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Thursday News, June 11

Hinton and Le Mars Fire Department Called To Grain Elevator Fire
(Hinton) -- The Hinton Fire Department responded to a fire at the Farmers Cooperative Elevator on Wednesday afternoon.  Fire Chief Chad Beck says a grain dryer had caught on fire.


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Beck says the grain dryer at the time held between 400 and 600 bushels of corn.  The Hinton Fire Chief says he called for assistance from the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department to have access to the aerial truck.


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No word yet as to what may have started that fire.  Fire officials were on the scene for approximately two hours.

 

 

 

Law Enforcement Officials Ride The Train To Watch For Rail Crossing Violators.

 

(Le Mars) -- Local law enforcement officials were on board some trains yesterday to watch for violators crossing in front of an on coming train.  Le Mars Police Senior Officer Jay King was one of the officers to sit in an Union Pacific locomotive.  King offers an explanation as to the purpose of the program.

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Union Pacific railroad had three locomotives that passed through Le Mars between the Fairway supermarket on Plymouth Street and continuing past the 12th Street rail crossing near the Hy-Vee supermarket.  King says he witnessed several vehicles that may have gotten too close to the railroad crossings.

 

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Officer King says one fact the train companies informed the local law enforcement officials is that it takes a great distance to be able to stop a train.

 

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King says he had never before yesterday had the opportunity to ride in a train locomotive.  He says it is an unique perspective to view the scenery from the engineer's viewpoint.

 

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King says law enforcement officials did issue one warning to a motorist for being too close to the rail crossing during the time of an approaching train.

 

 

Sioux City Water Treatment Plant Under Investigation

(Sioux City) -- Sioux Ciity's  Wastewater Treatment Plant is under investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency.  The investigation was prompted by a complaint about the plant.

Moyor Bob Scott read a statement following a closed door session of the city council Wednesday afternoon that was called because of the issue.

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Myor Scott says the city cannot provide any additional details on the complaint until the investigation has concluded.

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City Attorney Nicole Jensen says the city was informed of the complaint on Monday.

She can't confirm if any staff at the plant are on paid or unpaid leave because of the complaint.

 

 

Sergeant Bluff Call Center To Add Jobs

More new jobs are coming to Sergeant Bluff. Convergys, which operates a customer service call center at the Pioneer Mall,

announced Wednesday that they are expanding and adding 400 new jobs to the facility.

Barry Belcher is the Sergeant Bluff facility's site director.

(sot) Convergys1

80 new hires are currently training at the facility, and the rest of the jobs will be filled as soon as possible, hopefully before the end of the year.

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Sergeant Bluff mayor Jon Winkel helped found the facility years ago when it was owned by Long Lines Wireless.

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Winkel says both Sergeant Bluff and the Siouxland area will benefit from the expansion.

 

 

Veterans Affairs Investigates Des Moines Veterans Hospital

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Department of Veterans Affairs investigators say the Des Moines VA hospital didn't deny mental health services to a veteran whose body was found frozen at a Des Moines park in February.

The death of 41-year-old Richard Miles was ruled a suicide. The suicide prompted U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst to call for a federal investigation into VA programs and the treatment Miles was provided.

The Iraq war veterans suffered from anxiety, a stress disorder and depression and had a history of suicide attempts. He'd sought care at the hospital five days before his death.

The investigators say Miles wasn't denied the services he sought, but the investigators also say Miles' VA case management worker should not have removed Miles from the worker's client list.

 

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Sheriff's Deputy Sentenced To 13 Years For Fraud

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A former sheriff's deputy in Jones County has been given 13 years in prison for fraud linked to a fire he set at his vacant home.

Prosecutors say 50-year-old James Plower, of Olin, was sentenced on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. Plower had pleaded guilty to mail fraud and using fire to commit a felony.

At his plea hearing, Plower said he made up a scheme to defraud his insurance company. He said he set fire to his vacant home in Martelle and submitted an insurance claim asserting the fire was accidental. He collected more than $66,000 from the insurance company.

 

 

 

Republicans Ponder Over The Fate Of Iowa Straw Poll

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Republican Party officials are pondering the future of the state's traditional straw poll for presidential favorites.

Iowa GOP spokesman Charlie Szold confirms that a conference call has been set up for Friday, but declines to provide further details. The call was first reported in the Des Moines Register.

State GOP officials have fought to keep the August 8th event alive. But critics say the poll has become a costly sideshow and few candidates have committed to participate this year.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham are among the White House hopefuls who plan to skip the event. Others say they won't spend money to participate.

 

 

 

Christie Says Republicans Need To Welcome Minorities

WASHINGTON (AP) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is faulting his party for taking an unwelcoming tone at times toward minority voters.

In a speech to a Latino Coalition small business conference, the potential Republican presidential contender also boasted about getting 51 percent of the Hispanic vote in his re-election as governor.

Christie portrays himself as the kind of Republican who can attract female, black and Hispanic voters normally drawn to Democrats.

Mitt Romney won just 27 percent of the Latino vote nationally as the 2012 Republican nominee.

Christie says he'll decide this month whether to run for his party's nomination.

 

 

 

Four Democrat Presidential Hopefuls Attend Iowa Gathering

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Four Democratic presidential hopefuls will appear at an Iowa Democratic Party event next month.

The state party organization announced Wednesday that their "Hall of Fame" dinner will be attended by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb. All but Webb have officially announced they are running for president.

The event will be held July 17th in Cedar Rapids. Clinton's Iowa spokeswoman Lily Adams confirmed that this is the first announced multi-candidate event for Clinton, the front-runner in the field. Some other Democratic candidates have previously appeared together.

Iowa Democrats have seen less big candidate round-ups than Republicans, given the smaller field of declared and potential contenders.

 

 

 

Murder Conviction Overturned

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals has overturned the murder conviction of a Des Moines man serving a life prison sentence and ordered the case dismissed.

The court, in a decision posted Wednesday, says a jury didn't have enough evidence to convict 48-year-old Spencer Pierce in November 2013 along with Deanna Hood. They were tried together for first-degree murder and robbery, convicted and sentenced to life in prison. They were charged in the shotgun death of 35-year-old Steve Harmon, who was found dead June 6, 2013, in a parking lot on the north side of Des Moines.

Polk County prosecutors could seek further review from the Iowa Supreme Court. They didn't immediately return a message.

The appeals court upholds Hood's conviction saying prosecutors presented enough evidence against her to justify conviction.

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

   

, Wednesday News, June 10, 2015

Fire Department Responds To Four Calls
Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department again had a busy day on Tuesday, answering four separate calls.  It started in the morning at about 8:30 a.m. when fire fighters were called to 10698 Highway 75 for a truck that had caught on fire.  When fire officials arrived at the scene, the fire had already been extinguished.  The fire department was called to 513 1st Street Southeast to investigate a strange odor.  Fire officials were not able to locate any suspicious odors at the residence.  Later in the evening, the fire department was called to Fieldcrest Apartments located at 1150 2nd Street Southeast for what turned out to be an accidental pulling of the fire alarm.  Finally, the fire and rescue unit was called to 426 2nd Avenue Southeast.  An elderly woman living at the residence noticed her lights were flickering.  She used her "life alert" system to notify authorities of the situation.  Fire officials arrived at the scene and determined there were problems with the electrical system and disconnected the power.  The woman vacated her home and stayed with relatives living near by.


City To Offer Free Appliance And Tire Disposal


(Le Mars) -- If you have an old refrigerator or other appliances, or even tires,  that you want to dispose, you are in luck.  The city of Le Mars is offering a free disposal service to any Le Mars resident today.  Residents are asked to call 548-4958 to set up an appointment.  Angie Kneip with the city offices explains what can be toss away.
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Kneip says what can't be thrown away are old paint cans, or any herbicide or insecticide products. The collection of appliances and tires will take place at the old Public Works building located at 331 1st Street northeast. This service is open only to Le Mars residential properties.  Commercial and Industrial properties are excluded from this service.




Autopsy Shows Sioux City Woman Died From Blunt Force


(Sioux City) -- There's new information in the case of a Sioux City woman whose body was found in Clay County, South Dakota on June 1st.
29 year old Alicia Hummel's body was discovered near the boat dock at Myron Grove, also known as the Highline area in Clay County.  South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley and Clay County Sheriff Andy Howe say preliminary autopsy findings indicate Hummel suffered blunt force trauma to her head and incision wounds to her neck.
Final autopsy results will be released upon completion of the homicide investigation.  Authorities continue to seek the public's help with information that may assist in the investigation.  Anyone with information should call the Clay County Sheriff at (605) 677-7100.


Recent Rains And Hot Weather Will Boost Crop Production
(Le Mars) -- The rains from this past weekend, along with the hot temperatures of this week will give area crops the boost they need, that's according to Iowa State University Extension Crop Specialist, Joel DeJong.  He says the 2-inch rains that were received in many areas, may be enough to sustain  the crops until pollination.
DeJong says the corn crop has gotten the needed heat units and the moisture.  He says during the next two weeks  people  will be surprised with the rapid growth of the corn crop.
The crops specialist says most of the state is finished with soybean planting.  However, there are regions that have had wet conditions, preventing some farmers from planting their soybeans.
DeJong says so far, farmers have not had many insect of weed problems affecting this year's crops.



Tractor Ride To Travel Through Plymouth County
(Le Mars) -- Nearly 200 tractors of all colors and models will be rolling into Le Mars Thursday afternoon.  It's all part of the annual KICD radio tractor ride.  Rhonda Wedeking serves as the coordinator for the annual event.  She says this marks the 16th year for the Spencer radio station to host the antique tractor ride.  She says it got started when a former farm news director originally had the idea for the tractor ride, and since the first year, it has become quite popular.
Wedeking says the tractors will have two days of rides starting each day from the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.  
On Saturday, the antique tractors will take a course heading east to explore the county.
Wedeking encourages community residents along the routes to come out and visit with the drivers and to look over the various tractors.









 

 

 

 

   

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