Home News Tuesday Afternoon News, February 13th

Tuesday Afternoon News, February 13th


Additional Information Released Regarding Police Search For Suspicious Man 

(Le Mars) — Last evening while the Le Mars Police Department was hosting an active shooter training seminar at the Le Mars Convention Center, midway through the program several officers of the Le Mars Police Department excused themselves. KLEM radio has learned the police had a report of a suspicious
person walking around, possibly carrying a firearm near the 800 block of 2nd Avenue Southwest. The caller reported that a young man with blond hair, dark jeans and a black coat was carrying a handgun. In searching the area, officers were not able to locate the person. At the same time, the high school was having a musical concert. Due to the location being close to the Le Mars
Community Middle and High School, police posted officers inside the concert hall, as well at each entrance. The police increased their presence in and around the school property as a precaution. The school went into a lock-down. No one was
found with a weapon, and the police waited in the area until the concert had completed. The patrol and security at the school last evening was a precaution based on the proximity to the schools. The Le Mars Police patrols all Le Mars schools on a daily basis. A uniformed officer walks the halls of each school on a daily basis. The safety of our schools and students is a priority to the
Police Department and school officials. No other incidents were reported and all activities went on as planned.



Le Mars Woman Gets Probation For Passing Fraudulent Checks

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Le Mars woman has been given two years of probation for using counterfeit cash at a Sioux City casino.
Court records say 29-year-old Brittany Derby pleaded guilty Monday to forgery. She was given a deferred judgment, which will allow her conviction to be removed from court records if she successfully completes the terms of her probation.
Police say Derby, Jackelen Hartsock, of Le Mars, and Kurt Jones made several cash transactions Aug. 5 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Police say the bills were later found to be counterfeit.
Hartsock also has been given two years of probation. Jones has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial next month.



Proposal To Remove Dams Near Fort Dodge Could Cost $4 Million

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – A proposed plan to remove two dams across the Des Moines River in central Iowa could cost more than $4 million and be completed next winter.
The Messenger reports that the proposal presented to the Fort Dodge City Council Monday calls for the removal of the Hydroelectric Dam and the Little Dam during the winter of 2018-19.
Wade Greiman is a project manager with engineering firm Snyder & Associates. He says the Hydroelectric Dam removal will cost about $3.6 million and the Little Dam removal will cost about $750,000.
The dams would be replaced with structures to direct water and reduce stream bed erosion.
The funding will be included in a $9 million general obligation bond issue proposal, which the council will consider on March 12.



Iowa City Landlord Ordered To Pay Widow Of Maintenance Worker

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A jury has ordered a prominent Iowa City landlord to pay $5.6 million to the widow of a maintenance worker who fell to his death.
The Johnson County jury returned the verdict late Monday against Jeffrey Clark, the manager of Apartments Downtown, Inc.
The case stems from the 2014 death of 40-year-old husband and father Bronson Ganka, a handyman for the apartments company.
Ganka fell from a ladder while trying to drill a hole above an awning to a downtown Iowa City business. He suffered serious injuries after landing on the sidewalk, went into a coma and died 11 days later.
Ganka’s widow, Kara, alleged that Clark was grossly negligent because he told Ganka he couldn’t use an available boom truck that had safety guardrails to perform the work.



Iowa City Businessman Who Repeatedly Questioned Ethnicity Of Man Gets Probation

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa City business owner accused of repeatedly asking a customer if he was a Muslim and a terrorist has been sentenced to probation.
Court records say Chad Cermak entered an Alford plea Monday to a misdemeanor charge of harassment. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the state likely can prove the charge.
A court document says Cermak will receive a deferred judgment and serve six months of probation. Under a deferred judgment, records of his conviction will be expunged if he completes the terms of his probation.
Cermak was arrested after a person complained to authorities that he went Jan. 8 to Cermak Automotive, where Cermak repeatedly asked if he was a Muslim, a terrorist, a suicide bomber and other questions.