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Thursday News, November 1

Explosion At Smithland Kills A Man

(Smithland) -- An explosion at Smithland claimed the life of 76 year old Robert Jones of Smithland.  Fire broke out at the explosion site and was contained to the one structure. Upon arrival, the structure was fully engulfed.  Fire departments from Smithland, Salix, and Oto responded to the explosion site.  The building was a former service station, but no but no longer sold any gasoline, but was converted to be an automobile mechanical repair shop.  Jones was the owner of the business.  The explosion occurred at about 11:20 a.m. Wednesday morning. The cause of the explosion and fire is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's office and the Woodbury County Sheriff's Sheriff's office.

 

Senator Thune Visits Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- South Dakota Republican Senator, John Thune was in Le Mars on Wednesday afternoon offering some motivation to area republicans to make certain they vote on next Tuesday's election, and to encourage all of their friends, neighbors, and relatives to also vote.  Thune, told the crowd of fifty-three supporters that Iowa could come down to just a few thousand, or even a few hundred votes.  Thune was critical of President Obama's record, and he says changes need to be made.
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Thune offered specific examples of how the President's policies have hurt the national economy, as well as an individual's pocketbook.

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After his speech, Thune greeted the crowd, and then took a moment to visit with KLEM news.  Much attention has been devoted to the presidential race between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, but would the republicans be able to accomplish their goals if the Senate was to remain under the control of the Democrats?

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Thune, has been a long-time supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, going back to the Iowa caucus. The South Dakota Senator spoke for about 20 minutes.


Civil Rights Trial To Begin

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Opening statements are scheduled at a Des Moines civil rights trial at which two black men will argue they were framed for the 1977 killing of a white, retired Iowa
police officer.
The lawyers for Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee are expected to make their statements in a Des Moines courtroom on Thursday.
Harrington and McGhee, originally from Omaha, Neb., served 25 years in prison after they were convicted of killing John Schweer in neighboring Council Bluffs. They were freed in 2003 when the
Iowa Supreme Court found that prosecutors committed misconduct.
Lawyers will argue that Council Bluffs detectives used threats against a group of young car theft suspects to trump up evidence against Harrington and McGhee because of their race and the
pressure to solve the retired captain's killing.


Community College Enrollment Drops

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - In what may be a sign of an improving state economy, Iowa officials say community college enrollment has dropped for the second year in a row.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/RuJJwn) that this fall's enrollment hit just over 100,500 students, a drop of 5 percent from a year ago. Last year's drop was less than 1 percent.
The Department of Education says enrollment rose nearly 6 percent to peak at more than 106,000 students in 2010. It rose more than 14 percent in 2009.
M.J. Dolan is executive director of the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees, and he says that "when the economy improves, people that were going to school go back to work. When
the economy declines, people come to community college to hone their skills."
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U of I Faculty Senate Approves Background Checks

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Faculty Senate at the University of Iowa has approved expanding the school's current background check policy to include all faculty members and staff.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen says the Senate voted Tuesday to expand the policy, which was implemented in 2005.
Under the current policy, background checks are required for those positions deemed "security sensitive," such as finance or medical personnel. The change expands background checks to all
faculty member and staff.
Temporary staff, fixed-term faculty or student staff positions aren't affected by the change, which needs Staff Council approval before taking effect.
Officials say the change brings Iowa in line with other universities, including several Big Ten schools and Iowa State and Northern Iowa.


Sioux City Man Sentenced For Altering Postal Money Orders

(Sioux City) -- A man who falsely altered U-S postal money orders was sentenced to ten months of federal prison.  54 year old Larry Walters of Sioux City, received the sentence after pleading guilty to altering money orders.  Walters admitted he worked in the print shop/mail room facilities at Morningside College.  Walters operated the postage meter machine which was used to place postage fees on college mailings.  Walters intentionally generated errant postage fees on envelopes and returned those envelopes to the post office claiming they were mistakes.  Walters applied for and received Postal Money Orders as refunds for postage errors.  After receiving the money orders, Walters would materially alter them by inserting his name in the payee area of the money order and convert the funds to his own use.  Postal records showed a total of 156 refunds of postage were requested for Morningside College.  The total amount of postage refunds altered by Walters was $65,940.


Ida Grove Man Sentenced For Possessing A Firearm After Being Convicted of Felony Crimes

(Sioux City) -- An Ida Grove Man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for possessing a firearm after having been convicted twice for felony crimes.  Nicholas Siemering, 28 years old, was convicted of burglary in the second degree in 2003, and burglary in the third degree in 2003. 

 

 

 

   

Wednesday News, October 31

Vilsack and King Schedules Campaign Stops in Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- Both candidates seeking the position of the 4th District Representative will make one last swing through Le Mars before election day.  Democrat Christie Vilsack has scheduled a stop at the Plymouth County Democratic headquarters on Friday morning, November 2nd.  Vilsack will be in the ice cream capital for an hour between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. as part of her Value of Common Sense Tour.  Meanwhile, Republican Steve King is scheduled to visit Le Mars on Saturday, November 3rd.  King will meet with supporters at the Plymouth County Republican headquarters at 2:30 p.m.  King will be on his "Restoring OUr American Dream Victory Tour".  Both the Democratic and Republican offices are located on Central Avenue North East in the former Perkins Office Supply building.  The two candidates sparred in their seventh and final debate last evening at Mason City.

 

Thune To Visit Le Mars Today

(Le Mars) -- South Dakota Senator John Thune has scheduled a stop at the Habitue' Coffeehouse for this afternoon at 2:30 p.m.  Thune, a republican, is making a campaign swing on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

 

Supervisors Question Conservation Trips

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors, during Tuesday's meeting, questioned County Conservation Executive Director Dennis Sohl about expenditures for two trips that were made by Conservation personnel and youth during the summer.  One trip was to Custer County, South Dakota to attend the 2012 Bison Roundup, and the other was a backpacking, hiking and camping excursion to Porcupine Mountain located in Wisconsin.  Eight people attended the Wisconsin outing, and Supervisor Craig Anderson asked if the number of people taking the trip was worth the time and expense.
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Anderson wondered if the conservation board was being efficient with the trips.
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Sohl told the supervisors that many times Plymouth county would join other counties to pool  resources and vehicles for such outings.  Supervisor Don Kass said he would like to see the entire expenditures, including employee salaries, plus he had a concern about the county's liability insurance as to whether it would cover an accident on the conservation excursions.

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The supervisors did not ask Sohl what were the purpose of the trips, and whether or not it met with educational value.  The Plymouth County Conservation Board apparently approved the trips during a summer meeting.  The supervisors suggested to Sohl that perhaps future hiking trips may want to focus on the Loess Hills of Plymouth County and western Iowa.  The supervisors indicated they may follow up with the issue at a future meeting.

 

Supervisors Schedule Public Hearing On Road Closure


(Le Mars)
-- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have scheduled November 13th at 11:00 a.m. as the date for a public hearing to gather comments regarding the closure of a gravel road.  The road in question is Quarry Avenue located in the southeastern part of the county in Elkhorn township.  There are no residents living on that one mile stretch of road.


Dialysis Center Sets Fundraiser Dance Date

(Le Mars) -- It may be Halloween, but the Le Mars Area Dialysis Services wants you to start thinking about Valentine's Day.  Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 9th as the Board of the Le Mars Area Dialysis Services hosts their next Valentine's Day Dance to celebrate the opening of the dialysis clinic located in downtown Le Mars.  Randy Readon, Le Mars Area Dialysis Services chairperson says "this year's celebration will be extra special, as the Dialysis Center was approved by Medicare in March of 2012 and now serves 18 patients.  The celebration will be at the Le Mars Convention Center upper level and starting at 7:30 p.m.  Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the Singer Somethin' Blue Band.


Buyback Candy Program To Support Troops

(Remsen) -- If your child gets more candy than they can ever consume, the Remsen Family Dentistry wants to make a deal.  For every pound of unopened candy, the Remsen Family Dentistry will pay one dollar, up to a five pound limit.  The candy will be collected on Thursday, November 1st from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Remsen Family Dentistry in Remsen.  The candy will be sent to Support Siouxland Soldiers in Sioux City.  There, they will make holiday care packages to send to our Siouxland soldiers stationed overseas.

 

KLEM Pumpkin Found

(Le Mars) -- The KLEM Great Pumpkin Hunt has now concluded.  Tuesday afternoon, at about 4:30 p.m. Cliff and Linda Schwartz of Le Mars were able to locate the KLEM pumpkin and brought it to the KLEM offices to receive $200 in gift certificates.  If you are wondering where the pumpkin was hidden, it was located next to the KLEM booth at the Plymouth County Fair grounds.


Bank Robbery Suspects In Custody after Shooting Officers

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two suspects in a bank robbery who officials say shot and wounded two officers during a high-speed chase are in custody.
Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright says the two men were "cornered and gave up" Tuesday evening, about seven hours after the Maynard Savings Bank in Maynard was robbed.
Police set up a perimeter around a two-mile radius of a wooded area by a rock quarry near Frederika.
Trooper Bob Conrad says the two suspects were trying to crawl out of the area when they were captured. Their names were not immediately released.
Trooper Mark Domino was shot in the upper right arm. He was treated and released. Sumner Police Chief Dennis Cain was shot in the neck, the hand area and the thumb. He was in critical condition
and undergoing surgery.

 

Consultant's Report Shows Salaries For State Employees Higher Than Workers In Marketplace

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A consultant's report says base pay for 18,500 state of Iowa workers is nearly 18 percent higher than comparable workers in the marketplace.
The report from Aon Hewitt says pay ranges for 11 Iowa positions were higher than the market, while ranges for seven positions were below market. The report released Tuesday also says pay ranges for Iowa's employees are significantly higher than those in other
states.
Administrative Services Department director Mike Carroll says the study was commissioned primarily because state officials have never done a comprehensive examination of state employee pay and
benefits.
Danny Homan is president of the largest state employees' bargaining unit, and he says the study lacked credibility and was designed to convince the public that state workers are overpaid.

 

 

 




 

   

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