Saturday News, March 9th
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office along with the Le Mars Police Department
drug task force conducted an investigation into the transport and sale of marijuana in the
Remsen area. During the investigation it was learned that unknown subjects were bringing
marijuna from Aurora, Colorado into northwest Iowa. The marijuana was then packaged and
resold in the Remsen and Le Mars area. Based on information obtained during the
investigation, task force members were able to locate the vehicle they believed to be
involved. The Iowa State Patrol stopped the vehicle in question last Saturday on I-29.
Placed under arrest was 56 year old Randy Brent of Aurora, Colorado. Brent was charged with
possession of marijana, a serious misdemeanor; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a
simple misdemeanor. Brent was also charged with conspiracy to deliver marijuana which is a
Class D felony. The joint drug task force executed five separate search warrants as a
result of the investigation. Those arrested include: 59 year old Randy Holsinger, 22 year
old Jesse Holsinger, 22 year old Cameron Gengler, and 20 year old Jessica Weaver all of
Remsen. Also arrested were 28 year old Kayla Hutton, 30 year old Ryan Toel, 50 year old
Danie McEvoy, 35 year old Timothy Ruhland, and 55 year old Charles Maddox all of Le Mars.
Each of the charges ranged from possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug
paraphernalia, which are misdeameanors to conspiracy to deliver, and drug tax stamp
violations which are both classified as a Class D felony.
As of Friday, the Task Force has seized approximately 2 pounds of marijuan, over
$15,000 in cash and 2 vehicles that were used for transport. The investigation is ongoing,
and more arrests are expected to occur.
Mid-Sioux Opportunity Fundraiser Tonight
(Remsen) -- Laughter will fill the Avalon Ball Room at Remsen this evening (Saturday) as
Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Incorporated holds its annual Comedy Night fundraiser. This is the
eleventh year for the comedy night and Melany Roling with Mid Sioux Opportunity says its a
way the local agency generates revenue to provide assistance to the area's low income
Roling says the event typically attracts about 300 people and raises upwards of $5000.
Roling attributes the success of the event to the many sponsors that step up for the cause.
The featured comedian will be Lee Cole. Social hour begins at 6:00 p.m. with the dinner at
7:00 p.m. and the entertainment to begin at 8:00 p.m.
Iowa's Health Insurance Marketplace Changing
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad's plan for Iowa's
health insurance marketplace has received a conditional thumbs up
from the federal government.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius on
Thursday granted conditional approval to Iowa's plan for a
state-federal partnership exchange. Under the plan, the federal
government would manage the website and call center, but the state
would continue to monitor health programs and regulate the
insurance industry in the state. In a December letter to Sebelius,
Branstad argued that this approach would cost the state less, but
still allow for oversight.
The exchange system is a requirement of the federal health care
law. It must be up and running by Oct. 1. Iowa is one of 24 states
that have been granted conditional approval for a partnership or
Growth of Exports in Iowa Double that of National
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Economic development officials say
businesses in Iowa exported 10 percent more products last year than
the year before, an increase that's more than double the national
export growth of about 4.5 percent for the same period.
Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham says
the state exported to countries around the world products valued at
more than $14.6 billion in 2012 up from $13.3 billion worth of
goods the year before.
Durham says more than 2,500 companies in Iowa export goods.
About 84 percent of Iowa exporters are small- to medium-sized
Durham says the fact that Iowa's export growth significantly
outpaced the nation's shows Iowa companies can successfully compete
in a global marketplace.
She says Iowa's exporting companies supported about 5,000
additional jobs in 2012.
Bill to Install Traffic Cameras has Died in Legislative Session
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The public may not like traffic cameras,
but expect to see more of them.
A measure that would have required cities and counties to get a
permit from the state Department of Transportation before
installing new traffic cameras has apparently died for this
legislative session. The proposal also would have forced local
governments to justify existing cameras by submitting traffic data
to the department.
Gov. Terry Branstad has been skeptical about the cameras. Steve
Gent, the Transportation Department's director of traffic and
safety, says he's "surprised and baffled and disappointed" the
bill has died.
A Des Moines Register poll released in February showed 50
percent of Iowans want to outlaw the cameras while 43 percent
opposed such a move.
Dubuque, Iowa City and Polk County are considering camera
Ahart Named Superintendent of De Moines Public Schools
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The chairman of the Des Moines school
board says the interim superintendent is the panel's pick for the
permanent job heading Iowa's largest school district.
Board Chairman Dick Murphy announced Friday that Thomas Ahart
was offered the job and that the board would vote on a contract
The 45-year-old Ahart has been leading the 32,000 student
district since former Superintendent Nancy Sebring quit to become
superintendent of schools in Omaha, Neb. Sebring later resigned the
Omaha job after emails to a lover on her Des Moines district
computer became public.
Ahart was chosen over two other finalists. They were James
Browder, superintendent of the Anchorage School District in Alaska,
and Carey Wright, chief academic officer of the District of
Columbia Public Schools.
Ahart will become the district's 13th superintendent.