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Tuesday Afternoon News, June 16

Ernst Votes Against Bill To Have Military Commanders Not Dealing With Sexual Assault Cases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Sen. Joni Ernst has voted against a measure that would leave military commanders out of the decision to prosecute sexual assault cases in the military. 
The vote on the defense policy bill amendment came Tuesday. Sponsor Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, believes recent reforms have not been enough to improve the way sexual assault cases are handled by the military. 
While the vote was 50 to 49 in favor, the amendment needed 60 votes to pass. 
Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard, said during her campaign that she would work with Gillibrand on this issue. 
In a statement, Ernst said more time is needed to see how recent reforms are working. She said she would continue to work on this with Gillibrand and others.

 

 

 

 

USDA Monthly Poultry Report Shows Lower Prices For Chicken Meat, But Higher Egg Prices

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bird flu outbreak in the Midwest has actually resulted in cheaper chicken meat in the U.S. because exports have been restricted, leaving a plentiful domestic supply.
In a monthly poultry market report published Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says importers halted shipments even though chickens remain unaffected by bird flu. Wholesale prices in the Northeast are 32 percent lower than a year earlier. Drumsticks are down 33 percent. 
The bird flu outbreak did cause egg prices to increase.
Egg prices more than doubled from pre-bird flu prices but in recent days have fallen. Roasting turkey prices are 3 percent higher than a year ago and may increase a little more toward Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

Wright County Has Another Bird Flu Case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - After a six-day break with no new bird flu cases, the Iowa Department of Agriculture says another egg-laying chicken farm has tested positive.
A farm in Wright County with 1 million chickens has experienced increased deaths among the flock and a preliminary test indicates the presence of the bird flu virus.
The frequency of new cases has slowed dramatically with no new cases in Minnesota in 11 days. Iowa's last reported case was June 9. The bird flu has cost Minnesota, the leading turkey producer, 9 million birds. Egg farms in Iowa, the nation's leading producer, have lost over 25 million laying hens. 
State officials say all 76 previously affected farms have removed the 32 million birds that already died or were euthanized. Disposal of the dead birds continues.

 

 

 

 

Auditor's Investigation Shows City Of Garwin Has $500,000 In Unsupported Spending

GARWIN, Iowa (AP) - An investigation by the state auditor has found more than $500,000 in improper and unsupported spending by the eastern Iowa city of Garwin.
Auditor Mary Mosiman announced Tuesday that an audit requested by city officials found $562,089 of improper and unsupported spending. That includes 203 payments traced by credit card statements to former City Clerk Anna Lori Leytham.
Payments on those credit card accounts date from December 2000 to September 2013.
Mosiman says there likely were additional payments but records before Jan. 1, 2001, weren't available.
Mosiman noted other improper payments, including $145,224 that Leytham issued to herself.
The auditor's report was forwarded to state authorities and the Tama County Attorney's Office.

 

 

 

 

Two Additional Workers At Sioux City Waste Water Plant Are Dismissed

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two workers at Sioux City's wastewater treatment plant are no longer employed by the city. 
Human Resources Director Bridey Hayes confirmed to KTIV-TV that superintendent Jay Niday and operations supervisor Pat Schwarte no longer work for the city. Hayes said she couldn't comment further about their departure. 
Attempts to contact Niday by the Sioux City Journal weren't immediately successful. An email seeking comment from Schwarte was left Tuesday. 
It's unclear if the employees' departure is connected to an ongoing investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 
The agency is investigating whether an employee changed chlorine levels in wastewater samples to meet standards outlined in a state-issued permit that allows treated wastewater to be discharged into the Missouri River.
City officials have said they are cooperating with the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


 


   

Tuesday News, June 16

Supervisors To Again Discuss Sheriff's Deputies Salaries

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the county courthouse board room.  The supervisors will again discuss the issue regarding the county's sheriff's deputies salaries, and the county attorney deputy's salary. It is expected the county board will approve the contract for D.A. Davidson.  The supervisors will hear a report from Meagan Weaver, the housing director for SIMPCO.  Weaver will share with the supervisors information concerning the housing trust fund.  County engineer, Tom Rohe will also appear before the county supervisors to have a contract signed and approved with Fort Dodge Asphalt Company for asphalt work to be conducted within the county.

 

 

 

BoDean's Seeking Financial Assistance From City To Help With Expansion

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to meet at noon today at the City Hall Council chambers.  There are only two action items on the city council's agenda.  BoDeans Cone Company is proposing expansion of its business operations and intend to create additional jobs in Le Mars.  BoDeans is pursuing financial assistance for a portion of the costs for the project, and as such, is requesting approval from the city to submit applications to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for funding through the High Quality Jobs Program.  The tax abatement amounts to $246,280 over a five-year period.

 

 

 

City Of Le Mars Releases Waste Program Numbers

(Le Mars) -- City officials are releasing the figures from last week's city wide amnesty clean up, along with the appliance and tire disposal program.  229 residences took advanage of the city amnesty program at the landfill and disposed of 117,980 pounds of unwanted trash.  That number is lower than last year's figures when 333 households disposed of 132,000 pounds of trash.  This year's spring clean up had the fewest number of households participating and the lowest amount of trash to be deposited to the landfill during the past five years of the program.  In addition, the recycletronics program collected only 7,280 pounds which compares to last year's program when only 5,000 pounds of old electronics were collected.  As for the appliance and tire drop off program, only 54 people participated which was the fewest during the last five years.  48 tires were thrown away, 27 dehumidifiers, 7 washers/dryers and dishwashers were disposed, 22 stoves and refrigerators were deposited to the city collection, and 14 old microwaves were thrown away.

 

 

 

 

Fire Department To Hold Grain Flow Rescue Training

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department will be conducting a training seminar Wednesday evening simulating a person caught in a flowing grain accident.  The training will take place at the Le Mars Agri-Center grain elevator facilities located at 201 1st Avenue southwest.  A company from Minnesota will assist with the training session.   A semi-trailer will be filled with corn and a person submerged so that training can be conducted with grain bin rescue equipment.   This equipment will then be donated to the Le Mars Fire-Rescue Department by this group from Minnesota.

 

 

 

Lunch And Learn To Focus On Drug Endangered Children

(Le Mars) -- During today's Lunch and Learn session to be held over the lunch hour at the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor, participants will hear about drug endangered children.  Mary Buhman and Anitra Delutri will be the featured speakers.  The cost of the program is $15 and you will need to contact the Chamber office at 546-8821 to make reservations.

 

 

 

St. Joseph And Gehlen All School Family Reunion Plans Are Progressing

(Le Mars) -- Plans are coming together for the St. Joseph and Gehlen Catholic All School Family Reunion scheduled for this Friday and Saturday.  Mike Dreckman serves as the chair for the event.  He says the reunion is to acknowledge and pay tribute to the catholic education that has been a part of Le Mars history.

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Dreckman says more than 500 people have registered for Friday evening's festivities, which far exceeded his expectations.

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The St. Joseph's-Gehlen High School Reunion continues through Saturday with several events, beginning with a golf tournament at the Willow Creek Golf Course.

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The Gehlen Family Reunion chair says there are plans for Saturday evening that include a  banquet by Timmy's Catering that will start at 6:00 p.m. along with a program that should prove to be fun for the attendees.

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Dreckman says following the banquet and program, alumni of Gehlen and St. Joseph's can participate in a dance at the Le Mars Convention Center.

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Dreckman says you can still register for the events by Thursday. He says the reunion is open to anyone, regardless whether you graduated from Gehlen or St. Joseph's schools.  He says if you attended either school, or have a connection to either school, you are welcomed to attend the activities.

 

 

 

Chamber Agriculture Committee To Again Host Round Barn Agriculture Education Exhibit

(Le Mars) – The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Committee is again working with the Plymouth County Fair Board to host an agricultural education exhibit at the famous Round Barn located on the Plymouth County Fairgrounds, during the dates of the fair, July 29th through August 2nd.

“This is the second year the Chamber Agriculture Committee will host “A Round the Farm in the Barn”, said Paul Jacobson, chairman of the Le Mars Chamber Agricultural Committee.  “Last year’s inaugural exhibit was well received, with thousands of visitors viewing the exhibit, and we anticipate even more interest with this year’s display.”
“The Chamber Agriculture Committee intends to feature even more “hands-on” interactive displays, from which attendees will learn even more about the importance of agriculture, and specifically about Plymouth County agriculture,” said Jacobson.

“In addition to showcasing the various commodities that are either grown or raised here in Plymouth County, this year’s exhibit will focus on conservation and farm safety,” said Jacobson.  “The Chamber Agriculture Committee intends to offer attendees the opportunity to write a message on a large photo to “thank a farmer” and also suggest a farm safety “message.”

Attendees will again be able to tour both floors of the famous Round Barn to see exhibits.  The Chamber Agriculture Committee will also feature several display boards that will show the production of ice cream, as well as, the lifecycle of beef cattle and hogs.

 

 

 

Sioux City Waste Water Manager Dismissed

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - City officials say the superintendent of Sioux City's wastewater treatment plant is no longer employed by the city.
Sioux City media outlets report city officials declined to say if Jay Niday's termination is connected to an ongoing investigation by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The department is investigating whether an employee changed chlorine levels in wastewater samples to meet standards outlined in a state-issued permit that allows treated wastewater to be discharged into the Missouri River.
City Attorney Nicole Jensen said a complaint about the wastewater was sent to the city's legal department. City officials have said they are cooperating with the state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Jensen says the city is conducting an independent investigation.

 

 

 

 

Appeals Court Upholds Restrictions For Overnight Protesting At State Capitol Building

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - In a free speech ruling, an appeals court has upheld restrictions on the public's ability to protest overnight on the Iowa Capitol grounds.
Attorney Sally Frank said Monday the decision was a blow for free speech and assembly, pledging an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court.
Frank represents Basil Hill, one of two dozen Occupy Iowa protesters arrested for trespassing in 2011 for staying on the Capitol grounds after an 11 p.m. closing time. To hold protests overnight, groups need advanced permission from the Department of Administrative Services.
Frank argued protesters' free speech rights should trump the restrictions. She noted that protesters cannot get permits during the weekend, which doesn't allow for spontaneous gatherings.
The Iowa Court of Appeals last week upheld the limits, saying they were reasonable and content-neutral.

 

 

 

Authorities Find Body In River

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have identified a body found in the Des Moines River.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office says the body of 32-year-old Bobby Lee Long was spotted floating in the Des Moines River on Friday. He was pulled from the river in Yellow Banks Park just southeast of Pleasant Hill.
Additional information about Long's death was not released.
Authorities have been investigating a separate report earlier this month of a man seen in the Des Moines River yelling for help. The person was never found. Authorities say they're investigating whether Long was that man.

 

 

 

Man That Cut Off GPS Device Is Arrested

WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) - A man accused of cutting off a GPS monitoring device on his ankle has been arrested in northeast Iowa.
The Allamakee County Sheriff's Office says 30-year-old Tom Cannon, of West Union, was taken into custody Monday afternoon without incident. He was found in a house trailer.
Authorities say Cannon had been scheduled to report to a county jail Monday for a sentence related to a sexual abuse charge. He failed to show up, and he is accused of cutting off a GPS monitoring device on his ankle.
Cannon has been taken to the Fayette County Jail. It's unclear if he will face additional charges. Court records do not list an attorney.





 

 

 



   

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