Tuesday Afternoon News, May 21
Le Mars Receives SIMPCO "Best Community Award"
(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars was recently presented the "Best Community Award" by the Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council, an organization consisting of local and county governments. Mayor Dick Kirchoff shared the award, which is an engraved mantle clock, with the city during the Tuesday city council meeting. Kirchoff says Le Mars was the only community within the SIMPCO trade area to be given the honor during the annual meeting held May 9th. Kirchoff says the organization acknowledges the teamwork as displayed between the city, county, and private businesses.
Kirchoff says a major reason for the award is the recycling efforts conducted by the city. The mayor says Le Mars is now a model for other communities to follow in terms of successful recycling.
Kirchoff informed the council that Le Mars was also singled out for the honor due to its number of volunteers that step forward to offer assistance regardless whatever is the project. The mayor publicly thanked the community for its efforts.
City Council Gives Floyd Valley Hospital The Green Light For Moving Its Loading Dock
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council gave Floyd Valley Hospital the go ahead to start its construction project involving moving the loading dock from the north side of the hospital to the southern side. Hospital Administrator Mike Donlin appeared before the city council on Tuesday afternoon. Donlin says the expected cost of the construction project is estimated at $741,000. The Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on May 29th at 7:15 a.m. at the hospital to gather public comments about the loading dock construction project. Hospital officials anticipate contracts will be awarded in June with construction to begin in July. In other action, the Le Mars City Council gave approval to Van's Sanitation of Le Mars for an expansion project that will include an additional recycling center to be located in Le Mars. Scott Van informed the city council of his company's plans for the expansion.
Van offered reassurances to the city council the proposed expansion project would not interfere with the rail services.
Penn Gaming Says Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Violated Laws
(Sioux City) -- The parent company of the Argosy riverboat casino has filed a court action asking a judge to overturn the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission's decision to grant a land based gaming facility to Sioux City Entertainment for a Hard Rock Casino.
Penn Gaming, listed as the Belle of Sioux City, states in their petition for judicial review that the IRGC over the past year has engaged in a series of actions that has destroyed the economic value of the Belle’s license and the company's investment in the riverboat casino and in the Sioux City community
The petition was e-filed last Friday within the 30 day deadline to protest the commission's April 18th vote for the Hard Rock project.
The petition is similar to a letter Penn sent to the IRGC on May 9th, asking them to overturn that decision.
The commission is next scheduled to meet on June 7th, and did not set a meeting in May.
Sex Offender Found Dead - Believed To Have Abducted Missing Teen
DAYTON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a convicted sex offender who was suspected of abducting two girls from an Iowa bus stop has been found dead.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says 42-year-old Michael Klunder was found dead Monday night at a rural property northeast of Dayton, which is about 60 miles north of Des Moines.
His cause of death hasn't been released.
Klunder is accused of abducting a 15-year-old girl and 12-year-old girl on Monday. The 12-year-old was able to escape and told authorities she and the other girl were taken to an agricultural facility after accepting a ride from a stranger.
The 15-year-old is still missing. Dozens of law enforcement agents are searching for Kathlynn Shepard. Authorities say they're releasing her name and photo in an effort to find her alive.
House Adjourns For The Day - Plan To Continue Debate Later In The Week
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Debate in the state House on one-time spending proposals has been postponed until later this week.
Republican Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha gaveled-in to a sparsely populated House on Tuesday but then quickly adjourned until Wednesday morning. A House staffer says all 99 members won't
be called back to vote until compromises have been reached on education reform, property tax and other outstanding budgets.
The bill that was set for debate Tuesday in the House includes about $91 million in state money to increase funding for the police officer retirement fund.
The Iowa Senate also adjourned until Wednesday morning. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, says he hopes to start voting on key issues on Wednesday.