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Tuesday News, October 16

Senator Grassley To Visit With Le Mars Community High School Students

(Le Mars) -- Iowa Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley will hold a question and answer session with the Le Mars Community junior class students today at the Le Mars Community High School.  Grassley will visit with the students starting at 10:00 a.m. and continue his visit for an hour.


Vilsack to Visit Le Mars On Wednesday

(Le Mars) -- Democratic Congressional candidate Christie Vilsack has announced she will make a visit to Le Mars.  Vilsack, who is seeking to unseat Republican Congressman Steve King in the new 4th District is  scheduled to stop by the Plymouth County Democratic Headquarters located at 34 Central Avenue, Northeast.  Vilsack will make her appearance on Wednesday, October 17th between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.  Vilsack's visit is part of her Value of Common Sense Tour.  She will also stop at Sioux City, Cherokee, Storm Lake, and Lake View.


Gehlen and Opportunities Unlimited Honored

(Le Mars) -- At a kick-off pep rally held yesterday, Gehlen Catholic School and Opportunities Unlimited recognized their "star" achievers for the collaboration between the two institutions.  Gehlen was using the opportunity to begin the next fund raising campaign year by once again selling Jumpy Monkey coffee from Opportunities Unlimited.  During the rally, Gehlen Catholic principal Jeff Alesch made a special announcement about the partnership.
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Alesch went on to talk about the Iowa Network of Community School Partnership Program uses
for its criteria.

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Alesch told the students and faculty that the affinity Gehlen has with Opportunities Unlimited is more than just selling coffee.

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Gehlen Catholic will learn more about their honor in mid-November when they will be recognized at the Iowa School Board convention.

Harvest Running A Month Ahead Of Schedule

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa farmers are close to wrapping up this year's harvest as much needed rain finally fell across most of the state.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 87 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, which is a month ahead of schedule.  Ninety-three percent of the soybean crop is in from the fields, which is three weeks ahead of normal.
The USDA says in Monday's report that rain over the weekend helped Iowa's pasture and range land. Hay supplies are running short across 41 percent of the state. Calves are being weaned and
sold early due to the short supply of winter hay.
The statewide average rainfall last week was 1.65 inches, triple the normal for the week. It was Iowa's wettest week since early May.


EPA Extends Comment Period

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the comment period on proposals by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to change regulations of livestock operations to be in compliance with federal Clean Water Act.
The Des Moines Register says the EPA has extended the period by two weeks until Oct. 31.
In July, the EPA said Iowa's program is not sufficient to assess whether livestock confinements need to obtain federal waste discharge permits. It also says Iowa's inspection program is inadequate and the state failed to act in nearly half of the water quality violation cases against cattle farms that the EPA reviewed.
The report was done in response to a petition filed in 2007 by three environmental groups that alleged Iowa fell far short of meeting enforcement requirements.


Man In Custody After Being Charged With Killing 5 Year Old Girl

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - A man charged with killing an Iowa girl in 2005 is now in state custody.
Thirty-three-year-old Casey Frederiksen is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in the death of 5-year-old Evelyn Miller.
State agents took custody of Frederiksen on Monday from a federal penitentiary in Marion, Ill., where he's serving time on child pornography and drug charges. He'll make an initial court appearance Tuesday at the Floyd County Courthouse in Charles City.
Frederiksen was the boyfriend of the child's mother. He was watching the girl at the family's apartment in Floyd when she disappeared. Her body was found in the Cedar River days later.
Frederiksen was charged last month. Prosecutors say he changed his story while in federal prison and inmates say he made incriminating statements.


Linn County Won't File Charges Against Friend of Auditor

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Linn County won't file fraud or other charges against a man hired by the man's close friend, County Auditor Joel Miller.
The Gazette reports ( that County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden told county supervisors on Monday there isn't enough evidence to support charges against Joe Clarahan. Clarahan
was hired to more than a year ago to implement software for managing facilities maintenance.
County Finance Director Steve Tucker has said Clarahan accomplished "virtually nothing" on the project. Clarahan has declined to comment.
Vander Sanden's report to the supervisors criticized Miller management of Clarahan and said Clarahan's hiring "raises the specter of blatant cronyism."
Miller said Monday that the allegations and investigations were timed to damage his re-election bid against Republican challenger Garth Fagerbakke.

Fontanelle Residents Under Boil Order

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Residents of Fontanelle (FAHN'-tuh-nel) in southwest Iowa and part of Walford, near Cedar Rapids, are being asked to boil their drinking water for now.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a break in a large water main in Fontanelle left the city without water. Crews were working on Monday to repair the break and restore service. Breaks
in pipes can allow contaminants to enter the water system.
In Walford, water samples taken during routine testing in the Clover Ridge Subdivision tested positive for E. coli bacteria.  Three out of four subsequent samples taken on Oct. 11 tested positive for total bacteria, but did not contain E. coli. The subdivision plans to chlorinate the wells and retest the water.



Monday Afternoon News October 15

More than 2000 customers of MidAmerican Energy Without Power Monday Morning

(Le Mars) -- For an hour and a half this morning, parts of Le Mars, Oyens, and Plymouth County lost power.  MidAmerican Energy spokesperson Tina Potthoff says more than 2000 customers were affected by the outage.
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Potthoff says the outage affected 1765 customers in Le Mars, 281 customers within rural Plymouth County and 66 customers in Oyens.  Potthoff says the reason for the outage was a mobile transformer overheated.  She says the outage is connected to the last power outage that occurred on the morning of Saturday, September 29th.
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Potthoff says MidAmerican Energy crews will continue to make improvements to the substation for the next three weeks.

Fire Fighters Still On the Scene Of Friday's Fire

(Le Mars) -- Fire fighters are still at the scene of the city's tree, leaf, and grass disposal site after a fire was started on Friday evening.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the scene is still smoldering with several hot spots.  He says fire officials are at the scene to make certain there are no flare ups.  Next to the site is a mobile home trailer court, and a cornfield with round bales.  

Escaped Inmate Captured

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 22-year-old inmate who escaped from a Sioux City work release facility has been arrested.
The Sioux City Journal reports that U.S. marshals arrested Nikolas Saul on Friday night and has since been taken to the Woodbury County Jail.
The Iowa Corrections Department says Saul, of Sioux City, escaped from the facility on Oct. 6. He'd been transferred there on Sept. 18.
Saul originally was sentenced to 15 years for assault, going armed with intent and intimidation with a dangerous weapon for a February 2008 incident in Sioux City.


Iowa Veterans Home Fined, Again

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - The state-run Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown has been fined again for not meeting care standards.
The Des Moines Register reports that a fine of $250 a day stems from the death of a resident last month and was the third time in four months that the home had been fined.
Federal officials also extended restrictions on new admissions until the home demonstrates that problems have been corrected.
The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals says workers at the home didn't set an alarm that would have alerted them that a frail, 91-year-old woman was trying to get out of bed. She fell and suffered leg fractures that were blamed for her death.
The home's top administrator, David Worley, says the home is working to improve resident care.

Missing Teenage Girls And Teen Boys May Be Headed To Florida

SHELLSBURG, Iowa (AP) - Eastern Iowa authorities say two missing 15-year-old girls apparently have gone on a planned trip with two boys from the western Iowa town of Atlantic.
Benton County Sheriff Randy Forsyth says the teenagers aren't believed to be in any danger.
Forsyth says a call from one boy's cellphone went to a Pennsylvania number, but investigators aren't sure whether that's the teens' destination.
Missing are 16-year-old Corey Sunderman, 13-year-old Austin Boggs, both of Atlantic, and 15-year-old Skie Floyd and Jazlyn Visek, from the Shellsburg area.
Crystal Sunderman, the mother of Corey Sunderman, says Skie Floyd and her son had been dating and that the trip was planned.
She told Atlantic radio station KJAN that the four may be on their way to Florida for a skateboarding event.

YMCA Lifeguard Accused Of Sexual Abuse

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - A YMCA employee faces a third-degree sexual abuse charge after a 14-year-old girl accused him of inappropriately touching her.
The Des Moines Register reports that 20-year-old Steven Arens of Windsor Heights allegedly met his accuser while working as a life guard at a local pool. Arens was charged Friday, and was being held
without bond Friday at the Polk County Jail.
YMCA spokesman Dave Gieseke says Arens worked part-time in the aquatics department at the Walnut Creek Family YMCA in Windsor Heights. He also worked as a volunteer coach at Roosevelt High
School, coaching ninth-grade baseball for about a year. But a Des Moines schools spokesman he says he is no longer affiliated with the school.
Urbandale police Sergeant Gary Lang would not say where the alleged abuse occurred.


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