Friday News, November 6
Supervisors Certify 5th District House Vote
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors met Thursday afternoon to canvass the recent election results from Tuesday. The supervisors approved the vote for the special election for the 5th District House of Representatives vote. Plymouth County has a total of 16,273 eligible voters, but only 1701 votes were cast, with 375 ballots being listed as "under" votes, meaning people did not fill in the ballot. Plymouth County Auditor Stacy Feldman says slightly more than ten percent of the eligible voters went to the polls on Tuesday. She informed the county supervisors the special election of the House District 5 cost the county a total of $9,864. Feldman also told the county governing board that the polls would have been opened from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. if the ballots were only the city elections. However, since the 5th District election was included on the election day, the polls had to be opened from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Feldman says voting machines were also needing to be used instead of paper ballots adding to the extra election expense.
County Employee Association Offer Contract Requests To Supervisors
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors heard from representatives of the Plymouth County Road Employee Association as they delivered the requests for the collective group bargaining position. Curt Sitzmann shared with the Supervisors the ten proposed changes for the contract. The first request from the county employee association is an increase in the wages.
The county employees are asking the county to approve a second floating holiday, and an increase of longevity pay up to $10 per month. Sitzmann says the county employees have three requests dealing with time off for sick pay.
Sitzmann says the county employees would like to see an increase in the stand-by time from forty cents per hour to eighty cents per hour based on 20 hours. He also said the county employees would like to see some changes with the compensation time accumulated.
Omaha Man Arrested After Theft Of Merrill Casey's
(Merrill) -- An Omaha man was arrested by the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office with assistance of the Merrill Police Department. On Wednesday morning at approximately 5:00 a.m. the Casey's convenience store in Merrill reported a theft of money. During the investigation, it was determined that a white male had short changed the clerk for approximately $150 in cash. The white male had left the area. A clothing description was obtained from the clerk and from video. Officers then began checking the area.
Approximately two hours later, a Plymouth County Deputy located a subject matching the description walking on Hwy 75 near Wren Rd, north of Hinton. Contact was made with the subject and the deputy located a small amount of marijuana on him. The subject, Joseph Michael Barnes, age 29 of Omaha, NE, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance marijuana and an outstanding warrant from Plymouth County for theft 4th degree. The Merrill Police Department also charged Barnes with theft in the 5th degree for the theft from Casey’s.
Cherokee Authorities Involved In Standoff
CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a standoff in northwestern Iowa ended peacefully when a man who barricaded himself inside a home surrendered to police.
The standoff in Cherokee began Thursday around 5 p.m. and ended around 11 p.m. Authorities evacuated homes that were adjacent to the property as a precaution.
Cherokee County Sheriff Dave Scott says the man was the only one in the house, and had been drinking heavily. Authorities say the man had been served divorce papers, and he was believed to be armed.
The Iowa State Patrol, Cherokee Police Department and Cherokee County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene. The man, who was not identified, was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
Woodbury County Authorities Arrest Woman For Stabbing Incident
(Sioux City) -- Woodbury County authorities have arrested a woman after a stabbing incident was reported. On Thursday morning, Woodbury County deputies were dispatched to the 1100 block of 225th Street of rural Woodbury county for an assault. Upon arrival, 28 year old Mark Jones of Mississippi was found with a stab wound to the upper chest. Jones was treated at the scene and transported to Mercy Medical Hospital in Sioux City with non-life threatening injuries. 21 year old Katherine Burdett from Alabama was arrested and booked into the Woodbury County jail for aggravated domestic assault. Her bond has been set at $5,000. The case is still under investigation. The Woodbury County Sheriff's office says additional information will be released as it becomes available.
Senator Grassley Comments On His 12,000th Senate Vote
(Washington) -- Earlier this week Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa cast his 12,000th vote in the United States Senate. He is one of only 17 Senators to have reached that milestone. Grassley was asked for his comments regarding his 12,000th vote during his weekly news conference with Iowa reporters.
Grassley says he is not so much proud of the 12,000th votes, as he is about not missing a Senate vote for several years. He says he wants Iowans to know that is his working and working hard.
ICCI Accusing Utility Board Of Limiting Public Comments On Proposed Pipeline
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A group that opposes an oil pipeline across Iowa says the regulatory board overseeing its potential approval is limiting public comments on the project.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement says the Iowa Utilities Board will only hear comments from roughly 200 people when it holds a public hearing on Nov. 12 in Boone. Attendees will be given up to two minutes each to speak, and comments will be switched between those who oppose and support the project.
Iowa CCI says that creates a "false illusion" of equal opposition and support. They say their internal tally shows Iowa residents overwhelmingly oppose the pipeline, which would move crude oil through parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.
Don Tormey, a board spokesman, says he disagrees with Iowa CCI's assessment.