Wednesday News, April 19th

Wednesday News, April 19th

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City Council Hires Consultant For Police Chief Search

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Council has approved hiring a consultant for the search for a new police chief. Le Mars Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga has announced he plans to retire as of June 30th. Dekkenga has been a police officer for 38 years and has been the Le Mars Police Chief for the past 22 years. The city council has hired Jeff Cayler of Cayler Consulting L.L.C. of
Carroll, Iowa. Cayler was recommended by both Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga and by Fire Chief Dave Schipper. Cayler served in law enforcement for 34 and a half years, with the last 30-plus years in the capacity of Chief of Police for the city of Carroll, Iowa. He holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice. He is a past president of the Iowa Police Executive Forum (now the Iowa Police Chiefs Association). Cayler was not present at the city council meeting, but joined
the discussion via a phone call. He informed the city council that he has assisted several communities, including Spencer, Denison, Boone and Mason City with the hiring of police chiefs. Cayler says he can assist with the hiring by narrowing the list of applicants to a handful that would not only be qualified,
but also following all the rules as stipulated in the Iowa Code.

Cayler, Jeff

Cayler says he offers communities an outside and objective perspective with the hiring of a new police chief.

Cayler will meet with Le Mars city officials and the Public Safety Committee on Thursday to begin the process of selecting a new police chief.

 

Supervisors Award Contracts For Bridge And Culvert Repair Projects

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors awarded contracts for a bridge replacement and two concrete box culverts during their Tuesday meeting.
County engineer Tom Rohe opened the sealed bids and announced the submitted bids by various contractors. Three contractors offered bids for a bridge replacement project located on 320th Street. Graves Construction of Spencer, Iowa had the
winning lowest bid at $363,268.62. Rohe informed the supervisors the estimate for the bridge replacement project was listed at $379,599. As for the two culvert projects, Richards Contractors of Sac City submitted a total project bid
of $570,207.50. Five different contractors had submitted bids in hopes of getting the project. Rohe says all three projects will begin later this summer.

 

Test Drive A Car To Help Benefit Le Mars Little League

(Le Mars) — Baseball…Hot Dogs…Apple Pie…and Chevrolet. You may recall the jingle slogan used a couple of decades ago to help promote the Chevy brand of automobiles. Now today, people will have the opportunity to again enjoy three of the Americana past-times. Chevrolet, along with local dealer Total
Motors are teaming up to help the Le Mars Little League program. Mitch Christoffel, Marketing Manager with Total Motors says the auto dealership will feature several new models of Chevrolet cars at the Le Mars Little League fields
today. He says by just by taking a test drive in a new Chevy, Total Motors and Chevrolet will donate $25 per test drive to the Le Mars Little League program.

Christoffel says hot dogs and chips will be served while people are waiting to take a vehicle for a test drive. He talks about the time for the test drive program.

Christoffel says Chevrolet has helped Little League programs across the nation for the past 12 years. He says there is no obligation by those people for taking a test drive. Simply show up at the Little League ballparks on the west side of town, and test drive a new Chevy automobile, and help the Le Mars Little
League program.

 

 

State Legislature Passes 20-Week Abortion Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature has approved a bill that would ban most abortions in the state at 20 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape, incest or fatal fetal conditions.
The state Senate voted 30-20 Tuesday for the legislation and the state House approved it earlier this month. The bill heads to GOP Gov. Terry Branstad, who is expected to sign it.
At least 19 other states have approved similar 20-week bans, which are based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that stage. Some have been halted amid court challenges.
The legislation would also require a woman to wait 72 hours before she could get an abortion.
The bill is a major conservative victory for the new GOP-led Legislature. Democrats blocked previous abortion restrictions.

 

 

State Lawmakers Pass Fireworks Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Expect a few more pops and flashes this July Fourth thanks to a final vote on legislation allowing fireworks sales in Iowa.
The bill approved Tuesday 52-40 would legalize consumer-grade fireworks, including bottle rockets, firecrackers and roman candles. The explosives could be sold from June 1 to July 8 and Dec. 10 to Jan. 3. Local governments could forbid firework use, but not the sale.
Gov. Terry Branstad has indicated support for the bill, noting at a press conference that few states remain so restrictive about fireworks.
The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency estimates sales tax revenue generated from the bill is estimated at $1.5 million for the 2018 fiscal year.
Emergency medical responders have expressed concern for the proposed change, noting the increased risk of injury with widespread firework use.

 

 

Teenage Boy Arrested For Arson Of Madison County Covered Bridge

WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) – Officials say a West Des Moines teenager has been charged with first-degree arson in a fire that destroyed an iconic covered bridge featured in the best-selling novel “The Bridges of Madison County.”
Des Moines television station KCCI reports (http://bit.ly/2peF6Ca ) that the 17-year-old boy faces up to 25 years in prison if he’s convicted.
The Associated Press generally doesn’t name juveniles charges with crimes.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office believes the teen set the covered bridge on fire early Saturday morning.
The bridge was also featured in the 1995 movie adaptation of “The Bridges of Madison County,” starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. The novel was written by Robert James Waller, who died in March.

covered bridge fire

Photo courtesy of The Des Moines Register

 

 

University of Iowa Decision Not To Grant Scholarships Will Cost In The Long Run

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa’s decision to eliminate and then reinstate scholarships for thousands of children of alumni will cost the university more than bad public relations.
A judge ordered the school Monday to pay the legal costs of a student who filed a class-action lawsuit to challenge President Bruce Harreld’s decision to eliminate scholarships they’d been promised. The bill’s expected to amount to a
couple hundred dollars.
The university had asked the court to dismiss the case without costs after Harreld reinstated scholarships for those students last month.
But Judge Carl Baker of the Sixth Judicial District said he agreed with plaintiff’s attorney Jim Larew, who argued Harreld tried to use the students as “political pawns” in an ill-advised attempt to convince Republican leaders to reverse budget cuts. Larew argued that UI only reversed course after an “adverse public reaction” to the cuts.