Landfill Says No to Tree Stumps
(LeMars) -- Tree stumps are no longer welcome at the Plymouth County Landfill. That decision was made Wednesday evening by the Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency and its board of directors. Solid Waste Agency manager Mark Kunkel says it was a topic that garnered a lot of discussion at the board meeting, but because of the expense and growing concerns, the board approved the action to stop accepting tree stumps.
Kunkel says the board looked into the cost of purchasing a machine that would grind the stumps, but at $70,000 it just would not be feasible.
Kunkel says the county landfill's decision to stop accepting tree stumps is effective immediately.
(LeMars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital employees have made a donation to the LeMars Back Pack program. At their Christmas luncheon held Wednesday, a check was presented to Brenda Nohava from Mary Helen Gibson representing the Floyd Valley Hospital. Gibson says in past years Floyd Valley hospital would offer a gift to their employees, but many times the employees would refuse to accept the gift, and instead instruct the hospital to offer that gift to someone else. Gibson says it was through the generosity of the hospital employees that led the hospital to give the option to its employees.
The check was in the amount of $930 or $10 per employee. Gibson says the donation represents about one-third of the hospital employees. She says some employees chose to accept the gift, but they also made a donation to the local charity. Gibson says it's not just at Christmas time that the hospital employees are generous. She says many local programs have benefitted from the employees' generosity throughout the entire year.
For the past two years Floyd Valley employees have donated both money and their time for the "Then Feed Just One" project, and they have contributed can goods to the Christian Needs Center, and the employees have adopted a family in need.
Over the course of the entire year, the Floyd Valley Hospital employees have contributed more than $15,000 to various charitable organizations and events.
(Storm Lake) -- Following a joint cooperative investigation by the Sioux Rapids Police Department and the Buena Vista County Sheriff's office into several Sioux Rapids burglaries, a Sioux Rapids man has been charged. On December 21st, the Sioux Rapids Police Department arrested and charged Matthew Chindlund, age 19 of Sioux Rapids with two counts of burglary in the third degree, one count of burglary of a motor vehicle and one count of theft in the second degree. These charges consist of three class D felonies and one aggravated misdemeanor. A search warrant was executed yesterday by the Sioux Rapids police and the Buena Vista sheriff's office. Siezed in the search warrant were several items of stolen property from several area burglaries. Chindlund is currently in custody of the Buena Vista county jail on bond. The investigation is continuing.
(Storm Lake) -- The long-time Storm Lake police department office manager has been fired and charged with theft in connection with missing city funds. Public Safety director Mark Prosser says 43-year old Lee Martin of Storm Lake was arrested Tuesday in connection with an investigation that began earlier this month. On December 2nd, Prosser was notified of possible irregularities in funds transferred from the public safety office to city hall. On December 6th, Martin was placed on administrative leave and Prosser ordered an investigation. Police allege Martin had been taking cash from deposits transferred to city hall totaling over 12-thousand dollars in the past 12 months, and also altered receipts. Additional investigation is underway into previous years of cash transfers from Martin's office to city hall. Martin worked for the public safety department the past 21 years. Prosser says the very person charged with insuring the department's books were balanced and funds were appropriately transferred to city hall is the one who allegedly was circumventing the system. He termed it a very disappointing case of violation of the public's trust. Prosser says additional safeguards have been put into place to insure that similar incidents are prevented. Tuesday afternoon, Martin was charged with ongoing criminal conduct, and first-degree theft. Martin was jailed on a $35,000 bond and her employment with the city was terminated.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa's gas tax will eventually increase but there will be enough money in the state's transportation budget to avoid an increase next year.
In an interview, the governor says he has asked transportation department officials to find $50 million in savings, and the department expects to have an extra $128 million for projects in 2012 because of favorable bids, budget savings and more federal funding.
Branstad says 2012 should be a robust year for road-building programs in Iowa.
He says he expects a gas tax increase "down the road" to support a projected $200 million annual shortfall.
Democratic State Sen. Matt McCoy, of Des Moines, says he expects lawmakers will push for a phased-in gas tax increase when they convene Jan. 9.