Monday News, February 24
Jordon Cave Awarded Fire Fighter of the Year
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department held its annual awards banquet on Saturday evening. The Fire Fighter of the Year award was presented to Jordon Cave. Cave joined the Le Mars Fire-Rescue Department as a reserve member and moved up the regular department in July of 2006.
Cave has served on the Finance Committee and Banquet Committee. Over the years he has stepped up and assisted with several projects around the Fire Station. Cave also is one of the Firefighters who have stepped up to fill the overnight shifts at the station. He completed and is certified as a Firefighter II which is the highest national firefighter certification and recertified as a Hazardous Materials Technician.Cave is certified as a National Firefighter I and Firefighter II, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Hazardous Materials Technician, Driver/Pumper Operator, Confined Space Rescue Operations Member, and a Rope Technician.
Jordon Cave is employed at IML Containers in Le Mars.
The Le Mars Fire Department also presented special recognition awards to former city council member John Leonard, Randy Reardon of Yamaha Golf Carts, Albert Schultz of the Le Mars Toy Store, and Shawn Olson the I-T director with Plymouth County.
Fire Fighters Respond To One-Vehicle Accident
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a one-vehicle accident this morning shortly before 5:00 p.m. The accident happened on the northbound lane of Highway 75 near the NIPCO headquarters. Apparently a vehicle was in the ditch. The fire department was on the scene for less than 20 minutes.
City Wants To Make Certain Residents Don't Mix Garbage Refuse With Recyclables
(Le Mars) -- The mixing of household garbage refuge and recyclables is a concern to Le Mars city officials. Le Mars city code enforcement officer Jason Vacera says it doesn't happen often, but when residents do dispose their garbage into the the recyclable bin, it creates some problems. Vacera says the city is considering imposing some stiff fines and considering other measures to prevent the practice from happening. Vacera says the city wants to remove the burden of enforcement from Van's Sanitation, and instead place it with the city.
Vacera says fortunately most residents do separate garbage refuge from the recyclables, but he says there are a few who don't follow the procedures. On occassion, the city will hear of a repeat offender. He says the code does call for some heavy fines for violators.
Vacera says the city will work with people to make certain they understand which bin is designated for which purpose. He says overall, the city has done an excellent job of separating the garbage from the recyclables.
A public hearing regarding the proposed ordinance changes has been scheduled for March 18th at the city hall council chambers.
Sioux City Dealing With "Scam Calls"
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Scam calls are being made to some Sioux City residents in an effort to scare them into paying 'fines."
Sioux City police say the caller tells the person that he or she has missed jury duty and must pay a fine of $450 or face arrest.
The caller doesn't say what agency he represents. The caller is described as very persistent and is someone who speaks with a strong Southern accent. There may be more than one caller involved.
Officials said in a news release that the Sioux City Police Department and Woodbury County Sheriff's Office "never call citizens and solicit for money owed over the phone, and we warn people to not become victimized to these crimes."
Woodbury County To Collect Overdue Fines
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials in northwest Iowa's Woodbury County are considering creating a collections department to go after nearly $12 million in unpaid court fines.
Part of the money would go to the county, so improving collections would help Woodbury County's budget.
Several other Iowa counties - including Linn, Polk and Plymouth counties - have already established successful collections programs for unpaid court fines. Usually the job is handled either by the county attorney or sheriff.
Woodbury County Attorney P.J. Jennings says he plans to propose creating a collections department later this year.
The Linn County Sheriff's office has had a collections program in place since 2003. Major Doug Riniker oversees the effort and says the office collected $807,000 in 2012-13.
Branstad Focusing On Legislative Session Instead Of Campaign
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad is seeking re-election, but his current focus is on the legislative session, not campaign rhetoric.
Since lawmakers returned to the Capitol in January, the Republican Branstad has largely kept his attention on his legislative agenda and budget, which must be approved by lawmakers this spring. Even Branstad's balloon-festooned re-election announcement last month was light on detailed campaign promises.
For now, Branstad is keeping his eye on a modest set of legislative priorities - increasing benefits for veterans, combatting bullying and adding broadband Internet around the state. All three goals have bipartisan support.
Branstad campaign manager Jake Ketzner says that will change after adjournment, as the governor outlines his plans if re-elected.
Senator Jack Hatch of Des Moines is in the lead position for the Democratic nomination.
Hy-Line Expanding Into Nebraska
BLUE SPRINGS, Neb. (AP) - An Iowa-based egg producer is expanding into southeast Nebraska to reduce the risk that a poultry disease could cripple its operations.
Hy-Line International is building a new chicken barn on Ed and Glennis McClure's farm near Blue Springs to expand and protect its business.
Hy-Line officials wanted to have some of company's chickens laying eggs at a site away from its West Des Moines headquarters to protect against disease.
McClure Farms is partnering with Hy-Line and will own the barn, but Hy-Line will own the chickens. The company chose McClure because of his experience raising chickens and his location.
The barn is expected to be ready to hold nearly 17,000 birds in March. Most of the eggs Hy-Line producers are exported.
Volunteers Learn How To Tap Trees To Make Maple Syrup
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - About 20 volunteers learned how to tap maple trees for syrup at a Cedar Falls nature reserve.
Most of the volunteers at the Hartman Reserve Nature Center were children and their parents.
All the participants put on snowshoes to trek into the forest. Program coordinator Chris Anderson says trees have to be 8-inches around before they are tapped.
Jenny Miller says she grew up in Maine, so she wanted to bring her 5-year-old son, Gabe, to experience what she did when tapping maple trees with her father.
A 1 1/2-inch hole was drilled in the trees before a metal spout was inserted. Then a bucket was hung up.
It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.