Monday, May 30, 2016
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Wednesday Afternoon News, May 15

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

(Le Mars) -- May is recognized as mental health awareness month and the Plains Area Mental Health Center located in Le Mars held a noon luncheon for city and county officials on Tuesday calling attention to the ever expanding need for mental health care.  Patrick Schmitz, the executive director of the local mental health clinic says the latest statistics indicate that one of every four Iowans need some type of mental health assistance.  He says many times people have the wrong idea when discussing mental health.
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He says efforts within the mental health industry are trying to call attention to the issue and bring about a better understanding.

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Schmitz says the need for mental health services is constantly increasing as more patients are seeking assistance.  However, the mental health official is concerned that some services may be cut or people may not be given prompt assistance due to budget cuts and regional mental health services.

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Bank Warns Customers Of Another Scam

(Le Mars) -- Local bank officials are warning their customers of yet another phishing scam.  This time  instead of a phone call or voice message telling the customer that their ATM card has been deactivated, customers are being notified via text messaging on their cell phone.  American Bank of Le Mars and Remsen have been informed that some of their customers have had such text messages sent to them.  Bank officials again emphasize that the messages are not coming from the local bank, and in fact the messages are not true.  Customers are encouraged to ignore the message and not to respond to the listed phone number.  Banks officials are telling their customers to never reveal any personal information regarding bank accounts.  Customers that have questions can contact American Bank.



Gehlen Announces 2013 Senior Class Valedictorian and Salutatorian

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic High School has announced this year's Valedictorian and Salutatorian from the senior class.  Maggie Dickman, the daughter of Stewart and and Donna Dickman is the Valedictorian while Andrew Lipp, the son of Christopher and Linda Lipp has been selected as the Salutatorian.  Both seniors will speak at Sunday's graduation ceremonies.


Betty Shea Presents Knights of Columbus Chalice To Father Richter

(Le Mars) -- The Knights of Columbus have a special memorial program to honor fourth-degree Sir Knights, the highest honor in the Catholic men’s fraternal organization. 

Co-Chairmen of the Chalice Fund and Past Faithful Navigator for the Michael J. McGivney Assembly 3088 4th Degree Knights of Columbus in Le Mars, Jim Kestner and Jack Frus, stated, when a fourth-degree Sir Knight passes away, a chalice with his name engraved on it is presented to the family.  The family is encouraged to give the chalice to a priest of their choice.  The family also may give the chalice to a newly ordained priest, or a missionary priest to use in a third world country or the local parish to be used by visiting priest.

On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, Betty Shea, wife of the late Sir Knight Steven Shea, had Steve’s chalice presented to St. Joseph’s-LeMars parish priest and Gehlen Catholic President, Rev. Kevin Richter.  The Sheas are members of St. Joseph’s Parish-LeMars.  Sir Knight Shea taught at Gehlen Catholic School until his unexpected death on March 26, 2013.

Faithful Navigator (FN), Jim Peters, said Betty visited with Father Richter at length as to who should receive her husband’s chalice.  When Betty learned that Father Richter’s chalice, which he received when he was ordained, was worn from the acidity of the wine, Betty selected Father Richter as the recipient. 

Father Richter uses his chalice when distributing the Eucharist to the sick and in his travels.


Remsen And Marcus Fire Departments Battles Hay Bale Fire

(Remsen) -- Remsen Fire Department along with assistance from the Marcus Fire Department was at the scene of a hay bales fire for more than two hours.  The call came in at about 3:10 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, and was located at 48135 County Road C-38. 


Branstad Says He Will Sign DNA Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is set to sign a bill into law that would require people convicted of certain aggravated misdemeanors to submit DNA samples.
The bill signing is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
The measure would require adults convicted of crimes like aggravated misdemeanor assault and theft to submit DNA samples to the federal DNA database.
Currently, only convicted felons and sexual offenders must submit samples.
The Senate changed the bill to exempt deferred judgment cases and misdemeanors related to hazardous waste, agricultural production and gambling. Traffic offenses are also exempt unless a person has three operating while intoxicated convictions in 12 years.


Cab Driver Accused Of Stealing Jewelry

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A cab driver and his wife face charges in connection with the theft of $15,000 worth of jewelry in Iowa City.
Iowa City police say 40-year-old Stacy Levell and his wife, 38-year-old Melissa Levell, each face one felony count of first-degree theft.
Police say the couple stole the jewelry from an Iowa City man in early March. The man told police the jewelry included a dozen rings that belonged to his deceased wife. They were valued at $15,000.
Authorities recovered 11 of the stolen rings from a pawn shop, where they had been exchanged for about $1,300.
Court records do not list attorneys for the couple.

Auditor Says Attorney Overcharged Clients

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - The state auditor's office says an attorney filed nearly $91,000 in overbillings to the city of Indianola, and used fake names from a phone book to beef up his
John Hoyman is accused of filing inaccurate information about prosecution services between June 2006 and the end of August 2012.  That includes filing invoices for hourly charges that were already
covered by advanced payments through the city.
The audit says Hoyman admitted to investigators that he filed the incorrect information, but he said they reflected hours he worked for the city.
Copies of the report have been filed with the Indianola Police Department, the Warren County Attorney's Office, the Attorney General's Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation.
A message left at Hoyman's law office was not immediately returned Wednesday.






Wednesday News, May 15

Floyd Valley Hospital Trustees Schedule Public Hearing For Loading Dock Relocation

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees voted last evening to hold a public hearing on what might be referred to as phase one of the projected expansion addition.  The Trustees will hold a public hearing regarding the loading dock relocation project scheduled for May 29th.  The hospital will first approach the Le Mars city council on May 21st during the city council's next regularly scheduled meeting to ask for the permission.  Hospital administrator, Mike Donlin says the loading dock needs to be relocated in order for the addition project to move forward.  Hospital officials informed the trustees last night that they are one step closer in securing a rural development loan from the U-S Department of Agriculture for the financing of the expansion addition.

Le Mars Community School Hires Associate High School Principal

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Board of Education approved the hiring of a new Associate High School Principal position.  Neal Utesch will assume the position starting with next school year.  Utesch is originally from the Akron area and attended the Akron-Westfield school district.  Upon completing his Bachelor's Degree, he has taught at the Sargent Bluff school district and most recently served as an elementary principal at the OA-BCIG school district at Ida Grove.  Utesch will have a yearly salary of $75,000.


Iowa Farmers Trying To Catch Up On Planting

(Le Mars) -- Today is May 15th, a day usually thought of as the cut-off date when corn planted after today will see some yield loss.  Iowa State University extension crops specialist Joel DeJong says although long term records usually show reduced yields, it is not always the case.
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DeJong says soil temps have risen this week making for ideal planting conditions.
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There were a handful of farmers who had the opportunity to plant some corn early, but DeJong says he has not seen any emergence of the early planted corn.
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The latest crop planting report shows Iowa farmers have planted about 12 percent of the state's corn crop.

Lawmakers Reach Compromise On Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers have reached a compromise on the first budget of the legislative session.
A joint committee of lawmakers from both parties and chambers settled Tuesday on spending $41 million for economic development.
It funds the Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Workforce Development, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa Finance Authority and the Public Employment Relations Board.
The budget is $31 million under what Republican Gov. Terry Branstad proposed. That's because leadership has decided to move some budget items into a different fund paid by gaming revenue.
Those items include a jobs program which provides tax incentives for businesses, and economic development programs for the regent universities.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says leadership saw gaming revenue as a stable funding source for these programs.

Some Domestic Abuse Shelters May Close Due To Budget Cuts

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Small domestic abuse shelters throughout Iowa are scrambling to remain open amid changes by state officials that will mean a loss of funding.
The state attorney general's office notified 12 shelters last week that they no longer will receive state money. It's part of an effort to more effectively spend the dwindling funding that's available.
The state will devote the money to eight larger shelters, which can deliver more extensive services to victims.
Janelle Melohn, of the attorney general's office, says the changes are needed to more effectively help victims at a time when federal funding passed through the state government has repeatedly
At shelters like the Dubuque Community Y Domestic Violence Program, director Charla Bulko says the organization will try to raise the money needed to remain open.


New State Auditor Accused Of Ethics Violations

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Democratic Party is accusing the newly appointed Republican state auditor of ethical violations.
Iowa Democratic Party Executive Director Troy Price on Tuesday sent a letter to the Iowa Campaign Ethics and Disclosure Board. He says State Auditor Mary Mosiman - who was appointed Monday - misused campaign funds.
Price provides records showing Mosiman used campaign dollars to pay for training sessions and travel in 2012. That was after she resigned her elected position as Story County auditor in 2011 and
went to work for the secretary of state. Price says Mosiman was using those funds for personal reasons, in violation of state law.
In a statement, Mosiman says she believes the expenditures were legal. She pledges to work with the ethics board and to accept any decisions.

Three Year Old Drowns

GRAND JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) - A 3-year-old Iowa boy who'd been enjoying a warm spring day at a lake with his mom and siblings has drowned.
Greene County authorities say Ransom Cummings was pulled from 5-foot-deep water just six feet from a dock at Spring Lake on Tuesday afternoon. Ransom had wandered away from his mom and two
siblings on the beach at the Greene County lake.
Greene County Sheriff Steve Haupert says 911 was called about 1:15 p.m., and deputies, firefighters and medics were dispatched to Spring Lake State Park to join the search for the boy.
Haupert says Ransom had been missing for at least 40 minutes when a firefighter spotted the reflection from the boy's sunglasses on the lake bed.
The boy was pronounced dead at Greene County Hospital in Jefferson.


DNR Issues Warning

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials are warning spring paddlers to be wary of cold water and debris piled on by full streams.
The state Department of Natural Resources says the water may still be ice cold despite the warm temperatures. They encourage paddlers to have a wetsuit and a change of dry clothes until the
water truly warms up.
Recent rains have also caused streams near bank full. Water is flowing fast, and high water has collected debris like trees and limbs. They've been deposited at the base of bridge pilings and the
outside of tight bends in the river.
Officials say good boat control skills and navigation is important to remaining safe while paddling.



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