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Wednesday news, August 29

Plymouth County To Build New Bridge For 160th Street

(Le Mars) --  The permits are in and bids on a new bridge will be coming into the county late fall/early winter.  Plans are drawn up for the 226 foot bridge over the Floyd River on 160th just east of Highway 60 north of Le Mars.  County Engineer Tom Rohe informed the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors that the amount of traffic on the gravel road warrants a new structure.

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The amount of traffic is over double what an average gravel road in the county has. Rohe says the current bridge is in ill-repair, and discussion concerning closing the bridge entirely was addressed.  Rohe said flooding of alternative routes could be a problem.

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The railroad sees 160th as a busy road, as made evident by the fact they added gates and lights to the crossing at 160th street near the bridge this year.  According to Rohe, that project cost the railroad 170 thousand dollars.

The bridge will be raised seven and a half feet from it's current placement, and 2.5 acres around the existing road will need to be acquired.
The replacement of the bridge over the Floyd on 160th north of Le Mars is estimated to cost 800-900 thousand dollars.  Eighty percent of that cost would be covered by the Federal Bridge Replacement Funds the county has available.

 

Two Men Sentenced For Possessing K2 In Correctional Facility

(Orange City) -- Two men have been sentenced to prison terms for possessing synthetic cannabinoids while being held in a correctional facility.  34 year old Jesse Armstrong of Spencer and 35 year old Clarence Paulsen of Spirit Lake were sentenced on Monday.  The men were arrested out of the same incident.  Sioux County attorney Coleman McAllister prosecuted the cases on behalf of the state of Iowa.  The cases arose on June 13th when the Sioux County Sheriff's Office received information that a resident of the Iowa Department of Corrections Residential Treatment Facility in Sheldon, was potentially involved in possessing and/or selling K-2 as classified as a synthetic cannabinoid under Iowa law and it is illegal to possess.  A deputy went to the residential treatment facility and located two packages of the illegal drug.  Both men were sentenced to five years in prison.  Armstrong was serving a ten year prison term for a felony controlled substance conviction in Clay County, Iowa and Paulsen was serving a two year prison sentence for weapons and drug convictions also in Clay County, Iowa.

Erratic Driver Leads To Arrest and Sentencing For Marijuana Possession

(Orange City) -- A complaint of an erratic driver led to the arrest and conviction of a Sergeant Bluff man for possession of, and intent to deliver nearly a pound of marijuana.  47 year old Sakdarif Lokhamkouak was sentenced to five years in prison by Sioux County District Court on Monday.  Last March a concerned citizen called 911 to make a complaint of an erratic driver southbound on Highway 75.  A Sioux County deputy observed the vehicle and was able to match the description.  The deputy stopped and searched the vehicle in question, and besides finding 14.8 ounces of marijuana, he also found $2,400 in cash. 

 

Iowa Has Fewer Hunters

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Fewer Iowans are buying hunting and fishing licenses, but state officials say that doesn't necessarily mean interest in the sports are waning.
Sales of hunting licenses to Iowa residents dropped 13 percent from 2007 to last year, and resident fishing licenses declined about 4 percent during that period.
Nationally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates hunting is up 9 percent and fishing has increased 11 percent.
Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau, tells The Gazette in Cedar Rapids that the national numbers are based on interviews. He says fishing remains
strong in Iowa and license declines could reflect recent flooding.
DNR spokesman Kevin Baskins says declining pheasant populations hurt hunting license sales. That decline is blamed on grassland losses and recent harsh winters.
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(Boone) - Farmers, crop inspectors and grain elevators in Iowa and other corn-producing states are
keeping an eye out for corn contaminated by a poison-producing fungus.
They're watching for signs of aflatoxins which are produced by mold fungi and at high levels are poisonous to humans and animals.  They tend to show up during hot, dry summers.
Charlie Hurburgh, grain quality specialist with Iowa State University says the problem is starting to get serious.

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Iowa agriculture officials say they're requiring dairy farmers to test milk as it leaves farms. Aflatoxins can appear in the milk of dairy cows fed contaminated corn.

 

National Guard Send-off

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - About 1,000 people turned out for a sendoff ceremony for 60 Iowa Army National Guard troops heading to Afghanistan. The event took place yesterday at Camp Dodge in Johnston. The soldiers will head to Fort Hood in Texas for about a month of training before going overseas.


 

 



   

Tuesday afternoon news, August 28th

(Le Mars) -- Taking care of small children in Northwest Iowa, that's the job of Northwest

Early Childhood Iowa. 

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Takysia Larsen is the director in charge of Plymouth, Sioux, Cherokee

and Lyon counties.  She went before the County Board of Supervisors this week to update them

on what services they provide in this region for kids age birth to 5.

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Funding for the organization comes primarily from state funding, with a small amount from

federal as well. Northwest Early Childhood Iowa has a budget of about $722,000 for the year,

which is down from nearly $1.4 million four years ago. 
A local board, including representitives from all four counties, decides what to do with the

funds on a local level.  This means that each county can tailor their funds to meet their

specific needs.
$337 thousand of their annual budget is dictated by the state to go toward parent support,

which is used to fund the Healthy Families Program.  Larsen says this program, in our area,

is contracted out through County Public Health Agencies.

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In Plymouth County specifically, 40 families were served through over 800 visits last year. 

Families are chosen to participate in this program through referrals, often from doctors,

and outreach efforts. Participation is completely voluntary. Families of any income are

considered, and risk factors such as drug abuse, put a family higher on the list to receive

help.

Another major program that's part of NW Early Childhood Iowa is pre-school support.  Low

income and poverty level families are provided with no charge head start programming. Larsen

says that middle income families who can't afford pre-school care can get help from NW Early

Childhood Iowa.   

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30 pre-schools participate in the program throughout Plymouth, Sioux, Cherokee and Lyon

Counties. All of them must have a "3 star" rating or higher on Iowa's Quality Rating System,

"5 stars" being the highest. To find out ratings for preschools around the state log onto:

http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/iqrs/qrs_providers/index.html

   

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