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Thursday News, September 18

Le Mars Fire Department Responds To Alarm At "The Abbey"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to "The Abbey" at 320 1st Avenue Southeast last evening at about 9:35 for a fire alarm.  Fortunately, there was no fire and the residents were safe. 

New Waste Water Treatment Plant To Hold Open House

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars residents and the general public is invited to attend an open house scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the new waste water treatment facility, located about two miles west of town at 17505 Key Avenue.  Le Mars mayor, Dick Kirchoff, says this is a one-time opportunity to see the new plant.

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Kirchoff offers some interesting statistics about the new waste water treatment facility.

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The Le Mars mayor says the new facility was needed to accommodate the expansion and growth of the city and its industries.  He explains the facility was financed in part by Wells Enterprises and Dean's Foods.

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Parking may become a concern during Thursday's open house, and the Le Mars mayor suggests people park at the Little League ball park, then be shuttled to the new waste water plant.

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Third Grade Students To Visit Plymouth County Farms

(Le Mars) -- Third grade students from Le Mars Community, Gehlen Catholic, Remsen-Union, and Remsen St. Mary's will leave their classrooms today, and instead have their class as part of a field trip located on different Plymouth County farms.  It's all part of an effort to teach the youngsters about agriculture.  The students will visit a sheep, swine, dairy, and beef farms.  Farmers will serve as teachers today as they discuss with the students where food originates as they discuss their own farming operations.  Following the farm tours, the students will go to Cleavland Park where the County Pork and Cattle Producers will grill pork burgers and hamburgers to serve.  The event is being sponsored by the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee.

 

Hospital Construction Project Encounters Delays

(Le Mars) -- Recent rains and other complications have slowed down the construction timetable for the Floyd Valley Hospital's new north addition expansion project.  Hospital Administrator Mike Donlin comments on the situation.

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Donlin says the leak forced contractors to essentially start over with the geothermal heating system.

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Repairs to the geothermal heating system is nearing completion, and with it, Phase 1 of the construction will also be complete.  Donlin says Phase 2 of the project will consists of the actual structural skeleton of the building and he hopes the weather will cooperate allowing contractors to enclose the facility before winter arrives.

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When does Donlin expect to see Phase 2 started?

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The hospital administrator says the construction delays may be frustrating at times, but he is pleased to see the project is still under budget.

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U-S Senate Race Tightens

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The race for Iowa's open Senate seat could be dubbed the Resume vs. the Personality. 
     Democrat Bruce Braley is focusing on policy in his bid to win the contest and his recent television ads have featured others talking about the four-term congressman's record. He doesn't appear in the ads himself. His Republican opponent Joni Ernst has built her campaign around telling voters her story as a down-home farm girl and military veteran. 
     A poll of likely Iowa voters released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University showed Ernst leading Braley 50 percent to 44 percent. The poll - which had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points - was the first recent survey to show Ernst with such a lead. Other recent polling has shown the two closely locked.

 

High School Principal Can Return To Work After Arrested For Public Intoxication

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A high school principal who was arrested on suspicion of drunkenness at a University of Iowa football game will return to work on Monday.
     The district school board voted Monday to let Adel DeSoto Minburn High School principal Lee Griebel resume his duties next week. Griebel was suspended after his arrest Sept. 6 in Iowa City. 
     Griebel was found at the stadium sitting near a garbage can with vomit on his shorts and a pile of vomit near him, according to a University of Iowa news release. Police said he had an unsteady balance and failed a breath test for intoxication.
     Court records do not list an attorney for Griebel.
     District Superintendent Greg Dufoe said in a news release that, "Mr. Griebel made a serious mistake, and he accepts full responsibility for his actions."

 

Actress Shirley Jones Returns To Mason City For "Music Man" Performance

 MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Actress Shirley Jones signed autographs and toured downtown Mason City on Tuesday during a stay highlighted by her performance in a concert version of "The Music Man."
     The Globe Gazette reports Jones signed album covers, books and other items for people at an event at The Music Man Square.
     It was the Academy Award winner's fourth visit to Mason City, starting with a 1962 stop for the premiere of the movie version of "The Music Man." Jones played Marian the librarian in the film.
     This time, Jones is in Mason City as part of a seven-state tour with her son Patrick Cassidy, who is playing con man Harold Hill. Jones and Cassidy are producing "The Music Man in Concert," and Jones is portraying Mrs. Paroo, Marian's mother.
     The show premiers Thursday at the North Iowa Community Auditorium.
     Among those getting Jones' autograph was Ken Anderson, of St. Ansgar, who was a driver for Jones when she visited Mason City in 1962. Back then, Jones signed a paperback book of "The Music Man" for Anderson, and Tuesday she signed it again.
 

 

   

Wednesday Afternoon News, September 17

Project Architech Gives Timeline For Downtown Facade Rennovation

(Le Mars) - The Le Mars City Council has set the date of October 30th when it will open bids from contractors interested in working on the downtown facade historical rennovation project.   The project is part of the Community Development Block Grant that allows cost-share funding from the state, the city, and building owners. The proposed plan is being submitted to the state's historical preservation office for a review.   During Tuesday's city council meeting, Project Archetech Peter Franks spelled out the timetable for the  project.

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Franks says the timetable allows city officials to make any changes if necessary, prior to the opening of the contractor bids.

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The estimated cost for the downtown facade rennovation project is $675,000.

 

Hamann Arrested For Sexual Abuse And Distributing Marijuana To A Minor

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police Department has completed a sexual abuse investigation that began on August 24th. 20-year old Donovan Hamann of Le Mars was charged with two counts of third degree sexual abuse, a class C felony.  Hamann was also charged with two counts for distributing a controlled substance, that being marijuana, to individuals under the age of 18, which is a Class B felony.  Hamann was arrested for those charges on Tuesday and was transported to the Plymouth County Jail.  His bail was set at $100,000.

 

Sioux City Woman Arrested For Possession Of Marijuana Following Traffic Stop

(Le Mars) -- A Sioux City woman was arrested for possession of marijuana on Monday evening following a traffic stop.  Plymouth County deputies stopped 23 year old Olivia Lesko for an equipment violation on Highway 75 near county road C-70, south of Hinton.  During the traffic stop, the deputy noticed a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.  Lesko was found to be in possession of marijuana.  She was arrested and jailed at the Plymouth County jail with bond set at $1,000.

 

Judge Rules Agent's Firing Was Justified

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The firing of a state investigator who reported Gov. Terry Branstad's speeding SUV wasn't a wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, a judge ruled Monday in dismissing one of four claims in his lawsuit.
     Former Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund had a duty to enforce traffic laws but that is "too vague and general" of a public policy to be a legally protected activity, Judge Dennis Stovall ruled. Hedlund didn't show a "compelling need" for protection from wrongful discharge since he had other job safeguards, including the ability to administratively appeal his firing, the judge ruled.
     Hedlund's claims of wrongful discharge under state law, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Branstad and three superiors can proceed, Stovall ruled.
     Hedlund initiated a pursuit in May 2013 after reporting an SUV zipped past him doing "a hard 90" mph on a state highway. A deputy clocked the vehicle traveling 84 in a 65-mph zone, but a trooper ultimately declined to issue a ticket after seeing it was a fellow trooper who was driving Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.
     Hedlund complained to then-DCI Director Chari Paulson that the vehicle should have been stopped, saying the incident jeopardized public safety. The agency removed Hedlund from duty days later.
     Hedlund's attorney, Tom Duff, said Wednesday he disagreed with the ruling and was considering an appeal. He said it might have "a chilling effect on other peace officers," if they are reluctant to enforce laws that could jeopardize their jobs.

 

Biden Tells Iowans To Vote For Democrats

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden is preaching a populist theme during a visit to Iowa - an important early-voting state in the presidential nominating calendar.
     He's telling voters to elect Democrats who support raising taxes on companies.
     Biden is hitting an election-year theme of restoring what he calls "basic fairness."
     The vice president spoke to about 200 Democratic activists on the steps of the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. Bide joined a group of a dozen or so nuns who are starting a nationwide bus tour to urge people to vote.
     Biden's considering running for the top job in 2016, and his trip to Iowa follows Hillary Rodham Clinton's high-profile appearance Sunday at retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's big annual fundraiser.

 

Chiropractor Told He Can Again Practice

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa chiropractor accused in the past of inappropriately touching female patients can resume practicing, a state board announced Wednesday.
     The Iowa Board of Chiropractic's decision to reinstate Stuart Hoven's license is contingent on several conditions. He is on permanent probation and will need a female chaperone present when treating patients who are women. He must also submit to polygraph testing every six months.
     Hoven, of Winterset, had been accused multiple times of inappropriately touching his patients' breasts. Two women reported incidents in 2012. Other patients reported incidents in 2004 that included alleged inappropriate comments of a sexual nature.
     His license was suspended indefinitely in January 2013. Hoven later expressed interest in returning to work, but the board ruled in September 2013 that he wasn't ready.
     A document filed by the board this month said Hoven has fully complied with requirements for seeking reinstatement. That includes completing individual and group therapy, as well as finishing a coaching program on professional sexual misconduct. 
     Hoven previously had clinics in Winterset and Osceola.

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 

   

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