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Wednesday News, January 2

Fire and Police Departments To Train At Clark School

(Le Mars) Over a month before the tragic events in Connecticut, Le Mars Community Schools in cooperation with Le Mars Police and Fire Departments had made arrangements to conduct
a training drill at Clark Elementary School for today, Wednesday, January 2nd.  Similar execersizes have been held at various school buildings in the district in the past.  Le Mars Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt notes that there is no school today on January 2nd when the training session will be held.  The event is important for emergency personnel to practice their response to various scenarios at different school buildings.

Supervisors To Make Appointments

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning and on their agenda will be the selection of the board chairman and vice chairman.  The supervisors will also make appointments to the Veteran Affairs Board, County Health Board, County Board of Adjustment, and County Zoning Board.  The supervisors are also expected to appoint a member to the County Conservation Board, as well as appoint five people to the Local Options Sales Tax Board.  The supervisors will hear from Dave Smetter of Wells Enterprises as they review and approve a settlement agreement between the Iowa Department of Economic Development and Wells Enterprises.


Police Seek Help In Solving Area Burglaries

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police Department is asking for help in solving several business burglaries in Le Mars over the past month.  Police report that two food restaurants and a auto repair shop were burglarized. Taco Johns was burglarized on December 8th, Bob's Drive In was broken into sometime on December 19th as was the Northwest Iowa Auto Center.  All three businesses are located on Business Highway 75.  With Taco Johns and Northwest Iowa Auto Center, an undetermined amount of cash was stolen.  Bob's Drive In was broken into, but nothing was reported as being missing.  In addition to these burglaries, Storm Lake, Remsen, Akron and Orange City have also reported a rash of break-ins.  Anyone with information on the Le Mars or surrounding area burglaries is encouraged to call their local law enforcement agencies or crime stoppers.

Gehlen and Spalding Catholic School Boards To Meet

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic school officials have announced that Spalding Catholic School Board and Gehlen Catholic school board will meet Wednesday evening at 7 pm in St. Joseph Catholic Church's social hall to decide on a merger and unification between the two schools.

Tate Langel First Baby Born At Floyd Valley

(Le Mars) -- Tate Steven Langel is the first baby to be born in the Floyd Valley Hospital for the new year of 2013.  Tate was born at 4:06 p.m. on Tuesday, January 1st.  He weighed five pounds and 14 ounces and is 18 inches long.  The proud parents are Ashley and Brent Langel of Le Mars.


Animal Shelter Saved

HAVELOCK, Iowa (AP) - An animal shelter in northwest Iowa has found a comfortable new home, thanks to donations from pet lovers and community members.
The Safe Haven Animal Shelter in Havelock successfully relocated after it was given a choice: move,or get rid of all its animals.
Shelter co-director Pam Orr says the facility was told in June to remove animals from the property, because neighbors were complaining about the odor. In August, shelter officials were told
they had to move.
Orr says the shelter found a new location in September.
The new space had no lights or indoor plumbing. But as word spread about the shelter's troubles, donations began to pour in.  Some people gave cash, while other supplied paint to improve the
new shelter space.


"Field of Dreams" Land Sold

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) - The purchase of the "Field of Dreams" movie site in eastern Iowa has been completed.
The investors group Go the Distance Baseball LLC says it closed last week on the deal reached with owners Don and Becky Lansing.
The final price was $3.4 million plus interest. It was listed for $5.4 million more than two years ago when it went on the market.
Go the Distance plans to transform the Dyersville landmark into All-Star Ballpark Heaven, a 24-field youth baseball and softball tournament complex.
Construction is expected to begin this spring, with the first tournament games scheduled for 2014.




Tuesday News, January 1

(Le Mars) Gehlen Catholic school officials have announced that Spalding Catholic School Board and
Gehlen Catholic school board will meet Wednesday evening, January 2, 2013 at 7 pm in St. Joseph Catholic Church's social hall to decide on a merger between the two schools.

(Le Mars) Gehlen Catholic High School marching band placed first in Class A in the field show competition at the 2012 Holiday Bowl in San Diego last week.  The band placed 3rd in
Class A in the Big Bay Balloon Holiday Parade.


Iowa lawmakers, agencies submit about 500 bills

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa legislators and state agency
officials have requested about 500 bills that will be introduced in
the Legislature's upcoming session.
The Gazette of Cedar Rapids reports that the requests are down a
bit from last session and are far less than the 709 proposals
submitted before the 2011 session.
The proposals deal with a variety of issues, including tax
policy, education reform and implementation of federal health care
The legislative session begins January 14th and is scheduled to
last 110 days.

New Iowa laws include hunting, fishing changes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa fisherman will be able to drop a
third line in the water on the same fishing license beginning
The law is among a handful taking effect January 1st.
It allows anglers to fish with three poles and a total of six
hooks, up from two poles and four hooks.
Another law would allow hunters and anglers to use three-year
licenses. A separate law allows combined licenses for hunting and
Most laws approved by legislators in 2012 take effect July 1st,
2013, but a few start with the new year.
Other laws include one making Iowa's volunteer firefighters and
emergency medical technicians eligible for a $50 income tax credit.
Also, childcare providers who serve children eligible for the
state's assistance program will receive a rate increase.

Officials seek clear policy for traffic cameras

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad and the state's
transportation director say automated cameras designed to catch
motorists running red lights or speeding should be used only after
other engineering and enforcement solutions have been tried.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that Branstad says he's
concerned every village in the state may want cameras.
Iowa cities using cameras include Cedar Rapids, Sioux City,
Davenport, and Des Moines. Some generate millions of dollars a year
in fines.
DOT Director Paul Trombino says the agency has new guidelines
for using cameras on Iowa's primary highways. The guidelines say
cameras should seldom be used as a long-term solution for speeding
or red-light running.
Banning cameras or establishing uniform rules for operation has
come before lawmakers before and is likely to surface again this

Iowa Capitol flag lowered for slain former page

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Capitol's flag has been lowered
to honor a former legislative page who was killed with her husband
in Nebraska.
KTIV-TV in Sioux City reports that the flag was lowered Monday,
on what have would have been Victoria Vargas' 26th birthday.
Vargas and her 30-year-old husband, Gabino Vargas, were found
dead on December 9th in a mobile home near the northeast Nebraska
town of Ewing.
Police say they had been shot, and the home was set on fire.
Police have charged Victoria's ex-boyfriend, Matthew Hinrichsen,
with arson and two counts of first-degree murder.
Victoria Vargas, whose maiden name was Victoria Lee, served as a
page in the Iowa Senate eight years ago. She also was elected to
the Missouri Valley city council at age 19.

Police: Meth ingredients found at Iowa day care

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Police are investigating an eastern Iowa
home day care center that may have been used to make
The Quad-City Times reports that 34-year-old Dale Blumer was
arrested Sunday on a felony drug-manufacturing charge. He was still
in the Scott County Jail on Monday on a $100,000 bond.
Davenport police Lieutenant Brent Biggs says Blumer's live-in
girlfriend ran a day care out of the home where the ingredients
were found. Authorities have contacted the Iowa Department of Human
Services, but Biggs says he couldn't confirm whether children were
present in the home when the arrest was made.
Biggs says police are still investigating. An arrest affidavit
says police found several meth ingredients, but it's not clear
whether quantities of the drug itself were found in the home.

More charges for Iowa man accused of shooting dog

MARNE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have filed additional charges
against a western Iowa man accused of shooting a pet dog near his
home on Christmas Eve.
The Des Moines Register reports that 56-year-old Charles Cutler
now faces charges of animal abuse and reckless use of a firearm. He
previously was charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm within
city limits.
Police say Cutler shot and killed a 1-year-old chocolate
Labrador retriever named Wrigley. The dog belonged to Stacey Ernat,
a 23-year-old teacher from Denver, Colorado who was headed home to
the Quad Cities for the holidays. Relatives say she stopped in
Marne, a town of about 150 near Atlantic, to visit a friend and let
Wrigley out of the car.
Cutler told authorities the dog was on his property.

Des Moines airport credits Southwest for busy year

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines airport officials are
crediting Southwest Airlines for increased boardings.
Airport aviation director Don Smithey tells KCCI-TV that
passenger traffic was up about 14 percent in November compared to
the same month last year. For the year, Smithey says the numbers
increased 9 percent.
Smithey says the entry of Southwest into the Des Moines market
has driven down fares and encouraged more people to fly out of the
Southwest began flying out of Des Moines on September 30th, with
flights to Chicago. Smithey says airport officials are hopeful
Southwest will add new routes.

Iowa bartender charged with threatening youth

ELKADER, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa bartender is charged with
threatening and trying to hold captive a teenager who was helping
sheriff's deputies conduct an alcohol compliance check.
KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids reports that 33-year-old Timothy Finley
allegedly threatened the volunteer with a pipe and ordered her to
go the basement of Fennelly's Irish Pub on Friday, after she tried
to buy a six-pack of beer.
Clayton County Chief Deputy Ryan Johnson says Finley, the
tavern's manager, checked the youth's identification and told her
he suspected she was part of a "sting." He then allegedly told
the volunteer to go into the bar's basement and threatened to hurt
Finley was arrested on suspicion of second-degree harassment,
false imprisonment, and kidnapping. He has since been released from
a county jail.

Tulsa beats Iowa State 31-17 in Liberty Bowl

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Trey Watts rushed for 149 yards, Alex
Singleton ran for three scores and Tulsa beat Iowa State 31-17 on
Monday in the Liberty Bowl, avenging a season-opening loss to the
Iowa State rallied to beat Tulsa 38-23 on September 1st, but the
Golden Hurricane put together the comeback in the rematch. Tulsa
trailed 17-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Iowa State (6-7) was seeking its second winning season in the
last seven years.
Tulsa scored two touchdowns in the first four minutes of the
second quarter to pull ahead for good.

No. 5 Indiana holds off Iowa 69-65

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Cody Zeller had 15 of his 19 points in
the second half and fifth-ranked Indiana opened Big Ten play by
holding off Iowa 69-65 on Monday night.
Victor Oladipo scored 14 points for the Hoosiers (13-1, 1-0 Big
Ten), who snapped a four-game losing streak in Iowa City.
Oladipo beat the shot clock with a putback with 1:04 left to put
the Hoosiers ahead 65-60. He also made two key free throws with 26
seconds to go to make it a two-possession game.
Aaron White had 15 points to lead the Hawkeyes (11-3, 0-1),
which might have pulled off the upset had theyshot better than 3
for 17 from the 3-point range.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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