Saturday, April 25, 2015
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Thursday News, April 9

Fair Board To Meet This Evening - Fate Of Log Cabin To Be Decided

(Le Mars) -- Tonight, the Plymouth County Fair board is scheduled to meet for its monthly meeting, and the fate of the 115 year old Joy Hollow log cabin will be decided.  The cabin presently is located on the fair grounds. But, the fair board has expressed it either would like to demolish the historical log cabin, or have it moved.  Members of the Plymouth County Historical Museum, known as "Friends of the Joy Hollow Log Cabin" have been collecting money and pledges to help save the cabin.  Some people have expressed an interest in having the cabin remain at the fairgrounds, but utilizing the collected funds to help restore the cabin.  The estimated cost to move the log cabin is about $9,000 and the cost to fully restore the cabin has been estimated at $35,000 although that cost could be lowered with volunteer assistance.  Several area boy scouts have shown interest in restoring the log cabin as an possible Eagle Scout badge project. The fair board is expected to act on the future of the log cabin as to whether they will transfer the ownership and allow it to be moved, or go ahead with its initial plans to tear down the aging structure.




Museum Board Votes To Save The Cabin

Le Mars) -- Meanwhile, The Plymouth County Historical Museum Board has voted to move the old log cabin that once faced demolition to a site at the museum. Grant Hanstein, a director with the Historical Museum explains the vote.

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The museum's board voted Wednesday to move the cabin from the fairgrounds, although as Hanstein says, the fair board will still have the final say on the matter.

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Hanstein says more than $31,000 has already been received in pledges to help move and restore the cabin.  He says that amount is close to the goal the museum had to proceed with the project.

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Mayor Kirchoff Proclaims April To Be "Volunteer Month"

(Le Mars) -- During the Le Mars City Council meeting held on Tuesday, Mayor Dick Kirchoff informed the gathering that April 7th was proclaimed to be "National Mayor's Day".  Kirchoff took the opportunity to officially proclaim April as "Volunteer Month" for the city of Le Mars.  Kirchoff says volunteers of all kinds have helped make the city of Le Mars as wonderful as it can be.  Mayor Kirchoff presented the proclamation to Mary Reynolds of the Le Mars Main Street Organization and Chamber of Commerce.  Reynolds accepted the proclamation on behalf of all Le Mars volunteers.





Meis Named Goldwater Scholar

(Ames) -- An Iowa State University student with ties to Le Mars has been named a 2015 Goldwater Scholar, the nation's premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering.  Catherine Meis, the daughter of David and Linda Meis of Le Mars is a third-year student, majoring in materials engineering with a minor in bio-engineering.  The Goldwater recognizes students

of outstanding potential who intend to pursue careers in research. Meis will graduate in December of 2016.  With a long-time interest in medicine, she wants to pursue a PhD. and research the bio-medical applications of materials.  Meis says she is interested in developing the material building blocks to make medical devices.  Meis has worked in the laboratories of her Iowa State University Honors Program.



Additional Alley Art Now On Display

(Le Mars) -- Additional alley art projects have been erected by city officials.  Mary Reynolds of the Le Mars Main Street Organization says new art pieces with a golf theme have been added to the backside of Hugo's.  Two new dragons that have to be kept behind the barred windows are featured in the alley of the Green Tea Chinese/Japanese restaurant.  Reynolds reports there are new paintings behind the Le Mars Daily Sentinel building, as well as new paintings are featured in the alley behind Northwest Bank and Timmy's Catering.




Sioux City Man Arrested For Having Meth In Basement

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man has been arrested after authorities say they found a meth lab at his home.

Police say the 48-year-old man was arrested on several charges including possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine. They say the man had earlier sold 2 grams of meth to an undercover informant working with Sioux City police.

The suspect is being held in the Woodbury County Jail in lieu of a $20,000 bond. He has a court appearance scheduled for later this month.

During a search of the man's basement, authorities say they found camping fuel, lithium batteries and syringes. They also found 20 grams of meth and 7 grams of marijuana.







Wednesday Afternoon News, April 8

Yockey Honored As Chamber Emploee Of The Month

(Le Mars) -- During this morning's Chamber coffee event held at the American Bank, Chamber officials presented Sharon Yockey the "Chamber Employee of the Month".  Yockey has been an employee with American Bank for 12 years and carries a wealth of knowledge that she shares on a daily basis with the entire bank.  In the nomination of Yockey as submitted by Cassie Madsen, Jenny Kayser, and the operations staff of American Bank, they write, Sharon Yockey serves as the teller supervisor at American Bank.  Sharon's amazing customer service has made her a major asset to the bank.  Many customers have come to recognize and appreciate her friendly personality and know that she will get their business taken care of without fault.  It is this same personality and attitude that her co-workers look to for support and answers on a daily basis.  Sharon has stepped up to be a great leader and role model for her department, demonstrating the importance of going above and beyond within the workplace.  It is this example that she leads by that raises the expectations for the entire bank. Congratulations go to Sharon Yockey for being named this month's Chamber "Employee of the Month".

photo contributed




Property Owners Notice Higher Assessment Values

(Le Mars) -- Property owners of Plymouth County perhaps have noticed recently that their assessed value for their homes have increased.  Plymouth County Assessor, Bob Heyderhoff says the rate has increased between five and ten percent across the county.


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Heyderhoff says each home in Le Mars, and the rural areas have increased by ten percent, but those homes in Remsen, Kingsley, and Akron increased in assessed value by only five percent. Does having a higher assessed value mean taxpayers can expect to pay higher taxes for their property?


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Heyderhoff says the county re-evaluates the value of each property every two years.  He says home owners could probably sell their home at a higher price because of the higher assessed value.  The Plymouth County Assessor says the county decided to conduct the assessment themselves, which probably saved the county some money, and prevented an entire across the board assessment.

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Governor's Brother Entitled To Recover Attorney Fees

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals says Gov. Terry Branstad's brother is entitled to attorneys' fees for successfully challenging the state's calculation of how many fish were killed by pollution from his cattle-farming operation.

Overturning a lower court, the court ruled 3-0 Wednesday that Monroe Branstad is the prevailing party in his battle with the Department of Natural Resources.

Branstad, of Forest City, has acknowledged that sweet-corn silage leached unintentionally discharged from a containment basin on his farm into the Winnebago River in 2008.

The DNR estimated 31,000 fish were killed, and ordered Branstad to pay $62,000 in damages. But a judge later ruled the DNR improperly calculated the fish kill estimate, and damages were reduced to $5,300.

Wednesday's decision means Branstad can be awarded up to $70,000 for attorneys' fees.





Des Moines Man Hit By Train

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a man was taken to a hospital after he was hit by a train in Des Moines.

Medics and other rescue workers were sent to the scene around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

It's unclear why the man was near the tracks when he was struck by the southbound train. His name hasn't been disclosed.





People March For Medical Marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Advocates seeking expanded access to medical marijuana in Iowa held a march at the state Capitol.

More than 50 supporters of a proposal to expand the use of medical marijuana participated Tuesday. They support legislation that has won committee-level approval in the state Senate and could soon come up for a floor vote.

The legislation would make medical marijuana available to people with certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Those approved by a doctor could purchase marijuana products produced in Iowa and sold at state-licensed dispensaries.

Last year, the Legislature approved a law allowing 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.





More Trains To Carry Crude Oil

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The number of trains carrying at least a million gallons of volatile crude oil across Nebraska and Iowa has increased significantly this spring.

BNSF railroad has told emergency management officials in both states that it's now hauling 20 to 30 trains loaded with oil from North Dakota's Bakken region through the area each week on average.

That's up significantly from last summer when federal regulators began requiring railroads to notify state officials about trains carrying at least 1 million gallons of oil.

Railroad shipments of crude oil are facing additional scrutiny and tougher regulations because there have been several fiery derailments involving the commodity in recent years. The worst one happened in July 2013 and killed 47 people in a small Canadian city just across the U.S.-Canada border from Maine.




Shooting Occurs Near Drake University

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One man has been injured in a shooting near Drake University in Des Moines.

The Des Moines Police Department responded to a report of a shooting around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday near 30th and Clark streets, on the northwest corner of Drake University.

A 25-year-old man was taken to Methodist Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his leg and rear. His name and condition haven't been released.

Authorities say they're looking for a gold Honda car in connection with the case. No arrests have been made at this time.





House Approves Gun Legislation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The House has passed legislation that would make sweeping changes to Iowa's gun laws, a vote that drew criticism from some lawmakers.

The House voted 73-25 Wednesday for the bill, which would allow children younger than 14 to use a handgun under a parent's supervision.

The House voted for the changes through another bill earlier in the session, but the Senate failed to take it up for a vote.

The bill Wednesday adds back many of the proposed changes through a separate, more limited gun bill. A provision that would have taken away a de factor three-day waiting period on a permit to acquire a handgun was removed.

Rep. Matt Windschitl says the legislation respects the Second Amendment rights of Iowa residents. Some lawmakers criticized the age limit removal.








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