Saturday, May 28, 2016
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Fire Destroys Interior of LeMars Home

(LeMars) -- The LeMars Fire Department responded to a house fire Tuesday afternoon at 510 4th Street SE.  The house is owned by Betty Kommes, and is a single story ranch style home.  Upon arrival, fire officials witnessed heavy smoke showing from sveral attic vents and the first floor windows.  Firefighters made an agrressive interior attack on the fire entering through a single stall attached garage.  Fire officials entered the attic of the home in the garage and were met by heavy heat and fire.  Fire fighters slowed the fire in the attic and then entered the main floor of the home through a walk-in door in the garage that leads to the kitchen.  Fire fighters were able to extinguish the flames in the kitchen.  The home received smoke damage throughout the structure and heavy fire damage in the kitchen and the attic.  The LeMars Fire Department were on the scene for three hours.  An investigation into the origin and cause of the fire determined to be in the kitchen of the home on the main floor. The cause was accidental and it was determined the stove was left on and ignited some combustibles.  The fire spread from the top of the stove and into the attic of the home above the kitchen.  The fire was reported by a neighbor as Kommes was not home at the time.  There were no injuries.  Damage is estimated to be over $90,000.

(Merrill) -- The Iowa Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting on Tuesday, November 29th to discuss the proposed improvement of U-S Highway 75 through Merrill from the Burlington-Northern Railroad property north to the West Branch of the Floyd River.  The public is invited to attend the meeting anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. at the Merrill City hall at 608 Main Street.  The public information meeting will be conducted utilizing an open forum format.  No formal presentation will be made.  Iowa Department of Transportation officials will be on hand to discuss the project informally.

(LeMars) -- Democratic contender for the new Iowa Fourth Congressional District, Christie Vilsack is scheduled to be in LeMars today for an economic tour.  Vilsack is seeking the Congressional seat now held by Republican Steve King. 

(LeMars) -- Congressman Steve King has announced that he will hold a town hall meeting scheduled for Monday, November 21st.  The town hall meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Good Samaritan Society LeMars Senior Care Center.  The event is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.  The Good Samaritan Society of LeMars is located at 1140 Lincoln Street Northeast on Highway 3 east.

(LeMars) -- LeMars city officials have announced that city hall and all city offices will be closed on Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.


(LeMars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital is teaming up with Joba's to present "Jingle With Joba's".  The event is scheduled for Thursday, November 17th at 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  The  holiday season can be a stressful time when it comes to decorating.  You can learn fast and easy tips to transform your home from season to season.  Experts will teach tips for creating personalized gift baskets, holiday and everyday home decor, and great gift ideas.  You can enjoy warm cider and gourmet holiday treats while learning some great holiday decorating ideas.


(LeMars) -- The LeMars Community School District has announced its employee of the month.  This month the honor goes to Bev Heemstra.  Heemstra is a teacher associate at Clark Elementary.  Heemstra has worked with the LeMars Community School District for eight years. Tonya Schroeder submitted the nomination.  Schroeder writes: "Bev has been one of educational assistants in the preschool room for almost 8 years.  Her loyality and dedication to the pre-schoolers, as well as to me, the head teacher, is above and beyond what you would expect from an educational assistant.  She always tries to keep a positive attitude and does what is in the best interest of the students with the many changes the pre-school room has undergone.  Bev has always wanted to know what she can do to make things run smoothly.  She stays on top of the changes and voluntarily sees work and completes it on her own.  Bev is a hard working, dedicated, compassionate worker, who is an amazing co-worker and friend.  Congratulations to Bev Heemstra as being selected the School District Employee of the Month.




School Board hears about construcion update

(LeMars) -- Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann made a campaign stop in LeMars yesterday afternoon. Bachmann spoke to a group of about 40 people and told them she is the only candidate that knows and understands the Health Care bill, and if elected, Bachmann would repeal the Health Care Bill. She says America is in need of an energy policy that would take us away from foreign oil imports. She also is in favor of the contruction of a wall at the southern border, and to implement the rules for immigration. Bachmann also said she would abolish the present tax code, in favor of a more "fair" tax code in which everyone would have to pay some type of taxes, no matter how poor the person.

(LeMars) -- The LeMars School Board met last evening and they heard reports from each of the district's principals talk about the recent parent-teacher conferences.  Although the elementary schools reported a high percentage of parents visiting with teachers, with the number in the 90 percentile mark, the middle school and high school reported far less participation with a 64 percent rate of parent participation.  The report bothered Board Member Patrick Murphy who questioned the principals as to what is being done to increase the parent participation?  The principals reported they are working with teachers to follow up with the parents with phone calls, and email messages. Murphy asked the other Board members that the issue needs to be given some priority status, and a plan needs to be developed in order to reach additional parents with regard to students' education.  In other business, Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt gave a report about the progress of the Phase II construction project.  Wendt reported the project is on schedule with most of the exterior work completed.  The cost of the project is a little more than $7.5 million dollars, in which $4.6 million has been allocated.  The board also appointed Mark Hemmingson and Dr. Mark Stelzer as the lead negotiators for the upcoming contract talks, with Scott Komes as the alternate. 

(LeMars) -- Melody Orris, the front desk receptionist at LeMars Physical Therapy was given the honors yesterday of being named the LeMars Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.  Orris has been employed with Phyisical Therapy since September of 2007.

(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are expected to certify the recent city elections that were held last week, during their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday morning.  They will also hear an update regarding the progress status of road construction projects from County Engineer, Tom Rohe. 



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