Wednesday Afternoon News, December 18
Supervisors and Library Square Off Over Funding
(Le Mars) -- The use of electronic devices, such as computers, the internet, e-books, and etc. is on the rise at local libraries, and so is the cost to finance those materials. But who should stand the cost for the usage of such items? That was discussed at today's Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meeting. Records show that at least 40 percent of the people who frequently use the Le Mars Public Library are not residents of the city. Through city taxes, Le Mars charges a fee of more than $40 per person for the use of the library, whereas rural residents through county taxes are charged $9.57. Le Mars City Council Members Delana Ihrke and John Leonard appeared before the county supervisors to offer several options for their consideration. Irhke says the Le Mars Public Libray has no intention of leaving the open access system which allows a person from another community to check out materials in another city. The two Le Mars council members would like to see some narrowing of the financial gap between the city and the county. Irhke proposed four different options. She emphasized an option where the county would continue to allocate the same funds to the five community libraries, but it would require rural residents to pay an additional user fee if they wish to use such electronic materials at their local library.
Irhke says under the proposal, rural library patrons would have the choice to participate in the additional fee for the use of electronic devices.
The Le Mars city council member says the other libraries within Plymouth County may not be experiencing the same concern. She thinks rural residents may turn to one of the other community libraries for usage of electronic materials.
The supervisors requested a meeting with both the city and library representatives to find a solution to the financial disparity.
City Council Learn About Drug Court
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council heard a report from Don Nore, the executive director of the Plymouth County Drug Court during Tuesday's proceedings. The city of Le Mars assists with the funding of the drug court. Nore says the county drug court is a community program rather than a judicial program.
Nore advised the city council that for many clients attending the county drug court they have never had the accountability factor. Nore says between eight and ten adult individuals attend the weekly drug court. Nore says the community would like to think it doesn't have a drug problem, but he says Le Mars is no different than other towns. More than 160 individuals have volunteered for the program since its inception six years ago. He says the program is set up for the individuals to help themselves out of the drug addiction problem.
Nore told the city council that it takes about a year to fully complete the program.
Former Montana Governor Believes He Can Connect With Iowa Voters
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Former Democratic Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer isn't saying if he'll run for president in 2016. But if he does, he thinks he can connect with voters in Iowa.
Schweitzer served as governor from 2005 through early 2013. He is set to visit the early voting state of Iowa on Wednesday to speak to a liberal advocacy group. While the popular ex-governor has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, he says he has not yet made any decisions about running.
Visits to Iowa from Democratic presidential hopefuls have been sparse this year, with many apparently watching to see whether former Sen. Hillary Clinton decides to run. But Iowa Democrats say that even if Clinton runs, voters here will want to consider all their options.
Investigation Delayed For Woodbury County Supervisor Accused Of Aggrevated Assault
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office is delaying an internal investigation into whether a county jail guard should lose his job over a report of domestic assault.
Sheriff Dave Drew told the Sioux City Journal on Tuesday that he's awaiting the return of a key office leader to begin the investigation into 43-year-old David Tripp. Drew says he expects the internal investigation to begin Thursday and finish by Friday. Drew previously said the investigation would start Monday.
Tripp has been charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault after an alleged confrontation with his wife on Saturday at their Sioux City home where he reportedly fired a gun into the air. No one was injured.
Tripp, who is also an elected county supervisor, did not attend the County Board's regular meeting Tuesday.
Honey Creek Resort Still Losing Money
RATHBUN LAKE, Iowa (AP) - The Honey Creek Resort State Park in southern Iowa still has a deficit but is chipping away at the problem.
The resort on Rathbun Lake near Centerville reported about $6 million in revenues and about $5.8 million in expenses during the fiscal year that ended June 30.
The state auditor's office says the resort still had a deficit of about $165,000 because of a deficit from the year before.
The resort has struggled financially since it opened in September 2008 but appears to be making progress.
The more than $6 million in operating revenue included $3.3 million from lodging, $1.6 million from restaurant and banquet operations and $666,183 from golf course operations.
Council Bluffs Woman After School Shooting Comment
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - The mother of a Council Bluffs high school student has been arrested for a Facebook post that made reference to a school shooting, but the woman's attorney says she was simply venting frustration that her son is being bullied at school.
Police say 39-year-old Teri Pallat was arrested Monday on suspicion of making terroristic threats and first-degree harassment. Her arrest came after she posted a message on her Facebook page that said "this is exactly why" school shootings happen.
Pallat's attorney, Michael Murphy, tells Omaha television station KETV that Pallat's son has been the target of bullying and at least one assault at school, and that school officials have done nothing to stop it.
Lewis Central High School Principal Joel Beyenhof says the school looks into every bullying accusation.