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Thursday Afternoon News, Jan 24

Wagner Selected To Chair Business Improvement Committee

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street program is pleased to announce that Lisa Wagner of Property Pros LLC will serve as the Chair for the Main Street Business Improvement Committee. Wagner is broker/owner of Property Pros.  The Main Street Business Improvement committee works to retain, strengthen and recruit businesses, develop financial incentives for business development and building rehabilitation, stimulate the adaptive use of underutilized space and collect, interpret and use data from marketing studies.
Committee members are: Kevin Eekhoff, Matt Ahlers, Paul Jacobson, Jim Gergeni, John Koley, John Schneider, Jan Wagner, Alysa Van Rooyan, Misty Szczech, Shane Sitzmann, Scott Eastman and Mary Reynolds.

Pork Producers Concerned About Country of Origin Labeling Rules

(Des Moines) -- The state's pork producers are in Des Moines for the annual Iowa Pork Congress... a trade show featuring more than 275 exhibits, and educational seminars.  Bill Tentinger of Le Mars has just completed his term as president of the pork organization.  He says producers are talking about the country of origin labeling requirement, and how it may have the potential to disrupt pork exports.  The pork official says the new rule violates the terms of the World Trade Organization, and he says the U-S currently exports up to 28 percent of its pork product.
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It is estimated the pork industry contributes nearly $5 billion annually to Iowa's economy.


Iowa State to Host Crop Advantage Meeting

(Le Mars) -- Area farmers wanting to get a glimpse of what the next crop year will feature will want to attend the Crop Advantage Seminar scheduled for Tuesday.  Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting the day-long seminar that will be held at the Le Mars Convention Center.  Joel DeJong, Extension Crops Specialist, says farmers will learn about the two topics of general agricultural and weather.
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DeJong says northwest Iowa is still very short on moisture levels.
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Many farmers are concerned about the lack of moisture and some are adjusting their crop production and selection of hybrids and varieties in anticipation of another dry year.
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DeJong says the afternoon sessions will focus on corn rootworm management, nutrient reduction strategy, and cover crops.  He says the registration fee is $45 and that covers materials plus lunch.

Woodbury County Courthouse Cleaning Up After Water Pipe Break

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Restoration workers have been cleaning up the mess left behind when a steam pipe burst and water poured into basement offices at the Woodbury County Courthouse in
northwest Iowa's Sioux City.
The problem was discovered Tuesday in the space used by the county Social Services Department. Workstations, carpet and some paperwork got soaked.
A restoration company was called in to help restore the area so the office work can resume.


South Dakota Supreme Court Rules On Hyperion Air Quality Permit

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the approval of an air quality permit that would allow a Texas company to begin construction on a proposed $10 billion oil
Opponents sued the Board of Minerals and Environment, saying the board erred when it approved the Hyperion Energy Center permit because its study did not include a full-blown environmental impact
Attorneys for Dallas-based Hyperion and the board countered that an environmental impact statement was not required and board members took into account all relevant environmental issues.
The high court also ruled that the state did not err in extending a construction deadline for the plant.
Hyperion's proposed refinery north of Elk Point would process 400,000 barrels of Canadian tar sands crude oil each day.


Ethics Board Wants To Increase Oversight On Gifts

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The head of Iowa's state ethics board wants to increase the oversight of gifts made to some state employees.
Megan Tooker, executive director of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, on Thursday told a Senate panel she supported requiring that employees in the executive branch of government
report gifts worth more than $100.
State law sets limits on the gifts that public workers can accept, such as allowing travel reimbursement for a conference or a $3 lunch. But there is no requirement that employees report those gifts to the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board for review.
Tooker says the information would make the process more transparent to the public. The Senate subcommittee approved the bill.





Thursday News, January 24

Three Arrested On Drug Charges

(Le Mars) -- A traffic stop resulted in the arrests of three individuals for various drug charges.  On Tuesday afternoon, a Plymouth County Deputy stopped a vehicle on Highway 75 near Hinton.   As a result of this stop and  investigation at the scene, the following arrests were made:

Gina McNabney, age 18, of Hinton, Iowa, and 18 year old Jeremy Klingbeil, also of Hinton, Iowa were both placed under arrest for delivery of marijuana to a person under 18, a Class B felony.  They both were charged with  possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class D felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.
McNabney and Klingbeil were taken to the Plymouth County Jail and held on a $25,000 bond.

Additionally, officers executed a search warrant at 118 Center Street in Hinton.  While the residence was being secured, an officer located Justin Erichsen.  While talking with Erichsen, he became aggressive towards officers kicking one officer in the chest, however, the officer was not injured.  Erichsen, age 20, of Le Mars was then arrested for assault on a peace officer, a serious misdemeanor; Possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.  Erichsen was then taken to the Plymouth County Jail and is being held on a $1,000 bond.

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Hinton and Le Mars Police Departments.


Fire Department Sees Increase In Calls

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department has released its annual report.  During the year of 2012, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue responded to 401 calls, of which 210 were within the city limits, 65 were rural based calls, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department offered mutual aid assistance to other communities eleven different times, and they conducted 115 investigations.  Breaking down the calls, the Le Mars Fire Department fought nine structural fires, two vehicle fires, 27 rescue calls, three extrications, and 18 grass or tree fires.
Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the total loss in 2012 was $488,200.  The 401 calls in 2012 was a dramatic increase over a year ago figures.  In 2011, the fire department responded to 254 calls.


Gehlen To Celebrate Catholic Schools Week

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic School will join the National Catholic Education Association and schools throughout the Sioux City Diocese to celebrate Catholic Schools Week.  Catholic Schools Week begins on Sunday, January 27th and continues through Saturday, February 2nd.  Gehlen will acknowledge the week with special events.  As part of the celebration of the unification of Gehlen and Spalding Catholic High Schools, the Leon and Ruth Meis family have been selected as this year's Gift Bearers for the Catholic Schools Week Liturgy.  Four generations of the Meis family have graduated or are attending either Gehlen and Spalding Catholic Schools.


Hard Rock To Open Sioux City Office

(Sioux City) --  Sioux City residents can get a close-up look at the proposal for a Hard Rock gaming casino beginning today (Thursday) and maybe bring home some rock and roll memorabilia.  Sioux City Entertainment, which is one of three groups bidding for the right to build an indoor casino, will hold an open house at their new office at 501 Douglas Street.  Spokesperson Holly O'Brien says the open house will show off the "wow" factor of the proposed casino.

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The office is just a few block away from the Battery Building, which would be incorporated into the Hard Rock casino facility.

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O'Brien says the new office also has a guitar used by Sioux City Rock Legend Tommy Bolin on display.  The office will be open weekdays for visitors to check out the casino proposal.


Council Bluffs Man Sentenced For Stealing Copper

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A 32-year-old western Iowa man has been given 37 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to steal copper from center pivot irrigation systems.
Federal prosecutors say Jonathan Campbell was sentenced on Tuesday. He'd pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit interstate transport of stolen property. Campbell was ordered to pay more than
$174,000 in restitution.
Copper control cables were stolen from farms ranging from Sioux City south to near St. Joseph, Mo., from late 2009 until summer 2010. Prosecutors say the cable was sold to a salvage yard in
Omaha, Neb., on at least 73 occasions.
Two other Council Bluffs men involved have been sentenced already. Thirty-five-year old Charles Nichols was given 31 months, and 30-year-old Joseph Falknor was given 12 months and a day.

Pork Producers Convene In Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some of Iowa's top pork producers are meeting to talk about their product.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association meets Thursday in Des Moines to conclude its annual Iowa Pork Congress. The event features a trade show with 275 exhibitors from the U.S. and abroad.
The event, which began Wednesday, will feature a dozen free business seminars and training sessions for producers.
Several top producers from surrounding Midwest states also are expected to attend.
The association says the pork industry contributes nearly $5 billion annually to Iowa's economy.


Des Moines To Evict Homeless From Camps

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines is evicting homeless people from three informal camps downtown, but it's unclear whether the people will find space in crowded shelters.
City zoning administrator SueAnn Donovan says the city wants the homeless to move indoors to escape this week's bitter winter cold. Donovan says "the emphasis is on making everyone safe."
But Ken Dohmen with Central Iowa Shelter and Services says it will be tough to persuade homeless people to leave their camps for already overcrowded shelters.
Dohmen says he thinks the city's intentions are good but says the homeless people he's talked to likely will just move to a different spot outdoors.
The 10-day eviction notices were posted Jan. 17.


Cable Show To Feature Missing News Anchor Story

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A cable television show that tells the stories of missing persons will spotlight the enduring mystery of Jodi Huisentruit, the Mason City television anchor who vanished in
The one-hour episode of the show "Disappeared" is scheduled to air Monday on the Investigation Discovery Channel at 9 p.m. Crews were in Iowa and Huisentruit's native Minnesota filming for the
show last summer.
Huisentruit went missing while on her way to work the morning shift at KIMT-TV in Mason City. She was 27.
Witnesses say they heard screams outside Huisentruit's apartment complex, where investigators found personal belongings such as jewelry and shoes scattered near her car. Investigators have never
found Huisentruit, who was declared legally dead in 2001. No one has been charged in her disappearance.






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