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Tuesday News, July 24

Northey Visits Marcus, Remsen


(Remsen) -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey made a stop in both Marcus and Remsen on Monday.  Northey, a farmer from Spirit Lake, says this summer's drought has similarities to the 1988 drought. He says several regions of the state are suffering, particularly east-central Iowa.


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However, he also says their are some pockets within the state that have not been adversely affected by the dry conditions.


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Northey says most of the government sponsored disaster programs are coordinated at the federal level, but he says the state department of agriculture are standing by to help.


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The state secretary of agriculture toured both the Little Sioux Corn Processors in Marcus and he visited the Remsen Processing in Remsen.

Iowa's corn crop has deteriorated further with 40 percent now in very poor or poor condition. A week

ago it was 27 percent.

The USDA says it has received reports of farmers chopping down their corn.

Just 23 percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition down from 36 percent a week earlier.

For Iowa soybeans 30 percent are now in very poor or poor condition. It was 20 percent a week ago. Just 28 percent of the crop is in good or excellent condition down from 38 percent a week ago.

Nationally, 45 percent of the corn crop is very poor or poor.  Last week it was 38 percent.

For soybeans, 35 percent is now poor or very poor compared with the 30 percent a week earlier.



Farmers Inquiring About Crop Insurance Claims


(Le Mars) -- This year's drought has many farmers hoping that crop insurance will help cover their losses.  Chuck Kellen of Mark Crop Insurance of Le Mars says many farmers are inquiring about claims against silage.


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Kellen suggests farmers see their agents so claims can get started. Kellen says farmers are anxious about claims, but he says payments may not be made for at least a month or later.

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The crop insurance representative says yields will be lower for both corn and soybeans, but he says soybeans may still have a chance at producing respectful yields.  But the corn, according to Kellen, may be lost, especially in western Plymouth County.

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Supervisors Have Full Agenda

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to have their regular Tuesday meeting at the Courthouse today.  The supervisors will discuss the membership to the Northwest Iowa Development, as well as review and take action on SIMPCO's Hazard Mitigation Plan Multi Jurisdiction.  The supervisors will also discuss and act on the Western Iowa Community Improvement Regional Housing Trust Fund, and the supervisors will review bids for the masonary repair of the courthouse building.



Chamber Chooses 12 Little Ambassadors

(Le Mars) -- Twelve young people have been chosen as the new Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Little Ambassadors.  The twelve were selected from 36 entries, from which Mary Reynolds, Le Mars Mainstreet Coordinator, says the judges had a difficult decision.  Originally, ten youngsters of the ages four to six were to be chosen, but Reynolds says they instead went with twelve.  The new Little Ambassadors will be featured on the cover of the new Le Mars Visitor's Guide, and they will help with various Chamber sponsored events, including Ice Cream Days, Halloween children's event, Easter egg hunt, and they will even assist Santa and Mrs. Claus.  The twelve Little Ambassadors include: Sebastian MacGregor, son of John and Dawn MacGregor; Kane Kerns, son of Jake and Missy Kerns; Landen Kneip, son of Troy and Noelle Kneip; Logan Anderson, son of Chris and Tracy Anderson; Tate Murphy son of Michael and Melanie Murphy; and Cole Brownmiller, son of Todd and Carrie Brownmiller.  The girls ambassadors include: Zoe Wittkop, daughter of Russ and XinJie Wittkop; Bailee Leiting, daughter of Michelle Leiting; Ashlyn Fintel, daugther of Jeremy and Loni Fintel; Sarah Brown, daughter of Matt and Jodi Brown; Madison DeRocher, the daughter of Adam and Kelly DeRocher; and Braelyn Helmrichs the daughter of Chris and Laura Helmrichs.


School Board Sets August 20 As Date To Open New Gym
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board met Monday evening.  The school board approved shared vocational program agreements with both the Remsen-Union and the Hinton school districts.  The board also approved an agreement with the Mid-Sioux Opportunities regarding transportation of Headstart students.  The board of education approved the contracts for Gretchen Utesch as a teacher associate, Paula Hodgson as the behavior disorder teacher, and Richard Lalk as a bus driver.  In other action last evening, the local school board reviewed and discussed their priorities for the 2013 legislative session. August 20th is the date scheduled for the unveiling of the new gymnasium, as the school board is planning a ribbon cutting ceremony showcasing the new facility.



Le Mars Little League Receives Donation

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Little League Baseball organization received a pleasant surprise on Saturday afternoon. The Bob Peutz family made a generous donation to the program.  Little League President John Britton explains...

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The money was donated as part of a golf bag raffle that had taken place during the golf tournament held Saturday in memory of Jason Peutz.  More than 200 people participated in that golf tournament.  Britton says he is not certain as to how the donated money will be used, but he is grateful to the Peutz family.

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Comprehensive Land Use Meeting Scheduled

(Le Mars) -- As part of the requirements asked of the county, Plymouth County will hold a Comprehensive Land Use Planning meeting scheduled for Monday, July 30 at 7:00 p.m.  The meeting will be held in the basement of the new Courthouse Annex building.  According to Alan Lucken, the mission of the meeting is to set a new direction for the planning and zoning commisson, as well as the Board of Adjustment, and the county supervisors.  Lucken says the meeting will feature information gathered by the consulting firm J-E-O.  Lucken also says the meeting will cover all aspects of the county's jurisdiction.  The meeting is open to the public.



Fire Sprinkler Testing May Cause Low Water Pressure

(Le Mars) -- Wells Blue Bunny needs to check a fire sprinkling system on Wednesday at their south ice cream plant facility, and Le Mars City Water Superintendent Gayle Sitzmann says during the time of testing, Le Mars residents may see a drop in their water pressure.  Sitzmann says the testing will take place between 10 and 10:30 a.m.  He says the potential lowered water pressure should only be for a few minutes.



Lyon County Employees Charged With Theft


ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Five county employees in Lyon County have been charged with misconduct for selling scrap metal that belonged to the county and keeping the money. Three others face similar charges for knowing about it but keeping it quiet.

Another worker, 51-year-old Todd Arthur Huisman, of Rock Rapids, is alleged to have pocketed $9,000. He also faces a felony theft charge. The telephone for his attorney rang unanswered Monday.

In addition, 58-year-old Jeffrey Williams, the former county engineer, faces felony theft and misdemeanor misconduct charges for conducting septic tank inspections and allegedly pocketing money he received for them.

KELO-TV in Sioux Falls, S.D., reports that he's been fired.  Court records show he has entered a not guilty plea. The attorney listed in records did not immediately return a call.



Sioux City Driver Pleads Not Guilty To Vehicular Homicide


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The driver of an SUV involved in a fatal crash has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide.

18-year-old Oscar Ramirez entered the plea Friday in Woodbury County District Court. A trial date is not yet set.

He was the driver of a sport-utility vehicle that crashed on Jan. 30. The vehicle rolled several times and landed in a pasture.

Eighteen-year-old Nino Segura of Sioux City was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.



South Sioux City Bank Robbed















Monday News, July 23

Motorcycle Accident On Highway 3

(Le Mars) -- A motocycle accident occurred on Saturday evening at the 2400 block of Highway 3, approximately nine miles west of Le Mars.  The accident happened at about 8:25 p.m.  55 year old Russell Proctor of Mosinee, Wisconsin was the driver of a 1984 Harley Davidson motorcycle.  He had been riding in a group of six motorcycles traveling west on Highway 3.   Proctor left the roadway and went onto the north shoulder at which time he lost control and entered the north ditch.  Proctor was thrown from the motorcycle coming to rest in the north ditch.  Proctor was first transported to Floyd Valley Hospital and then airlifted to Mercy Medical Center by Mercy Aircare with life threatening injuries.  He  was not wearing a helmet.  Responding to the scene were the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department, Akron Police, Iowa State Patrol, Le Mars Fire and Rescue, Le Mars Ambulance, and the Le Mars Police Department.


Hinton Fire Department Called to a Barn Fire

(Hinton) -- The Hinton Fire Department responded to an assistance call from the Lawton Fire Department to help fight a major barn fire.  That fire was located at 1614 120th Street near Sioux City.  Hinton was called at about 9:40 a.m. and was on the scene until 3:20 p.m.  Other fire departments included Lawton, Sergeant Bluff, Moville, Bronson, and a unit from the Sioux City airport also responded.  No word as of yet as to what may have been the cause of that fire, or the extent of damage.



Northey To Visit Northwest Iowa

(Des Moines) -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has announced that he will be visiting Ida, Cherokee, Sioux and Plymouth Counties on Monday, July 23rd as part of his efforts to visit each of Iowa's 99 counties  again in 2012.  Northey will visit the Ida County Fair in Ida Grove at 10:30 a.m., then he will tour Little Sioux Corn Processing in Marcus at 12:30 p.m.  Northey is scheduled to tour Van Beek Natural Science in Orange City at 2:00 p.m.  and then he will visit the Remsen Processing in Remsen at 3:30 p.m.



Fair Board Showcases New Livestock Facility

(Le Mars) -- Wednesday is the start of the Plymouth County Fair, but on Friday evening, the fair board welcomed the public as they held an open house showcasing the new livestock housing facility.   Fair board President Tony Schroeder welcomed the crowd and said the decision was made by the fair board to construct a new livestock housing facility since the original barns were no longer safe structures.   Schroeder says pedestrian safety was a major consideration for locating the new barn north of the show arena.  The fair board president explained to the gathering the new facility will be used to house all the beef, dairy, sheep, and goat exhibits.  The new barn measures 150 feet by 100 feet.  It is an E-P-S building that was constructed by Sitzmann Construction of Le Mars.



Today Is Cleanup Day At Fairgrounds

(Le Mars) -- Today at the fair grounds is fairground clean up day that begins at 9:00 a.m.  4-H and FFA reduced price passes will be sold between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and again from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.  Those passes can be obtained at the fair office.  Livestock Stall assignments will be posted at 1:00 p.m. today.  This evening at 7:00 p.m. is the 4-H and FFA Horse Show (timed events) at the Horse Arena.



Heat Wave To Continue

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The National Weather Service says heat relief will not be soon in coming for Iowa and Nebraska.

A weather service warning about excessive heat remains in effect until Wednesday afternoon or night in west-central and southwest Iowa and in southeast Nebraska.

The warnings are issued when the service experts believe dangerously high temperatures will occur in which "heat and humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely."

The century mark was breached in both states on Sunday. The air temperature hit 104 in Des Moines and 105 in Omaha, for examples.  Humidity made it seem hotter.


Director For National Missing and Exploited Children Remains Optimistic About Missing Cousins

(Des Moines) -- A director at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says there is some reason to be optimistic about the search for two missing Iowa girls.

Robert Lowery says there have been cases where missing children were found long after they disappeared, so there's no reason to give up on the search for 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins.

Lowery pointed out the famous cases of Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard as reasons to remain hopeful. Both were found alive months or years after their abductions.

Lowery also says the public shouldn't assume that Iowa officials are focused only on the lake where the girls' bicycles were found.  He says investigators are following multiple leads.

Investigators spent much of last week searching Meyers Lake and the surrounding area, which is about 120 miles northeast of Des Moines.



Michigan Wins Solar Car Race -- Iowa State Placed Second

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The University of Michigan has made it four wins in a row at the 2012 American Solar Challenge vehicle competition.

The university says its car the Quantum is the winner in the eight-day solar vehicle competition. The 1,650-mile event started July 14 in Rochester, New York, and ended Saturday in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The university says its car crossed the finish line about 2:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time, with Iowa State University and Principia College coming in second and third. There were 18 teams in all.

Michigan has won the event seven times since it began in 1990.  The racers faced some bad weather conditions, including rain on the second and last days.












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