Saturday News, June 22
Optimist Club Honors Lenny Flack
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Optimist organization held a family picnic on Thursday evening at the West Floyd Park to pay tribute to all law enforcement agencies, and to specifically honor Senior officer Lenny Flack of the Le Mars Police Department. Each year, for the past 28 years, the Le Mars Optimist has held it's Respect the Law appreciation dinner. The Optimist organization focuses its attention on elementary age students to stay away from drugs. During the recognition ceremony, Optimist president, Mike Baas told the gathering, “We want to thank the Le Mars Police Department for everything they do, and we realize they are not thanked enough. “This year we are honoring Sr. Officer Lenny Flack . Baas continued, “Optimists believe it’s important for children to respect law enforcement, and to abide by the law.” The local Optimist organization honors local law enforcement officials in appreciation of their job. Flack is a graduate of Aurelia High School as well as a Westmar College alum. He joined the Le Mars Police Department in 1996. He is part of the Plymouth County - Le Mars drug task force, certified law enforcement driving instructor, a member of the Special Response Team, bicycle patrol, and he serves on the police department's hiring committee for new officers. Flack is a member of the Plymouth County Peace Officers Association having served on its board of directors and as the organization's president.
Sioux County Authorities Make Two More Arrests From Assault Case
(Orange City) -- Sioux county authorities have made two more arrests in connection with an assault complaint. Last Saturday, Sioux County Sheriff's Office investigated an assault that occurred at a residence in Hull. As a result of that altercation, one person sustained serious injuries and was transported to the Sioux Center Hospital. That person was later airlifted to Avera-McKennan hospital in Sioux Falls for further treatment of his injuries. Deputies initially arrested 32 year-old Joel Gonzales of Rock Valley for willful injury. On Wednesday of this past week, deputies arrested 46 year old Ruben Lupercio-Lopez and was charged with aggrvated assault. He is accused of displaying a dangerous weapon.
Then yesterday morning, authorities arrested 31 year old Holly Esquivel, also of Hull and charged her with criminal mischief in the third degree, an aggravated misdemeanor. She is accused of damaging a vehicle.
Fort Dodge Fire
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - An early morning fire in Fort Dodge has destroyed a building housing the mayor's business.
KVFD radio reports (http://bit.ly/108xP2P ) the fire at Bemrich Electric was reported about 2:45 a.m. Friday.
It took firefighters more than two hours to control the blaze. The building's roof collapsed and the structure appeared to be destroyed.
Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich says he'd like to have his business back in operation by next week, but it's too soon to tell how long that will take.
It's unclear what caused the fire.
Iowa's Unemployment Rate Drops
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's seasonally adjusted unemployment dropped slightly in May to 4.6 percent.
Iowa Workforce Development on Friday released Iowa's unemployment figures, which show a drop from 4.7 percent in April. The rate in May 2012 was 5.3 percent.
The state's figures compare to a national unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in May.
There were an estimated 76,800 unemployed people in Iowa in May. Total employment rose in May to 1,576,800.
Microsoft Builds Data Center In West Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Microsoft is the latest business planning to build a massive data center in Iowa as the state continues to attract some of the biggest technology companies looking for a place to expand their computer processing and storage abilities.
Microsoft is proposing to spend more than $677 million on the West Des Moines data center. The company is receiving $20 million in tax credits to create 29 jobs. The Iowa Economic Development
Authority on Friday approved the incentives.
Already Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have chosen Iowa for data centers. Microsoft's total investment is expected to exceed $1 billion in Iowa with the new project.
Industry consultants say Iowa offers plentiful, inexpensive electricity and policies that alleviate millions of dollars in property and sales taxes.
Economic Development Authority Approves Tax Break Projects
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state economic development board has approved tax breaks and other incentives for 13 companies promising to create 177 jobs and spend $725 million to expand or build new businesses.
Among them is Danisco, a subsidiary of DuPont, which plans to expand in Cedar Rapids. The $19.9 million project would create 11 jobs.
Other companies proposing expansions include Helena Industries in Des Moines, three jobs; Iowa Corn Processors in Glidden, two jobs; MediRevv in Coralville, 56 jobs; and Northern Iowa Die Cast
in Lake Park, 18 jobs.
Precision Tank and Equipment Co. plans to build a new facility in Humboldt creating 14 jobs and Illinois computer software developer Design Mill Inc. plans to open a Dubuque office hiring 16
The Iowa Economic Development Authority approved the projects Friday.
Iowa Finance Authority Lowers Interest Rate On Municipal Loans
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than 100 Iowa cities that have borrowed money to improve their drinking water systems or their wastewater treatment plants will save $6.5 million thanks to lower
Iowa cities can borrow from the State Revolving Fund, a program managed by the Iowa Finance Authority and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. They announced Friday that the interest rate has been lowered on 20-year revolving loans to 1.75 percent from 3 percent. Because of the program's success, the interest rate reduction applies to all existing loans that are at least 10 years
That will save Sioux City more than $905,000 on five loans, Mason City $630,000, and Fort Dodge $509,000 on four outstanding loans.
Other cities to realize big savings are Grimes, $328,000; Fairfield $273,000; and Oskaloosa $220,000.
Maynard Dumps Untreated Sewage Into River
MAYNARD, Iowa (AP) - A pump failure cause about 200 gallons of
untreated sewage to flow into the Little Volga River in the
northeastern Iowa city of Maynard.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the sewage bypass
happened Friday morning when one of two pumps overheated.
The DNR says city workers acted quickly to repair the pump and
stopped the sewage discharge within 10 minutes.