Saturday, August 30, 2014
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Friday Afternoon News, August 1

Smoke From Burn Pile Hangs Over Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department wants the public to know the city grass, leaf, and tree pile located on the northwest corner of town, has been intentionally set on fire, and is a controlled burn.  Due to the high humidity and calm winds, the air is heavier causing the smoke from that fire to settle over the city of Le Mars creating a haze.  The smell of smoke can be detected in many parts of the town.  Sufferers of asthma may want to remain indoors until winds can blow the smoke away from town.   


Plymouth County Roads Department To Close County Road C-60

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department on Monday will be closing county road C-60 from Highway 75 east to county road K-42.  The closure is expected to last four days, and the reason for the road to be closed is to repair the railroad crossing on the Burlington Northern railroad tracks.  A detour will be set up from the Junction of Highway 75 and County road C-60 south on Highway 75 to County road C-70 then north on county road K-42 to C-60.


Julie Holck Selected As "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce presented an "Employee of the Month" honor this morning.  This month, the award was given to Julie Holck with the Le Mars Insurance Company.  Julies has been an employee with the Le Mars Insurance Company for 30 years.  Patti Hill and the entire staff nominated Julie Holck for the honor.  In their submitted nomination, they feel Julie is deserving of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month award for many reasons.  Not just because she is celebrating her 30th anniversary with Le Mars Insurance Company, but because over the past 30 years, Julie continues to demonstrate great customer services skills along with excellent skills.  Her work ethic is very strong, rarely missing a day of work.  She continues to accept and support the new challenges that we have faced over the years.  For example: web based inquiries, new policy systems, learning the claims entry process, and our current challenge - conversion to the PMS systems.  Julie is knowledgeable in all facets of the company.  Julie can almost do it all.  Julie is a great co-worker as well.  If you need assistance, Julie is there, helping in any department or co-worker, answering many questions such as "how do I do that?" No matter what the job or what the question, Julie is ready to help.  Oh, and she can be bribed with Chocolate if you need something done ASAP.  That is why we believe Julie Holck is worthy of the August Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.  She is a very valuable employee to Le Mars and the Donegal Companies.  Our congratulations to Julie Holck for being named the Chamber of Commerce's "Employee of the Month."


Missing Girls Found In Corn Field

 LARCHWOOD, Iowa (AP) - Two girls who went missing after going out to pick corn in a northwest Iowa field have been found safe.
     The Lyon County Sheriff's Office says the girls were ages 3 and 6. They went to pick corn on Thursday afternoon and got lost in a field.
     Several law enforcement agencies and a helicopter joined the search. A passer-by spotted the girls about 2 1/2 hours after they were reported missing. They've been reunited with their parents.


State Fair Entertainment Costly For State Fair Officials

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state auditor's report shows that when it comes to revenue, all performances at the Iowa State Fair's Grandstand aren't equal. 
     Nine of the fair's 53 acts since 2008 have cost more to bring in than they've earned in ticket sales. 
     The study shows Janet Jackson's 2011 concert appearance was the biggest loser, costing the fair about $107,000. 
     Last year, three performances didn't earn enough ticket sales to cover all entertainers' fees. One of the acts included three "Saturday Night Live" veterans. The fair had to come up with nearly $91,000 to pay the performers.
     Fair officials are hopeful this year's Grandstand acts will sell more tickets. 
     The fair typically attracts about one million visitors during its 11-day run. It starts next month.


Democrats Offer Proposals To Expand Presidential Caucases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Democrats are offering proposals for how to expand access to the state's presidential caucuses.
     Party adviser Norm Sterzenbach says Iowa Democrat Party Chairman Scott Brennan will unveil the recommendations Friday before the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee in Washington.
     The proposals include pushing for legislation requiring employers to give non-essential workers time off to attend their precinct caucus, as well as hiring a staff member to focus on caucus accessibility. 
     The party also wants to provide satellite caucus sites for those who can't easily participate. And they are proposing that Iowans serving in the military could participate through a video-conferencing system.
     The committee will not take action on the broad proposals Friday. The state party must still develop a complete plan to present for approval next spring.





Friday News, August 1

Neunaber Charged With First Degree Murder

(Le Mars) -- Charges of first degree murder have been issued to Jonathon Neunaber of Akron.  Neunaber is accused of killing his mother Esther Neunaber.  Esther, and her husband Donald Neunaber, were both found dead in their rural Akron home on July 9th.  Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond filed the arrest warrant Thursday morning.  The state medical examiner determined the cause of death as homicide.  Jonathon Neunaber admitted to investigators that he willfully, deliberatley, and with premeditation caused the death of his mother Ester Neunaber.  Jonathon Neunaber was found by authorities in La Crosse, Wisconsin, a day after the discovery of the dead bodies.  He has been held in Plymouth County Jail as a material witness.  Bond has been set at one hundred thousand dollars.  A hearing originally scheduled for Monday, August 4th has now been dismissed.


Hard Rock Casino To Open Friday Evening

(Sioux City) -- The latest Iowa casino is scheduled to open this evening.  One day after the Argosy Belle Riverboat casino was ordered to close by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, Sioux City's newest casino, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is set to open its doors at 8:00 p.m. tonight.  There is much anticipation for the new downtown casino located on Pearl Street of downtown.  The new hotel and casino cost $128 million to build, and it features three restaurants, 54 hotel rooms, performance spaces, and bars.  A concert will occur at 10 p.m. this evening, but officials are not saying who will be the performer. 


Iowa Racing And Gaming Commission Says No More Licenses Will Be Granted

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - The commission that oversees casino licenses in Iowa says it will not consider new projects for the next few years it but stopped short of imposing a formal moratorium.
     Commission Chairman Jeff Lamberti says he's not interested in new proposals for the remaining three years of his term on the commission. The other four commissioners agreed.
     He says he wants to see how casinos opening in Sioux City, Jefferson and Davenport in the next few years operate before considering anything new.
     Commissioners could change their minds if significant market changes occur or the Legislature revises gambling laws. 
     The commission approved a new casino for Jefferson in June, the state's 19th state-regulated casino. Iowa also has three operated by American Indian tribes.
     Recent studies indicate Iowa's casino market is saturated. 


Sioux City House Fire Leaves Man Hospitalized

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A man found by Sioux City firefighters sent to battle a house fire has been hospitalized.
     Authorities say firetrucks were dispatched about 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Fire crews found the flames had died away, but the house had considerable smoke damage.
     Assistant Fire Chief Pat Flynn says the man was semiconscious when found inside, and he was taken outside for treatment that included oxygen. The man soon was taken to a hospital.
     His name and other information about him haven't been released.


Senators Cruz And Rubio To Visit Iowa

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio will be the special guest at a summer picnic held by a prominent GOP donor this weekend in Hardin County.
     Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter says Rubio, who is weighing a 2016 bid for president, will top the list of out-of-state political visitors to his annual party. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, another prospective presidential candidate, is also expected to attend.
     Rastetter, an agribusiness company founder, has become one of Iowa's leading Republican donors. He helped encourage Governor Terry Branstad to return from retirement to seek the governorship again in 2010, and tried to recruit New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to run for president in 2012.
     The guest list for the private party includes about 1,200 Iowans from politics, business and higher education.


Resident Of Glenwood Resouce Center Swallows Batteries

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) - The state Department of Human Services says a resident of the Glenwood Resource Center swallowed three batteries and had to be treated at a hospital.
     The agency on Thursday says it agreed to pay a $2,000 state fine because of the incident, which happened June 2 at the facility for people with intellectual disabilities.
     The resident was treated at a hospital before being released a few days later.
     After the incident, the center notified the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals about the matter and submitted a self-correction plan. The agency on Thursday cited Glenwood for failing to provide required supervision as specified in the resident's individual service plan. 


Judge Dismisses Lawsuit

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge says the widow of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray waited too long to file a lawsuit against Gray's former doctor.
      Polk County District Judge Dennis Stovall made that ruling earlier this week in dismissing a lawsuit filed by Brenna Gray against Dr. Daniel Baldi.  Stovall said plaintiffs have up to two years to file such lawsuits.
     Paul Gray died after overdosing on drugs on July 22, 2010. Brenna Gray filed her lawsuit on Feb. 14, 2014. Brenna Gray's lawyer said the statute of limitations shouldn't have started until Gray had reason to believe Baldi caused her husband's death. The judge disagreed.
     Baldi was acquitted May 1 of involuntary manslaughter in connection with several patient deaths, including that of Paul Gray.


Boat Crew Responsible For Tow Boat Sinking

LECLAIRE, Iowa (AP) - A federal agency says crew members were likely at fault in the sinking of a towboat in the Mississippi River near LeClaire in November. 
     The National Transportation Safety Board released its report Thursday. 
     The board found probable cause that the Stephen L. Colby towboat master and mate were at fault in the sinking. It says the crew failed to provide enough space between the boat's hull and the riverbed.
     The U.S. Coast Guard reports the towboat hit an underwater rock, which spilled some of the 91,000 gallons of petroleum products aboard the vessel.
     A crew collected 39,900 gallons of oily water over two weeks amid frigid and gusty conditions. There haven't been reports of wildlife death because of the spill.







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