Sunday, August 30, 2015
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Wednesday News, August 5

Malfunctioning Air Conditioner Results In Fire Department Responding To Home

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to an alarm at 1423 4th Avenue Southwest Tuesday evening at about 6:10 p.m. When fire officials arrived at the scene they were quickly able to determine the air conditioner of the residence had burned out and creating some light smoke.  Fire officials were able to use pressure fans to help push the smoke out of the residence.  There were no injuries associated with the incident.  Fire officials were on the scene for approximately a half an hour.



Supervisors Hear Proposal To Vacate A Road

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County engineer Tom Rohe proposed to the county board of supervisors to consider vacating a road.  Rohe submitted the idea during the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meeting held on Tuesday.  The road in question is a low maintenance dirt road located on the border of Plymouth and Woodbury counties, near Quartz Avenue.  Rohe informed the supervisors that he was approached by a local land owner asking for the road to be vacated.  Rohe says the land owner is concerned about the excessive soil erosion taking place on the embankments of the road.  Before the road can be vacated, all surrounding land owners would need to be informed of the pending decision, and both the Plymouth County supervisors and the Woodbury County board of supervisors would need to agree to vacating the stretch of roadway.





City To Hold Open House For Railroad And Public Works Building

(Le Mars) -- During the city council meeting held Tuesday, Mayor Dick Kirchoff announced the city will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Burlington Junction Short Line railroad scheduled for Wednesday, August 12th.  Kirchoff says since early April, the Burlington Short Line rail has moved over 300 rail cars that have carried products to and from the Le Mars Industrial Park area.  That same day, the city will hold an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Public Works building located on the southern edge of town on 18th street.





Coffee Wins Second Place At National Soap Box Derby Championships

(Le Mars) -- Last week you may recall KLEM news told you about a local 13 year old boy, named Blaise Coffee, who was going to Cleveland, Ohio to compete in the National Soap Box Derby Racing.  Coffee actually did very well at the national competition by finishing second in his age group and category.

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The trophy awarded to the young soap box racer stands taller than Coffee, and he says it was a bit difficult getting the trophy home.

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The young soap box car racer says the championship rounds placed all racers a ranking seating.

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Coffee says he lost only one race while competing for the soap box derby championships.

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The 13 year old says he realizes every other soap box car racer will be trying to beat him, now that he placed second in the national championships, but Coffee is confident about his racing abilities.

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Turkey Farms Repopulating Barns After Bird Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa agriculture officials say a majority of the quarantine zones set up around poultry farms infected with bird flu are being lifted.
When bird flu was confirmed on a farm, a six-mile zone was established to control traffic. State officials said Tuesday 77 zones were set up but they are in the process of lifting 69 now. 
Once completed, officials say there will only be control zones remaining on six farms in Adair, Sioux and Wright counties.
Iowa lost 34 million birds to the bird flu outbreak.
Officials say one of the first infected turkey farms - Brad Moline's family farm in Manson - has restocked with new birds and Moline will host state and federal officials at a news conference on Monday to discuss the recovery process.





Chinese Woman Accused Of Stealing Patented Corn Traits Now Back Home In China

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The wife of a Chinese billionaire who was charged more than a year ago with conspiring to steal trade secrets from U.S. seed companies but dropped from the case last week is back home in China.
Attorneys for Mo Yun say she left the United States Friday morning and flew to Beijing.
The government arrested the 43-year-old mother of two children July 1, 2014 in Los Angeles.
Prosecutors alleged that Mo helped her brother and five other Chinese nationals working for subsidiaries of Beijing-based DBN Group steal patented corn seed to reproduce its genetic traits. 
The government dropped the charges last week after a judge said they couldn't use instant messages found on her brother's computer as evidence. The judge said the messages were incomplete and couldn't be authenticated.





Meth Lab Discovered At Taco Bell Restaurant

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say two men have been arrested after the remnants of a methamphetamine lab were found inside a Taco Bell in eastern Iowa.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department says officers found two men outside the restaurant early Tuesday. One identified himself as a Taco Bell employee.
Officers entered the closed restaurant and found meth lab remnants in a utility area.
The men, identified as 31-year-old Christopher Adam Matous and 56-year-old Kent Jerome Duby, were arrested. Each has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. Matous faces additional charges including meth possession. Court records do not list attorneys for the men.
Taco Bell says in a statement that one of the men was an employee who's now fired. They say the restaurant will be sanitized before it reopens to the public.



Tuesday News, August 4

Le Mars Police Department To Hold Block Party Open House

(Le Mars) -- Tonight is "National Night Out" and the Le Mars Police Department will be acknowledging the event with a block party to be held at the Le Mars Police Department headquarters at 22 2nd Street N.E.  Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga explains what will be featured during this evening's festivities.

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Dekkenga says the public will be able to view police cars and other equipment used by the officers.  The police chief says all the activities will take place in the police department's garage area.

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Dekkenga says the purpose behind "national night out" is to strengthen relations between the police departments and the communities they serve.

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Missing Yard Ornaments Turn Up At Southside Residence As A Prank

(Le Mars) -- Speaking about the Le Mars Police Department, Chief Dekkenga says if you are missing some yard ornaments, lights, potted plants, or even yard signs, you may want to contact the Le Mars Police Department.  Chief Dekkenga says recently several of the mentioned items were found at a residence on the south side of town.   Someone apparently went around town collecting the yard items, and then placed them at the residence as a joke or prank.   The Le Mars Police Department hopes to return those items to the rightful owners, but don't have an idea as to which items belong to what house.







Fire And Rescue Department Responds To 42 Calls In July

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has submitted its monthly report for July.  The fire department responded to a total of 42 calls in July, eight of those calls were fire calls. Another eight were rescue calls, 11 calls were investigations.  Four times the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to offer mutual aid, and there were 11 requests for services. Fire Chief Dave Schipper says 27 fire fighters donated 117 hours of time to assist with the Plymouth County Fair.





City Council To Meet Today

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council will hold a public hearing at noon today regarding the Highway 75 Bypass Urban Renewal Plan Amendment.  In action items to be discussed, the city council will examine the KNS second addition rezoning request.  The city council will continue to discuss the 12th Street southwest sidewalk improvement project.  The council is scheduled to visit about the urban renewal tax increment revenue bond.





Supervisors To Hear Update Regarding Mike's Saloon

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the County courthouse board room.  The county supervisors will hear an update from Brett Bagley regarding Mike's Saloon septic systems.  The supervisors will hear from County engineer Tom Rohe as he submits some permits for the supervisor approval, and offers an update on the status of the road construction projects.





Candidates File For School Board Elections

(Le Mars) -- The deadline to file for school board elections has now passed.  Le Mars Community School District has a three-way race for two positions for the at-large district.  Fred Zenk is seeking another term representing district five. He is unopposed for the position.  There are no candidates residing in District 3 that have announced their candidacy for the Le Mars School Board.  Those running for the school board include Patrick Murphy who is seeking re-election, After being off the school board for one term, Mark Hemmingson is pursuing another chance to serve on the school board.  Angela Catton is also seeking a position on the Le Mars Community school board.

Akron-Westfield Community School District

Debra L. Jordt - Director District 6

Jodi Thompson - Director District 5

Nick Mathistad - Director At Large

No candidate for Director District 4

Public Measure for General Obligation Bond


Hinton Communitiy School District

Director District At-Large - Vote For 3

Sarah Vaydich - Director At-Large

Ed Vondrak - Director At-Large

Brett C. Stanley - Director At-Large

Robert D. Held - Director At-Large

Tracey Badar - Director At-Large

Kyle Hoefling - Director At-Large

Public Measure for Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL)


Kingsley-Pierson Community School District

Director District At-Large Vote For 3

Matt Bubke - Director District At-Large

Angela Haggin - Director District At-Large

Phillip Herbold - Director District At-Large

Bobbi Hirschman - Director District At Large

Becky L. Wenzel - Director District At Large

Public Measure for State Secure an Advanced Vision For Education Fund (SAVE)



Director At-Large Vote For 2

Sara Krier- Director District At-Large

Jim Miller - Director District At-Large

Talon Penning - Director District At-Large




Branstad Defends Education Veto

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is touting Iowa's progress with STEM education as he continues to defend his veto of some one-time education spending.
Branstad on Monday said he wants to provide resources to specific priorities, like programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math. He said providing increases to school districts and giving more discretion to superintendents is not producing the best results.
The Republican governor said he wants to provide education dollars in a "strategic and specific" way. He recently vetoed $55.7 million in one-time school funding. Educators have criticized the move, saying it will lead to larger class sizes and less money for supplies.
Branstad said he will not use one-time money for ongoing budget needs.





Mall Shooting Could Have A Change Of Venue

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - An attorney for a man accused of fatally shooting a 20-year-old woman inside an Iowa mall says he wants his client's upcoming trial to be moved to a different county.
Peter Persaud said at a hearing Monday that he will file a motion for a change of venue for 22-year-old Alexander Kozak's trial. He says media attention of the June 12 shooting at Coral Ridge Mall will make it difficult to find an impartial jury in eastern Iowa.
Judge Christopher Bruns said he would likely grant the motion.
Kosak has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Andrea Farrington.  A trial is scheduled to begin in October, but attorneys for both sides say it may be pushed back.





Fire Officials Unable To Determine The Cause Of Yonkers Fire

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Federal officials say they cannot determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a historic downtown Des Moines building last year 
A 36-page report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives states the origin of the fire at the former Younkers building in March 2014 is "undetermined." It says damage from the fire prevented a more extensive examination.
The report also says embers left behind from work done at the site before the fire cannot be ruled out.
The early morning fire destroyed most of the building, which was being renovated into apartments. A neighboring business affected by the fire later filed a lawsuit that claimed the construction company and building's owners failed to take precautions that could have prevented the fire.





Traffic Cameras Being Disputed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The attorney for seven car owners who claimed in a federal lawsuit the city of Des Moines violated their constitutional rights by fining them for speeding with an automated camera on Interstate 235 plan to appeal a judge's dismissal of the case.
Des Moines attorney Jim Larew says his clients plan to take Friday's dismissal by a federal judge to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The judge said the cameras, which take pictures of speeding cars and mail a citation to the car owner with a civil fine attached, do not deprive drivers of any fundamental liberty.
Des Moines City Attorney Jeff Lester says the latest ruling joins the Iowa Supreme Court and a federal judge in eastern Iowa in upholding the city's authority to use automated cameras.



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