Home News Wednesday News, May 2nd

Wednesday News, May 2nd


Le Mars Ranks Among The Top 20 Safest Iowa Cities

(Le Mars) — Le Mars ranks as one of the top safest cities in Iowa, according to an announcement made by Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte during the Tuesday city council meeting. Le Mars placed seventh in a survey conducted
by Safewise, a safety and security council organization to help communities become safer. Several other northwest Iowa communities placed within in the top five safest Iowa cities with Spencer listed at fourth place, Carroll was listed as the third safest Iowa city, and topping the list at the top two
rankings were Orange City at second place, and Sioux Center was listed as the “safest city in Iowa.” The list is not exclusive to mid-size cities, but also includes larger cities such as Ames, Ankeny, Cedar Falls, and suburban communities including Johnston, Urbandale, and West Des Moines were among the
top 20 safest cities in Iowa.



Michael Murphy Appointed To Be Next City Attorney

(Le Mars) — The city of Le Mars will have a new city attorney beginning with the new fiscal year of July 1st. On Tuesday, during their meeting, the Le Mars City Council approved the recommendation of hiring attorney Michael Murphy. Murphy will replace current city attorney Joe Flanery as Flanery intends to retire at the end of June. Murphy is a partner with the law firm
Murphy, Collins, Bixenman, and McGill of Le Mars. Murphy was admitted to the Bar in 2005. He attended Iowa State University and received his law degree from Drake University in Des Moines. He is a member of the Plymouth County, Iowa State, and American Bar Associations.



Forbes Magazine Names Wells Enterprises As America’s Best Employer List

(Le Mars) — Forbes Magazine has named Wells Enterprises of Le Mars as one of America’s Best Employers. This is the first year Wells has been named to the list. The recognition follows a string of recent awards for the 105-year old ice cream company. Forbes’ America’s Best Employer list is created using an
independent survey by Statisa. 30,000 U-S workers asked 35 questions about their workplace and employer. Employers cannot apply for consideration to be placed on the list.







Mike Wells, President, and C-E-O of Well’s Enterprises, makers of Blue Bunny Ice Cream says “This is an honor to be named to the Best Employer list. As a family-owned company, I take pride in knowing that there are over 2,800 people choosing Wells as their employer. Wells says “its the employees that truly make Wells Enterprises a great place to work.”



Floyd Valley Healthcare Earns Title Of Top 20 Rural Critical Access Hospital For Third Year In A Row

(Le Mars) — Floyd Valley Healthcare was given some good news when the National Rural Health Association named Floyd Valley as a Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals for overall performance in the nation. This marks the third year in a row the Le Mars hospital was named to the list. Only one other Iowa hospital was included in the list, Avera of Estherville. Floyd Valley
Healthcare Administrator Mike Donlin says he is proud of the entire staff for achieving the distinction.

Donlin says it is quite an honor to be listed as among the top 20 hospitals across the nation.

Floyd Valley Healthcare is building a good reputation since they have been honored and recognized not only as a Top 20 Rural Critical Access Hospital, for the third year in a row, but also for receiving top rankings as a Women’s Choice hospital, and high marks from the Press Gainey hospital surveys.

The hospital administrator says he hopes the general community appreciates the recognition and honors for Floyd Valley as much as the hospital staff appreciates the national attention.

Floyd Valley will celebrate the recognition as it observes National Hospital Week scheduled for next week.



City Announces “Spring Clean Up” Week

(Le Mars) — This week, April 30th through May 5th, has been designated as “Spring Clean Up Week” by Le Mars city officials. Residents are allowed to take up to 1,000 pounds of disposable refuge to the Plymouth County Landfill with the city picking up the tab for the disposal. Le Mars City Assistant Administrator Jason Vacera says household garbage is not allowed as part of
the program, but furniture, metal, and construction and destruction items are allowed to be disposed.

Vacera says the city will also collect old discarded appliances and tires at the Public Works Building on May 9th, but appointments will need be made prior to disposing your old appliances.

Saturday, May 12th at the parking lot behind the city council chambers is where city officials will collect old discarded electronics.

Vacera says the spring clean up is only open to residents of Le Mars.



Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department Have A Busy April

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had a busy month during April. According to the monthly report, the local fire brigade responded to a total of 54 calls, 16 of which were fires. Fire Chief Dave Schipper says within the last week of April, the fire and rescue department answered the alarm 25 times.



Kim Westergaard Named As May Chamber Employee Of the Month

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce honored its May Employee of the Month today during a special Chamber coffee held at Williams and Company CPA firm. Kim Westergaard was nominated by Jeff Peters and Graham Forbes.
Westergaard shares the responsibilities of the front office with Cindy Rolfes. Williams and Company clients always appreciate seeing a smile on Kim’s face when they arrive. As part of a very busy office, especially during tax season, Kim never lets the hectic pace interfere with her positive attitude and outstanding service to the clients. Kim Westergaard is responsible for assembling the final financial statement product that is
provided to our clients. She takes great pride in making sure that each client receives the best quality product we can provide. Internally, Kim has been respected for nearly 19 years of service and her ability to help all of us better serve our clients. Finally, and most importantly, we at Williams and Company are honored to be able to call Kim a dear friend. Kim Westergaard will be retiring at the end of May and all of us at Williams and
Company wish her the very best. The entire staff thanks Kim for 19 great years, enjoy your retirement. Our congratulations go to Kim Westergaard of Williams and Company for being honored as the May “Employee of the Month.”

Kevin Eekhoff presents the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month Award to Kim Westergaard of Williams and Company.



Iowa Lawmakers Pass Abortion Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa lawmakers have paved the way for the nation’s most restrictive abortion legislation in the country.
The Republican-majority Iowa Senate fast-tracked a vote early Wednesday morning on a so-called “heartbeat” bill that seeks to ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. The GOP-controlled Iowa House approved the bill hours earlier.
The legislation effectively would ban most abortions around six weeks of pregnancy. Critics say that would ban the medical procedure before some women know they’re pregnant.
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds hasn’t indicated whether she’ll sign the bill into law. If enacted, the legislation is expected to be challenged in court over whether it violates U.S. Supreme Court rulings, including the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
Iowa Republicans passed legislation last year that banned most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.



Governor Reynolds Appoints Father To Judicial Commission

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed her 78-year-old father to a six-year term on a panel that vets and recommends candidates for open judgeships.
Reynolds on Tuesday announced that she had appointed Charles Strawn of Saint Charles to the District 5A Judicial Nomination Commission, among two dozen other appointments to similar commissions.
The governor’s announcement didn’t mention that Strawn is her father, but press secretary Brenna Smith confirmed the relationship.
Smith says that Strawn was one of three applicants for two openings on the 10-member District 5A commission, which recommends judges who serve in Dallas, Guthrie, Jasper, Madison, Marion and Warren counties.
She says Reynolds appointed Strawn and Marlys Popma of Kellogg, and the third applicant lived in a county already represented on the panel and therefore wasn’t eligible.
The commissions scrutinize and interview candidates for judicial
openings and recommend finalists to the governor for appointment.



Body Found Following Jewell Fire

JEWELL, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a man’s body was discovered after a fire that heavily damaged a garage, a house and three cars at a salvage business in central Iowa.
Firetrucks were dispatched early Monday morning after explosions were reported at the site about 3 miles (5 kilometers) southwest of Jewell in Hamilton County. Jewell Fire Chief Duane Hendrickson says firefighters from two other departments helped bring the blazes under control by 5 a.m.
The man’s body was found in a bedroom of the home. His name hasn’t been released. An autopsy was ordered.
The cause of the initial fire hasn’t been determined.



Man Arrested Following Fatal Fire Claiming Woman’s Life In Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Police in eastern Iowa have announced an arrest in the killing of a woman pulled from a burning garage.
Cedar Rapids police say they have arrested 38-year-old Timothy Wesley Evans in the death of 38-year-old Gina Frederiksen. Neighbors called police and firefighters Sunday morning after hearing a loud boom and seeing a garage engulfed in flames. Frederiksen was pulled from the burning garage, but was
pronounced dead at a hospital.
Police said Tuesday in a news release that investigators believe
Evans broke into the detached garage, assaulted Frederiksen and then set fire to the garage.
Evans has been charged with first-degree murder, burglary, robbery and arson.



Crop Condition Report Shows 17 Percent Of State Corn Crop Is Planted, Although Many Areas Are Delayed

(Le Mars) — Last week’s warm weather allowed Siouxland farmers the opportunity to begin field work. However, farmers are still behind normal schedules for planting.  The latest crop condition report issued by the U-S-D-A shows farmers were finally able to get into the fields. Across the state of Iowa 17 percent of the corn has been planted, and two percent of the soybean crop is in the ground. But according to Paul Kassel, Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist for northwest Iowa, he says the fields in his area are still cool and wet.

Kassel says he is surprised to see how quickly the soil temperatures have risen within the last week.

Kassel says due to the delay in spring planting, some farmers may see a slight reduction in yield potential, as well as wetter corn at harvest time. However, he says we are still within the window of opportunity to get the maximum amount of yield.

The Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist says the moisture level is in good shape for his region. He says with today’s equipment, many farmers may be able to catch up with their planting, if mother nature would cooperate by providing several days of warm, dry weather.