Friday, July 31, 2015
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Sunday News, July 5

USDA Expands Loan Program

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's focus has traditionally been on food production, agriculture and natural resources but under the administration of President Barack Obama the USDA also has taken on a broader rural economic development role.
The agency has funded energy projects, small business loans, upgrades to power lines and high speed internet. 
Some don't consider financial support for such rural development projects to be among the agency's fundamental roles but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack disagrees.
Vilsack is now promoting newly available funding of up to $800,000 to support farmers markets and other local food initiatives.
The USDA since 2009 has invested $800 million in more than 29,000 local and regional food projects including investments in 1,000 local food projects in Iowa and 617 in Nebraska.




Boy Wounded By Stray Bullet While Watching Fireworks

COUNCIL BLUFFS ,Iowa (AP) - Council Bluffs Police say a bullet someone fired into the air wounded a 7-year-old boy who was watching fireworks with his grandparents.
When the boy started crying and complaining about shoulder pain Saturday night, his grandparents initially thought he'd been hurt by fireworks. 
But while treating the wound, the boy's grandmother discovered a bullet in the wound, which was about  1/4-inch deep.
Police say the .223-caliber bullet was likely fired in another location and hit the boy's shoulder as it fell.
The boy was treated at a local hospital and released.





Escaped Inmate Captured In Illinois

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - A 25-year-old inmate who escaped from the Iowa State Penitentiary Sunday morning has been recaptured in Illinois.
The Iowa Corrections Department says Justin Kestner was arrested by the Illinois State Police just south of Geneseo, Illinois, on Sunday morning. 
Kestner was more than 100 miles from the prison in Fort Madison, Iowa when he was caught.
Kestner was discovered missing from the prison during a 4:45 a.m. headcount. He was last seen during a 1:30 a.m. count.
Kestner is serving a 10 year prison sentence related to two charges of theft in Woodbury County.





Woman Hiding In Suitcase

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - A Coralville man has been arrested on suspicion of probation violation after an officer found a woman hiding inside a suitcase in his home.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that a probation officer was conducting a residence check at 29-year-old Ryan Leigh Ransom home on Wednesday.
Ransom told the officer that no one else was inside his home before the woman was found "hidden in a suitcase located in a closet." The officer also found drug paraphernalia hidden inside of her bra.
Ransom had been ordered to have no contact with the woman as part of his probation.
Ransom is also charged with possession of a controlled substance. He remained in the Muscatine County Jail on Saturday and could not be reached for comment.




Gun Shaped Cell Phone Cases Create Concerns

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Police in Sioux City are urging people not to use a cellphone case that looks like a gun, saying the device could be confused for the real thing.
Police Chief Doug Young tells the Sioux City Journal that the case could put people who carry it in danger.
The case is designed to hold a smartphone in what would be the barrel of a handgun. It includes a pistol handle and trigger guard.
Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew says the phone case looks like a real gun if it's tucked into a waistband or pocket to hide the phone and show only the handle.




Omaha Woman Steals Car, Involved In High Speed Chase, Crashes Into Utility Pole

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - An Omaha woman faces charges following a chase and single-vehicle crash in Council Bluffs, Iowa, earlier in the week.
The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that 26-year-old Jessica Hauger was arrested late Tuesday after the incident.
Police say Hauger sped away when an officer attempted to pull her over in Council Bluffs. Police say Hauger lost control of the car she was driving as she attempted to take the westbound Interstate 480 ramp and crashed into a utility pole.
Police say the car was reported stolen from Omaha. Hauger was arrested on suspicion of theft, failure to stop for emergency vehicles and other counts.
She remained in the Pottawattamie County Jail on a $5,000 bond and could not be reached Saturday for comment.







Saturday Afternoon News, July 4

Le Mars Celebrates 4th Of July With Parade

(Le Mars) -- A few hundred people had gathered along Central Avenue to watch the Le Mars Independence Day parade this morning.  The parade may be considered to have been short, but people still enjoyed the festivities waving their flags and wearing the red, white, and blue.  Although the parade did not have a marching band, people were still able to enjoy  patriotic sounds provided by the Le Mars Municipal Band's fife and drum corps.

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If you happened to be near 4th Street and Central Avenue, during the parade, you would have heard the music of "God Bless America" and other patriotic songs by David Boggengrief as he played his trumpet, as the parade entries passed by, giving spectators an additional amount of enjoyment.

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The parade was led by the Le Mars American Legion Wasmer Post 241.  American Bank  sponsored a contest for children showing their most patriotic entries. Following the parade, the Plymouth County Historical Museum will host a luncheon in "Old Central" gym, catered by Timmy's.  A free will offering will be taken, with proceeds going to the museum.  All five floors of the museum will be open immediately following the meal.  At 3:00 p.m. on the east lawn of the museum will be the watermelon feed.  Later in the evening, at 8:00 p.m. the Le Mars Municipal Band will perform patriotic music at Foster Park.  The fireworks sky show will be held Sunday evening at 10:00 p.m. from the Plymouth County Fair grounds.





Mark Loutsch Family Shows Off Tractor Collection During Oyens Independence Day Parade

(Oyens) -- For the past 23 years, it has been a July 4th tradition with the Mark Loutsch family of Oyens to show his collection of antique tractors in the Oyens Independence Day parade.  Loutsch has a collection of nearly 100 tractors with most of them being produced by John Deere.  Loutsch talks about why his family started the July 4th parade tradition.

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Loutsch says the reaction from the people of Oyens and the surrounding area, is they have enjoyed seeing the antique tractors, and have come to expect seeing the tractors on the 4th of July.

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Some Plymouth County residents may make the claim that Loutsch is starting to rival the collection of green and yellow John Deere tractors that was once owned by the late Dave Hawkins.  Loutsch admits to owning nearly 100 tractors, but his favorite, and the oldest tractor in his collection is a predecessor of John Deere.

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If you missed the Oyens Independence Day Parade, but have an interest in viewing the antique tractors, Loutsch will have his collection of tractors on display at his farm located at 15424 Pioneer Avenue, or about two miles north of Highway 3.





Man Electrocuted When Trying To Hang Flag

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) - An 18-year-old man trying to hang a flag for the July 4 holiday was seriously injured when the flag pole he was holding touched a power line. 
Bettendorf Police spokeswoman Lauran Haldeman tells the Quad-City Times ( ) that the accident happened just before 2:30 p.m. Friday. Haldeman says the man was an employee of a local food vendor and was on top of a trailer attempting to hang a flag from a metal pole. 
Haldeman says the pole fell forward and touched a power line, shocking the teen.
The man fell about 15 feet to the ground. He was given CPR by a Bettendorf police officer until paramedics arrived. The man was then taken to a Davenport hospital.
The man's condition was not known Saturday. Bettendorf police are investigating.




Swimmers Warned Of E-Coli Bacteria In Lakes

HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - Officials have issued a swimming advisory at a state park in Iowa because of higher than normal levels of E. coli. 
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports ( ) that Beeds Lake State Park in Franklin County was placed under the advisories following recent water tests. 
The advisory means officials do not recommend swimming at the park until the bacteria levels are back to normal. Anyone swimming at the part should shower afterward and avoid ingesting water.





Boaters Informed To Watch For Debris In Waterways

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is warning boaters to look out for hazards in Coralville Lake.
Erika Billerbeck with the department tells Cedar Rapids television station KCRG ( ) that there is a lot of debris in the lake just under the surface of the water.
Billerbeck says boaters pulling tubers and skiers should be on the lookout for debris.
The debris was washed into the lake by heavy rainfall in June.
Boater Randy Jernigan says many boaters enjoy the higher levels because it makes for a bigger lake overall. But he says people should be mindful of hidden hazards.
Billerbeck said DNR officers will be on the lake all weekend.




Reported Shooting Turns Out To Be A Hoax

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police in Des Moines are seeking the person behind a report of a shooting and hostage situation that turned out to be a hoax.
The Des Moines Register reports ( ) that police and emergency rescue crews descended on a southeast Des Moines mobile home park Thursday evening after a man called 911 and said he had shot his girlfriend and had his niece tied up.
Lt. Joseph Leo says the caller also told dispatchers that he would shoot himself and his niece if he saw police.
Officers arrived at the mobile home park and surrounded a trailer where the assault was reported. Leo says a woman who answered the door had no idea why police were there and that no shooting or assault had occurred there.






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