Monday, November 24, 2014
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Tuesday News, November 4

Plymouth County Polling Locations

(Le Mars) -- Today is election day with the polls having opened at 7:00 a.m. and will remain open until 9:00 p.m. Plymouth County has 13 precincts. 

Precinct 1 - Portland township and the City of Akron will cast votes at the Akron Public Library.

Precinct 2 - All of Garfield, Meadow, Henry and Remsen townships will vote at American Bank in Remsen.

Precinct 3 - City of Struble, all of Elgin, and America townships (excluding census block 191499702002047) will vote at the Courthouse Annex.

Precinct 4 - City of Brunsville and Craig, all of Washington, Johnson, Grant, and Preston townships will vote at the Brunsville Legion Club.

Precinct 5 - All of the city of Remsen and Oyens, Fredonia, and Marion townships will vote at Remsen Public Library.

Precinct 6 - City of Westfield, all of Sioux and Westfield townships will vote at the Westfield Community Center.

Precinct 7 - City of Merrill, all of Liberty, Stanton and Plymouth townships will vote at Kissinger Community Center in Merrill.

Precinct 8 - All of Hancock and Perry townships including portions of Sioux City within Perry township will vote at the Perry Township Hall. (4 miles west of Hinton on C-60)

Precinct 9 - City of Hinton, all of Hungerford and Lincoln townships including portion of Sioux City within Hungerford township will vote at the Hinton Community Center.

Precinct 10 - City of Kingsley, all of Union and Elkhorn townships will vote at the Kingsley Community Center.

Precinct 11 - 1/3 of the city of Le Mars will cast their vote at the Le Mars Convention Center (lower level).

Precinct 12 - 1/3 of the city of Le Mars will cast their vote at the Le Mars Convention Center (lower level)

Precinct 13 - 1/3 of the city of Le Mars will cast their vote at the Le Mars Convention Center (lower level)


Several Unopposed Political Races In Plymouth County

(Le Mars) -- This year there are no contested races in Plymouth County, other than for residents living in the eastern edge of Plymouth County who will decide between incumbent Republican Dan Huseman of Aurelia and his opponet Greg Fritzsche, a Democrat who are seeking State House District 3. Otherwise, voters will notice Supervisors Don Kass and Craig Anderson are seeking re-election.  Supervisor Jack Guenthner has decided to retire from the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors after his current term is completed.  John Meis' name will appear as a Republican candidate for the County Supervisor position. County Attorney Darin Raymond is seeking re-election and is running unopposed.  JoLynn Goodchild is unopposed for the County Recorder position, and Shelly Sitzmann is running unopposed for the County Treasurer position. Bill Anderson is unopposed as a Republican candidate for State Senator, and Chuck Soderberg is again seeking the position for State House Representative for District 2.


Floyd Valley Hospital Recognized By Press Gainey For Guardian Of Excellence

(Le Mars) – Floyd Valley Hospital is proud to announce it has been named a 2014 Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey Associates, Inc. The Guardian of Excellence Award recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently achieved the 95th percentile of performance in Patient Experience in the Emergency Department.
The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award is a nationally-recognized symbol of achievement in health care. Presented annually, the award honors clients who consistently sustained performance in the top 5% of all Press Ganey clients for each reporting period during the course of one year.
Press Ganey is the nation’s leading health care performance improvement company and partners with more than 11,000 health care facilities, including more than half of all U.S. hospitals, to reduce suffering and improve the patient experience.


Flu Vaccine Clinics Rescheduled

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital has announced the dates for re-scheduled flu vaccine clinics. Friday, November 14th between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. flu vaccines will be dispensed at the Hinton Community Center and Tuesday, November 11th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. health officials will dispense flu vaccines at the Rejoice Church of Le Mars.


School Bell Returns To Plymouth County

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - A Mississippi woman has returned an old bell from the long-closed Seney school to the Plymouth County Historical Museum, decades after she bought it for $8.50.
     Sarah and Larry Voas brought the bell to the museum in October. Many of Sarah Voas' relatives had attended the Seney school since it opened in 1880 and closed in 1964.
     In October 1965, she won the bell at a school auction after bidding against a religion professor at Westmar College. She said she wanted the bell because her mom attended the school.
     The couple moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, and kept the bell in their garage.


Ernst And Braley In Dead Heat Senate Race

(Des Moines) -- Latest polls show the U-S Senate race between Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst is a dead heat race.  The state of Iowa does not have a law for a recount of votes.  If a recount should happen, political party officials would need to request the votes from each of Iowa's 99 counties.


Harkin Apologies To Ernst

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin is apologizing for calling Republican Joni Ernst attractive, but "wrong for the state of Iowa."
     Harkin, who is supporting Democrat Bruce Braley to succeed him, made the remarks at a recent Democratic dinner. Video of the speech was posted on the Buzzfeed website Sunday.
     In the video, Harkin says it doesn't matter if Ernst is "as good looking as Taylor Swift or as nice as Mr. Rogers," if she's going to be a conservative vote in the Senate.
     Ernst decried the remark as sexist, saying he would not have made the same comments about a male candidate.
     In a statement released Monday, Harkin said he "shouldn't have said those things," and that he regrets "any time someone feels offended by what I have said."


Weekly Crop Update Shows Harvest Progressing

(Des Moines) -- On Monday we reported that Plymouth County harvest would wrap up within a few days.  Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist Joel Dejong estimates that more than 90 percent of the county's soybean crop has been harvested, and he believes that more than 75 percent of the county corn crop has been harvested.  Today, the weekly crop report is issued.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey reports that 91 percent of the state's soybean crop is in the bin, and 61 percent of the state's corn crop has been harvested.  Northey says the corn harvest is now just 10 days behind the five year average, and the soybean harvest is now slightly ahead of average pace.  


Sac County Motor Vehicles Employee Fired For Pushing Home Business During Work Hours

     SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) - An audit shows a former employee at the motor vehicle department in Sac County was fired because officials suspected she was promoting a personal business while at work.
     A state audit released Monday says the department for the Sac County Treasurer's Office had more than $3,500 in improper disbursements and deposited collections between January 2010 and the end of February of this year. Most of the money was paid to Lisa Phillips, the department's former deputy treasurer, for compensatory time.
     Phillips is accused of promoting a personal business during normal working hours. County workers told officials they saw her spending two to three hours per day doing non-county activities.
     A public number for Phillips is not available. The audit has been sent to the county attorney's office and other agencies. 


Prisoner Pleads Guilty To Escape

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A man who broke his arm while climbing out of a vent at the Webster County Jail has pleaded guilty to escaping.
     32-year-old George Johnson entered the plea Monday on charges of escape from custody and second-degree criminal mischief. 
     Johnson and another man escaped the jail in Fort Dodge in August while doing laundry. They used sheets they tied together as a makeshift rope to escape through a vent. Johnson fell three stories and was taken to an area hospital. 
     The other man was captured a few days later and has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the escape. 
     Johnson faces up to 15 years in prison on each charge when he is sentenced later this month.


Teenage Girl Faces Arson Charges For Setting Fire To School

 EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - A 14-year-old girl faces a first-degree arson charge in connection to a small fire at a middle school in northeast Iowa.
     Evansdale Fire Chief Kent Smock said Monday that the girl was taken into custody.  The case has been sent to the juvenile court system.
     The Associated Press generally does not name minors accused of crimes.
     The small fire was reported on Oct. 22 inside a bathroom at Bunger Middle School in Evansdale. No injuries were reported.
     The fire caused school officials to dismiss students and staff.








Monday Afternoon News, November 3

Le Mars Fire Department Issues October Monthly Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has issued its October monthly report.  The local fire fighting unit responded to a total of 11 fires, six rescue calls, nine accident clean ups and investigations, one mutual aid with Merrill, and 29 requests for services, marking a total of 56 calls for October. Fire Chief Dave Schipper reports 465 people attended the fire and rescue pancake breakfast.  The fire department held 28 fire prevention talks reaching 492 children, and 33 towns with 53 chiefs and/or officers attended the Iowa Fire Chief Conference held in Le Mars.


Sioux City Man Severly Burned From Home Fire

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City Fire Rescue says a man has been flown to an Omaha, Nebraska, hospital after being burned in a home fire. 
     Authorities say there were two people in the Sioux City house when the flames broke out on Sunday. They say a woman escaped uninjured but the man was rescued by first responders and suffered unspecified burn wounds. Authorities described the fire as severe. 
     The man's identity hasn't been released. His condition is unclear.
     He was taken to an area hospital before being flown to Nebraska. 
     It's unclear what started the fire.


Paul Pate Visits Le Mars On Campaign For Secretary Of State

(Le Mars) -- Republican candidate for Secretary of State, Paul Pate was in Le Mars last week campaigning.  Although there is no incumbent to this year's Secretary of State election, Pate had previously served as the Iowa Secretary of State.  Pate says it is important that voters ask themselves who will bring integrity to the position of Secretary of State.  Pate is a strong advocate for photo voter identification.

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Pate also says absentee votes need to be secured and protected.  He is advocating scanners to be used to verify signatures.

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Pate was asked if he sees in the future, people will vote from home by means of the personal computer and the internet.  He says the military is already doing such voting.

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Pate says most people may not know all the duties of the Secretary of State.  He says 70 percent of the duties deal with business services and commerce.


Sioux City Woman Rescued From Underneath RV

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City woman has been rescued from beneath her recreational vehicle.
     The accident occurred around noon on Sunday. The woman had been backing her RV into her driveway and got out to see how much room she had left. That's when it rolled backward and pulled her down beneath a front wheel.
     Firefighters soon arrived to pull her out after raising the RV. She was taken to Mercy Medical Center.


State Audit Confirms Misuse Of Funds

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state audit confirms a woman who was elected treasurer in Iowa County twice and later as a county supervisor took more than $60,000 from the county for her personal use.
     The state auditor's office says it has found more than $64,700 improperly used by Kimberly Tanke.
     She was appointed county treasurer in 1999 and twice elected before resigning in 2010 to run for county supervisor. She was serving on the board when a county auditing firm reported problems with motor vehicle registration deposits in November 2013.
     The irregularities led to an investigation. In January, Tanke admitted to a DCI agent she used funds for personal expenses and resigned.
     The 54-year-old Tanke of Williamsburg, pleaded guilty to felony theft in March. She is serving three years of probation.


Fort Dodge Park Catches Fire

 FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Firefighters have extinguished a blaze that burned through nearly 5 acres of a city park in Fort Dodge.
     The Fort Dodge Messenger reports the two-alarm fire broke out on Sunday at Oleson Park. Fort Dodge Fire Chief Kent Hulett says it took a little more than two hours for 13 firefighters to put out the flames.
     No structures were burned and no injuries were reported.
     Hulett says city workers still need to cut down some trees.
     It's unclear what started the fire.






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