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Monday News, November 30

Le Mars Can Expect Another Heavy Snow Storm

(Le Mars) -- Once again, heavy snow is in the forecast for Plymouth County with a winter storm warning issued for the area until Wednesday at midnight.  So, how does this predicted storm compare to the snow storm that dumped at least ten inches of snow on Le Mars, a week before Thanksgiving?  National Weather Services meteorologist Todd Heitkamp of Sioux Falls says this storm may not produce quite as much snow.

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Stay tuned to KLEM for all the cancellations and postponements as a result of the storm.  We can tell you that Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic are running two hours late start, Remsen Union and Remsen St. Mary's is also two hour late, as is Marcus-Merriden-Cleghorn. There is no school today for Kingsley-Pierson school district.




Two Vehicles Collide On Sunday Morning

(Le Mars) -- A two-vehicle accident occurred Sunday morning at about 11:00 a.m. at the intersection of Plymouth Street (Highway 3) and 5th Avenue (Business Highway 75), near Bob's Drive In.  The vehicles had a "t-bone" collision with impact at the side of the driver's door for one vehicle. The accident caused air bags in both cars to be deployed.  The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to the accident scene and had to use the "Jaws of Life" to help extricate the driver from one of the cars.  The driver of the other vehicle was able to free herself from the accident.  The Le Mars Ambulance Service also responded to the scene and transported one of the accident victims to the Floyd Valley Hospital.  The Le Mars Police is investigating the accident.




Sheriffs Get Ready For Wave Of Gun Permit Renewals

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Nearly five years after Iowa residents flocked to sheriff's offices in a rush to obtain firearm permits, sheriffs are bracing for a wave of renewals.
The initial spike in 2011 came after the Iowa Legislature changed the state's permitting law from "may issue" to "shall issue," giving law enforcement less discretion over who can receive a permit.
The number of permits issued in Iowa skyrocketed after the change was made, from roughly 39,000 non-professional permits issued in 2010 to more than 101,000 in 2011. The number of permits issued has remained high ever since, but nowhere near the number issued in 2011.
Gun store owners say the law change helped improve sales.





Heroin Use On The Rise In Iowa


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's crackdown on prescription painkillers is pushing more abusers to heroin, spurring a deadly new wave of addictions that experts say has reached epidemic proportions.
Although heroin still lags far behind marijuana, methamphetamine and painkillers as Iowa's drug of choice, its use is climbing quickly - with deadly results.
Experts say the heroin epidemic, which is a growing problem nationwide, is largely spurred by people who first become addicted to prescribed opiate pain medication. As the pills become more expensive and harder to obtain, people move on to heroin, which is cheaper and provides a more potent high.
Mike Polich of United Community Services in Des Moines says heroin is coming to the city from places like Chicago, Omaha and Texas.





Area Education Agency Executive To Oversee School Dissolvent

FARRAGUT, Iowa (AP) - A southwest Iowa school district that was dissolved now has to close its books, settle its liabilities and dispose of property such as desks and buildings.
Lane Plugge, a former Iowa City schools superintendent, is overseeing the process.
Plugge is charged with oversight as part of his role as the chief administrator of the Green Hills Area Education Agency. State law gives him the authority to approve financial and personnel decisions, taking the power away from the local school board.
The Iowa Board of Education voted to close the Farragut School District earlier this month after officials said it was operating with a negative financial balance and sub-minimal education standards.





Iowa Cookie Crumbs Makes Cookies For U-S Troops

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Nearly 31,000 cookies packed in nearly 2,100 boxes have already been packed, sent and, in some cases, eaten.
The volunteer group since 2007 has been sending home-baked cookies to U.S. troops overseas.
On Nov. 10 at Emanuel Lutheran Church, more than 60 volunteers helped pack the boxes. Since its founding in 2007, Iowa Cookie Crumbs more than 928,000 cookies have been sent to the troops.
Along with cookies, the organization also sends comfort items such as games, blank holiday cards, 2016 calendars, personal hygiene products and an assortment of snacks, drink mixes and candy. 
The Iowa Cookie Crumbs is part of the national Treat the Troops organization and is funded by donations.





Saturday Afternoon News, November 28

Merrill And Le Mars Fire Departments Respond To A Fire Started By A Heater

(Merrill) -- An oil burning heater was responsible for starting a fire at a metal building located on the south side of Merrill this morning.  Both the Merrill and the Le Mars Fire Departments responded to the call reported at 9:00 a.m. at 231 Highway 75 south.  Merrill Fire Chief Jacob Conley says fortunately, fire fighters were able to contain and extinguish the fire fairly quickly.  Conley says the heater was too close to the building's insulation which caught on fire.  The Merrill fire chief says an area on the wall measuring about five feet by five feet was all that had burned. There were no injuries with the fire, and fire fighters left the scene within an hour.





Santa Claus Arrives In Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- Santa Claus arrived in Le Mars this morning, and instead of riding his sleigh being pulled by his reindeer, he came into town compliments of the Le Mars Fire Department riding in the big red fire truck.  Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper assisted Santa out of the fire truck, helping with his bag, but Schipper had to leave Santa behind as the Le Mars Fire Department was called to a fire in Merrill.  Santa settled at the Piece of Cake where he had the opportunity to listen to the children's wishes for Christmas.  A five year old red-headed girl named Sheila was the first to greet the jolly old elf.  She wanted to make certain she would be first in line to tell Santa Claus what she wanted for Christmas.  When Santa asked Sheila if she has been a good girl, the young, bright-eyed child paused a few moments to contemplate her answer.  With some hesitancy in her voice, Sheila then informed Santa Claus that yes, she has been a good girl...most of the time.  Santa placed himself on a nice, comfortable, big easy chair, and then invited Sheila on his lap and asked the girl what she would like for Christmas.  Sheila's answer was short.  She said she would like to have some "Lincoln Logs".  Santa Claus informed the five-year old that he thought he had some "Lincoln Logs" ready at the North Pole.   Before departing from Santa's lap, Sheila also told Santa Claus that she would also like to have the internet.  Sheila must have thought Santa Claus was warm and wanted to make him feel comfortable, as she proceeded to take off his famous red stocking cap.  Children visiting Santa Claus also had the opportunity to create their own "Christmas cookies" complete with frosting, and various types of candies to highlight the sugar cookie.





Floyd Valley Model Railroad Club To Hold Open House At Museum

(Le Mars) -- People who have an interest in railroads and particularly model railroads will want to visit the Plymouth County Historical Museum this weekend for the Floyd Valley Model Railroad open house.  John Scheinder serves as the vice president of the organization.  He says he first got interested in model railroads sets after his father talked about a railroad that passed by near his boyhood home.

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Scheinder says there are various types and sizes of model railroads with the H-O series as the most popular.  Scheinder says anyone can set up a model railroad set with a person's imagination and creativity being the only limitations, providing they have adequate space for the model railroad.

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Scheinder says the model railroad in the museum's basement is set up to showcase the actual railroads that pass through Plymouth County.

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Scheinder says the Hinton grain elevator, along with the ethanol facility at Merrill are featured on the display, as well as the Le Mars industrial park with Bo-Deans, IML Containers, and the Le Mars Public Storage.  The model railroad open house is scheduled for both today and Sunday and will begin at 1:00 p.m. and continue through 5:00 p.m.




Democratic Senators Share Concern About Governor Branstad's Plan To Privatize Medicare


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two state lawmakers are raising concerns about Gov. Terry Branstad's plans to continue to shift Iowa's Medicaid operation to private management, after a judge recommended that the state throw out one of four contracts awarded to companies to run the program. 
Administrative Law Judge Christie Scase recommended Wednesday that Iowa reverse its contract with Florida-based WellCare. Branstad spokesman Ben Hammes said the decision allows the privatization plans to move forward. 
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1Hv87xK ) that Democratic Sen. Amanda Ragan, of Mason City, says it is time to "take a breath." Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen, of Des Moines, also raised concerns.  
Department of Human Services spokeswoman Amy Lorentzen McCoy said Friday the agency is reviewing Scase's recommendation. 
Iowa's Medicaid program is set to move to private managers in January.




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