Home News Friday News, April 21st

Friday News, April 21st


Le Mars Police Officer Dan Plueger Honored By Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau

(Le Mars) — A Le Mars Police officer was honored Thursday for his ability to recognize drug offenders. Polk County Deputy Sheriff Kipton Hayward was among the first officers in the state of Iowa to be certified as a Drug Recognition Officer. Unfortunately, while performing his duties at a collision, Hayward was struck and killed by a passing motorist, who was found to be intoxicated by drugs and alcohol. In 1994, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau memorialized Deputy Hayward’s ultimate sacrifice by forming the “Kip Hayward Award.” Each year since that time, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau has awarded one Drug Recognition Expert officer the award. The award is a special award among the officers certified as a Drug Recognition Expert, and it signifies an officer reaching the highest mark in excellence to combating impaired driving. This year the Kip Hayward Award was presented to Dan Plueger with the Le Mars Police Department. Plueger began his law enforcement career in 1994 as a dispatcher for the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office. While working as a dispatcher, Plueger was also a reserve deputy with the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office. In August of 2000, Plueger became an officer with the Le Mars Police Department. Throughout his tenure with the Le Mars Police Department, Officer Plueger has demonstrated his commitment to reducing crashes and saving lives through vigorously working at traffic safety. He has continually been the top OWI officer in his region, and in 2007 became certified as a Drug Recognition Expert. Since that time, Officer Plueger has been the top DRE officer for northwest region of Iowa for the past eight out of ten years. Officer Plueger also served his country for 20 years in the United States Army National Guard, including a tour in 2004 in Afghanistan.

Officer Plueger was nominated for the award by Le Mars Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga. Officer Plueger has recorded over 508 OWI arrests and has done 215 Drug Influence Evaluations. In 2016 alone, Officer Plueger had 20 OWI arrests, 27 Drug Influence Evaluations, 320 traffic citations, and numerous warnings. Our congratulations go to Le Mars Police Officer Dan Plueger.


Le Mars Family Granted A Wish To Travel To Orlando

(Le Mars) — A Le Mars family will be traveling to Orlando, Florida in May to visit Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World. It’s all part of the Make A Wish campaign. Last evening at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream parlor, it was a party atmosphere with balloons, and ice cream. Representatives from the Make A Wish campaign and the Farm Bureau Financial Services granted a five-year old girl and her family their wish to travel to Orlando. Trista Olson, is the mother of Skylar Olson and explains how her family was granted the wish.


Olson explains how the Make A Wish campaign approached her family to grant the wish.


Trista Olson says she once visited Disney World when she was a young child, but her other family members have never been to Orlando, nor have they ever been on an airplane. Jenny Schroeder serves as the western Iowa Community Development Manager for the Make A Wish organization. She talks about the organization.

Schroeder says qualified individuals must be between two and a half years of age up to 18 years. She explains how families are selected to be granted their wish.


Schroeder says with each wish granted, the Make A Wish organization tries to personalize each wish.


At last evening’s announcement ceremony, a Make A Wish volunteer helped set the theme by dressing up as a princess.


The Make A Wish official says the organization granted 190 wishes last year, and this year during the fiscal year 192 wishes have been granted.


The agents of Farm Bureau Financial Services helped make last evening’s wish possible by donating the funds to cover the wish. Mark Frentress of Le Mars, serves as the president of the Farm Bureau Financial Services of Iowa Association and explains why the insurance agents are involved.

Frentress says this marks the first year Farm Bureau insurance agents have teamed up with Make A Wish campaign. Within the trip to Orlando to the popular tourists destinations, are there any specific items the Olson family is looking forward to seeing?




Preparations Being Made For Friends of Gehlen Ball

(Le Mars) — “Generations of Excellence” is the chosen theme for this year’s Friends of Gehlen Catholic Ball scheduled for Saturday evening at the Le Mars Convention Center. Jeff Arens serves as one of the co-chairs for the annual fundraising event, and explains the reasons behind the theme.

Generations of Excellence Ball logo

Arens says the purpose for the Gehlen Ball is to serve as the major fundraiser for the local Catholic school. He details the evening’s activities.

The Gehlen Ball co-chair says following the check presentation, attendees will have the choice of listening to music on two different levels.

As mentioned, the Gehlen Ball is the main fund raiser event for the Gehlen Catholic School. Arens says donations of all amounts are greatly appreciated, and account for nearly ten percent of the school’s budget.

Arens says this year there are several items of interest for the annual silent auction.

Tickets are still available for the Saturday evening Gehlen Ball. A $100 contribution will reserve two tickets for the banquet meal, program, and the entertainment. Arens says tickets can be purchased at the Gehlen school, or from members of the Gehlen Ball committee, or at the door.