Home News Thursday News, February 8th

Thursday News, February 8th


Plywood Trail Committee Announce Proposed Trail

(Hinton) — Nearly 40 people attended an informational meeting at Hinton last evening regarding the proposed Plywood Recreational Trail that would extend from Le Mars to Sioux City and go through Merrill and Hinton.

Most of the people in attendance were vocally opposed to the bicycle trail, and asked questions about liability, maintenance, fundraising, and the exact location of the proposed trail. Ryan Meyer, president of the Plywood Trail Advisory Committee tried to answer each of the questions posed by the audience. Meyer says the bicycle trail advocates have settled on one proposed trail following the conclusion of a survey conducted.

Meyer admits not knowing yet if the trail would be located on the east side of the Highway 75, or running parallel on the west side of the highway.

Meyer says under the proposed trail route, the bicycle trail would encompass 16 miles which includes a portion of an existing trail at Sioux City. A common question that was asked during the Hinton meeting was what would be the cost to
create the trail, and to maintain the trail?

Meyer says projections for the cost to maintain the trail run between $1,000 and 1,200 a mile.

Meyer gave assurances to the gathering that tax dollars would not finance the project, but it would be paid for through fund raising efforts and an endowment.



Early Morning Accident Happens At 8th Street Blvd and 3rd Ave S.E.

(Le Mars) — A two vehicle accident occurred Thursday morning, shortly before 8:00 a.m. in Le Mars at the intersection of 8th Street Blvd and 3rd Avenue southeast. Both vehicles ended in the northwest corner of the intersection.
The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, Le Mars Ambulance and Le Mars Police all responded to the accident scene. The accident involved a van and a car. Both vehicles sustained front-end damage. Airbags on the van had deployed as a result of the collision. The driver of the van was taken to Floyd Valley
Healthcare. It is not known as to the extent of those injuries. The names of the accident victims is also not known at this time. The Le Mars Police Department is conducting an investigation.



Computer Technician Is Honored As School District’s Employee Of The Month

(Le Mars) — A computer technician that has his office at the Education Service Center is the latest school staff member to be honored as the “Le Mars Community Employee Of The Month.”  Cody Wurth has been employed with the Le Mars Community School District for the last two years.  Colleagues Bruce Ludwig and Mark Walz nominated Wurth for the award.  They write: “Cody was hired to help manage and maintain our help desk system, along with other duties assigned.  I have noticed since his hiring a significant improvement in the overall maintenance of all of our technology in all of our buildings.  In addition, to his superb work ethic.  Cody brings a positive attitude with his work each day.  He treats all with kindness, respect, and greets everyone with a smile, despite the demands of maintaining five buildings each day.  Cody is a fabulous employee, a huge asset to our department, and is so deserving of this award and recognition.”

Larry Petersen of the Le Mars Community School Foundation made the presentation to Wurth.  Wurth’s parents, Tim and Roxanne Wurth were on hand during the award presentation.



State Legislature Agrees On A One Percent Increase For K-12 Education Funding

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Republicans in the Iowa Senate have approved $46 million in new funding for K-12 education for the upcoming budget year.
The GOP-controlled chamber voted 29-21 Wednesday night for the measure.
It must now bounce back to the Republican-controlled House, which voted 57-40 Wednesday morning for $32 million in new funding. Lawmakers will need to agree on a total before it can reach Gov. Kim Reynolds’ desk.
The Senate approved an extra $14 million for various transportation expenses and to close some inequity in cost-per-pupil spending across school districts.
The $32 million that both chambers appear to agree on is a 1 percent increase to Iowa’s $3.2 billion K-12 education budget.
Officials in the Des Moines school district, the state’s largest, say it will lead to more than $11 million in cuts. In more rural school districts, superintendents warned financial obligations like putting new money toward employee retirement plans will eat up a lot of the new appropriations.
Republicans say public education is a priority at the Capitol amid
budget constraints.



Woodbury County Agrees To Settlement With Inmate Over Lawsuit

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Woodbury County officials have agreed to pay $75,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by a former county jail inmate who says jail staff failed to take immediate action after he suffered a stroke while in
The Sioux City Journal reports that James Merchant sued in 2016, nearly two years after suffering a stroke while in Woodbury County Jail. Merchant’s lawsuit says he reported weakness and numbness in his right side to jail staff in 2014,
but was left in a nurse’s bay overnight before being evaluated and taken to a hospital.
Merchant was being held on theft and burglary charges at the time.
The county’s attorney says Mercy Medical Services has also reached a settlement with Merchant, but that the terms of that agreement are confidential.



Sioux City Man Arrested For Stabbing Incident From Last Year

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have arrested a Sioux City man in the stabbing death of a man last summer.
The Sioux City Journal reports a Woodbury County grand jury in November indicted 44-year-old Jeremy Lillich on one count of involuntary manslaughter. He was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Woodbury County Jail.
He’s charged in the June 3 stabbing death of 21-year-old James R.D. Purcell, of Sioux City.
Officers were called to a disturbance at a home and found Purcell had been stabbed. He later died.
Lillich had been serving a prison sentence on a drug conviction, but Corrections Department records show he would have been either on work release or parole when the stabbing occurred.
Court records didn’t indicate if he has an attorney who could respond to questions about his arrest.



Authorities Identify Body From Burned Out Car

BLOOMFIELD, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have identified human remains found in a burned-out car in southeast Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Wednesday the remains found Saturday were of 63-year-old Sharon Kay Moritz, of Northwood.
A farmer found the burned-out car in Davis County, southeast of the small community of Pulaski. Deputies responded and found the human remains inside.
The car was a 2006 white Chevrolet Impala that was registered to Moritz.
Investigators say Moritz has family in the Davis County area.
Results of an autopsy by the Office of the State Medical Examiner will be completed in four to six week.