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Friday News, June 27

Fire Department Soliciting For Donations

(Le Mars) -- Within a few days residents of Le Mars will find an envelope in their mailbox from the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.  The local fire brigade is again raising money.  Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the private contributions are greatly appreciated and beneficial to maintaining an adequately equipped and trained fire department.

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Schipper says none of the donated funds are used for any luxury items, strictly for business.

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The Le Mars Fire Chief says the fire officals and their spouses stuffed approximately 6000 envelopes which will be sent to both urban and rural residents. Schipper explains the equipment that was able to be purchased from last year's donations.

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Police Department Releases Quarterly Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police Department has issued its quarterly report for the 4th quarter.  According to chief Stuart Dekkenga, the police department investigated 268 complaints, had just over 1300 calls for service, issued 450 traffic citations along with 322 warnings, made 90 arrests, and investigated 50 traffic accidents.

 

Judge Rules Argosy Casino To Stay Open An Extra 10 Days

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has granted a temporary reprieve to the Argosy riverboat casino in Sioux City by delaying its closing.
     Polk County District Court Judge Eliza Ovrom ruled Thursday to keep the floating casino open at least through July 10th. A hearing is scheduled on that date for final arguments in the Argosy's appeal of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission's decision to close it.
     The Argosy was scheduled to close Tuesday. The commission recently refused to halt its order for the casino to close.
     The Argosy's operator, Penn National Gaming Company, lost its bid last year to operate a land-based casino in Sioux City. A Hard Rock casino and hotel by another developer is scheduled to open later this summer.

 

More Than 2000 People Tour Plymouth Dairy

(Le Mars) -- An estimated 2000 plus people enjoyed a cheesburger, hotdog, milk and ice cream as they toured Plymouth Dairy Farm last evening.  The farm held an open house inviting the public to tour the dairy farm. Plymouth Dairy has 2300 cows that are milked three times daily. Guests were invited to watch the milking procedure in the milking parlor, as well as tour the barns, and see new born calves.  The guests were shown the different types of feeds that are fed to the cows, consisting of corn and hay silage, soybean meal, distilled dried grains derived from ethanol, and even cottonseed.  A rain shower briefly interupted the evening's festivities and sent many to seek shelter under tents.  The Western Iowa Dairy Alliance hosted the event.  In addition to the dairy association, many other commodity groups were present sharing information with the many guests, and handing out informational and educational coloring books to the children. 

 

State Parks Now Open After Flooding 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say some Iowa state parks affected by recent flooding are open for visitors.
     The state Department of Natural Resources says George Wyth State Park will reopen Friday. Backbone State Park's lower road will open Friday, though the campground was not affected by flooding and is open. Yellow River State Forest's campgrounds are also open.
     The main road through Dolliver State Park is still flooded, and its campground and family cabins remain closed. However, the south lodge and group camp are open. Parts of Lake State Park, Ledges State Park and Wapsipinicon State Park remain closed, though their campgrounds were not affected and are open.

 

DNR Warns Of Swimmer's Itch

 CRYSTAL LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Officials are warning people visiting some of Iowa's natural lakes about a condition called swimmer's itch.
     The state Department of Natural Resources says reports of swimmer's itch have come in from Crystal Lake and Black Hawk Lake. The condition is caused by a parasite that can burrow into human skin before dying.
     The DNR says the condition can create welts and itching and last for several days.
     People visiting beaches and natural lakes should avoid swimming in areas with aquatic plants. Swimmers should also reduce their amount of time in the water, and dry off quickly after getting out of the water.

 

Missing Ottumwa Swimmer Found In River

  OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they have found the body of a swimmer missing in the Des Moines River near Ottumwa.
     Searchers found the body of 25-year-old Michael Chrisman on Thursday morning, about a mile downstream from where he jumped into the water Monday evening. A searcher in an Eldon Fire Department boat spotted the body along the bank of the river.
     Wapello County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Don Phillips says searchers in four or five boats were searching when the body was located.
     Authorities say Chrisman was using a rope to swing over the river Monday evening. Friends saw him enter the water, but he didn't resurface.
     The river has been running high due to weekend rains.

 

Blind Student Sues Chiropractic School

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is expected to say Friday whether eyesight can be a requirement to graduate from one of the nation's leading chiropractic schools.
     The National Federation of the Blind says blind individuals have been chiropractors for decades but could be excluded from the profession if the court were to allow Palmer College's policy to stand. 
     Davenport-based Palmer argues that students must be able to see X-rays and other medical images on their own - not with the help of assistants who can see. 
     A blind student who was forced to drop out from the college as a result of the policy has sued, arguing it is discriminatory. A lower court judge has ruled in favor of Palmer, saying that vision is an essential part of chiropractic education.

 

Facial Recgonition Technology Helps Apprehend Fugitive

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Investigators in Iowa are crediting facial recognition technology with helping them capture an armed robber who escaped from a North Carolina prison in 1973.
     Authorities say 69-year-old Ronald Carnes was living in northeastern Iowa under the identities of two 5-year-old boys who died in the 1940s. He appeared in federal court in Iowa on Thursday to face weapons, identity theft and Social Security fraud charges.
     Carnes escaped from a now-closed prison in Huntersville, North Carolina in August 1973.
     Authorities in Iowa launched an investigation earlier this year after a man was accused of applying for Iowa driver's licenses for both of his assumed identities. Facial recognition software used by the Iowa Department of Transportation suggested the license photos were of the same person, later identified as Carnes.

 

Eagle To Have Surgery

 DECORAH, Iowa (AP) - Officials say a young eagle in Decorah is being prepped for surgery to treat a broken wing.
     The Raptor Resource Project says the bird's wing will be repaired in surgery Friday.  The eagle is expected to recover and be released back into the wild, but the reintroduction process could take more than a year.
     Director Bob Anderson says the eagle, along with others, has kept away from its nest. Officials think it's linked to a gnat infestation that could stress the birds.
     The Raptor Resource Project is a nonprofit group that helps preserve various birds including falcons and eagles. 
     ---

 

    


   

Thursday News, June 26

Highway 75 Accident Updated

(Le Mars) -- A head-on collison of two vehicles happen on Business highway 75 Wednesday afternoon south of the 18th Street intersection.  The accident happened at about 12:45 p.m.   Apparently a passenger vehicle driven by 29 year old Makayla Trejo of Merrill was traveling southbound on Business 75 when it lost control and initially left the road entering the west ditch and momentarily driving on the recreational bike trail.  Trejo then re-entered the roadway, but crossed over the center line striking a minivan traveling northbound, and being driven by 63 year old Nancy Yoder of Le Mars.  Yoder was unable to avoid the collision. Both drivers of each vehicle were the only victims, and both were transported to Floyd Valley Hospital.  Trejo admitted to the Le Mars Police that she had blacked out sometime before the accident, and said she has been having black out episodes lately.

Plymouth Dairy Farm To Host Public Tour

(Le Mars) -- June is Dairy Month, and the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance wants to educate people on where their milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, and other dairy products originates.  That's why they are hosting a tour for the general public at the Plymouth Dairy Farm this evening.  LeAnn Philips serves as the director of the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance.

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Philips says the purpose of the tour is to educate the consumer.

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The dairy alliance official says Le Mars depends heavily upon the dairy industry with both Wells Enterprises and Dean's Foods providing ice cream and milk, but she believes many people don't think of those food industries as having an agriculture connection.  Philips says many local jobs are dependent upon the dairy industry.

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The public tour is scheduled for today starting at 4:00 p.m. and continuing until 7:00 p.m.  It will be held at the Plymouth Dairy Farm located about four miles south of Le Mars at 23505 County Road K-49. Philips says guests will be served either a cheeseburger or hot dog, ice cream treats provided by Wells Blue Bunny, and milk from Dean's Foods.

 

Chamber Announces "Boss Of The Quarter"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has announced its latest recipient for the title of "Boss of the Quarter"  Sherri Bauman was presented the honor Thursday morning.  Bauman is the manager of the Cellular Connection store based in Le Mars.  Brett Jester submitted the nomination for Bauman.  He says "it is with great honor that I submit this nomination for Sherri Bauman as the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce 2nd Quarter "Boss of the Quarter."  Sherri deserves this nomination for a plethora of reasons.  One of those reasons is she isn't just a manager she is leader who leads by example, and includes herself in all the expectations for the store. She rarely refers to anyone as "my or our employees" but instead uses "my team" or "my co-workers."
She is firm with expectations but they are always presented in a way that everyone knows what needs to get done and what need to get done better. She always brings a positive attitude to the store with energy that makes customers gravitate toward her.  I asked her one day why she felt her management style was different and she said because I don't have employees I have "internal customers."  That is why Sherri Bauman deserves Boss of the Quarter.

 

IRGC Denies Argosy Request To Remain Open

(Des Moines) -- THE IOWA RACING AND GAMING COMMISSION HAS TURNED DOWN AN APPEAL FROM THE Argosy BELLE OF SIOUX CITY RIVERBOAT AND ITS PARENT COMPANY, PENN NATIONAL GAMING TO DELAY THE IRGC’S ORDER TO CLOSE THE CASINO ON JULY 1ST.  THE COMMISSION CONVENED AT 8AM TO TAKE UP THE MATTER IN A SPECIAL SESSION AT THE PRAIRIE MEADOWS CASINO IN ALTOONA.ATTORNEY MARK WEINHARDT ARGUED ON BEHALF OF PENN GAMING FOR THE STAY:

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HE ALSO ASKED THE IRGC TO ALLOW THE RIVERBOAT TO REMAIN OPEN AN EXTRA MONTH:

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ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN LUNDQUIST ARGUED AGAINST THE STAY:

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THE COMMISSION THEN HELD A BRIEF CLOSED SESSION BEFORE VOTING TO DENY THE STAY. CHAIRMAN JEFF LAMBERTI SAYS THE LICENSE DECISION WAS THE RIGHT ONE:

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A POLK COUNTY JUDGE WILL HEAR A SIMILAR APPEAL THURSDAY IN DES MOINES

 

Rock Valley Officials Announce They Will Host RAGBRAI 

(Rock Valley) -- There has been some discussion as to whether or not Rock Valley would be hosting the annual RAGBRAI bicycle ride since the community was inundated with flood waters last week.  Officials in Rock Valley say they will continue with plans to host this summer's big bike ride, despite the recent flooding.  Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo says it was not a decision that was taken lightly and any money generated by the RAGBRAI stop will have a distinct purpose -- to help residents who were displaced and to repair damaged property.

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Funds have been set up at the three local banks. The Rock River crested last week at Rock Valley some 11 feet over flood stage, breaking records set in the Flood of 1993. At least 150 homes in the town were damaged. The Rock Valley RAGBRAI Committee will make arrangements for housing in the coming weeks, as some of the people who were hosting bicycle riders have seen damage to their properties. Van Otterloo says the recovery is going well, but it's slow.

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RAGBRAI kicks off in Rock Valley on Saturday, July 19, with riders leaving to head towards Okoboji on Sunday the 20th.

 

Branstad Declares Nine More Counties As Emergency Disaster

(Des Moines) -- Governor Terry Branstad issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for nine additional counties in response to flooding and severe weather.  The counties include: Allamakee, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Emmet, Fayette, Humboldt, Winnebago and Winneshiek.  The Governor's proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of these storms.

 

 



   

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