Home News Thursday Afternoon News, May 18th

Thursday Afternoon News, May 18th


Sioux County Escapes Damage From Tornado Sighting

(Orange City) – A tornado was spotted in Sioux County yesterday afternoon, but little damage is being reported. Sioux County Sheriff’s Deputy Nate Huizenga says the county was fortunate.

Huizenga says there were some heavy rains that poured on the county causing some run-off and isolated flash flooding.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Deputy says if it continues to rain, he anticipates some flash flooding may occur.

Other areas across the state were not as fortunate. Thunderstorms that raced
across Iowa last evening have left power outages, damaged buildings and some injuries in the wake.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office says 70-year-old truck driver James Budlong, of Dike, was killed Wednesday when high winds turned his tractor on a side, pinning him. The office also says a farmer was hurt when a building fell on him.
Tripoli Police Chief Daniel Banks says a tree fell on a van full of
children, but nobody was hurt.
The National Weather Service office in Davenport says it’s deploying survey teams to verify reports of short-lived tornadoes in the area.
MidAmerican Energy said Thursday morning that nearly 3,700 of its Iowa customers remained without power.



Graduation Scheduled For Sunday

(Le Mars) — Commencement graduation ceremonies for Le Mars schools are set for Sunday, May 21st. Gehlen Catholic will begin with its graduation at 12:30 p.m.
inside the Jason Puetz Memorial Gymnasium, and Le Mars Community will hold its graduation ceremonies inside the new gym at 3:00 p.m. Jeff Alesch serves as the principal for Gehlen Catholic High School. He says each of the seniors plan to
further advance their education.

This year’s Gehlen seniors have chosen the class motto of “Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Alesch says the class chose a teacher to be their featured commencement speaker.

In a Gehlen Catholic news release, it says Jill Harpenau is humbled to be asked by the seniors as the featured speaker. Harpenau has taught at Gehlen for 15 years. She says it is her belief that she is called to serve at Gehlen Catholic for a purpose…not only to teach, but to grow in their faith, careers, and lives of service. Harpenau says it is the students, as she reflects upon the classes which have graduated, whom she is grateful for to be given the opportunity to be a part in their lives. Equally as important, she thanks God for the impact each one of them has had on her life. Alesch says Gehlen
Catholic will also feature its top academic students as speakers.

Stephanie Heuertz – Gehlen Catholic Valedictorian

Heuertz is the daughter of Rob and Jennifer Heuertz of Le Mars, and Schmit is the son of Chris and Ruth Ann Schmit of Hospers.

Dustin Schmit – Gehlen Catholic Salutatorian

Alesch says once the graduation ceremonies have concluded, the seniors will hold a receiving greeting line on Memory Lane outside the gymnasium.

Across town, the Le Mars Community High School will begin its graduation commencement at 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon from the Competition Gymnasium. Dr. Mark Iverson is the high school principal for Le Mars Community and talks about this year’s graduating seniors.

Iverson says the chosen motto for the LCHS class of 2017 is “Don’t fear the challenge, but challenge the fear.” Le Mars Community will have four of its senior students speak.

Iverson says 13 students will be recognized for their academic achievements. He
says the 13 represent the top ten percent of the graduating class.



Police Officer Demoted After Incident With Teen

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa police supervisor with a history of misconduct has been demoted but not fired after an off-duty road rage incident in which he grabbed a motorist by the neck.
Waterloo Police Chief Daniel Trelka wrote in the decision that he could have terminated Lt. Corbin Payne for lapses in “judgment, discipline, professionalism, and integrity” and noted that Payne was previously suspended for assaulting a juvenile detainee in a similar fashion.
Trelka revealed that Payne improperly used police databases to research the motorist. But he ultimately demoted Payne to officer, citing his 21-year career while acknowledging Payne’s service exposes the city to liability for “negligent retention.”
Payne’s union is appealing the demotion, which came after jurors in January acquitted Payne of assault causing bodily injury in the June 2016 altercation.


Muscatine City Council To Dismiss Mayor

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) – The mayor of a southeast Iowa city is appealing her removal from office, saying her ousting by local officials is a “travesty” for voters who elected her.
The Muscatine Journal reports Diana Broderson filed a motion Tuesday that would delay the Muscatine City Council’s unanimous vote to remove her from office.
The petition asks the Muscatine District Court to overturn the decision and allow her to remain mayor until the matter is being resolved.
The City Council cited “willful misconduct” in last week’s decision to impeach Broderson. The council alleges Broderson contacted city staff without permission of the city administrator, violating a city code.
Broderson says that even if her impeachment is overturned, the decision likely won’t be made until after the November election.
A hearing on the matter has been scheduled for May 24.