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Tuesday Afternoon News, December 9

Supervisors Hear About County Wellness Program

(Le Mars) -- During Tuesday's Plymouth County Board of Supervisor meeting,   Jessica Trobough reported to the supervisors the county was able to save $78,000 through the county employee's participation of a wellness program. 

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Trobough informed the county supervisors, that in 2015, Wellmark, the insurance company that insures the county employees, are asking county employees for more involvment in the wellness program.

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The county attorney's office employee says Plymouth County employees are given additional incentives, besides lower premium insurance payments, when they think about wellness and implement ways to remain healthy.

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Plymouth County has more than 100 employees.

 

Compensation Board Representatives Tell Supervisors They Have Good Employees

(Le Mars) -- Representatives of the Plymouth County Compensation Board met with the county supervisors this morning to offer their recommendations for salary increases for elected county officials, and for the supervisors.  John Koley reminded the supervisors that Plymouth County is fortunate to have good employees, and in many cases, the people would be able to receive more money if they chose to pursue a similar position in the private sector.

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Larry Petersen, another county compensation board member echoed Koley's sentiments.

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Governor Christie To Make Another Iowa Visit

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will attend a conservative summit in Iowa next month.
     Jeff Marschner, a spokesman for the conservative group Citizens United, said Monday that Christie will attend the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24 in Des Moines. The event is being sponsored by Citizens United and Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa.
     Christie is weighing a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made several visits to the early voting state during the midterm election cycle, including a stop at a King fundraiser.
     Other confirmed guests for the summit include Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Utah Sen. Mike Lee.

 

Body Found At At Spirit Lake Apartment Fire

  SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a body has been found following a large fire at a Spirit Lake apartment complex.
     The Spirit Lake Community Fire Department says fire crews recovered the body in the debris after the Sunday afternoon fire at Hill Avenue Apartments. Additional information was not released.
     Officials say a kitchen fire at the apartment complex led to the large blaze, which destroyed the structure.
     Two residents were treated for smoke inhalation. The American Red Cross is also helping affected residents.
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Officials Apprehend Escaped Inmate

  SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials have apprehended a man accused of escaping from a work release facility in Iowa.
     The state Department of Corrections says 29-year-old Justin Lee Miller was back in custody Monday. He is being held at the Polk County Jail.
     Officials say Miller was placed on escape status from a Sioux City work release program in August, after an unexcused absence.
     Additional information about Miller's return is not available. He is serving time for convictions of willful injury, assault and escape. He was transferred to the work release program in June.

 

Woman Wants Death Penalty Re-trial To Be Moved Out Of State

  MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman convicted of helping her drug-dealing partner kill five people in 1993 wants her death penalty retrial moved out of state.
     Angela Johnson's lawyers are asking a federal judge to move the retrial to Minnesota or out of western and central Iowa.
     U.S. district judge who found flaws in Johnson's defense ordered a new sentencing trial but upheld the convictions. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in August that jurors must first decide whether Johnson is eligible for the death penalty, and then whether that should be imposed on each count.
     Johnson and her then-boyfriend, methamphetamine kingpin Dustin Honken, were convicted of killing two former drug dealers who were cooperating with a federal investigation, one of the former dealer's girlfriends and her two kids.

 

University of Iowa Students Protest Art Display

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Black students and employees say the outrage over an art display depicting a Ku Klux Klan costume should be a catalyst to make the University of Iowa more welcoming to minorities.
     Many blacks say they were traumatized by the 7-foot-tall KKK robe displayed without permission Friday by a visiting art professor, and upset with the university's response.
     About 20 students, faculty and staff discussed the incident Tuesday during a meeting of the UI African American Council, an advocacy group for employees.
     Council President Michael Hill, an associate professor of English and African American studies, says the incident is tied to "broader issues" for blacks on campus. He says he's concerned the university isn't putting enough efforts into recruiting black students and faculty members.

    

 


 

 

  

 

 

   

Tuesday News, December 9

Plymouth County Supervisors To Get Wellness Update

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning.  The supervisors will hear an update on the county wellness program from Jessica Trobough.  Trobough will inform the county governing board about the 2015 ISAC Wellness plan for Plymouth County.   The board will hear a budget request from Dick Sieveres from Mid-Sioux Opportunities of Remsen.  The County Board of Supervisors will also hear a report from John Koley and Larry Petersen from the Plymouth County Compensation Board.  As we mentioned yesterday, the Compensation Board is recommending the supervisors consider offering county elected officials a three percent increase in salary, and they believe the county supervisors should get a two and a half percent increase.

 

Langel Addresses Business Builder Seminar

(Le Mars) -- During the Business Builder session held Monday, Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel explained to the group of two dozen community business leaders the various city departments and functions.  Langel showed a graph indicating the number of new houses that have been built since the mid-1990's.  Langel says it is important for Le Mars to keep growing in order to receive grants.

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Le Mars has had between 20 and 23 new homes built each year for the past few years. However, there was a time, a couple of decades back, when Le Mars saw more than 40 new homes being built in a year.  That growth was at the same time Le Mars saw the expansion of Wells Blue Bunny, and the introduction of Bo-Deans, and IMF Containers of Iowa. All major employers in Le Mars.  Langel explains what the city is doing to encourage additional homes to be built in the "Ice Cream Capital of the World".

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Langel was asked if in order to see the growth of 40 plus homes to be built in Le Mars, if the city would need to see another major expansion by an existing industry, or if another industry would need to settle in Le Mars?

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Investigators Looking To See Why Cattle Died

(Sioux City) -- Woodbury County authorities are investigating the mysterious death of 17 head of cattle over the weekend.  Lt. Charles Hertz of the Woodbury County Sheriff's office says the cattle were discovered near a creek by Lawton around 1:30 p.m. Saturday

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Lt. Hertz says it's unknown at this time why the animals died, while others were unharmed.  There were no marks on any of the animals and field autopsy found no signs of trauma.  

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Other stat and county agencies are also assisting in the investigation.     

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Lt. Hertz says there is no evidence of criminal activity in the case and the investigation is ongoing. 

 

Sioux City Police Investigate Disdurbance Call  

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are investigating a report of disturbance involving a gun.  On Monday evening at about 8:40 p.m. Police were called to the residence of 1110 12th street.  Officers determined that three subjects came to the residence, displayed a pistol, and demanded that the occupantsgive them drugs.  The suspects were over powered by occupants in the house and two suspects managed to flee the house while one of the suspects was detained at the scene.  Officers were able to locate one of the suspects a few blocks away.  Police have charged 19 year old Davontae Morre of Sioux City, and a 17 year old male, also of Sioux city with Burglary in the first degree, a class B felony, and going armed with intent, a class D felony.  A third 17 year old suspect was identified, but is still at large at this time.  The firearm used in the incident was recovered at the scene.  None of the occupants were injured in this matter, and the arrested parties were treated for minopr injuries.  Police are still investigating the incident.

 

Des Moines Officials Postpone Plans For Ride Share Program

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines officials have postponed plans for a new city ordinance aimed at regulating the ridesharing service Uber.
     The City Council on Monday pushed back a vote to January that would spell out how Uber should conduct business in Des Moines. Council members said they wanted more time to research the issue.
     Uber launched in Des Moines in September, despite warnings from officials that the company was violating city ordinances.
     City officials have discussed a set of rules for Uber that would be similar to those imposed on taxi and limousine companies. But Uber officials have called the proposed ordinance restrictive. They include requiring Uber drivers to receive a certain chauffeur license.

 

Branstad Appoints Gregg To Be Public Defender

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has appointed a former aide to serve as Iowa State Public Defender.
     Branstad announced Monday that Adam Gregg would take over the office, which coordinates legal representation for those that cannot afford it. The previous public defender is moving to another state job.
     Branstad said in a news release that Gregg will "work to represent and defend individuals who otherwise couldn't afford legal representation."
     Gregg most recently ran as the Republican candidate for attorney general, losing to incumbent Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller in November.  Before that, he served as a legislative liaison for Branstad. He is a graduate of Drake University Law School.

 

Branstad Making Inauguration Plans

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad will be sworn in for a sixth term on January 16.
     Branstad announced plans for his inauguration Monday. The inauguration will be held at 9 a.m. at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center Ballroom in Des Moines. The inaugural ball will be held that night at the same location.
     Tickets for both events are available to the public. The inauguration is free, but the ball costs $75 a ticket. The net proceeds will go to a scholarship fund.
     Central Iowa businessman Bill Knapp and former cable television executive Jim Cownie are chairing the inaugural committee. Both contributed to Branstad's campaign.

 

Man Dies From ATV Rollover

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state Department of Natural Resources says a man has died while hunting in a state forest in southeast Iowa.
     The DNR says the man was deer hunting Monday afternoon in Stephens State Forest, northwest of Unionville in Appanoose County, when the all-terrain vehicle he was driving rolled on top of him. He had been trying to maneuver over a downed log.
     The man was pronounced dead at the scene. He was described as an elderly hunter, but neither his name nor his age were released pending notification of relatives.
     The DNR says he had a permit to operate the ATV in the state forest.

 

Oskaloosa Couple Charged With Child Abuse

 OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an Oskaloosa man and woman were arrested after their 13-day-old child suffered fractures to both legs.
     Court records show 25-year-old Michael Rowley is charged with child endangerment causing serious injury and 27-year-old Amber Puckett is charged with child neglect. Mahaska County Jail records show both remained in custody on Tuesday. Online court records don't list the names of their attorneys.
     A court affidavit says Oskaloosa police were contacted on Dec. 2 after the child was taken to a Pella hospital. An officer's affidavit says Puckett had been drinking on Dec. 1 so she left the child in Rowley's care. The affidavit says Rowley told the officer about becoming angry while changing the crying infant's diaper and grabbing the child by the legs and twisting and jerking them.

 

U of I Student Reports Sexual Abuse

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa says a student has reported a sexual assault on campus.
     The school says police received a report on Saturday about an incident at a residence hall on Friday. A female student says an unknown person sexually assaulted her.
     Additional details were not available. The school released the information in accordance with a federal disclosure law.

 

Cosby's Show In Des Moines Cancelled

   LOS ANGELES (AP) - An Iowa venue says a Bill Cosby performance scheduled for next year has been postponed indefinitely.
     The Des Moines Civic Center said Monday it notified ticketholders that they will receive a refund for the planned March 7 concert.
     Cosby stage shows have been canceled in several other states. The actions follow renewed allegations by women claiming decades-old sexual assaults by the 77-year-old comedian.
     Cosby has denied the allegations.
     Last week, Los Angeles police opened an investigation into a woman's claims that Cosby molested her in 1974, when she was 15 years old. The woman, Judy Huth, is suing Cosby for sexual battery.
     Cosby has never been charged with a crime and settled the only other sexual assault case against him. That case was filed by Andrea Constand, a former worker at Temple University in Philadelphia.
 


  
 

 

   

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