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Monday Afternoon News, January 5

Plymouth County Road Crews Ready For Heavy Snowfall

(Le Mars) -- Light snow is falling in Northwest Iowa.  The entire region, including Plymouth County, is under a Winter Storm Warning with all roads snow covered. The weather forcast for Le Mars and Plymouth County is calling for a possibility of five to six inches of snow by late this evening.  Tom Rohe is the county engineer and oversees more than 1300 miles of roads in Plymouth county.  He says his department is ready if we should get the heavy snow.

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Rohe says priority is first given to the 365 miles of paved roads.

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The county engineer says crews will be applying a combination of sand and liquid calcium-choride on the slick roadways.

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Rohe says under normal snow conditions, his crews can clean the entire county within a few hours.

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No Traffic Accidents Reported Due To Weather Conditions

(Sioux City) -- As of Monday over the noon hour, there have not been any traffic accidents reported as a result of the weather conditions, but Iowa State Patrol trooper, John Farley says you should still drive with caution.

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Trooper Farley says motorists may notice some ice, particularly on bridges, overpasses, and even at intersections.

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Sioux City Man Dies From Traffic Accident

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 43-year-old Sioux City man has been killed after falling partway out of his pickup.
     The accident occurred about 1 a.m. Saturday. The Iowa State Patrol says Davon Kieler was driving alone when he fell out of the driver's side door and lost control of the truck. The patrol says the door crushed Kieler when his truck sideswiped a parked vehicle.
     The patrol says alcohol was a factor in the accident. Kieler was not wearing a seat restraint.

 

Snow Storm To Hit Iowa

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A winter storm system moving through the Midwest is expected to bring snow and cold temperatures to parts of Nebraska and Iowa.
     The National Weather Service says the system will affect northeast Nebraska and western, central and northern Iowa on Monday. The system is expected to pass through Nebraska by Monday afternoon. Parts of Iowa will be affected through early Tuesday.
     Officials say an inch of snow could fall in Nebraska. Between 6 and 8 inches of snow is forecast in Iowa, and higher amounts could fall in north central Iowa.
     Meteorologist Kurt Kotenberg says the heaviest snowfall in Iowa is expected Monday afternoon and evening, which may affect commuters leaving work. Bitter cold temperatures will hit parts of Nebraska and Iowa on Wednesday.

 

Democrats Say Economic Bills Will Be Top Priority

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's top Democratic lawmaker says he'll focus on ways to help Iowa businesses and workers in 2015, though he said increasing the state's minimum wage will be a challenge in the divided Legislature. 
     Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, of Council Bluffs, said Monday that two priorities for Democrats will be strengthening the preference for Iowa companies seeking state contracts and ensuring that employers are not stealing wages from Iowa workers. 
     Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, of Hiawatha, said Republicans are open to proposals on these topics. He said the GOP wants to look at cutting income taxes. 
     Gronstal said Democrats support raising the state minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour. But he said they may not succeed in the Legislature, where Democrats control the Senate and Republicans the House.

 

Workforce Judge To Retire

   IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An administrative law judge says he's retiring early, months after testifying about a hostile work environment in Iowa Workforce Development.
     Marlon Mormann, of the unemployment appeals bureau, submitted his retirement Monday. He's worked at the agency since 1990.
     The 58-year-old says he's disappointed after enduring "the worst year of my career" but that it was time to leave an uncomfortable situation.
     Mormann testified to a legislative panel in August about how judges faced pressure and excessive caseloads under Director Teresa Wahlert. He says judges became burnt out, affecting their rulings.
     Mormann objected to Wahlert's decision to eliminate a chief judge position who managed the bureau and assume that responsibility herself. Mormann says being supervised by a non-lawyer and political appointee raised ethical issues.
     An agency spokeswoman didn't immediately return messages.

 

Hoover Library To Raise Admission Fee

 WEST BRANCH, Iowa (AP) - The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is raising the cost of admission for the first time in nearly a decade.
     The library has increased ticket prices for adults between the ages of 16 and 61 from $6 to $10. The price for senior citizens increased from $3 to $5. Admission for children between the ages of 6 and 15 is now $3, when it used to be free.
     Active and retired military personnel with ID and college students with ID must pay $5 to enter. Children under 5 and school groups will still have free admission.
     The last time admission was raised was in 2006. An archivist says the new ticket fees bring the institution into the price range of other presidential libraries.

 


 


   

Monday News, January 5

Snow Storm Expected To Hit Iowa

(Des Moines) -- The National Weather Service is warning snow will fall in much of Iowa this afternoon and "dangerously cold conditions" will arrive by Tuesday morning. Meteorologist Jim Lee of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Des Moines posted a video online describing the forecast.

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The National Weather Service predicts wind speeds of 15 to 20 miles per hour and perhaps even higher in some areas as the snow is falling.
Following the snow, Lee says the temperatures will take a dive.

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Snow fell across much of Iowa as Saturday night turned into Sunday morning.

 

Floyd Valley Hospital Welcomes New Year Baby

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital has announced the arrival of the first baby born in 2015.  Lakin Renae Schultze came into the world on Friday, January 2nd at 5:41 p.m.  Lakin weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 18 inches in length.  Lakin is the proud daughter of Mom, Mindi Nelson and Dad Mitchell Schultze of Le Mars.  Mindi says she was ready to deliver the baby following a long labor.

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Nelson says the name Lakin was selected by 4 year old older brother Tavian.

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Floyd Valley Hospital officials informed KLEM news that 14 years ago the New Year's baby was born the same day, and also was named Lakin.

 

Auditions Scheduled For Next Le Mars Community Play

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Theater is getting prepared for its next production entitled: "Boeing Boeing". This 1960's French farce adapted for the English-speaking stage features self-styled Parisian lothario Bernard, who has Italian, German, and American fiancées, each beautiful airline hostesses with frequent "layovers". He keeps "one up, one down and one pending" until unexpected schedule changes bring all three to Paris and Bernard's apartment at the same time. The play will be directed by Larry Brangwin.  The cast requires two men and four women.  Auditions are scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday January 12th and 13th at 7:00 p.m. at the Postal Playhouse.

 

Small Towns Struggle With Sewage Upgrade Costs

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Many small Iowa towns are struggling to afford required costly upgrades to their sewage systems to limit pollution.
     Some towns are considering unincorporating to avoid the cost of installing a centralized sewage system.
     In the central Iowa town of Luther, the dispute over a proposed $1.4 million plumbing system for about 120 residents prompted several top officials to resign.
     Residents worry that the cost of implementing these expensive systems could worsen population loss.
     Mount Union Mayor John Marek says his town is looking at filing bankruptcy and unincorporating because of the sewer costs.
     Kevin Baskins with the state Department of Natural Resources says he understands the challenges towns face, but there concerns about pollution from people who live downstream.

 

Many Communities Close Down Sledding Hills Due To Liability Costs

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Part of the fun of sledding is the risk that comes with flying down a steep hill.
     But that risk leaves cities open to potential bills from sledding injuries, and some have opted to close hills rather than risk large liability claims.
     No one tracks how many cities have banned or limited sledding, but the list grows every year. One of the latest is in Dubuque, Iowa where officials are moving ahead with a plan to ban sledding in all but two of its 50 parks.
     Parks manager Marie Ware says Dubuque is hilly and the risk is too prevalent.
     In meetings leading up to the ban, City Council members lamented the move but say it's the only responsible choice given liability concerns and demands from Dubuque's insurance carrier.

 

Glenwood Teacher Accused Of Sexual Abuse

  GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) - A former Glenwood teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student and of giving alcohol to a minor has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge as part of a plea deal.
     39-year-old Russell Crouch was arrested and charged in May with sexual exploitation by a school employee and supplying alcohol to a minor. 
     Crouch was given deferred judgment, meaning if he successfully completes a year of probation, the charge of misdemeanor aggravated assault will be removed from his record. A district court judge has ordered him to complete counseling and therapy. 
     Crouch taught at Glenwood High School before he resigned. He had been a teacher in the district since 2006 and taught in Hyannis and Ansley, Nebraska.
     ---

 

Rand Paul May Run For President

 WASHINGTON (AP) - He may only yet be a candidate for re-election to his seat in Congress, but Rand Paul is sprinting toward the race for president.
     The libertarian-minded Republican senator from Kentucky is set to visit several Western states this month before reintroducing himself to voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
     Aides insist the first-term senator and son of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul hasn't finalized his 2016 plans. Yet his aggressive steps leave little doubt about his ambitions.
     Paul's road to the White House won't be easy.
     There are questions about his father's legacy, Rand Paul's apparent contradictions on key positions and a Kentucky law that says he can't run for president and the Senate at the same time.

 


 



   

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