individuals seen laying next to the road on County road K-22 about a half a mile south of 312th Street.  When deputies arrived they found a male subject standing on the edge of the road and when deputies approached, the subject jumped into the east ditch in an attempt to elude the deputies.  The subject was found a short distance from where he jumped into the ditch.  Brett Figueroa, age 18, of 1303 Rebecca Street of Sioux City was arrested for public intoxication and transported to the Plymouth County Jail.  Bond has been set at $325.

Le Mars Fire Department Responds to Hay Fire

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department was called to a hay fire on Sunday afternoon at about 2:10 p.m.  The fire was located about one-half mile south of County Road C-38 and Nature Avenue.  Fire chief Dave Schipper says upon arrival a large pile of hay next to a small barn was found burning.   Farmers were attempting to slow the fire with shovels and a skidloader.   Firefighters were able to control the blaze and stop it from spreading to the barn.  They used shovels then along with the skidloader to pull the hay away from the building and spread the hay out to completely extinguish the fire.   The winds were also a factor as they were gusting out of the east southeast at over 25 miles per hour at the time of the call.   Firefighters were on scene for just over an hour and used 1000 gallons of water to control the fire.   The property is owned by Roddy Kniep.   There were no injuries and damage was limited to the hay.  It was determined the fire was started from the skidloader igniting the hay while they were feeding cattle.  The fire was determined to be accidental.

Akron Fire Department Battles Grass Fire

-- THe Akron Fire Department responded to a grass fire located along Highway 3, just west of Westfield, Sunday afternoon, shortly after 1:15 p.m.  The Akron Fire Department was on the scene for a little more than an hour.

Le Mars School Board To Discuss Budget

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board is scheduled to meet this evening and the board is expected to approve the 2013-2014 school budget.   Since the state legislature has still not determined what the amount of funding will be allocated to the state's school districts, Superintendent of schools Dr. Todd Wendt was forced to establish a budget using zero percent of allowable growth.  Schools are required to submit their budgets to the state no later than April 15th.  The question was asked on Saturday during a legislative forum, hosted by State Senator Bill Anderson and State Representative Chuck Soderberg.  The Senate has approved a rate of four percent for allowable growth and the House has passed a state supplemental aid which includes the provisions of allowable growth at a two percent rate.  Representative Soderberg of Le Mars, a republican, placed the blame on the Democratic controlled Senate for not acting in a quick and timely manner on the issue.

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Soderberg admits not knowing what the final budget number will be for education funding.

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A handful of school officials attended the Saturday legislative forum, and Dr. Todd Wendt informed the law makers he believes the issue could have been resolved earlier, if the legislature would have separated the allowable growth funding bill from the educational reform bill.  A public hearing regarding the Le Mars Community School District budget is scheduled for this evening beginning at 7:30 at the Le Mars Education Service Center.


Meredith Corporation Looking For Acquisitions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Meredith Corp. chief executive Stephen Lacy says his Des Moines-based publishing company remains hungry for acquisitions.
Lacy says that the media industry will be split into two categories: consolidators
and the consolidated. Lacy says Meredith has "been at this 110 years, through a lot of evolutions of media platforms, and we are an aggressive consolidator."
Meredith had been talking to Time Warner earlier this year about acquiring several of Time Warner's titles, but the talks broke down. Time Warner has decided to spin off its magazines into a new,
publicly traded unit.
Lacysays that many of Time Inc.'s lifestyle, health and food publications would fit neatly into Meredith's stable of magazines. He says "we've salivated over those businesses forever."


Woman Hangs Boyfriend's Dog

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman has allegedly confessed to hanging one of her boyfriend's three dogs in the garage.
Twenty-eight-year-old Sheena Cornwell was arrested Saturday evening after her boyfriend came home to discover the dog. She allegedly told police that she killed the dog because it was old
and sick.
Des Moines Police Officer Greg Catron says Cornwell didn't seem to appear remorseful about killing Lily, who was a pit bull mix.
Cornwell was released a few hours after her arrest but her phone number was disconnected. She faces one charge of animal torture.
Cornwell's boyfriend told police he wanted to get a restraining order against her.

Des Moines Squad Cars Collide

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Three Des Moines police officers have been treated for injuries they suffered in a collision of two squad cars.
Sgt. Jason Halifax says the crash occurred at 1:39 a.m. Sunday. Halifax says one cruiser ran into the side of the other at a four-way stop.
He says both cars were responding to a call of shots fired that came from an off-duty officer who was working at a convenience store.
The officers have been released from a hospital. Their names have not been disclosed.

Kansas Bishop To Lead Dubuque Archdiocese

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A Kansas bishop has been chosen to lead the eastern Iowa archdiocese.
The Dubuque Archdiocese says Bishop Michael Jackels (JAY'-kuhls), of Wichita, Kan., has been appointed by Pope Francis to be the new archbishop of Dubuque. Jackels replaces Archbishop
Jerome Hanus (HAH'-nuhs).
The Wichita diocesan website says Jackels was named the Wichita bishop in January 2005 by Pope John Paul II. Before being named to the post, Jackels worked for the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith in Rome for eight years.
Hanus will introduce Jackels at a news conference later Monday morning at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Dubuque. Hanus also will announce his plans for the future.




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