Tuesday, May 24, 2016
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Wednesday News, October 24

Local School Enrollment Increases

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Community Schools have more students attending than last year.  Assistant Superintendent Steve Webner reported to the Board of Education that the certified enrollment is listed at 2066 which is an increase of 26 students from last year's certified enrollment.  School district officials also released the annual progress report to the Le Mars Community School Board during their meeting held Monday.  Assistant superintendent Webner says the school district is required to provide the information as per the stipulations of the No Child Left Behind, and it follows the district's mission statement. 

Webner says Le Mars community students have performed well and in many cases they score better than students from across the state.
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Webner says Le Mars graduating seniors have performed well on their college entrance ACT exams when compared to other students across the state.
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Those annual progress reports will be published and distributed to the public within the next few weeks.

St. Joseph Catholic Church Hosts Community Day

(Le Mars) -- Today is Community Day for the new St. Joseph Catholic Church in Le Mars.  Following Sunday's dedication ceremonies, the church is welcoming everyone from the greater Le Mars area, regardless of religious preference, to come and visit the new church building. St. Joseph's is hosting the weekly Chamber coffee that begins at 9:30 and continues until 10:30 a.m.  In addition, Father Kevin Richter will offer several "teaching tours" to explain the various elements of the Catholic Church environment and liturgy.  Throughout the day, the open house will continue for the entire Le Mars community, providing the opportunity for friends and neighbors who are not parish members or who are not Catholic to tour the new facility.  The teaching tours are scheduled for 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Smoke Detected At Plymouth County Historical Museum

(Le Mars) -- Staff members of the Plymouth County Historical Museum smelled and saw smoke in their building yesterday afternoon which prompted a call to the Le Mars Fire Department.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the reason for the smoke was a motor that had burned out with the furnace.
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There was no damage done to any of the museum's artifacts as a result of the smoke.


Chamber To Hold Halloween Trick or Treat Activities

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce is planning some extra fun for area children this Halloween.  On Saturday, October 27th children can come to the Olson Cultural Event Center and go trick or treating.  Businesses located outside of downtown Le Mars will hand out treats at the event center.  Jenni Smit, Le Mars Chamber Main Street Vice President says there will be an area set up at the Olson Cultural Event Center with scarecrows and pumpkins for families to take some fun photos.  Children can come in costume to the Olson Cultural Event Center beginning at 11:00 a.m.  Face painting will occur at the Le Mars Arts Center between 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.  Following the distribution of candy and other treats at the Olson Cultural Event Center, the children can visit the downtown businesses for additional treats, and end at the Le Mars Public Library where children will be given a gently used book.

Sioux City Man Hangs Himself At Wapello County Jail

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an inmate at the Wapello County jail in Ottumwa was found dead in his cell from an apparent hanging.
The Ottumwa Courier says the sheriff's office says 18-year-old John Connell, of Sioux City, was found unresponsive in his cell on Monday. He was charged in Wapello County with a number of sex
crimes and possessing contraband inside a correctional facility.
An autopsy by the state medical examiner's office is pending.


Branstad Considering Changing Tax Liability

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he's considering a proposal that would let Iowa taxpayers decide if they want to deduct the federal taxes they pay from their state tax liability or just pay a lower flat state income tax rate.
Branstad says discussions are in the early stages and models are being used to determine what the proposed flat tax rate might be.  Currently, Iowa's top marginal income tax rate is 8.9 percent, but
ends up in the 6 percent range once federal taxes are deducted from a taxpayer's state liability.
Branstad says the proposal is part of a tax reform package for the 2013 legislative session on property and income taxes.
He spoke about the plans on Tuesday to members of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress.

Woman General In Charge Of Iowa Air National Guard

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Air National Guard has its first female brigadier general.
The guard says Jennifer Walter, of Indianola, was promoted to brigadier general on Oct. 14 during a ceremony at the 132nd Fighter Wing in Des Moines. She will assume duties as the Iowa Air Guard's
chief of staff.
Walter was promoted to colonel in 2005. Since January 2011, she has served as the 132nd Fighter Wing's vice wing commander.
Walter is a native of Springfield, Mo., and graduated from North High School in Sioux City in 1974. She began her military career in 1975 in the Kansas Air National Guard before joining the Iowa Air
Guard later in the year.
She has been deployed to Kuwait and Afghanistan.


Tuesday Afternoon News, October 23

Man Pleads Not Guilty To Murder of Spencer Man

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) - The second person charged with beating to death a northwest Iowa man has pleaded not guilty.
21-year-old Cody Millard, of Spencer, entered the plea to a charge of first-degree murder.
Millard and 21-year-old Christopher Fitzpatrick, also of Spencer, have been charged with killing Edward Kitto. The 59-year-old Kitto was found beaten and unresponsive in the backyard of his Spencer home on Aug. 27. He died at a hospital on Sept. 8.
Fitzpatrick has pleaded not guilty to the murder and two other charges.


Authorities Identify Lake Drowning Victim

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a man who apparently drowned in West Lake Okoboji in northern Iowa over the weekend.
The Dickinson County sheriff's office says a relative found 30-year-old Andrew Goll, of Des Moines, in the water Saturday afternoon.
Officials say Goll had been working on a dock in the area. His death is under investigation.

Romney Coming Back To Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Mitt Romney plans to campaign Wednesday in Cedar Rapids, making it a busy day for presidential candidates in the state.
Romney, the Republican nominee, will speak at a rally Wednesday night at a Cedar Rapids airport hangar. On Wednesday morning, President Barack Obama will speak at a rally at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport.
Their appearances will follow Monday's night's final debate and come less than two weeks before the Nov. 6 election.
Most polls show a tight race nationally. Iowa is among nine battleground states that are expected to decide who wins the presidential race.


Man Awaits Sentencing For Slaying of Landlord

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A man who pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in the slaying of an Iowa City landlord won't be sentenced until next year.
Charles Thompson's sentencing has been rescheduled because a co-defendant's trial has been postponed.
Thompson was charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 death of 64-year-old John Versypt, of Cordova, Ill., A judge declared a mistrial in his case a year ago. Thompson then pleaded guilty to
accessory after the fact and agreed to testify in the murder trial of Justin Marshall.
Marshall's trial has been delayed until Jan. 22. Thompson's sentencing hearing is now set for Feb. 11.
A third man, Courtney White, is scheduled to go to trial for first-degree murder on Jan. 8.

Farmers Are Nearly Done With Harvest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers are very close to wrapping up this year's harvest, but work was delayed by some much-needed rain.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 93 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, which is a month ahead of schedule.  Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop is in, almost three weeks ahead of normal.
The USDA says in Monday's weekly report that widespread rain helped Iowa's pasture and range land, but 73 percent is in very poor or poor condition. Hay supplies are running about 42 percent
A slow-moving storm system brought rain to the state on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The statewide average was a-half inch, just shy of the weekly normal of 0.56 inches.


Deputy Cleared Of Charges For Shooting Man

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says no charges will be filed against a Van Buren County deputy who shot and killed a man last week.
Authorities say Deputy Jon Tharp fired one shot that killed 59-year-old Robert Dooley, of Brighton, on Oct. 16. Dooley was shot on Iowa Highway 2 near Cantril. Deputies were investigating reports
of a man wearing a military uniform and armed with a rifle walking along the highway and making obscene gestures.
The agency says deputies ordered Dooley to drop the rifle. Dooley raised the rifle toward the deputies, and Tharp shot him.  The agency says Dooley's weapon was an air rifle that looked like a
Winchester lever action rifle.
The DCI says Monday that Tharp's actions were justified and no charges will be filed.


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