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Thursday News, July 12

Le Mars Community School Announces Registration Dates


(Le Mars) -- It won't be long before the school bell will ring, calling students back to another year of school.  The Le Mars Community School District has announced the dates for registration.  On-site registration and payment of fees is scheduled for Monday, August 6 from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. and again on Tuesday, August 7th from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Everyone will register in the Middle School during those two days.  Mail-in registration will be available again this year.  Packets will go out in the mail on July 23rd.  Middle School orientation is scheduled for Tuesday, August 21st.  6th grade students will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. both students and parents are invited.  7th and 8th grade students and their parents will have orienation also on August 21st from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  Wednesday, August 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. will be the open house for all buildings.  Freshman orientation will be on Wednesday, August 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the high school commons.  The Code of Conduct meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, August 7th, Wednesday, August 8th, and Thursday, August 16.


Fire Department Respond To Ditch Grass Fire

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department responded to a ditch grass fire yesterday afternoon.  The call came in at about 4:15 p.m. and was located at 30253 county road C-16.  Within a few minutes the fire department was able to control and contain the fire.


New Assistant Fire Chief Takes Oath of Office


(Le Mars) -- Mike Wise is the new Assistant Fire Chief for the Le Mars Fire Department.  He was given the oath of office by Mayor Dick Kirchoff during a ceremony held Wednesday at Fire Station #1.  Dave Schipper, the Le Mars Fire Chief says of Wise that he meets the needs of Le Mars.


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The Le Mars Fire Department recently implemented some changes which Schipper believes will help the city of Le Mars, its residents, and business owners see lower insurance rates.


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Schipper also believes the changes may help with the recruitment of new businesses.



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Sioux City Police Arrest Suspect Of Grocery Store Theft


(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police have apprehended 18 year old Stanislaus Firecloud for the suspected theft of items stolen from the Select Foods Store located at 1730 Pierce Street.  On Tuesday, at about 12:23 p.m. a suspect entered the grocery store and went to the beer cooler and concealed several cans of alcohol then attempted to leave the store without paying for the items.  He was confronted by a store employee and a struggle ensued.  During the struggle, the suspect struck the employee with a pipe-like item.  The employee sustained injuries and was taken to a local hospital.


Branstad To Hold Drought Meeting

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad will hold a public meeting next week on the drought conditions plaguing Iowa this summer.

Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will be joined by representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and environmental experts in Mount Pleasant on Tuesday.

Branstad's office says the meeting will focus on coordination between the state and federal levels and potential action to ensure that Iowa's needs are meet.

The meeting is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday at Mount Pleasant High School.

The USDA is already streamlining the process for farmers to apply for government disaster help as crops burn up in many states in the widest drought in nearly 25 years.


USDA Streamlines Drought Assistance For Farmers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is streamlining the process for farmers to apply for government disaster help during the widest drought in nearly 25 years.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says more than 1,000 counties nationwide will automatically qualify for disaster assistance if they're in a severe drought for at least eight weeks or were in extreme drought this growing season.

The department also is lowering the interest rate on emergency loans to 2.25 percent from 3.75 percent. As much as $39 million is available under the program.

In addition, the government will help farmers use part of the land set aside in a conservation program for hay or grazing since the drought is expected to reduce the amount of corn available for feed.


Iowa State To Pass U of I in Enrollment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University is expected to pass the University of Iowa in enrollment this coming academic year.

Iowa State has trailed the University of Iowa since 1979. Iowa State officials in Ames expect the enrollment to surge past 31,000, topping U of I's expected total of about 30,800, the same as last fall.

The final numbers won't be reported until September.   U of I executive director of admissions Michael Barron says the two universities aren't competing for highest number of students and that there's always been an ebb and flow to enrollment.

Barron says there's been a resurgence in agriculture, which is an area that's exclusive to Iowa State.



Mayor and City Clerk Charged With Theft

SCARVILLE, Iowa (AP) - The mayor and former clerk of the northern Iowa town of Scarville have been charged with theft after a state audit turned up thousands of dollars in missing city funds.

Michelle Hermanson and Jolene Carter were charged on Monday with first-degree theft, felonious misconduct in office and falsifying public documents.

Hermanson and Carter voluntarily turned themselves in to authorities and each posted a $10,000 bond.

State Auditor David Vaudt in June said Hermanson and Carter misspent at least $24,000. Another $12,000 of spending was not supported by documentation.

Phone listings for Hermanson and Carter were disconnected.  Online court records don't list their attorneys.











Wednesday News, July 11th


(Le Mars) Plymouth County was able to collect more than $114,000 during this last quarter through the county recorder's office.  JoLynn Goodchild, the county recorder delivered her quarterly report to the county board of supervisors during their regular weekly meeting.

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Goodchild offers a more detailed account of the revenue.

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Due to a workshop training session held in Storm Lake, the Recorder's office will be closed today between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.




(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital has hired a Foundation Manager.  Accepting the position is Chuck Jespersen of Sioux City.  This is a new position for Floyd Valley Hospital, and Jespersen will coordinate all gifts to Floyd Valley Hospital including planned giving and estate planning.  Jespersen received his Bachelor's of Science Degree from the University of South Dakota.  He worked in donor recruitment at the Siouxland Community Blood Bank and most recently, served as the Director of Student Ministries at Sunnybrook community Church for the past eleven years.



(Le Mars) -- Today is the day Le Mars' new assistant fire chief, Mike Wise, will be officially sworn in for his duties.  Wise started working for the fire department on July 2nd.  He has been a fire fighter for more than twenty years, most recently serving at Omaha and Red Oak, Iowa.  Swearing in ceremonies will occur at Fire Station number 1 and will take place at 10:00 a.m.  The ceremonies are in conjunction with the Fire Station hosting the Chamber of Commerce coffee.






(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Sheriff's Office has released the details concerning a farm accident that happened last week.  At about 1:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon, 72 year old William Renken of Brunsville was working on his tractor when it unexpectedly lunged forward and ran over him.  Renken was transported to Mercy Medical Center by the Le Mars Ambulance.




DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines-based Planned Parenthood

affiliate faces allegations that it fraudulently billed Medicaid

from 2002 to 2009 for nearly $28 million.

A federal whistle-blower lawsuit filed by a former clinic

director, Sue Thayer, says Planned Parenthood of the Heartland

billed Medicaid for blood tests and other procedures related to

elective abortions but not for the actual abortions.

The lawsuit was filed in March 2011 but didn't proceed until

federal and state prosecutors decided against intervening.

A Planned Parenthood representative, Shelby Cloke, said the

organization hadn't had a chance to review the allegations but said

the lawsuit "follows a pattern of harassment" against Planned

Parenthood affiliates.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has medical centers and

education and resource centers in Des Moines and the Nebraska

cities of Lincoln and Omaha.



ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - Fire officials say a bottle under pressure

exploded in a lab and may have exposed a worker to vapors at a

Monsanto Co. facility in Ankeny.

The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/LG7cO ) says the bottle

was under high pressure during a chemical process when the incident

happened Tuesday afternoon.

Ankeny Fire Chief Rex Mundt says the bottle was less than a

gallon in size. He couldn't immediately say what chemicals it


Monsanto spokeswoman Kelly Clauss says one worker was taken to a

hospital for observation and was released.

Clauss says the procedure being done when the bottle ruptured

was a normal one and the chemicals are regularly used.

According to the seed company's website, the facility is a

global hub for breeding research.





DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state worker's union has filed a

complaint against Gov. Terry Branstad over asking workers to pay

part of their health care premiums.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

filed a complaint with the Iowa Public Employee Relations Board on


The complaint says health insurance is covered under collective

bargaining laws and the governor is prohibited from approaching

workers about making changes.

Branstad signed an executive order last week allowing state

workers to voluntarily pay 20 percent of their premiums. He says he

and the lieutenant governor will do so beginning Aug. 1.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says it's outrageous that

Iowans, who pay their own health care costs, are forced to foot the

bill for state workers.



DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some corn farmers are mowing down fields

as the drought in the middle of the country worsens.

The most severe drought in nearly 25 years spreads from Ohio to

California. Some of the hardest hit areas are in the corn belt,

where the lack of rain has combined with unusual heat to damage


David Kellerman says he and the neighbor he farms with cut down

their corn near Du Bois, Ill., after more than a week of

temperatures over 100 degrees.

Corn doesn't develop properly if temperatures rise above 95

during pollination.

Matt Johnson's popcorn fields in Redkey, Ind., have been burning

up by day, and he expects his insurance adjuster to tell him to mow

them over if no rain comes by next month.






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