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Tuesday News, August 21

Phase II Project Dedicated

(Le Mars) -- About 1200 people turned out Monday evening to see the new Phase II addition to the Le Mars Community High School.  It was seven years in the making from beginning to completion. The new addition includes a new gymnasium, band room, art room, multi-purpose/wrestling room, locker rooms, public restrooms, and the renovation of the choir room.  Current School Board Director and past president Pat Murphy praised the leadership of his fellow board members, the administration, and the community for taking on the project.  Murphy says it took both leadership and creativity to make the project a reality. He says seven years ago, members of the booster club approached the school board with a plan to expand.
 

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The school board director says he and his colleagues knew Le Mars Community deserved such a facility, but financing such a project, perhaps would stand in the way of progress.

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Murphy says it was a courageous move for everyone to go ahead with the construction of Phase II, and he says he is proud of how the board approved the project, without placing a higher tax levy on the community.

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Community pride was evident on nearly everyone's face as they toured the new addition.  That pride carried over to the Bulldog spirit night when the students of autumn activities were introduced. 

 

Supervisors Meet New Patrol Dog 

  (Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet the latest member of the Plymouth County Law Enforcement team, during this morning's meeting. "Fala" is a new canine patrol dog and is being trained by Deputy Jacob Wingert.  Fala is a German Shepard breed, and she is four and a half years old.  Fala will be used to detect drugs and weapons, apprehend criminals, crowd control, and public safety awareness.

The Supervisors are also scheduled to meet with PLymouth County CPC Director, Sharon Nieman.  The board is expected to review for approval the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation contract renewal for leasing space at 2nd Avenue Services Building.

 

City Council To Discuss DOT Property

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to meet at noon today, and their agenda includes discussion on the former DOT property.  The council will review an offer to purchase the property.  The council will also discuss a fence easement request, and an extension to the Madison Avenue water main. 

 

King Answers Questions At Le Mars Townhall Meeting 

(Le Mars) -- Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King told a group of 50 plus people attending a townhall meeting in Le Mars, that he has a goal to get a balanced budget.  But, when he was asked if he believes the Republican leadership has the will to push for a balanced budget, King has his doubts.

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King says perhaps the only way is if a constitutional amendment would be passed, and he challenges his home state of Iowa to lead the nation.  King says there is little time left before the United States is in some serious trouble with its spending and ever-growing deficit.

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Crop Specialist Tells Farmers To Check Corn For Nitrates

(Le Mars) -- Many farmers have started chopping their corn for silage since the summer drought prevented the corn from full development.  Iowa State University crop specialist, Joel DeJong says farmers need to continue to check their corn for nitrates.  He says the recent rains may have actually increased the nitrate level.
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DeJong says he has witnessed marginal improvement with the area's crops due to the cooler temperatures and the rainfall.  The weekly crop condition report shows the state's corn crop still 53 percent as being poor to very poor, 32 percent is fair, and only 14 percent is listed as good condition.  Soybeans are slightly better with 37 percent as being poor to very poor, and 38 percent as fair, and 23 percent as good.

 

Terrorism Charges Dropped For Sioux City Man

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A terrorism charge filed against a Sioux City man over comments he made on his Facebook page has been dismissed.
     Woodbury County prosecutors say Gabriel Rodriguez wrote suicidal and homicidal-themed messages between Aug. 2 and Aug.9. According to court documents, Rodriguez asked if he needed to "shoot up a mall before people understood."
     Assistant County Attorney Terry Ganzel says there was insufficient evidence to meet the legal requirement of the crime in order to prosecute Rodriguez.
     Ganzel says words that don't constitute a true threat are protected under the First Amendment. He says there isn't enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Rodriguez made
"true" threats and, even if they were, that the act was "imminent."
     Rodriguez's attorney didn't immediately comment.

 

Mapleton Man Sentenced For 10 years

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - A 33-year-old western Iowa man has been given 10 years in prison for twice arranging to have someone shoot him in attempts to gain sympathy from his ex-wife.
     Darren Hieber, of Mapleton, pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy and two counts of solicitation for the shootings.  Prosecutors dropped other charges in exchange for the pleas.
     Hieber was accused of persuading Brady Chapman, an employee at Hieber's trucking business, to shoot him in a leg on Feb. 5. Hieber told police he'd been shot by a burglar.
     Hieber also was accused of hiring Joseph Roberts and Timothy Culley, both of Omaha, Neb., to shoot at him on March 8 in Mapleton. No one was injured in that incident.
     Roberts, Culley and Chapman have been given probation.

 

Bridges Named After Fallen Highway Patrol Troopers

 CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Officials will dedicate two bridges in eastern Iowa to honor two Iowa State Patrol troopers who died in the line of duty.
     The bridges will be dedicated Wednesday in honor of Troopers Allen Nieland and Harold DeGear.
     Nieland died Oct. 14, 1990, when the plane he was flying crashed while he was helping other troopers locate a robbery suspect.
     DeGear died Feb. 19, 1954, of injuries he received the night before when he was struck by a vehicle while he was issuing a citation for another motorist.
     Both bridges cross the Iowa River in the Coralville area.
     The dedications are part of a statewide effort to honor the 10 troopers who died while serving the state during the patrol's 77-year history.

 

Des Moines Police Officer Wins Lottery Jackpot

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A newly retired Des Moines police officer will have extra spending money for retirement after winning a special $1 million lottery jackpot at the Iowa State Fair.
     The Iowa Lottery announced Monday that Dean Stuhr was the winner of Sunday's "Mystery Millionaire" drawing at the fairgrounds in Des Moines.
     Two others won $100,000 prizes and 12 claimed prizes of $25,000 or $50,000 during the event. Stuhr won the big prize.
     The Lottery says Stuhr retired in April after 42 years on the Des Moines police force. He told the Lottery that his plans for the winnings were to "help out family, more than anything."
     The Lottery's "Mystery Millionaire" campaign gave away $2 million in prize money, using Iowa's share of two multistate jackpots that went unclaimed.

 



    


   

Monday afternoon, August 20

Congressman King Holds Townhall Meeting

(Le Mars) -- Congressman Steve King held an hour-long townhall meeting before 50-plus people Monday morning at the Le Mars Convention Center.  King answered a variety of questions ranging from the farm bill, to windmill energy tax credits, to retirement working age.  The position of gun control was asked of the Congressman, and his thoughts of Muslim infiltration in our colleges and universities.  But a question from eleven year old Garrett Gorczynski of Oyens who asked the five-term Congressman when will the troops be coming home from Afghanistan brought silence to the group, and made King swallow hard before answering.  Gorczynski has an older brother stationed in Afghanistan, and he was holding a small American flag while asking the question.

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One goal King shared with the group is that he wants to see a balanced budget come from Congress.  Later, he was asked whether he believes the Republican leadership has the will to vote on a balanced budget.
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King says time is running out for the United States before something needs to be done with the ever-growing deficit.

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King says perhaps the only way to get a balanced budget is if it comes from the states as an amendment to the constitution, and he challenges Iowa to lead the nation on such ambitious plan.

 

 

Search Continues For Man Who Jumped Into Okoboji

 OKOBOJI, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have resumed their search for a man who jumped from a boat into West Lake Okoboji (oh-koh-BOH'-jee) in northwest Iowa.
     The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office says the man was reported missing about 5 p.m. Sunday. He reportedly jumped into the water but didn't return to the surface.
     A dive team and other officers are involved in the search.  The man's name hasn't been released.

 

Charles City Man Dies From ATV Accident  

   CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an 80-year-old man has died after crashing on his all-terrain vehicle in northern Iowa.
     The Floyd County Sheriff's Office says the accident occurred Sunday night in a rural Charles City pasture.
     Sheriff Rick Lynch says a friend of Philip Jensen who was driving by found him pinned under the ATV.
     Investigators say the ATV rolled after Jensen lost control of it. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Former Conservation Director Took Fuel For Personal Vehicle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State auditors say the former director of the Benton County Conservation Department charged more than $2,700 worth of fuel for his personal truck to the county.
     A report filed Monday by State Auditor David Vaudt says William Heber told investigators with the sheriff's department that he bought fuel for his own truck. He claims the pickup the county
provided had mechanical problems so he drove his own.
     Auditors say Heber was not authorized to charge fuel for his personal vehicle to the county. The audit identified 45 improper fuel purchases in 2010 and 2011.
     Heber, who was hired in November 2007 to oversee the county's 10 parks, was fired in November 2011.
     A current telephone number could not be located. No charges have been filed, according to online court records.

 

Iowa City Looking At Options With Loud Parties

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa City is looking for more options to address loud parties.
     The Gazette says city staff is proposing the city code be changed to allow police to issue civil citations for a disorderly house charge. Right now, it's handled with a criminal complaint, but the occupants, typically college students, are increasingly refusing to answer the door. In those situations,
it means a search warrant to get inside, which requires a county attorney or a judge to sign off on it.
     The City Council will vote on the issue Tuesday. Under the change, everyone who lives at the house would get a citation.
     Greg Bal of the University of Iowa Student Legal Services believes it's unconstitutional because someone who wasn't at home during the party would also be cited.
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