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Wednesday Afternoon News, July 17

Remsen Issues Water Use Restrictions

(Remsen) -- Remsen Municipal Utilities has issued a Water Restriction effective Monday, July 22, 2013.  There will be absolutely no watering between the hours of 8:00AM-8:00PM.  Outside of those hours they are implementing the odd-even rule. Houses with odd numbered street addresses will be allowed to water on odd calendar days and houses with even numbered street addresses will be allowed to water on even calendar days. The restriction will remain in effect until further notice is given. Your cooperation in this restriction is very much appreciated.


Le Mars Says Good Bye To Dr. Tom Duncan

(Le Mars) -- Hundreds of people turned out at the Floyd valley Hospital late Tuesday afternoon to say good bye to a community doctor that has been providing health care to Le Mars residents for 29 years.  Dr. Tom Duncan is leaving his practice and the town of Le Mars.  Dr. Duncan says he was overwhelmed by the turnout at yesterday's event.

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Duncan says he and his wife are leaving Le Mars to be closer to their daughters and grandchildren.

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Duncan says he has some fond memories of his practice and of the town of Le Mars.  He says when he started as a doctor nearly 30 years ago, he hadn't even heard of the town.

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The family physician says during his tenure, he delivered nearly 1000 babies.  He was pleased to be a part of the expansion of the hospital into the Family Practice Clinic, as well as to see the hospital expand its market into Remsen and Marcus.  He says Le Mars provided an excellent community atmosphere for his family.

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While many people took the opportunity to say good bye to Dr. Duncan, Floyd Valley Hospital introduced its newest doctor, Dr. Andrew Geha (Gee-ha) to the community.

 

Relay For Life Scheduled For Friday Evening

(Le Mars) -- The annual Plymouth County Relay For Life is scheduled for this Friday with a change of locations.  Kari Butcher, the event chair says the popular fund raising campaign for cancer research is coming back to Le Mars.

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Butcher says the Relay For Life is the most widely recognized campaign to draw attention to cancer and its survivors and she tells of its origin.

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In previous Relay For Life events, the Plymouth County chapter has been able to raise at least $38,000.  This year, Butcher hopes to meet or exceed that goal.  She says individuals and teams are still welcome to participate in Friday's event.

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Butcher says the Plymouth County Relay For Life will kick off with the opening ceremonies at 7:00 p.m.

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A special feature at any Relay For Life event are the illuminaries that circle the track and are dedicated to family and friends that may have lost their life to cancer.

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The Relay For Life event will continue overnight until 6:00 a.m.  For more information, or to participate, contact Kari Butcher at (712) 389-6771.

 

Sioux City Police Asking Pawn Shops To Go Digital With Transactions

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City police are considering a requirement that all pawn shop transactions be entered into an electronic database, making it quicker and easier for officials to
track down stolen items.
Police say the system would let business owners enter transaction information directly into a computer database that would include photographs of the merchandise and seller. The merchandise would appear on a national database within 24 hours of a sale.
That's an improvement from the current system, which involves filling out a pink card that's added into a computer. That can take up to two weeks.
A Texas-based company would provide the services, which would be free to business owners. The department says it's gathering information to present to the City Council in the fall.
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Iowa Workforce Development Lays Off 30 Staff Members

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state is laying off staffers at the Iowa Workforce Development agency, which provides services to unemployed residents.
In an email sent to agency workers this week, Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert announced 30 staffers would lose their jobs, both union-represented and non-union workers.
Wahlert says in the email that the staff reductions were due to a loss of federal funding.
But Danny Homan - who is president of Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - says Wednesday the state has a budget surplus and should be able to afford the workers. He says the cuts will limit aid for out of work state residents seeking jobs.
Gov. Terry Branstad's spokesman Tim Albrecht says Branstad remains focused on helping Iowans find jobs.


DCI Agent Loses Job Over Governor's Speeding SUV

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa investigator who complained about the governor's speeding vehicle has been fired following a disciplinary review.   Special Agent Larry Hedlund of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation tells The Associated Press that he had tensions with his bosses, but "everything changed" after he filed the April 29 complaint about Gov. Terry Branstad's SUV.
His attorney, Tom Duff, said he will soon file a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination in Polk County. He says Hedlund's firing is a huge loss for Iowa taxpayers, because -- quote -- "If
your child turned up missing or your family member was the victim of a crime, you'd want Larry on the case."
Hedlund learned of his termination Wednesday.
The 25-year veteran initiated an April 26 pursuit of an SUV that zipped past him at 90 mph in northern Iowa. A trooper let the vehicle go after learning it was another trooper who was driving
Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Hedlund complained to superiors April 29 that the incident endangered public safety.
He was placed on leave May 1 pending an investigation of alleged rule violations, including operating his vehicle on a vacation day and being disrespectful during a conference call.  A termination document alleges Hedlund was disrespectful toward DCI Director Chari Paulson.

 

North Liberty Wants New Water Plant

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) - North Liberty wants to build a new water plant and expand its wastewater system ahead of schedule in an effort to meet the demands of its growing population.
Officials say those facilities for the city of 15,500 residents will reach capacity five years sooner than previously projected. Officials anticipate a population of about 18,000 in the next two
to three years.
The city is working with an Ames-based engineering firm. It has initially proposed a $27.2 million, two-phase water plant project with a capacity to serve 36,500 people. It has also proposed updating the city's wastewater plant at a cost of about $14.3 million.
City officials say the projects will be paid for with revenue bonding options and increased water and sewer rates.
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Wednesday News, July 17

Supervisors Revise Policy Regarding Harvesting Of Roadside Grass

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Supervisors revised the county's policy of harvesting roadside ditches for hay purposes during their weekly meeting on Tuesday.  The issue came before the governing board when controversies arose as to who is entitled to the grass for hay.  The supervisors reviewed the suggestions as submitted by Steph Jurgens.  Some of the adopted provisions include: grass may be cut from July 15 to October 1st.  All adjoining landowners need to sign off on the permit issued by the county, for grass to be harvested.  A permit is valid for one year.  Hay bales need to be removed from the roadside right of way within 48 hours after being baled. All liability while cutting is the sole responsibility of the person cutting the grass.  The county is not responsible for any injuries or accidents that occur while harvesting the grass.  Furthermore, the county is not liable for any damage to the equipment being used to harvest the grass.  The supervisors also adopted the policy saying if a person cuts or bales any grass or hay that someone else has a permit or ownership, the hay or bales becomes the property of the party with the permit.


Supervisors Discuss Closing Some Railroad Crossings

(Le Mars) -- Railroad crossings was also discussed during the weekly meeting of the county Board of Supervisors.  County engineer Tom Rohe presented a proposal calling for the closure of some railroad crossings.  Rohe says the request is by the railroad company.  Lights and a gate is being proposed for the railroad crossing located on Marble Avenue near 160th street.  In exhange, the C&N railroad would like to see perhaps other rail crossings be closed.  The Supervisors reviewed five possible places that were under consideration for closing the rail crossings. The supervisors agreed to look at those crossings that would be on roads with the least amount of traffic and which have bridges that are older.  The railroad in question runs east to west and is pararell to Deep Creek.


City Council Approves Water Tower and Water Booster Station

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council was able to conduct its business within fifteen minutes during Tuesday's meeting.  The council had only two action items on the agenda.  The council approved the new water tower and the water booster station.

 

More People Infected With Cyclosporiasis

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The number of people reporting a food-borne intestinal illness believed to have come from a contaminated vegetable is now at 134 in Iowa and Nebraska as new
cases continue to surface.
Iowa has reported 81 cases of cyclosporiasis (sy-kloh-spor-EYE'-uh-sis) spread across 25 counties. The Iowa Department of Public Health says at least five people have been hospitalized.
Linn County in eastern Iowa continues to lead the state with 31 cases. Polk County and Pottawattamie County each have five.
Nebraska has reported 53 cases mostly in the eastern part of the state. Three people were hospitalized but released.
Public health officials from both states say the illness, which causes prolonged diarrhea, is rare. It comes from eating food or drinking water contaminated with feces containing the cyclospora parasite.


Branstad To Sign Education Bill, - Again

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is going to sign an education policy bill for the second time.
Branstad has scheduled a "re-enactment" of the original bill signing for Thursday. Spokesman Tim Albrecht says the event is being held at the request of an organization that advocates for families that homeschool their children.
The education legislation approved by the Legislature in May will provide more basic school funding for the next two academic years, as well as offer money to districts that adopt a program to raise minimum teacher pay and offer leadership incentives.
The legislation also lifts some restrictions on homeschooling in Iowa.
Albrecht says the governor will sometimes re-enact a bill signing at the request of individuals or groups.


Sioux County Law Enforcement To Crack Down On Drivers

(Orange City) -- The Sioux County Sheriff's Office, Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement and the Iowa State Patrol are joining forces for a third year of traffic enforcement events in Sioux County.  Joint saturation projects from 2010 and 2011 had a positive impact on driving behavior, but statistics show continued effort is still needed.  Sioux County ranks 41st among all Iowa counties for fatality crashes, according to information provided by the Iowa Department of Transportation.  Three years ago, Sioux County ranked 16th.  In 2012, Sioux County had 378 crashes.  Of that total, 166 injuries were reported and three were fatal.  As of this today's date, Sioux county has had one fatal crash.

 

Iowa State Patrol Troopers Involved In Two Accidents

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an Iowa state trooper's cruiser collided with another vehicle as the trooper headed to the scene of an accident involving a fellow trooper.
The Iowa State Patrol says the first accident occurred about 12:15 p.m. Tuesday on an Interstate 80 median near Iowa City. Trooper Cody Kammeyer was using a radar device when another vehicle
struck his cruiser.
Kammeyer was treated at a nearby hospital and released. The driver of the vehicle that struck the cruiser was charged with drunken and reckless driving.
In the other accident, the patrol says Trooper Paul Nowak's cruiser was struck in Cedar Rapids by another vehicle even though the cruiser's emergency lights and siren were being used.
Neither driver was injured and no citations were issued.

 

3200 Vehicles Get Pass For Speeding, Red Light Cameras

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - State data shows that more than 3,200 license plates have been issued to local, state and federal agencies with a designation that allows them to avoid tickets from Iowa traffic cameras.
A recent speeding incident involving Gov. Terry Branstad's state SUV has revealed how cities give a break to some government vehicles caught on red light and speed cameras.
Several cities said they do not issue tickets to drivers whose plates are not included in police databases because they're conducting undercover or sensitive work.
Iowa Department of Transportation data requested by The Associated Press shows that 350 agencies have been issued at least one license plate with that designation, ranging from small police
departments to the Transportation Security Administration.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources leads the way with 210.

 

Authorities Introduce Arson Detecting Dog

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities are introducing a K-9 trained to be an accelerant detection dog for arson cases.
The state Department of Public Safety says Pogo will meet the public Wednesday morning in Des Moines.
Pogo and his handler, Special Agent Jeff Shatzer, are scheduled to offer a demonstration on accelerant detection. The State Fire Marshal will also discuss the state's future plans for its K-9
program.
The State Fire Marshal was awarded the dog as part of a national program offered by State Farm Insurance.
Officials say arson cost the state $35 million dollars in property damage in 2012.

 

Family of Accused Murderer Issues Statement

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - The family of a man charged in the 1994 killing of a 20-month-old boy has issued a statement expressing sympathy with the child's family and asking the media to respect
its privacy.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1bGNg7g ) the family of 37-year-old Michael Jason Cisneros issued the statement Tuesday.
Cisneros was charged with first-degree murder in the death of John Joseph Snyder Jr.
Cisneros' family expresses "our deepest and sincere sympathies" to Snyder's family.
The family says it's in shock about the arrest and asks reporters to not contact them. They ask that people allow "the justice system to run its course and render its judgment."
Cisneros is being held at the Cerro Gordo County Jail under $500,000 bond.
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Man Charged For Stealing Cattle

MARTELLE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 42-year-old man has been charged with stealing cattle in eastern Iowa.
Jones County Sheriff Greg Graver says in a news release that Barry Bieber, of rural Wyoming, is charged with felony theft.
Graver says the theft occurred over a three-day period from a farm about four miles east of Martelle and was reported Sunday. The 18 animals were recovered from a sale barn near Cascade. Their
value was estimated at nearly $30,500.
It's unclear whether Bieber has an attorney. A phone listing for him couldn't be found.

 

Newton Man Arrested For Fatally Injuring Teen In Accident

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) - Police have arrested a man suspected of fatally injuring a Newton teenager in a traffic accident.
The Des Moines Register says (http://dmreg.co/15Mkhw2 ) Daniel Edwards was arrested Tuesday. The Newton Police Department says the 41-year-old Edwards is charged with homicide by vehicle, driving while intoxicated, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The accident occurred at about 9 p.m. on April 21 in Newton. Police say 14-year-old Brendan O'Brien, 14, was on foot in a roadway when he was hit by a vehicle. He died in a Des Moines
hospital on April 23.
It's unclear whether Edwards has an attorney. Jasper County Jail records said he remained in custody Wednesday.
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