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Tuesday news, July 31

Le Mars Ambulance To Receive Gift From Dean Foods

(Le Mars) -- Dean Foods of Le Mars is announcing they intend to give a gift to the Le Mars Ambulance Association.  The presentation is scheduled for today at 9:00 a.m. this morning at the Dean Foods facility.  Le Mars Ambulance staff members will be on hand for that presentation.


Chamber To Hold Second "Cash Mob" Today

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce will hold its second "cash mob" today(Tuesday) beginning at 12:00 noon in front of the Chamber offices.  Once again, mayor Dick Kirchoff will draw a name of a Chamber member business and people are encouraged to then visit that store and spend at least $20.  Mary Reynolds, the Le Mars Mainstreet Coordinator tells how this "cash mob" will be somewhat different from the first one.

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Reynolds says the first cash mob sponsored by the Chamber proved to be both a fun and a successful event.  She hopes the second cash mob will be equally successful.

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The concept of a cash mob is still relatively new according to Reynolds.

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Planning and Zoning Commission Look At Comprehensive Land Use Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Planning and Zoning Commission held an informational meeting last evening to review the county's overall comprehensive plan.  The consulting firm of J-E-O was on hand leading the discussion.  Jeff Ray of J-E-O explains the purpose of a comprehensive plan.

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This was the first of what may be a series of meetings reviewing the status of the county in terms of population distribution and projected growth, education, health services, and employment opportunities. Those in attendance were asked to assess the county's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.  The group identified Plymouth County's agricultural base as a strength, as well as the employment opportunities such as Wells Enterprises, Incorporated and the many businesses that have been developed as a result of Wells, including but not limited to Dean Foods, BoDeans Bakery, and I-M-L Containers.  A perceived threat was identified as not having a specific plan in place for what could be unexpected circumstances.

Branstad To Speak At School Choice Event

(Sioux City) -- Governor Terry Branstad will serve as the speaker for tonight's gathering of the Catholic School Foundation of the Diocese of Sioux City to honor Monsignor Lafferty Tuition Foundation supporters.  The special event is made possible by the generosity of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.  The Monsignor Lafferty Tuition Foundation is one of 11 state tuition organizations in Iowa.  Created in 2006 when the Educational Opportunities Act was signed into law, the monsignor Lafferty tuition foundation allows Iowa taxpayers who make a gift to a STO to receive an Iowa tax credit equal to 65 percent of the total amount of their gift.  The total donation also qualifies for federal deductibility.  The Monsignor Lafferty Tuition Foundation raised $1.92 million in 2011 and has a goal of $2.2 million for 2012.  The funds raised assist families who demonstrate a financial need for tuition assistance.  Over 12,000 students in the Sioux City Diocese school system have received $9.2 million of tuition assistance since 2007.  Tonight's event will take place at the Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center in Sioux City and will begin at 5:30 p.m.  Gehlen Catholic, Remsen St. Mary's, Granville Spalding, and St. Catherines Elementary school at Oyens are all part of the Sioux City Diocese.



Supervisors Scheduled To Meet

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the County Courthouse.  They are expected to appoint a member to the County Judicial Magistrate committee, and review and approve the county's semi annual settlement of cash report from January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012.  The county supervisors are also expected to approve a three-way minor subdivision in Preston township.  County engineer, Tom Rohe will appear before the supervisors to update the various road construction projects.



Drought Continues To Hurt Crops

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The proportion of the corn crop in Iowa that is now in poor or very poor condition has gone up to 46 percent in the last week.
Even with some rain over last week and last weekend, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the drought is taking a heavy toll in the state's agricultural economy.
Last week, 40 percent of the corn crop was considered in poor or very poor condition.
The USDA says in Monday's report that 34 percent of Iowa's soybeans are in poor to very poor condition. Last week, it was 30 percent.
Thunderstorms hit on Wednesday and over the weekend, with a statewide average of .70 inches. But Audubon hasn't had any measurable rain in 36 days.
The high temperature for the week was 107 degrees in Donnellson, Fairfield and Keokuk.
Iowa State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says July could be the third hottest and fifth driest July among 140 years of state records.


West Nile Virus Found In Lyon County

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have confirmed 2012's first reported human case of West Nile virus in Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Public Health said in a news release Monday that the victim is a woman older than 60 who is from Lyon County in northwest Iowa. The department says she is recovering.
The department medical director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, says the case is a reminder that the virus "is still out there and Iowans should take precautions."
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of a mosquito. Officials say the best way for people to combat the disease is to eliminate mosquito breeding areas and to use insect repellent when outdoors.
Last year nine human cases of West Nile virus were confirmed in Iowa and two deaths.

Landfill Clean Up Begins After Fire

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Cleanup is slated to begin after a landfill fire in Iowa City.
The city says the work will start on Tuesday, and could take about two months to complete. It includes uncovering and disposing of ash and debris. Officials say the work could produce smoke since
materials in the landfill could still be burning.
Officials say any smoldering materials will be extinguished once uncovered.
The fire began May 26 on roughly 7 1/2 acres in the 200-acre landfill, primarily in an unused portion. Initial efforts to contain it were unsuccessful, and the fire spread to a layer of shredded tires used for drainage. The cause of the fire hasn't been determined.











Monday news, July 30th

Good Fair Attendance, But No Record

(Le Mars) -- The 2012 edition of the Plymouth County Fair is now in the books.  Fair attendance was up from 2011. The total attendance for the "Best Five Days of the Summer" was listed at 91,900.  Fair Board vice chairman Rich Benson says the attendance was good, but it did not set any records. Saturday's attendance was at 23,250, a drop of nearly 500 people from last year.  Fair officials report Sunday's attendance at 16,500 up nearly 1200 from the Sunday attendance from last year.


Fair Auction Brings $19,675

(Le Mars) -- The Fair Auction generated an additional $19,675 with the proceeds to go to help with maintaining the fair.  Fair officials report the amount is similar to last year's auction receipts.  A lot of attention was given to the "Hidden Circles" quilt created by Geri Dreckman.
Once the quilt had passed $2000, only two bidders were wanting the quilt, Greg and Pam Wells and Terri Brock, the wife of auctioneer Bruce Brock, of which he seemed nervous of the fact his wife was bidding.

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We again pick up the action...

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The winning bid for the quilt was $4000 and it went to Greg and Pam Wells of Le Mars.



$18,000 Raised Through Life Skills Quilt Auction

(Le Mars) -- Another quilt auction was held Saturday at the fairgrounds.  This one with the proceeds benefiting Life Skills Training Center. Becky Scheitler reports the auction sold more than 70 quilts of all colors and sizes. In addition to the quilts, there were 20 items for a silent auction.  The quilt and silent auction brought in a total of $18,838.  Speaking of Life Skills, the other fund raiser for the organization was the Bossy Bingo. The winning square was S-7, and the Iowa State Bank of Remsen had selected that square.


King Visits Plymouth County Fair, Talks Farm Bill

(Le Mars) -- Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King stopped by the Plymouth County Fair on Saturday.  The current farm bill is about to expire, and the new farm bill is on the minds of all farmers, especially since the drought has guaranteed lower yields.  Farmers are wondering why the House of Representatives hasn't voted on the measure.  The Senate passed its version, just prior to the the Independence Day holiday recess.  King isn't certain as to why the Republican House leadership has decided not to bring the bill up for a vote.

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Because of action on the House calendar this past week, King suspects the House leadership will introduce a one-year extension to the present farm bill, and he believes it may be up for debate and a vote by mid-week.  King, a member of the House Agriculture Committee believes the one-year extension will also contain language that will offer drought assistance to farmers.  King says at least 50 Democrats have shown support for the version of the farm bill as it was passed through the House Agriculture Committee.  He believes those 50 and perhaps others will support the proposed farm bill, but he says it again comes down to production agriculture versus social assistance programs like food stamps.

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Comprehensive Land Use Meeting Scheduled

(Le Mars) -- An informational meeting is scheduled for this evening at 7:00 p.m to discuss the first Comprehensive Land Use Planning for Plymouth County. That meeting will be in the basement of the Plymouth County Courthouse Annex building in Le Mars.  This meeting informs the community of new updates on planning and zoning rules.  Consultants from J.E.O. will do the presentation.   Alan Lucken explains this is a required meeting in the county and The Zoning Board, Board of Supervisors and Board of Adjustments make up the committee presenting the meeting.


County Work Crews Replace Bridge With Culvert

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced the closure of Pioneer Avenue from County Road C-60 to 280th Street.  That road will be closed beginning today and continuing until August 17th.  County crews are replacing an old wooden bridge with a culvert.  Speaking about County Road C-60, County Engineer Tom Rohe reports that the paving project will probably get started sometime within the next couple of weeks.  Rohe says the intense heat wave has slowed down the progress of many construction projects as contractors have been working shorter hours in order to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration of their employees.


Le Mars United Way Kicks Off Campaign With Golf Tournament

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars United Way is ready for the ninth annual golf tournament that will kick off the 2012-2013 campaign.  The golf tournament, scheduled for August 30th, will also determine the new home for the next 12 months of LUW, the traveling trophy.  LUW which is short for the Le Mars United Way is a bronze painted lawn ornament of a golfer about 18 inches tall and weighs about 30 pounds.  Tradition dictates the winning foursome take LUW on their travels and photograph his adventures over the following 12 months.  Last year's winning team of Michael Murphy, Al Wendt, Mike Daggett and Mike Thompson.  The golf tournament is scheduled for Thursday, August 30th with a noon start.  It will be held at the Willow Creek Golf Course at Le Mars.



Mail Carrier Hailed As Hero

SLOAN, Iowa (AP) - A rural mail carrier is being hailed a hero for coming to the rescue of an elderly Sloan woman suffering from heat stroke.
Mary Bromander says she had been lying on the scorching driveway behind her house for about an hour Tuesday, unable to get up after venturing outside in triple-digit heat and losing consciousness.
She was found by U.S. Postal Service carrier Jeff Madsen, who spotted her after delivering the woman's mail.
Madsen propped her up, gave her water and summoned an ambulance.  Once at a Sioux City hospital, workers discovered she had a 104-degree temperature - an early sign of heat stroke.
Madsen says he just did what anyone else would have done in the same situation.



One Year Later, Investigators Still Searching For Missing Woman

NORWALK, Iowa (AP) - Investigators are still checking leads but report no arrests in the year following the slaying of a south-central Iowa man and the disappearance of his wife.
The Warren County home of Kay and Bill Wood was destroyed by fire on July 30, 2011. His body was found in the debris. The 79-year-old had been shot several times.
Their truck was found in Kansas City, Mo., the next day.  Seventy-two-year-old Kay Wood remains missing.
Police released a sketch of a person who was seen standing near the truck, but he hasn't been identified.
Michael Motsinger is an Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent. He says that agents are still working leads and are far from calling it a cold case.


Missouri River Reservoirs Helping Area From Drought

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The same reservoirs in northern states that were blamed for last year's flooding on the Missouri River are now giving the river a boost during a severe drought.
With the help of water from reservoirs in North Dakota and Montana, the Missouri River hasn't lost its depth beyond a one-foot drop in some places downstream from Kansas City.
The Kansas City Star reports the Mississippi River on the east side of the state, and waterways in Kansas and Nebraska, aren't so fortunate.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began tapping into reservoir water Friday after depleting the year's supply of snowpack and rain. Corps officials say there is plenty of water in the northern reservoirs to keep the river moving.









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