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Plymouth County Sheriff Race

(Le Mars) -- We look at the sheriff's race between incumbant Mike Van Otterloo and challenger Jay King.  Both men have long careers in law enforcement. Van Otterloo has been in law enforcement for 34 years, first as a Le Mars Police officer and the last 22 years serving as the sheriff for Plymouth County.  King has been involved with law enforcement in Plymouth County for 34 years, 10 as the Remsen police department and the last 24 with the Le Mars Police Department.  King explains why he is seeking the position of sheriff.

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Van Otterloo, says he is seeking re-election because he enjoys the job.

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Van Otterloo says he believes a noted acheivement during his tenure was the construction of the law enforcement center.

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Meanwhile, King says Plymouth County needs to be more pro-active and not re-active to crimes committed within the county.

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Both candidates believe a county-wide law enforcement program where the sheriff's deputies patrol the small towns is not cost efficient.  However, both believe the sheriff's office needs to work with the smaller town law enforcement agencies.

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King sees a need for cross-training between the Sheriff's office and the smaller community police departments.

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Thursday News, May 31

New Precincts May Have New Voting Locations

(Le Mars) -- Less than a week remains before the primary election, and due to the recent re-districting of voting precincts, some voters may find they need to cast their vote in a different location.  Plymouth County Auditor Stacy Feldman offers an example with the new second precinct.

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Meanwhile, Precinct #5 which comprises of Fredonia, and Marion townships, including the town of Remsen will vote at the Remsen Public Library.  Precinct #10 includes Union and Elkhorn townships, plus the town of Kingsley, will cast their votes at the Kingsley Community Center.  Feldman says the new Precinct #4 now consists of the townships Preston, Johnson, Grant, and Washington and including the communities of Brunsville and Craig and they will have a voting location change.

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Feldman says there were some changes made to the Le Mars precincts. Although, all Le Mars voters will still cast their votes at the Le Mars Convention Center.

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Feldman says 280 absentee ballots have been mailed, and that number is consistent with previous primary elections. She says if you want to vote absentee, ballots must be sent by this Friday.  The auditor's office will be open on Saturday and Monday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for absentee voting.

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School Board Approves Middle School Handbook Rules

(Le Mars) -- At last evening's Le Mars Community School Board meeting, the board approved changes for the Middle School handbook as presented by Middle School principal, Steve Shanks.  The approved changes allows students to use electronic books such as nooks, kindles and other devices designed for downloading and reading books with permission of faculty and administration.  However, the electronic device used for approved reading should not be used for accessing facebook, twitter, texting, or other social media or games. Shanks reported to the board that the use of cell phones is already forbidden, and that students need to leave their cell phones in their lockers.  The new handbook will include students, with permission and only in the main office, will be allowed to make long distance calls on their personal cell phones if necessary.  In addition, students will need their parent's permission if they wish to leave early for the Homecoming parade, puppy relays, or 6th grade relays. 

 

Iowa To Continue Efforts For Exemption on No Child Left Behind 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa will continue its effort to receive a waiver from the federal government's No Child Left Behind Act.   U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday granted exemptions for eight more states. Iowa Education Director Jason Glass says state laws governing teacher evaluations likely kept Iowa from an exemption.

Early Murder Featured On NBC's  "Dateline"

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A national television network is planning to air a two-hour special about the mystery surrounding the 2001 death of a 20-year-old man in a small town in northwest Iowa.
     The "Dateline NBC" episode looking into the disputed death of Dustin Wehde in Early airs Friday at 8 p.m.
     Prosecutors say Tracey Richter lured Wehde to her home, and then killed him while her three children were present as part of a plot to frame her ex-husband. They say she then made up a sensational story claiming she shot Wehde in self-defense after he and another
man invaded her home.
     Richter and a son who was present both insist there was a home invasion.
     A jury convicted her of first-degree murder last year. She's serving life in prison, but has appealed.

Two Men Charged With Arson and Burglary in O'Brien County

(Primghar) -- The O'Brien County Sheriff's Office has arrested two individuals suspected of setting fire to mobile homes at Hartley.  The Hartley Fire Department was dispatched along with a sheriff's deputy to 3283 Yew Avenue on Tuesday, May 29th.  Once fire fighters arrived on the scene, they were suspicious of the origin of the fire, and called in the State Fire Marshall to assist with the investigation.  Further investigation resulted in the arrest of two persons.  Charged with Arson in the 2nd Degree and Burglary in the 3rd Degree were Cassie M. Engelkes, age 20, of Hartley, and Erik Sundstrom-Reis, age 26, of Pocohontas, Iowa.  Bond was set at $10,000 for both charges.  Sundstrom-Ries has been released after posting bail, while Engelkes remains in jail.

Environmental Officials Monitoring Herbicide Spill

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - State environmental officials are monitoring a herbicide spill from a truck accident on Interstate 80 near Iowa City.
     The Department of Natural Resources says a truck hauling the weed killer crashed Wednesday morning, causing about 200 gallons of Roundup Weather Max to leak into a nearby ditch. Firefighters built earthen dams and used absorbent pads to contain the product.
     Officials say about 50 gallons were recovered. Sand was placed over the spill area until a full cleanup can be done.
     Officials say the truck was in a construction zone and apparently slipped off the pavement. The truck ended up on its side. The leak happened from a break near a temperature gauge about
midway down the tanker.
     The truck driver was taken to a hospital.
    

   

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