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Tuesday News, May 21

City Council To Hear Floyd Valley Hospital Request

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to meet today at noon at the City Council Chambers.  The council will hear a request from Floyd Valley Hospital officials as they will seek the permission of the city council to hold a public hearing scheduled for May 29th regarding the construction and different placement of the loading dock.  The loading dock area can be considered the first phase of the proposed north addition expansion project.  The city council will also have a second reading of the Local Options Sales Tax vote which is scheduled for August 6th.  The council will also review the sewer revenue loan agreement.


Supervisors To Name Beitelspacher To Veteran Affairs Commission

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will meet this morning at the Courthouse Board room.  The supervisors are expected to name Don Beitelspacher to replace retiring Don Neunaber on the county Veteran Affairs Commission.  The supervisors will also hear a proposal from Al Fagan as he seeks approval for a minor sub-division in Stanton township.  County engineer Tom Rohe will update the current construction projects within the county.


American Legion Prepares For Memorial Day

(Le Mars) -- Members of the American Legion Wasmer Post, #241 of Le Mars are making preparations for the Memorial Day Avenue of Flags program to be held at the Plymouth County Courthouse on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27th.  The local American Legion is asking for volunteers to help with the placement of the more than 1100 American flags to be flown for the ceremonies.  On Saturday morning, volunteers will assist with the location of the anchors for the flags.  Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. the flags will be placed in the anchors on the grounds of the Courthouse.  The Memorial Day Parade will assemble on the corner of Central Avenue and 2nd Street NE at 9:00 a.m. for directions and placement.  The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m.


Two Toddlers Fall From Second Story Storm Lake Apartment

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Two toddlers have survived falling about 15 feet from an apartment building in Storm Lake.
Storm Lake Police announced Monday that the children, ages 2 and 4, pressed against a window screen in their apartment unit on the second floor and fell.
The children were treated and released from Buena Vista Regional Medical Center after the Friday afternoon incident.
No criminal charges have been filed.

Farmers Utilize Good Weather To Catch Up On Planting

(Des Moines) -- Farmers took full advantage of the good weather from last week and were able to plant more than 9 million acres of the 23 million acres of our state that will be devoted to corn and soybeans again this year.  The planting pace is still behind the five-year average.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says by the end of the week, 71 percent of Iowa’s corn acreage had been planted, an increase of 56 percentage points from last week. Even though farmers planted at a near record pace, progress still lags behind last year’s 97 percent and the five-year average of 92 percent. Thirteen percent of the corn crop has emerged, well behind last year’s 77 percent and the normal of 58 percent. Soybean planting was 16 percent complete, behind last year’s 78 percent and the five-year average of 59 percent. One percent of the soybean crop has emerged.


Iowa Red Cross Helps Oklahoma and Texas Tornado Victims

(Des Moines) -- American Red Cross officials from Iowa are on their way to Oklahoma and Texas to offer aid to the victims of the deadly tornadoes that struck the area these past few days.  Red Cross officials have established a shelter in Moore, Oklahoma and are hoping to set up others.  Three shelters have been set up in the Oklahoma City area.  The American Red Cross are assisting First Responders with food and other needed supplies.  The charity organization is sending kitchen support trailers to the damaged area in order to cook meals for the displaced victims.  More than 25 emergency response vehicles are positioned to move in at first light this morning, with more on the way.  This has been a major disaster, and the Red Cross will be there for the people in this state and this community. People who wish to make a donation to support the Red Cross response can visit redcross.org, dial
1-800-REDCROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.


Search Continues For Missing Girl

DAYTON, Iowa (AP) - Police are searching for a missing central Iowa teen they believe was one of two girls abducted by a man who offered them a ride.
Police are searching for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. She and a 12-year-old girl were taken from a Dayton bus stop Monday.
Police say they believe the man lured the girls into his truck under false pretenses.
The 12-year-old was found later when she walked out of woods near a farmhouse in Boone County.
Police say they had located a suspect in the abduction late Monday, but Shepard was still missing early Tuesday.
Authorities are asking search volunteers to gather Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. at the Dayton Community Center to look for the girl.


House To Debate Funding Public Safety Pension

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - House lawmakers are scheduled to debate a number of one-time spending items including a substantial state contribution toward law enforcement pensions.
The bill set for debate Tuesday includes about $91 million in state money to increase funding for the police officer retirement system. The system now has about 61 percent of the dollars needed
to pay projected pension obligations, but the proposal would increase that to 80 percent.
Ross Loder, bureau chief of the Department of Public Safety, says the pension fund has been underfunded for the past five to seven years.
The measure would also designate $113 million of state surplus money for the next fiscal year toward paying off state bonds on certain projects like the new penitentiary in Fort Madison.




Monday Afternoon News, May 20

Burglaries Go Up As It Gets Warmer

(Le Mars) -- Now that the weather has warmed up and the days are getting longer, the Le Mars Police wants to remind residents this is the time of year that burglaries are typically on the increase.  Le Mars Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga says they have had a rash of calls recently indicating stolen items from garages being left open.

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Dekkenga says they also have received several reports of cars being burglarized, and he reminds people to always make certain you have locked your car.

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The Le Mars Police Chief says the warmer weather allows for extra activity to take place.  He says other frequent complaints during the spring and summer ususally involve driving complaints, loud motorcycles, and barking dogs.

Council Bluffs Doctor Charged With Sexual Abuse

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A Council Bluffs doctor is in jail on a charge of second-degree sexual abuse after a child alleged he touched her inappropriately on numerous occasions.
Dennis Seaborn Jones turned himself in to authorities after a complaint and an arrest warrant were issued for him.
The 68-year-old pediatrician is alleged to have had inappropriate sexual contact with a 5-year-old girl outside of his medical practice. The child disclosed the contact to a parent saying she no longer wanted to see Jones because he "tortures" her. Court documents say further interviews indicated the child was the subject of inappropriate touching.
Jones' attorney Mike Winter says Jones is not guilty, is devastated by the claims, and expects to be found not guilty.
An initial court appearance was set for Monday afternoon.


Branstad Urges Senate To Investigate Sexual Harassment Allegations

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says the Iowa Senate should investigate claims of sexual harassment made by a former staffer for the Senate Republican caucus.
Kirsten Anderson told WHO-TV in an interview that aired Sunday that she was fired Friday, hours after complaining about harassment from lawmakers and staffers. She had been communications director for the caucus.
Branstad says Monday the Senate should investigate to determine "whether these allegations are true or not."
Ed Failor Jr., an assistant to Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix, says Anderson was fired for substandard work and that GOP leaders do not tolerate sexual harassment. He did not respond to
questions about whether GOP leaders would seek an investigation.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat, says if a complaint is filed they will "deal with it."


Storm Damage Aftermath

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Crews are restoring power to about 14,000 homes and businesses following severe weather across Iowa.
Tornadoes touched down near Huxley and Earlham west of Des Moines Sunday. They damaged at least six mobile homes, toppled semitrailers and blew over a barn, killing some animals inside. No
people were hurt.
The twisters were the first ones in Iowa in nearly a year. The state had gone 358 days without a confirmed touchdown.
A tornado warning forced Ankeny school officials to interrupt a high school graduation ceremony at Drake University in Des Moines.
Graduates and audience members were moved to shelter for more than a half-hour as tornado sirens wailed.


Branstad Names New Veteran Affairs Director

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Retired Col. Robert King will serve as the next head of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs.
Gov. Terry Branstad announced the appointment Monday. King will replace Gen. Jodi Tymeson who has been named chief operating officer at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.
King served in the Iowa National Guard for nearly 36 years before retiring in 2004. For the last fifteen years of service he handled media relations.




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