Home News Friday News, September 14th

Friday News, September 14th


Head-on Accident In Western Plymouth County Sends Seven To Hospital

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an accident that happened last evening at approximately 6:30 p.m. The accident occurred on Highway 12 and 200th Street near Westfield. Apparently a Jeep Renagade was heading north when it crossed the center line and hit head on a 15- passenger bus that was heading south. The driver of the Jeep Renagade was
transported to Mercy Medical Center by the Akron Emergency Medical Services.
Six people had occupied the van. All six individuals were transported to Hawarden Hospital by the Akron EMS and Hawarden EMS. An ongoing investigation is being done by the Iowa State Patrol and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s office. Assisting agencies on scene included the Plymouth County
Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol, Akron Police Department, Akron Fire Department, Akron EMS, and Hawarden EMS.



16 People Complete First Police Citizens Academy

(Le Mars) — Sixteen people from the greater Le Mars community consisting of varied backgrounds, recently completed a month-long, eight session program, hosted by the Le Mars Police Department. The program, entitled: Le Mars Citizen Academy was taught by Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte and Assistant Police Chief Jay King. The course was designed to offer members of the community a better understanding of the duties and responsibilities associated with the Le Mars Police Department. The academy class was introduced to several aspects of police work including: domestic assault and
sexual assault scenarios, drug detection and enforcement, traffic stops, weapons, tactical strategies, use of force, crime scene investigation, the use of the police K-9, and field sobriety tests. Laurie Peters admits she was uncertain as to what to expect from the program.

Peters talks about some of the sessions she will long remember.

Terry Fitzgerald is a teacher at the Le Mars Community High School. He echoed the sentiments of Peters and other academy members.

Scott Pageler, another citizen academy member owns and operates the Hardware Hank business. He says he has high praise for the Le Mars Police Department and will highly recommend to his customers to apply for future Citizen Police
Academy courses.

Pageler says he has a better understanding and greater appreciation for the police department as a result of taking the class. Among the academy members, John MacGregor of The Education Station, is also a member of the Le Mars Ambulance Services. He probably has worked the closest with the
officers, since they have responded together to several emergency calls.
MacGregor says he is glad to have participated with the citizen police academy, and he has learned a lot because of it.

Each of the members of the Citizen Police Academy said they would recommend others to apply for the program.



Elementary Students Enjoy Farm Tour

(Le Mars) — Third grade elementary students from Le Mars Community, Gehlen Catholic, Remsen St. Mary’s and MMCRU (Remsen-Union) had the opportunity to visit four different farms Thursday morning. The annual event is sponsored
by the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee. The purpose for the tour is to introduce students to agriculture, and to inform them about how their food begins from a farm instead of a grocery store. More than 250 students visited a dairy farm operation, a family beef farm, a pork production farm, and a sheep farm. Dan Sheehan of rural Remsen was one of the farmers to open his hog operation to the visiting students. He says he jumped at the opportunity when it was presented to him. Sheehan hopes the information he shared today with the students will stay with them through their adult lives.

The Remsen pork producer told the students, the pigs they saw today that weigh approximately 15 pounds, will weigh around 300 pounds within six months when they are ready to be transported to market. Sheehan shared with the students the various types of ingredients found in the feed he gives to his

Many of the students were overwhelmed when Sheehan said he has over 2000 head of hogs in one facility. Sheehan emphasized to the students how he maintains a constant and comfortable environment for his pigs.

At each of the four farms, the farmers informed the students about the various types of by-products that are derived from the animals. At Plymouth Dairy, Scott Thoms told the students the average cow will contribute 10 gallons of milk each day, and that equates to more than 15 cartons of ice cream on a daily basis. Shirley Schroeder told the youngsters that each
market beef animal from her family farm has enough meat muscle to produce approximately 750 quarter pound hamburgers. At the Mark Loutsch farm, students witnessed a lamb being sheared, and learned that sheep are marketed
for their wool, as well as for their meat.
Katie Pick teaches third grade at Clark Elementary school in Le Mars. This year marked her first time as a teacher on the farm tour. She says her students enjoyed the day, and says this may be the only opportunity for several students to be exposed to a farm. Pick says the tour is important for the students.

Pick says each of the students were impressed with the farm tour, and says they especially enjoyed seeing the animals.

Pick says she is grateful for the host farmers and for the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee for featuring the tour. She says if the the Chamber Agriculture Committee did not feature the program, many of her students would never have the opportunity to visit a farm.



Park Place Employee Honored As Chamber’s “Employee Of The Month”

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month works at Park Place Estates. Kara Hitchler was awarded the honor during the Chamber’s coffee that was held on Wednesday. Hitchler was nominated by Sandra Reuter. In her nomination of Hitchler, Reuter writes: Kara started working at Park Place Estates assisted living facility in August 2002. She
has worn many hats in her tenure at Park Place Estates. Kara holds a master’s degree in gerontology, but started working at Park Place as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant.
Kara now works as Administrative Assistant, and she literally assists each and every person at Park Place. She always has a “can do” attitude when anyone asks her a question. She truly cares for our residents and their families as well as her fellow co-workers. She is a hard working individual often coming in after hours to do fire drills or fill in for a co-worker who may be ill.
Kara is an invaluable member of the Park Place Estates team. The jobs she performs often don’t fit into what would be termed as her job description, but she does them anyway; always with a smile. Working with Kara is an absolute pleasure and we appreciate all she does for the Park Place Estates
Congratulations Kara for the September 2018 Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.




Gehlen Catholic Announces Homecoming Royalty Candidates

(Le Mars) — Gehlen Catholic School has announced the royalty candidates for this year’s Gehlen and Spalding Homecoming. Homecoming week is scheduled for September 24th through 29th. This year’s royalty include: Anna Britt, the daughter of David Britt and Tamie Britt both of Le Mars. Sage Goergen, the
daughter of Dan and Carla Goergen of Granville. Katelyn Langel, the daughter of Mick and Tami Langel of Le Mars. Aubree Nilles, the daughter of Lee and Angela Nilles of Le Mars. Katie Peters is also a royalty candidate. She is the daughter of John and Kim Peters of Le Mars. The Homecoming King candidates include: Adam Berkenpas, the son of Kris and the late David Berkenpas of Le Mars. Caden Kneip, the son of Rick and Mary Kniep of Le
Mars. Drew Paulsen, the son of Scott and Stacey Paulsen of Granville is another king candidate. Cody Schmit, the son of Ken and Pam Schmit of Hospers and Adam Schuch, the son of Tom and Lori Schuch of Le Mars. The emcees for this year’s Homecoming celebration include Alleana Aquino, the
daughter of Albert and Dr. Ellen Aquino of Le Mars. Melinda Zubrod, the daughter of Dennis and Nancy Zubrod of Merrill, and Benjamin “BJ” Mairose, the son of Donald Mairose of Le Mars, and Bett Madsen of Sioux Falls.



Former Sioux Center Christian Teacher Gets 15 Years In Prison

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) – A former Sioux Center private school teacher convicted of sexually abusing a child has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

36-year-old Curtis Van Dam sentenced in Sioux City’s federal court. Van Dam pleaded guilty in June to sexually abusing a child. In exchange, other counts were dropped.
Police arrested Van Dam on Oct. 23 after the parents of an 11-year-old boy reported the teacher had sexual contact with their son.
Police say Van Dam took part in sex crimes involving numerous children over four years and that the crimes occurred at various locations, including Sioux Center Christian School, where Van Dam worked as a fifth-grade teacher.



Reynolds Defends Her Free Flight To Iowa State University Bowl Game

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds is defending her decision to travel to Iowa State’s bowl game for free on a plane owned by a company that is a longtime and controversial state vendor.
Reynolds told reporters Thursday that she saw nothing wrong with her flight on the plane owned by Sedgwick, which administers claims for workers’ compensation benefits filed by injured state employees.
She noted that her office had received written approval from the
ethics board director to take a donor-funded flight to the bowl game in order to campaign.
Reynolds says that met with donors on the trip and that the game was an opportunity to talk to Iowans and “share the excitement of Iowa State making a bowl game.”
The ethics board director wasn’t aware that a state vendor owned the plane. Sedgwick CEO Dave North says he reimbursed his company for the costs of Reynold’s flight.



Meredith Publishing Company Announces Job Cuts

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Magazine and broadcasting company Meredith is laying off 200 more people as it continues to cut costs after buying Time Inc. earlier this year.
Meredith spokesman Art Slusark said Thursday that most of the job cuts are in the New York area, but 25 will be eliminated in Birmingham, Alabama, and another 15 will be cut at the company’s headquarters in Des Moines.
Since the Time acquisition, Meredith has eliminate about 1,800 jobs and 800 other employees have left the company.
In addition to the job cuts, Meredith also announced it would merge two of its cooking magazines – Cooking Light and EatingWell – into one publication with circulation of 1.775 million readers that will be printed ten times a year.




University Of Iowa Agrees To Pay $55,000 To Settle Lawsuit Regarding The Hiring Process of Its President

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa has agreed to pay $55,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that its 2015 presidential search violated the open meetings law.
The university doesn’t admit any violations in the settlement, which was made public Wednesday.
But Iowa has agreed to abide by several transparency measures during future presidential searches, including streaming the open portions of search committee hearings and giving three days notice for such meetings whenever possible.
The deal resolves a lawsuit that had initially been filed by retired professor Harold Hammond during the 2015 search, which resulted in the controversial hiring of business consultant Bruce Harreld.
Retired professor John Menninger refiled the case after Hammond died in 2016.
The case alleged that the 23 search committee members improperly met outside the state of Iowa and improperly closed meetings. Attorney Gregg Geerdes, who represented both men, will receive $55,000 in legal fees.