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Saturday News, January 3

Fire Destroys Shed

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had an active evening last night.  First, they responded to the Econolodge for a broken water line, and shortly after that call the Le Mars Fire Department was called to offer mutual aid assistance to the Merrill Fire Department for a shed that had caught on fire.  The call from the Econolodge was at 9:16 p.m.  Firefighters were on the scene for approximately 45 minutes.  The second alarm was sounded just a half hour later at about 10:35 p.m.  Fire officials responded to 25872 County road C-44 for what turned out to be a shop fire.  The Le Mars Fire Department was on the scene for more than three hours.  The Hinton Fire Department was also contacted to offer mutual aid in the form of a tanker to that shop fire.  The Merrill Fire Department was the first to respond to the shop fire.  Merrill's Fire Department was on the scene until 4:30 this morning. 

 

State Lawmakers To Focus On Budget

(Le Mars) -- The budget will be the primary focus for state lawmakers when they return to Des Moines for the upcoming general session.  State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson says the budget determines all other state issues.

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Anderson says projections for state revenue will be lower due in part to the agricultural economy being down.

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The Republican State Senator also hopes lawmakers will discuss transportation issues that are relevant to the state's economy.

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DeSoto Bend To Open Public Roads

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) - DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is reopening all public roads to allow ice fishing access on DeSoto Lake. 
     When conditions permit, DeSoto Lake is open to ice fishing from Jan. 2 through the end of February each year - the time period between the fall and spring bird migrations. 
     Anglers must determine for themselves whether the surface ice is thick enough for safe fishing. A general guideline is a minimum of 4 inches of clear and solid ice for foot travel and ice fishing. 
     If there are waterfowl using the lake in January and February, ice fishing may be barred from small areas of the lake. 
     DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge sits 25 miles north of Omaha, Nebraska, on U.S. Highway 30, between Missouri Valley, Iowa, and Blair, Nebraska.

 

Failed Bank Robbery

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police say a man who apparently tried to rob a bank was tackled by a customer and taken to a hospital.
     The man entered a U.S. Bank in east Des Moines about noon Friday. He was armed with what looked like a handgun, though it may have been a BB gun or fake weapon.
     Police Sgt. Jason Halifax says a bank customer tackled the man and held him in a chokehold until an officer arrived.
     The 48-year-old man was unconscious when medics arrived. They took him to a hospital.
     Halifax says the man will be arrested but the charge could vary depending on if he was holding an actual weapon.

 

Humane Society To Open New Facility In Council Bluffs

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Organizers of the Midlands Humane Society have opened a new facility in Council Bluffs.
     The 11,591-square-foot building was designed with plenty of natural light. It has rooms designated for animal adoptions, animal control, and the treatment of sick animals. There also is an area that would allow for a future expansion of the building.
     A board of directors has been working for eight years to open the facility in Council Bluffs.
     Board chair Leslie Southard says organizers are "thrilled to be a part of helping tails find happy endings."
     ---

 

Trial For Filmmaker May Need To Be Delayed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Prosecutors handling a new trial for a Nebraska filmmaker accused of fraud in a former Iowa film tax incentive program say the case should be delayed because two elderly witnesses have left the state for the winter.
     64-year-old Dennis Brouse, of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, has been waiting for a second trial after the Iowa Court of Appeals overturned a felony fraud conviction in April citing confusing jury instructions. 
     Court documents say Brouse bought a 38-foot camper trailer from Wayne and Shirley Weese of Prole for $10,500 but claimed it cost twice that amount in an application for Iowa Film Office tax credits. 
     Prosecutors seek a delay of the Jan. 26 trial because the Weeses are in South Carolina for the winter.
     Brouse opposes a delay.

 

Former Lt. Governor Neu Dies

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa lawyer who served as a state senator and as lieutenant governor for much of the 1970s has died.
     Jay Woodhouse, with Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Homes in Carroll, says Arthur Neu died Friday at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines at age 81.
     Neu, a Republican, was an Iowa senator from 1967 to 1972 and served as Governor Robert Ray's lieutenant governor from 1973 through 1979.
     He served as mayor of Carroll, his hometown, from 1982 to 1985 and on various state boards.
     Governor Terry Branstad says Iowa has lost a dedicated public servant who had a passion for his community.
     Ray says in a statement we need more people like Neu in public life "because he was principled, fair, modest, and willing to listen to others."

 

Million Dollar Powerball Ticket Sold In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Powerball ticket bought at a Johnston convenience store on new Year's Eve is worth $1 million.
     Iowa Lottery officials say the ticket was bought at a Casey's General Store location and missed the $120 million jackpot by one number. The ticket matches the first five numbers but not the Powerball. It is one of five tickets across the country to hit the first five numbers and win $1 million prize.
     The Powerball jackpot grows to $131 million for Saturday's drawing.
     Lottery officials say five tickets bought in Iowa in 2014 won $1 million prizes.


 


    


 

   

Friday Afternoon News, January 2

Meis Assumes Duties Of County Supervisor

(Le Mars) -- The newest director of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors began his duties today.  Judge Jeff Neary conducted the swearing in ceremonies of the oath of office for John Meis.

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Plymouth County Treasurer Shelly Sitzman also was sworn into office.

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The county Board of Supervisors re-elected Jim Henrich of Akron as its board chairman, and they re-elected Don Kass of Remsen as the vice chairman.  The supervisors then assigned themselves to various committees pertaining to county business.  Once the supervisors were able to initiate the formal agenda items that are required at the start of each year, the supervisors met with Todd Schuver of L.G. Everist Company of Sioux Falls.  Discussion was focused on the transaction of business between Higman Sand and Gravel of Akron and the L.G. Everist Co.  A number of years ago the county entered a long-term agreement with Higman Sand and Gravel to provide gravel, rock, sand, and other particulate material for the county to use.  The supervisors wanted to make certain the original terms of the contract would still be applicable now that the L.G. Everist Company is proposing to purchase the Higman Sand and Gravel company.  Schuver re-assured the supervisors that L.G. Everist would abide by the original terms of the contract between Plymouth County and Higman Sand and Gravel.  However, Schuver indicated to the County governing board the agreed upon price in the contract is too low, compared to today's cost of gravel.  The supervisors did vote to approve the contract agreement between the county and L.G. Everist Company. 

 

Former Lt. Governor Art Neu Dies

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa lawyer who served as a state senator and as lieutenant governor for much of the 1970s has died.
     Jay Woodhouse, with Dahn & Woodhouse Funeral Homes in Carroll, says Arthur Neu died Friday at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines at age 81.
     Neu, a Republican, was an Iowa senator from 1967 to 1972 and served as Gov. Robert Ray's lieutenant governor from 1973 through 1979.
     He served as mayor of Carroll, his hometown, from 1982 to 1985 and on various state boards.
     Gov. Terry Branstad, who succeeded Neu as lieutenant governor after Neu chose not to seek re-election in 1978, says Iowa has lost a dedicated public servant who had a passion for his community.

 

Council Bluffs Fire Claims Life 

 COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - One person has been killed and one injured in a Council Bluffs house fire. 
     The fire began a little after 7:15 a.m. Friday, and arriving firefighters found two people who already had escaped. Fire Chief Justin James says a disabled man was rescued from the main floor and taken to a hospital. Another person's body was found in the basement. 
     The names of those involved haven't been released.
     James says the fire likely started in the basement. The cause is being investigated.

 

Groups Asking Supreme Court To Uphold Decision Regarding Sexual Misconduct 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Groups representing rape victims and college administrators are asking a court to uphold Iowa State's decision to kick a basketball player off the team for alleged sexual misconduct.
     The Victim Rights Law Center and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education say the case of former Cyclone guard Bubu Palo has national significance.
     Iowa State is asking the Iowa Supreme Court to reverse an August ruling that found there wasn't evidence that Palo violated its sexual misconduct policy.
     In a friend-of-the-court brief filed Monday, the national groups say the case could impact students and colleges in Iowa and across the country.
     They say universities must be able to use internal disciplinary hearings to enforce stricter standards of sexual misconduct than criminal law allows.

 

Supreme Court Overturns Conviction Of Inmate Caught With Marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is overturning the conviction of an inmate caught with marijuana while living at a halfway house.
     The court ruled Friday that 49-year-old Curtis V. Halvorson will be acquitted of a charge of possession of contraband at a correctional facility.
     Halvorson was convicted of the felony and sentenced to prison after officers found a partially smoked joint in his room at the Burlington Residential Correctional Facility.
     Justice David Wiggins says the contraband law applies only to institutions controlled by the Department of Corrections and not halfway houses managed by local judicial districts. He says Halvorson's attorney should have argued that point at trial.
     The Iowa Department of Corrections says Halvorson is currently serving time at the Iowa State Penitentiary and is due out in July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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