Home News Wednesday News, October 24th

Wednesday News, October 24th


Lyon County To Join Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region

(Le Mars) — If you have been following the actions of counties with regards to regional mental health programs, you would think they are playing a game of musical chairs with each one hoping to find a chair before the music ends. Iowa law requires at least three counties to make up a mental health region. First, Woodbury County had requested to leave the Sioux Rivers
Regional Mental Health program for Rolling Hills. That left Plymouth and Sioux Counties in search of either joining another mental health region, or recruiting a bordering county to become a member of the Sioux Rivers Region.
Initially, last week, Plymouth County had accepted an invitation to be with the Northwest Iowa Care Connections, but Sioux County was not accepted.
Now, the latest turn of events has Lyon County to leave the Northwest Iowa Care Connections to join Sioux and Plymouth as part of the Sioux Rivers Mental Health program. And to make this scenario even more confusing, five counties on the eastern edge of the Northwest Iowa Care Connections have
indicated an interest to leave their present mental health region, and to become members of the Northwest Iowa Care Connections. Don Kass is the chairman of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors, and tries to make sense of the constant changes, and present situation.

Kass says Lyon County Board of Supervisors approved joining Sioux and Plymouth Counties to make up the third essential county for Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region.

Kass believes with Lyon County joining Sioux Rivers, it will mean good news for everyone.

The Plymouth County Supervisor says mental health services should be better with the three counties, as opposed to the proposed 13 county region.

Kass says the county board of supervisors will formally vote on the measure during next week’s meeting. He says he believes the supervisors will approve Lyon County’s request to become part of the Sioux Rivers Region, and at the same time, Plymouth County Supervisors will notify Northwest Iowa Care Connections that they intend to withdraw their request.



Firefighters Donate Check To Kevin Ortmann

(Remsen) — Firefighters are known to help their own, and on Monday evening, members of the Plymouth County Firefighters Association had gathered in Remsen to present a check to Kevin Ortmann, a member of the Remsen Fire Department. Ortmann has recently been diagnosed with having a form of brain cancer and had suffered some strokes. Firefighters from Akron, Hinton,
Merrill, Kingsley, Le Mars, Oyens, and Remsen sold raffle tickets with the prize being five different guns to raise money to assist with Kevin’s needs due to brain cancer diagnosis and having a stroke after brain surgery.
Ortmann was the Remsen Fire Chief at the time of his diagnosis.
Plymouth County Firefighters raised and presented a check in the amount of $10,728 to Kevin Ortmann and his family. Ortmann was surprised and grateful for the generous contribution.

Ortmann says he takes one day at a time for his recovery, and offers an update on his health status.

Pictured from left to right are: Akron Fire Chief Shane Coyle, Kevin Ortmann, the former fire chief for Remsen, Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper, and Hinton Fire Chief Chad Beck.



Donations Being Accepted To Help Displaced Family From House Fire

(Le Mars) — Donations are being accepted at the Helping Hands Resource Donation Center for the family of five that lost their home due to an early Tuesday morning fire. Jim Plueger says both monetary and household items, including clothing, can be dropped off at the Helping Hands Center, located on Central Avenue.



School Assembly Focused On Bullying

(Le Mars) — More attention is being focused on school bullying, and that is the reason why Le Mars Community School hosted a student assembly on Monday involving students from 4th grade to 12th grade from both Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic. Jeff Veley (Vee-lee) is an award-winning speaker
social skills educator and entertainer. Veley says often times people have a different definition for bullying.

Veley offered some startling statistics when it comes to bullying.

The motivational speaker says it was his grandmother that helped him cope from being bullied.

Veley even utilized the familiar cliche’ phrase about “sticks and stones may break my bones.”




Farmers Take Advantage Of Recent Dry Weather To Catch Up On Harvest

(Spencer) — After more than a week of wet conditions, farmers were able to take full advantage of this week’s dry weather to make up some lost time on this year’s harvest.
The sunny, dry weather has been a welcomed sight as farmers continue with the harvest. However, according to the latest crop progress report, farmers are still lagging behind the average harvest pace. Corn is just 29 percent harvested which is four days behind normal, and soybeans are 37 percent harvested which is 12 days behind the five-year average. Paul Kassel is an
Iowa State University Extension Crop Specialist for northwest Iowa. He says farmers in his region are finally nearing completion of the soybean harvest.

Kassel says moisture levels on the harvested soybeans have dropped a few percentage points once the sun came out following the week of wet conditions. The crops specialist says soybean yields in his region have been good, but not as good as a couple of years ago. Kassel says the prolong wet conditions hurt some yields.

Kassel says there were times this summer when several acres within Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, and Palo Alto counties were under water, causing farmers the need to re-plant those acres. He says those acres have produced only average to somewhat below average soybean yields.



Body Found In River Is Identified

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa authorities say a body pulled from the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River last week has been identified as that of missing boater.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said in a written statement Tuesday that the body is that of 56-year-old John Roe, of Burlington, Wisconsin. An autopsy conducted at the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s office in Ankeny shows Roe drowned.
Wisconsin and Iowa officials began searching for a possible missing boater in the river on Oct. 6, when an unmanned boat was found spinning in circles near Cassville in southwestern Wisconsin. Later, authorities learned that Roe was missing after having gone out boating by himself. Authorities believe he fell out of the boat and was not wearing a life jacket.



Real Estate Regulator Leaves Position

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa real estate regulator is leaving her post weeks after an investigation ordered by Gov. Kim Reynolds faulted her for failing to report sexual misconduct by her powerful boss.
The Iowa Finance Authority said Tuesday that Iowa Title Guaranty Director Tara Lawrence will leave the agency Nov. 2.
A press release said Lawrence “has played a critical role in the
development and success of the organization” during her six years as an employee, including the last three as a director.
It made no mention of a report released last month that faulted
Lawrence and agency lobbyist Wes Peterson for failing to report sexual harassment they witnessed by former authority director Dave Jamison.
Lawrence said last month that she stayed quiet because she feared retaliation and that she had also been harassed by Jamison, a longtime friend of the governor.
Peterson’s attorney says he was fired last month over the report,
although the agency has ignored questions about him.



Governor Candidates Launch Bus Tours For Campaign

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and her challenger Democrat Fred Hubbell are taking to the road in the closing two weeks of the campaign.
Both candidates have announced bus tours.
Hubbell is rallying supporters Tuesday near the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines before departing on a first-day swing to Nevada, Ames, Cedar Rapids and DeWitt.
Reynolds plans to begin her tour on Wednesday in West Des Moines before traveling to Boone, Ames, Marshalltown and Iowa Falls the first day.
The most recent reports indicate Hubbell has set a fundraising
record for an Iowa governor’s race.
Hubbell has raised nearly $18 million including $6.4 million of his
own money. His total beat the previous record of nearly $10 million raised
by former Gov. Terry Branstad in 2014.
Reynolds has raised nearly $12 million for the campaign.



Mega Millions Ticket Sold In South Carolina

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Latest on the Mega Millions lottery jackpot indicates a winner purchased the ticket in South Carolina.
South Carolina’s lottery director says they hope to reveal the identify of the store that sold the winning ticket by mid-day Wednesday.
In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” South Carolina Education Lottery Director William Hogan Brown says the store could be identified around the noon hour. That should give them time to get security in place, since attention should be red-hot.
Asked whether the name of the winner would ever come to light, Brown said “Perhaps not.” South Carolina law allows winners to remain anonymous.
Mega Millions officials say a ticket purchased in South Carolina matches all six numbers in Tuesday night’s drawing. That flimsy piece of paper is now worth $1.537 billion, just shy of a world-record.