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Wednesday News, April 24

Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau Teach Le Mars Students About Safe Driving

(Le Mars) -- The Governor's Traffic Safety Commission along with the Le Mars Police Department was at the Le Mars Community High School Tuesday instructing students of the dangers of driving distracted, such as using cell phones and writing text messages, and the dangers of driving intoxicated.  Denny Becker explains the purpose for the instruction.
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Students had the opportunity to use a driving simulator that presented everyday common driving hazards such as a slow driving tractor, a deer jumping in front of the car, or even vehicles that fail to stop at stop signs.  Students wore special goggles that would distort their vision and make it seem as though they were of .07 to .1 percent alcohol.  Students were also shown sobriety tests including trying to walk a straight line, and maintain their balance, again while wearing the special goggles.  Becker says the statistics are high with regard to the number of teen drivers involved with auto accidents as a result of using their cell phone or texting while driving.

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Becker says the education efforts are beneficial as students are less likely to be involved with an accident if they have had the training.

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The Traffic Safety official says they are focusing on students during this time of year when many students will be involved with proms and graduations.

Local Firefighter Joins Fort Dodge Fire Department

(Fort Dodge) Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 -- A fifth generation fire fighter with local ties has been hired by the city of Fort Dodge.  20 year old Devan Schipper, the son of Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper and grandson of the past Le Mars Fire Chief Wayne Schipper was sworn into office  Monday evening when the Fort Dodge city mayor administered the oath.  Schipper is weeks away from graduating from Iowa Community College with an associate's degree in Fire Science.  He is a certified fire fighter. The younger Schipper served as a volunteer fire fighter with the Le Mars Fire Department since high school. Devan becomes one of five Schipper family members to service in the fire service starting back in the late 1800’s.

Pictured with Devan on the left is Asst. Fort Dodge Fire Chief Woody Wolfe and on the right of Devan is Fort Dodge Fire Chief David Luers.




Gehlen Gym To Be Named In Honor of Steve Shea

(Le Mars) -- Friends of Gehlen announced on Saturday evening that the Gehlen High School gymnasium will be named in honor of Steve Shea, the physical education teacher that passed away earlier this year.  Dr. Jeremy Bollin tells how the efforts were organized.

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Bollin says it was only fitting that the gym be named for the former physical education instructor.

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A total of $7200 was raised in honor of Shea.


House Approves Justice Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa House has approved a spending plan of nearly $535 million for the state justice system.
Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House voted to approve the plan Tuesday. The proposal includes funding for the state attorney general, state police and state prisons.
The House version of this plan offers less money than the bill passed in the Democratic-majority Senate. The Senate plan provided more funds for the state attorney general's office and victim
assistance services.
The bill will now move back to the Senate and will likely end up in a joint committee where lawmakers from both chambers try to reach a compromise.

Agriculture Budget Given The Green Light By House

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa House has approved an agriculture budget that allocates less money than the Senate version.
The Republican-majority House on Tuesday approved a plan with about $36 million from the state general fund and roughly $88 million from other funds. That's less general fund money than in
the budget passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The Senate plan included additional funds for water quality and soil conservation efforts.
The amended plan will now go back to the Senate. Given the differences between the proposals, the bill is likely to end up in a joint conference committee where lawmakers from both chambers and
parties try to work out a compromise deal.

Beef Products, Incorporated To Pay Fine For Employee Deaths

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Beef Products Inc. has agreed to pay a $450,000 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of Clean Air Act regulations from a 2007 incident at a now-closed Waterloo
packing plant which killed a worker and injured another.
In the accident more than 1,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia was released into an area occupied by workers and two became trapped. The EPA determined in an investigation that the company failed to implement its risk management plan.
The company says it is working with EPA to resolve past concerns about its refrigeration systems and that includes enhancing existing controls and procedures.
The company has agreed to conduct audits of its compliance with risk management regulations at the South Sioux City, Neb., facility and correct any identified problems.


U-S and China Agriculture Trade Examined

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A national commission will hold a hearing at Iowa State University to examine the opportunities and barriers for U.S. agricultural producers seeking to do business in China.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold the hearing Thursday at the Curtis Hall Auditorium.
The commission was created by Congress to monitor the United States' economic relationship with China and give advice to Congress and the executive branch.
It picked Iowa State as the location for its annual field hearing outside Washington because of its strengths in agriculture and other fields.
Testimony is expected to examine the future of China's agricultural and food processing industries, and some of the safety and public health issues that plague them. Trade barriers and
business opportunities for U.S. firms will also be explored.




Tuesday Afternoon News, April 23

Le Mars Police Arrest Three Minnesota Men For Burglary

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Police have charged three Minnesota men with Burglary following a burglary at the Wireless World/Verizon Wireless store by Walmart off of Holton Drive SW, Le Mars.  Officers were notified of an alarm at the store at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23rd.  When officers arrived on the scene, they confirmed a burglary had taken place because of a front window had been smashed.  Another Le Mars officer was conducting a traffic stop on Business highway 75 north in the Motor Inn area.  As a result of that traffic stop, and a subsequent investigation, the following men have been charged.  Devante Johnson, age 20, of Brooklyn Park, MN; Blanyon Davies, 19 years of age, of Minneapolis, MN; and Victor Doe, 22, of Plymouth, MN.  All three have been charged with Burglary in the 3rd degree, a class D felony; possession of burglar tools, an aggravated misdemeanor; possession of stolen property, an aggravated misdemeanor; criminal mischief in the 2nd degree, a class D felony.  The Le Mars Police Department is continuing its investigation and additional charges are possible.


School Board Discuss School Security Issues

(Le Mars) -- In light of some school shootings across the nation, and parents asking the Le Mars Community School Board to place a higher emphasis on security, School security was discussed during last evening's Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting.  One suggestion by parents directed to the board was to look at installing doors and walls for the Kluckholn Elementary building. Kluckholn was built in a circular pattern and does not contain walls to separate classrooms. Dr. Todd Wendt, superintendent of schools shared with the board some costs analysis regarding the installation of walls and doors for the Kluckholn elementary building.

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Wendt says the board had already placed the installation of doors and walls for Kluckholn elementary on their ten-year planning list.  Wendt says the board did not take any further action relating to the installation of doors and walls for Kluckholn.  However, the board did approve a proposal to limit the access to the district's buildings.

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Dr. Wendt says the changes will be made over the summer months.

Lawmakers Review Economic Development Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers are set to hash out their differences on the state's economic development budget.
The joint committee will meet Tuesday to work on a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the economic development budget. The Senate seeks $78 million and the House wants $45 million.
The measure includes funding for Iowa Workforce Development, the Economic Development Authority, Department of Cultural Affairs, Iowa Finance Authority, Public Employment Relations Board and initiatives at Iowa's three public universities.
Waterloo Democratic Sen. Bill Dotzler says the Senate plan provides funds to reopen five unemployment offices.
That issue has been contentious, as Gov. Terry Branstad's decision to close unemployment office prompted a 2012 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that he overstepped his authority by vetoing some
funding for Iowa Workforce Development.


Mother Faces Trial For Drowning Infant Son

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - A murder trial is set to begin for a western Iowa woman accused of drowning her 15-month-old son.
Ashley Cameron, of Onawa, is scheduled to have her trial start Tuesday in Monona County District Court. She is charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment in the 2012 death of
Markis Dahms.
The Sioux City Journal ( ) reports the 25-year-old Cameron waived her right to have a jury hear her case.
The trial is expected to be completed this week.
Police say Cameron held Markis under a running faucet in a bathtub until he drowned. The results of an autopsy led to Cameron's arrest. She pleaded not guilty last year.


Jury To Hear Testimony Relating to Mentally Ill Employees

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A jury has been seated to hear a lawsuit in which the government alleges a Texas company exploited mentally disabled contract workers at an Iowa turkey processing plant.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is seeking damages for 32 ex-workers of Henry's Turkey Service that it contends were verbally and physically abused between 2007 and 2009.
Henry's supplied the workers under contract to West Liberty Foods in West Liberty.
U.S. District Judge Charles Wolle told potential jurors the EEOC will allege the men received derogatory names and comments and physical abuse that included hitting and kicking. He says the EEOC will allege they were given harsh discipline and inadequate medical care.
The eight-member jury was chosen Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Davenport. Trial is expected to last two weeks.

Facebook Looks At Locating In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa economic development officials are approving tax credits for Facebook to build a $300 million data center in Altoona and increasing incentives for Google that allows
it to expand in Council Bluffs.
Both projects are before an Iowa Economic Development Authority board meeting Tuesday.
The board's due diligence committee has approved $18 million in tax credits for the Facebook project to be built near Interstate 80 in Altoona, a Des Moines suburb. The full board is considering the
project, which will create 31 jobs.
Kearney, Neb., also sought the project.
Google has a $600 million data center in Council Bluffs and is building another. It's increased the cost to $700 million from the original $300 million. The state is increasing tax credits offered to $16.8 million from under $10 million.








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