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Tuesday Afternoon News, Feb. 5

Le Mars Receives A Lower ISO Rating

(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars was given some good news on Tuesday during the weekly meeting of the city council.  According to a recent study by the Insurance Survey Organization, (ISO) Le Mars
now ranks among the top four percent of Iowa communities for being safe as per the public
protection classification.  The lower the rating, the better for the community in terms of lower insurance premiums.  Due to many improvements that were conducted through the years, Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper told the council that Le Mars now has an enviable rating.
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The Le Mars Fire Chief believes the improved insurance rating will lead to lower insurance costs for home-owners, business owners, and the city itself.
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Schipper sees the new improved insurance rating as an economic development tool for the city.

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City Council Approves Hy-Vee Requests For Street Improvements

(Le Mars) -- The City Council approved a request by Hy-Vee officials to grant the supermarket chain the opportunity make improvements on Lincoln Street Southwest in anticipation of the location for the new store.  Construction would not begin until 2014 and is expected to be completed by 2015.  The council agreed to widen Lincoln Street to provide a left hand turning lane.  The city will provide better drainage along Lincoln Street, and the city will extend a sanity sewer line along Lincoln Street.  The expected cost of the improvements will be between $100,000 and $125,000 and will be funded through the Le Mars Urban Renewal T-I-F or the Joint T-I-F.

 

Plymouth County Receives Nearly $19,000 From Insurance Company

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County was given a check for nearly $19 thousand dollars from its insurance company.  Rob Bixenmann of Le Mars, who serves as the county's insurance agent, presented the check to the County Board of Supervisors.

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A total of 77 Iowa counties make up the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool.  Clarence Hoffman, the president of the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool also attended today's Supervisor meeting.  He says the association formed in 1986, mainly because of an insurance carrier that pulled out of the state.

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Also today, the supervisors heard from Brian Chamberlain of Warrior Entertainment who  shared information regarding the possible casino license in Sioux City.  Chamberlain is seeking a letter of support.

 

Voters Can Retain WITCC Tax Levy

(Sioux City) -- Voters have the opportunity to cast their ballot today for the continuation of a tax levy that benefits Western Iowa Technical Community College.  Dr. Julie Stolik serves as the Dean of External Relations for Western Iowa Tech, and she says the tax levy has been on-going for a number of years.

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Stolik says the tax levy remains the same as it has been, and it will be for a ten-year duration.  She says the levy is quite minimal for tax payers.
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The Western Iowa Tech official says the tax levy supports many vocational programs offered by the area community college.
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Before voting, you may need to contact the Plymouth County Auditor's office to see where voting polls are located, since there are only a few locations established.


Remsen-Union Holding Special School Election

(Remsen) -- Residents living within the Remsen-Union community school district will have the opportunity to vote in a special school election today.  At issue is whether voters will want to change the school board representation to be elected from an at-large position, instead of a specific district.  School officials say that at times a district may not have anyone wanting to pursue a position on the school board, while another district may have multiple candidates.


Northwestern College's Enrollment On the Increase

(Orange City) -- Northwestern College’s spring enrollment is 1,170, that's an increase of 41 students from last year and the highest figure since 2008 Kenton Pauls, dean of enrollment management, says the increased enrollment resulted from strong retention of current students and growth in online learners.  The retention rate of freshmen who returned for the spring semester was over 92 percent.  He cited as an example the new first-year seminar, which was taken by 38 percent of freshmen.
Of them, 94 percent came back to campus after Christmas break.

 

 

   

Tuesday News, February 5

Remsen Fire Department Battle Farm Equipment Fire

(Remsen) -- The Remsen Fire Department was called to 47732 180th Street on Monday afternoon to put out a fire that was burning some farm equipment.  That call came in at about 2:45 p.m.  No word as to how much damage was sustained to the farm equipment as a result of that fire.  Fire officials were on the scene for about an hour.


Two People Arrested On Drug Charges

(Le Mars) --  The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office has charged two individuals for drug violations.  At approximately 1:20am, Sunday, Jessica Thornton, age 24 of Moville, Iowa was stopped in Merrill for an equipment violation.  Thornton was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia.  The passenger, Samuel Scott Iverson, age 26 of Merrill, was also found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia.  Thornton was cited into court for simple misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and released.

Iverson was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver (Class C felony), possession of marijuana 3rd or subsequent offense (aggravated misdemeanor), and possession of drug paraphernalia (simple misdemeanor).  Iverson was jailed at the Plymouth County Jail.  Iverson was seen by a judge and bond was set at $15,000.

 

Supervisors To Hear About Proposed Sioux City Casino

(Le Mars) -- In today's Plymouth County Board of Supervisor's meeting, the board will review their insurance programs with Rob Bixenmann and Clarence Hoffman, the president of the ICAP.  The supervisors will also decide upon three different real estate subdivisions.  Also on the agenda will be Brian Chamberlain of Warrior Entertainment who will share information regarding the possible casino license in Sioux City.  Chamberlain is seeking a letter of support.  County engineer, Tom Rohe will review the proposed construction project for 5th Street in Merrill.

 

City Council To Discuss Start Time of Meetings

(Le Mars) -- During today's city Council meeting, the Le Mars City Council will again discuss the start time for council meetings.  Two of the council members have previously discussed and asked the council to consider having the meetings start later in the day, so more city residents and constituents may be able to attend council meetings.  In other action during the council meeting, city leaders will hear from Hy-Vee representatives regarding a development request, and the council will discuss a sales agreement with city owned real estate.  The city council will also discuss the city's ISO rating which helps determine the insurance rates for residents.


Sioux City Man Pleads Guilty To Vehicular Homicide

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) — A Sioux City man has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in connection with a fatal crash.  Lenley Schofield Jr. pleaded guilty Monday to vehicular homicide and operating while intoxicated. The plea agreement includes an 11-year prison sentence.  Prosecutors say the 28-year-old Schofield was driving on Iowa Highway 141 near Mapleton in November 2011 when his car veered into an oncoming truck. His passenger, Robert Palmer, later died.


Legislators Want Three-Fifths Majority To Decide On Tax Increases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican lawmakers want to require a three-fifths majority vote for any state tax increase.
Legislation discussed Monday by a subcommittee in the state House would change the Iowa Constitution to require a three-fifths majority to approve any tax hike or new tax. Rep. Mark Lofgren, one of the sponsors, says he wants to make it difficult to raise taxes
in Iowa.
Lofgren argued that Iowa needs low taxes to compete with other states. But Democratic Rep. Tyler Olson says he was concerned that changing the voting rules could make it harder for future
legislators to respond to budget matters, such as a drop in revenue during the 2008 recession.


Iowa Officials Seeding Roadsides By Airplane

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials are controlling roadside erosion statewide. The Iowa Department of Transportation has hired aviation contractors to perform aerial seeding and fertilizing
along the state's highways. Several seeding projects are scheduled to be completed in February and March.


Des Moines Woman Charged With Theft and Impersonating A Officer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 36-year-old Des Moines woman has been charged with theft and with impersonating an officer.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/WO3CRH ) that Danielle Shaffer was arrested Sunday afternoon.
Officers say Shaffer flashed a badge when she was stopped by Wal-Mart workers outside a store in south Des Moines. A police report says Shaffer had put merchandise into bags she'd taken into
the store, and then she bypassed the cash registers on her way out.
Officers say the badge she flashed said Bussey Police. The southern Iowa town of Bussey hasn't had a police force for more than seven years.
Shaffer remained in Polk County Jail on Tuesday, pending $7,000 bail. Online court records don't list the name of her attorney.
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Lawsuit Filed Against Anita School Officials

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former elementary student in the small western Iowa community of Anita has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming the school's principal and superintendent knew a former teacher abused girls and failed to report it. The girl and her mother, who are not named, claim she also was abused.  The girl was a student until 2011 at Anita Elementary, one of the schools in the
consolidated CAM School District.  Last October, 66-year-old former teacher William Foulkes pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor. He received a suspended prison sentence and probation.  The lawsuit filed Monday claims Principal Larry Hunt and Superintendent Steve Pelzer knew about Foulkes' behavior but allowed him to resign in 2010. Foulkes wasn't charged until last March.


 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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