Home News Thursday News, March 14th

Thursday News, March 14th


Floyd River Expected To Rise At Least Another 6 Inches

(Le Mars) — Flood waters continue to rise and it is adversely affecting many homes, businesses, and roads. Shortly before 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning the Merrill Fire Department along with the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to 107 Jackson Street in Merrill where the flood waters had caused the
basement wall to collapse causing flood waters to rush in.  Merrill Fire Chief Jacob Conley assesses the situation.

Hometown Mobility of Merrill saw their business surrounded by flood waters when they arrived at work this morning.   Dave
Schipper, the Le Mars Fire Chief offers the latest update status report regarding the flooding as of Thursday noon.

Snow along with some strong winds are expected to occur this afternoon, and Schipper says those winds of up to 45 mph could create additional concerns.



Iowa Department of Transportation Official Says Many Area Highways Have Detours Due To Flooded Waters Overflowing the Roadways

(Le Mars) — Many of the major highways around Le Mars are having traffic being detoured as water overflows the roadway. Troy Clouse is with the Iowa Department of Transportation and says northbound Highway 75 near Hinton is closed.

Clouse says Highway 60 has been detoured in Sioux County.

The Iowa Department of Transportation official says Highway 60 northbound traffic in Plymouth County may need to be detoured since water has crossed over county road C-16 and is approaching Highway 60.

Clouse says Highway 3 between Le Mars and Cherokee remains open, but he says that stretch of highway is being monitored since both the Deep Creek and Willow Creek have overflowed. Another problem for the Iowa Department of Transportation is the threat of landslides. Clouse says that was a problem on Highway 12 near Westfield on Wednesday. He says Highway 3 near Akron crossing over the Big Sioux River has been closed by Iowa and South Dakota officials.

During the last two flooding events in September and last May, there were two railroad derailments due to the floods had washed away some of the rail track. Clouse says the Iowa D-O-T and the railroad companies have been in constant communication monitoring the rail tracks conditions of northwest
Iowa. He says so far, the trains are still running.

Clouse reminds motorists of the phrase “Turn around and don’t drown.” He says motorists should never try to go through water that has overflowed on to the roadway.

Clouse says motorists can go to the Iowa Department of Transportation 511 website for the latest roadway conditions. He says the information is updated approximately every 15 minutes.



Waste Water Treatment Facility So Far Able To Handle The Additional Water Flowing Into The Storm Sewer System

(Le Mars) — With the rising flood waters, city officials are concerned about the waste water treatment facilities located west of town. Ron Kayser serves as the superintendent for the city’s waste water treatment facility. Kayser says flood waters have surrounded the waste water plant, but the facility is
still performing.

Kayser says the waste water treatment facility is handling nearly double the water input capacity from a normal day.



Flooding Waters And Melting Snow Causing Troubles For Rural Gravel Roads

(Le Mars) — The flooding is affecting many parts of Plymouth County.  Plymouth County Engineer Tom Rohe says his work crews have been busy putting up road closed signs through out the entire county. Rohe says they have ran out of signs, and crews have been busy trying to channel the flooded waters.

Rohe says the county gravel roads are soft, and he is advising heavy truck traffic to stay off the gravel roads for as long as possible.



Hornick Residents Told To Evacuate

(Sioux City) — The flood waters have also forced the evacuation of some communities in Woodbury County. Residents living in the town of Hornick were informed this morning they would need to evacuate the community. The mayor of Hornick ordered a mandatory evacuation of the town as of 10:45 a.m.
Thursday morning. High water had breached a dike near the town resulting in flooding. Emergency personnel from around the county have headed to the rural low lying community to assist with the evacuation. Residents needing shelter are to report to the Westwood Community School in Sloan.



Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office Makes Major Drug Bust

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputies made a major drug bust arrest. On Saturday, the sheriff’s office received a call from a resident about a large amount of THC (synthetic marijuana) concentrate products that were found on the property. Plymouth County sheriff’s deputies responded to
th residence and found a large quantity of THC oil, wax, and other various concentrates. The items were commercially packaged and are believed to be from a legal marijuana dispensary from another state. More than 450 THC oil
cartridges and other various THC concentrates were seized. In total, the items are believed to have a retail value of over $20,000. As a result of the call, 25 year old Brady Burkhart of Sioux City was arrested. Burkhart was charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, a class D felony, failure to affix the proper tax stamp, a class D
felony, and the possession of drug paraphernalia a simple misdemeanor.
Burkhart was taken to the Plymouth County Jail. The investigation is ongoing at this time and other charges may be pending.



Le Mars Community School District Announces 2019-2020 Calendar

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education has approved the calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. Registration will be held August 2nd and on August 5th. The first day for classes is scheduled for Friday, August 23rd. Students will be in class for a total of 288.5 hours for the first quarter, which is scheduled to conclude on October 25th. Barring any weather-related dismissals, the second quarter will conclude on Wednesday, January 14th, and students will have completed 293 hours. St. Patrick’s Day 2020 is scheduled to be the final day for the third quarter with students having 280 hours of education. The school district’s scheduled last day is set for Thursday, May 21st. The students will have accumulated a total of 1,147 hours. State law requires a total of 1,080 accumulated hours of study. Thanksgiving vacation will consist of Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th. Winter Vacation will begin on December 23rd and continue through January 1st with students returning to school on Thursday, January 2nd. Spring vacation is scheduled to occur April 10th through the 13th. Commencement is scheduled for Sunday, May 17th.



Le Mars Sesquicentennial Committee To Bury Time Capsule

(Le Mars) — A Sesquicentennial time capsule will be sealed and placed into the ground at Foster Park for citizens of Le Mars to open in one hundred years.

Joel and Nikki Johnson, co-owners of Mauer-Johnson Funeral Home, will donate a vault for the time capsule.

This is a unique opportunity for residents of Le Mars to be able to leave thoughtful mementos and heartfelt messages for future residents of Le Mars. The City is seeking items that will be buried for 100 years and opened on the City’s 250th anniversary.

Businesses, schools, organizations and families can make their own mini time capsules that can be included in Le Mars official time capsule. Literature, items and letters are encouraged. The time capsule committee does reserve the right to refuse items.



Orange City Tulip Festival Announces Parade Marshall And Royalty Court Costumes

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The annual Orange City Tulip Festival Extravaganza was held Wednesday, March 13, at Prairie Winds Event Center. The event featured a luncheon and program during which the costumes for the 2019 Tulip Queen and Court were revealed and the 2019 parade marshal was introduced.

Members of the 2019 Tulip Court are Queen Allison Haverdink, daughter of Mark and Suzanne Haverdink, court members Aarika Van Gelder, daughter of Larry and Phyllis Van Gelder, Emma De Groot, daughter of Don and Michelle Vaas, Jadeyn Schutt, daughter of Bruce and Amy Schutt, and Jadeyn Veltkamp, daughter of Susan Veltkamp and Brad Veltkamp.

This year our Tulip Court costumes come from the fishing village of Marken in Noord-Holland on the Zuiderzee. With the men out to sea fishing, the women, isolated on the island, had lots of time to devote to embellishing their brightly colored costumes with ornate fabrics, trims and embroidery. This year’s costume has a total of 35 different fabrics, laces and other trims and each represents dozens of hours of sewing and other handwork by Tulip Festival volunteers.

An additional highlight to the Extravaganza was the introduction of this year’s parade marshal. The Tulip Festival Steering Committee is very pleased to honor Scott Mulder as the parade marshal for the 79th annual event.

Each year a parade marshal is chosen for the festival. This honor is given to recognize someone for the contributions he or she made to the festival in past years.

Scott has been involved in the Tulip Festival ever since he was a little boy; he can remember helping his father with the street organ back in the early 1970s. As Scott grew older, he continued to participate in the parade by marching in the band from 5th grade until 12th grade. Scott was also the fiddler in the play production in the 1990s.

When Scott attended college, he was still committed to the Tulip Festival tradition and decided to help Gerry Korver with the floats in the parade. In the 1980s, Mulder Oil assumed the position of making sure floats and trolleys were kept rolling. If there was an issue with the floats during the parade, Scott or his crew members were always there to help. Scott has enjoyed working with the many different people over the years, but his favorite part is working with people he may not normally interact with during the rest of the year.



Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig Says Tell The Story Of Agriculture

(Le Mars) — This week is National Agriculture Week with Thursday, designated as National Agriculture Day.  Agriculture is this nation’s largest industry, and this week we pay tribute to those people responsible for producing, transporting, processing and marketing our food. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says agriculture has a great story that needs to be told to others. He says the U-s has the safest, most affordable, and most abundant food supply in the world, and that doesn’t happen by coincidence.

Naig says many people don’t give agriculture credit for technological advancements, saying they instead prefer to view agriculture from the standpoint of past decades.

Naig says people often have the wrong idea of agriculture, and because of that, myths and misconceptions have entered the conversation about agriculture. He says farmers and others involved with agriculture need to speak up for their industry, and set the record straight. Naig says producers need to meet consumers where they are, by sharing their message on social media, answering consumers questions, and be transparent about the agriculture industry. He says farmers need visit with the consumer.

By the way, as of last week, it has now been one year since Mike Naig assumed the position of Iowa Secretary of Agriculture after succeeding his predecesor, Bill Northey who was appointed to a position with the U-S Department of Agricultre.