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Wednesday Afternoon News, July 10

Hampton Inn And Casey's General Store Coming To Orange City

(Orange City) -- The Orange City Development Corporation announced on Tuesday two significant projects designed to contribute to economic growth, residential and visitor services, and tourism for the community and northwest Iowa.  The first project is the development and construction of a new $6.2 million Hampton Inn hotel adjacent to the $4 million Prairie Winds Event Center that opened last summer on Highway 10 east.  The three-story, 60-room hotel will serve the needs of visitors, businesses, and tourists to the town of 6,000.   Orange City Development Corporation vice president Marty Guthmiller says "a recognized hotel brand like Hampton will perfectly complement the event center.

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The second announcement involved the acquisition of a 44,000 square foot site, also on Highway 10 east, by Casey's General Stores. 

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The Dutch Colony Inn now sits on the property. Guthmiller says the OCDC purchased the property with the portion of the site sold to Casey's for the construction of a new 4,200 square foot store.


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Plymouth County Supervisors Discuss Cutting and Harvesting Roadside Grass

(Le Mars) -- The cutting and harvesting of grass alongside roads was again discussed during Tuesday's County Supervisor meeting.  Stephanie Jurgens of Le Mars appeared before the supervisors informing them the current policy regarding the cutting and harvesting of roadside grass for hay purposes needs some revision.

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The Supervisors discussed the idea of establishing a May 1st deadline for landowners to  inform the county through the Engineer's office their intention to cut and harvest the grass ditches. The supervisors mentioned that if a landowner doesn't want the grass for hay purposes, then other neighbors can notify the county of their intention of harvesting the grass for hay.  Supervisor Craig Anderson says he favors that idea.

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The supervisors will address the issue again next week with the intention of making appropriate revisions to the policy.

 

Goodchild Submits Recorder's Quarterly Report

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild submitted a quarterly report to the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.  Goodchild says the county recorder's office received $172,697 during the quarter from April 1st to June 30th.  More than $120,000 is turned over to the state. Goodchild offers a breakdown as to the Recorder's office transactions for the quarter.

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The Plymouth County Recorder says boat registrations certainly help the county's revenue.

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Sioux City Settles Age Discrimination Lawsuit

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City has agreed to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by a firefighter.
The Sioux City Council passed a resolution Monday to settle 48-year-old Brian Thiele's lawsuit for $45,000. Thiele, a Sioux City Fire Department captain who had served the department for 27
years, claimed in an April 2012 lawsuit that he was discriminated against him when a younger person was named city fire marshal.
The lawsuit claimed Fire Chief Tom Everett told Thiele the new fire marshal, then 37 years old, was young enough to pursue additional education that was desired for the post.
The case was scheduled to go to trial in October.
The city council said the settlement avoided litigation costs, but it was not an admission of wrongdoing.
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Appeals Court Overturns Terrorism Threat

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals has overturned the threat of terrorism conviction of a northwest Iowa farmer saying there isn't enough evidence to show he would imminently act on his threat to "blow away" a county Farm Service Agency director.
The case involves 60-year-old Arend Deboer, a Little Rock farmer who placed an angry call to the Rock Rapids branch of the FSA in September 2011.
While the court concludes in its ruling Wednesday that his comments were intimidating, there isn't enough proof to show they were about to occur. Iowa law requires a threat to be imminent to
be considered terrorism.
The court threw out the conviction. A second charge of harassment goes back to a Lyon County judge to see if there is sufficient evidence to uphold it.

 

Federal Judge Orders New Trial For Prisoner

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge has taken the rare step of ordering a new trial for a state prisoner convicted in the brutal 1995 murder of a northwestern Iowa teenager.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett resurrects a case that inflamed tensions between whites and Hispanics and led to crackdowns on illegal immigration.
Guillermo Escobedo, now 38, and Cesar Herrarte were convicted in the stabbing death of 19-year-old Justin Younie at a party in Hawarden and are serving life prison sentences.
Bennett ruled last month that Escobedo should have been granted an automatic mistrial when a juror was dismissed for allegedly bragging about being racist during deliberations. He says Escobedo
will remain locked up at Clarinda Correctional Facility while state prosecutors appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Sheriff Says Farmer Justified In Shooting Dogs

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A northwest Iowa county sheriff says a farmer was within his rights to fatally shoot three St. Bernards that were eating one of the farmer's show goats.
The incident occurred Sunday in Rock Rapids when Mike Bus discovered the dogs eating a goat in its pen. Bus got a gun and shot them, then called the authorities. Another of Bus' goats had been killed the day before by a dog or dogs.
Amy Fluit says she and her family have known the neighboring Bus family for years and that Bus knew the dogs were her family's pets.
But Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep (stoop) says Bus had a right to protect his property from the dogs. The sheriff says no arrests are contemplated.
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Ernst Files Papers Seeking U-S Senate Seat

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst is entering the 2014 race for U.S. Senate.
The 43-year-old from Red Oak launched a website Wednesday to reveal her plans. The website says that Washington has failed Iowa residents, who "deserve better leadership."
Ernst serves in the Iowa National Guard. She was first elected to the state Senate in 2011 in a special election.
Other Republicans who have declared include: Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, Sioux City talk show host Sam Clovis, attorney Paul Lunde and David Young, a former aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley. Businessman Mark Jacobs is exploring a run.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley is his party's only candidate.


   

Wednesday News, July 10

Floyd Valley Hospital Holds Public Hearing

(Le Mars) -- Only one person appeared last evening for the Floyd Valley Hospital public hearing regarding the new addition.  Lois Bauer of Kingsley appeared before the board of trustees with questions regarding the new proposed facility. She asked to have the project manager and architect present the proposal for the new addition, which is estimated to cost more than $25 million. Larry Peterson, a hospital trustee, informed the trustees that he has heard a great deal of support coming from the community approving the proposed addition.  Peterson made the motion to approve the addition project, with Trustee Bill Young seconding the motion.  The hospital trustees unanimously voted to approve the project.  Bids will now be accepted with bid letting to be announced sometime around September 21st.


Law Enforcement Officials Conduct Active Shooter Training

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's Department along with officers from each of the Plymouth County communities and the Conservation Board are participating in an active shooter training seminar today using the Clark Elementary School as the scenario of an active shooter.  Le Mars Police Officer Jeff Cramer is conducting the special training and explains the most likely of places where an active shooter may be located.

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Officer Cramer says the purpose of the training is so each law enforcement official knows exactly how to proceed in a building and secure it, and take down the shooter or shooters.

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Cramer says some students from Le Mars Community volunteered to role play in the scenario offering the officers assistance with their training.

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Hampton Inn and Casey's General Store To Build In Orange City

(Orange City) -- The Orange City Development Corporation announced on Tuesday two significant projects designed to contribute to economic growth, residential and visitor services, and tourism for the community and northwest Iowa.  The first project is the development and construction of a new $6.2 million Hampton Inn hotel adjacent to the $4 million Prairie Winds Event Center that opened last summer on Highway 10 east.  The three-story, 60-room hotel will serve the needs of visitors, businesses, and tourists to the town of 6,000.  The Hampton Inn will include an indoor pool, breakfast area, and other important amenities.  Orange City Development Corporation vice president Marty Guthmiller says "a recognized hotel brand like Hampton will perfectly complement the event center. 
Together, the event center and hotel will enhance the "destination" aspect of our community, boosting our ability to host a variety of corporate and private events and meeting the needs of both residents and visitors.

The second announcement involved the acquisition of a 44,000 square foot site, also on Highway 10 east, by Casey's General Stores.  The Dutch Colony Inn now sits on the property. The OCDC purchased the property with the portion of the site sold to Casey's for the construction of a new 4,200 square foot store.

 

Sioux City Manager Being Sued For Sexual Harassment

(Sioux City) --  Sioux City Manager Paul Eckert is being sued by a city employee for sexual harassment.  Britany Scott filed the lawsuit in federal court Tuesday morning.  Mayor Bob Scott says Eckert remains on duty as City Manager.  Brittany Scott, no relation to the mayor, is asking for unspecified monetary and punitive damages and wants the city manager to be fired.  Court documents state that Brittany Scott claims the sexual harassment began in the fall of 2000, after she was divorced.  She also claims Eckert created a hostile work environment and he retaliated against her in reduced pay and benefits when she rejected his alleged advances.  Scott also claims she was denied promotions and given undesirable assignments.  Mayor Scott says no one to his knowledge has asked for Eckert to resign.  The mayor says he expects Eckert to continue to manage the city until the legal process plays out.

 

Former Bremer County Recorder Given Probation

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) - A former Bremer County recorder who admitted stealing office funds has been given up to three years of probation.
59-year-old Donna Ellison had faced up to seven years in prison when she was sentenced on Monday. Ellison was given the probation and a deferred judgment and was ordered to pay restitution of at least $524. Under the deferred judgment, the convictions will be removed from Ellison's record if she successfully completes probation.
Ellison pleaded guilty in May to misconduct in office and third-degree theft. Authorities say Ellison took the money between May 2012 and February 2013 and altered records to disguise the
crime.
Ellison had been Bremer County's recorder since 1995.
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Mason City Farmer Pleads Guilty To Loan Fraud

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A Mason City man has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to making a false statement related to farm loans.
U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade sentenced 41-year-old Raymond A. Schaefer to two years in prison, and he was ordered to make about $370,000 in restitution to MidWestOne Bank and the Farm
Service Agency.
Schaefer pleaded guilty in March, when he admitted to making false statements to creditors in 2008 to cover up that he'd lost a large amount of money by gambling.
Schaefer was released and will surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service on July 29.

 

Secretary Of State To Re-write Voter Registration Form

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Secretary of State's Office will rewrite its new voter registration form after complaints that it could confuse people and prompt them not to register.
The secretary of state legal counsel Charlie Smithson said Tuesday his office agreed with concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.
The ACLU had argued the new form gave the impression registrants must provide a driver's license or identification card number and their Social Security card in order to register. State law actually requires a Social Security number only if registrants don't have a state-issued identification.
Smithson says the Voter Registration Commission will rescind rules enacting the new form, which was set to become an official state document on Aug. 1.


Disciplinary Action Withdrawn For U Of I Doctor

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Regulators have withdrawn disciplinary action against a University of Iowa doctor whose attorney says she was unfairly accused of abusing alcohol.
The Iowa Board of Medicine last month abandoned disciplinary cases against Wendy Smoker it filed in 2011 and 2012.
The step came after an appeals court blasted the board in May for mishandling allegations that Smoker, a recovering alcoholic, had resumed drinking. The court said the board conducted a
"blatantly subpar investigation" and unfairly sanctioned Smoker despite no evidence that her ability to practice medicine was compromised by a 2009 relapse in which she drank wine at a
professional dinner.
The Iowa Supreme Court let the ruling stand.
Smoker's attorney, David Brown, said Tuesday the board will have to pay back more than $12,000 in settlements and court costs.

 

 

 


 

 

   

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