Home News Wednesday Afternoon News, October 3rd

Wednesday Afternoon News, October 3rd


Le Mars Public Works Department To Close Lincoln Street S.W.

(Le Mars) — The Street Dept. is closing part of Lincoln St. S.W. today October 3rd around 1:00 p.m. for some storm sewer work. We will close Lincoln St. off at 6th Ave. S.W. and on the North side of Mid Americans driveway . We will also have 8th St S.W. closed coming up to Lincoln St. . They are hoping for one week or less for closure and that is weather permitting.



City Responds To Criticism After Flooding

(Le Mars) — At the Le Mars city council meeting held Tuesday, Mayor Dick Kirchoff brought up the recent flooding, and the city’s response, during the general discussion portion of the meeting. Kirchoff says several city officials received either emails, or letters, criticizing the city for what was perceived as poor preparation for the flooding. Kirchoff says some people are lead to believe the city of Le Mars doesn’t have a disaster plan
in place. He says the truth is the city has had a disaster plan ever since 1985, and it has been updated every two years since its inception. During the meeting, Kirchoff asked Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper to speak on the city’s emergency disaster plan, as well as the city’s response to the flooding. Schipper informed the city council that a city disaster plan is
in the hands of every city department’s supervisor, as well as many other entities including the local newspaper and media. A total of 32 books containing the emergency plan are distributed within the community. He says emergency shelters have been identified in the plan for people who cannot stay in their homes, or people who are evacuated. He says those shelters are located at Le Mars Community High School, Gehlen Catholic High School,
and the Community Wellness Center. Schipper says the city has four different levels of readiness for disasters.

Schipper says the low-lying areas would include the Municipal Park, the recreational trail, the airport, and the Little League and Gehlen Catholic ball parks, and the city’s waste water treatment plants. He says Level One would mean maximum readiness, and full emergency operations center activation.

The Le Mars Fire Chief reported what consequences happen when the rising flood waters reach different levels. Schipper says a new record level was achieved with the recent flooding waters exceeding 26 feet.

Schipper says the city has implemented the disaster plan, or parts of the emergency plan, on different occasions. He says city officials enacted the emergency disaster plan during a blizzard of 2009, the flooding during the Memorial Day Weekend of 2013, and the high wind storm that hit Le Mars during Ice Cream Days in 2016. Schipper submitted a detailed timeline of the events that took place during the three days of flooding. He says
although the residents of PGA Drive were cut off for a period of 24 hours due to rising flood waters, at no time were they ever without emergency services.

The Le Mars Fire Chief says all emergency personnel were notified of the situation, and a plan was in place if a 9-1-1 call were to originate from the P-G-A Drive area.

Schipper says within 24 hours the water had receded, and the road closed barricades and signs were removed, and the residents had full access to getting out from the neighborhood.



Ventura Named As Interim City Administrator

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council approved a plan to begin a search for a new city administrator following the death of Scott Langel. Councilman Clark Goodchild had voted against the measure, saying he wanted to wait before having the city move on finding a replacement.
During the same discussion, the council moved to approve Assistant City Administrator Jason Vacera to become the Interim City Administrator.



King Says FBI Investigation Into Brett Kavanaugh Is Not Necessary 

(Hinton) — Iowa’s 4th District Congressman Republican Steve King is supporting President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.
King says the proceedings, along with the sexual accusations remind him of the Clarence Thomas hearings when Thomas was nominated to serve on the U-S Supreme Court. King says the Senate Judicial Committee hearings have been
shameful to watch.

King says he is troubled by the fact an unsubstantiated allegation can destroy a person’s career.

King says he had a discussion about the allegation with a young voter.

The Iowa Republican Congressman says an F.B.I investigation requested by Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, and others is not needed.

King says he is sympathetic to Kavanaugh’s family for having to endure the constant media attention.



Judge’s Ruling Means More Students May Qualify For Special Education Funding

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal judge’s ruling could mean more Iowa students with learning disabilities will qualify for special education programs.
The Des Moines Register reports an administrative law judge ruled last year that Iowa education agencies violated the Disabilities Education Act by denying an Urbandale student’s access to special education classes.
The student was denied services because she was performing well in her classes.
The Iowa Department of Education challenged the administrative judge’s ruling, but a federal judge affirmed the decision.
Attorney Curt Sytsma, who represented the student, says students throughout Iowa could benefit from the ruling.
Iowa Department of Education spokeswoman Staci Hupp says most students evaluated for special education already receive services so the ruling’s impact could be minimal.
The state will pay $317,769 in legal fees to the student’s lawyers.



Caretaker Charged

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Mason City man convicted of sex abuse counts involving dependent adults he was hired to care for has been jailed for violating pre-sentencing rules.
The Globe Gazette reports that 19-year-old Wasfie Ahmed Alshara is behind bars after court documents say had alcohol on Sept. 29, which he was not supposed to have under the rules.
Alshara pleaded guilty in August to two counts of misdemeanor assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. Prosecutors lowered the charges of felony sexual abuse in exchange for Alshara’s pleas. Investigators accused him of raping a dependent client last November and sexually assaulting another in a group home on June 8.
He’s set to be sentenced on Nov. 19.