Home News Wednesday News, September 6th

Wednesday News, September 6th


K-C Phone-A-Thon for Life Skills Training Center Scheduled For Today

(Le Mars) — The Knights of Columbus chapters of Plymouth County are getting set for the 38th annual phone-a-thon fundraiser to benefit the Life Skills Training Center.  The annual phone-a-thon is scheduled for today (Wednesday).  Shelly Tompson, Marketing and Development Coordinator with Life Skills says over the course of history of the phone-a-thon, more than $1.3 million dollars has been raised.  She hopes this year’s fundraiser will generate at least $53,000.

The annual phone-a-thon serves as the major fundraiser for Life Skills.  Other fundraisers during the year include the quilt auction held during the Plymouth County Fair, as well as the “Bossy Bingo”, and the snow cones sales at the fair.
In addition to the fair’s activities, Life Skills receives some revenue from the sale of Christmas ornaments.  Tompson says most of the funds stay in Plymouth County.

Tompson says the organization hopes to purchase a bus sometime in the future.

Known primarily for its community laundry services, Life Skills Training Center, an organization that helps with mentally challenged individuals, also helps area businesses with client placement for job opportunities.

Tompson is appreciative for the generosity exhibited, year after year, by Plymouth County residents and businesses that help with Life Skills.

The K-C Phone-a-thon will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will continue through 9:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.  Tompson says if you are not contacted, but would like to make a donation, simply stop by the Le Mars Knights of Columbus hall.



Fire Department Extinguishes Pick-up Truck Fire

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a pick-up truck that had caught on fire. Firefighters were sent to the corner of 2nd Avenue and 11th Street southwest at about 11:57 a.m. this morning. Upon arrival, a 1987 Black Ford F-25 model pick-up truck was fully engulfed with flames. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the fire started in the engine compartment of the pick-up truck and quickly expanded to the interior passenger area of the vehicle.
The owner, John Letsch of Le Mars, says he was driving the vehicle when smoke started to appear from the dashboard. Letsch pulled over and notified the fire department. Schipper says the fire was accidental, and originated in the engine
compartment with an electrical equipment malfunction by the fire wall or dash area. The pick-up truck was a total loss. Firefighters were on the scene for about 40 minutes. There were no injuries with the fire.



Reynolds Agrees With Trump To Eliminate DACA

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says she agrees with President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out a program that protects young immigrants from deportation because she believes Congress should address the issue.
The Republican governor told reporters Tuesday it’s Congress’ job to pass immigration law. She wouldn’t specify what lawmakers should do, though she said immigration reform could include a pathway to citizenship for some immigrants
affected by Trump’s decision.
Reynolds’ comments came after the Trump administration announced it would begin dismantling the program created under President Barack Obama. It’s provided nearly 800,000 immigrants, brought into the United States illegally as minors, a
reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the country.
About 3,000 immigrants in Iowa are in the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
On Tuesday, dozens of DACA supporters gathered at the downtown Des Moines federal building, where Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst have offices. They marched around a city block, chanting against the deportation of immigrants, including those brought to the country as children.



Le Mars Man Pleas Not Guilty To Forgery Charges

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Another of the three people accused of trying to pass counterfeit cash at Sioux City’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has pleaded not guilty.
26-year-old Kurt Jones entered the plea
Friday to a forgery charge. His trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 28. He lives in Le Mars.
Police say Jones, Jackelen Hartsock and Brittany Derby made several cash transactions at the casino on Aug. 5. Police say the bills were later found to be counterfeit.
Hartsock already has pleaded not guilty. Derby hasn’t been arraigned yet.



Curly’s Foods Reaches Settlement With Class Action Lawsuit

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A $625,000 settlement has been reached in a pay dispute at a meat plant in northwest Iowa. The Sioux City Journal reports that a federal judge approved the
settlement of lawsuit filed in 2016 by five women. Their lawsuit said Curly’s Foods violated federal law by not paying plant workers for time they spent putting on and taking off required gear before and after their shifts and during their unpaid 30-minute meal breaks. Each of the women will receive $5,000. The remaining $600,000 will be divided among 460 current and former workers who joined the class-action lawsuit. Curly’s, a division of Smithfield Foods, which was also named in the
lawsuit, admits no wrongdoing as part of the settlement agreement. Ribs and other precooked meats are processed at the plant. —



Des Moines To Pay Back People With Tickets From Traffic Cameras

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A judge is ordering Des Moines to refund fines issued to hundreds of drivers who appealed speeding tickets they received from cameras on Interstate 235. District Judge Lawrence McLellan ruled Tuesday that the city violated their due process rights and failed to follow its own ordinances by requiring appeals to go through an unauthorized administrative hearing process. He says city code should have required Des Moines to file municipal infractions against those who disputed liability, a process that has more safeguards. That didn’t happen. The class includes drivers who appealed tickets from December 2013 to present, were found liable and fined. One class attorney estimates they number in the low thousands. McLellan’s ruling orders the city to refund penalties and stop collection efforts related to outstanding fines. Most tickets were for $65.



Fort Madison Prison To Hold Picnic For Inmates

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa State Penitentiary is trying out a new way to reward well-behaved inmates: The prison is hosting a family picnic. Warden Patti Wachtendorf says the Sept. 16 event will be the first-of-its kind at Iowa’s maximum-security prison for male offenders. Inmates who have not had rules violations in the last three years are eligible to attend, along with two visitors. The prison is expecting 30 inmates and 57 guests for the event, where chicken, baked beans, chips and cookies will be on the menu. Wachtendorf says the picnic will give offenders a chance to eat a meal with their families, which isn’t allowed during routine visits. She says the
purpose is to encourage positive behavior, adding that inmates who participated in a large July 1 brawl will be ineligible.



Polk County Jail Is Overcrowded

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials at a central Iowa jail want to open three empty housing units amid an increase in inmates, but county supervisors hope for other efforts to reduce the jail population. The Des Moines Register reports that Polk County Jail has seen a daily average of more than 1,000 inmates this year. Jail director Frank Marasco asked the county Board of Supervisors in May to open the three housing units and add an additional 15 detention officers to staff them. County supervisors hope to use deterrence efforts to prevent low-level offenders from ending up behind bars instead of granting the $1.1 million
request. Marasco says the safety of those in the jail is at risk until something is done to address the high number of inmates. —