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Wednesday News, April 29

Le Mars Community School Foundation Banquet Scheduled For This Evening

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District Foundation will hold its annual banquet this evening at the Lower Level of the Le Mars Convention Center. The teacher of the year, Kim Rohles, along with the school district's employees of the month will be recognized.  The evening's festivities will also honor the Le Mars Community Distinguished Alumnus, as well as the top five percent of the Le Mars Community graduating seniors. The banquet is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

 

 

Elementary Teachers Offer Early Reading Report To School Board

(Le Mars) -- During the Le Mars Community School Board meeting held Monday evening, board members were given a report from elementary teachers on how they were assisting students with their reading, and assessing their progress.  The FAST program, as it is known, works with students in Pre-school, Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and First and Second grades.  Students are given assessment test three times during the year. The elementary teachers reported to the board that at the beginning of school  assessment scores are lower than other schools in the area education agency and through out the state.  However, the teachers say that the young Le Mars students catch up fast with their reading comprehension skills and by the third test, students generally are above the state score level for reading.

 

 

Gehlen To Feature "Anything Goes"

(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic High School is set to present its spring musical, entitled "Anything Goes". Curtains will go up on Thursday and Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m.  Director Courtney Sandbulte says she chose the light-hearted comical musical because she could envision many Gehlen high school students easily adapting to their characters on stage. She says the characters really fit the personalities of the students. Sandbulte explains the story-line of the musical.

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The musical includes a cast of 36 people, including the backup singers.  Sandbulte says the play "Anything Goes" is full of high energy which she thought would fit well with the Gehlen student body.

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Sophomore, Collin Wise, has the lead role for "Anything Goes" as the character Billy Crocker. Wise, the son of Mike and Diane Wise says his brothers helped talk him into participating.

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Wise admits to being somewhat nervous about the opening of the musical.

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When asked if he had his lines and songs memorized, Wise was a bit hesitant with his answer.

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Wise describes his character, Billy Crocker.

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Check back as we will be introduced to other Gehlen students who are acting in the musical "Anything Goes".

 

 

 

Culvert Projects Received Contractor Bids

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved the bids for four separate culvert projects during their weekly meeting held Tuesday morning.  With several representatives from various contractor companies attending the meeting, the sealed bids were opened by County Engineer, Tom Rohe.  Rohe says he was pleased at the level of interest for the construction projects.

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The first project involves a precast concrete box culvert measuring 12 feet by 6 feet by 48 feet. Seven different contractors submitted bids ranging from $105,464 to a top bid of $151,744. Richards Construction out of Sac City submitted the accepted low bid of $105,464.  Rohe explains each of the culvert projects will start during the late summer, and he tells of the location for the first bid culvert project.

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Richards Construction was also able to win two additional contracts with a  project low bid of $57,848, and $46,947.  Rohe says Richards Construction is a relatively new bidder for Plymouth County construction projects.

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The second project is located southeast of Kingsley on 330th Street in Garfield township.  L-A Carlson of Merrill, Iowa submitted the low bid of $165,372 for a culvert project located southwest of Struble on Key Avenue.  Rohe says each of the approved submitted bids were lower than his estimates.

 

 

 

Special Meeting Scheduled For Conservation Board

(Hinton) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors along with the Plymouth County Conservation Board will be attending the Special Meeting of Plymouth County Conservation Board on Thursday, April 30th at 7:45 pm at the Center for Outdoor Learning at the Hillview Recreational Area at 25601 county road C60, west of Hinton, for the purpose of review and discussion of a land acquisition proposal.

 

 

 

Dog Flu Hits Sioux City

(Sioux City) --THE DOG FLU IS CAUSING CONCERN FOR PET OWNERS IN THE SIOUX CITY AREA.

ONE CASE HAS BEEN CONFIRMED LOCALLY SO FAR, BUT THE CITY IS TAKING THAT CASE SERIOUSLY AND HAS CLOSED THE DOG PARK LOCATED IN BACON CREEK PARK FROM NOW UNTIL AT LEAST MAY 6TH.

DR. JEFF BOTTGER OF ART AND SCIENCE PET SERVICES IN SIOUX CITY SAYS THE CANINE FLU SYMPTOMS ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE WHEN HUMANS GET THE FLU:

 

OC.....TYPE ISSUES. ;11

 

DR. BOTTGER SAYS THE FLU, KNOWN AS H3-N2, IS OF GREATER CONCERN TO PETS THAT MAY HAVE OTHER MEDICAL ISSUES:

 

OC....FOR COMPLICATIONS. ;16

 

PEOPLE CAN'T CATCH THE FLU FROM THEIR DOG, BUT DR. BOTTGER SAYS A PET OWNER COULD PASS THE VIRUS ON TO THEIR PET:

 

OC.........ANOTHER DOG. ;10

 

AND HE RECOMMENDS KEEPING YOUR DOG AWAY FROM OTHER DOGS:

 

OC....THE OTHER DOGS. ;22

 

BOTTGER SAYS YOUR DOG WILL NEED PLENTY OF BED REST IF IT BECOMES SICK AND IT WILL TAKE A WEEK TO TEN DAYS FOR THE VIRUS TO RUN ITS COURSE.

 

 

Sioux City Man Charged With Arson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A man has been charged with several counts of arson in connection with fires started in trash receptacles in Sioux City.

Police say 24-year-old Darin Morey set multiple trash cans and one dumpster ablaze early Monday. He is charged with two counts each of first-degree arson, second-degree and third-degree arson and one count of first-degree criminal mischief.

Authorities say the fires caused damage to two garages, two commercial buildings and a fence. No injuries were reported.

It was unclear Tuesday whether Morey has an attorney who could comment on his behalf. Online court records don't yet list the charges.

Morey faces up to 82 years in prison if convicted on all charges against him.

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Former Cherokee Teacher Accused Of Having Sexual Relations With Student

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) - A former Cherokee teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student has been arrested following a two-year investigation.

Police arrested 32-year-old Chad Osler, of Manchester, on Monday and charged him with two counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee and one count of lascivious conduct with a minor. Details about the investigation resulting in his arrest weren't immediately available Tuesday.

Kristen Rickey, superintendent of West Delaware Community School District where Osler is currently employed, says Osler has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Cherokee Community School District Superintendent John Chalstrom says Osler resigned in 2013.  He was previously the district's physical education teacher.

 

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Legislative Staffers Prepare For End Of Session

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Staffers in the Iowa Legislature are starting some of the tasks associated with adjourning the session, even though lawmakers are not close to concluding the budget process.

Student pages in the Iowa Senate were organizing boxes in the chamber Tuesday for members to pack up desks. As per tradition, they also stacked the boxes up to the balcony until they collapsed.

Friday will mark the last day for lawmakers to receive daily expense payments, as well as the final day of work for many clerks and pages in the part-time Legislature.

But lawmakers in the Democratic-majority Senate and Republican-controlled House have not reached a compromise deal on the state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

 

 

 

 

Lawmakers Pass Bill In Committee To Make Eminent Domain More Difficult

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Legislation that would make it harder for two energy projects to win eminent domain rights has won preliminary approval in the Iowa Legislature.

Subcommittees in the House and Senate met jointly Tuesday and approved identical legislation on the issue. Under the proposal, a project seeking eminent domain to build through private properties could only get permission after negotiating voluntary deals for at least 75 percent of the affected land.

The proposed change could impact two current proposals. One is to build an oil pipeline that would ship 450,000 barrels daily from production sites in North Dakota to an oil hub in Illinois. The other proposal is to build an electrical line across 16 Iowa counties would transmit wind-generated energy from Iowa to customers in the Midwest and East Coast

 

 

 




 

 

 

   

Tuesday News, April 28

Remsen-Union and Le Mars Community School Boards Hold Joint Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The school boards of Le Mars Community and Remsen-Union held a joint board meeting last evening to review available options as the Remsen-Union school district evaluates its future.  The Remsen-Union school board had requested the joint meeting.  No decisions were made during the meeting, other than to obtain additional information for both boards to review at a later date.

Shortly after the meeting convened, Remsen-Union school officials brought up the idea of whole grade class sharing. Remsen-Union proposed a two-way sharing program, in which the high school students would attend Le Mars Community High School, and the middle school students from both Remsen-Union and Le Mars would be educated in Remsen.  Scott Kommes, the president of the LeMarsCommunity School District immediately responded to the proposal by saying if there is to be an agreement, it would only be a one-way whole grade sharing with all students to attend the Le Mars Community school district.

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Discussion centered for a potential whole-grade sharing program that would only involve the Remsen-Union high school.  Remsen-Union would maintain its elementary grades.  Le Mars Community officials asked how many students would come to Le Mars if a program was established?  Remsen-Union officials indicated the high school consists of about 100 students, but it is unknown if all would attend Le Mars Community.  Some may go to Kingsley-Pierson, others to Marcus-Merriden-Cleghorn, or to another school. Remsen-Union school board director Mike Spaar indicated one reason for the interest to share with the Le Mars Community is because there are already several opportunities available at Le Mars.  He indicated several students from Remsen-Union were already attending Le Mars Community through open enrollment.

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Several times the Denison-Schleswig school district with its whole grade sharing program was mentioned as an example.  Remsen-Union superintendent Jan Brandhorst spelled out the requirements as it relates to a whole grade sharing program.

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Le Mars School District director, Pat Murphy then asked the question "what other options are available besides whole-grade sharing?   Le Mars school superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt responded by saying the options include whole-grade sharing, consolidation, or even the dissolving of a school district.Remsen-Union officials indicated they are meeting with other neighboring school boards to find the best scenario for the Remsen-Union school. At that time Dr. Todd Wendt, asked the Remsen-Union officials to gauge their level of commitment to Le Mars.

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The Remsen-Union school board was in general agreement that they thought Le Mars would provide the best opportunity for R-U students.  Remsen-Union superintendent, Jan Brandhorst indicated the R-U school enrollment has been dropping nearly one percent each year for the past several years. Both sides agreed more specific detailed information would be needed, before any decision could be made.


More Iowa Poultry Farms Stricken With Bird Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State officials say the bird flu virus has been found in four more northwest Iowa poultry farms with more than 2 million chickens.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture announced Monday there were probable cases of avian influenza at two farms in O'Brien County, one in Osceola County and one in Sioux County.
Additional testing of the birds is pending, and if confirmed all of the birds will be killed to prevent spread of the disease.
Since early March, bird flu cases have prompted officials to order that turkey and chicken producers euthanize more than 7 million birds from several Midwestern states.
The latest cases include three commercial laying operations and one farm that produces young hens. The largest operation is in Sioux County, with 1.7 million birds.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey held a telephone news conference yesterday to address the bird flu in Iowa.  Northey was asked about the impact on the state's egg industry so far.

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The other new probably case of the H-5-N-2 virus involves 250-thousand pullets in Osceola County. Pullets are chickens that become egg layers once they are grown. There are also two confirmed cases of the disease in turkey farms in Buena Vista and Sac County. Northey was asked about the impact of the disease on the price of turkeys and chicken products from the disease in Iowa and other states.

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Northey says the impact depends on how many more cases are found in the state, and he says they can't predict that. Minnesota's governor declared a state of emergency following the influenza outbreak there. Northey says his staff and the U-S-D-A have been handling things at this point and he isn't sure if Iowa will need such a declaration.

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Ex Egg Executives Appeal Judge Ruling

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two former egg industry executives are appealing the three-month jail sentences a judge has ordered for their roles in a 2010 food poisoning outbreak.
The appeals filed Monday by Austin "Jack" DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, had been expected.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett ordered the jail time earlier this month, citing a "litany of shameful conduct" that happened at their large Iowa egg production company. But Bennett allowed them to stay free while they appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Federal investigators traced the 2010 salmonella outbreak to eggs that came from the DeCosters' company, Quality Egg. Thousands of people were sickened and more than 500 million eggs were voluntarily recalled.
The DeCosters' attorneys argue that jail time is unconstitutional for the crime.

Supervisors Accept Bids For Culvert Construction Projects

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved the bids for four separate culvert projects during their weekly meeting held Tuesday morning. With several representatives from various contractor companies attending the meeting, the sealed bids were opened by County Engineer, Tom Rohe.  Rohe says he was pleased at the level of interest for the construction projects.

Listen to

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The first project involves a precast concrete box culvert measuring 12 feet by 6 feet by 48 feet. Seven different contractors submitted bids ranging from $105,464 to a top bid of $151,744.  Richards Construction of Sac City submitted the accepted low bid of $105,464.  Rohe explains each of the culvert projects will start during the late summer, and he tells of the location for the first bid culvert project.

Listen to

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Richards Construction was also able to win two additional contracts with a  project low bid of $57,848, and $46,947.  Rohe says Richards Construction is a relatively new bidder for Plymouth County construction projects.

Listen to

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The second project is located southeast of Kingsley on 330th Street in Garfield township.  L-A Carlson of Merrill, Iowa submitted the low bid of $165,372 for a culvert project located southwest of Struble on Key Avenue.  Rohe says each of the approved submitted bids were lower than his estimates.

Canine Flu Detected In Sioux City

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The first dog flu case in Iowa has been confirmed in Sioux City.
Dr. Kyoung-Jin Yoon with the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University says samples from a sick dog treated at the Perry Creek Animal Hospital are believed to be the latest strain of canine flu, H3N2. He says the specific strain hasn't yet been confirmed.
The virus has swept the Midwest in recent weeks, sickening more than 1,000 dogs and killing five between January and March.
Dr. David Ray, the veterinarian who first treated the sick dog April 20 in Sioux City, says the owners reported his health was improving as of Monday. He says about half of animal clinics in the area have reported dogs with flu-like symptoms, including fever, nasal discharge and a dry cough.


Complaint Filed Against Restaurant Owners For Not Paying Employees

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Regulators are suing the owners of two Ames restaurants to try to collect nearly $600,000 in wages that they say are owed to workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the husband and wife who own Mongolian Buffet and the recently-closed King Buffet.
The lawsuit alleges the owners, Li Ying Li and Jian Yum Zheng, did not pay some employees the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and did not pay overtime premiums.
The lawsuit says kitchen employees and servers were expected to work 72 hours per week. Some of them were paid a fixed salary of $450 weekly.
Regulators say 38 employees are owed $597,000 in past wages from March 2012 to March 2014.
Li said she wasn't aware of the lawsuit and declined comment.
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Poll Shows Iowans Don't Know New York Mayor
NEW YORK (AP) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih-BLAH'-zee-oh) traveled to Iowa this month to talk about his liberal beliefs. But most Iowans have no idea who he is.
A new poll released Tuesday revealed that 67 percent of Hawkeye State residents don't know enough about de Blasio to have an opinion.
The Public Policy Polling survey says that 18 percent have a favorable opinion of the mayor while 15 percent have an unfavorable opinion.
The poll was of 466 Democratic voters. It has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.
De Blasio spoke in Des Moines about the need to fight income inequality.
He has taken clear steps to try to raise his national profile but has steadfastly denied considering a presidential run.


   

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