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Monday News, April 8

Sheriff's Office Releases More Details On Accident

(Le Mars) -- More information has been released regarding the auto accident on Loop Road from early Saturday morning.  The Plymouth County Sheriff's office received a 9-1-1 phone call indicating a vehicle had rolled into the north ditch and was on its top with a subject still inside the vehicle.  The driver was identified as Anthony Snodgrass, age 24, of 405 37th place street in Sioux City. Snodgrass was driving north when he came to a "T" intersection and failed to make the right hand turn onto 320th Street.  Snodgrass was transported to Mercy Medical Center by Siouxland Paramedics.  Hinton Fire Department assisted at the scene.  The Plymouth County Sheriff's office is still investigating the accident.

Deputies Arrest Man Laying Next To Road

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's office received a call on Saturday evening, just before 11:00 p.m. regarding two individuals seen laying next to the road on County road K-22 about a half a mile south of 312th Street.  When deputies arrived they found a male subject standing on the edge of the road and when deputies approached, the subject jumped into the east ditch in an attempt to elude the deputies.  The subject was found a short distance from where he jumped into the ditch.  Brett Figueroa, age 18, of 1303 Rebecca Street of Sioux City was arrested for public intoxication and transported to the Plymouth County Jail.  Bond has been set at $325.

Le Mars Fire Department Responds to Hay Fire

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department was called to a hay fire on Sunday afternoon at about 2:10 p.m.  The fire was located about one-half mile south of County Road C-38 and Nature Avenue.  Fire chief Dave Schipper says upon arrival a large pile of hay next to a small barn was found burning.   Farmers were attempting to slow the fire with shovels and a skidloader.   Firefighters were able to control the blaze and stop it from spreading to the barn.  They used shovels then along with the skidloader to pull the hay away from the building and spread the hay out to completely extinguish the fire.   The winds were also a factor as they were gusting out of the east southeast at over 25 miles per hour at the time of the call.   Firefighters were on scene for just over an hour and used 1000 gallons of water to control the fire.   The property is owned by Roddy Kniep.   There were no injuries and damage was limited to the hay.  It was determined the fire was started from the skidloader igniting the hay while they were feeding cattle.  The fire was determined to be accidental.

Akron Fire Department Battles Grass Fire

-- THe Akron Fire Department responded to a grass fire located along Highway 3, just west of Westfield, Sunday afternoon, shortly after 1:15 p.m.  The Akron Fire Department was on the scene for a little more than an hour.

Le Mars School Board To Discuss Budget

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board is scheduled to meet this evening and the board is expected to approve the 2013-2014 school budget.   Since the state legislature has still not determined what the amount of funding will be allocated to the state's school districts, Superintendent of schools Dr. Todd Wendt was forced to establish a budget using zero percent of allowable growth.  Schools are required to submit their budgets to the state no later than April 15th.  The question was asked on Saturday during a legislative forum, hosted by State Senator Bill Anderson and State Representative Chuck Soderberg.  The Senate has approved a rate of four percent for allowable growth and the House has passed a state supplemental aid which includes the provisions of allowable growth at a two percent rate.  Representative Soderberg of Le Mars, a republican, placed the blame on the Democratic controlled Senate for not acting in a quick and timely manner on the issue.

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Soderberg admits not knowing what the final budget number will be for education funding.

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A handful of school officials attended the Saturday legislative forum, and Dr. Todd Wendt informed the law makers he believes the issue could have been resolved earlier, if the legislature would have separated the allowable growth funding bill from the educational reform bill.  A public hearing regarding the Le Mars Community School District budget is scheduled for this evening beginning at 7:30 at the Le Mars Education Service Center.


Meredith Corporation Looking For Acquisitions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Meredith Corp. chief executive Stephen Lacy says his Des Moines-based publishing company remains hungry for acquisitions.
Lacy says that the media industry will be split into two categories: consolidators
and the consolidated. Lacy says Meredith has "been at this 110 years, through a lot of evolutions of media platforms, and we are an aggressive consolidator."
Meredith had been talking to Time Warner earlier this year about acquiring several of Time Warner's titles, but the talks broke down. Time Warner has decided to spin off its magazines into a new,
publicly traded unit.
Lacysays that many of Time Inc.'s lifestyle, health and food publications would fit neatly into Meredith's stable of magazines. He says "we've salivated over those businesses forever."


Woman Hangs Boyfriend's Dog

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman has allegedly confessed to hanging one of her boyfriend's three dogs in the garage.
Twenty-eight-year-old Sheena Cornwell was arrested Saturday evening after her boyfriend came home to discover the dog. She allegedly told police that she killed the dog because it was old
and sick.
Des Moines Police Officer Greg Catron says Cornwell didn't seem to appear remorseful about killing Lily, who was a pit bull mix.
Cornwell was released a few hours after her arrest but her phone number was disconnected. She faces one charge of animal torture.
Cornwell's boyfriend told police he wanted to get a restraining order against her.

Des Moines Squad Cars Collide

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Three Des Moines police officers have been treated for injuries they suffered in a collision of two squad cars.
Sgt. Jason Halifax says the crash occurred at 1:39 a.m. Sunday. Halifax says one cruiser ran into the side of the other at a four-way stop.
He says both cars were responding to a call of shots fired that came from an off-duty officer who was working at a convenience store.
The officers have been released from a hospital. Their names have not been disclosed.

Kansas Bishop To Lead Dubuque Archdiocese

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A Kansas bishop has been chosen to lead the eastern Iowa archdiocese.
The Dubuque Archdiocese says Bishop Michael Jackels (JAY'-kuhls), of Wichita, Kan., has been appointed by Pope Francis to be the new archbishop of Dubuque. Jackels replaces Archbishop
Jerome Hanus (HAH'-nuhs).
The Wichita diocesan website says Jackels was named the Wichita bishop in January 2005 by Pope John Paul II. Before being named to the post, Jackels worked for the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith in Rome for eight years.
Hanus will introduce Jackels at a news conference later Monday morning at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Dubuque. Hanus also will announce his plans for the future.




Saturday Afternoon News, April 6

Lawmakers Visit About Legislative Issues

(Le Mars) -- State Representative Chuck Soderberg along with State Senator Bill Anderson were in Le Mars Saturday morning holding a legislative forum.  A group of nearly 20 people from various businesses consisting of educational, utility, agriculture, mental health, and even seniors had attended the forum.  Soderberg told the group how the State House of Representatives are becoming more frustrated with the State Senate's inability to deliver budget bills.  Soderberg, who chairs the House Appropriations committee says while the House has sent six budget bills to the Senate, the Senate has sent over to the other chamber only one budget bill.
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The General Session is scheduled to end on May 3rd, however, both lawmakers are uncertain as to whether the legislature can complete its work on time. 

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(Le Mars) -- The State Senate has before them the task of confirming the various nominees for commissions and state boards prior to April 15th.  Governor Branstad's nominees for the Board of Regents and the State Utility Board have come under great scrutiny within the Senate committees.  State Senator Bill Anderson says he intends to support Governor Branstad's nominees for the Board of Regents, both Craig Lang and Robert Cramer and says it is a matter of Democrats wanting to play politics.

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Mathis Says She Will Not Seek Congressional Seat

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democratic state Sen. Liz Mathis says she will not seek the Iowa congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley.
Mathis, of Robins, told The Associated Press she seriously considered a bid for Iowa's 1st Congressional District but decided to announce Saturday she would focus on her state Senate work and her family.
Mathis was elected to the Senate in a 2011 special election, then won a full term in 2012. She represents the 34th District in Linn County.
Braley, a Democrat, is seeking the Senate seat held for five terms by Tom Harkin.
The 1st District includes 20 Iowa counties.
Democratic state Rep. Pat Murphy of Dubuque has announced he will run. Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje and Dubuque businessman Rod Blum say they'll seek the Republican nomination.


Public Safety Director Speaks About Criticism

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's new public safety department director has literally worn many law enforcement hats in his career.
The state Senate confirmed 59-year-old K. Brian London this week as head of the agency, about six months after he began working following his appointment by Gov. Terry Branstad.
London has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement, including stints with agencies ranging from the CIA and Secret Service to the California Highway Patrol.
London has made some changes in the department that have drawn criticism, but he tells The Associated Press, "Give me a shot. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised."

State Supreme Court Denies Appeal

WASHINGTON, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has denied the appeal of an eastern Iowa man who smothered his wife in 2010 during an argument.
The state's high court on Friday rejected James Blum's argument that the Iowa Court of Appeals
should have found that his trial lawyer was ineffective.
The Iowa Court of Appeal upheld Blum's second-degree murder conviction earlier this year.
Blum told police that he held Patricia Blum's face down against a cushion until she died and should've let her up but didn't because he was so angry. Police say he attacked his wife after she
told him she backed a car into their garage door.
Blum is serving a 50-year prison term. He's now 73.


Students Drive Tractors To School

VAN HORNE, Iowa (AP) - The parking lot at eastern Iowa's Benton Community High School looked a little crowded this week.
Cedar Rapids television station KCRG-TV reports that Friday was the Van Horne school's
annual "Bring Your Tractor to School" day.
Future Farmers of America organizes the event every year.
Student Connor Selken drove his great-grandfather's 1951 Ford tractor to the school. Adam Gorkow drove in a much bigger machine and noted that Iowa is the top corn producer in the country.
Gorkow says that without the tractors, that wouldn't be possible.




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