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Monday Afternoon News, November 10

Amy Lempares Named "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce named its November "Employee of the Month" this morning during the chamber coffee.  Amy Lempares was honored.  Amy is an employee of The Education Station and was nominated by both John McGregor and Lori Dolph.  In their nomination, they say Amy has been an employee for two years, and she has become a very valuable asset to the company in that short period of time.  Amy is able to multi-task and keeps the front counter running smoothly.  She answers dozens of phone calls each day, processes incoming stock and outgoing orders.  She helps customers with questions and is willing to help them find just the right item they are looking for.  Amy is always willing to do anything that is asked of her, from cleaning the store to coming in early and staying late.  She has also volunteered to work on her days off when asked and needed.  The front end of The Education Station would not be the same without Amy.  That is why we feel that she deserves to be recognized as the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce November Employee of the Month.  Our congratulations to Amy Lempares to be honored as the Chamber Employee of the Month.


Highway Patrol Suggests Be Prepared For Winter Driving

(Le Mars) -- Northwest Iowa may see its first snowfall this evening, and officials with the Iowa Highway Patrol are reminding motorists to slow down, drive defensively, and to be aware of the changing road conditions. Trooper Vince Kurtz says many times people forget how to drive after the first snow.

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Kurtz doesn't anticipate tonight's predicted snow to be of heavy accumulation.  Still, he suggests motorists should equip their vehicle with a winter survivor's kit, and to have their vehicle checked by their local mechanic before dangerous winter conditions strikes.

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The Highway Patrol trooper says proper maintenance ahead of time will prevent many headaches and costly bills, and it will allow you to arrive at your destination without being stranded.


USDA Increases Soybean Yield And Decreases Corn Production

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is boosting the size of this year's record soybean crop as farmers in several states report per-acre yields surpassing earlier expectations.
     The corn crop is reduced slightly but will still be a record.
     In Monday's update of this year's crop, the USDA says soybean farmers are now expected to harvest 3.96 billion bushels, up 31 million bushels from the October estimate.
     Fifteen states are expected to report records for the amount of soybeans grown per acre with the average yield at 47.5 bushels per acre.
     The corn crop estimate was lowered slightly to 14.41 billion bushels, down 68 million bushels from the October estimate. Still, 22 states expect record high corn yields.


Dahl's Foods Files For Bankruptcy

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Dahl's Foods Inc. has filed for bankruptcy and has announced its sale to a Kansas grocery organization.
     The Des Moines-based company said in a news release Monday that it filed its petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 protection in Des Moines. It also said it's agreed to be acquired by Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc., of Kansas City, Kansas. 
     Financial details were not disclosed.
     Associated Wholesale Grocers is a member-owned wholesale grocery cooperative serving more than 3,000 retail member stores.
     Dahl's said in August that it would close a West Des Moines store and in May announced closing of stores in Ames and Ankeny.


Woman Meets With Veteran To Learn More About Her Father

 MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman who never knew her father has learned about him from a veteran who'd shared a bunker with her dad.
     The Marshalltown Times-Republican says ( ) Roxanne Goecke was tracked down and contacted by Ron Ziolecki. He and her Marine father, Ross Hartwig, of State Center, had shared a bunker for months before Hartwig died in February 1952, during the Korean War. Goecke was only 6 months old when her father was mortally wounded. 
     Last month Goecke, of Nevada (nuh-VAY'-duh) went to Milwaukee to meet Ziolecki, who says he was repaying a debt he thought he owed his buddy from Iowa. Goecke described the meeting as "pretty emotional."
     She says, though, that "it's not really closure, but just that little thread that connects to somebody that was actually there."






Monday News, November 10

Fire Department Responds To A Tree On Fire

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a tree that caught on fire Sunday afternoon.  The fire was reported at 27354 150th Street at about 3:45 p.m.  The tree was a 109 foot tall Cottonwood with a trunk that was more than six feet in diameter, and believed to be over a hundred years old.  The tree was hollowed out inside and the fire spread through the tree, much like a chimney.  Upon arrival, fire officials could see flames and smoke shooting out of the tree through holes located 50 feet high.  Lazer thermo infrared imaging indicated the fire had spread through most of the tree.  Fire officials were concerned the tree would collapse on to a nearby metal machine shed that contained stored hay bales.  Fire officials requested the assistance of D-K Tree Service of Le Mars to help cut down the tree, before it had a chance to fall.  It is believed the Cottonwood tree caught on fire from a trash fire located near the base of the tree.  Fire officials were also assisted at the scene by North west Rural Electric Cooperative.  Fire officials were on the scene for nearly four hours.


Fire Department Called To Jade Avenue Residence For Smoke Detector Alarm

(Le Mars) -- Within a few minutes after returning to the fire station from that tree fire, fire officials were called to 17743 Jade Avenue regarding smoke detector alarms sounding.  Fire officials were quickly able to determine there was no fire and the alarm was faulty.


Le Mars Community School Board To Meet This Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education are scheduled to meet this evening.  The school board will hear a report from Literacy coach Vicki Borchers and Kluckholn elementary principal Scott Parry as they will present a report regarding the school district's progress in implementing the requirements of the recently enacted Iowa Code that became effective in August.  The report was tabled and held over from the last school board meeting.  Each of the district's principals will offer a report for the school board's review.  The school board will also discuss the upcoming Iowa School Board State Convention that is scheduled to be held in Des Moines, November 19th through the 21st.


Lewis And Clark Rural Water System Hopes Participating States Will Help Finance Project

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Rather than waiting for the U.S. government to fund a Missouri River water pipeline, its developers are seeking temporary loans from Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota to keep it progressing.
     Eleven of the 20 towns and water systems along the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System are connected: 10 in South Dakota, one in Iowa and none in Minnesota.
     South Dakota earlier contributed $1 million toward engineering and design of the Madison connection. The Board of Water and Natural Resources on Thursday recommended another $12.5 million for three related projects.
     In Minnesota, lawmakers approved $22 million this year to connect Luverne and the Rock County Rural Water District.
     And Iowa leaders are putting together a proposal for the next legislative session of $25 million for the line to Sioux Center.


Branstad Says He Will Reveal His Plans For The State During Inaugural Address

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Governor Terry Branstad romped to victory Tuesday, but after a campaign light on policy proposals, it isn't clear how he'll focus his sixth term.
     Compared to his 2010 race, when he pledged to create jobs and reform government, Branstad offered more modest proposals this year, such as a plan to expand Internet access in rural areas. Branstad 's campaign largely touted his recent legislative achievements, including a commercial property tax cut and new education spending.
     Branstad said he would outline more details in his inaugural address and condition of the state speech in January.
     One issue Branstad said he'll focus on is securing more funding for the state's deteriorating bridges and roads. He wants to seek input from lawmakers for a compromise plan.


Grain Trade Delayed Due To Repairs On Mississippi River

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says delays of barge traffic have run about 10 hours since the Corps began closing a three-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from dawn to dusk to reinforce the river bank between Memphis, Tennessee and Greenville, Mississippi.
     The Corps and a spokesman for a trade association - the Waterways Council Incorporated- said Sunday they are discussing the situation daily.
     The Corps said backups of barge traffic that occurred during the first days of the closure were cleared overnight Friday and Saturday. The Corps also said Sunday it has agreed to delay repair work each morning if necessary to accommodate tows that don't clear the work area overnight.
     Still, Waterways Council spokesman Mike Toohey says the delays are costly.


Lead Dust Contamination Detected In Wallace State Office Building

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Testing has identified widespread lead dust contamination on the first two levels of the Wallace State Office Building in Des Moines, which houses 495 state employees.
     The Des Moines Register reports that it learned of the contamination through a state Department of Natural Resources memo it obtained.
     The department says the highest contamination levels were found in and around a former indoor shooting range on the second floor, which had been used by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
     Caleb Hunter, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, says state officials do not believe the contamination poses an immediate health threat to employees who work in the building.
     The building, erected in 1978, has been plagued with structural and mechanical problems for decades.


Fort Dopdge Man Hit In Head By Airborne Bike

 FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities say a man is seriously injured after being struck in the head by an airborne dirt bike while on a track to help a fallen rider. 
     The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says 30-year-old Mitchell Frank of Fort Dodge was injured Sunday afternoon at the Gypsum City Off-Highway Vehicle Park. Authorities say a rider fell off of a bike at the youth track and Frank was trying to help the child and slow down other riders. They say another juvenile rider went over a jump and hit Frank in the head with the peg of the bike. 
     He was taken to an area hospital and later flown to a Des Moines hospital.
     No other injuries were reported.





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