Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Tuesday News, July 8

Supervisors To Hear County Recorder's Quarterly Report

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet today at the County Courthouse Board Room at 9:30.  The supervisors will decide upon several sub-division requests.  The Supervisors will hear from County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild as she presents her quarterly report, and county engineer Tom Rohe will update the governing board on construction projects.


Lee Drive Closed For Repairs

(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars has announced it will close Lee Drive from 4th Ave East to 6th Ave East  for the next few weeks due to street repair.


Project A.W.A.R.E. To Clean Big Sioux River

(Le Mars) -- An effort to navigate, and at the same time, clean up the Big Sioux River is being planned.  Several hundred people are expected to  participate in the Iowa Project Aware which will begin this coming weekend.  Mark Bohner of Le Mars has been associated with Project Aware for the past ten years and explains the schedule.

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Bohner says the mission of Project Aware is to help clean up Iowa Rivers.  This is the first time the group has focused its efforts on the Big Sioux River and it is the first time since 2006 the group has been in northwest Iowa. 

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Bohner says in past years, Project Aware has recovered several unusual items from various rivers.

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Two Men From Maine Arrested On Drug Charges

(Le Mars) -- On Friday, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men from Maine on drug charges. Arrested were Thomas Greaney Jr., age 34 of Norridgewock, Maine and Timothy  Lancaster, age 34 of Madison, Maine for drug charges.  The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle driven by Lancaster on Hwy 3 and Noble Ave east of LeMars for equipment violations.  Open containers of alcohol, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia was located inside the vehicle.  Lancaster was arrested for Possession of Marijuana 1st offense (serious misdemeanor), and possession of drug paraphernalia (simple misdemeanor).  Greaney was arrested for Possession of Marijuana 1st offense (serious misdemeanor), possession of drug paraphernalia (simple misdemeanor) and Open container (simple misdemeanor).  Lancaster and Greaney were jailed at the Plymouth County Jail and bond was set at $1,000.


Plymouth County Historical Museum To Host Garden Tour

(Le Mars) -- Three gardens in Le Mars will be on tour for a “Garden Party” hosted by the Plymouth County Historical Museum on Wednesday, July 16.
The gardens will be open from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with all proceeds from this benefit going to the Museum.  Showcased will be gardens belonging to Mary Valentine at 10 Prospect; a second one owned by Larry and Luene Petersen at 1250 Central Ave. SE;  and a third garden owned by Bill and Mary Bomgaars  at 1260 Central Ave. SE. Participants should start their tour at the Valentine garden. All three gardens are within walking distance. The gardens are located across from Kluckhohn Elementary School.
The Valentine garden is an array of wildflowers, perennials, and some annuals. Many of the wildflowers are over 60 years old and originated from the Loess Hills.
The Petersen lawn includes a back deck with floral planters.
The Bomgaars garden features a variety of flowers, including a unique garden shed built by Bill Bomgaars and friends of Westmar many years ago.
Refreshments will be available at the end of the tour on the Bomgaars’ patio. A freewill donation will be taken for the Museum.  A rain date will be announced, if needed.
To complete the “Garden Party,” participants may attend the Municipal Band Concert at 8 p.m. in Foster Park.


Sioux City Police Officer Injured From Accident

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City police officer has been treated for minor injuries following a two-vehicle collision.
     The Sioux City Police Department says the officer was traveling in a squad car Sunday morning when it collided with an SUV near an intersection. Sgt. Dane Wagner says the driver of the SUV failed to yield at a stop sign and was cited.
     The officer was taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. The four people in the SUV were not injured.
     The name of the officer and others has not been released.

Graettinger Fire Claims Lives Of Two Children

(Graettinger) -- A fatal fire caused the death of two children living in the Palo Alto community of Grettinger.  The Graettinger Fire Department responded to a call on Monday morning.   
While it wasn't officially confirmed, Fire Chief Brad Anderson believes smoke inhalation was the cause of 5 year old Gavin Hasbrouck and 7-year old Collin Reed's death.  The mother, 27 year old Stefanie Gaston was also taken out of the house, and was taken to the Palo Alto County Hospital in Emmetsburg, but later was transported to an Iowa City hospital.  The State Fire Marshall's office was called in to investigate, and it has been determined the fire originated in the living room.  There was extensive fire and smoke damage to the house, and the investigation continues.  The house, apparently did not have any smoke detectors.


Branstad Asks President Obama For Disaster Declaration

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has requested a presidential disaster declaration for nine Iowa counties affected by recent severe weather.
     Branstad addressed President Barack Obama in a letter Monday and requested the declaration for counties affected by winds, hail, rains and thunderstorms between June 3 and June 4. Branstad says more requests are possible.
     The severe weather in early June resulted in three state disaster proclamations. Branstad says damage assessments were conducted later in June.
     The counties under the declaration request are Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Mills, Montgomery, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Taylor, and Wayne counties.


Crops Show Signs Of Setbacks In Weekly Condition Report

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The trend toward strong storms and too much rain is beginning to take a toll on Iowa crops.
     Farmers report yellowing corn plants, a sign of too much moisture, and stress to soybean plants.
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in its weekly crop update that 76 percent of Iowa corn is in good to excellent shape, a decrease of 3 percentage points from the week before. Soybeans are blooming ahead of schedule and 73 percent of the crop is good to excellent, condition, down 2 percentage points.  
     Farmers struggled to get into fields again last week, the third consecutive week farmers had fewer than three days to work in the fields. This time of year weed control spraying, adding supplemental nitrogen fertilizer, and baling hay are common activities.


Fort Dodge Woman Sentenced For Hatchet Slaying

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A Fort Dodge woman has been sentenced to four years in prison in connection to a hatchet slaying last year.
     23-year-old Holly Ekstrom received the sentence Monday. A judge told her he rejected a recommended probation sentence as part of a plea deal because Ekstrom admitted to lying to investigators.
     Ekstrom recently pleaded guilty to aggravated misdemeanors in connection with the July 2013 death of 22-year-old Steven Fisher. She said she saw Ronald Dilley kill 22-year-old Steven Fisher. She admitted to driving Dilley away from the scene and disposing of evidence in the case.
     Dilley earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the case. He is serving 50 years in prison.









Monday News, July 7

Remsen Has Successful Quasquicentennial Celebration

(Remsen) -- The town of Remsen was able to enjoy a nice festive weekend as the Plymouth County community celebrated its Quasquicentennial.  The parade drew a large crowd, as well as a large number of entries.  More than 150 units participated in the Remsen 125th parade, including the entire Abu Bekr Shriners with their various units.  Many of the shriners delighted the crowd with their precision drill movements with their go-carts, ATV's, and even the white horse mounted patrol. 


Fire Department Responds To Alarm

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department responded to an alarm at 1171 Prospect Street southwest on Sunday afternoon at about 5:30 p.m.  There was no fire, and fire officials were able to gain entrance and correct the false alarm system.   


Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department To Close Iris Avenue For Bridge Repair 

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department will be closing Iris Avenue between county road C-12 and the Plymouth-Sioux County line.  The road is scheduled to remain closed for more nearly a month for a bridge replacement with a new culvert.


Tornadoes Reported In Eastern Iowa

  REINBECK, Iowa (AP) - Several tornadoes were reported and at least two homes were damaged after a line of severe storms passed through central Iowa.
     Meteorologist Kurt Kotenberg says the National Weather Service received reports of tornadoes Sunday night in Grundy, Tama and Jasper counties.
     He says the same possible tornado tracked through both Grundy and Tama counties, with a separate storm hitting Jasper County. 
     Chief Deputy Tim Wolthoff with the Grundy County Sheriff's Office says one home about a mile west of the town of Reinbeck suffered roof damage and another across the street sustained major structural damage. He says both were occupied but no one was injured. The Weather Service may survey the area Monday.
     The sheriff's offices in Tama and Jasper counties had no reports of injuries or damage late Sunday.


Eastern Iowa Suffers From Flooding

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Eastern Iowa officials continue to watch the weather and swollen rivers and lakes closely.
     A number of low-lying areas along the Mississippi River and around Iowa City have already been flooded, but reservoirs and levees are generally containing the water.
     Emergency management officials say the main threat over the next several days will be rain. A significant storm could worsen the flood outlook, but exactly where rain falls will be important.
     The forecast calls for a chance of more rain Monday and Tuesday.
     Coralville Lake north of Iowa City is now expected to crest Tuesday, and remain about four feet below its emergency spillway.


Flooded Mississippi River Becomes A Tourist Attraction

 DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - The flooded Mississippi River became something of a tourist attraction this weekend in eastern Iowa.
     The Quad-City Times reports (http://bit.ly/TX3i8a) crowds of people visited Davenport's skybridge Saturday to get a view of the floodwaters covering low-lying areas.
     Mike Loew and his wife were in Davenport to attend the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest that had to be moved because of the flooding. He has been coming to the event for nearly two decades.
     Loew says it's remarkable to see the water so high.
     Holly Schafer says she brought her two kids from Milan to see the flooding in person, and it's amazing. The river crested earlier this weekend at 20.94 feet at Davenport and it has been to decline, but it won't return to within its banks until later this month.


Clear Lake Police Arrest Suspect Of Stealing Boat

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A Clear Lake officer has arrested a 19-year-old suspect after a boat docked at City Beach on northern Iowa's Clear Lake was stolen.
     The theft occurred around 8 p.m. Saturday. Mason City television station KIMT says (http://bit.ly/1m8iISt ) a witness told officers that he'd be willing to chase after the stolen boat, so one of the officers hopped aboard and they took off.
     Clear Lake police Lt. Paul Chizek says the two found the boat near the other side of the lake and got the suspected thief to stop. 
     The theft suspect's case isn't listed on Iowa online court records.


DCI Investigating Officer Shooting Of Ankeny Woman

 ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is probing an Ankeny officer's fatal shooting of an armed woman.
     Ankeny police say officers were sent to a home around 5:15 p.m. Saturday after receiving a report about a suicidal woman. Police say the officers found a woman armed with a semi-automatic weapon. Police say the woman was shot when she refused to drop the weapon and pointed it at an officer. 
     She was taken to Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines, where she died. She's been identified as 59-year-old Marilyn Boyd. 
     The officer's name and other details about the shooting haven't been released.


Mosquito Population On The Rise

 AMES, Iowa (AP) - The recent heavy rains and flooding in Iowa and Nebraska created prime breeding areas for mosquitoes, so more bug bites are likely in the next few weeks.
     Experts say it's not clear whether the increase in mosquitoes will lead to more cases of West Nile virus. The types of mosquitoes common now generally don't carry diseases.
     But many cities across the area will be working to minimize bug populations. Ames Parks and Recreation Director Keith Abraham says the city takes steps to control the mosquito population at Brookside Park and several other locations.
     Using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants can help reduce bug bites. Experts say it's also good to avoid being outside at dusk when mosquitoes are most active.


Corn Checkoff Increases

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One of the new laws enacted this month allows an increase in the Iowa Corn Checkoff. It's money collected from each bushel of corn sold to promote the grain.
     Checkoff funds have been used to promote ethanol, such as sponsoring an Indy Car race.
     The checkoff can only be increased after farmers approve it in a referendum.
     The first authorization on the checkoff in 1977 set a maximum of 1 cent per bushel sold. In 2012 corn producers approved that amount, which meant state legislators had to update the law for the checkoff to go any higher.
     Corn promotion officials say they have no plans to increase the checkoff, which generates as much as $20 million a year.








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