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Wednesday Afternoon News, May 20

Le Mars Ambulance Services To Celebrate 40 years

(Le Mars) -- This week is National EMT-First Responder Recognition Week and the Le Mars Ambulance Service will celebrate 40 years of existence with a Chamber After 5 event scheduled for Thursday evening.  The event will be held at Fire Station #2 located on 12th Street southeast.  Bill Rosacker, the director of the Le Mars Ambulance Service reviews Thursday evening's events, including the start of a new program.

 

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Rosacker says the Le Mars Ambulance Services responds to three times as many calls today, compared to when the city ambulance service started 40 years ago.

 

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The Le Mars Ambulance Service is fortunate to have 26 volunteers.  Rosacker says by having that many volunteers, the city is saving money.

 

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As some smaller communities find it more difficult to find and retain volunteers to operate a community ambulance service, Le Mars is finding itself covering a larger territory.

 

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Rosacker says the state is aware of the problem and is trying to find a suitable solution to fully staff and equip the smaller towns with an ambulance service.  Rosacker admits stricter bureaucratic regulations may have discouraged people from volunteering as an Emergency Medical Technician or a Paramedic. We will learn more about the history of the Le Mars Ambulance on Thursday.

 

 

 

State Audit Shows Mismanagement At Drug Treatment Center

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state audit shows the former director of a drug treatment center in Des Moines mismanaged more than $130,000 intended for client benefits.

The report released Wednesday says Mindy Williams, former executive director of Center for Behavioral Health in Des Moines, falsified receipts and other documentation when seeking reimbursements for incentive benefits issued to clients who do well in the program, including gas cards, gift cards and bus passes. Records showed it was unclear if clients received them.

Brent Massman, president of the center, called the discovery disappointing. Public records did not list a number for Williams.

The audit examined financial transactions between Jan. 1, 2011, and May 21, 2013. Copies of the report have been filed with local and state officials, including the Attorney General's Office.

 

 

 

Waterloo Parolee Arrested After Leaving Iowa Without Permission

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A Waterloo man who was paroled from a life sentence for a 1976 killing has been arrested on suspicion of leaving Iowa without permission.

Authorities say they found 58-year-old Duane Eugene Brant in California on May 11 with more than $220,000 in cash. Troopers with the California State Patrol found the money along with a dozen empty hockey bags in Brant's SUV.

Brant is being held at the Black Hawk County jail in Iowa without bond. A parole violation hearing has been scheduled. It's not immediately clear if he has an attorney.

Brant was convicted of first-degree murder in a 1976 convenience store robbery that left the clerk dead. Brant was accused of providing the murder weapon and being the getaway driver.

 

 

 

Police Chief Arrested

DONNELLSON, Iowa (AP) - The police chief in a southeast Iowa community has been charged with domestic abuse assault.

Thirty-one-year-old William "B.J." Sackett was arrested on Monday but already has posted bond and left custody.

A public phone listed for Sackett was not in service on Wednesday. The police department administrative number rang unanswered. Online court records don't list the name an attorney for Sackett who could be contacted to comment on his behalf.

Lee County Sheriff James Sholl says Sackett's wife suffered minor injuries Monday from broken glass and didn't require hospitalization.

Donnellson Mayor David Ellingboe says Sackett has been suspended without pay until the case is resolved.

Sackett was hired as police chief in October 2013 after serving Princeton as chief for two years.

 

 

 

Grain Bin Rescue

OTTER CREEK, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa man who'd been trapped up to his chest in corn has been rescued.

Crews from four fire departments were called to the rural Otter Creek site on Monday afternoon, and they brought rescue devices and machinery to free the man, who wasn't identified.

Nick Ludwig with the LaMotte department says the man "was engulfed in corn," and it took about 90 minutes of work before a fire department aerial truck could lift him out of the bin.

The man was taken to a hospital.


 

 


 

 


   

Wednesday News, May 20

Supervisors Hear About Semi Trailer Used As A Billboard

(Le Mars) -- A semi trailer located along Highway 60 that has been used as a billboard for signage promoting a local motorcycle dealership was the topic of discussion during Tuesday's meeting of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors. County Attorney Darin Raymond presented information to the county board indicating the semi trailer was in violation of zoning ordinances.

 

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Raymond says the trailer drew several complaints.  He says the county has on several occasions informed the property owner that the truck could not be parked next to the highway and used as a billboard.  Raymond says the supervisors gave permission to the county attorney to do what is needed to resolve the issue.

 

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Raymond says the owner of the trailer could face some serious fines.

 

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House Movers Prepare Log Cabin To Be Moved

(Le Mars) -- Soon the Joy Hollow log cabin will be ready to be moved from the Plymouth County Fairgrounds to its new home at the Plymouth County Historical Museum.  The Morrow House Movers Company of Jackson, Nebraska is blocking up the cabin preparing it for its upcoming move.  Dale Morrow says the cabin offers some challenges, but he believes it is worth saving and restoring.

 

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Morrow explains the process of getting the cabin ready for the move across town.

 

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Morrow estimates the work will take at least a couple of days to adequately prepare the cabin for its move.  He says he wants to make certain everyone involved with the move is ready.

 

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The house mover says they will place the cabin on a set of dollies, and try to keep it as low as they can while they move the fragile structure.  Morrow did not give a specific date as to when the cabin would be moved, only to say it will happen when everyone is ready.

 

 

LEEP To Donate Funds To School Technology Intergration

(Le Mars) -- The LeMars Community School District has announced the LeMars Educational Enhancement Project (L.E.E.P.) is partnering with them in working towards the district’s goal to increase the level of technology integration in the school district’s classrooms.

Dr. Todd Wendt, Superintendent of schools, explained that recently the Board of Education approved a plan to increase the school district’s financial commitment to technology integration $150,000 each of the next two years. This increase, combined with the existing annual budget of $100,000, will bring the district’s yearly spending on technology to $250,000 in the 2015-16 school year and in the 2016-17 school year.

To assist in allocating the added funding of $150,000, the district developed an application process giving teachers the opportunity to submit applications to purchase devices for classroom use. Thirty-four applications were submitted and reviewed by a committee consisting of the district’s technology instructional coaches, the technology 2 director, and the superintendent, of which twenty-three were approved to receive monies for the 2015-16 school year.

“Unfortunately, there were two more applications identified as quality applications that the district was unable to fund,” commented Dr. Wendt. “Consequently, we were thrilled to learn that the members of L.E.E.P. decided at their May meeting to partner with us and donate $16,000 to LeMars Community Schools to fund these two applications. This level of financial commitment made by L.E.E.P. to increase the integration of technology into district classrooms is greatly appreciated. Without their support, the funding of these two applications would not have been possible.”

Officers of the L.E.E.P. organization, Gayle Vonk, Julie Beitelspacher, and Lorraine DeJong, will be presenting a check in the amount of $16,000 to the LeMars Community School District’s Board of Education at the school board meeting scheduled for May 26.

 

 

Plymouth County Hires New Emergency Management Director

(Le Mars) -- Starting July 1st, Plymouth County will have a new Emergency Management Director.  Duane Walhof has been hired to replace Gary Junge, who has retired.  Walhof is currently employed as a Federal U-S Marshal.

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Walhof says although he has lived in Plymouth County for several years, he admits he needs to know more about the county, its communities, and its people.

 

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Walhof shares his interests for his new position.

 

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Fire Destroys Le Mars Home

(Le Mars) -- Fire broke out Tuesday morning at about 8:12 a.m. on a two-story house located at 234 2nd Avenue southeast.  Smoke and flames were visible from the first floor level when fire officials arrived on the scene.  Chris Rasmussen was a witness to the fire.
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No one was home at the time the fire was reported, although the fire department was first informed that a female perhaps may have been sleeping in an upstairs bedroom.    The fire had spread through the home fairly quickly.  Fire officials were able to bring the fire under control within 20 minutes, however, the structure suffered about $30,000 in damages.  Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says an unattended candle was the cause of the fire.

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Schipper says the fire started on the main level and then spread to the outside
wall rising to the second level, burning the house siding.

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There were no injuries associated with the fire. The Orange City Fire Department was called to offer additional assistance.  Other entities assisting at the scene were the Le Mars Police Department, Le Mars Ambulance, Plymouth County Sheriff's office, Mid-American Energy. The American Red Cross has been notified to offer aid to the displaced family.


 

Four More Cases Of Bird Flu Detected In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa agriculture officials say bird flu has been found on another turkey farm in Buena Vista County, two more chicken farms in Sioux County and in a backyard flock of chickens.

The four new cases announced Tuesday raise the state's total to 60 and boosts the number of chickens dead or dying to about 26 million. The latest turkey farm has 24,000 birds raising turkey losses in Iowa to more than 960,000.

One chicken farm has 150,000 egg laying hens and the other 100,000 pullets, younger chickens that were to be egg layers. The backyard flock had 15 chickens.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed more than 39 million birds in 15 states with the H5N2 virus that scientists believe came to the Midwest this spring with migrating waterfowl.

 

 

 

Lake City Students Return To School Following Tornado

LAKE CITY, Iowa (AP) - Students have resumed classes this week in Lake City after their high school was damaged by a tornado.

Students of South Central Calhoun High School attended classes Monday at various locations, including churches, a public library and a bank.

The last day of school for everyone in the district is next Thursday. Principal Randy Martin said he'll leave it up to the teachers to decide whether students would be given end-of-the-semester tests.

An EF1 tornado on May 10 damaged the school's roof, making the building unusable for the rest of the academic year.

 

 

 

Iowa State Capitol Evacuated, Again

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Weeks after burned macaroni and cheese emptied out the Iowa Capitol, a charred pizza crust has done it again.

The crust burned Tuesday morning in the Capitol cafeteria, prompting a brief evacuation.

Department of Administrative Services Spokesman Caleb Hunter says property was not damaged and no one was injured.

The Iowa Legislature is still in session, but many members were not at the Capitol on Tuesday.

About three weeks ago, the Capitol was evacuated when someone burned a macaroni and cheese lunch in a microwave behind the Senate chambers.




 

 

 

 

   

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