Home News Tuesday News, February 27th

Tuesday News, February 27th


No County Supervisor Meeting Scheduled For Today

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will not hold a meeting today, as there were not enough agenda items to warrant a meeting.



Holz and Carlin Address Small Community Ambulance Issue

(Kingsley) — Many small communities within Iowa are facing the real threat of losing their local ambulance services due to a shortage of volunteers, higher regulations, and expensive training procedures. In Plymouth County, Oyens had
lost its ambulance service for short time, and Merrill is now listed as a “First Responder” only having to depend on both Le Mars and Hinton to cover the area for emergency ambulance service. Emergency Medical Technicians have appealed to state legislators for assistance, but as of yet, the state lawmakers have not specifically acted on any measure. During their town hall meetings, held on Saturday, State Representative Chuck Holz of Le Mars and State Senator Jim Carlin of Sioux City addressed the issue. Holz says there is a bill that has
been introduced in the House.

Carlin says he agrees with Holz about the best way of dealing with the problem for smaller communities that possibly may lose their local ambulance services.

The two lawmakers were asked if the state should step in with some type of financial incentive plan in order to lure additional volunteers to become Emergency Medical Technicians.

The legislators are not certain if the measure will get through the state legislature yet this session, but both agree the issue needs some attention.



House Passes Bill On Opioid Usage

(Des Moines) — The Iowa House has unanimously supported a series of proposals designed to address the opioid epidemic. If the bill becomes law, physicians would be required to register prescriptions with the state’s drug monitoring program within 24 hours. That’s an effort to cut down on “doctor-shopping.”
Representative Shannon Lundren of Peosta, in Dubuque County, says early intervention will save lives.

A few legislators, like Representative Kirsten Running-Marquadrt (MAR-kwart) of Cedar Rapids, specifically mentioned family members who’ve been addicted to opioids.

Representative Dave Jacoby (juh-KOH-bee) of Coralville mentioned a 23-year-old who overdosed a year ago. The young man was the son of Jacoby’s cousin.

Representative Dave Heaton, a Republican from Mount Pleasant, describes the bill as a “first step.”

The bill that cleared the House last (Monday) night WOULD forbid handwritten, paper prescriptions. Heaton and others are also hoping to boost state funding of drug treatment programs and legalize so-called “needle exchange” programs that
prevent the spread of disease. State officials say more than 200 Iowans died of an opioid overdose in 2017.



Anamosa Police Chief Is Fired

ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) – An eastern Iowa city council has fired its police chief who’d been accused of sending emails with racist and sexist comments.
The Anamosa council voted Monday night to fire Chief Bob Simonson after first rejecting his offer to retire. The council plans to appoint a department sergeant to serve as interim chief.
A former officer, Amy Ford, sued the city in 2015 for sexual harassment and gender discrimination. She settled it for $750,000.
Simonson has declined to comment about the allegations. A phone listed for him in Anamosa rang busy during several calls Tuesday.  He was hired by the city in May 2010.



Electronic Devices Seized From AAU Coach’s Cabin

DELHI, Iowa (AP) – Investigators have seized a trove of electronic devices from a northeastern Iowa cabin owned by a prominent youth basketball coach under investigation for allegedly making videos of naked boys.
Greg Stephen, co-director of the Iowa Barnstormers, left the traveling youth organization Thursday after agents searched his Monticello home.
Newly available documents show agents also searched a cabin in a recreation area near Lake Delhi. Investigators say Stephen occasionally spent weekends there and used it for summertime group gatherings with players.
Agents seized smartphones, tablets, flip phones, hard drives, thumb drives, memory cards and digital video cassettes.
Stephen hasn’t been charged and his father says he’s done nothing wrong.
The searches came after a source gave police a device from Stephen’s home that contained video clips of underage males disrobing in a hotel bathroom.
Several Barnstormers players have gone on to play Division I college basketball.



Johnston Woman Takes Alford Plea Following Child Neglect Charges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa mother accused of leaving her four children home alone to travel to Europe has taken a plea deal.
Johnston resident Erin Macke entered Alford pleas Monday in Polk County District Court to four counts of child endangerment. In exchange prosecutors will drop a charge of making a firearm available to a person under age 21.
In an Alford plea, a person doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a likely conviction. Her sentencing is scheduled for April 19.
Police were called to her home in September by the children’s father, who said the kids – two age 12, one 7, one 6 – had been left alone. Police say Macke failed to make child care arrangements before leaving Sept. 20 for a 10-day Germany vacation.



Girl Scouts To Sell Campground Property

EPWORTH, Iowa (AP) – Girl Scouts officials plan to sell part of an eastern Iowa campground in the latest move to reduce property holdings and adjust to changes in demand from the youth it serves.
Stacy Conforti serves as director of property and outdoor program for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Conforti tells the Telegraph Herald that the group intends to divest between 50 and 90 acres of its 154-acre Camp Little Cloud property in the Dubuque area.
She says the property is sloping timberland and not integral to the Girl Scouts’ programming. The group spent about $139,000 to keep the property open but the camp recouped only $34,000 in revenue.
Officials are contacting camp neighbors to gauge interest in purchasing the property. The parcel’s location and price haven’t been finalized yet.