Home News Wednesday News, January 9th

Wednesday News, January 9th


Te Brink Assumes Duties Of Chief Deputy After Taking Oath Of Office

(Le Mars) — With the swearing in and oath of office, Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office now has a new Chief Deputy. Jeff Te Brink officially assumes the duties of Chief Deputy. The oath of office ceremony took place Tuesday morning inside the courtroom at the Plymouth County Courthouse in front of several law enforcement officers from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and the Le Mars Police Department. In addition, family members, friends and several employees of the courthouse witnessed the ceremony administered by Judge Daniel Vakulskas.



Schwarz Hired To Be The New Battalion Fire Chief

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has added another full-time position. Steve Schwarz has been hired to be the Battalion Chief.  Schwarz is an 18-year veteran as a Le Mars firefighter, and recently was serving the rank of Lieutenant. Fire Chief Dave Schipper says as the city continues to grow, so does the need to expand the staff.

Schipper says it is an OSHA requirement for industries that make a confined space entry to have a plan in place if a rescue is needed.

The Le Mars Fire Chief offers examples of what is defined as a “closed confined space.”

Schwarz says he will work with area industries informing them of the OSHA rules, and telling industry officials about the capabilities of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.

Schipper says the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was on stand-by a total of 88 times during 2018 for closed confined spaces entries.

Schipper says the new Battalion Chief position, held by Schwarz, will be third in command at the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department. He says it will be the designated “rescue specialist.”

Schwarz says he will be asked to take additional training as part of his new duties with the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.

Schwarz says he will relate his training to his fellow Le Mars firefighters during their weekly training sessions, held nearly every Wednesday evening.
Schwarz began his duties as the new Le Mars Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief on Monday. He will take the oath of office and have a badge pinning ceremony scheduled for next Tuesday, January 15th prior to the start of the Le Mars city council meeting.



Sheriff Van Otterloo Submits Proposed Budget To Supervisors

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo appeared Tuesday before the county board of supervisors to submit his budget requests for the upcoming fiscal year. Van Otterloo proposed to the county governing board for a decrease in the Sheriff’s budget.

Van Otterloo says the decrease is due to the insurance program offered by the county, as well as having some senior members of the Sheriff’s Office retired this past year, which allows the county to offer newer deputies a smaller salary.

We will take a closer look at the proposed budgets as submitted by the Sheriff’s Office, but during the meeting, Van Otterloo is looking to increase the Sheriff Rural Services by one percent, increasing the Communications Center by 1.66 percent, and he is proposing a 3.1 percent increase for the Corrections Department. All total, Van Otterloo is requesting a budget amounting to $3,539,125 which represents an increase of only .002 percent over last year.



Feedlot Forum 2019 Scheduled For January 15th

(Le Mars) — Cattle producers will want to attend the Feedlot Forum 2019 scheduled for next Tuesday at Sioux Center.
There are many changes occurring within the cattle industry, and Beth Doran, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Beef Specialist for Northwest Iowa says this year’s Feedlot Forum will address those changes.

The Feedlot Forum is scheduled for January 15th at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center. Doran says the program will feature speakers, but also an industry trade show featuring animal health and nutrition, buildings, financial services, and record keeping. Doran says the Feedlot Forum’s key-note speaker will be from the Iowa Restaurant Association.

Doran says other speakers scheduled to address the Feedlot Forum include: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association’s Executive Director Matt Deppe, Iowa Beef Industry Council’s Executive, Chris Freland; and Rusty Gibbs, the Director of Industry Relations who will discuss Beef Quality Assurance and a new program entitled Beef Quality Assurance – Transportation.

Doran says agricultural economists from Iowa State University have recently completed a study regarding the impact of trade tariffs and how they are affecting the Iowa commodities.

Dr. Chad Hart will lead that discussion during the Feedlot Forum. The Beef Specialist says registration is $25 that includes the noon meal consisting of a steak dinner, with the deadline of
January 10th.



Denison City Council Re-instates Fire Chief and City Administration Officials

DENISON, Iowa (AP) – A western Iowa city council has approved returning three top employees to their jobs.
Denison City Manager Terry Crawford, City Clerk Lisa Koch and Fire Chief Cory Snowgren were put on administrative leave Dec 18. The council voted Tuesday night for their return to duty Wednesday.
The mayor and council members have declined to explain why the three were put on leave, saying it was a personnel matter . The attorney for Crawford and Koch says there was miscommunication between the three employees and the mayor about a piece of training equipment for the fire
Mayor Jared Beymer says the investigation isn’t finished yet.



Iowa Congressional Members Discuss President Trump’s Speech Calling For A Border Wall

(Washington) — Members of Iowa’s congressional delegation say it’s time to end the partial government shut-down, but their responses to President Trump’s Oval Office address vary, based on their political affiliation.
According to Republican Senator Joni Ernst, Democrats in congress — in her words — “are playing games with the safety and security of each and every town in America.” Ernst says a wall will not only protect the southern border, but prevent human trafficking and the transport of illegal weapons and drugs. Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from Iowa City, says the president seems obsessed with what Loebsack describes as “an expensive and ineffective wall.” Loebsack says it’s time for congress to end “the
bickering” and pass a bill that includes border security measures along with reform of the country’s broken immigration system.



Body Found at Council Bluffs After Fatal Fire

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Officials in western Iowa say the body of a man has been found by firefighters in an apartment where they were fighting a fire.
Omaha, Nebraska, television station KETV reports that the fire broke out Tuesday afternoon at an apartment in Council Bluffs. Fire Chief Justin James says crews were able to get the fire under control shortly after the blaze was reported around 3 p.m. Once inside, firefighters found the body.
Authorities have not named the victim.
The fire remains under investigation, and officials are working to
determine the victim’s cause of death.