Home News Thursday News, July 12th

Thursday News, July 12th


Le Mars Police Receives 34 Fireworks Complaints

(Le Mars) — The independence day holiday is now over, as is also the legal dates for discharging fireworks. Le Mars Police report having received 34 complaints this year during the time it was legal to discharge fireworks.

Chief Kevin Vande Vegte says at least half of those complaints were registered between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Vande Vegte says he doesn’t have the number of fireworks complaints from last year when the Iowa legislature first allowed the discharge of fireworks. However, he believes “there may have been an uptick of complaints” this year. Vande Vegte says
once police officers spoke to the people discharging the fireworks, then they would cease the act of shooting off fireworks, He says many of the people that filed a complaints about fireworks were heard saying “It sounded like a
war zone.” Vande Vegte says the police department did have more dogs that were reported missing, or were lost dogs, and found by the police officers as a result of the fireworks. The Le Mars Police Chief says the loud sounds of fireworks also produce negative feelings for veterans. He recalls a Viet Nam Vet spoke to him saying the past 30 days was especially difficult, as the
Viet Nam Veteran suffers from post tramatic stress disorder. Vande Vegte says now that the time window for discharging fireworks has passed, anyone caught discharging fireworks will be given a citation.




Plains Area Mental Health and Life Skills Team Up For “The Meeting Place”

(Le Mars) — A joint venture between Plains Area Mental Health and Life Skills Training Center officially opened Wednesday with the ribbon-cutting ceremony acknowledging “The Meeting Place.” The renovated facility was the former “Family Pharmacy” located next to the Fareway grocery store. Shelly Thomson with Life Skills says the downtown building will serve as the adult
care center for mentally challenged individuals. She says Life Skills is leasing a portion of the facility from Plains Area Mental Health.

Thomson says it was a federal government directive to have the adult care center separated from the work training facility.

Thomson says the Life Skills clients at “The Meeting Place” are ready to perform community service tasks.

Plains Area Mental Health owns the building and Kim Keleher the CEO for Plains Area Mental Health says the facility will serve as a “comfort zone” for the clients.

The Plains Area Mental Health official says the Weidler building located at the former Westmar College campus will continue to serve as the headquarters and mental health clinic.



Plymouth Energy Establishes Monarch Butterfly Habitat

JOHNSTON, IOWA –- Plymouth Energy of Merrill has announced it has dedicated two acres of greenspace on plant grounds to monarch habitat.

The ethanol producer seeded the plot in June 2017 and this summer it is seeing its first strong growth of milkweed plants, which monarch butterflies need for egg laying.

Joe Williams, plant manager says “At Plymouth Energy we work every day to create a product that supports Iowa farmers and the environment,” He continues to say, “We were excited to take on a project that allows us to do that in a whole new way. When we learned how easy it is to establish monarch habitat we jumped at the opportunity. We will continue to look for new
opportunities to grow Iowa’s rural economy and protect our environment.”

The Monarch Fueling Station Project was established by Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in partnership with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in 2017. It is a program to help Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel plants establish patches of monarch habitat on plant grounds.



Reynolds Orders Flags At Half-Staff To Honor Governor Ray

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered all flags in Iowa to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise today, Thursday, July 12, to sunset on Friday, July 13th. The order is in honor and remembrance of former Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray. Ray passed away on Sunday, July 8, 2018, at the age of 89.

Gov. Reynolds says “Governor Ray’s legacy lives on in the millions of people that he impacted as a tremendous statesman for Iowa and our nation,”. “His civility, courage and common-sense governing set a high standard for those who followed. May our prayers and thoughts bring peace to First Lady Billie
Ray, her daughters and family at this time.”

Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex. Flags will also be half-staff on all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state.

Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.



Mob of 40 People Raid and Steal From Convenience Store

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Police in eastern Iowa are looking for members of a mob of up to 40 people that swarmed into a Cedar Rapids convenience store, stealing items and destroying property in just seconds.
The Des Moines Register reports that the incident happened around 10:30 p.m. July 3 following a nearby fireworks show. Police say surveillance video of the Casey’s General Store shows a large group of young people entering the store, grabbing items from shelves and refrigerated coolers and rushing back
out of the store’s doors – knocking over displays on the way out. From start to finish, the incident took less than 90 seconds.
The store’s two clerks appeared powerless to stop the crowd.
Police say one juvenile has been arrested, but they’re seeking the public’s help in identifying others involved.



Suspicious Death Prompts Investigation

WASHINGTON, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have released the name of a man in southeast Iowa whose death has prompted an investigation.
He was identified as 70-year-old Ed Jones, who lived in Washington.
The Washington Police Department sent officers just before 8 a.m. Wednesday to check a call about a suspicious death at an apartment complex.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was soon called in to help. No arrests have been reported.
An autopsy has been ordered.



Des Moines Police Investigate “Stand Your Ground” Shooting Death

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Police have identified a suspected burglar, as well as the business owner who shot and killed him outside the business in southern Des Moines.
Police say 37-year-old Amund Benjamin Haarstad, of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, was killed Wednesday morning at Kraft 5 Star Muffler.
Investigators believe Haarstad was loading items from the business into a stolen truck when the repair shop owner, 67-year-old Thomas Kraft, arrived for work. Police say Haarstad confronted Kraft instead of fleeing, and that Kraft shot Haarstad.
Sgt. Paul Parizek (puh-REE’-zihk) says it looks like a “stand your
ground” case, but a decision on any charges will come from the Polk County attorney’s office.
The Iowa law says people don’t have to retreat before using deadly force if they think their lives are being threatened.



Prosecutor Drops Charges Against Nurses

ELKADER, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa prosecutor has dropped charges for now against two nurses accused of abusing a resident at a northeastern Iowa nursing home.
Clayton County Court records show a judge Monday granted a request from Clayton County Attorney Alan Heavens to drop the charges. In his request filed June 28 Heavens told the court he wanted to delay a final decision on criminal prosecutions until the Iowa Board of Nursing and the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals had completed their investigations and imposed any
The records show Nichole Buckley and Heidi Mueller have pleaded not guilty to charges of dependent adult abuse, wanton neglect of a resident of a health care facility and tampering with records. Authorities say the charges are related to the abuse of a patient at Elkader Care Center in March.