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Saturday News, December 29

(Le Mars) - Re-organization is at the top of the agenda in the new year for The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.  Appointment of a new Board Chair and Vice-chair for 2013 will be the first order of business when the supervisors meet Wednesday morning, 9:30am January 2, 2013 in the lower level of the court house.  Discussion and assigning committee memberships, filling vacancies for various County Boards,and re-appointment of members to the Compensation Commission require the boards action on Wednesday morning.  Supervisors will also review the City of Le Mars offer on Crescent Ridge property among other items to start the County supervisors new year.

(Sioux City) As a result of the recent snowfall, the Sioux City police department will begin
enforcing winter rules for snow activity.  Skiing, sledding,or tobogganing in non-designated areas could result in misdemeanor citations.  Certain park and trail areas are off limits for these activities.  Sioux City police would like to express their appreciation for the communities cooperation in conducting winter activities only in designated areas.

Damage to house delays investigation of fatal fire

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Authorities continue to investigate a
fire that killed three children in Sioux Falls a few days before
Christmas, but extensive structural damage has prevented the
investigators from entering the structure.
KELO-TV reports that officials from Sioux Falls Fire Rescue say
the structure must be reinforced before investigators can work
inside the house.
The fire on Saturday killed 16-year-old Michael Hensley,
12-year-old Savannah Coon and 6-year-old Alivia Coon. The parents,
Rhiannon and David White, escaped by leaping to the ground from a
second-floor window.
Funeral services for the three children will be held Monday.

Fireworks legal in SD through New Year's Day

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakotans can now buy and
discharge fireworks through New Year's Day, but they should keep in
mind that fireworks are banned in some areas.
This is the second year South Dakota has allowed the discharge
of fireworks in the New Year's holiday period. In addition to a
period around the Fourth of July, they can be sold and discharged
from December 28th through January 1st each year.
Kevin Lorenzen, owner of Pyro City Fireworks, tells KELO-TV that
people should be careful when using fireworks, even though snow is
on the ground in many areas.
The use of fireworks is banned in Sioux Falls, the Black Hills
Fire Protection District and some other areas.
Officials have urged people to be careful not to start wildfires
with fireworks.

Planned Parenthood lawsuit dismissed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit
filed by a former clinic director for a Des Moines-based Planned
Parenthood affiliate.
Sue Thayer claimed in a 2011 lawsuit that Planned Parenthood of
the Heartland bills Medicaid for blood tests and other procedures
related to elective abortions that are not covered by the
government-provided health care plan.
Judge James Jarvey says in his order filed Friday that Thayer
failed to provide the necessary specifics to prove a fraudulent
Planned Parenthood CEO Jill June says she's pleased the court
recognizes a lack of substance in the complaint, which she
characterized as part of a pattern of harassment against the
organization nationwide.
Thayer was assisted in filing the lawsuit by the nonprofit
Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian group that opposes

National professors group criticizes UNI over cuts

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - A national professors group says
administrators at the University of Northern Iowa violated
governance, academic freedom and tenure procedures when they
eliminated certain programs and shuttered the education training
The American Association of University Professors says UNI
officials failed to follow certain policies when determining
programs to eliminate. The report also says the university had no
legitimate basis to terminate faculty appointments assigned to
programs eliminated or restructured.
UNI President Ben Allen says the school disagrees with the
report. He called it on Friday an attempt to intimidate the
AAUP is made up of union chapters around the country. It is
affiliated with United Faculty, the bargaining unit for UNI
faculty. That group has criticized the university over the cuts.

Police say Iowa woman's SUV plunges about 25 feet

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an eastern Iowa woman
is suspected of driving while intoxicated after her sport utility
vehicle plunged about 25 feet off an interstate bridge.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette (reports Nicole Butschi of Robins lost
control of her car and crashed early Friday morning. She had been
traveling southbound on a roadway that curves near Coe College in
Cedar Rapids.
Police say Butschi was taken to St. Luke's Hospital with
non-life-threatening injuries after the SUV struck a concrete
barrier and toppled over. It landed on its top on a gravel-covered
Police say officers smelled alcohol on Butschi's breath when
they responded to the accident. They plan to arrest her on
suspicion of operating while intoxicated and failure to maintain

Iowa DOT warns ice fishing anglers about parking

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials are asking ice fishing
anglers on the Mississippi River in northeast Iowa to park away
from snow removal operations.
The state Department of Transportation says vehicles often
parked by ice fishing anglers on the shoulder of Iowa 26 north of
Lansing are hindering snowplows from clearing banks of snow. They
say this can cause unsafe driving conditions for anglers leaving
their fishing spots and other drivers.
Iowa DOT officials and the Iowa State Patrol say anglers should
use designated parking areas along Iowa 26.

USDA report shows Iowa leads in hog inventory

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report shows Iowa's hog inventory
continues to surpass all other states in the country.
The United States Department of Agriculture says in its latest
report released Friday that the state has 20.6 million hogs and
pigs on Iowa farms as of December 1st. That's a three percent jump
from the same period last year.
The report shows Iowa leads the country in total inventory by a
comfortable margin. North Carolina comes in second with 9 million
hogs and pigs.
Inventory of all hogs and pigs in the United States is down. It
was more than 66 million head as of December 1st, down slightly
from the same period last year, and two percent from September of
this year.

Iowa City wants to mount video cameras on officers

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa City wants to mount video cameras on
some of its police officers.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen says a report by the city's police
department proposes buying body mounted video recorders to capture
police interactions with the public.
The annual improvement plan also lists the implementation of new
red light cameras as a focus for next year. The department also
says it wants to keep up with rapid changes in technology.
The City Council recently OK'd traffic enforcement cameras. It
is now waiting for further approval from state transportation

Iowan injured trying to save horses as barn burns

LAMOTTE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an eastern Iowa man has
been injured while trying to save horses from a barn fire.
Firefighters were dispatched to the residence south-southwest of
LaMotte a little before 8 p.m. Thursday.
LaMotte Fire Chief Joe Kilburg told the Quad-City Times that a
gate hit Duane Meyer in the face as he and his sons rescued some of
the horses. Meyer was taken to a Dubuque hospital for treatment.
Kilburg says some of the horses died in the fire.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated, but Kilburg says
he doesn't consider it a suspicious fire.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


Friday News, December 28

Friday, December 28

(Le Mars) The Remsen Chamber of Commerce has announced plans for their annual dinner, 
scheduled for Saturday, February 2, 2013. The Remsen Chamber is taking applications for Citizen of
the Year and Business of the Year.  Applications can be obtained from Karen Harnack at
Thompson, Phipps & Thompson.

(Le Mars) The Le Mars Police Department is asking for help in solving several business
burglaries in Le Mars over the past month.  Taco Johns Restaurant, Bobs Drive Inn and
Northwest Iowa Auto Center all had break-ins in December.  Other northwest Iowa communities
had similar robberies, including Remsen, Akron, Orange City and Storm Lake.  Anyone that has
information is asked to contact local law enforcement agencies or Crime Stoppers at
548-4968.  Up to one-thousand dollars for information leading to an arrest and conviction is
available for any felony crime. 

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A man has been sentenced to more than
four years in federal prison for distributing methamphetamine in
western Iowa.
Antonio Lara-Pantoja of Denison was sentenced in Sioux City last
week after pleading guilty in August to a drug conspiracy charge.
Officers found nearly 4 grams of meth in Lara-Pantoja's vehicle
when he was arrested in March 2011. Investigators say he sold more
than 100 grams of meth in Denison from January through March of
last year.
Authorities say he obtained the drug in Omaha, Neb.

(Le Mars) Over a month before the tragic events in Connecticut, Le Mars Community Schools in
cooperation with Le Mars Police and Fire Departments had made arrangements to conduct
a training drill at Clark Elementary School on Wednesday, January 2nd.  Similar exercersizes
have been held at various school buildings in the district in the past.  Le Mars Superintendent
Dr. Todd Wendt notes that there is no school on January 2nd when the training session will
be held.  The event is important for emergency personnel to practice their response to
various scenarios at different school buildings.

(Linn Grove) Two people were arrested Christmas Eve on controlled substance charges.  A Buena Vista County Sheriff's deputy conducted an evening bar check at Bobby's Sand Bar in Linn Grove.
Robert D. Wiese, age 60, the bar owner, and Debra R. Chapman, 59, both of Greeneville,
were arrested on charges of drug paraphernalia and suspicion of a controlled substance.
Both subjects were transported to the Buena Vista County jail.  The investigation is

(Alta) A December 22nd traffic stop in Alta, Iowa, resulted in drug paraphernalia and possession charges against 24-year-old Martin Hernandaz Jr.  A Buena Vista County sheriff's deputy stopped a vehicle operating without license plates.  A routine search of the vehicle revealed a substance
believed be marijuana located in the back of the vehicle.  Hernandez was transported to the
Buena Vista County jail.  Four other occupants in the car were released without being charged.

(Washington) -- U-S Senator Chuck Grassley says he is getting frustrated, both as a farmer  and as a Senator, over the fact that the House of Representatives have not passed a farm  bill as of yet.
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The Republican Senator is also disappointed that Speaker Boehner and President Obama have  not been able to reach an agreement with the pending spending cuts and tax increases.  He  says one area that should be included are tax credits for wind energy.
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Grassley says the wind tax credits could use the ethanol industry as its example.  He says  ethanol is now a mature industry and it no longer receives government subsidies in the form  of tax credits.  Grassley believes the wind industry needs a chance to grow, and he believes  it could serve as a viable alternative energy source.
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JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - A trade group representing Iowa's liquid
renewable fuels industry says drivers in the state could save a lot
of money if they switch to an ethanol-based fuel when buying gas.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says drivers could have
saved $69 million in 2012 if they switched to E15, a fuel blend
containing 15 percent ethanol. They calculated the savings based on
data from the state Department of Revenue.
The group says Iowans who drive 2001 and newer vehicles can use
E15. They say E15 averages 5 cents per gallon lower than E10, a
fuel blend with more gasoline.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An F-16 plane in the middle of a
training exercise landed at a Des Moines airport after its engine
sensor detected a malfunction.
The Des Moines Register ( ) reports the
plane landed Thursday afternoon at Des Moines International
Airport. It flew around the area beforehand to burn off excess
Five emergency vehicles responded to the runway after the plane
landed. No one was injured in the incident.
The newspaper reports the Iowa Air National Guard says the
plane's engine problem does not appear to be significant.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say a man suspected of stealing
narcotics from several Iowa pharmacies has been arrested following
a high speed chase.
The Des Moines Register ( ) reports Devan
Parsons walked into a Medicap pharmacy in Altoona Thursday with a
note demanding narcotics. The store's cashier alerted police after
saying he recognized Parsons' clothing from a Nov. 20 robbery.
Police say Parsons left the store and stole narcotics from a
Medicap in Ankeny. He then led police on a high speed chase into
Des Moines that included hitting four police squad cars.
The chase ended when Parsons ran a red light and slammed into a
truck. The truck driver was unhurt.
Parsons has been charged with eluding, two counts of assault
with a dangerous weapon, and three counts of robbery.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A 90-year-old man who was injured in
a fire at his Council Bluffs home has died.
Council Bluffs Fire Chief Alan Byers says Robert Kissel Sr. died
Tuesday. Kissel died at a burn center in Lincoln, Neb.
Firefighters had found Kissel in his bedroom after they
responded to the blaze early Sunday morning. Kissel's daughter,
59-year-old Robin Krause, escaped to safety through a basement
Krause told firefighters she'd tried to reach her father but
couldn't because the staircase was in flames.


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