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Saturday News, February 28

Fire Department Responds To Chimney Fire

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a chimney fire at about 8:00 p.m. Friday evening.  The alarm was at 139 5th Avenue Southwest, the home of Le Mars City Councilman Ken Nelson. According to fire officials, there was very little damage to the home, or the roof, as a result of the fire.  Fire fighters were on the scene for a little more than an hour. 

 

Two People Arrested For Various Drug Charges

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Police and Plymouth County Sheriff's Deputies conducted a joint drug task force search warrant Friday morning at 401 6th Avenue Southeast in Le Mars.  Officers located numerous prescription pills that were packaged for sale, a small amount of marijuana and methamphetamine, scales and packaging materials.  As a result of the search, two arrests have been made.  Arrested were 20 year old Brenden Arens of Le Mars and 24 year old Dionicio Hernandez also of Le Mars.  Arens was charged with possession with intent to deliver Vyvance a schedule II controlled substance, a class C felony.  He was also charged with possession with intent to deliver Focalin, a schedule II controlled substance a class C felony. Hernandez was charged with conspiracy to deliver Vyvance, and Focalin both a schedule II controlled substance, and both are a class C felony. Hernandez was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.  The investigation is continuing and more charges are expected.  

 

Lawmakers To Hold Legislative Forums

(Des Moines) -- Republicans State Senator Bill Anderson and State Representative Chuck Soderberg will be visiting Plymouth County communities on Saturday for legislative forums.  The lawmakers will begin their day at the Hinton Elementary School at 8:30 a.m. Their next stop will be at the Le Mars Community Education Center to meet with school officials at 9:30 a.m.  At 10:30 a.m. Anderson and Soderberg will be at the American Legion Hall in Brunsville for a legislative forum.  Their last stop is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. at the Westfield Community Center.  The legislative forums are open to the public and constituents are encourged to discuss any issues relating to the Iowa Legislative Session.

 

Pheasants Forever Banquet Scheduled For This Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County chapter of Pheasants Forever will hold its annual banquet raffle and auction this evening.  Chris Anderson, the president of Plymouth County Pheasants Forever says this year marks the 30th anniversary for the event.

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The Plymouth County Pheasants Forever banquet has attracted more than 500 people in the past, and Anderson expects similar results for this year's banquet.  He says a wide variety of people take an active interest in the local chapter.

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Anderson says the local Pheasants Forever chapter is consistently an active chapter participating in many different events.

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Again, this year the annual banquet will feature several shotguns, and travel excursions which will be raffled or auctioned.

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The Pheasants Forever president says a labordor retrever hunting dog will be auctioned as well as several pheasant forever themed artwork and prints.  The event will be held at the Le Mars Convention Center on February 28th beginning at 5:00 p.m.

 

Water Quality Discussed At Commodity Classic

(Phoenix) -- Farmers from across the nation have gathered this week in the sunbelt city of Phoenix, Arizona to discuss market prices, planting intentions,  the new farm bill, and even environmental and other issues as they relate to agriculture.  Cleghorn, Iowa farmer Tom Oswald serves as the president of the Iowa Soybean Association.  He says water quality has been discussed in great detail at the annual Commodity Classic, and other states are turning to Iowa's leadership involving water quality issues.

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Oswald says farmers have no other choice, but to show results of reduced nitrates and phosphorus, otherwise, other entities such as enviromental groups will demand more regulations and mandatory actions.

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The soybean leader says the Iowa Soybean Association is working with its membership and offering several educational seminars to assure farmers are taking the appropriate steps to reduce nitrates and to improve water quality.

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Commodity Classic concludes on Saturday.

 

Body Found Near Grimes

GRIMES, Iowa (AP) - Police say they have discovered a body in the area where a car had earlier been found in an icy Iowa creek.
     Authorities say the car was found Friday morning just north of Grimes with no one inside. The body was later discovered nearby. The identity of the body has not yet been released.
     Officials say it wasn't immediately clear how long the car had been in the water, but that snow on top suggests it had been there since earlier this week. The car sustained severe damage to the rear.
     The car belongs to a woman who was reported missing on Monday.

 

Arbritrator To Decide Contract For State Employees

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An arbitrator will decide new contract terms for state workers after union leaders could not reach a deal with Governor Terry Branstad.
     Both sides presented their final proposals to a neutral arbitrator Thursday for a two-year contract for about 19,000 workers. A final decision must be made by March 15th.
     The two sides are at odds over health insurance. According to data supplied by the Branstad administration, the union has offered to have members pay a fixed monthly premium, which would be a first for many members. But the administration wants workers to pay a larger portion of their health care costs.
     Danny Homan, president of the Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, would not comment. A spokesman for Branstad also declined.

 

Authorities Investigate Threats Against Ames Mosque

 AMES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they're investigating a letter left at an Ames mosque that contained anti-Muslim messages and threats.
     Ames Police spokesman Jason Tuttle says officers responded around 4 p.m. Thursday to a report that the note had been left on the door of Darul Arqum Islamic Center. Tuttle said Friday that authorities have since begun working with leaders at the mosque to implement a safety plan and provide extra patrol in the area.
     Scrawled on the envelope was an anti-Muslim slur. Inside were three short notes, including a vague threat to the Muslim population.
     Tuttle says there doesn't appear to be any immediate threat to the mosque, but that the comments in the letter are "concerning" to the department.
     Investigation into who left the letter is ongoing.
 

   

Friday Afternoon News, February 27

Junge Retires From Emergency Management Services Director

(Le Mars) -- After serving on the job for the past 13 years, Plymouth County Emergency Management Services Director, Gary Junge has announced his retirement. This Saturday marks the last offical day for Junge.  He says looking back upon his career, he will remember how Plymouth County was able to obtain grants in order to purchase needed equipment for possible emergency situations by working together.

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Junge says each Plymouth County community has benefitted from the grants obtained in order to be better prepared for possible emergencies.

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The outgoing County Emergency Disaster Management Director says he will remember the various floods that hit Plymouth County during the past few years.

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Junge says he will also remember the many storms and tornadoes that have hit Plymouth County.

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Junge says he will remain in Le Mars, and will stand ready, if he can ever offer assistance for potential future emergencies. Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo (Plymouth County Emergency Management Commission Chair) presented Junge with a certificate of appreciation for his 13 years as Emergency Management Director for Plymouth County.   Several surrounding county Emergency Management Directors, Firefighters, Deputies, Police Officers, County Supervisors, etc. were on hand for the presentation.    

 

Plymouth County Authorities Investigate Roll Over Accident 

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have released information regarding a roll-over vehicle accident that occured on Highway 75 near county road C-38.  The accident happened last Friday evening.  The vehicle was traveling northbound on Highway 75 in the right lane.  While traveling around a curve near Kern Drive the driver,16 year old Erica Taylor of Orange City, lost control and began to exit the road to the east.  Taylor then attempted to make a correction at which point the vehicle rolled an unknown amount of times into the ditch on the east side of the highway.  The vehicle rolled over railroad tracks and came to a rest on its top in a farm field.  In addition to Taylor, two other passengers were in the car.  17 year old Jessica Phillips was transported to Floyd Valley Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and Ashleigh Kaptein indicated she had minor injuries, but was not taken to the hospital.  

 

Le Mars Community Theater Gets Ready For Next Performances 

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Theater is in the middle of rehearsals for its next production entitled: "Skin Deep".  The story involves a large, lovable, lonely-heart, named Maureen Mulligan, as she gives romance one last shot on a blind date with sweet awkward Joseph Spinelli.  She has learned to pepper her speech with jokes to hide insecurities about her weight and appearance, while he's almost dangerously forthright, saying everything that comes to his mind.  They both know they're perfect for each other, and in time they come to admit it.  They were set up on the date by Maureen's sister Sheila and her husband Squire, who are having problems of their own. Sheila undergoes a non-stop series of cosmetic surgeries to hang onto the attractive and much desired Squire, who may not have long ago held designs on Maureen, who introduced him to Sheila.  With Maureen particularly vulnerable to both hurting and being hurt, the time is ripe for all these unspoken issues to bubble to the surface.  Reservations begin on March 11th.  The Postal Playhouse is open to accept reservations between Monday through Friday at 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The telephone number is 546-5788, or you can go online at www.lctreservations@frontier.com  Performance dates are scheduled for March 20th through 22nd and again from March 26-29th.  Evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinee's begin at 2:00 p.m.

 

Iowa Supreme Court Says "No" To Tax Breaks For Filmmaker

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is upholding the state's refusal to award tax credits claimed by the makers of a documentary tied to the "Field of Dreams" movie.
     The court on Friday upheld the dismissal of a breach of contract claim filed by investors who bankrolled "Ghost Player: Relive the Magic."
     The dispute stems from an Iowa film tax credit program that was the nation's most generous but abandoned in 2010 amid scandal. Documentary maker Joe Scherrman says he believed he was owed about $400,000 under a state contract signed in 2009, but the state offered $59,000 after disputing some expenses.
     His film tells the story of the Ghost Players, who play baseball and perform comedy at the Field of Dreams site in Dyersville and have traveled the world performing.
 

 

Iowa Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit By Chiropractors

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is dismissing a lawsuit brought by chiropractors who claimed the state's dominant health insurer was engaging in illegal price-fixing.
     The lawsuit challenged Wellmark's practice of making its negotiated reimbursement rates for medical providers available to self-insured employers and out-of-state insurers in the Blue Cross Blue Shield network. It contended those deals violated Iowa antitrust law by restricting competition.
     Chiropractors have long challenged Wellmark's reimbursement rates as inadequate.
     The high court ruled 5-0 that Wellmark's deals do not amount to price-fixing agreements with competitors.
     Instead, the court says the arrangements are a way for employers to purchase health insurance services and for out-of-state insurers to use an existing provider network. The court says, in both cases, the deals are using purchasing power to achieve market efficiencies.

 

Ames Mosque Receives Threats

     AMES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they're investigating a letter left at an Ames mosque that contained anti-Muslim messages and threats.
     Ames Police spokesman Jason Tuttle says officers responded around 4 p.m. Thursday to a report that the note had been left on the door of Darul Arqum Islamic Center. Tuttle said Friday that authorities have since begun working with leaders at the mosque to implement a safety plan and provide extra patrol in the area.
     Scrawled on the envelope was an anti-Muslim slur. Inside were three short notes, including a vague threat to the Muslim population.
     Tuttle says there doesn't appear to be any immediate threat to the mosque, but that the comments in the letter are "concerning" to the department.
     Investigation into who left the letter is ongoing.
 

Des Moines May Have Pianos Placed In Parks

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Spontaneous music that's either harmonious or harsh could soon be filling the Des Moines air with a nonprofit planning to place eight pianos on city sidewalks and parks.
     The nonprofit City Sounds worked closely with the Des Moines Music Coalition to place and maintain two pianos downtown from July through October last year.
     This year, the nonprofit wants to start the public piano season a couple months earlier, with it beginning in May. It's proposing different locations, such as Gray's Lake Park, which still need approval by city officials.
     Councilwoman Chris Hensley says she was pleased with the success of the public pianos last year. The program launched last year with performances by local musicians on the instruments.


 

 

 

   

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