Home News Wednesday Afternoon News, March 27th

Wednesday Afternoon News, March 27th


Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department Respond To Grass Fire

(Le Mars) — Strong winds caused a control grass fire to get out of control as the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to 35995 Muskrat Drive, approximately three miles east of Le Mars for a grass fire. The fire was reported at about 2:40 p.m. Firefighters were able to contain and extinguish the flames before it had the opportunity to spread very far. A small area consisting of the ditch and a portion of the resident’s lawn had
burnt. Firefighters used their grass rig to fight the fire. Firefighters were on the scene for approximately 25 minutes.



Le Mars Community School and Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Announce Their “Employee of the Month” Honorees

(Le Mars) — Both the Le Mars Community School District and the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce recognized their “Employee of the Month” during separate presentation ceremonies held this (Wednesday) morning. The Le Mars
Community School honored a Kluckhohn Kindergarten teacher. Jayne Willer has indicated she plans to retire from teaching at the conclusion of the school year. Willer has been teaching for the last 33 years.

In the nomination submitted by Kim Rohrs, Kari Gengler, Rachel Harris and the entire Kluckhohn
staff, it reads in part: “Throughout her career, Mrs. Willer has shown kindness and compassion to all students in her classroom. She finds the positive in each child, and has the patience to help each one develop to their full potential. Her classroom has a stimulating atmosphere where the children are actively learning. She has effectively used a multitude of creative strategies and activities to keep her students interested and learning.

She has been a conscientious and dedicated teacher and her sincerity creates a safe and purposeful learning environment for all students. Her peers admire and respect her positive and professional attitude. The Kluckhohn staff values working with a colleague that is knowledgeable in techniques, strategies and puts in the extra time to find appropriate activities to help all students reach their potential.”

Our congratulations go to Jayne Willer for being honored as the Le Mars Community Employee of the Month.



Gina Lawson Honored By Le Mars Chamber of Commerce

(Le Mars) — The second presentation of the “Employee of the Month” occurred at the Living Center as the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce honored Gina Lawson.
The nomination was submitted by Cheryl Wells and the staff of the Habitue’ Coffeehouse and Cakes To Remember.

According to the nomination, “Gina is so dedicated, and such a hard worker and a very loyal employee of Habitue’.
She often goes above and beyond to serve our guests the most amazing experience while they are here. She understands that each booth and chair, and those guests that fill them, is her ministry field on a daily basis.
She loves our guests and always greets them with a genuine smile and heartfelt greeting. The same excitement Gina has for our guest’s continues on to those on our staff. She loves each staff member with her enormous mother’s heart, and cares for, and listens to them. We have so many people in the business that have a heart for others, and Gina sets the example with
her dedication and love.

Congratulations to Gina Lawson for being honored as the March Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.



State Senate Approves Bill To Discard Traffic Cameras

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Senate has approved a bill requiring the removal of all automated traffic cameras, sending the measure to the House even as that chamber considers another proposal dealing with the devices.
The Senate bill passed Tuesday by a vote of 30 to 19.
Republican Sen. Jack Chapman pushed for the ban, saying cities
primarily installed the systems to raise money even while violating citizens’ constitutional rights.
At least eight Iowa cities operate more than 70 cameras. The most recent data showed Cedar Rapids raised the most, at $4 million annually.
Windsor Heights, a Des Moines suburb of about 5,000 people, raised $2 million.
Democratic Sen. Claire Celsi, who says she received an automated speeding ticket Monday in Des Moines, opposed the bill, saying cameras change driver behavior, improve safety and free up officers.
Similar legislative efforts to ban the cameras have been tried for
nearly a decade but have failed.
The House measure would divert an estimated $6.5 million a year from cities to the state Department of Public Safety.



State Senate Passes Bill To Protect Fetus

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Republicans in the Iowa Senate have passed a bill that could send a person to prison for life if they cause death of a fetus, even if it’s an accident and in cases where someone didn’t know the mother was pregnant.
Sen. Jake Chapman amended the bill Tuesday on the floor of the Senate to make causing the death of a fetus a life-in-prison crime, the same as someone convicted of murder. Language equates such deaths to “killing an unborn person.”
Chapman, a staunch anti-abortion lawmaker, denied the bill has anything to do with abortion. He argued the bill recognizes the fetus “is a person in the womb and it should have rights.”
Sen. Janet Petersen says the amendment makes the bill a personhood bill and is unconstitutional.
She says it could prompt criminal investigations of women who lose babies through miscarriage or stillbirth.
The bill passed on a vote of 31-18 and goes to the House.



Sioux City Man Convicted Of Arson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A jury has convicted a Sioux City man of first-degree arson and involuntary manslaughter in the 2018 fire-related death of a woman.
Robert Mahoney was convicted Tuesday in the death of 51-year-old Wanda Blake. Blake died three weeks after Mahoney
torched his Sioux City apartment on Feb. 4, 2018. Prosecutors say Mahoney was bored when he set a small fire in his apartment with bug spray and a lighter. When the fire went out, Mahoney became angry and set a second fire,
which blazed out of control and damaged several units at Central Apartments.
Firefighters found Blake unconscious in a hallway. She was taken to a hospital and was recovering, but died when blood clots in her legs traveled to her lungs.
Mahoney faces up to 30 years in prison when he’s sentenced May 17.



Des Moines Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Setting Fire On Stepson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A man accused of setting his stepson aflame in Des Moines has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The Des Moines Register reports that 42-year-old Randy Miles Jr. told his stepson’s family in court Tuesday that he was sorry. Miles had pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and fleeing the state to avoid prosecution. Prosecutors dropped charges of arson and first-degree murder in return for Miles’ pleas.
Authorities say Miles fled to Grand Forks, North Dakota, following his confrontation with 26-year-old Christopher Lenhart on Aug. 25, 2017. Witnesses told police that Miles had argued with Lenhart and then threw gas on him while Lenhart was inside a vehicle. The gas then ignited. Lenhart died two days later at an Iowa City hospital.