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Friday News, September 19

6th Avenue Southwest Closed Today

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars city officials have announced that 6th Avenue Southwest from 18th Street to 24th Street southwest (also known as 200th Street) will be closed until Friday afternoon due to manhole and sanitary sewer installations.

 

Homecoming Float Vandals Reported

(Le Mars) -- Last week KLEM news reported the Le Mars Community Homecoming floats had been vandalized.  Today, the Le Mars Police Department has released the names of the individuals responsible for the destruction of the homecoming floats.  Each of the four students have been charged with Criminal Mischief in the 5th degree.  Andrew Carpenter, Kyle Kliever, Colton Beitelspacher and Silas Buss, all sophomores at Le Mars Community High School, met with and self reported to school officials that they were responsible for the criminal mischief to the three homecoming floats.  They each admitted to entering the building at the fairgrounds and destroying the floats on the evening of September 11th, the night before Homecoming.

 

Waste Water Treatment Plant Holds Open House

(Le Mars) -- Last evening, the city of Le Mars opened the doors of the new waste water treatment facility for the public's review during an open house.  The new $18 million plant is capable of pumping 700,000 gallons of water per day.  Greg Sindt was the engineer of the new waste water plant.  He says this facility differs somewhat from other municipal waste water treatment plants.

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Sindt says the procedure used to break down the sludge and other solids in the waste water is a natural biological process.

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Although the treated water is not recommended to drink, once the waste water has ran through the system, officials say that 98 percent of the contaminants have been removed. Ron Kaiser is the city's waste water treatment superintendent.  He says the old waste water facility located on the northwest corner of town will still be utilized, but only for the residential waste.

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Early Frost May Hurt Crop Production Yields

(Le Mars) -- Last week's early frost may have set back the yield production for both corn and soybeans according to Iowa State University Extension crops specialist Joel DeJong.  DeJong says some areas of soybeans may see some losses up to five percent of the yield potential.

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As for corn, even though many fields are lagging behind in terms of maturity, DeJong believes farmers may see a slight yield reduction due to the early frost, but perhaps not much.

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The ISU crops specialist says although area farmers may suffer a slight yield loss as a result of the early freeze, he says most of the plants survived the colder temperatures, and farmers are fortunate the temperatures were not colder as more damage could have occurred.

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Most soybean fields are just starting to turn color and DeJong expects to see combine harvesters in the soybean fields within two weeks harvesting this year's crop.

 

"Kids Day On The Farm" Beneficial To Educational Curriculm

(Le Mars) -- More than 230 students from Le Mars and Remsen elementary schools participated in the "Kids Day on the Farm" today.  Its an opportunity for students to learn about agriculture from an "up close" and often times a "hands-on" experience.  Gehlen Catholic teacher Cheri Herbst says the annual field trip of visiting four different types of farms is beneficial to the student's better understanding and appreciation for agriculture.

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Herbst teaches 4th grade at Gehlen Catholic and she says her curriculm includes learning about the different states and the products produced from each state.  She says the farm tour helps her students know the products produced in Iowa.

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Clark Elementary school teacher Vicki Oetken says the farm tours serve a good purpose for her class as part of the Social Studies curriculm.

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Oetken says it is sometimes surprising to see how much, and how long of time students will remember the information shared from their farm visits.

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The Clark elementary school teacher says her students are inquisitative about farming and often ask several questions of the farmer.

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The school students visited a beef, swine, sheep, and a dairy farm.  The program has been in existance for 16 years, and is sponsored by the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee.

 

Rayhons Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Abuse

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican State Rep. Henry Rayhons has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of sex abuse.
     Online court records say Rayhons, 78, of Garner, made the plea Wednesday. No trial date has been set.
     Rayhons is accused of having sexual contact in May with the resident of a care center who was not able to give consent. The Iowa Department of Public Safety has said the woman was Rayhons' wife, Donna Rayhons, who died in early August.
     Rayhons represents the 8th District in the state House, which covers part of north-central Iowa. He won the GOP nomination to seek re-election but withdrew from the race.

 

Prison To Investigate The Origin Of Found Capsules

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) - The discovery of hundreds of capsules containing an unknown substance at a northern Iowa prison has prompted a state drug investigation, officials said Thursday.
     Authorities said that 300 to 400 capsules were found last week during routine searches by staff at the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City.
     Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta said the capsules were found inside the prison, but he would not say where. He said the department believes the capsules may contain illegal substances, and that's why they are being sent to a state crime laboratory in Ankeny for processing and analysis.
     The Iowa Department of Public Safety cautioned that test results will take several weeks to complete. The agency's Division of Narcotics Enforcement and the Division of Criminal Investigation are leading the investigation.
     Scaletta said no one has been arrested in connection with the discovery. He said he couldn't reveal whether any inmates have been disciplined internally.
     The minimum-security prison houses low-risk offenders, many of whom are nearly ready to complete their sentences and return to society. The Iowa Department of Corrections says the prison has 494 inmates and 107 employees.
     Warden Cornell Smith declined comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

 

New Survey Shows Slow Economic Growth In Midwest

 OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A new survey suggests economic growth in rural areas of Iowa, Nebraska and eight other Midwestern states will continue slowing down in the next few months.
     Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said Thursday that crop prices are significantly lower than last year, and that's a drag on the economy in rural areas.
     The overall economic index from the monthly survey of bankers declined to 48.2 in September from August's already weak 48.3 reading.
     The survey indexes range from 0 to 100. Any score below 50 suggests decline in the months ahead.
 

 

    



 

   

Thursday News, September 18

Le Mars Fire Department Responds To Alarm At "The Abbey"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to "The Abbey" at 320 1st Avenue Southeast last evening at about 9:35 for a fire alarm.  Fortunately, there was no fire and the residents were safe. 

New Waste Water Treatment Plant To Hold Open House

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars residents and the general public is invited to attend an open house scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the new waste water treatment facility, located about two miles west of town at 17505 Key Avenue.  Le Mars mayor, Dick Kirchoff, says this is a one-time opportunity to see the new plant.

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Kirchoff offers some interesting statistics about the new waste water treatment facility.

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The Le Mars mayor says the new facility was needed to accommodate the expansion and growth of the city and its industries.  He explains the facility was financed in part by Wells Enterprises and Dean's Foods.

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Parking may become a concern during Thursday's open house, and the Le Mars mayor suggests people park at the Little League ball park, then be shuttled to the new waste water plant.

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Third Grade Students To Visit Plymouth County Farms

(Le Mars) -- Third grade students from Le Mars Community, Gehlen Catholic, Remsen-Union, and Remsen St. Mary's will leave their classrooms today, and instead have their class as part of a field trip located on different Plymouth County farms.  It's all part of an effort to teach the youngsters about agriculture.  The students will visit a sheep, swine, dairy, and beef farms.  Farmers will serve as teachers today as they discuss with the students where food originates as they discuss their own farming operations.  Following the farm tours, the students will go to Cleavland Park where the County Pork and Cattle Producers will grill pork burgers and hamburgers to serve.  The event is being sponsored by the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee.

 

Hospital Construction Project Encounters Delays

(Le Mars) -- Recent rains and other complications have slowed down the construction timetable for the Floyd Valley Hospital's new north addition expansion project.  Hospital Administrator Mike Donlin comments on the situation.

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Donlin says the leak forced contractors to essentially start over with the geothermal heating system.

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Repairs to the geothermal heating system is nearing completion, and with it, Phase 1 of the construction will also be complete.  Donlin says Phase 2 of the project will consists of the actual structural skeleton of the building and he hopes the weather will cooperate allowing contractors to enclose the facility before winter arrives.

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When does Donlin expect to see Phase 2 started?

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The hospital administrator says the construction delays may be frustrating at times, but he is pleased to see the project is still under budget.

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U-S Senate Race Tightens

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The race for Iowa's open Senate seat could be dubbed the Resume vs. the Personality. 
     Democrat Bruce Braley is focusing on policy in his bid to win the contest and his recent television ads have featured others talking about the four-term congressman's record. He doesn't appear in the ads himself. His Republican opponent Joni Ernst has built her campaign around telling voters her story as a down-home farm girl and military veteran. 
     A poll of likely Iowa voters released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University showed Ernst leading Braley 50 percent to 44 percent. The poll - which had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points - was the first recent survey to show Ernst with such a lead. Other recent polling has shown the two closely locked.

 

High School Principal Can Return To Work After Arrested For Public Intoxication

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A high school principal who was arrested on suspicion of drunkenness at a University of Iowa football game will return to work on Monday.
     The district school board voted Monday to let Adel DeSoto Minburn High School principal Lee Griebel resume his duties next week. Griebel was suspended after his arrest Sept. 6 in Iowa City. 
     Griebel was found at the stadium sitting near a garbage can with vomit on his shorts and a pile of vomit near him, according to a University of Iowa news release. Police said he had an unsteady balance and failed a breath test for intoxication.
     Court records do not list an attorney for Griebel.
     District Superintendent Greg Dufoe said in a news release that, "Mr. Griebel made a serious mistake, and he accepts full responsibility for his actions."

 

Actress Shirley Jones Returns To Mason City For "Music Man" Performance

 MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Actress Shirley Jones signed autographs and toured downtown Mason City on Tuesday during a stay highlighted by her performance in a concert version of "The Music Man."
     The Globe Gazette reports Jones signed album covers, books and other items for people at an event at The Music Man Square.
     It was the Academy Award winner's fourth visit to Mason City, starting with a 1962 stop for the premiere of the movie version of "The Music Man." Jones played Marian the librarian in the film.
     This time, Jones is in Mason City as part of a seven-state tour with her son Patrick Cassidy, who is playing con man Harold Hill. Jones and Cassidy are producing "The Music Man in Concert," and Jones is portraying Mrs. Paroo, Marian's mother.
     The show premiers Thursday at the North Iowa Community Auditorium.
     Among those getting Jones' autograph was Ken Anderson, of St. Ansgar, who was a driver for Jones when she visited Mason City in 1962. Back then, Jones signed a paperback book of "The Music Man" for Anderson, and Tuesday she signed it again.
 

 

   

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