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Westergard, Marienau named Plymouth County Fair queen, king

Posted July 31, 2014 at 5:00 am

By Julie Ann Madden

Eight youth out of the 25 king and queen candidates were in The Akron Hometowner’s coverage area, and one was selected as the 2014 Plymouth County Fair Queen.

Cali Westergard, daughter of Carl and Colleen Westergard of Ireton, received the crown during the Wednesday evening fair royalty ceremonies. She was also named Miss Congeniality. Westergard was sponsored by the Johnson Juniors 4-H Club.

Joining her on the queen’s court were Princesses Taylor Peters, daughter of John and Kim Peters and sponsored by the Stanton Lucky Clovers; and Breanna Schoenrock, daughter of Jason and Rachel Schoenrock and sponsored by the Lincoln Toppers 4-H Club.

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    Homicide investigation continues

    By Julie Ann Madden

    As of press time Monday, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation continue to investigate and gather information on the violent deaths of Donald Neunaber and his wife, Esther, at their farm house in rural Akron.

    According to a July 18 sheriff’s report, the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office has officially determined Esther’s death to be homicide. The final result of Donald’s autopsy has yet to be determined. Toxicology testing and additional processing

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    Legionnaires receive honors

    By Julie Ann Madden

    There wasn’t a dry eye in the Albert E. Hoschler American Legion Post No. 186 in Akron Thursday morning, July 17 — after Iowa (State Legion) Department Vice Commander Ed Rohner presented several local Legionnaires with a heart-shaped lapel pin.

    “Welcome home, Brother,” he said to each after he explained the significance of the pin.

    “It’s a

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    Volunteers spend week cleaning up Big Sioux

    By Julie Ann Madden

    Last week volunteers picked up 28.1 tons of trash out of the Big Sioux River from Gitchie Manitou near Sioux Falls, S.D., to Westfield.

    According to Iowa Project A Watershed Awareness River Expedition (AWARE) coordinator Lynette Seigley, 85 to 90 percent of the materials were recyclable.

    Items collected included:

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    Fourth of July holiday – lots of activities in the area

    The Akron City Park was full of campers over the holiday weekend. Campers came in for Fourth of July gatherings, reunions, and more. July 4 was nice weather for festivities around the area – slightly cool with a light breeze to keep the bugs away. However Sunday was a different story as temperatures soared into the 90s and in some places hit three digits.

    Wyatt Johnson (l) helps five-year-old Kade Kaskie, both of Hawarden, with a

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    King, Anderson visit Akron to view flood damage

    by Dodie Hook

    After touring flood damage in Rock Rapids, Rock Valley, and Hawarden, U.S. Congressman Steve King (R-IA) and Iowa State Senator Bill Anderson (R Senate District 3) stopped in Akron to discuss flood issues with city officials. City officials present included City Administrator Gary Horton, Mayor Harold Higman, and Councilperson Bob Frerichs.

    “I’ve been trapped in my locked in schedule on the east side of the country so this was really

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    Government officials visit Union County to survey water damage in homes

    by Dodie Hook

    Officials from FEMA, Union County, State of South Dakota, and Small Business Administration visited Union County June 26 and 27 to gather information on flood damage in homes. Among the officials were Raymond Roggow, Union County Emergency Management Administrator and James Taylor, FEMA Individualist Assistance Program Specialist from Denver.

    FEMA has disaster grants up to $32,400 for inside damage to homes and businesses. SBA also has low interest loans available for homeowners and business owners

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    Clean-up begins

    With the Big Sioux River receding quickly, work on the clean up begins. As of Monday, the river stage was at 14.87’ at 3 p.m., finally below flood stage of 16’.

    “We should have everything wrapped up this week. We’re assisting some of the property owners on River Road with basement clean-up. Some walls will have to be redone with the sheet rock removed and a structural engineer will have to inspect them,” said Akron City Administrator Gary Horton on June 27, 10 days after

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    Akron chosen to be part of 2014 Visioning Communities

    by Dodie Hook

    Akron was one of 10 communities selected to participate in the 2014 Community Visioning Program which entails transportation enhancement planning. The program is sponsored by the Iowa Department of Transportation in partnership with Iowa State University Landscape Architecture Extension and Trees Forever. A team came to Akron June 28 to meet with residents.

    To qualify for the visioning program, a community must have a population of fewer than 10,000, existing

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