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Tuesday News, July 17

Plymouth County Under Burn Ban


(Le Mars) -- The hot and dry conditions is impacting the news.  To start... as of this morning, Plymouth County is now in a burn ban.  Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the burn ban is necessary since persistant dry conditions continue.  The burn ban forbids any open burning, including trees, trash, and etc.  However, backyard grilling and bar-b-ques are allowed.



State Fire Marshall Warns Iowans About Burning


(Des Moines) -- The Iowa Fire Marshall warns Iowans the heat wave experienced the past two weeks is creating a "tinder box" conditions throughout the state.  State Fire Marshall Ray Reynolds says one-third of the state is in a burn ban, and he anticipates additional counties to be added to the list within the next few days, unless Iowa receives a significant rainfall to change the present conditions.  Reynolds says he can't recall a time since the 1980's when the state saw this level of extreme dryness.  The state fire marshall says the state can ill-afford a major fire disaster that could have been prevented with a little help from the public.  Reynolds reminds Iowans to use common sense during this dry period.  Do not litter and throw lit cigarette from moving vehicles as grass fires ignite easily in dry conditions.  Avoid the use of sky laterns, bottle rockets, and other fireworks celebration items involving sparks or flames.  Burning of yard waste or piled tree debris is responsibile for causing a majority of wild land fires for Iowa fire departments.



Plymouth County Extension To Host Drought Meeting


(Le Mars) -- Iowa State University Extension in Plymouth County will be hosting a meeting on Thursday, July 19th at 1:30 p.m. to discuss drought related issues at the Plymouth County Extension office in the lower level of the Le Mars Convention Center.  Topics will include: "Crop growth and development under drought conditions", "feeding drought damaged crops", "crop insurance considerations", and "disaster government programs".  The meeting is expected to last 90 minutes. Farmers can also bring five representative corn stock samples for a quick nitrate assessment conducted by Beth Doran prior to the start of the meeting.  For questions about the meeting, contact the Plymouth County Extension office at (712) 546-7835.  No pre-registration is required.  The meeting will be at 251 12 Street Southeast, Le Mars.



Iowa Crops Continue to Deteriorate


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The condition of Iowa's corn and soybeans continues to deteriorate as summer brings more hot weather and little rain.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's weekly report that only 36 percent of the corn and 38 percent of the soybeans are in good to excellent shape in the widest drought in nearly 25 years.

A year ago, about 80 percent of Iowa's corn and soybeans were in good to excellent condition.

The USDA says most of Iowa's topsoil and subsoil moisture levels are running short or very short, despite widespread rain last week.

Over two inches of rain fell at Grundy Center, while Perry had 3 inches. The statewide average was .28 inches or a-fourth of the weekly normal. No soaking rains are in the immediate forecast.



Iowa D-N-R Reports Streams and Creeks Drying Up


(Des Moines) -- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is reporting several  incidents where streams, creeks, brooks, and ponds are drying up as a result of the extreme dry conditions.  The D-N-R is also reporting of several shallow wells that are low on water levels.  A dairy operation in northwest Iowa stated that all six of its shallow wells were being pumped and water levels were not keeping up.  It was advised that additional wells wee needed to meet their peak demand.



South Sioux City Man Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison


DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (AP) - A South Sioux City man will spend up to 16 years in prison for killing his girlfriend, whose body was found stuffed in a window seat of their home.

54-year-old John Baker was sentenced on Monday to 11 to 16 years in prison for manslaughter and concealing the death of another person.  He pleaded guilty in May in Dakota County District Court.

Baker was charged in the death of 47-year-old Kelly Alspach in October 2011.

Baker was later arrested in North Dakota. He was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded no contest to the lesser charges.





Monday Afternoon News 7-16-12

Le Mars Daily Sentinel Publisher Leaves Post


LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - The publisher of the Le Mars Daily Sentinelhas resigned so he can take a Wisconsin position and live closer to family in Minnesota.

The Daily Sentinel reports  that Tom Stangl will become editor and publisher of the Amery (Wis.) Free-Press.

His wife, Diane Stangl, has resigned her job as office manager of the Remsen Bell-Enterprise newspapers to become office manager of the Amery weekly.

Amery is in northwest Wisconsin and about an hour's drive from Minneapolis.

Tom Stangl says the move will put him and his wife nearer their daughters Madison, of Minneapolis, and Lindsay, of Brooklyn Center, Minn.

Tom Stangl has been publisher of the Daily Sentinel since March 2005. The newspaper is owned by Rust Communications, of Cape Girardeau, Mo.

His replacement has not been named.



Sitzmann Concerned About Water Usage


(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Water Superintendent says voluntary proceedures to restrict water usage is not doing the job, and he believes mandatory restrictions may need to be implemented.  Gayle Sitzmann says the city of Le Mars is still using water at record rates, despite having a call for voluntary cutbacks.  He says there have been some reductions in water usage over the past few weeks, but not enough.  Sitzmann says he needs to visit first with city administrator Scott Langel and other city officials to discuss possible options, but he says he has concerns. Sitzman says the city's water usage is running at or over five million gallons a day.

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Sitzmann says the city may consider imposing an odd and even day watering program in order to reduce the daily water consumption rates.


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The city's water superintendent says the conditions are similar to 2007 when a water restriction was in place for city residents.


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Burn Ban Issued For Plymouth County


(Le Mars) -- As of 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 17th, Plymouth County will again be under a burn ban.  Le Mars Fire Chief, Dave Schipper says any open burning will be forbidden, although backyard grills and bar-b-ques are still allowed.  Persistent dry conditions have prompted fire officials to make the proclamation.  Within the past few days, Kingsley, Hinton, Merrill, and the Le Mars fire departments have had to respond to grass fires.   The burn ban will continue until further notice, or when adequate rainfall amounts occur.  More than 20 counties in Iowa are under a burn ban.



Plymouth County Saving Money With New Solid Waste Agreement


(Le Mars) -- It's been two weeks since Plymouth County has broken ties with Cherokee County over the disposal of solid waste, and instead have hauled the solid waste products to Jackson, Nebraska.  Plymouth County Solid Waste Landfill manager, Mark Kunkel says transporting the solid waste to the Gill Landfill facility has been easier and cheaper.


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Kunkel says Plymouth County is seeing a savings of $3.50 per ton on its waste disposal by taking it to Jackson, Nebraska.  Plymouth County residents with household hazardous waste products may have to wait a year, if possible, before the Plymouth County Landfill can accept those items.  Kunkel says Cherokee had accepted the household hazardous waste products, but since that agreement is no longer valid, Plymouth County is constructing a new facility that will accept the household hazardous products.


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Kunkel says if residents absolutely need to dispose of their household hazardous waste material, then arrangements can be made with Woodbury County.



Sioux County Arrest Nine Minors In Possession of Alcohol


(Orange City) -- For the second time in a week the Sioux county sheriff’s office received a Text-A-Tip report of under aged people illegally in possession of alcohol.  Nine persons were charged following the most recent tip on July 13.

On Friday, July 13 at 11:00 pm, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office received a Text-a-Tip report of underage drinking at 4129 500th Street, five miles southeast of Alton, IA.

When deputies arrived, several people ran from the officers.  Upon further investigation, deputies charged nine people with possession of alcohol underage.

Alyssa Cluck, age 18 of Remsen, IA, Jordan Bonestroo, age 19 of Hull, IA,  Emily VanDam, age 19 of Remsen,  and Joe Uribe, age 20, of Granville, IA were charged with possession of alcohol under the legal age, a simple misdemeanor. Five juveniles were referred to juvenile court for possession of alcohol under legal age.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Iowa State Patrol.  The case is still under investigation.




Sioux City Police Announce Suspects Names In Convenience Store Robbery


(Sioux City) -- The Sioux City Police Department has released the names of the suspects thought to have been responsible for an armed robbery at the Sarg's Mini Mart located at 2329 West 2nd street. That incident happened Friday morning at about 9:45 a.m.  After an investigation, all four suspects were taken into custody and transferred to the Woodbury County jail and charged with Robbery in the First Degree.  The weapon used in the robbery was recovered.  All four suspects are from Sioux City.  Those arrested include: 19 year old Christopher Bailey, 20 year old Joshua Fields, 24 year old David Johnson, and 20 year old Paige Mathison.


Sioux City Police Investigate Shooting
(Sioux City) -- The Sioux City Police is also investigating a shooting incident early Sunday morning outside 1201 4th Street between a small group of individuals who know each other.  A struggle ensued and during the struggle, shots were fired.  One subject was transported to Mercy Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.  Detectives interviewed all parties involved and at this time the case is being turned over to the Woodbury county attorney's office.













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