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Wednesday Afternoon News, December 3

Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department Completes Bridge Repair

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced a bridge replacement project located on Hedge Avenune between 150th Street and 160th Street is now completed, allowing the road to be open to public traffic.

 

County Road Construction Projects Will Continue As Long As Weather Cooperates

(Le Mars) -- County road and bridge construction projects may be slowing down, but they haven't stopped according to Tom Rohe, Plymouth County Engineer.  Rohe offered a construction update to the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. 


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Rohe reviews the number of construction projects that were slated for this year.

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Rohe says there will be one bridge repair project that will carry over until next spring. The county engineer says  Plymouth County did not conduct any asphalt overlay or new paving projects for this year, but will do so in the future.

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One bridge repair project located in the northeast section of the county has been continuing since the flood of two years ago, that's when flood waters washed away the bridge. But Rohe says the project, which is being partially funded by FEMA, is finally nearing completion.

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Emily Klingbeil Awarded School District's "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- A teacher that works with special needs students was honored Wednesday as the Le Mars Community School District's "Employee of the Month".  Emily Klingbeil, who answers to "Mrs. K" was presented the honor by school officials.  Klingbeil has been teaching for 13 years.  In the nomination submitted by Mary Baue, she writes of Emily Klingbeil, her role may vary from day to day but, how she meets those challenges, never waivers.  She has a keen sense about what each student needs and will take one activity or goal and make the needed adjustments for each student to be successful while doing that activity.  She has established positive rapport with her students and co-workers.  Mrs. K has students who love being in her class.  They have an abundance of opportunities to practice social skills as well as job related skills every day.  Klingbeil is a key resource to other staff and unselfishly shares her expertise.  When students were asked why they love being in Mrs. K's class, a few of the responses were: "she is so nice to me," "she helps me do my jobs at school and is funny," and "we cook and do neat things."  Mrs. K. is very deserving of this recognition.  Our congratulations to Emily Klingbeil for being named the Le Mars Community School District's "Employee of the Month." 

 

Man Is Sentenced for Threatening School Children

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Charles City man has been given five years in prison for making threatening statements against schoolchildren.
     Court records show 48-year-old Loren Saxon was sentenced Tuesday. 
     Saxon pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of intimidation and public intoxication as part of a plea deal that dropped a charge of making threats of terrorism.
     Police reports say Saxon was heavily intoxicated while at a Charles City motel on Aug. 24. Officers report Saxon claimed he was a member of the al-Qaida terrorist organization and that he would shoot as many children as he could. He was not armed at the time.
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Stolen Mail

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Postal Service officials say mail thefts have cost Iowa businesses thousands of dollars in the past few months.
     Inspector Jim O'Hara told The Des Moines Register on Tuesday that businesses have notified his office of stolen mail and suspicious activity on their bank accounts. He says thieves steal checks from mailboxes, make counterfeits and then recruit homeless people to cash them.
     O'Hara says the scheme is becoming more common in the Midwest, and investigators think the more recent cases can be linked to the Bloods gang in Atlanta.
     He advises businesses to lock mailboxes and retrieve mail as soon as possible.

 

Judge Bans Las Vegas Company From Selling Products In Iowa 

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa judge has barred a Las Vegas-based company from selling health and nutrition-related products to state residents.
     Polk County District Court Judge Scott D. Rosenberg filed a consent judgment Monday against Super Vitality Inc. The company also does business as SuperVitalityPlus.com and Vibrant Health Solutions Inc.
     Rosenberg says an undercover phone line recorded telemarketers making unsupported, misleading and illegal claims about the company's exotic fruit capsule's effects on heart and blood conditions.
     The order also requires that company owner Alice Faith Woods and company associates Barry Bigelow and Marie Graziano refrain from collecting any payments for past sales to Iowa residents. They have been told to give refunds to customers who request them.
     A message left with the company was not immediately returned Wednesday.

 

Disabled Residents Wait For State Assistance

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Thousands of disabled Iowa residents remain on waiting lists for state assistance despite the $6 million the Legislature earmarked to reduce those numbers.
     More than 9,000 Iowa residents are waiting, some for more than two years, for services to help them with their mental or physical disabilities.
     State lawmakers approved the funds last year for the Iowa Department of Human Services.
     In June, about 8,400 people were on the lists. The number increased to almost 9,300 by October.
     Patient advocates say the state agency hasn't spent much of the money intended to quicken access to the services.
     A spokeswoman said Tuesday the agency will soon ramp up the effort.

 

Complalints To Civil Rights Agency Have Declined

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The head of Iowa's Civil Rights Commission says complaints to the enforcement agency have declined.
     Executive Director Beth Townsend on Tuesday told Gov. Terry Branstad and top administration officials that the agency received 1,540 complaints during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The number of complaints has fallen steadily over the years, dropping from 2,351 complaints in the 2000 fiscal year to 1,905 in the 2010 fiscal year.
     Townsend's presentation was among a series of briefings being given as Branstad crafts a budget that lawmakers will consider.
     The commission enforces state and federal discrimination laws related to housing, employment, education and credit.
     Townsend said after the hearing that the commission has worked to investigate complaints more quickly, leading to a reduction in further problems.

 

Iowa City Man Disrupts Universityi of Iowa Classes

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa City man has been accused of disrupting classes at the University of Iowa and assaulting responding officers.
    20-year-old Dequan Edward Miles was arrested Tuesday. He faces multiple charges, including two counts of assault on a peace officer and interference with official acts.
     Court records do not list an attorney.
     Police say Miles harassed people and disrupted classes at several campus buildings Tuesday. He is accused of kicking and fighting responding officers.
     The newspaper reports Miles was given a criminal trespass warning in September for all university property, but additional information was not available.

 

Branstad Brushes Off Cher's Comments Regarding Hog Production

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is brushing off entertainer Cher's criticism about hog crates.
     Cher posted a message on Twitter Tuesday asking why Iowa farmers "torture pigs" in narrow gestation crates, and calling New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie a "bully" for his stance on the issue.
     Christie recently vetoed legislation outlawing gestation crates in New Jersey. New Jersey has few hogs, but some argue that Christie is influenced by the early voting status of Iowa, a state that raises more than 20 million hogs annually. Christie is weighing a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
     Branstad has dismissed that characterization. On Wednesday he responded to Cher, saying, "They know a lot about pig production out there in Hollywood."
     A Christie spokesman did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

 


 

 

 
 

 

 


   

Wednesday News, December 3

City Council Awards Bid For Downtown Historical Rennovation

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council accepted the bid of $759,256 from Renaissance Restoration, Incorporated of Galena, Illinois, to conduct the downtown facade historical rennovation project as part of the Community Development Block Grant. The council awarded the bid during its regular council meeting held Tuesday. Three different contractors submitted bids for the project that ranged from the low bid of $759,256 to a high bid of $940,921. 

Construction is expected to begin on the 29 participating business buildings within the next few weeks.  Peter Franks of Franks Design Group served as the architect for the project.  He is familiar with the contractor's work on a similar project at Manning, Iowa.

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Franks says Renaissance Restoration comes highly recommended for working on historical restoration projects.

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Franks says he was pleased with the bidding process, and believes Le Mars had a good showing of contractor bidders for the downtown historical restoration project.

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City Acquires Ownership Of Movie Theater

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City council also agreed to purchase the Royal 3 cinema theater from Northwest Bank for a price of $350,000, on condition the bank makes a $100,000 Community Betterment Program contribution at the time of closing.  City Administrator Scott Langel says the city thought it would be best to purchase the theater as a way to preserve the quality of life in Le Mars.  Langel says more than a year ago, the city comprised a list of Community Betterment Program projects which included the movie theater. He says the city was always hopeful an entity would step up to own the complex.

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However, Langel says there weren't any investment firms interested at the time in owning the movie theater, and Northwest Bank took possession of the property.

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The city official says Mainstreet Theater Company who owns or manages more than 70 cinema screens, including those at Sioux Center and Orange City will continue to manage the local theater. 

 

City Chooses Burlington Shortline Railroad To Operate City Owned Rail Track

(Le Mars) -- During Tuesday's meeting, the city council devoted a considerable amount of time  discussing their shortline railroad located in the Le Mars Industrial Park Area.  The city has been actively negotiating with Candadian National Railroad regarding the future operations on the city owned railroad tracks. The original agreement with Canadian National has expired, and city officials were trying to locate a suitable replacement.  City officials have selected the Burlington Shortline Railroad as the preferred shortline to oversee the operations of the city owned rail track.  City Administrator Scott Langel explains the city's current situation.

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Branstad Orders Flags To Be At Half-staff

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa be flown at half-staff from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, to honor State Representative Dwayne Alons, a retired brigadier general with the Iowa Air National Guard. Representative Alons passed away on Saturday, November 29, 2014.
The governor’s directive applies to all U.S. and state flags under the control of the state.
Flags will be at half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, December 3 at First Reformed Church in Hull.
The U.S. flag flown over the state Capitol on the day of the funeral will be presented to Rep. Alons’ family.

 

Military Personnel Warned About Use Of Social Media

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve troops are being warned to remove personal and military data from their social media accounts, lest the information help terrorists launch attacks inside the United States.
     Officials with the Iowa National Guard and the Army Reserve's 103rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) at Fort Des Moines, which oversees 5,000 troops in four states, told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1yhhq9i ) that troops won't be barred from using social media accounts.
     The National Guard spokesman, Col. Gregory Hapgood Jr., says the troops shouldn't list anything about their employment or travel plans.
     Hapgood says Iowa National Guard units' Facebook accounts now just mention events that already have occurred, rather than upcoming events.
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Regents To Decide Whether To Continue Tuition Freeze

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - How far should a tuition freeze go? That's one key question that will face members of the Iowa Board of Regents when they meet by phone Wednesday afternoon.
     The board is widely expected to adopt a third straight tuition freeze for undergraduate students from Iowa at the state's three public universities. That would affect roughly 40,000 students.
     But it's unclear whether the board will want to go farther and freeze rates for students from other states as well as graduate and professional students.  The board's staff is recommending a 1.75 percent tuition increase for those students, who number about 38,000.
     Board members have been studying the issue since October. University presidents are generally against an expansion of the freeze, which would deprive their schools of millions in revenue.

 




   

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