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Friday News, February 22

Snow Hits Northwest Iowa

(Le Mars) -- Despite the heavy snow that dumped on Le Mars and all of northwest Iowa, very there were very few reports of vehicles having accidents or sliding into the ditch as a result of the snow.  According to the Plymouth County Sheriff's office, they had received only five reports of accidents or vehicles in the ditch.  There was a personal injury accident located on Highway 3 that occurred at about 5:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon.  The Le Mars Fire And Rescue responded to that accident. The Hinton Fire Department responded to an auto accident that occurred shortly after 3:00 a.m. this morning on the north bound lane of Highway 75.  It is not believed any injuries were reported.  No further details are know at this time on either accident.


Roads Are Slow To Clear

(Le Mars) -- All roads in northwest Iowa are 100 percent snow and ice packed.  There is a winter storm warning issued for Plymouth, Woodbury, Cherokee, Buena Vista, and Ida Counties. Interstate 29 has slow moving traffic this morning. Highways 75 and 60 are totally snow covered.  Many area schools are either cancelled or starting late.  Meteorologist Brad Adams of the National Weather Services from Sioux Falls.  He says the brunt of the storm did pass over northwest Iowa.
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Some people were perhaps surprised at the amount of snow received when in fact humidity levels were low.
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Adams says Thursday was the first wave, with the second coming on Sunday evening into Monday.  But he says that storm may be more to the south.
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Snow plows are starting to clear the roadways, according to Iowa State Patrol trooper Vince Kurtz.


Local Artist Donates Painting To Museum

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars artist Marjorie Dornink and her painting, "Black Elk's Dream," will be featured at a 3 p.m. coffee this Saturday at the Plymouth County Historical Museum in Le Mars.

Marjorie donated  the painting to the Museum this week. Her daughter, Twilla Caudron, explained that the art work is about the story and legend of Wounded Knee and the native Americans.

Marjorie, a lifetime resident of the Le Mars area, has been painting for many years.  Hosting the coffee for the artist will be the children of Marjorie and the late Wally Dornink: Kathy and Don Budd of Florence, Colo., Dick and Roberta Doornink of Cameron, Mo., and Twilla Caudron of Sarteneja, Belize.

The Museum, located at 335 First Avenue Southwest, will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. A special open house for the new Main Street Exhibit is set for Sunday afternoon.

 

Snow Storm Has Homeless Seeking Shelter

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The head of Iowa's largest homeless shelter says the center will be packed because of a snowstorm moving through the state.
Tony Timm, executive director of Central Iowa Shelter in Des Moines, says 150 emergency beds already were full at the shelter on the edge of downtown by midday Thursday.
He expects there will be about 40 people who will sleep in chairs at the shelter. Many of them have been living in homeless camps along the Des Moines River.
Timm says, "It's going to be miserably cold and the snow adds an extra hurdle."

 

Despite Snow, Airports Remain Open

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Despite the heavy snow, Iowa's major airports are still open.
Des Moines International Airport shows four morning flights from Chicago have been canceled, but another is scheduled to land on time at 9:14 a.m.
Early departures to Atlanta and Dallas have been delayed, but early flights to Newark, N.J.; Houston; and Denver are listed as on time. Flights to Memphis, Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C.,
have been canceled.
At the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids, a departure list shows several cancellations. Those include flights to Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Denver. But flights to Detroit and Orlando,
Fla., are listed as on time.
The Quad City International Airport says early flights to Chicago and Atlanta are canceled, but early flights to Dallas, Detroit and Minneapolis are listed as on time.

 

Kossuth County Farmers Produced Most Corn and Soybeans

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers in north-central Iowa's Kossuth County beat out all others in corn and soybean production last year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in a report issued Thursday that Kossuth County led with 52.8 million bushels of corn and 10.3 million bushels of soybeans. It makes sense that Kossuth
would stand out, it's the state's largest county by land size and has the most harvested acres of corn and soybeans.
The extreme heat and drought last year reduced yields significantly across much of Iowa. Only Palo Alto and Clay counties in northwest Iowa produced corn yields above 170 bushels per acre.
Southern Iowa counties suffered most. Appanoose County reported the lowest yields with corn at 44.5 bushels per acre and soybeans at 24.3 bushels per acre.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Thursday Afternoon News, Feb. 21

City To Enforce Odd/Even Parking Restrictions

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars city officials are reminding residents that the odd/even parking restrictions are in place and will be enforced if Le Mars gets blanked by the pending snow.  Vehicles need to be parked on the odd side of the street on odd numbered calendar days, and on the even side of the street on even calendar days.

 

City Looks At Upgrading Pedestrian Crosswalks Near Schools

(Le Mars) -- City officials are looking to upgrade three pedestrian crosswalks near schools.  Le Mars City Street Department Superintendent, Steve Hansen informed the city council that state grant funding may available for the upgrades.  Its part of a state initiative to make safer routes to schools. 
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The council approved the application, and will wait to see if Le Mars has been granted the funding.


Wendt Comments On Educational Bill In State Legislature

(Le Mars) -- Earlier this week, the Iowa House passed an education bill that includes both funding for the next two years, as well as some of the reforms that is being requested by Governor Terry Branstad.  The state House of Representatives passed a two percent allowable growth rate for school districts.  Meanwhile, the Iowa Senate adopted a provision that would fund four percent allowable growth, and Governor Branstad has advocated a zero percent increase in allowable growth.  Le Mars Community School Superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt says it may be too early to determine whether cutbacks will be needed.  He says enrollment actually increased this past year, which may offset some of the decline in school funding.
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Wendt offers an explaination as to what a two percent increase and a four percent increase would mean for the local school district.
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Governor Branstad's proposal would ask school districts to set the base salary pay at $35,000. However, the House passed a bill that would set the minimum base salary at $32,000 per year.  Wendt says Le Mars school district base salary is above the state's minimum.
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Another of Branstad's reform measures was to have teachers with seniority serve as mentors, but the House adopted a plan that allows school districts the opportunity to opt out of the mentoring proposal.  Wendt wonders if state-wide education reform can be achieved if schools are allowed not to participate.  Wendt believes the legislators were trying to be more flexible for school districts.
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Motels Filling Up In Anticipation of Snow Storm

PERCIVAL, Iowa (AP) - Some motels are filling up ahead of a snowstorm that threatens to dump to a foot of snow in some parts of Iowa.
Krista Tillman is manager of the Super 8 motel near Percival, just off Interstate 29 in the southwest corner of Iowa. Tillman said the snow had been falling for about 90 minutes but she'd
rented out about 30 of her motel's 45 rooms in the last 60 minutes.  She expects to be sold out by 2 p.m., if not sooner.
A desk clerk at the nearby Americas Best Value Inn echoed Tillman, saying he expected his 80 rooms would be gone within a couple of hours.

 

Pilot Arrested For Carrying Marijuana

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Agents say they arrested a pilot who was transporting high-grade marijuana from California to the east coast after his plane stopped in rural Iowa for maintenance.
A complaint says Angelo Efthimiatos piloted a plane that landed Tuesday at the airport in Washington, Iowa to refuel and fix a mechanical problem.
The Department of Homeland Security Air and Marine Operations Center asked police to inspect the pilot's license.
The complaint says Efthimiatos didn't have his license, and a drug-sniffing dog later indicated that controlled substances were on the plane.
The complaint says the pilot told agents he was transporting 55 pounds of high-grade marijuana from California to the eastern U.S.
Agents seized the drugs, which may have a street value of $220,000 or more.
His attorney didn't immediately return a message.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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