Friday, August 22, 2014
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Saturday news, August 2

Neunaber To Have Hearing On August 11th

(Le Mars) --   A preliminary hearing has been set for an Akron, Iowa man charged with first degree murder in the death of his mother.
     Jonathon Neunaber will appear in Plymouth County District Court on August 11th. 
     The hearing was set this (Friday) morning as Neunaber appeared before a judge at the Plymouth County Jail.
     He is accused of killing his mother, Esther Neunaber.
     Her body and that of her husband, Donald Neunaber, were found in their rural Akron home on July 9th. 
     Court documents state that Jonathon Neunaber admitted to investigators that he willfully, deliberatley, and with premeditation caused the death of his mother Esther Neunaber. 
      The cause of death of Neunaber's father has yet to be released and no charges have been filed regarding his death.


Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Holds Grand Opening

(Sioux City) --  Sioux City's Hard Rock Hotel and Casino held its grand opening Friday night.  Megan Lueders, Marketing Manager of the Hard Rock, says the casino features state of the art gaming machines including a first for the state of Iowa.

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There's a variety of table games that run through the middle of the casino floor.      

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"Anthem" is an indoor concert venue that can seat up to 800 people for a show.  At least 200 concerts ranging from rock to comedy to blues will be booked.  There's a casino bar that pays tribute to an important part of Sioux City's past and serves Templeton Rye.    

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There's also a 24 hour restaurant called "Fuel" which features one of Elvis Presley's favorite snacks...called the hot Elvis.     

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Each room and suite in the Hard Rock Hotel features rock and roll memorabilia too.   There's also a gift shop where you can pick up your own Hard Rock themed souvenirs. 


Hard Rock Curator Talks About Memorabila Collection   

(Sioux City) --  One of the "wow" factor attractions at Sioux City's Hard Rock Casino and Hotel is its music memorabilia collection.  Warwick Stone has been the memorabilia curator for the Hard Rock Brand since 1982.  Stone says you will see guitars, costumes and memorabilia from the greats of rock music, including guitar legend Les Paul, who is part of the Hard Rock Casino's history.    

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He says a lot of people have asked if there will be a display for Sioux City's Tommy Bolin, who played with Deep Purple and the James Gang, and recorded solo albums like teaser.

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It's tough for Stone to pick out his favorite item, but there is one item from the Fab Four that stands out.    

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You will also see an autographed guitar from Paul McCartney, costumes from Katy Perry, Billy Idol and Joan Jett among others, and music memorabilia from dozens more stars like Michael Jackson and Johnny Cash.   


Juvenile Court Worker Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Abuse 

 STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A former juvenile court worker in Storm Lake has pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse involving a 14-year-old female client.
      26-year-old Trent Prather, of Estherville, entered a written plea of not guilty in Buena Vista County District Court to one count of third-degree sexual abuse.
     Prather is accused of having sex with a girl while she was in the juvenile court system in 2008. Prather worked as a community service supervisor for the Buena Vista County Juvenile Courts Office at the time.
     Court documents state that Prather told the girl he would eliminate her court-ordered community service hours if she had sex with him.
     Prather's trial is set for Nov. 18.

New Rules Apply For Water Quality Standards

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The commission that oversees water quality in Iowa will consider adoption later this month of a new rule critics say is too friendly to livestock farmers. 
     The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission plans to vote Aug. 19 on the rule that aligns state regulations with the federal Clean Water Act. It primarily gives the Iowa DNR authority to require permits that strictly regulate manure handling for livestock farms shown to spill manure into waterways. 
     Environmental groups including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement say the rule is too weak and will change little in the way the DNR enforces clean water rules.
     The DNR says the rule satisfies the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which threated last year to take over Clean Water Act enforcement if Iowa officials didn't step up.


Iowa Farmland Values Continue To Rise

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The value of farmland in Iowa is up again this year, reaching a new high at a time when many observers expect values to drop due to falling commodity prices.
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in a new report released Friday the average value of an acre of cropland in Iowa rose 9.4 percent from a year ago to a record $8,750.
     The value of farm real estate - a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms - increased 10.4 percent to $8,500 an acre. Iowa leads the nation in the value of farmland and buildings with a total value of $235.6 billion. That's up nearly 18 percent.
     The annual report is based on producer surveys completed in the first two weeks of June.


Missouri Man Has Fatal Motorcycle Accident

NEW HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - A motorcyclist from Missouri has died in a northeast Iowa crash involving two sport utility vehicles, including one that drove away from the scene.
     The Chickasaw County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened Friday morning as two motorcyclists were northbound on U.S. Highway 63, just north of New Hampton.
     A southbound sport utility vehicle or crossover vehicle stopped or was stopping to turn when it was hit by another SUV, sending the second vehicle into the path of the motorcyclists.
     The rider of a Harley Davidson was ejected. He died at Mercy Medical Center in New Hampton.
     The first SUV, believed to be red or black or a combination of the colors, drove away.
     The sheriff's office didn't release names of those involved but says the motorcyclist is from Missouri.


Car Hits Freight Train

 HOMESTEAD, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a woman was injured when the car she was riding in struck a freight train in eastern Iowa.
     The Iowa County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened Thursday evening when a car driven by 70-year-old Gerald Schaapveld struck a westbound train operated by Iowa Interstate Railroad east of Homestead.
     Schaapveld's wife, 68-year-old Helen Schaapveld, was taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for non-life threatening injuries.
     Authorities are investigating the crash.


Cedar Rapids Man Pleads Guilty To Supplying Heroin To Man Found Dead

 CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Attorney's Office says a Cedar Rapids man has pleaded guilty to supplying heroin to someone who was found dead the next day.
     The office announced Friday that 24-year-old Austin Allen Martens pleaded guilty Monday to distribution of heroin and admitted to supplying $80 worth of heroin to another person in March 2013. That person was found dead the next day after overdosing on the heroin provided by Martens.
     U.S. District Court Judge Linda R. Reade will set a sentencing date later. Martens remains jailed.
     Martens could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison with a $1 million fine.








Friday Afternoon News, August 1

Smoke From Burn Pile Hangs Over Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department wants the public to know the city grass, leaf, and tree pile located on the northwest corner of town, has been intentionally set on fire, and is a controlled burn.  Due to the high humidity and calm winds, the air is heavier causing the smoke from that fire to settle over the city of Le Mars creating a haze.  The smell of smoke can be detected in many parts of the town.  Sufferers of asthma may want to remain indoors until winds can blow the smoke away from town.   


Plymouth County Roads Department To Close County Road C-60

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department on Monday will be closing county road C-60 from Highway 75 east to county road K-42.  The closure is expected to last four days, and the reason for the road to be closed is to repair the railroad crossing on the Burlington Northern railroad tracks.  A detour will be set up from the Junction of Highway 75 and County road C-60 south on Highway 75 to County road C-70 then north on county road K-42 to C-60.


Julie Holck Selected As "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce presented an "Employee of the Month" honor this morning.  This month, the award was given to Julie Holck with the Le Mars Insurance Company.  Julies has been an employee with the Le Mars Insurance Company for 30 years.  Patti Hill and the entire staff nominated Julie Holck for the honor.  In their submitted nomination, they feel Julie is deserving of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month award for many reasons.  Not just because she is celebrating her 30th anniversary with Le Mars Insurance Company, but because over the past 30 years, Julie continues to demonstrate great customer services skills along with excellent skills.  Her work ethic is very strong, rarely missing a day of work.  She continues to accept and support the new challenges that we have faced over the years.  For example: web based inquiries, new policy systems, learning the claims entry process, and our current challenge - conversion to the PMS systems.  Julie is knowledgeable in all facets of the company.  Julie can almost do it all.  Julie is a great co-worker as well.  If you need assistance, Julie is there, helping in any department or co-worker, answering many questions such as "how do I do that?" No matter what the job or what the question, Julie is ready to help.  Oh, and she can be bribed with Chocolate if you need something done ASAP.  That is why we believe Julie Holck is worthy of the August Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.  She is a very valuable employee to Le Mars and the Donegal Companies.  Our congratulations to Julie Holck for being named the Chamber of Commerce's "Employee of the Month."


Missing Girls Found In Corn Field

 LARCHWOOD, Iowa (AP) - Two girls who went missing after going out to pick corn in a northwest Iowa field have been found safe.
     The Lyon County Sheriff's Office says the girls were ages 3 and 6. They went to pick corn on Thursday afternoon and got lost in a field.
     Several law enforcement agencies and a helicopter joined the search. A passer-by spotted the girls about 2 1/2 hours after they were reported missing. They've been reunited with their parents.


State Fair Entertainment Costly For State Fair Officials

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state auditor's report shows that when it comes to revenue, all performances at the Iowa State Fair's Grandstand aren't equal. 
     Nine of the fair's 53 acts since 2008 have cost more to bring in than they've earned in ticket sales. 
     The study shows Janet Jackson's 2011 concert appearance was the biggest loser, costing the fair about $107,000. 
     Last year, three performances didn't earn enough ticket sales to cover all entertainers' fees. One of the acts included three "Saturday Night Live" veterans. The fair had to come up with nearly $91,000 to pay the performers.
     Fair officials are hopeful this year's Grandstand acts will sell more tickets. 
     The fair typically attracts about one million visitors during its 11-day run. It starts next month.


Democrats Offer Proposals To Expand Presidential Caucases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Democrats are offering proposals for how to expand access to the state's presidential caucuses.
     Party adviser Norm Sterzenbach says Iowa Democrat Party Chairman Scott Brennan will unveil the recommendations Friday before the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee in Washington.
     The proposals include pushing for legislation requiring employers to give non-essential workers time off to attend their precinct caucus, as well as hiring a staff member to focus on caucus accessibility. 
     The party also wants to provide satellite caucus sites for those who can't easily participate. And they are proposing that Iowans serving in the military could participate through a video-conferencing system.
     The committee will not take action on the broad proposals Friday. The state party must still develop a complete plan to present for approval next spring.





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