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Wednesday Afternoon News, April 17

Early Morning Rain, Sleet, and Snow Causes Numerous Accidents

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have had a busy morning with numerous vehicles involved in accidents and going into the ditch as a result of the rain, sleet, ice and snow that fell this morning.  Plymouth County Communications Director Kurt Hatting describes the busy morning.
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Hatting says all the action had taken place for a time period of two hours while we were experiencing the adverse weather.

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City Council Hears About Red, White, & Blue Mud Run

(Le Mars) -- The City Council heard from Le Mars Police Officer Jay King as he discussed the first Red, White, and Blue Mud Run scheduled for June 1st in Le Mars.  King says the Mud Run is a combination of an obstacle course and endurance test.  Already more than 120 competitors have indicated an interest in participating, and King anticipates perhaps 200 or more.   The event is being organized by the Le Mars Police Officer Association, Fire Department Association and First Responders.  King says the event will follow the Floyd River and the hiking and bike trails along the west side of town.

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Contestants will climb walls, crawl under barbed wire, jump over logs, and cross other various obstacles, including going through mud holes.  King says similar events have proven to be very popular across the nation.

 

Fire Department Responds To Grass Fire

(Le Mars) -- Both the Le Mars Fire Department and the Maurice Fire Department responded to
a grass fire last evening that was started as a result of a Burlington Northern - Santa Fe Train creating sparks.  Fire officials were called to the scene at about 6:30 p.m. and remained on the scene for an hour.  The fire was along the railroad tracks near 100th Street, located in the northern section of the county.  An area about the size of a city block had burned before the fire was brought under control.


Buena Vista College Student Arrested For Explosive Device

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A college student has been accused of making a homemade explosive device that detonated at his university campus in northwest Iowa. Authorities say no one was injured.
The Storm Lake Police Department arrested 21 year-old Matthew Hanson, of Villisca, on Tuesday after the device detonated Monday night at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake.
Police allege Hanson made the device with a flameless heater and glass bottle. The device detonated about 10 feet from a residence hall.
Officials say the incident is not linked to explosions Monday at the Boston Marathon.
Hanson is charged with possession of an explosive device and reckless use of an explosive device. He is being held at the Buena Vista County Jail on a $3,000 bond.
Records do not list an attorney for Hanson.


Suspicious Packages Sent To U.S. Senate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Sen. Charles Grassley says he has confidence in security at the Capitol complex as authorities take precautions after letters containing a possible poison were addressed to a fellow senator and President Barack Obama.
The Hart Senate Office Building, which houses the offices of senators including Grassley's, was locked down briefly Wednesday as authorities investigated suspicious packages.
Grassley, who was in the Capitol for Senate debate, says his staff told him police swarmed the Hart Senate Office Building, keeping anyone from entering the building. Workers had been told to
stay in their offices.
The FBI says a substance in letters sent to President Barack Obama and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker have preliminarily tested positive for ricin, a potentially fatal poison. Both letters were
intercepted at off-site mail facilities.


State Senator Says Homosexual Lifestyles Present Health Risk

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Republican senator from northern Iowa says homosexual lifestyles pose a health risk to him and his family in comments that drew a sharp rebuke from an openly gay Democratic
senator.
Sen. Dennis Guth, of Klemme, spoke Wednesday on the Senate floor. He says the media has "bamboozled" the public into a growing acceptance of gay relationships and argues his family faces
"multiple health risks" because of sexually transmitted infections he says are associated with a gay lifestyle.
Guth's comments were quickly condemned by Sen. Matt McCoy, of Des Moines, who says Guth was using "warmed over rhetoric that has been invented by the Christian-right extremist groups." McCoy says being gay is not a choice, but "you certainly can choose to be ignorant."

 

Branstad Comments On China Trip

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says his trade trip to China has been "extremely productive."
Branstad spoke with reporters via conference call Wednesday morning. He says he has been promoting trade between Iowa and China during meetings with top officials and business leaders in four cities.
Branstad met with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jeen ping) on Monday. He says the conversation was "warm and cordial."
The group is scheduled to return Thursday.
Branstad's ties to Xi date back to a 1985 diplomatic trip that Xi took to Iowa, during Branstad's first stint as governor. Xi returned to Iowa in February 2012 for stops in Muscatine and the Des Moines area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Wednesday News, April 17

City Council Approves Development Proposal

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council gave its approval to local investors for a new development area to be located on the southern edge of town. K-N-S Addition wants to create a housing development that will appeal to middle income families wanting to build a house. City Administrator Scott Langel became emotional when he defended the actions of the local investors consisting of Bruce Kellen, Mark Neubel, and Jeremy Sitzmann.  Langel informed the city council that the city has supported other developers during his 30 year tenure as an employee of the city. Langel explained to the city just how much money is earned when a new house is built and occupied.
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Langel says for a home with an assessed value of $105,000 the city would collect $749.  Langel says the average dwelling in Le Mars has 2.6 people living within the dwelling.  He says that translates into additional funding for the city.

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Under the agreement, the developers will pay for all plat cost, all infrastructure construction cost, all solicitation of construction bids, and all lot sales and marketing.  The city will assume the costs associated with engineering, preparation of plans, necessary applications for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources regarding storm water and water supply permits, and the city will provide $4300 per lot sold and developed with a residential dwelling unit, payable to the home owner.  The K-N-S addition will be developed in three phases, each consisting of a ten-year time period.  The 13th Street Culdesac will start almost immediately, with the second phase consisting of the Prospect Street Culdesac
to start in 2016, and the final Culdesac, 14th Street, to begin in 2019.


Lancaster Honored As "Boss of the Quarter"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has announced the recipient of the "Boss of the Quarter" by honoring Todd Lancaster, the Executive Director with the Le Mars YMCA.  The employees nominated Lancaster for the award and said he deserves the boss of the quarter for many reasons. Lancaster has been volunteering his time for numbers of years, ranging from service clubs to school events. He will drop anything to help organizations in the community when needed. He also dedicates many hours helping at YMCA events. He truly believes in the YMCA’s mission and shares it throughout the community. We really feel that he loves what he does, specifically helping others. He definitely deserves this award. Our congratulations go to Todd Lancaster of the Le Mars YMCA for being selected as the Chamber of Commerce's "Boss of the Quarter".


Soderberg Comments On Medicaid Expansion Hearing

(Des Moines) -- 72 people were wanting to testify during last evening's public hearing regarding the expansion of Medicaid services.  The House Appropriations committee held the hearing.  State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars serves as the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.  He says of the 32 people that did testify, the opinions were nearly evenly split.

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Soderberg says the hearing didn't actually produce any new evidence.

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The Democratic controlled Senate has approved a plan that would expand Medicaid, meanwhile, Governor Branstad is against expanding Medicaid saying it would end up costing the state more money.  Branstad has introduced "Iowa Healthcare".

 

Iowa Health Systems Change Name

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Health System which includes St. Luke's Hospital of Sioux City, along with Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Iowa Lutheran and Blank Children's hospitals of Des Moines has changed its name to UnityPoint Health.
The organization, which also includes medical clinics and home health care businesses, says the new name reflects patient-centered coordinated care between its hospitals, physician clinics, and home
health care.
The new name and brand logo were unveiled Tuesday.
Iowa Health Physicians & Clinics will now be called UnityPoint Clinic and Iowa Health Home Care is now called UnityPoint at Home and UnityPoint Hospice.
UnityPoint Health includes 280 clinics and 29 hospitals in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Sioux City, Waterloo, the Quad Cities, and Peoria, Ill.
The company was formed in Des Moines 1993 with the merger of Iowa Methodist and Iowa Lutheran hospitals.


Heart Walk Scheduled For Saturday

(Le Mars) -- Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women, and this Saturday the annual Plymouth-Sioux Heart Walk will take place at the Le Mars Community  School at the Jim Lorenzen Field to raise both awareness and funds for heart research.  La Von Galles serves as the Cardio Rehab Coordinator for Floyd Valley Hospital, and is also on the local Heart Walk committee.

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Galles says anybody can join in on the walk, and she says you can walk as much or as little as you want.  The cardio rehab coordinator says walking is one of three things people can do to maintain a healthy heart.

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Galles suggests if you wish to participate in the Saturday heart walk, they ask that you also make a donation.  In case of inclement weather, the heart walk will move inside the Middle School. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. with the walk beginning at 9:00 a.m.


Bank Robber Ask For Sentence That Will Allow Him To See Children

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man who robbed banks with his wife is asking for a sentence that perhaps will let him see his teenage children again.
Jeffrey and Roxena Schoon are scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday in Sioux City.
The couple have pleaded guilty to robbing four banks within 20 miles of their Wall Lake home in December 2011 and January 2012. Investigators say the pair then got married in Las Vegas.
Jeffrey Schoon tells the judge in a letter that he's raised an 18-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son who has cystic fibrosis.
Jeffrey Schoon asks the judge to adopt a plea agreement that requires a 15-year sentence. He says the average life span of someone with cystic fibrosis is 30, so the deal gives hope his
family someday will be reunited.

 

Branstad To Talk About China Trip

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad will talk about his trade trip to China on a conference call with reporters.
Branstad is scheduled to hold the call Wednesday morning. He left for China on a trade mission Friday and is meeting with top officials and business leaders. Branstad met with Chinese President
Xi Jinping (shee jeen ping) on Monday.
The group is scheduled to return Thursday.
Branstad's ties to Xi date back to a 1985 diplomatic trip that Xi took to Iowa, during Branstad's first stint as governor. Xi returned to Iowa in February 2012 for stops in Muscatine and the
Des Moines area.


 

 

 

   

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