Friday News, December 5
Seven Teenagers Arrested On Marijuana Charges
(Le Mars) -- Seven teenagers were arrested Wednesday evening by the Plymouth County Sheriff and Le Mars Police Department drug task force. All seven of the subjects were charged with conspiracy to deliver marijuana, a class D felony. Six of the seven were juveniles and were booked at the Plymouth County Jail and released to the custody of their parents. One was an adult and was booked into the jail. The seven include: 18 year old Alex Paul, 17 year old Kyle Theisen, 16 year old Tyler Uden, 17 year old Noah Schietler, 16 year old Cameron Buhman, 17 year old Alex Daggett, and 17 year old Andrew Dietrich. Officials indicate the investigation is continuing.
Today Is Deadline For Nominations For Business And Citizen Of The Year
(Le Mars) -- Today is the deadline to submit nominations for "Citizen of the Year", and for the "Business of the Year". Nominations need to be at the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce office, no later than 4:00 p.m. Winners will be announced during the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards and Banquet scheduled for January.
Pioneer Village Christmas And Lighted Parade Scheduled For Saturday
(Le Mars) -- Saturday can be considered as the unofficial start of the Christmas season for Le Mars. Christmas at Pioneer Village and the Sertoma Lighted Christmas parade are both scheduled to occur this weekend. Jackie Schlesser serves as one of the coordinators for the Pioneer Village Christmas. She explains what this year's event will feature.
Schlesser says there will be plenty of traditional holiday refreshments that will be available, along with a special visitor from the North Pole.
Pioneer Village will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with the entertainment to begin at 6:45 p.m. following the Sertoma Lighted Christmas parade. Schlesser says the Pioneer Village will contain decorative lights on the buildings, and hundreds of different Christmas decorations and displays will be featured at the famous Round Barn.
A brief history of the Christmas at the Pioneer Village, it was the Le Mars Chamber that was the original sponsor, and when it looked as though the Le Mars winter tradition was going to be discontinued, Earl Utesch was able to form a group together to keep it operating.
Sertoma Club To Cooridinate Christmas Lighted Parade
(Le Mars) -- Another Le Mars Christmas tradition scheduled for Saturday evening is the annual Christmas Lighted parade. This year, the Le Mars Sertoma Club have come forward to help coordinate the parade. Terry Claussen serves as the president of the Sertoma Club and says there is still a great interest from the community regarding the annual lighted parade.
Claussen says there is no registration with the parade, simply show up. The parade is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. starting from 8th Street, and heading north on Central Avenue.
Branstad Orders Flags At Half-staff To Honor Pearl Harbor Attack
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has ordered that flags in Iowa be flown at half-staff to mark Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day weekend.
Branstad announced Thursday that the flags will be set at half-staff from 5 p.m. Friday through 8 a.m. Monday at the State Capitol Complex and other public buildings throughout the state.
The state is encouraging businesses, schools and other public buildings to also fly the flag at half-staff during that time period.
Sunday marks the 73rd anniversary of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The attack killed about 2,400 sailors, Marines and soldiers.
Public Employee Pension Fund Is Increasing
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new actuarial report shows that Iowa's largest public pension fund has seen investment gains over the past year.
The Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System says in a Wednesday news release the fund had $28 billion as of the end of June.
Actuaries for Cavanaugh MacDonald Consulting say the plan was funded at nearly 83 percent of the present value of future retirement payments, meaning there is an unfunded shortfall of about $5.5 billion. But the shortfall is down from $5.8 billion a year ago.
The report says the long-term health of the plan depends on investment returns and making expected contributions.
The plan has more than 340,000 members, including current, former and retired public sector workers.
Des Moines Water Has High Levels Of Nitrates
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - High nitrate levels in the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers have forced Des Moines Water Works to turn on an expensive nitrate removal system.
Water Works CEO Bill Stowe says he had no choice but to run the system, which costs about $7,000 a day to operate.
The system was last used in the spring and summer of 2013. Stowe says it cost about $900,000 in treatment expenses and lost revenue passed on to ratepayers. Water Works serves about 500,000 customers in central Iowa.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows nitrate levels of up to 10 parts-per-million in drinking water. The Raccoon River was at 12.6 and the Des Moines river was at 11.6 Thursday.
Stowe says the finished drinking water after treatment is 8.8 and is safe to drink.
Regulator Says He Was Falsely Fired
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa regulator claims he was fired after industry officials complained about his investigation into whether a convenience store chain falsely advertised some gasoline products.
In a lawsuit filed Monday, Michael Manahl alleges the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship received complaints from Dubuque-based Molo Petroleum and an industry association about his interpretation of the law.
Molo is the parent of Big 10 Mart Convenience Stores, located in Iowa and Illinois.
Manahl alleges he was fired after accusing some company stations of charging two different prices for the same gasoline.
The company and its trade association say they contested Manahl's allegations, saying he unfairly accused Molo of wrongdoing.
Company President Mark Molo says his reputation was being maligned by someone who "really didn't understand the workings of our industry."