Friday, May 27, 2016
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County Compensation Board To Meet

(LeMars) -- Plymouth County elected employees will get some idea as to whether or not salary increases will occur for next year.  This afternoon the Plymouth County Compensation Board will meet for the second time to review and discuss county employees' salaries.  They will then offer their suggestions to the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors for when the supervisors start the process of establishing a budget for next fiscal year.  Craig Bauerly seerves as the chairman for the Compensation Board, and explains what will take place during this afternoon's meeting.

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That meeting will start at 3:00 p.m. and will be held at the Plymouth County Courthouse at the Board of Supervisors meeting chambers. 


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Families in western Iowa's Mills County who were affected by this year's flooding along the Missouri River may be able to get as much as $1,000 from the American Red Cross.
   The Loess Hills Chapter of the Red Cross is offering the money to flood victims.
     Julie Chavez says she hopes her family will qualify for the Red Cross money because they were unable to get help from FEMA.
     Chavez says her family's home was surrounded by floodwaters in June, causing thousands of dollars of damage.
     The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released massive amounts of water from the dams along the Missouri River this year to deal with heavy rains and above-average snowmelt, causing record flooding in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri.


 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a Wright County man convicted of second-degree murder in a 1996 shooting, ruling prosecutors improperly suppressed a state investigative file.
     Jose Aguilera was found guilty of killing Jesus Garcia, of Rowan, while he was inside a car near a party in Rowan. Aguilera was sentenced to 50 years in prison. It wasn't under 2006 when
defense lawyers received a file containing details of interviews by a state investigator.
     The court ruled Friday the statements would have provided evidence that Aguilera could have used "to bolster his claim of an accidental shooting."
     Defense attorney Marty Elberg says the court recognized that prosecutors can't hold back information. The attorney general's office is reviewing its options.



Constuction Accident at St. Joseph Church

(LeMars) -- A construction accident occured yesterday morning at the new St. Joseph Catholic Church in LeMars.  At about 8:45 a.m. 26 year old James Jensen fell nearly 15 feet from a scaffling platform.  The construction worker sufffered a head injury and was transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital. He was then transported to a Sioux City's Mercy Medical Center. He is listed in good condition.  

(Orange City) -- A farmland sale on Wednesday set a new record for Iowa.  The 74-acre tract in Sioux County sold for $20,000 an acre.  Iowa State University Extension Farm Management Specialist Melissa O'Rourke says she is always asked the question of whether land can go higher and how high will it go?  She says land values can go higher, but as to how high, she says that depends on the circumstances.

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Land values have increased nearly 30 percent over the past year.  O'Rourke says most of the land is being purchased by farmers, although other investors are showing interest in obtaining land.  She says strong commodity prices, including grain and livestock, have helped boost the land prices.  Because of recent years of good farm income, the ISU farm management specialist says many farmers are able to offer cash for the acquired land without additional financing.  O'Rourke says simple economics are at play with the higher land values with a high demand and a low supply.

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Iowa State University will release its annual land values survey on December 14th.


(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista County sheriff's officials have arrested 50 year old Robert Cejka III of Laurens for Theft in the 3rd degree, an aggrevated misdemanor.  Buena Vista investigators had a report of a stolen lawnmower valued at $600.  On December 5th the investigation led to the recovery of the stolen lawn mower.  Following further investigation charges were then filed against Robert Cejka III for the theft of the mower.  Cejka was booked into the Buena Vista County jail on a $2000 bond.

(Sioux City) -- A Lake Park woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine.  Shelle Brooks, age 37, received the prision term after a guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine.  Brooks distributed the meth within 1000 feet of the Harris-Lake Park Elementary School in Lake Park.  She also distributed methamphetamine at a car wash in Sheldon, and a residence in North Sioux City.  Brooks has a felony conviction in Clay County, Iowa for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, and a felony conviction in Emmet County for possession of methamphetamine.

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Farm Bureau members have chosen to replace their current president with a farmer from Warren County.
     Farm Bureau delegates picked current vice president Craig Hill to lead the organization.  Plymouth County Farm Bureau delegate, Todd Popken of Akron says the delegates just felt a change in leadership was in order.

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Hill will replace Brooklyn dairy farmer Craig Lang who had been president since 2002. Hill farms about 1,000 acres and raises swine near Milo.
Lang, who also serves on Iowa's Board of Regents, may have lost support among delegates because of the policies he supported. For instance, a proposal he backed to require conservation practices in
the next farm bill failed to gain support in September. 
     Popken says there were no policy resolutions brought to the convention.  He says Farm Bureau delegates deal with resolutions in the summer.  Popken says the theme to this year's Farm Bureau state convention was "Feeding the World."

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AMANA, Iowa (AP) - Whirlpool Corp. says it plans to add 250 production jobs and recall all laid off workers at its refrigeration plant in Middle Amana.
     The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports the company will add jobs during the first three months of 2012 and recall laid off workers effective January 3rd.
     Whirlpool laid off 50 summer workers and 300 regular workers in July because of lower production demands. The plant makes refrigerators with bottom-mounted freezer compartments.
     Whirlpool announced in October that it plans to close a refrigerator plant in Fort Smith, Arkansas in mid-2012 because of decreasing demand for the side-by-side refrigerator models it produces.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Polk County judge says Governor Terry Branstad's line-item veto of a bill that closed 36 unemployment offices in the state was unconstitutional.
     Branstad in July vetoed portions of a bill prohibiting the closure of the offices. He argued it would have prevented Iowa Workforce Development from developing a more efficient system for
helping the unemployed.
     The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and six House and Senate Democrats filed a lawsuit in August, contending a governor can't redirect money struck through a
line-item veto.
     The Des Moines Register reports Judge Brad McCall ruled Thursday that for Branstad's veto to be valid he must also veto the allocation.
     Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the governor disagreed with the ruling and was considering how to respond.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Regents has given final approval to a 3.75 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students.
     The regents voted 7-1 Thursday to approve the proposal, which raises tuition at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa by $240. Mandatory fees will increase an additional $50 at Iowa and $45 at UNI.
     University officials' caution the increase could be adjusted upward later depending on how much money lawmakers approve for the universities during budget talks next year.
     Regent Bruce Rastetter said university officials worked hard to keep the increase as low as possible and in the range of inflation. He said it was important to let students, parents and lawmakers
know about the increase now.
     Regent Ruth Harkin voted against the tuition increase.







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