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Tuesday News, January 6

Supervisors To Hear Budget Requests And Hear Sub-division Proposals

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet today at the County Courthouse board room.  The county supervisors will hear from various organizations as they submit their budget requests.  Shelly Thompson of Life Skills will offer an update on the services provided by Life Skills. Cathy Van Mannen and Margaret Sanders will appeal to the county supervisors for a budget request for the Council on Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence.  Al Fagan is seeking approval on behalf of Plymouth Energy for an addition in Section 2 of Plymouth township.  Doug Becker will also appear before the supervisors seeking approval of Big Whiskey Minor subdivision in Lincoln township.  County engineer Tom Rohe will also appear before the supervisors.  The supervisors will begin working on the county's budget late morning and into the afternoon hours.

 

City Council To Review Urban Revitalization Tax Exemption Requests 

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council will convene at the city hall council chambers beginning at 12:00 noon today.  On the city council agenda will be discussion to designate an official newspaper for 2015.  The city council will delegate the assignments for the mayor, council, and the city staff for 2015.  The council will review the urban revitalization tax exemption requests.  Also on the council's agenda will be discussion of the downtown banners, and Cresent Ridge infrastructure, and a list of fees, charges and licenses for 2015.  The city council will hear a report from Steve Hanson of the city's Public Works Department, and an annual report from Earl Draayer regarding the city's airport.

 

County Secondary Road Department Tackles Heavy Snowfall

(Le Mars) -- Yesterday's snowfall dropped at least four inches of the white fluffy stuff on Plymouth County.  Now the task is to clear the roads as quickly as possible.  Tom Rohe serves as the county engineer and oversees more than 1300 miles of roads in Plymouth county.  He says his department was ready for the heavy snow.

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Rohe says, priority is first given to the 365 miles of paved roads.

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The county engineer says crews will be applying a combination of sand and liquid calcium-choride on the slick roadways.

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Rohe says under normal snow conditions, his crews can clean the entire county within a few hours.

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Two Men Fall Through Ice At Okoboji

OKOBOJI, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say two men were hospitalized after the snowmobiles they were riding in northwest Iowa fell through ice.
     Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue say they received a report Sunday afternoon of two snowmobiles that fell through ice on East Okoboji Lake.
     Responders found two men in the water. One man was clinging to the edge of ice, while the other man was holding on to a piece of floating ice.
     Both men were removed from the water. They were treated at the scene then taken to a hospital for minor injuries, though additional information is not available.

 

Christie To Attend Branstad Inauguration

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be in Iowa next week to attend Gov. Terry Branstad's inauguration.
     Branstad will be sworn in for a sixth non-consecutive term on Jan. 16. Branstad spokesman Tommy Schultz said Monday that Christie would be in attendance at the event, held at a convention center in downtown Des Moines.
     Christie is also attending inauguration events in Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, South Carolina and Maryland.
     Christie is weighing a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made several visits to the early voting state of Iowa during the midterm election cycle. He attended Branstad's birthday fundraiser in October.

 

Jindahl To Visit Iowa

 BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is headed back to Iowa to meet with local pastors and again look for support among Christian evangelicals for a possible White House campaign. 
     The stated reason for Jindal's trip on Tuesday is to talk about his appearance later this month at a prayer rally expected to draw thousands of people to Baton Rouge, and to discuss ways to mount a similar event in Iowa. 
     But the private meetings also come as Jindal courts religious conservatives across the country ahead of the 2016 campaign. 
     The trip to first-to-vote Iowa will be his fifth since June, and in recent months, Jindal has also spoken to pastors in New Hampshire, at a gathering of faith leaders in Washington, and in Oklahoma at an event promoting a Bible museum.

 

Iowa Democrats To Focus On Businesses And Workers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's top Democratic lawmaker says he'll focus on ways to help Iowa businesses and workers in 2015, though he said increasing the state's minimum wage will be a challenge in the divided Legislature.
     Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, of Council Bluffs, said Monday that two priorities for Democrats will be strengthening the preference for Iowa companies seeking state contracts and ensuring that employers are not stealing wages from Iowa workers.
     Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, of Hiawatha, said Republicans are open to proposals on these topics. He said the GOP wants to look at cutting income taxes.
     Gronstal said Democrats support raising the state minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour. But he said they may not succeed in the Legislature, where Democrats control the Senate and Republicans the House.

 

Ernst To Take Oath Of Office

(Washington) -- Iowa's newest Senator, Joni Ernst, a republican from Red Oak, and Iowa's first woman elected to Congress will take the oath of office today during a capital hill ceremony. 

 

Harkin's Papers At Drake University

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - About 800 boxes filled with papers collected by now-retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin during his days in Congress are now at Drake University, where they will be made available to the public. 
     The university is storing the Harkin papers in its archives on its library's second floor. The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1tLi3wi ) reports the documents include legislative bills, reports and constituent letters. 
     The Democrat left the Senate this month after several decades in office. Republican Joni Ernst now holds the seat.
     Officials say organizing, cataloging and digitizing Harkin's papers will take several months.
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Monday Afternoon News, January 5

Plymouth County Road Crews Ready For Heavy Snowfall

(Le Mars) -- Light snow is falling in Northwest Iowa.  The entire region, including Plymouth County, is under a Winter Storm Warning with all roads snow covered. The weather forcast for Le Mars and Plymouth County is calling for a possibility of five to six inches of snow by late this evening.  Tom Rohe is the county engineer and oversees more than 1300 miles of roads in Plymouth county.  He says his department is ready if we should get the heavy snow.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Rohe says priority is first given to the 365 miles of paved roads.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The county engineer says crews will be applying a combination of sand and liquid calcium-choride on the slick roadways.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Rohe says under normal snow conditions, his crews can clean the entire county within a few hours.

Listen to

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

No Traffic Accidents Reported Due To Weather Conditions

(Sioux City) -- As of Monday over the noon hour, there have not been any traffic accidents reported as a result of the weather conditions, but Iowa State Patrol trooper, John Farley says you should still drive with caution.

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Trooper Farley says motorists may notice some ice, particularly on bridges, overpasses, and even at intersections.

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Sioux City Man Dies From Traffic Accident

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 43-year-old Sioux City man has been killed after falling partway out of his pickup.
     The accident occurred about 1 a.m. Saturday. The Iowa State Patrol says Davon Kieler was driving alone when he fell out of the driver's side door and lost control of the truck. The patrol says the door crushed Kieler when his truck sideswiped a parked vehicle.
     The patrol says alcohol was a factor in the accident. Kieler was not wearing a seat restraint.

 

Snow Storm To Hit Iowa

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A winter storm system moving through the Midwest is expected to bring snow and cold temperatures to parts of Nebraska and Iowa.
     The National Weather Service says the system will affect northeast Nebraska and western, central and northern Iowa on Monday. The system is expected to pass through Nebraska by Monday afternoon. Parts of Iowa will be affected through early Tuesday.
     Officials say an inch of snow could fall in Nebraska. Between 6 and 8 inches of snow is forecast in Iowa, and higher amounts could fall in north central Iowa.
     Meteorologist Kurt Kotenberg says the heaviest snowfall in Iowa is expected Monday afternoon and evening, which may affect commuters leaving work. Bitter cold temperatures will hit parts of Nebraska and Iowa on Wednesday.

 

Democrats Say Economic Bills Will Be Top Priority

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's top Democratic lawmaker says he'll focus on ways to help Iowa businesses and workers in 2015, though he said increasing the state's minimum wage will be a challenge in the divided Legislature. 
     Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, of Council Bluffs, said Monday that two priorities for Democrats will be strengthening the preference for Iowa companies seeking state contracts and ensuring that employers are not stealing wages from Iowa workers. 
     Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, of Hiawatha, said Republicans are open to proposals on these topics. He said the GOP wants to look at cutting income taxes. 
     Gronstal said Democrats support raising the state minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour. But he said they may not succeed in the Legislature, where Democrats control the Senate and Republicans the House.

 

Workforce Judge To Retire

   IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An administrative law judge says he's retiring early, months after testifying about a hostile work environment in Iowa Workforce Development.
     Marlon Mormann, of the unemployment appeals bureau, submitted his retirement Monday. He's worked at the agency since 1990.
     The 58-year-old says he's disappointed after enduring "the worst year of my career" but that it was time to leave an uncomfortable situation.
     Mormann testified to a legislative panel in August about how judges faced pressure and excessive caseloads under Director Teresa Wahlert. He says judges became burnt out, affecting their rulings.
     Mormann objected to Wahlert's decision to eliminate a chief judge position who managed the bureau and assume that responsibility herself. Mormann says being supervised by a non-lawyer and political appointee raised ethical issues.
     An agency spokeswoman didn't immediately return messages.

 

Hoover Library To Raise Admission Fee

 WEST BRANCH, Iowa (AP) - The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is raising the cost of admission for the first time in nearly a decade.
     The library has increased ticket prices for adults between the ages of 16 and 61 from $6 to $10. The price for senior citizens increased from $3 to $5. Admission for children between the ages of 6 and 15 is now $3, when it used to be free.
     Active and retired military personnel with ID and college students with ID must pay $5 to enter. Children under 5 and school groups will still have free admission.
     The last time admission was raised was in 2006. An archivist says the new ticket fees bring the institution into the price range of other presidential libraries.

 


 


   

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