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Tuesday News, August 7

Chamber of Commerce Holds Annual Golf Tournament, Today

(Le Mars) -- Today is the annual Le Mars Chamber of Commerce golf tournament.  A noon luncheon will kick off the festivities at the Willow Creek Golf Club.  Brad Pick, vice president for the marketing and events committee says the golf tournament is a highlight for Chamber activities.

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Pick says several community businesses are helping sponsor the golf outing and contributing some prizes to make the Chamber tournament that much more enjoyable.

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The tournament starts off with a luncheon serving brats and burgers.  More than 40 four-somes will participate in the Chamber golf tournament.

Le Mars Historic Downtown Study Featured On Cable Channel 12

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Historic Preservation Commission will share their year long study on the Le Mars downtown this evening on Cable Channel 12.  The presentation will be made by Kerry Davis, Architectural Historian.  Davis will present details about the Le Mars downtown district that is being nominated for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

City Council To Discuss Former DOT Property

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to meet today at noon.  The council will discuss a submitted offer to purchase city real estate that was once owned by the Iowa Department of Transportation.  The city has received three offers that will be considered.  The city council will also consider the Maser Plaza proposal.  The Masers are proposing to build the addition and when completed donate to the city for use as a visitor information Center and Historic displays with the theme of an old railroad train depot.  The area in question is the former First National Bank drive through facility.

School Registration Continues Today

(Le Mars) --  School will be starting again in a manner of weeks, and Dr. Todd Wendt, superintendent of schools for the Le Mars Community says he believes everyone is again ready for school to start.  Registration continues today between 7 a.m and 3 p.m. with all registrations to be conducted at the Middle School.  Wendt says with the exception of the school lunch program, fees remain about the same as last year.

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Winnebago Tribe Wants To Operate Sioux City Casino

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska wants to develop a casino and hotel in downtown Sioux City if it wins the rights to Woodbury County's gaming license.
Lance Morgan is CEO of the tribe's economic development firm, Ho-Chunk Inc., and he confirmed the tribe's interest.
Missouri River Historical Development has said it's considering a new partner to run a casino in Sioux City because it couldn't agree on the details of a land-based casino with Penn National Gaming, which runs the current river boat casino.
The Winnebago Tribe already operates the WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan located less than 20 miles away from Sioux City.
Several companies are expected to bid on the gaming license. Morgan says he believes the tribe would be best partner because it is based nearby in northeast Nebraska.

Midwestern Governors To Meet In Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governors from Midwestern states will meet in Des Moines next month to talk about how to better market the positive attributes of the region.
The Midwest Governors Association announced Monday that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will host the meeting on Sept. 26.
Branstad is chairing the association this year, and his agenda is focused on how to promote a positive Midwestern narrative that highlights attributes such as the region's work ethic, business
climate and high-quality schools.
A press release from the group says the meeting will address strategies for the region to better sell itself and its entrepreneurial spirit to other regions and countries.
The group is inviting current and former Midwestern governors, business and academic leaders and others to the meeting, which marks the 50th anniversary of the association.


ACLU Concerned About Students Attending School at Church Building

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has concerns about plans for some West Des Moines school district students to attend classes that will be held in a church.
The Des Moines Register says ( windows are being replaced at Hillside Elementary School, so the district will use rooms at Lutheran Church of Hope for the first eight to 10
weeks of the school year.
Ben Stone is executive director of the ACLU chapter, and he says school and church officials must ensure students do not receive religious instruction or pressure.
School district spokeswoman Elaine Watkins-Miller says the need for separation of church and state has been clearly communicated to the church.
Students will the church's classrooms, gym, cafeteria area and art and music rooms but not the sanctuary.


Runaway Truck Kills One and Injures Others At Auction

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say one person is dead and five are injured after a truck at a popular Iowa livestock auction lost control and drove into a crowd of people.
Kalona City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said the accident happened Monday morning at the Kalona Sales Barn during a monthly horse auction attended by several hundred people.
He says the driver of the auctioneer's truck had a medical issue that caused him to step on the accelerator of the Ford F-250 and lose control. He says the truck struck six or seven people on the
property before striking a tree, and then continued for another block before stopping.
Washington County authorities said that one person was pronounced dead at the scene, and five others were taken to area hospitals for treatment.


Iowa Crops Continue To Deteriorate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's crops continue to decline as the drought tightens its grip on key farm states.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 49 percent of the corn crop is in poor to very poor condition. Last week, it was 46 percent. Just 16 percent is rated good or excellent.
The USDA says 37 percent of the soybean crop is in bad shape. That compares to 30 percent a week ago.
The dry summer is also taking a toll on Iowa's pastureland, with 86 percent rated poor or very poor.
Storms arrived late Friday and Saturday with over 2 inches of rain in eastern Iowa. The statewide average for the week was 0.62 inches, or two-thirds of the normal.

State Fair Officials On Alert For New Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State Fair officials are on alert but not overly worried about swine flu cases showing up at the fair as it begins Thursday.
Animals have been passing a new swine flu strain on to humans.  Officials say more than two dozen human cases of the new strain have been confirmed in the U.S. in the past year. Ten cases confirmed last week were linked to the Butler County Fair in southwest Ohio.
Iowa State Fair manager Gary Slater told The Gazette that the state veterinarian has been checking fairground preparations before up to 3,500 pigs start arriving Tuesday.
Each animal must have papers from its local veterinarian, attesting to the animal's health. Slater says any pig that appears to be sick will be sent home if necessary.


Monday News, August 6

Bicyclers Shot At Sunday Morning

(Le Mars) -- Two bicyclers were shot at during their early morning Sunday ride in Plymouth County on Highway 12. The 9-1-1 call was received at about 7:30 a.m. when Tony Pierce and John Pecaut (Pea-cull) both of rural Sioux City reported they were riding their bikes when a red Ford Explorer approached them from the south, slowed down, and while passing them presented a firearm out the driver side of the vehicle and discharged several rounds at them. The two bicyclers took cover in the ditch and called 9-1-1. The Sioux City Police, Iowa State Patrol, and Plymouth county Sheriff's Office responded to the area and found the Ford explorer about four miles north of where the shots were fired. When officers arrived, two subjects fled the vehicle and ran into a wooded area along the Big Sioux River. Officers pursued the subjects and they were arrested without incident. The two arrested are Terry Oliver, age 22 of Sioux City, and Cesar Ganzales, age 20 also of Sioux City. No injuries were reported, and the weapon, a .45 caliber semi-automatic was recovered in a wooded area by a Woodbury County Canine.


County Fire Departments Fight Grass Fires

(Le Mars) -- Several of the county fire departments were busy over the weekend, fighting fires, many of which were either grass or field fires. Akron and Le Mars Fire Departments had grass fires reported on Saturday, and the Merrill Fire Department responded to a field fire on Sunday. Akron's fire was located at 24835 county road K-18. The Le Mars Fire Department had to extinguish a blaze at 32547 county road C-38, and the Merrill Fire Department was called to 23661 Fir Avenue for a field fire.


School Registration Today and Tuesday

(Le Mars) -- Summer is winding down as today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday) are the days designated for registration at the Le Mars Community Schools and also at Remsen St. Mary's. Registration for Le Mars Community will occur at the Middle School. Monday the hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and for Tuesday, registration hours are set for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. At Remsen St. Mary's, registration is between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Parents of students between TK-8th grade should register at St. Mary's grade school, and parents with students between 9th and 12th grades should register at the St. Mary's High School. At Le Mars Community, the Code of Conduct meetings are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. Students interested in participating in extra cirricular activities need to attend a Code of Conduct meeting along with their parent or guardian.


Motorcycle Accident At Sioux City

(Sioux City) -- The Sioux City Police are investigating a motorcycle accident that occurred Saturday evening at about 6:45 p.m. The accident happened at South Lakeport and Morningside Avenue. A motorcycle and a passenger car were determined to be involved. The motorcycle was driving straight through the intersection on Morningside Avenue going west. The car was maneuvering a left hand turn from Morningside Avenue to go north on South Palmeto. The car collided with the motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle, Rogelio Lozano, age 46 of Sioux City was transported to Mercy Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries. The two occupants in the car were uninjured.


220th Street Closed For Repairs

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced that 220th Street between Otter Avenue and County Road K-64 will be closed, starting today, and continuing through August 27th. Work crews are replacing an old wooden bridge with a box culvert.


Iowa: Political Battleground

NEW YORK (AP) - If television ad spending is any guide, Iowa is one of the nine battleground states that will decide the White House race this November. While the rest of the country is virtually ad-free, the Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns, along with independent groups, are going at it in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada and Florida.


Plane Forced To Land In Soybeam Field

ELKHART, Iowa (AP) - A small plane landed safely in an Iowa soybean field yesterday after reportedly running out of gas. The Polk County Sheriff's office says the plan landed just before noon Sunday in a field west of Elkhart, Iowa. The pilot was OK and was the only person on board.


Iowa Soldier Killed In Iraq Has Clinic Named In His Honor

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - A new family medical clinic at a U.S. Army post in Colorado has been named in honor of an Iowa native who was killed in Iraq.  The name of Pfc. Eric Woods is gracing the Soldier Family Care Center at Fort Carson, Colo.  The 26-year-old Woods, a medic, was killed on July 9, 2005. He died when a bomb went off as he was helping evacuate a wounded soldier.

Woods graduated from Urbandale High School, where he played football, baseball and wrestled.  About two dozen friends and relatives of Woods attended a dedication ceremony at the clinic last month. They included his wife, Jamie, and their son, Eric Scott Woods, who live in Omaha.  His parents, Chuck and Jan Woods, live in Urbandale.


Police Receiving Several Tips On Cousins' Disappearance

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - The high-profile case of two missing Iowa cousins has inspired a flood of tips to law enforcement. But the girls have not been found.  Law enforcement agencies encourage the tips because they could prove valuable, but many of the tips received so far have been vague.  Ten-year-old Lyric Cook and 9-year-old Elizabeth Collins have been missing since July 13th. They were last seen riding their bikes in Evansdale.

Cedar Rapids Sergeant Christy Hamblin says some of the tips seem frivolous if they lack detail because there little for officers to follow up on.  After the FBI asked for tips about a man driving a white van, Cedar Rapids police were receiving more than 40 tips a day about white vans in someone's neighborhood.


Police Arrest Two Men Caught In School

ALLEMAN, Iowa (AP) - Two Iowa men are likely to face burglary and arson charges after police found them inside an elementary school early Saturday.  The Polk County Sheriff's office says deputies went to Central Elementary in Alleman after a motion alarm was triggered around 1 a.m. Saturday.

Deputies encountered two men leaving the school and arrested 21-year-old Christopher Kessler. The other man ran back into the school and managed to elude officers for several hours.  Around 4 a.m. Saturday, officers smelled smoke from an area of the school that's under construction and found 23-year-old Horace Cross asleep in a classroom.  Authorities say at least five buses and several classrooms were damaged in the incident.


Sizzling Heat Killing Fish

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Thousands of fish are dying in the Midwest as the sizzling summer dries up rivers and raises water temperatures in some spots to nearly 100 degrees.  About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon were killed in Iowa last week as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Nebraska fishery officials say they've seen thousands of dead catfish, carp, and other species in the Lower Platte River, including the endangered pallid sturgeon.  Officials in Illinois say the drought has claimed tens of thousands of large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish and killed many of the endangered greater redhorse fish.  The fish are dying amid one of the hottest and driest summer in decades. More than 3,000 heat records were broken over the last month.



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