Home News Thursday News, October 4th

Thursday News, October 4th


Two Semi Trucks Collide On Highway 75 At Hinton

(Le Mars) — The Iowa Highway Patrol is investigating an accident that happened yesterday morning at Hinton. Apparently, the accident involved two semi trucks and trailers. The accident was reported to have happen at the intersection of U-S Highway 75 and county road C-60 at about 11:40 a.m. A
north bound dump truck, pulling a trailer, driven by 42 year old, Johathan Degroot, was at the stop light, getting ready to pull away for the green light. When it was struck from behind, and then side-swiped by a Semi Tractor/ Trailer, driven by 32 year old Ryan Van Gorp.
Both drivers were injured in the collision, and taken to Sioux City Mercy Hospital, by Hinton Ambulance.
The accident remains under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol. The State Patrol was assisted by the Plymouth County Sheriffs Office, Hinton P.D., Merrill P.D., Iowa Dept. of Transportation Enforcement and Maintenance, and the Hinton Fire Dept.



City Responds To Criticism About 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.



City Council Appoints Jason Vacera 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.



Cool, Wet Conditions Will Result In Developing Mold On Corn

(Le Mars) — The continued wet weather may prove to be problematic for farmers wanting to harvest their crops. Iowa State University Extension Grain Quality Specialist, Charlie Hurburgh believes that mold will develop on much of the state’s corn crop.

Hurburgh says there are a considerable number of acres of corn across the state which the corn is down. He says that will also result in problems for farmers.

The Iowa State grain quality specialist says the quality of this year’s grain is slightly below last year’s harvest. Hurburgh adds, the quality of the grain may deteriorate if we continue to have cool wet days.

Hurburgh says the state’s grain moisture level has been running high, and he blames the cool, damp weather.

He says soybeans are seeing similar problems with high moisture levels.

Hurburgh says for long-term storage of grain, corn moisture needs to be around 15 percent moisture, and for soybeans, the moisture content should be around ten to twelve percent.



Weather Forecast Calls For Heavy Rain Across Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Heavy rain is expected across most of Iowa and parts of Nebraska over the next week, so forecasters are warning that flooding will be a concern.
The National Weather Service says 4-to-5 inches of rain is expected to fall across most of Iowa between Thursday evening and next week. In eastern Nebraska, 1.5 inches of rain is likely, but the southeast corner of the state could receive 3-to-6 inches.
Meteorologist Brooke Haenhoff told the Des Moines Register the
ground is saturated in many areas, making flooding more likely. Flood warnings have already been issued for the Cedar River in Cedar Falls and Waterloo and the Des Moines River in Estherville and the Missouri River near southeast Nebraska.
Hagenhoff says the rain may continue with few breaks into next week.



U-S Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Surrogate Case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a lawsuit filed by an Iowa woman who carried a baby for another couple as a surrogate mother but changed her mind and wanted to keep the baby.
The Muscatine woman identified only as T.B. wanted the court to
strike down surrogacy contracts as unconstitutional.
She filed an appeal in May of an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that
concluded for the first time in Iowa that gestational surrogacy agreements are legal and enforceable.
The ruling allowed Paul and Chantele Montover to keep the girl, now 2 years old.
The Montovers had decided at age 50 that they wanted to raise a
child together and agreed to pay the woman to have a baby using an egg from an unknown donor and Paul Montover’s sperm.
The Iowa court said banning surrogate contracts would deprive
infertile couples of a way to raise their own biological children.
The nation’s highest court denied the woman’s petition to hear the case on Monday without comment.



Sink Hole Closes Highway

JEWELL, Iowa (AP) – Road officials have closed a section of highway in central Iowa’s Hamilton County after several drivers hit a massive sinkhole.
Iowa Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig said the 9-by-8 foot hole in Highway 69 north of Jewell was reported sometime between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Wednesday, after five vehicles had hit it.
Ludwig says only one minor injury was reported, when one driver’s head hit his steering wheel.
Ludwig said he expects that stretch of road “to be shut down for
some time to come.”



Judge’s Ruling Could Mean More Students 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.