Wednesday News, November 6
Goodchild Defeats Leonard For City Council Seat
(Le Mars) -- Last evening's election results show Clark Goodchild as the winner for the Le Mars city council election. Goodchild was able to defeat incumbent candidate John Leonard by a narrow margin of ten votes. Goodchild earned 104 votes to Leonard's 94. After the polls had been tallied, Goodchild says the close margin shows both candidates were well respected by the voters.
The voter turnout could be classified as being light, especially when you look at the
individual precincts that were uncontested. However, Goodchild believes the voter turnout for the only city council race was significant.
Other results from the Le Mars election show Dick Kirchoff re-elected to serve as mayor. Kirchoff received 345 total votes. He ran unopposed in the election. An interesting point regarding Kirchoff's election is that there were no write-in votes or scattering votes. Rex Knapp was also re-elected as an at-large council candidate. Knapp received 296 votes, and Ken Nelson won his council seat from Ward 3 with a total of 45 votes. Nelson also was unopposed.
Craig Bauerly and Bill Young both were re-elected to the Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees. Bauerly with 308 votes and Young received 301. Check the KLEM website for all the results from the Plymouth County communities.
Craig Passes Local Options Sales Tax
(Le Mars) -- In addition to electing city officials, voters of Craig had the opportunity to vote on the continuation of the one percent Local Options Sales Tax. In August, when the rest of the county approved the extension of the Local Options Sales Tax, the town of Craig had just two votes, and both were against the measure. Connie DeBoom is a resident of the small town of 80 people and a former town clerk.
She says this time around, the people of Craig had talked about the measure and the importance of the vote.
Last time, voters were asked to cast their vote at Brunsville instead of a polling location at Craig and DeBoom believes that may have contributed to the defeat in August. DeBoom says the people of Craig end up paying for the Local Option Sales Tax when they shop in nearby communities.
Craig has received approximately $9000 per year, or about $750 per month from the Local Options Sales Tax revenues. DeBoom says the figure may seem small to other communities, but for Craig, it means a lot. DeBoom says she was surprised to learn of the past election results with the two people from Craig voting down the tax revenue. This time around 24 people voted for the local options sales tax passing it by a margin of 86 percent in favor.
First Snowfall Produces Few Vehicle Accidents
(Le Mars) -- Last evening was the first significant snowfall for the region, and here in Le Mars we received an inch and a half, but according to Iowa Highway Patrol officials, there were few accidents or vehicles that went into the ditch from the result of the snow and ice.
However, Trooper Vince Kurtz says motorist may want to take a few more minutes in driving to their destination this morning.
Kurtz cautions drivers to be especially careful when traveling across bridges this morning prior to when the sun has the opportunity to do any melting.
Sibley Man Charged With Postal Fraud
SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) - A northwest Iowa business owner has been charged with filing false claims with the U.S. Postal Service on insurance meant to cover damage to shipped packages.
A document filed Monday in U.S. District Court charges Jed Dykstra of Sibley with mail fraud.
Prosecutors say Dykstra owned a second-hand store called, "What Goes Around Comes Back Around."
They say he filed forms claiming pieces of artwork were damaged by the Postal Service during shipping. In reality, they say Dykstra mailed the objects from himself to himself and falsified information about the pieces he claimed were damaged to inflate their values. He obtained $5,000 last year. Another $5,000 claim in April was denied.
Dykstra has reached a sealed plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office. He's due in court Nov. 26.
Autopsy Shows Logan Boy Died From Blunt Force To Head
LOGAN, Iowa (AP) - An autopsy shows a 5-year-old boy's death in western Iowa was caused by blunt force head injuries and drowning.
The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner released the autopsy of Dominic Elkins on Tuesday. His death has been ruled a homicide.
A foster family caring for Dominic found his body on Aug. 31 at the bottom of a rural Harrison County ravine. The boy had been living with the family for about two weeks.
Cody Metzker-Madsen, a 17-year-old described by authorities as a member of the foster family, has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder in connection to Dominic's death. Additional information has not been released.
A message left for Metzker-Madsen's attorney was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Utility Companies To Participate In "Black Out" Drill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's largest electric utilities will participate next week in a national blackout drill.
MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy confirmed they will be involved in GridEx II on Tuesday and Wednesday. The drill is sponsored by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. The nonprofit entity's mission is to ensure the reliability of the bulk power system in North America.
The drill will include a simulated and prolonged blackout and involve thousands of utility workers, business executives, anti-terrorism experts and government officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico.
MidAmerican spokeswoman Julie White described GridEx II as a "tabletop exercise."
Alliant spokesman Justin Foss said the drill would not affect Iowa's electrical customers.