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Wednesday News, July 25

Plymouth County Fair Begins Today

(Le Mars) -- It's day one of the five best days of the summer...the Plymouth County Fair begins.  Today, open class entries can be entered between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.  Livestock entries need to be in place by 12:00 noon, with the weigh-in to be completed by noon.  The fair schedule has the 4-H Clothing Selection and Fashion Revue to start at noon at the Century Hall.  The 4-H and FFA Rabbit Show begins at 1:00 p.m. at the north arena.  The 4-H and FFA livestock judging contest begins at 1:00 p.m. The sheep scanning begins at 1:00 and the Commercial Exhibits and the Round Barn open at 2:00 p.m.  The midway starts the rides at 5:00 p.m. and the bucket calf check-in is at 5:30 p.m. and the judging of the bucket calves is set for 6:00 p.m.  At the Grandstand it is the Motorcross races, and they begin at 6:00 p.m.  The King and Queen Crowning ceremony is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Pioneer Village Stage.

 

Judging 4-H Projects

(Le Mars) -- Tuesday at the fairgrounds, the 4-H exhibits were judged.  Carl Lee of Grimes, Iowa and Julie Herring-Kent of Cherokee served as a couple of the judges.  Lee judged the science and mechanical technology category, and Kent judged the personal development category.  Both judged students between fourth grade and the 12th grade.  Both judges say they enjoy visiting with the 4-H members about the projects. Kent explains her judging criteria.

 

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Lee explains what he looks for in a project as a 4-H judge.

 

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Lee recalls some of the projects that he looked at for the Plymouth County Fair.

 

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Kent says she recalls one project exhibited by a ten-year old member that featured the political process.

 

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Both judges say they were in 4-H as a youngster, and they have been judging 4-H projects for at least 15 years.
Supervisors Approve Bid For Restoration of Courthouse Building

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Supervisors approved a bid by Shoonover Tuckpointing Company of Vinton, Iowa to help with the restoration and masonary work of the courthouse building.  The submitted bid was for $223,290 with the understanding the work is to be completed by June 30, 2013.  Shoonover is assigned to repair the building's stonework facade that is showing signs of wear and in some places is crumbling.  The supervisors also approved a resolution allowing Plymouth County to be part of the Western Iowa Community Improvement Regional Housing Trust Fund.  The regional housing trust fund will be coordinated by SIMPCO and it includes Monona, Woodbury, and Plymouth Counties.  Cherokee and Ida counties were invited to participate, but decided instead to create their
own regional housing trust fund.  The County Supervisors also approved a change of voting places for residents living in Precinct #3.  Precinct #3 includes the townships of Elgin and America and also includes the town of Struble.  In previous elections, voters would cast their vote at the Le Mars Public Library.  As of this coming November, residents of precinct #3 will intead cast their votes at the Courthouse Annex Building.
Area Fire Departments Busy Fighting Grass and Hay Fires

(Le Mars) -- Area fire departments were busy yesterday.  Kingsley fire department responded to a grass ditch fire about four and a half miles north of Kingsley on Highway 140.  That call came in at about 1:20 p.m.  At nearly the same time, the Le Mars Fire Department responded to an alarm at the Le Mars Day Care Center.  Fortunately, it was some burnt popcorn that produced some smoke at
the day care center.  The Akron Fire Department was called to 17684 Evergreen Avenue at about 1:15 for a Hay pile that was on fire.  Later in the day, Akron was called to fight another hay pile fire located at 17638 Fir Avenue.  The Le Mars Fire Department was also called to offer Akron assistance with the hay pile fire.  Fire officials were on the scene of the second hay pile fire for nearly three hours. The fire started at about 5:15 p.m. and it wasn't until 8:30 p.m. that fire officials had the fire under control.
Presidential Candidates Look At Iowa As A "Battleground" State

NEW YORK (AP) - Iowa may not be getting nearly as much attention as it received last winter at the start of the presidential caucus season. But politics hasn't exactly stopped at the border, either.
Iowa is among a half-dozen battleground states the Obama re-election campaign has chosen to run a new television ad pushing back at Republican Mitt Romney's efforts to use some of President
Barack Obama's words against him.
Romney has taken Obama to task for saying "you didn't build that" in a campaign speech about how government helps small businesses thrive. Romney's campaign is running ads that suggest Obama doesn't think entrepreneurs build their own businesses. In the new ad, Obama says the Romney ads take his words out of context and, the president says, are "flat out wrong."
Obama says was referring to public programs like education and infrastructure that helped businesses be successful.
The ads are running in several general-election battleground states including Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Nevada.
Jeb Bush To Speak At Sioux City Chamber Banquet

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a leading Republican, will be the keynote speaker at the Sioux City annual Chamber of Commerce dinner in October.
Jim Jensen, the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce CEO, says Bush will share his perspective on the key challenges facing the country. The speech will be titled "America's Promise in Uncertain
Times."
Jensen announced Bush as the annual event's speaker on Tuesday.
Bush has recently said the willingness to compromise that allowed his father President George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan to succeed no longer exists in Washington. He holds both parties responsible. He says the tone of the Republican Party often concerns him because it doesn't allow for disagreement among members.
Bush has campaigned recently for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Red Oak Woman Back In Jail

RED OAK, Iowa (AP) - A Red Oak woman out of prison for three days is back in jail after a fight with her husband over the weekend.
KETV Television reports 20-year-old Karli Jo Brown was released after serving eight months of two 10-year sentences for motor vehicle homicide.
Two boys aged four and five were killed and their mother, Nina McNeese, injured in November 2011.
Investigators say a head-on collision occurred as Brown was speeding south of Red Oak, texting, and passing cars in a no-passing zone.
Last week, Judge James Heckerman suspended Brown's sentence and ordered supervised probation.
Brown and her husband were arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse over the weekend.
A probation revocation hearing is July 30.
The judge could reinstate Brown's original prison sentence.
Mercury Found In Armstrong, Iowa

ARMSTRONG, Iowa (AP) - More than a dozen people, including four children, are being watched for symptoms of mercury poisoning after they were exposed in the north-central Iowa town of Armstrong.
Emmet County emergency manager Terry Reekers says a construction worker remodeling a house found a plastic bottle with about 40 pounds of liquid mercury on Friday.
Reekers says the worker took the mercury to a bar to show friends. Someone dropped the bottle and exposed 10-12 people at the bar.
Reekers says the worker took the remaining mercury to the house and hid the bottle in a sandbox where four children later found it.
An EPA team will clean up the mercury in the sandbox and at the bar.
High levels of mercury exposure can lead to kidney damage, respiratory failure and death.

 

 

 

   

Tuesday News, July 24

Northey Visits Marcus, Remsen

 

(Remsen) -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey made a stop in both Marcus and Remsen on Monday.  Northey, a farmer from Spirit Lake, says this summer's drought has similarities to the 1988 drought. He says several regions of the state are suffering, particularly east-central Iowa.

 

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However, he also says their are some pockets within the state that have not been adversely affected by the dry conditions.

 

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Northey says most of the government sponsored disaster programs are coordinated at the federal level, but he says the state department of agriculture are standing by to help.

 

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The state secretary of agriculture toured both the Little Sioux Corn Processors in Marcus and he visited the Remsen Processing in Remsen.

Iowa's corn crop has deteriorated further with 40 percent now in very poor or poor condition. A week

ago it was 27 percent.

The USDA says it has received reports of farmers chopping down their corn.

Just 23 percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition down from 36 percent a week earlier.

For Iowa soybeans 30 percent are now in very poor or poor condition. It was 20 percent a week ago. Just 28 percent of the crop is in good or excellent condition down from 38 percent a week ago.

Nationally, 45 percent of the corn crop is very poor or poor.  Last week it was 38 percent.

For soybeans, 35 percent is now poor or very poor compared with the 30 percent a week earlier.

 

 

Farmers Inquiring About Crop Insurance Claims

 

(Le Mars) -- This year's drought has many farmers hoping that crop insurance will help cover their losses.  Chuck Kellen of Mark Crop Insurance of Le Mars says many farmers are inquiring about claims against silage.

 

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Kellen suggests farmers see their agents so claims can get started. Kellen says farmers are anxious about claims, but he says payments may not be made for at least a month or later.

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The crop insurance representative says yields will be lower for both corn and soybeans, but he says soybeans may still have a chance at producing respectful yields.  But the corn, according to Kellen, may be lost, especially in western Plymouth County.

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Supervisors Have Full Agenda

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to have their regular Tuesday meeting at the Courthouse today.  The supervisors will discuss the membership to the Northwest Iowa Development, as well as review and take action on SIMPCO's Hazard Mitigation Plan Multi Jurisdiction.  The supervisors will also discuss and act on the Western Iowa Community Improvement Regional Housing Trust Fund, and the supervisors will review bids for the masonary repair of the courthouse building.

 

 

Chamber Chooses 12 Little Ambassadors

(Le Mars) -- Twelve young people have been chosen as the new Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Little Ambassadors.  The twelve were selected from 36 entries, from which Mary Reynolds, Le Mars Mainstreet Coordinator, says the judges had a difficult decision.  Originally, ten youngsters of the ages four to six were to be chosen, but Reynolds says they instead went with twelve.  The new Little Ambassadors will be featured on the cover of the new Le Mars Visitor's Guide, and they will help with various Chamber sponsored events, including Ice Cream Days, Halloween children's event, Easter egg hunt, and they will even assist Santa and Mrs. Claus.  The twelve Little Ambassadors include: Sebastian MacGregor, son of John and Dawn MacGregor; Kane Kerns, son of Jake and Missy Kerns; Landen Kneip, son of Troy and Noelle Kneip; Logan Anderson, son of Chris and Tracy Anderson; Tate Murphy son of Michael and Melanie Murphy; and Cole Brownmiller, son of Todd and Carrie Brownmiller.  The girls ambassadors include: Zoe Wittkop, daughter of Russ and XinJie Wittkop; Bailee Leiting, daughter of Michelle Leiting; Ashlyn Fintel, daugther of Jeremy and Loni Fintel; Sarah Brown, daughter of Matt and Jodi Brown; Madison DeRocher, the daughter of Adam and Kelly DeRocher; and Braelyn Helmrichs the daughter of Chris and Laura Helmrichs.

 

School Board Sets August 20 As Date To Open New Gym
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board met Monday evening.  The school board approved shared vocational program agreements with both the Remsen-Union and the Hinton school districts.  The board also approved an agreement with the Mid-Sioux Opportunities regarding transportation of Headstart students.  The board of education approved the contracts for Gretchen Utesch as a teacher associate, Paula Hodgson as the behavior disorder teacher, and Richard Lalk as a bus driver.  In other action last evening, the local school board reviewed and discussed their priorities for the 2013 legislative session. August 20th is the date scheduled for the unveiling of the new gymnasium, as the school board is planning a ribbon cutting ceremony showcasing the new facility.

 

 

Le Mars Little League Receives Donation

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Little League Baseball organization received a pleasant surprise on Saturday afternoon. The Bob Peutz family made a generous donation to the program.  Little League President John Britton explains...

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The money was donated as part of a golf bag raffle that had taken place during the golf tournament held Saturday in memory of Jason Peutz.  More than 200 people participated in that golf tournament.  Britton says he is not certain as to how the donated money will be used, but he is grateful to the Peutz family.

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Comprehensive Land Use Meeting Scheduled

(Le Mars) -- As part of the requirements asked of the county, Plymouth County will hold a Comprehensive Land Use Planning meeting scheduled for Monday, July 30 at 7:00 p.m.  The meeting will be held in the basement of the new Courthouse Annex building.  According to Alan Lucken, the mission of the meeting is to set a new direction for the planning and zoning commisson, as well as the Board of Adjustment, and the county supervisors.  Lucken says the meeting will feature information gathered by the consulting firm J-E-O.  Lucken also says the meeting will cover all aspects of the county's jurisdiction.  The meeting is open to the public.

 

 

Fire Sprinkler Testing May Cause Low Water Pressure

(Le Mars) -- Wells Blue Bunny needs to check a fire sprinkling system on Wednesday at their south ice cream plant facility, and Le Mars City Water Superintendent Gayle Sitzmann says during the time of testing, Le Mars residents may see a drop in their water pressure.  Sitzmann says the testing will take place between 10 and 10:30 a.m.  He says the potential lowered water pressure should only be for a few minutes.

 

 

Lyon County Employees Charged With Theft

 

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Five county employees in Lyon County have been charged with misconduct for selling scrap metal that belonged to the county and keeping the money. Three others face similar charges for knowing about it but keeping it quiet.

Another worker, 51-year-old Todd Arthur Huisman, of Rock Rapids, is alleged to have pocketed $9,000. He also faces a felony theft charge. The telephone for his attorney rang unanswered Monday.

In addition, 58-year-old Jeffrey Williams, the former county engineer, faces felony theft and misdemeanor misconduct charges for conducting septic tank inspections and allegedly pocketing money he received for them.

KELO-TV in Sioux Falls, S.D., reports that he's been fired.  Court records show he has entered a not guilty plea. The attorney listed in records did not immediately return a call.

 

 

Sioux City Driver Pleads Not Guilty To Vehicular Homicide

 

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The driver of an SUV involved in a fatal crash has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide.

18-year-old Oscar Ramirez entered the plea Friday in Woodbury County District Court. A trial date is not yet set.

He was the driver of a sport-utility vehicle that crashed on Jan. 30. The vehicle rolled several times and landed in a pasture.

Eighteen-year-old Nino Segura of Sioux City was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.

 

 

South Sioux City Bank Robbed

(South Sioux City) -- SOUTH SIOUX CITY POLICE ARE SEARCHING FOR A SUSPECT WHO ROBBED THE BANK OF THE WEST AT 10TH AND DAKOTA AVENUE AROUND NOON MONDAY.

THE SUSPECT IS DESCRIBED AS A BLACK MALE AROUND 5'7" TALL WITH A MUSTACHE AND GOATEE. HE WAS WEARING A RED AND YELLOW SHIRT AND JEANS ALONG WITH A BALL CAP.

THE SUSPECT FLED WITH AN UNDETERMINED AMOUNT OF CASH.

WE'LL HAVE MORE ON THE ROBBERY AS DETAILS BECOME AVAILABLE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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