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Wednesday News, August 13

Economic Development Discussed At Business Builder Seminar

(Le Mars) -- Economic Development was discussed during the second Building Business seminar held Tuesday at the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor.  Neil Adler, the executive director with the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce and the Le Mars Business Inititative Corporation told the gathering that economic development has been constantly changing over the course of the past few decades.  Adler offers his definition of economic development.

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Adler says there are some communities, during their eager efforts to attract a potential business or industry to locate within their town, the civic leaders may offer various tax break incentives, and in some instances, perhaps try too hard and offer too much.

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The Chamber Executive points to the industrial park located on the south side of Le Mars as a success story for the town's economic development.  He says within the past few decades such companies as Bo-Deans, IML Containers of Iowa, Nor-Am, Wells Enterprises, Dean's Foods, Clover Leaf Cold Storage, and Schuster Trucking among others are examples of growing enterprizes that are conducting business within the Le Mars Industrial Park.  Adler says Le Mars has had success with finding companies and helping them expand and grow.

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Adler says Le Mars is fortunate to have a nice mix of businesses that can support each other.

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Scoop The Loop Scheduled For Tonight

(Le Mars) -- Tonight, the classic cars will return to the Olson Cultural Events Center as the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual "Scoop the Loop" celebration.  Cars, motorcycles, and even perhaps some trucks from eras gone by will be featured.  Along with the "Scoop the Loop" will be the band "The Jammers" as they play the music from the 50's, 60's, and 70's reminicient of the time the classic cars were cruizing the streets.  The Scoop the Loop celebration begins at 6:15 p.m. and the Jammer's will perform until 8:15 p.m.  But the fun  continues, as KLEM radio will celebrate our 60 years of broadcasting.  We will be showing an outdoor movie and handing out Jollytime popcorn, cupcakes from "Piece of Cake" and bottled water from Culligan Water.


Rock Valley Man Sentenced For Sexual Abuse

(Orange City) -- A Rock Valley man has been sentenced to prison for ten years for sexual abuse to a 15 year old girl.  22 year old Jonathan Haneklaus was sentenced on Monday in Sioux County District Court.  Haneklaus admitted to having sex with a girl, who at the time of the crime, was 14.  Haneklaus pleaded guilty in court.  The prison term was suspended and Haneklaus was placed on probation for five years.  He was further sentenced to a special sentence committing him into the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections for the rest of his life.  Haneklaus must now register as a sex offender. 


Girl Dies In Head-on Accident

  EARLY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa State Patrol says a teenager from Sac County has been killed in a head-on car crash with a recreational vehicle. 
     The patrol reports the crash occurred Tuesday on Highway 71, south of Early. Authorities say 16-year-old Coral Deal died after driving off the road and then overcorrecting.  They say the teen's Pontiac Vibe crossed the center line and hit a Fleetwood RV driven by a 71-year-old Texas man. 
     The car was crushed under the RV's front wheels. The man wasn't injured.
     The patrol is investigating.


Blencoe Looking For A New Post Office

 BLENCOE, Iowa (AP) - Residents of Blencoe will meet with postal officials next week as they try to ensure the small western Iowa community can keep its post office.
     The Aug. 20 meeting is focused on finding a new location for the post office, which must move because of structural problems that forced the closure of its longtime building in April.
     For months, residents in the town of 220 people have received mail at temporary boxes or by driving 16 miles to the post office in Moorhead.
     The Postal Service is looking for a spot with about 700 square feet of space.
     Blencoe Mayor Rusty Collison says he knows of several vacant building that could work for a post office but the process could take a year.


Branstad Removes Iowa From Common Core Educational Program

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is removing Iowa from an organization created to develop an assessment system for the Common Core education standards. 
     A Branstad spokesman said Tuesday that Branstad last week sent a letter to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, seeking to terminate Iowa's membership. The consortium, which is comprised of states, has been working to establish a testing program.
     In his letter, Branstad says a state task force is reviewing Iowa's assessment needs and will provide recommendations in January. Out of respect for that work, he says the state will not continue in the consortium.
     The Common Core standards have been adopted by more than 40 states but have been criticized by conservatives. Iowa has blended many Common Core components into the Iowa Core.


Report Shows State Employees Receive Generous Benefit Package

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report says Iowa state employees receive generous health benefits and pay little out of pocket for coverage.
     The Pew Charitable Trusts and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation released the report Tuesday. It shows what states are paying for employee health care. 
     In Iowa, the state pays 97 percent of health care costs for an average worker enrolled in the plan. That's higher than a national average of 92 percent. Iowa is among six states that pay 97 percent or more of average employee health care costs. 
     The plans most people buy through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces cover 70 percent of the costs.
     Danny Homan, who heads the state's largest public employee union, says state workers have passed on raises to maintain health benefits.


Farmers Expected To Harvest Record Corn Crop

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers will produce a record-breaking corn harvest this year, surpassing earlier expectations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has revised upward its estimate of this year's corn harvest to 14 billion bushels.
     That exceeds last year's 13.9 billion bushel record.
     Soybean production also will set a new record at 3.8 billion bushels, beating the 2009 harvest of 3.4 billion bushels.
     Farmers are blessed with an abundant crop but cursed that it has driven prices lower. They are taking more control of their grain marketing by building more on-farm storage, holding onto the crop and timing the sale to maximize profit.
     Rain fell at the right times and a cooler summer made for favorable growing conditions in the 18 states that produce 91 percent of the nation's corn.


Tuesday News, August 12

County Supervisors To Meet Today

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to convene this morning at the Plymouth County Courthouse Board room. The Supervisors are expected to fill some vacancies.  The supervisors will appoint a trustee and a clerk for Portland Township.  They are also expected to appoint Don Mathews to the Board of Adjustment.  The supervisors will hear a report from County Engineer, Tom Rohe.  Rohe will submit a permit from Premier Communications requesting to do work in the Hungerford Township near County road C-60.  Southern Sioux Rural Water Association is also requesting a permit for Sioux Township on county road K-18.  Rohe will also present a resolution to the supervisors attention regarding a traffic safety improvement program application for county road C-60.


Deputy To Assist Motorist Ends Up Arresting Him For Possession Of Methamphetamine

(Le Mars) -- A Plymouth County Sheriff's Deputy who offered assistance to a motorist ended up arresting him for possession of methamphetamine.  Saturday evening, at about 10:24 p.m. 58 year old Jeffrey Raby of Fort Dodge was expereincing issues with his vehicle on Highway 75, just south of County road C-38.  The deputy started assisting Raby and became suspicious of criminal activity.  Further investigation led to the arrest of Raby, as he was charged with possession of paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor and possession of a controlled substance with the third offense which is a class D felony.


School Board Hears Principals' Year End Reports

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education met last evening, and were given updates from each of the district's principals regarding the end of year reports relating to student achievement with test assessments.  In most cases, Le Mars Community students have scored well on the assessment tests, showing improvement over the years, and reaching the assessment goals.  Students were tested in mathematics, reading skills, and science.  Middle School Principal Steve Shanks reported to the school board that in many cases Le Mars students ranked either first or second among the schools within the Northwest Area Education Agency in the assessment categories of mathematics, reading, and science.  Shanks believes the improvement is due in part to the school's emphasis on PLC SMART program which identifys goals focussed on essential learnings.  In other action during the school board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Steve Webner reported to the board of education that for the most part, Le Mars Community is meeting the expectations of the federal program, "No Child Left Behind."  The school board approved three new policies to be included in the student handbook.  The school board also approved an agreement with Remsen-Union School district allowing R-U students to participate in Le Mars Vocational Agricultural classes and FFA.  The school board approved the contracts for eight different staff members, and they also approved open enrollment for six students wanting to attend Le Mars Community.  The school board also awarded a contract to Langel's Electric of Le Mars for the installation of new lighting in the small theater.  The submitted bid was for $119,000 which was nearly $30,000 lower than the second place bid.


Hospital Trustees To Meet

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees are scheduled to meet this evening at the hospital board room.  The trustees will begin their meeting at 6:00 p.m. and will review the community health advisory quarterly report.  The hospital trustees will be given an Auxiliary Update, as well as a city update, and a report from Avera McKennan, Floyd Valley's management partner.   Hospital administrator Mike Donlin will brief the trustees on the latest developments regarding the North Addition Expansion project.


Gengler Awarded Musson Scholarship

(Le Mars) -- Greg Gengler has been awarded the 2014 Steven H. Musson Memorial Emergency Services Education Scholarship.  The Musson family established the Steven H. Musson Emergency Services Education Endowment in 2003 to recognize and honor Steve for his passion for emergency care.  This year, the committee has been able to award a $500 scholarship.  
     Gengler is currently an EMT with the Le Mars Ambulance Service and will be attending the paramedic program in Sioux City.  Gengler also leads the First Responder Team at Dean Foods where he works full-time.    
     He stated in his application, “My largest goal within EMS is to provide the very best care and leave a lasting impression of the care they receive to all I may encounter along the journey.”  He also adds, “EMS is a very rewarding career and towns are faced daily with hard times of getting others interested in becoming part of the EMS family.  I will do my part in trying to show others what a rewarding career EMS is and also volunteering to help your fellow neighbor.”


Le Mars Chamber To Host Business Builder Seminar

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce will hold its second Business Builder seminar today over the lunch hour.  The program will feature Neil Adler, the executive director with both the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce and the Le Mars Business Inititative Corporation.  That program will be held at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor.


Des Moines School District To Pay For All School Breakfasts and Lunches

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines school district says some parents want to pay for their children's free meals at school.
     District food director Sandy Huisman says that the parents made the offer after the district announced last month that all students at 35 of the district's 60 schools would be offered free breakfasts and lunches. 
     Most of the 18,000 students at the 35 schools qualify for free or reduced-price meals. The district determined it was cheaper to provide free meals for all than keep track of students' eligibility. The U.S. Department of Agriculture agreed to the change and will pay the entire cost of the meals. Breakfasts cost $1.93 each and lunches cost $2.98.


Iowa Crops Look Good

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A U.S. Department of Agriculture report indicates Iowa's corn and soybean crops are looking good.
     The USDA says Monday that 76 percent of the corn crop was in good to excellent condition, and 75 percent of the soybean crop was in good to excellent condition.
     Topsoil moisture also was in good shape in most areas, with 71 percent of Iowa farmland rated as adequate, 23 percent short and 3 percent very short. The remaining 3 percent had surplus moisture.
     Recent rains soaked some areas of Iowa while leaving others relatively dry. That's reflected in the survey showing some areas had only three days suitable for field work while other had more than six days during the week ending Aug. 10







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