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Thursday Afternoon News, April 2

People Are Split Over Whether Log Cabin Should Be Saved (Updated)

(Le Mars) -- The status of the Joy Hollow log cabin was discussed last evening during an informational meeting held at the Plymouth County Historical Museum. The log cabin currently sits at the Plymouth County fairgrounds, and fair board officials would like to see the cabin either torn down, or moved off the premises.  Members of the "Friends of the Joy Hollow Log Cabin" have started a fund raising campaign in hopes to raise enough money to move the cabin to the museum grounds, and second to begin restoration of the 115 year old cabin.  Two preservationists who have restored numerous log cabins spoke at last evening's meeting.  Mark Johnson of Artisan Restoration from Kasota, Minnesota believes efforts should be taken to save the cabin.

 

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Butch Bouvier of Council Bluffs is another log cabin preservationist, and he agrees with Johnson, the cabin should be saved.  Bouvier says he has looked at the cabin and believes it is in better condition that what many have been lead to believe.

 

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Johnson informed last evening's gathering the estimated cost to fully restore the aging cabin could run around $35,000.  Area boy scouts wanting to earn their Eagle Scout badge are encouraging museum officials to adopt the log cabin.  The boy scouts hope to participate in the restoration process. However, the Museum board of directors are split over whether or not to take on the challenge to preserve the deteriorating cabin.  Wayne Marty, a longtime volunteer, and a past president of the museum board of directors, says he would like to see the cabin restored, but he doesn't believe the museum should take on the task. He says the county museum is growing to the point where it is already difficult to keep up with the needed maintenance for the building and its artifacts.

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Marty says he is concerned the museum may not have the funding for such a project.  He also spoke of many unfinished projects already at the museum. Marty says adding the Joy Hollow cabin as part of the museum's responsibility will consume precious amounts of time.

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Marty says if given more time, a more suitable location for the log cabin may be identified. He offers some suggestions as to how the cabin can be saved, and where it may serve as a useful service to the community.

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Cost estimates for moving the log cabin is set at $9,000, and officials indicated last night they have raised around $7200 within the past week in pledges.

 

 

County Burn Ban Again In Effect

(Le Mars) -- Due to the continued dry and windy conditions, and the fact that Plymouth County received only minimal amounts of rain Wednesday evening, Plymouth County is again under a burn ban , and will remain in effect until further notice.  In recent days, there have been a rash of grass and field fires, not only in Plymouth County, but also neighboring counties of Sioux and Woodbury County with one grass fire that got out of control and destroyed a Sioux City home.

 

 

Wiccan To Offer Opening Day Prayer At Legislature

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A member of the Wiccan faith will give the opening prayer in the Iowa House of Representatives next week- a break from tradition that has raised some eyebrows in the state Capitol.

Representative Liz Bennett, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, said Wednesday she had invited Deborah Maynard, a Wiccan from her district, to address lawmakers on April 9th.

Bennett said this would be the first time, to her knowledge, that a Wiccan gives the invocation, typically handled by religious leaders or citizens invited by lawmakers.

The Wicca religion is shaped by pagan beliefs. A message left for Maynard at a church where she is a member was not immediately returned.

Republican Representative Walt Rogers, of Cedar Falls, said he is a Christian but supports Bennett's choice to invite Maynard.

 

 

Re-sentencing Trial Set For Former Teenager Charged With Murder

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - The resentencing of a Floyd County man who was a teenager when he killed his 3-year-old cousin has been postponed.

Sentencing for Edgar Concepcion Jr. had been set for Thursday but has been delayed until July 22 in Floyd County District Court in Charles City.

Concepcion was convicted of first-degree murder and other crimes for the July 2009 death of Krystel Banes. Concepcion was 14 at the time of the slaying.

Concepcion was sentenced in November 2010 to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Iowa Court of Appeals later upheld his convictions but overturned his sentences.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional, so Concepcion must be resentenced.

 

 

 

Utility Board Member Upset With Governor Branstad

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Utilities Board member has bluntly told Gov. Terry Branstad that his decision to remove her is improper and being done to placate a powerful energy company that complained about a recent ruling.

Sheila Tipton told Branstad in a March 18 letter that his decision to replace her and demote chair Elizabeth Jacobs is an inappropriate attempt to influence the board to favor utilities.

She says Branstad made the changes "to appease MidAmerican Energy," which complained to him about a ruling requiring the company to use some proceeds from a wind energy development to reduce rates. Tipton says that decision was correct and fair to MidAmerican and its customers.

Tipton said Branstad's shakeup threatens the board's independence and sends a message to "get in line" and favor utilities.

 

 

 

Naked Woman Driving Car Involved With Accident

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say they responded to a car crash to find a naked woman behind the wheel of a car that had rear-ended another vehicle through a Des Moines intersection.

The Des Moines Police Department arrived at the scene of the collision around 12:25 a.m. Thursday. 25-year-old Jesse William Jeffries, who fled in nothing but shorts and shoes, was later arrested on a public intoxication charge.

Charges against the naked woman present at the scene are pending.

Police say the couple's vehicle, which they believe reached about 80 miles per hour, rammed into a car stopped at a red light. An accident report notes the naked woman's eyes appeared bloodshot, but that she says she wasn't driving.

Only minor injuries were reported in the collision.

 

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Thursday News, April 2

Payloader Catches On Fire

(Oyens) -- The Le Mars, Oyens, and Remsen Fire Departments were called to a dairy farm Wednesday afternoon at about 1:45 p.m. for a payloader tractor that had caught on fire.  The address of the fire was 40671 110th street, about six miles north of Oyens.  A payloader was inside an open front dairy barn when apparently it had got too hot and started on fire.  Fire fighters extinguished the blaze, but were also concerned about the swirling winds inside the open front barn that created a wind tunnel effect spreading hot embers on dry corn stalks used as bedding for the dairy cattle.  Fire officials soaked the corn stalk bedding with water.  The payloader was a total loss estimated at over $100,000.  There was no damage to the barn itself, and all the dairy cattle were able to be moved away from the flames and were uninjured and unaffected by the fire.  Fire fighters were on the scene for about an hour.

 

 

Le Mars Fire Department Issues March Monthly Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had a busy March according to its monthly report.  The Le Mars Fire Department responded to 31 calls in March, 15 of which were fire calls, with twice offering mutual aid to Merrill and Hinton for grass fires.  The local fire department performed eight rescues, and conducted five investigations or accident clean-ups, and had one request for services.  During March there were 65 new fire fighters from various surrounding communities that participated in training exercises in the simulated smoke semi-trailer at the Western Iowa Technical Community College fire school.  That trailer which has been modified inside to appear as a home with a staircase, bunk beds, desk, closets, and other features normally found in a home is owned by the Le Mars Fire Department.

 

Log Cabin Preservationists Say "Save The Cabin"

(Le Mars) -- The status of the Joy Hollow log cabin was discussed last evening during an informational meeting held at the Plymouth County Historical Museum. The log cabin currently sits at the Plymouth County fairgrounds, and fair board officials would like to see the cabin either torn down, or moved off the fairgrounds.  Members of the "Friends of the Joy Hollow Log Cabin" have started a fund raising campaign in hopes to raise enough money to move the cabin to the museum grounds, and second, to begin restoration of the 115 year old cabin.  Two preservationists who have restored numerous log cabins spoke at last evening's meeting.  Mark Johnson of Artisan Restoration from Kasota, Minnesota believes efforts should be taken to save the cabin.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Butch Bouvier of Council Bluffs is another log cabin preservationist, and he agrees with Johnson, the cabin should be saved.  Bouvier says he has looked at the cabin and believes it is in better condition that what many have been lead to believe.  Bouvier says "we should not throw away history" when referencing the log cabin.

Listen to

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However, the museum board of directors are split over whether or not to take on the challenge to preserve the deteriorating cabin.  Wayne Marty, a longtime volunteer, and a past president of the museum board of directors, says he would like to see the cabin restored, but he doesn't believe the museum should take on the task.  Marty says he is concerned the museum may not have the long-term funding for such a project.  He also spoke of many unfinished projects already at the museum.  Marty says the volunteers at the museum are aging and can't take on the added project.

Cost estimates for moving the log cabin is set at $9,000, and officials indicated last night they have raised around $7200 within the past week in pledges.

 

 

Floyd Valley Hospital Honors Its Volunteers

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital and Floyd Valley Hospital Auxiliary thanked their many volunteers during a Wednesday morning brunch and program.  25 people were personally recognized for their many hours of contribution ranging from 250 hours to 2500 hours.  Three ladies: Pat French, JoAnn Rowenhorst, and LaDonna Stangby have donated more than 2500 volunteer hours with the hospital or auxiliary.


 

Walding Honored With Chamber's "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- The true character of a person is defined through times of testing, and Wesley Walding has "proven" himself to be nothing less than an exceptional employee, friend, and example. The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce  awarded the "Chamber Employee of the Month to Wesley Walding.  Duane McLay of Emily's Home Furnishings submitted the nomination for Wesley Walding. McLay says Wesley wears the same smile when unloading trucks in temperatures as low as  -65 below wind chill that he does on warm spring afternoons. When his two year old daughter battled cancer last year, he effectively wore the hats of fiance and dad, yet cared about the store and worked out a schedule. Even as his fiancee is diagnosed with MS, Wesley has kept his work ethic high and his attitude a joy and pleasure to be around. Wesley is made up of much more than snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.  He is the future of Le Mars, and the future looks very bright indeed. Congratulations to Wesley Walding, LeMars Area Chamber of Commerce April Employee of the Month.

 

Cruz Speaks At Morningside College

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Texas Senator Ted Cruz says concerns about religious freedom could unite Republicans and rally conservative Democrats to the GOP in 2016.

The Republican presidential candidate told an audience in Sioux City, Iowa, on Wednesday that a new Indiana law is awakening like-minded voters of various political stripes.

Speaking in Republican-heavy northwest Iowa's evangelical hub, Cruz says religious liberty "is not some fringe view" and that "courageous conservatives" need to stand up for it.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a law giving heightened protections to businesses that object on religious grounds to providing certain services. Critics say the law discriminates against gays, and it's drawing threats of boycotts and other economic actions.

Cruz entered the GOP nomination race last week.

 

 


 

 

   

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