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Monday News, July 20th

Sheriff's Deputies and Police Departments Involved In High Speed Chase

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Sheriff's Deputies and the Le Mars Police Department were involved with a high speed chase early Saturday morning that started in Sioux City and ended at a rural Plymouth County hog confinement facility.  Authorities were chasing a white Ford Ranger pickup truck with Nebraska license plates.  Woodbury County authorities notified Plymouth County of the chase.  Sioux City Police stopped once the suspect crossed over from Woodbury County to Plymouth County.  The suspect vehicle was traveling northbound on the southbound lanes of Highway 75 near Hinton.  Plymouth County sheriff's deputies observed the vehicle on the south edge of Hinton.  The vehicle was speeding and was traveling all over the road.  Le Mars Police were called and requested to set up stop sticks between Merrill and Le Mars.  Lights and sirens were activated in an attempt to stop the vehicle south of Merrill at which time the pick up truck attempted to flee.  The vehicle continued northbound on Highway 75 and it did run over the stop sticks.  By the time the suspect vehicle reached Highway 75 and county road C-38, its tires had begun falling apart.  The vehicle continued north on Highway 75, then followed Highway 60 from Le Mars.  By this time the vehicle had lost three of its tires and was running on the rims.  The vehicle continued to flee from officers.  The vehicle continued north on Highway 60 until county road K-64 where it had turned south.  The driver of the vehicle continually threw items of clothing at the pursuing officers.  The report says the driver also made several offensive hand gestures directed at the pursuing officers, while being chased.  The vehicle continued heading south on K-64 and failing to stop at a stop sign at K-64 and Highway 3.  The vehicle continued heading south and failing to stop at a second stop sign located at K-64 and C-38.  The pursuit continued to the 2300 block of K-64 when the suspect stopped his vehicle and started running on foot east into a hog confinement area.  Deputies were able to catch the suspect not far from where he had stopped.  The suspect was identified as Michael Derby, age 33 of South Sioux City, Nebraska.  He was charged with two counts of speeding, two stop sign violations, felony eluding, (a class D felony) and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a third offense.  As of Monday, he was still in the Plymouth County jail on a $5,000 bond.  The sheriff's department was assisted by the Le Mars Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, Orange City Police, and the Kingsley Police Department.

 

 

 

 

RAGBRAI Rolls Into Kingsley

(Kingsley) -- The first bicycle was seen before 5:00 a.m. but by 8:00 a.m. thousands of bicycle riders from all parts of the world had entered the first town on the cross state journey of RAGBRAI.  Kingsley welcomed the bikers with open arms, and with plenty of food for the riders. More than 20 food vendors had set up on 2nd Street with the smell of hamburgers on the grill flowing from the food stand operated by the United Methodist Church of Kingsley, luring the hungry bike riders.  Area residents were seated in their lawn chairs greeting the bikers as they passed through the town of 1400.

Two women from the Chicago area were seen taking photographs of a four-wheel drive Case-IH tractor with tracks, that was parked on Kingsley's Main Street.  One of which climbed up to the cab area and asked her friend to snap a photo.  Their conversation was overheard by KLEM news.

The first bike rider exclaimed, "Look at the size of this thing!"

The second bike rider, asked "What is it?"

The first woman responded by saying "I think its a tractor".

KLEM news visited with four people from Michigan who were riding on RAGBRAI.  Two of which were veterans of the annual bike ride across Iowa, and the other two were new to the adventure.

Rick from Fremont, Michigan is on his very first RAGBRAI ride.  He says his good friend talked him into riding his bicycle across the state of Iowa.  Rick's first observation from the first day of riding is Iowa is not as flat as he had imagined.  Jeannine White hails from Musgekgon, Michigan and is on her sixth RAGBRAI ride.  She says she returns because of the people.

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Randy White, also from Musgekgon has traveled across the state of Iowa nine different times on RAGBRAI. Randy echoes his wife's comments about riding on RAGBRAI to meet new people.

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The entourage from Michigan say they prefer camping at the host towns for their over-night accommodations, as opposed to staying with host families that open their homes to the bike riders.

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Rich Steinhart makes the fourth person on the Michigan riding group.  The Spring Lake, Michigan resident is making his first journey across Iowa, and like Rick, he too was talked into riding across the Hawkeye state by Randy White.

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The self-described "virgin" bike rider says he is looking forward to eating the good food that is available at each of the small towns.

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Steinhart says while visiting Kingsley, he enjoyed a breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs and hash brown potatoes, along with a banana and a bottled water.  In his words, he was "good to go" until Washta and Quimby.

 

 

 

Wisconsin Bike Couple Injured When A Car Struck Their Tandem Bicycle

(Sioux City) -- Two people riding a tandem bicycle will not be able to enjoy the ride across Iowa as they were struck by a car in Sioux City.  The bicyclists, were Bruce and Barbara Blair of Hudson, Wisconsin.  The two were traveling northbound on Hamilton Blvd when a car driven by Charryse Chaves was driving westbound on W. 7th Street approaching Hamilton Blvd.  Chavez failed to obey a police officer directing traffic at the intersection and entered the intersection and struck the tandem bicycle.  Chavez left the scene, but was stopped a short distance away.  The Blairs sustained what is believed to be non-life threatening injuries.  The injured riders were transported to Mercy hospital.  36 year old Chavez was charged with an OWI, the second offense, no insurance, and failure to obey a police officer.  Barbara Blair was treated and released, but her husband Bruce remains in stable condition.

 

 

 

Strong Winds Blow Down Trees In Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- Strong winds of up to 50 mph swept through Le Mars late Friday evening and into Saturday morning causing several branches to fall from trees.  On Central Avenue, a large portion of a tree had fallen blocking the street.  City crews and members of the fire department worked into the evening moving the tree out from the street.

 

 

 

Fire Department To Hold Fund Raiser Benefit For Doug Harms

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department are wanting to help one of their own.  The fire department will be hosting a "Fill the Boot" fundraising benefit for Doug Harms. The benefit is scheduled for Wednesday evening, June 22, and will be held at Fire Station number 1.  Harms served the city as a fire fighter for 27 and a half years, before having to step down due to medical heart conditions.  Harms was a captain with the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.  Now, recently he has been diagnosed with having cancer and has been taking treatments.  Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper explains the goal behind the fundraiser benefit.

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Schipper says the goal is to raise at least $10,000 to help defray the medical expenses for Doug Harms.  The Le Mars Fire chief says many other fire departments are stepping up to help Harms.

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Schipper says the fire department has already received several checks from people who want to help, but are unable to attend the fundraiser.

 

 

 

 

Poultry Producers Have Questions After Bird Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The poultry farmers who lost millions of chickens and turkeys to the bird flu this spring are facing an uncertain future.
The farmers aren't sure when federal officials will allow them to start rebuilding their flocks or whether enough birds will be available.
Dave Rettig is president of Rembrandt Foods in Spirit Lake, Iowa, which lost 8 million egg-laying hens. Rettig says the disease decimated the egg industry and who knows if it will return in the fall when birds migrate again.
Rettig says it will take at least a year or two for the industry to rebuild flocks, and he's not sure when his business will be allowed to resume.

 

 

 

 

Million Dollar Bond Set For Man Accused Of 1995 Murder

 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A $1 million cash bond has been set for an Iowa man charged in a 1995 homicide.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports 54-year-old Steven John Klein appeared before a judge Saturday morning - one day after his arrest in Muscatine.
Authorities say Klein is responsible for the death of 38-year-old Susan Kersten, who he was romantically linked to.
Kersten's charred remains were found inside her burning vehicle in a field near an Iowa highway in September 1995. Her death was initially believed to be accidental, but an autopsy determined she died of blunt force trauma to the head sustained before the fire.
Authorities have not yet said what let to Klein's arrest.

 

 

 

 

 

Iowa's Highest Point To Hold Convention

 

SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) - The highest point in Iowa will be celebrated later this week.
Members of the Highpointers Club will gather at Hawkeye Point for a convention that starts on Thursday and runs through Saturday.
The highest point in the state is 1,670 feet above sea level, and it is about 4 miles north of the town of Sibley, Iowa.
The Highpointers Club works to mark the highest point in every state.
Seven years ago, the Merrill and Donna Sterler family donated 1.6 acres to Osceola County to mark the high point and preserve public access.
On a clear day, the site offers views of Iowa, Minnesota and perhaps South Dakota.


 




 

 

 

 

   

Saturday News, July 18

Plymouth County Prepares For RAGBRAI

(Le Mars) -- The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, or better known as RAGBRAI will get started on Sunday morning with a portion of the route going through southern Plymouth County.  Plymouth County Engineer Tom Rohe explains the route that thousands of bicyclists will travel as they cross Plymouth County.

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Rohe says the county road crews have made some repairs to better accommodate the bicycle riders.

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The county engineer says work needed to be done on the roads, but having RAGBRAI cross through the county, just perhaps sped up the timeline for those repairs.

Kingsley is the first community the 20,000 plus bicyclists will pass through on their near 500 mile journey across the state.  Kingsley mayor and co-chair of the RAGBRAI events, Rick Bohle says his town of 1400 are looking forward to the summer event.

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Bohle says the Kingsley city work crews have been busy preparing the town for the event.

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In addition to the variety of food being offered, the Kingsley mayor says the small Plymouth County community will feature many activities on their main street.

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Bohle is predicting the first bicycle will be seen entering Kingsley at approximately 6:00 a.m.  He says the festivities will begin to shut down at around 2:00 p.m. with the hopes the bike riders will move to the next town on their way to Storm Lake.

 

Food Vendor Prepares for RAGBRAI

(Kingsley) -- One of those 20 food vendors prepared to sell food items to the thousands of bicycle riders is Carol Kabisch of Carol's Kitchen of Kingsley.  Kabisch operates a catering business, and is perhaps best known for her variety of fruit pies.  She says she has baked 80 pies for the bike riders and support people, and is capable of baking 16 pies at one time.  She mentions the different types of pies that will be available for sale.

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What's a fruit pie without ice cream? Kabisch says along with the pies, she and her husband, Bob will also be selling homemade ice cream during the bike ride event.  When the bike riders enter Kingsley, Sunday morning, it will be time for breakfast, and Kabisch says she'll be ready with biscuits and gravy along with breakfast sandwiches.

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Kabisch is a regular vendor at the Sioux City Farmer's Market held Saturday mornings.  She says she and her family started today at 2:00 a.m. preparing baked goods for today's farmer's market as well as tomorrow's bike ride. Kabisch says they need to be in place for RAGBRAI no later than 4:00 a.m.  Kabisch offers her expectations for the hopefully hungry crowd.

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If you think that after RAGBRAI, Kabisch will have the opportunity to get some much needed rest, just remember the Plymouth County Fair is just around the corner, and Kabisch provides many of the pies for the 4-H Food Stand.

 

 

 

Drake University To Accept Students Without ACT or SAT scores

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines private university is offering potential students other options if they don't want to submit their SAT or ACT test results with their application packet.
Drake University announced on Wednesday that it'll adopt a test-flexible admissions policy starting with applicants for the fall 2016 semester who have a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher and meet other criteria.
Those prospective students can keep their results to themselves and opt instead for an interview in which they can speak about their experiences inside and outside of the classroom.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that the move by the university is unusual in the Midwest but gaining popularity across the country. School officials say they still find the test valuable predictors of an applicant's academic performance.

 

 

 

Judge Rules Against Using Instant Messaging For Seed Patent Theft Case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge has ruled prosecutors cannot use instant messages against a Chinese woman charged as part of a conspiracy to steal trade secrets from U.S. corn companies.
Mo Yun is accused of helping six others including her brother, Mo Hailong, steal patented seed corn from U.S. companies to reproduce its genetic traits. 
She was arrested a year ago and must remain in the U.S. awaiting trial. She is married to Chinese billionaire Shao Genhou, the chairman of Beijing-based DBN Group.
The government found on Mo Hailong's computer copies of incomplete messages with Mo Yun.
Judge Stephanie Rose ruled Friday the messages are excerpts only and may not be used as evidence.
Prosecutors said during a hearing Thursday they may drop charges against Mo Yun without the messages.

 

 

 

 

Wisconsin Governor Walker Brings Campaign To Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker saved his campaign's most important state for last on his presidential announcement tour, arriving in Iowa for a weekend of events.
Walker, who entered the Republican contest Monday, is investing heavily in the leadoff caucus state and was greeted with enthusiasm Friday in Davenport and Cedar Rapids. 
Walker characterized himself as a fighter who successfully limited union power and weathered a recall election in Wisconsin. He promised to bring that fight to Washington, saying he would repeal President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and aggressively deal with terrorists abroad.
Walker held a moment of silence for four Marines who died in a shooting rampage in Chattanooga, Tennessee. One of them was from Wisconsin. Walker says military personnel should be allowed to carry weapons in recruiting centers.

 

 

 

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton Campaign Buys Nearly $8 Million For Television Advertising

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign says it has bought $7.7 million worth of television air time in early primary states, making its first ad buy of the 2016 election.
The campaign says it has reserved time starting in early November through the first caucus and primary elections in early February, but it could broadcast the spots sooner if necessary.
In Iowa, where caucus goers cast the country's first ballots, the campaign paid $3.6 million for time in all eight media markets that serve the state. An additional $4.1 million of airtime was purchased in New Hampshire, which holds the first primary.
The lead contender in the Democratic field, Clinton is campaigning in Iowa before a state party fundraiser with her nomination rivals.

 

 

 

 

Clive Man Found Guilty Of Murder - Claims He Was Using Self-defense

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) - A central Iowa man who claimed self-defense in the stabbing death of another man has been found guilty of first-degree murder.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1I9jCZs ) a jury returned the verdict Friday in the trial of 50-year-old Stephen Jonas, of Clive.
Jonas was accused of stabbing 21-year-old Zachary Paulsen in the morning hours of Aug. 23, 2014, in a lot behind Dean Paulsen & Sons Contractors in Clive. The business is owned by Paulsen's family.
Assistant Polk County Attorney Olubunmi Salami said Jonas attacked Paulsen after a night of drinking at a bar. He said Jonas made a sexual advance toward Paulsen and the younger man rejected him.
Defense attorney Trevor Andersen argued Paulsen tried to hit Jonas was a hammer and his client was defending himself.
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After 20 Years, Authorities Make Arrest For Woman's Death

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in eastern Iowa have charged a man with first-degree murder in the death of a woman found in a burning car nearly 20 years ago.
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says 54-year-old Steven John Klein was arrested Friday in Muscatine in connection with the 1995 death of Susan Kersten. He is being held at the county jail on a $1 million cash only bond. Court records do not list an attorney.
Kersten's body was found inside a burning vehicle near an Iowa highway in September 1995. An autopsy determined she died of blunt force trauma to the head sustained before the fire.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports (http://icp-c.com/1J5LP47 ) Klein was a person of interest for years. Authorities say there's new information in the case, but they did not elaborate.
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