Supervisors To Review Audit And Hear From EMS Officials
(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hear a report this morning from Jeff Peters of Williams and Company as he reviews the fiscal year 2015-2016 financial audit for the county. Plymouth County I-T Director, Shawn Olson will appear before the county board to discuss a census project. The
supervisors will also hear a report from Plymouth County Recorder, Jolynn Goodchild as she delivers the Recorder’s office quarterly report. Bill Rosacker and Kevin Rollins representing the Plymouth County Emergency Medical Services will discuss with the supervisors essential services for Plymouth County. Terry
Marienau, the assistant county engineer, will present to the board of supervisors a tile crossing permit in Elkhorn township located on county road K-64. Marienau will also review construction projects scheduled for a May 2nd bid letting.
Ebert Pleads Guilty To Reckless Driving
(Le Mars) — The Cherokee woman accused of intentionally creating an auto accident and causing injuries to her passenger and to another victim appeared in Plymouth County District Court this afternoon and pleaded guilty to two charges that were amended. Today’s hearing was originally scheduled to determine if whether a change of venue was needed. 30 year old Melissa Ebert instead decided to enter a guilty plea to two counts of operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner without regard to injuring others. Initially, the charges were attempted
murder and intoxicated driving, but those charges were either dropped or amended as a result of the plea agreement. Both charges of reckless driving are felony charges that could carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each count. Judge Duane Hoffmeyer informed Ebert he would consider accepting the pleas and would announce his decision on the date of sentencing which is now scheduled for May 8th at 1:00 p.m. at the Plymouth County Courthouse. Ebert admitted guilt to reckless driving and injuring her boyfriend Damian Johnson, as
well as the victim in the other car, Dustin Boll. Ebert told the judge that a verbal argument occurred between herself and her boyfriend, who was a passenger with Ebert. She says the argument became more severe after leaving Sioux City.
Plymouth County Attorney Darrin Raymond informed the judge that he wanted the record to reflect that Ebert had been weaving from lane to lane, and that she was speeding at the time of the crash. Ebert, then admitted to speeding, and informed the judge she believed she was traveling 10 mph over the posted speed
limit at the time of the collision. Back in January, Ebert had agreed to a plea deal to serve a maximum of 12 years in prison, but backed out of that agreement.
School Board Approves 2017-2018 Budget
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Board of Education approved the fiscal year budget for 2017-2018 during last evening’s school board meeting. The total operating fund spending authority for the school district is at $27,084,414 with the recommended budget for the operating fund at $22,821,031. The tax levy rate is
listed at $11.52 per $1,000 worth of valuation. School Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt informed the school board that the district’s projected financial position should be in good shape.
Remsen St. Mary’s To Host “Then Feed Just One” Meal Program
(Remsen) — Remsen St. Mary’s students, faculty, staff and greater community will be busy packaging meals for the “Then Feed Just One” program. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, beginning at 10:00 a.m. with orientation set for 9:40 a.m. The Sandy Augustine memorial gymnasium at Remsen St. Mary’s High School will serve as the event’s location. A total of more than 100,000 meals will be packaged with the destination of Honduras. Remsen St. Mary’s Development Director, Norine Harvey, says this is the fourth year that Remsen St. Mary’s has
hosted the “Then Feed Just One” meal packaging program.
Harvey says there will be two shifts, a morning shift, and an afternoon shift.
The Remsen St. Mary’s Development Director says some students from M-M-C-R-U will also join in on creating the packaged meals. Harvey explains how the meals
will benefit the poverty stricken nation of Honduras.
Harvey says volunteers are welcomed and needed for both shifts.
Sioux City School Board Reaches Agreement With Chalstrom
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Sioux City school board has approved a deal ending the employment of the district budget director, who’d raised concerns about the
superintendent’s management style.
The board voted 5-2 Monday night to pay John Chalstrom and provide health benefits for three months after his June 30 resignation, the same date his contract expires. He’s been on administrative leave since Feb. 13.
Chalstrom had accused Superintendent Paul Gausman of being a bully and creating a hostile workplace and threatening Chalstrom’s job if he shared alternative budget options with school board members outside regular board
Chalstrom took his concerns to Dan Greenwell, a businessman and frequent
critic of Gausman and his administration.
Gausman has denied Chalstrom’s assertions.
Storm Lake Times Editor Wins Pultizer Prize
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A small-town Iowa newspaper editorial writer has won the Pulitzer Prize for taking on powerful agricultural organizations after a water utility sued the paper’s home county and two others over farm pollution.
Art Cullen, who owns the Storm Lake Times with his brother John, says his editorials were about government transparency.
The counties sued by the Des Moines Water Works secretly received money from agricultural groups to fight the lawsuit and the 3,000-circulation twice- weekly newspaper pushed in its reporting to lift the veil of secrecy on who was paying to fight the lawsuit.
The 59-year-old Cullen says he feels vindicated the information was released and he’s proud of the Pulitzer, which recognized him for “tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing that successfully challenged powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa.”
Sac City Man Dies From House Fire
SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say firefighters have found the body of a man inside a burning house in Sac City.
The Sac City Fire Department says police officers arrived at the fire around 7:35 a.m. Monday. A woman outside the home told them her husband was still inside. Heavy smoke kept the officers from going in.
The department says firefighters entered the house when they arrived, and they found the body of 84-year-old Dale Cook. His wife, 76-year-old Barbra Cook, was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The fire cause is being investigated.
Andy McGuire Announces She Will Run For Iowa Governor
(Des Moines) — The former Iowa Democratic party chair is announcing her candidacy for Iowa governor. Dr. Andy McGuire made her candidacy known through the release of a YouTube video on Sunday. McGuire, who is a medical doctor,
says “Iowa needs a governor who will put working families first, and give everyone the opportunity to succeed.” McGuire says her priorities will include investing in our public schools instead of cutting them to the bone. She says she will support small businesses as part of a larger effort to revitalize our rural economies. She advocates raising wages, with equal pay for equal work and raising the minimum wage statewide to attract a quality workforce. McGuire says we must also ensure access to quality comprehensive affordable health care for all Iowans”. McGuire is the second Democratic candidate to announce they intend to run for governor. McGuire joins Rich Leopold, the former Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director under Governor Chet Culver as democrats running for governor.
Legislative Bills Fail To Pass Before Deadline
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa bill that would have eliminated public access to many 911 calls is dead this session.
Caleb Hunter, a spokesman for the Iowa Senate’s Republican majority, confirmed Monday the legislation has been taken off the debate calendar.
The bill would’ve declared that 911 calls involving injured victims are medical records and exempt from Iowa’s open records law. All calls regarding minors also would have been confidential.
The legislation was introduced in response to the release of 911 calls to The Associated Press that exposed a string of gun accidents in Iowa. While the bill was approved unanimously in the Iowa House, opposition mounted after the AP reported on it.
Hunter says some Republicans had concerns about the bill’s impact on body cameras, since the measure included language regarding video.
University Of Iowa Student Dies In Dormitory
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa says an 18-year-old student died in a residence hall after a caller to police reported he was unresponsive and intoxicated on Saturday night.
In a statement Monday, UI officials said that witnesses saw student Sean Wu of Cedar Rapids suddenly tense up “as if he was having a seizure and collapsed.”
UI police officers arrived at Daum Residence Hall at about 10:47 p.m. Saturday, three minutes after a caller reported that Wu had been drinking earlier in the evening. Wu was transported to the hospital, where he later died.
A university statement says that “losing a fellow student and member of our university family is difficult” and that students are encouraged to reach out if
they need help.