Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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Thursday News, October 2

Granville Woman Charged With Making A False Report

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have arrested a Granville woman on a charge of making a false report to law enforcement officials.  21 year old Samantha Humphrey was taken into custody on Wednesday following a two-month investigation.  On July 25th, Humphrey contacted Floyd Valley Hospital and reported that she had been sexually assaulted while walking on a walking trail. The Le Mars Police Department was initially contacted and learned that the alleged assault had taken place in Plymouth County at Hillview Park, of rural Hinton.  The Plymouth County Sheriff's office, along with Plymouth County Conservation Officers investigated the circumstances and location of the alleged assault.  Approximately a month later, the investigation revealed that it was believed that no assault had taken place and that Humphrey had made a false report to law enforcement and the other agencies.  Humphrey has been charged with making a false report to law enforcement which is a serious misdemeanor.  She has been given a court date and was released from jail.


Maurice Woman Dies From Motor Vehicle Accident

(Maurice) -- A Maurice woman has died as a result of a traffic accident that happened at about 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning on Highway 75.  49 year old Lisa Opheim was heading east on 4th Street when she stopped at a stop sign at Highway 75, then drove onto Highway 75 where she was struck by a semi-truck. Opheim was pronounced dead at the scene by the Sioux County Medical Examiner. The driver of the semi truck was 22 year old Mark Schmith of Hawarden.  He was traveling southbound on Highway 75 hauling a loaded feed trailer.  The Sioux County Sheriff's office was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol, Maurice Fire Department, Maurice First Responders, and the Sioux Center Fire Department and Sioux Center Ambulance.


Le Mars Fire And Rescue Department Releases September Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has released its September monthly report.  The local fire brigade responded to a total of 40 calls in September, with eight fire calls, three rescue calls, twice the Le Mars Fire Department offered mutual aid to Sioux Center and to Ireton, and the Le Mars Fire Department had 19 requests for services.  During September, both Fire Chief Dave Schipper and Assistant Chief Mike Wise attended fire investigation training at West Des Moines to keep up National Fire Investigator Certifications.  The fire department provided fire extinguisher training to 209 BoDeans employees, and nine members of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department attended the annual State Fire Convention in Grinnell, Iowa to accept Life Safety aCheivement award on behalf of the city and the Fire and Rescue Department.  Next week is National Fire Prevention Week, and the fire department would like to extend an invitation to the general public to attend its annual fire prevention pancake breakfast to be held this coming Sunday morning at fire station number 1 located at 1st Avenue Southwest.


Fire Department Called To Help With Malfunctioning Stove

(Le Mars) -- Speaking about the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, they were called to 1251 Remer Drive on Wednesday afternoon when apparently, the resident of the home had a malfunctioning stove.  The stove had gotten so hot that it started to melt the backside of the stove.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the control board was hot and started to melt the control switches.  Fire officials were able to cut the power to the stove and pull it away from the kitchen wall before it had a chance to ignite the wall.  Fire officials were able to stop it from becoming a very serious situation.  Fire officials were on the scene for nearly a half an hour.


Hinton Fire Department Responds To Truck That Lost Its Fuel Tank

(Hinton) --  The Hinton Fire Department was called to respond to a truck traveling on Highway 75 when the truck had lost its gas tank and was leaking fuel.  The Hinton Fire Department responded to the scene at about 6:00 p.m. last evening.  Fire officials were on the scene for approximately 45 minutes.


Teen Charged With Murder Of Foster Brother Claims Insanity Plea

 LOGAN, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa teen charged with murdering his 5-year-old foster brother plans to use an insanity defense when his case goes to trial this month. 
     Court documents filed in September indicate the defense plans for 18-year-old Cody Metzker-Madsen, who was declared competent to stand trial in April. He is charged with first-degree murder in the August 2013 death of Dominic Elkins.
     Metzker-Madsen pleaded not guilty to the charge and opted to have his case decided by a judge.
     Authorities say Elkins was killed while the boys were playing outdoors at their home near Logan, in western Iowa. He died as a result of blunt-force head injuries and drowning.
     Psychology experts who examined the teen say he has developmental problems. Metzker-Madsen's mother used methamphetamine while she was pregnant with him.


Deloitte Consulting Firm To Release Efficiency Study To Regents

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A consultant is expected to release plans detailing how Iowa's three public universities could cut costs by restructuring how employees perform routine administrative functions.
     Deloitte Consulting LLP is expected to tell the Iowa Board of Regents about potential changes to streamline human resources, information technology and financial operations.
     The plans are expected to lead to job cuts over time, but also potentially save millions of dollars.
     More details are expected to be released Thursday, when the regents meet at Iowa State University in Ames. Regents are expected to discuss the proposals, but not take any action on them. They say they will gather feedback from employees before voting on whether to implement changes next month.
     The regents hired Deloitte to look for ways to run the universities more efficiently.


Audit Finds Mahaska County Soil And Water Conservation Office Mishandled Funds

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state audit of the Mahaska County Soil and Water Conservation District office alleges more than $279,000 was improperly taken and cash not properly deposited by a former secretary over seven years.
     Iowa Auditor Mary Mosiman says in a report released Wednesday her office investigated financial irregularities at the request of state agriculture department officials.
     The audit shows cash withdrawn from commission accounts numerous times from 2006 to 2013 by Jessica Strasser, the former office secretary who resigned in August 2013.
     Strasser took responsibility in a letter to the commission, blaming the stress of raising two children and working two jobs while her husband, an Iowa National Guard officer, was repeatedly deployed to active duty.
     No charges have been filed.


Charges Dropped In Council Bluffs Teen Death After School Fight

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a male student will not be charged in connection with a fight at a western Iowa high school that led to the death of a 17-year-old student.
     Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber said at a Wednesday news conference that the 16-year-old student used legally justifiable force in responding to a fight initiated by Dakota Escritt.
     Wilber said Dakota died days after a September 25th fight at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs. An autopsy shows he had bleeding in the brain caused by a fractured skull. His head hit the school floor after the other student punched Dakota.
     The student was initially charged with assault in the case. That charge has been dropped.


Iowa State University Student Found Dead In Apartment

AMES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa State University student has been found dead in her apartment on campus, but authorities say no foul play is suspected.
     University police say the woman was found unresponsive Tuesday night in a University Village apartment on the Ames campus. Authorities and medical personnel responded to the scene but the woman was pronounced dead.
     Police say a resident reported finding the woman inside the locked apartment. No foul play is suspected, but additional information is not available.
     The student's name has not been released pending family notification.


New Law Enforcement Center To Hold Both Men And Women

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) - Officials in western Iowa say a new law enforcement center will house both men and women.
     Mills County Sheriff Eugene Goos says the facility has the capacity to separate the inmates. It can house up to 45 inmates.
     The  new facility in Glenwood will mean less female inmates at the Adams County jail in Corning, where they're often held after a transfer. County officials say that will result in savings of between $2,000 and $6,000 each month.
     Federal prison inmates can be held at the law enforcement center. It will also house the Mills County Sheriff's Office.




Wednesday News, October 1st

(Le Mars) The Gehlen Catholic Competition Marching Band (CMB) earned top honors again at the Starfest marching band competition that took place in Sioux City last Saturday. 

The Marching Jays earned 1st place in Class 1A in the prelims for the 9th year in a row; 7th overall in the finals, and received the Critic’s Choice Spirit of Starfest Award, as determined by Sioux City Journal reporter, Mr. Bruce Miller.  Drum Major, Michaela Bretey, and Color Guard Captain, Katrina Vaske, both seniors from LeMars, were each selected to receive $5,000 scholarship from Morningside College. 

5-12 Instrumental Music Director, Mr. Paul Niebuhr, stated this is the highest placing the Gehlen Catholic CMB has earned at Starfest. 

Starfest is hosted each year by the Sioux City North Star Marching Band. 


Progress on Public Works Building

(Le Mars) -- Progress is being made on the new City Public Works Building

located on the southern edge of town.  Just last week, asphalt was placed in

the cold storage building, and City Administrator, Scott Langel offers an

update on the construction project.

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Langel says it may still be awhile before the Public Works crews are able to

completely move into the new building, but he hopes the new building can be

utilized before winter sets in.

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Winter is Coming, Consider a Flu Shot

(Le Mars) -- It's now October and that means local health officials are

advising people to consider getting their annual flu vaccination. Tara Geddes

serves as the Community Health Director for Plymouth County.  She says nearly

everyone above the age of six months should get a flu shot.

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Geddes says the fee for flu shots will be $25, unless you are a Medicare

patient.  The Community Health Director says rarely do people ever get sick

from the flu vaccination.

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Geddes says a vaccine will carry through the entire flu season.  She says there

are only a few people who should not receive an influenza vaccination.

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The Community Health Director says local flu vaccine clinics will begin on

Thursday at the Le Mars Senior Center.

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Other flu vaccination clinics are scheduled for Friday, October 17th at the

Merrill Senior Center, Wednesday, October 22nd at the Remsen Senior Center,

Friday, October 24th the flu clinic will be set up at the Hinton Community

Center, and they will end up back in Le Mars on Tuesday, October 28th.


Business Highway 75 Speed Limit Change Well Received 

(Le Mars) -- It's been three weeks since city officials have changed the speed

limits on Business Highway 75, and according to Scott Langel, motorists have

adapted well to the new lower speed limits.

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City Employee Compensation to Be Discussed

(Le Mars) -- City officials will meet with city employees on Thursday for a

Bargaining Unit meeting to hear the initial proposal for salary and benefits

for the coming fiscal year.  That meeting will take place at city hall and is

scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.


Senate Candidate to Visit Le Mars Friday

(Le Mars) -- Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has scheduled a stop in Le

Mars as part of her 99-county bus tour prior to the election.  Ernst, who hails

from Red Oak, Iowa will meet with Plymouth County residents at the Pizza Ranch

restaurant scheduled for Friday, October 3rd at 11:30 a.m.  This will mark

Ernst second visit to the "Ice Cream Capital of the World".  The last time she

was in Le Mars was nearly a year ago prior to the Iowa Republican primary.  At

that time, Ernst attended the luncheon sponsored by Iowa Congressman Steve King

as he hosted Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz for his annual pheasant hunt.




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