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Tuesday Afternoon News, April 23

Le Mars Police Arrest Three Minnesota Men For Burglary

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Police have charged three Minnesota men with Burglary following a burglary at the Wireless World/Verizon Wireless store by Walmart off of Holton Drive SW, Le Mars.  Officers were notified of an alarm at the store at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23rd.  When officers arrived on the scene, they confirmed a burglary had taken place because of a front window had been smashed.  Another Le Mars officer was conducting a traffic stop on Business highway 75 north in the Motor Inn area.  As a result of that traffic stop, and a subsequent investigation, the following men have been charged.  Devante Johnson, age 20, of Brooklyn Park, MN; Blanyon Davies, 19 years of age, of Minneapolis, MN; and Victor Doe, 22, of Plymouth, MN.  All three have been charged with Burglary in the 3rd degree, a class D felony; possession of burglar tools, an aggravated misdemeanor; possession of stolen property, an aggravated misdemeanor; criminal mischief in the 2nd degree, a class D felony.  The Le Mars Police Department is continuing its investigation and additional charges are possible.


School Board Discuss School Security Issues

(Le Mars) -- In light of some school shootings across the nation, and parents asking the Le Mars Community School Board to place a higher emphasis on security, School security was discussed during last evening's Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting.  One suggestion by parents directed to the board was to look at installing doors and walls for the Kluckholn Elementary building. Kluckholn was built in a circular pattern and does not contain walls to separate classrooms. Dr. Todd Wendt, superintendent of schools shared with the board some costs analysis regarding the installation of walls and doors for the Kluckholn elementary building.

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Wendt says the board had already placed the installation of doors and walls for Kluckholn elementary on their ten-year planning list.  Wendt says the board did not take any further action relating to the installation of doors and walls for Kluckholn.  However, the board did approve a proposal to limit the access to the district's buildings.

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Dr. Wendt says the changes will be made over the summer months.

Lawmakers Review Economic Development Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers are set to hash out their differences on the state's economic development budget.
The joint committee will meet Tuesday to work on a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the economic development budget. The Senate seeks $78 million and the House wants $45 million.
The measure includes funding for Iowa Workforce Development, the Economic Development Authority, Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Finance Authority, Public Employment Relations Board and initiatives at Iowa's three public universities.
Waterloo Democratic Sen. Bill Dotzler says the Senate plan provides funds to reopen five unemployment offices.
That issue has been contentious, as Gov. Terry Branstad's decision to close unemployment office prompted a 2012 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that he overstepped his authority by vetoing some
funding for Iowa Workforce Development.


Mother Faces Trial For Drowning Infant Son

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - A murder trial is set to begin for a western Iowa woman accused of drowning her 15-month-old son.
Ashley Cameron, of Onawa, is scheduled to have her trial start Tuesday in Monona County District Court. She is charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment in the 2012 death of
Markis Dahms.
The Sioux City Journal ( ) reports the 25-year-old Cameron waived her right to have a jury hear her case.
The trial is expected to be completed this week.
Police say Cameron held Markis under a running faucet in a bathtub until he drowned. The results of an autopsy led to Cameron's arrest. She pleaded not guilty last year.


Jury To Hear Testimony Relating to Mentally Ill Employees

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A jury has been seated to hear a lawsuit in which the government alleges a Texas company exploited mentally disabled contract workers at an Iowa turkey processing plant.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is seeking damages for 32 ex-workers of Henry's Turkey Service that it contends were verbally and physically abused between 2007 and 2009.
Henry's supplied the workers under contract to West Liberty Foods in West Liberty.
U.S. District Judge Charles Wolle told potential jurors the EEOC will allege the men received derogatory names and comments and physical abuse that included hitting and kicking. He says the EEOC will allege they were given harsh discipline and inadequate medical care.
The eight-member jury was chosen Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Davenport. Trial is expected to last two weeks.

Facebook Looks At Locating In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa economic development officials are approving tax credits for Facebook to build a $300 million data center in Altoona and increasing incentives for Google that allows
it to expand in Council Bluffs.
Both projects are before an Iowa Economic Development Authority board meeting Tuesday.
The board's due diligence committee has approved $18 million in tax credits for the Facebook project to be built near Interstate 80 in Altoona, a Des Moines suburb. The full board is considering the
project, which will create 31 jobs.
Kearney, Neb., also sought the project.
Google has a $600 million data center in Council Bluffs and is building another. It's increased the cost to $700 million from the original $300 million. The state is increasing tax credits offered to $16.8 million from under $10 million.








Tuesday News, April 23

Northern Natural Gas and DeRocher Construction Reach Settlement

HINTON, Iowa (AP) - A construction company and a natural gas pipeline owner have settled a lawsuit filed after a northwest Iowa pipeline explosion nearly a year ago.
Omaha, Neb.-based Northern Natural Gas Co. had sued DeRocher Construction, of Le Mars, for negligence. Northern sought more than $439,000 in damages.
Officials say the April 25 blast near Hinton occurred after two DeRocher workers who were using machinery to install drainage tile struck the underground pipeline, rupturing it. They ran and escaped
fatal injury before it erupted into a fireball.
The Iowa Attorney General's Office in August fined DeRocher $20,000 for failing to call Iowa One Call to have underground utility lines located before digging.
The companies have delayed court proceedings while final settlement details are worked out. Spokesmen for both companies declined to comment.


Supervisors To Meet Today

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the Courthouse Board Room.  The supervisors have a light agenda for this week.  They will hear from Assistant County engineer Terry Marienau as they approve a contract for a culvert project and to give approval to the Cherokee Rural Water Association to place a waterline.


Merrill Road Construction Project To Start

(Le Mars) -- Road construction near Merrill is scheduled to begin today and is expected to continue through the end of June.  County engineer Tom Rohe says the paving projects will be one of the major construction projects scheduled for this year.

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Rohe says it is not just the county that is conducting road construction around Merrill, the state transportation department will also be performing work through Merrill.
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Detours will start today, and they will be from the intersection of county road K-42/C-38 north to Highway 3, then east on Highway 3 to Key Avenue, then south on Key Avenue to C-38. Another road slated to be closed beginning today is 190th Street from County road K-42 to Juniper Avenue.  That road is scheduled to be closed for four days for a bridge project repair.


Today Is Teal Tie Tuesday Awareness For Sexual Assault

(Le Mars) -- April is Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Awareness Month and today is Teal Tie Tuesday.  Cathy Van Mannen of the Council for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence explains.
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Dordt College To Expand Science Center

(Sioux Center) -- The Dordt College Board of Trustees has given a green light to the first phase of a major Science and Technology Center expansion at Dordt College.  In an April 18th meeting, board member approved a Spring 2013 groundbreaking, signaling confidence in the college's plans and fundraising progress for the project.  Dordt College has tentatively scheduled May 13th for the ground breaking ceremony.  In recent years, the growth in enrollment in Dordt's natural science division has outpaced the increase in enrollment in the other two academic divisions.  Students in the sciences also have had a remarkable record of success, with pass rates in the top tier nationally on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and the nursing NCLEX exam, along with four in five pre-med students being accepted into medical school compared to one in three nationally.  College officials say the comprehensive remodeling of the current structure will provide a better building layout, allow for further growth, and connect the science department to other academic areas on campus for more collaboration across disciplines.  Dordt has raised $8 million of the needed $12 million for the first phase.

Iowa State Seed Science Center Launches Symposium

AMES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa State University Seed Science Center is launching a symposium to examine the changes in plant seed science and technology over the past 30 years.
The event begins Tuesday evening from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Seed Science Center with a celebration of the contributions of Leroy Everson, former director of the ISU Seed Laboratory. Colleagues,
students, faculty, and staff who worked with Everson are invited to attend. Speakers will highlight his contributions to Iowa State University and the seed industry.
The Leroy and Barbara Everson Seed & Biosafety Symposium is scheduled for Wednesday at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. It is funded by a contribution from Everson's family.
Speakers will include international experts in seed research, crop science, and agronomy.


Suspicious Packages Located At Postal Offices

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have given the all-clear at an Ames post office where a suspicious suitcase was reported.
Officials determined Monday afternoon that the suitcase did not pose a threat. It was found in
the lobby earlier in the day.
Authorities in Iowa City also cleared their investigation Monday into a suspicious package reported by a mail services employee for the University of Iowa Health Care.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports a bomb squad determined the package was safe. It contained a box of tea, some ginger and a greeting card.
Officials in both Ames and Iowa City say they continue to investigate the circumstances behind the reports.


U of I Students & Faculty To Receive Training To Prevent Suicides

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - University of Iowa students and employees will have access to additional training and counseling under a federal grant designed to prevent suicides.
The university announced details Monday of a three-year, $271,000 grant, which is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The project will be led by university counseling service director Sam Cochran.
One initiative will encourage students and faculty to go through a brief, online training that shows how to learn about identifying and approaching struggling students.
More in-depth training options will also be available, including a six-week program for students in which they can become part of a new support network.
The Crisis Center of Johnson County will also expand its Crisis Chat program, which allows community members to talk with trained counselors online.


Police Use Cigarettes To End Standoff

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say they used a pack of cigarettes to end a 30-hour standoff in Des Moines.
Police used a stun gun to gain custody of 53-year-old Michael Reed. He was arrested Monday.
The Des Moines Register reports police lured Reed outside of his home when he asked for a pack of cigarettes. They used the stun gun after he stepped on the porch to retrieve them.
Police had been sent to the home Saturday afternoon to investigate a property dispute. They reported being shot at by an occupant, and they fired back. No injuries were reported.
Reed is also known as Micky King, an Elvis Presley impersonator.
He remains in custody. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.




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