Home News Friday News, October 12th

Friday News, October 12th


Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office Identifies Fatality Victim

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office has identified the victim of the fatality that occurred Wednesday morning at about 10:40 a.m.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 16000 block of LeLand Drive, north of Le Mars, for an unresponsive male that had struck a tree. During the investigation, it was learned that the 76 year old male has been identified as Douglas Clay of Le Mars. Clay was traveling west on LeLand Drive in a 2005 Chevy Uplander. The vehicle had left the roadway and struck a tree
where the vehicle came to rest. Clay was transported to Floyd Valley Healthcare where he was later pronounced dead. Initial investigation by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and the Plymouth County Medical Examiner indicates that Clay had a medical condition prior to striking the tree which caused the death. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the
scene by the Le Mars Police Department, Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, and the Le Mars Ambulance Services.



Fire Department Teaches Fire Safety To Students

(Le Mars) — Saturday marks the end of Fire Prevention Week, but for the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department their education efforts about fire safety extends through the entire month of October. According to Le Mars Fire Chief, Dave Schipper, more than 1500 students from pre-school through fifth grade will learn about fire safety.

Schipper says members of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department usually make appearances to the pre-school students.

The fire chief says around 500 students each year get a personal visit from the fire department. He says several pre-school teachers bring their students to the fire station to see the equipment, as well as sit in one of the fire trucks.

(photos are from 2017 Fire Prevention Week)



Dordt College’s Band Instructor On Administrative Leave

(Sioux Center) — Dordt College in Sioux Center has placed its band director on leave following accusations of inappropriate student contact, according to an email sent to students. Dr. Bradley Miedema (MEE-duh-muh) is an associate professor of music at the northwest Iowa college and director of
instrumental ensembles. The provost of Dordt College confirms Miedema will remain on leave, pending the college Board of Trustees decision on the issue. Brandon Huisman (HYOOZ-man), vice president of enrollment and marketing at Dordt, says the college recognizes the seriousness of this issue

Huisman says he cannot reveal details of the allegations because it’s a personnel matter. The Dordt College Board of Trustees will review the matter at its regular meeting next week.

Other faculty are teaching Miedema’s classes and overseeing rehearsals.
Concerts will go on as scheduled. Dordt College is associated with the Christian Reformed Church. It has a student body of about 15-hundred and 85 full-time faculty.



Reynolds Declares 19 Counties As Disaster Areas

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s governor has issued a disaster proclamation for 19 counties in response to severe weather that raked much of the state earlier this month.
Gov. Kim Reynolds issued the proclamation Thursday in the wake of Oct. 4 storms that including damaging winds, heavy rains, flooding and tornadoes.
The counties include Black Hawk, Buena Vista, Butler, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Clarke, Des Moines, Dubuque, Emmet and Fayette. Also included are Franklin, Iowa, Johnson, Kossuth, Lee, Marshall, Ringgold, Scott and Union counties.
The proclamation allows state resources to be used to respond to and recover from the effects of the storms and activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents.



Teenager Dies From Home Fire

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa officials say the teenage son of a man killed in a Huxley house fire has also died from his injuries.
Huxley Police Sgt. Joe Marchesano tells the Des Moines Register that 17-year-old Daniel Van Ersvelde died Wednesday at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City. His death came three days after the fire that killed his father, 47-year-old Brett Van Ersvelde. The teen and his mother were both pulled from his bedroom by firefighters Sunday evening. Two teenage
daughters were able to escape.
Investigators say Daniel’s parents became trapped by the fire when they went to his room to try to save him, but he refused to leave. Police say the teen was autistic.
Investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen. It remains
under investigation.



Prosecutor Request Review Of Former Social Worker

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A prosecutor will request a review to determine whether an Iowa social worker should be charged with a crime for giving false testimony in child welfare cases.
Cerro Gordo County Attorney Carlyle Dalen says he’ll refer the case involving former Iowa Department of Human Services employee Chelsie Gray to another agency for investigation.
Dalen says he’s trying to determine which office should handle the inquiry to ensure “this potential criminal matter can be evaluated fairly and independently.” He says his office shouldn’t be involved since it uncovered Gray’s false statements and brought them to the court’s attention.
A judge in June found Gray told “lies and misrepresentations” during a proceeding in which parents were unfairly stripped of their rights to four children. She falsely claimed she routinely visited the family as required and spoke to the children’s teachers.
Until The Associated Press reported the ruling Tuesday, Gray had
apparently avoided any consequences. She resigned from DHS last month.



Soybean Growers Disagree With USDA’s Soybean Yield Estimates

Ankeny, Iowa – Iowa’s record soybean crop is even bigger than previous estimates, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Crop Production Report released Thursday. But Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) leaders and analysts aren’t buying it.

Iowa’s average soybean yield was increased by 1 bushel per
acre from last month to 61 bushels, the report said. Accordingly, production estimates jumped about 3 percent to more than 606 million bushels.

ISA District 8 Director Randy Miller of Lacona would have
believed the USDA a few weeks ago as he prepared to harvest his best soybean crop ever — likely 10 bushels per acre better than normal. But persistent rains have swamped his soybean fields, idled the combine and negatively impacted the quality of his crop. About 20-25 percent of Miller’s soy fields
(70-100 acres) are under water.

The USDA increased national soybean yields slightly to a record 53.1 bushels per acre. But overall production was reduced by 3.5 million bushels to 4.69 billion since harvested acres were lowered 600,000 to 88.3 million.