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Friday News, April 24

Plymouth County Treasurer's Office To Offer Tax Credits To Elderly And Disabled

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Treasurer, Shelly Sitzmann will be traveling to various Plymouth County communities to assist applicants who qualify for a state credit on their house taxes, mobile home taxes, or for rent reimbursements.  In order to qualify and receive credit on your real estate taxes, Iowa residents who own their home must be 65 years old or older, or be totally disabled and have a total household income under $22,011 for 2014.  If you own and live in a mobile home, you are eligible to claim a reduced tax rate if your 2014 combined household income was less than $22,011 and you were 23 years of age or older as of December 31, 2014.  The state of Iowa also offers a rent reimbursement program to assist elderly or disabled low income individuals.  Sign up must be done by June 1st.  Qualified residents need to bring their 2014 income tax return, social security statement of earnings, and the amount of any other income that you received in 2014.  Sitzmann and/or other members of the Plymouth County Treasurers office will be at the Hinton Community Center from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 5th.  Following Hinton, they will be at the Merrill Senior Center from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and then in Remsen at the Remsen Library between 11:30 to 12:30 a.m.  On Wednesday, May 6th, the treasurers office staff will be at the Kingsley City Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The Akron Library Community Room will serve as the second stop on May 6th between 12:30 and 1:30.  The staff will finish at the Westfield City Hall from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Sitzmann says applicants can also bring their information to the county courthouse in Le Mars anytime between 8:00 and 5:00. The sign-up deadline is June 1st.

 

 

 

Sioux City Man To Serve 9 Months For Shooting

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man must serve nine months in jail in another man's nonfatal shooting last year.

A judge suspended a five-year prison sentence for Jose Escobar-Olguin on Thursday and placed him on probation for two years.

Escobar-Olguin pleaded guilty in February to aggravated assault and going armed with intent. He was accused of shooting 21-year-old Lester Calderon-Hidalgo in the head outside a residence in September.

Escobar-Olguin apologized in court and said he was wrong for shooting Calderon-Hidalgo.

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Gehlen Representatives Talk About School At Lunch And Learn Session

(Le Mars) -- Those people that attended Wednesday's Lunch and Learn session were able to gain some insight regarding Gehlen Catholic School.  Lori Nussbaum, the elementary principal for Gehlen was one of four speakers who informed the attendees about the local private school.

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Many people may have been surprised to learn of how Gehlen seeks to offer so many families financial assistance for tuition.

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Nussbaum says the tuition assistance is available to all families that need it.  While many other small schools have had difficulty retaining enrollment with declining numbers, Gehlen Catholic has been able to reverse the trend by showing an increase of student enrollment nine of the past ten years.

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The representatives from Gehlen informed the Lunch and Learn gathering that the school has traditionally scored above the state and national averages in scholastic academic achievement. Nussbaum says there are many reasons why Gehlen scores are high.

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The Gehlen representatives shared with the group that towns that are fortunate to have two schools, such as Le Mars, often times both schools are better performing schools, than those communities with one school.

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It was announced at the Lunch and Learn session that the All Saints Parish of Le Mars will be getting another priest during the coming months.

Branstad Calls Upon State Agencies To Monitor Bird Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has asked several state agencies to monitor the outbreak of a deadly form of bird flu that's reached Iowa and led to an emergency declaration in Minnesota.
Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers says the governor is communicating with agencies overseeing public health and emergency management. Agency officials have been asked to offer resources to respond to the H5N2 virus, which has affected more than 7 million chickens and turkeys in several Midwestern states. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton declared a state of emergency Thursday.
In Iowa, the flu is confirmed in Buena Vista and Osceola counties. Nearly 4 million chickens at one farm will be destroyed.
Centers says Branstad's office has not received a request for a disaster declaration, but resources can be made available without one.

Bird Flu Now Detected In Sac County Turkey Farm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Agriculture says a turkey farm in Sac County has become the third farm in Iowa to have confirmed cases of bird flu.
The farm's 34,000 turkeys will be killed to contain the virus.
The farm is within a six-mile monitoring zone of the first turkey farm identified in Iowa to have the H5N2 virus.
Sac County is the adjacent county south of Buena Vista County where a farm with 27,000 turkeys was confirmed to have the virus on April 13th.
An egg-laying facility with 3.8 million chickens in Osceola County northwest of the turkey farms also has the virus.
State agriculture officials say in the latest case announced Thursday, turkeys began dying and tests at Iowa State University confirmed the bird flu virus is present.

Trade Partners Decline Purchasing Poultry Products From Infected Counties And States

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some international trade partners are declining to buy egg and poultry products from states affected by a deadly strain of bird flu while others are excluding imports only from counties where the virus has surfaced.
Agriculture officials say the food supply is safe. But Mexico, Japan and Canada are among 33 countries declining to accept poultry products from entire states, including Iowa, the nation's leading egg producer, and Minnesota, the top turkey grower in the U.S.
Other countries, including Hong Kong, limit the ban to counties where the virus has been confirmed.
Jim Sumner, president of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, says 110 countries trade with no restrictions.
Also Thursday, the governor of Minnesota, the nation's leading turkey producer, declared a state of emergency to fight the H5N2 virus
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Lottery Official Testifies Before House Committee

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The head of the Iowa Lottery has reiterated to lawmakers that state law prevented the illegal payout of a multimillion-dollar Hot Lotto ticket.
CEO Terry Rich told the House Government Oversight Committee on Thursday that Iowa law includes security measures that allowed officials to refuse to pay the prize.
Prosecutors say Eddie Tipton, who was director of information security for the Multi-State Lottery Association, illegally bought a Hot Lotto ticket in 2010 later worth $14.3 million. He is accused of tampering with lottery equipment and working with others to try to claim the ticket. Tipton has pleaded not guilty. A trial is scheduled this year.
Some lawmakers asked about security protocols. Rich says more layers have been added, but he reiterated rules were already in place to prevent payouts.

Missouri Valley Man Charged With Arson

MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) - A 19-year-old Iowa man has been charged with three counts of arson for fires at a vacant residence in Missouri Valley.
A news release from the Iowa Department of Public Safety says Coty Cates, of Missouri Valley, already was in custody on another matter when he was served with the arson charge last week. The arson charge stems from fires set Oct. 4, Oct. 9 and Oct. 10 last year at the house. No injuries have been reported.
Harrison County Jail records say Cates remained in custody on Friday.

 


 

   

Thursday Afternoon News, April 23

Semi Truck Loaded With Hay Rolls Over

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's office is investigating a semi-truck and trailer accident that happened at the 24000 block of Jade Avenue near Merrill.  The accident happened Wednesday morning at about 8:30.  The semi truck was hauling a load of hay, and was the second of two semi-trailers.  According to the traffic accident report, the semi truck loaded with hay, and being driven by 21 year old Ty Egly of Blunt, South Dakota was moving toward the shoulder of the gravel road allowing the second semi truck to pass.  Apparently, the semi-truck and trailer was on loose gravel when the rig rolled on its side and dumping the hay into the ditch.  Egly sustained minor injuries, but refused to seek treatment.

 

 

 

 

Plymouth County Deputies Arrest Woman For Meth Charges

(Le Mars) -- On Tuesday afternoon, shortly after 3:00 p.m. the Plymouth County Sheriff's office made a traffic stop.  Deputies stopped a tan 2006 Honda Accord for a speeding violation in the 3000 block of Highway 75 in Hinton, Iowa.  After further investigation, the Plymouth County deputy arrested 57 year old Bounmy Bounmy of Sioux City, a passenger in the vehicle.  Bounmy was charged with 2 counts of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, a class B felony, 2 counts of failure to affix drug tax stamp, a class D felony, introducing a controlled substance into a correctional facility, a class D felony, and possession of paraphernalia, a serious misdemeanor.  Bond for Bounmy was set at $25,000 and she is currently being held at the Plymouth County Jail.

 

 

 

FBI Catches Lawyer Wanted For Fraud Charges

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A disbarred Iowa lawyer's long run from the law is over.

Investigators have captured former Coralville lawyer Dennis Bjorklund, one of the FBI's most wanted white-collar criminals, in Colorado several years after he vanished.

Authorities said Wednesday that Bjorklund was arrested without incident April 15 in Pueblo, Colorado by the FBI and the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office. They say he is being transferred back to Iowa to face federal charges of mail and tax fraud.

An indictment returned in 2010 accuses Bjorklund of defrauding clients in drunken-driving cases by recommending they make contributions to a phony charity he established. He told clients the donations would reflect well on their character and likely lead to lighter sentences.

The Iowa Supreme Court disbarred him in 2006, saying Bjorklund "lies with reckless abandon."

 

 

Trial Set For Teacher Accused Of Sexual Abuse

UNDERWOOD, Iowa (AP) - A June trial has been scheduled for a western Iowa teacher accused of sexually abusing a former student.

Forty-six-year-old Barret Glasnapp entered written not guilty pleas in Pottawattamie County District Court last week to four felony counts of sexual abuse, a felony count of sexual exploitation by a school employee and six misdemeanor counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee. His trial is set to begin June 2.

Authorities say Glasnapp's sexual interaction with the girl began in 2011 when the student was 14, and continued until October. She was a student of Glasnapp from 2009 until 2012.

According to a court affidavit, an investigator assigned to follow up on a report of a sexual assault at Underwood Middle School in December found that Glasnapp had quit in November.

 

 

 

Roommate Pleas Guilty To Abusing Kittens

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 21-year-old West Liberty man is scheduled to be sentenced next month for abusing his roommate's kitten.

Court documents say Leo Nopoulos pleaded guilty on Tuesday. He'd been charged with one count of animal torture and two of animal abuse. His sentencing is set for May 18.

Nopoulos' roommate, 23-year-old Nathan Schloss, had set up a laptop to record video of his 8-week-old cat, Fritz. But police say video showed Nopoulos punching, kicking and throwing objects at the kitten for more than three hours.

Police say they also found on Schloss' laptop hard drive video of Schloss having sex with incapacitated women. He's charged with 18 counts of sexual abuse and 22 counts of invasion of privacy. He's pleaded not guilty, and his trial is scheduled to begin May 5.

 

 

 

Court Overturns Des Moines Man's Conviction In Fatal Beating

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals has overturned the murder conviction of a man who was sent to prison for the beating death of another man near Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Kent Tyler III was convicted of second-degree murder in the Aug. 24, 2013, slaying of 40-year-old Richard Daughenbaugh. Witnesses testified that Tyler punched Daughenbaugh once after Daughenbaugh drove his pickup into a parking lot where dozens of young people were partying. Several people then attacked Daughenbaugh, but there was no evidence Tyler joined in.

The Des Moines Register reports that the 20-year-old Tyler has been serving his 50-year sentence at Anamosa State Penitentiary.

 

 

 

 

Red Oak To Get Facelift

RED OAK, Iowa (AP) - A facade project to give Red Oak's downtown square a face-lift is set to begin.

The Daily Nonpareil reports residents gathered in Fountain Square Park Wednesday for the project's groundbreaking ceremony. Paul Griffen, the executive director for the Red Oak Chamber and Industry Association, said the gathering was a celebration of updates that are needed.

The project, which will be done in two phases, will give new awnings, paint and more to 30 buildings in the downtown square area. Both phases are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

According to Griffen, the facade project will have a price tag of more than $900,000 by the time it is done. The city has received funds for the project from a Community Development Block Grant, as well as money from Downtown Urban Renewal and building owner contributions.

 

 

 

   

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