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Tuesday Afternoon News, April 8

County Supervisors Proclaim April As Sexual Abuse Awareness Month

(Le Mars) -- April is recognized as domestic violence and sexual abuse awareness month, and today the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors proclaimed April as Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Awareness month for Plymouth County.  Haley Meis and Cathy VanMaanen appeared before the county supervisors and presented a report about the alarming statistics involving sexual abuse.

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Meis informed the Board of Supervisors that April 23rd is designated as Denim Day for sexual abuse awareness.  She told the supervisors how denim became significant to the prevention of sexual abuse.

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 JoLynn Goodchild, the county recorder, presented the Recorder's quarterly report to the county supervisors. The supervisors also approved the five-year road construction plan as submitted by County engineer Tom Rohe.

 

Judge Releases Man Suspected Of Shooting Exchange Student

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has released from state custody a 25-year-old man suspected of shooting a foreign exchange student outside a Sioux City bar in 2012.
   Solomon Harris left jail on Monday. Judge Mary Sokolovske had said the state has no authority to civilly commit Harris, so it can't keep holding him although it's been determined that he's a threat to public safety.
     Last year Harris was ruled mentally incompetent to stand trial in the shooting of 20-year-old Natacha Butera, who is from Rwanda. Police say Harris fired the gun while arguing with another man on Nov. 18, 2012.
     Sokolovske says the U.S. Supreme Court has said that mentally incompetent defendants who aren't expected to regain competency must be released if they cannot be committed civilly.

 

Senate Passes School Radon Testing Bill

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate is sending to Gov. Terry Branstad a bill that will survey schools in Iowa to determine whether they're testing for the presence of radon gas. The bill requires districts to report by the end of this year to the Iowa Department of Education and the agency to file a report with the Legislature by January.
     Sen. Matt McCoy, a Des Moines Democrat, who introduced the measure, says the House "gutted" his bill but a report will at least bring public attention to the issue.
     McCoy's version, which passed the Senate, would have required schools to test and fix problems if radon had been detected at dangerous levels.
     Republican Rep. Matt Windschitl says gathering information is the right path for now.
    

 

Lawmaker Decides To Go Home Rather Than Remain In Session

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A southwest Iowa lawmaker who has stopped joining in legislative action at the Capitol is still receiving his salary and daily expense payments.
     Secretary of the Senate Michael Marshall told The Des Moines Register on Monday that Sen. Hubert Houser was receiving his $144 daily expense payments and his $25,000 annual salary, though he hasn't voted on a measure since March 4.
     Houser told the Register earlier he was too busy with work on his farm to join in legislative business, adding that as a Republican in the Democratic-controlled Senate, he had little to do.
     On Monday, Houser told the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil he's willing to return his legislative pay to the state if anyone requested he do so.
     Houser, a Republican, has served 22 years in the Legislature.

 

Law Enforcement Academy Removes Facebook Posting

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy has removed a post from its Facebook page that falsely claimed its firearms instructor was selling guns to recruits' family members.
     The March 7 post showed a picture of firearms instructor John Metzger making a presentation on Family Day for its current class of recruits. The post said that Metzger was "selling guns at the 255th Basic Family Day!" and received more than 50 likes.
     But academy director Arlen Ciechanowski told The Associated Press on Tuesday that post was inaccurate and created by an employee who didn't understand Metzger's presentation. He says Metzger was speaking about guns officers carry on and off duty and the academy doesn't sell guns.
     The academy changed the post to read that Metzger was "explaining firearms safety in the home."

 

Swine Virus Affects Pork Prices

  MILWAUKEE (AP) - A virus never before seen in the U.S. has killed millions of baby pigs in less than a year, threatening pork production and pushing up prices by 10 percent or more.
     The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says a pound of bacon averaged $5.46 in February. That's 13 percent more than a year ago. Ham and chops have gone up too, although not as much.
     Scientists believe porcine epidemic diarrhea came from China, but they don't know how it got into the United States.
     Agricultural economist Steve Meyer estimates the virus has killed nearly 6.8 million pigs in 27 states since last May. Meyer says Americans expect cheap food, but PED has shown how much an outbreak can cost and how important disease prevention is to the food supply.

 

 


 
 

 
 

   

Tuesday News, April 8

Gasoline Fumes Ignite, Causing House Fire

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department was called to yet another house fire late Monday afternoon.  The alarm was sounded at about 5:10 p.m. when a house located at 551 Central Avenue Northwest was billowing smoke.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the cause of the fire was due to gasoline fumes in the basement that was ignited from a hot water heater pilot light.

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Schipper says the fire fighters were able to control the blaze within a few minutes, but they also wanted to make certain the fire was only contained to the lower level.

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The Le Mars Fire Department has been busy during the last few months having 30 calls in February, 44 calls in March, and already April has produced 11 calls in the first week.  Monday afternoon house fire makes the third house fire in Le Mars during the past three months.

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Assisting the Le Mars Fire Department was the Merrill Fire Department, MidAmerican Energy, Langel's Electric, Le Mars Ambulance, Le Mars Police Department, and the American Red Cross.  Schipper says the house had five family members living in the dwelling.  Everyone was able to escape the fire without any injuries.  The fire chief estimates the damage at $25,000.

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One good news to this story, fire fighters were able to rescue the two family pet cats from the fire.  The house is owned by Rick Singer, and was being leased by Eric and Brandy Franke.

 

Supervisors To Hear Report On Domestic Violence

(Le Mars) -- April is recognized as domestic violence and sexual abuse awareness month, and today the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hear a report about those topics from Cathy VanMaanen and haley Meis as they will appear before the county governing board.  In addition, JoLynn Goodchild, the county recorder, will submit her quarterly report to the county supervisors.  Tom Rohe, the county engineer will offer another update to the county board.  The supervisors are also expected to review and approve the revised Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health agreement, and the supervisors will discuss county property in a land transaction to Higman Sand and Gravel for the county pond.

 

City To Continue Flushing Hydrants And Water Mains

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars City water Officials were not able to complete the process of flushing hydrants in the southeast portion of town, so city water crews will continue flushing on Wednesday. They will start at 8:00 a.m. on 3rd Street and 14th Avenue SE, then off Central Avenue on 16th and 18th Street Southeast.  Some discolored water may occur in other parts of the system besides the area's mentioned.  If you notice discolored water, try to refrain from using hot water and monitor the clarity with hard cold water.  This may be your outside hose bib.

 

Hospital Trustees To Meet

(Le Mars) -- The Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees are scheduled to meet this morning.  The trustees will review the financial situation from Daryl Friedenbach, as well as hear a medical update from Dr. Sheila Holcomb, and an administrative report that will also cover the progress on the north addition expansion project from hospital administrator Mike Donlin.

 

Sheldon Man Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison For Lascivious Acts On A Child

(Orange City) -- A Sheldon man has been sentenced to ten years of prison for lascivious acts with a child.  Thomas VanHorsen, age 28, was sentenced on Monday in Sioux County District Court for two counts of lascivious acts with a child, a class C felony.  The case arose on October 13th when a man contacted the Rock Valley Police Department regarding inappropriate comments on his daughter's facebook page from VanHorsen.  An investigation revealed that VanHorsen had touched the 11 year old girl's genitals inappropriately on two occasions.  

 

House Passes Secret Settlements Bill

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill that would open state employee records to the public and put into law Gov. Terry Branstad's executive order prohibiting confidential settlement agreements has won the support of a divided Iowa House.
     The Republican-controlled House voted 63-35 Monday in favor of the legislation. It now goes to the Democratic-majority Senate, where its fate is unclear.
     The bill would forbid the use of confidentiality provisions and secret payments in settlement agreements between employees within the executive branch and the state. These agreements would be made accessible to the public online, along with termination or disciplinary action documents.
     Republican lawmakers say the intent is to increase government transparency. House Democrats say the bill is a premature response to the settlement issue.
 



 

   

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