Saturday, March 28, 2015
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Thursday News, March 12

Restoration Of Downtown Buildings Begins

(Le Mars) -- The restoration of downtown Le Mars historical buildings is now under way.  Crews from Renaissance Restoration of Galena, Illinois were seen working on the Property Pros building on Wednesday.  It is all part of the one million dollar CDBG grant project to help restore the facades of downtown Le Mars.  Nearly 40 downtown buildings will be having a face lift.



Museum Receives Wells Dairy Wagon For Exhibit

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Historical Museum received a new exhibit on Wednesday afternoon from  Well's Enterprises and the Wells Family.  Museum exhibit manager Mary Holub explains.

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Holub says the dairy wagon buggy and horse were originally on loan for a display at the Sioux City museum.  She says it will now forever make its home at the Plymouth County Historical Museum.

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The dairy wagon is on display as part of the Transportation and Power exhibit featured in the basement of the Plymouth County Historical Museum.


Sioux County Authorities Investigate Semi Truck Rollover Accident

(Orange City) -- The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a semi truck and trailer accident that occurred on Highway 60 about one mile southeast of Hospers, Tuesday evening.  The accident happened at about 8:15 p.m.
Clint La Rock, age 47, of Sparta, Wisconsin was driving a 2010 Freightliner southbound on Highway 60 when he lost control of his semi on the shoulder of the road causing the semi to overturn onto its side. No injuries were reported.
The semi sustained $85,000, damage. The cargo, which was stone slab countertops, were a total loss estimated at $240,000.
La Rock was cited for failure to maintain control.  The Sheriff’s Office was assisted on scene by Hospers Fire, Rescue and Ambulance teams along with the Iowa State Patrol.


Man Pleads Guilty To Helping Shooting Suspect Flee

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty to helping a man flee Sioux City hours after he shot a police officer.
Ingmar Hernandez of South Sioux City was accused of driving Jamal Dean out of Sioux City after he shot officer Kevin McCormick during a traffic stop in 2013. 
Hernandez pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by obstructing or interfering with governmental functions. He is the sixth of eight people to plead guilty in helping Dean escape Sioux City. 
Twenty-three-year-old Dean was arrested in Texas and has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in the shooting.

Senate Passes Bill That Saves Mental Health Institutes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Senate has passed a bill that would go against Gov. Terry's Branstad's plans to close two state mental health facilities in Iowa.
The Senate voted 29-19 Wednesday to pass a bill that would require the state Department of Human Services to develop a comprehensive plan before it can close the state mental health facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. The Senate also voted 32-18 on another bill that would ensure the facilities remain open through the end of June.
There's some Republican support for the bills, but it's unclear if it's enough to get them passed in both chambers. 
Branstad's budget proposal removes funding for two of the four state mental health facilities in Iowa. Branstad calls the facilities outdated and says patients could receive more efficient treatment elsewhere.


Iowa Senate Approves Plan To Expand Medical Marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An effort to expand access to medical marijuana in Iowa has won preliminary approval in the Iowa Senate.
A subcommittee reviewed the proposed legislation Wednesday. The bill would make medical marijuana available to people with a number of chronic diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Those approved by a doctor would then purchase marijuana products produced in Iowa at state-run dispensaries.
Last year, the Legislature approved a law that allows some residents with epilepsy to use oil with an ingredient derived from marijuana for treatment. But the law did not establish an in-state program for the production and distribution of the oil. Critics say that as a result, the law is effectively useless.






Wednesday Afternoon News, March 11

"Pizza With A Purpose" Benefit Proves Successful

(Le Mars) -- The tally has been calculated from Sunday's "Pizza For A Purpose" benefit for Kylie Hayworth and Turner Manly.  Carol Garvin of the All Saints Parish St. Joseph Catholic Church assisted with the organizing of the benefit, and says the community responded well to the benefit.

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Garvin says many people purchased bake sale items and participated in the raffle. She says several businesses from Le Mars, Sioux City, and South Sioux City donated items, and she says the families are appreciative to the community's support.

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Onawa Administrator Placed On Probation

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - The city administrator in a western Iowa town has been placed on probation after pleading guilty to assaulting his teenage son.
     45-year-old Bradley Hanson, city administrator in Onawa, Iowa, entered his plea Tuesday to one count of misdemeanor assault. Hanson was given probation for one year, a $100 fine and an order to complete at least 10 hours of counseling.
     A criminal complaint with the Monona County Sheriff's Office says Hanson slapped his 15-year-old son, who slapped him back. Hanson then took him to the ground and slammed his head into the floor.
     Records show Hanson's wife called police as the altercation occurred.
     Hanson remains employed with the city.


Nine Counties To Receive Grant For Affordable Housing

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa board has awarded more than $83.7 million to nine counties to support the construction and preservation of affordable housing units around the state.
     The Iowa Finance Authority on Wednesday announced the grants for Appanoose, Clay, Dallas, Lee, Linn, Polk, Scott, Sioux and Union counties. The awards, which include tax credits over 10 years and direct funding, are expected to help build and maintain 523 units.
     Board director Dave Jamison says the projects will provide Iowans with affordable living options and improve their quality of life.
     The projects receiving financial support include eight complexes meant for seniors and five for families.


Branstad Appoints Sioux City Student To Board Of Regents

 CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has appointed a student from the University of Northern Iowa to the state Board of Regents.
     UNI on Wednesday announced the appointment of Rachael Johnson as the regents' student member. Johnson, a freshman education major from Sioux City, will serve as the voice of students attending the state's three public universities.
     Johnson graduated from Sioux City North High School, and currently serves on student government at UNI. She will assume full responsibilities of membership for the board, including attending meetings, serving on committees and voting.
     Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers says the governor believes Johnson "will be an exceptional addition to the board."
     Johnson is slated to begin her term on May 1, pending approval from the Iowa Senate.


Branstad Selects New Chair For State Utilities Board

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has appointed a new chair of the Iowa Utilities Board, weeks after a decision drew opposition from the state's largest energy company.
     Branstad appointed Iowa Finance Authority official Geri Huser as chair effective April 30.
     Huser will replace Sheila Tipton on the three-member board. The shakeup demotes the panel's four-year chair, Elizabeth Jacobs.
     MidAmerican executives met Feb. 9 with Branstad to criticize the board's February decision ordering the company to return $2 million more annually to customers in a wind project. A spokesman says the company didn't lobby for personnel changes but supports them.
     Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers says the governor has been impressed with Huser's career.
     The changes come as the board considers two high-profile projects: a wind energy transmission line and an oil pipeline.





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