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Saturday News, August 18

Remsen-Union Dedicates New Multi-Purpose Facility


(Remsen) -- Remsen-Union held a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony last evening for its new 17,000 square feet Multi-purpose and locker room facility last evening. The cost of the project is at $2.1 million.  Remsen-Union Superintendent Ken Howard says the project was a long time coming.
 

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Shirley Schroeder serves as president of the Remsen-Union school board. She offers this explaination of the new facility.

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Schroeder says the community did not need to vote on a bond measure, instead the project was financed through the one percent state sales tax.

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Superintendent Howard says the school now has an extra facility for tournaments, practice, and even an additional space for elementary recess during bad weather days.

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Howard says the new facility will help with scheduling conflicts and offer the school more versitility.
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Nearly 400 people attended the dedication ceremony.

 

Le Mars Fire Department Responds To Five Calls On Friday

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department had a busy day on Friday.  The local fire department responded to five calls beginning at about 5:30 a.m. when they were called to the Brentwood Good Samaritan Center for smoke in the kitchen.  The next call came at 8:05 when fire officials investigated smoke west of town. At 10:30 a.m. the Le Mars Fire Department investigated a strange odor from behind Fedder's Marine and Rv and Family Table Restaurant. Twenty minutes later the fire department responded to a call at the Cloverleaf Cold Storage, and then at 1:15 a fire alarm was sounding at the Park Place Estates.  Fortunately, with most of the calls there wasn't a fire, and on the one actual fire reported, it was contained and could not spread.  Two calls involved water leaking into the alarm system which prompted the alarms to sound.

Akron Fire Department Fights Grass and Baler Fire

(Akron) --  The Akron Fire Department responded to a grass field fire that started from a baler.  The fire was reported at about 2:40 Friday afternoon.  The grass fire had quickly spread.  Both the Akron and the Hawarden Fire Departments responded to the fire.  It was located just across the Big Sioux River in South Dakota at 480 2nd Avenue between 308th and 309th streets.

 

Iowa City Police Arrest Drug Shooting Suspect

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Police have arrested a person involved in a shooting that occurred during an undercover drug operation at a trailer park near Iowa City.
     Iowa City police Sergeant Denise Brotherton tells the Iowa City Press-Citizen that officers responded Friday afternoon to an apartment complex where someone believed to be involved in the
Thursday night shooting might live.
     After a standoff of nearly four hours, police shot tear gas into the building. Officers escorted John Mulbah outside in handcuffs a few minutes later.
     Police were looking for Mulbah and another man who fled after the shooting, in which two state agents fired shots during an undercover drug operation. The incident left 24-year-old Ivan Hardemon dead and 21-year-old Demarco Dudley injured.

 

Milo Man Ordered To Pay Victim's Family

 INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - A Warren County judge has ordered a central Iowa famer convicted of killing his neighbor to pay $4 million in a legal battle.
     KCCI-TV reports the judge on Friday ordered Rodney Heemstra of Milo to pay Rhonda Lyon in a settlement decision.
     Heemstra shot his neighbor Tom Lyon in 2003 in a dispute over farmland and cattle-watering equipment.
     Lawsuits resulted in court judgments against Heemstra totaling about $7 million, including interest, but he continued to fight paying it. He made a settlement offer in April.
     Heemstra was originally convicted of first-degree murder. The Iowa Supreme Court ordered a new trial, and Heemstra was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.

 

Investigators To Release Video of Hot Lotto Mystery

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - State investigators may release part of a video in hopes of solving the mystery behind a Hot Lotto ticket worth more than $14 million that was claimed and later
withdrawn.
     A New York attorney claimed the prize on behalf of a trust based in Belize. His representatives offered the winning ticket hours before the prize would have expired Dec. 29.
     The attorney refused to say who purchased the ticket at a Des Moines gas station and who would receive the payout. The claim was eventually withdrawn.
     The Cedar Rapids Gazette (http://bit.ly/P30u0O ) says if leads the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are following don't pan out in the next few weeks, it may release part of the video showing the Hot Lotto sale in hopes of helping the investigation.
 

 

Circuit Court OK's EPA 15% Ethanol Blend

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court has rejected a challenge to Environmental Protection Agency decisions allowing an increase in ethanol content in gasoline.
     In a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said trade associations of engine manufacturers, food producers and petroleum producers did not have standing to sue
because they failed to show that their members are harmed by the EPA action.
     In two decisions, the agency approved the introduction of a gasoline blend of up to 15 percent ethanol for use in light-duty vehicles from model-year 2001 and later. The national gasoline supply is largely a blend with 10 percent ethanol. Ethanol producers, who sought the 15 percent option, say the ruling keeps a pathway open that could enable ethanol demand to expand.
    

 

 

   

Friday News, August 17

Le Mars To Set Up Additional Waste Water Treatment Facility

(Le Mars) -- During the last Le Mars city council meeting, the council approved plans to proceed with a new water treatment facility to be located two miles west of town.  Scott Langel, city administrator says people will hear a lot about the new water treatment plant in the months ahead. 

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The city official explains the second stage for the new treatment facility.

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Langel says the third portion of the project will be to create a new waste lagoon.

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Langel says the fourth stage is the construction of the new facility.  He says it is needed for the expansion of both Wells and Dean Foods.  Langel says the financing of the waste treatment facility will be paid for by the two industries.

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The city administrator says a final cost will be calculated in the weeks to come, but a preliminary figure is $16.7 million for all contracts.  Langel says the city may not be able to obtain grants for the new wastewater treatment facility, but it may be able to obtain a low interest loan through the state and federal government's revolving fund.

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Congressman King To Hold Townhall Meetings In Northwest Iowa

(Washington) -- Iowa Congressman Steve King has announced he will hold three townhall meetings in northwest Iowa.  King, a republican, will be at the Le Mars Convention Center Upper Level Conference Room on Monday, August 20 between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.  King will then hold a townhall meeting for Sioux County at the Sioux Center Public Library between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. and he will be at the Forster Community Center at Rock Rapids for a Lyon County townhall meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and continuing until 3:00 p.m. 

 

Penn National Gaming Suing Iowa Gaming Commission

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The owner of Sioux City's riverboat casino is going to court over a decision by state regulators not to accept a deal that would have extended an operating agreement with
a nonprofit partner that holds the gambling license.
     Penn National Gaming Company has asked a Polk County judge to review last month's decision by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Penn claims the board violated state and federal laws
and constitutional protections when it refused to approve a contract with the Missouri River Historical Development that would have run through March 2015.
     The commission instead approved an extension through March 2013, saying it would better fit plans to seek bids for a land-based casino.
     Mark Monson of the nonprofit group declined to comment.

Trial For James Kroll Delayed

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Trial is delayed for a Sioux City man charged with bludgeoning two people in their sleep with a crowbar.
     23-year-old James Kroll Junior was scheduled to stand trial next week in Woodbury County District
Court. A judge on Wednesday delayed it until November 13th.
     Kroll is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and first-degree burglary. Police say he beat 54-year-old Jeffrey Moravek to death and seriously injured 54-year-old Mary Tope after
breaking into Tope's home in June.
     Police say Tope's daughter, Emily, was in the house at the time and identified Kroll, her former boyfriend. Court papers say Kroll was distraught that their relationship had ended.

 

Rembrandt Man Faces Additional Sexual Abuse Charges

(Storm Lake) -- Last week we told you of a Rembrandt man that was charged with sexually assaulting a 15 year old girl.  After further investigation, Buena Vista County Sheriff, Gary Launderville has announced additional charges against 36 year old Cory Wernimont.  Wernimont is being charged with 60 additional counts of sexual abuse in the 3rd degree a class C felony.  The additional charges stem from the alleged sexual assault of an additional female minor over the an extended period of time.  Wernimont is currently being held in the Buena Vista County jail on a $50,000 cash bond only.  Assisting with the investigation is the Iowa Department of Human Services and the Buena Vista county attorney's office.

 

Midwest Economy Is Hurting From Drought

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - An economic index for 10 Midwest and Western states has dropped again, and an economist says the drought is "dampening economic activity across the region."
     The Rural Mainstreet Index dropped further into negative territory this month, hitting 47.1, compared with 47.9 in July and 56.7 in June.
     The index is compiled after a survey of rural bankers in the states of Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Wyoming and the Dakotas. It focuses on communities with
1,300 residents, on average.
     Survey organizers say any score below 50 on the index, which ranges from 1 to 100, suggests economic contraction in the months ahead.
     Creighton University economist Ernie Goss in Omaha, Nebraska says the drought "is dampening economic activity across the region" and that companies with farm ties are experiencing
problems.
 

 

Iowa's Unemployment Rate Increases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's unemployment rate edged up to 5.3 percent in July.
     State labor officials say the preliminary rate was two-tenths of a point higher than June's revised rate of 5.1 percent. The rate was 6 percent in July 2011.
     Iowa Workforce Development says in a report issued Friday that the state gained 2,300 jobs in total nonfarm employment last month after two months of decreases. The state says the gains occurred only in the sectors of wholesale and retail trade, other services,
local government and health care.
     The number of unemployed people in Iowa was estimated at 88,200 in July, compared with 85,300 in June. A year ago, an estimated 99,100 people were unemployed in Iowa.
     The national jobless rate rose a tenth of a point in July, to 8.3 percent.

 

One Killed, One Injured At Iowa City Drug Shooting

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say one person has been killed and another injured during a shooting involving two undercover officers in Iowa City.
     The Iowa Public Safety Department says in a news release Friday that neither of the officers was injured. They work for the state's Division of Narcotics Enforcement and are assigned to the Johnson
County Drug Task Force.
     The department says the officers were conducting an operation around 7 p.m. Thursday at a trailer in the Breckenridge mobile home park. An altercation erupted. The department says shots were fired, killing one person and injuring another, who was taken to a hospital.
     It's unclear whether the people were armed or fired any shots.  Details about the shooting and the names of those involved have not been released.

 

Clear Lake Man Charged In "Murder-For-Hire" Scheme

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - The trial of a Clear Lake man charged in a murder-for-hire case has been delayed.
     Alan Cannon faces two counts of solicitation to commit murder, one count of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of attempted murder.
     His trial, which had been set for Aug. 21, has been postponed until Sept. 25 in Cerro Gordo County District Court.
     Cannon is accused of trying to hire two people in December to kill a teenager who says he sexually assaulted her. A jury in June convicted Cannon of a simple misdemeanor assault charge and supplying alcohol to a minor in that case. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $500.

 


     



    

   

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