Home News Saturday News, March 30th

Saturday News, March 30th


Fatal Accident Occurs In Sioux County

(Orange City) — A fatal accident happened yesterday morning in Sioux County. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is investigating that vehicle accident that happened at around 6:36 a.m. Friday. The accident involved a single vehicle about three and a half miles southeast of Rock Valley on Garfield Avenue. 60-year old Jeffrey Meyer of Sioux Center was driving a
2017 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck heading northbound on Garfield Avenue when he crossed the southbound lane, entered the west ditch, vaulted a field driveway and rolled. The vehicle came to rest in a group of round hay bales on a farm property. Meyer was transported by the Rock Valley Ambulance to
Hegg Memorial Hospital in Rock Valley, where he was pronounced dead. The Ram pickup truck sustained approximately $25,000 in damage. Responding to the fatal accident were the Rock Valley Fire Department, Rock Valley Ambulance, Rock Valley Police Department, and the Sioux Cunty Sheriff’s
Office. The accident remains under investigation.



Van Leeuwen Arrested On Burglary And Theft Charges

(Orange City) — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday arrested Jesse Van Leeuwen, age 26,of Hull, IA.
The arrest stemmed from a burglary investigation that began on Wednesday, March 13, at 9:19 p.m., when a
burglary alarm alerted at Lewis Family Drug, 1044 Main Street, in Hull.
Upon further investigation, deputies discovered that the front door had been forced open by breaking the
glass and prescription medications were stolen from the pharmacy area inside the store.
Deputies gained information that led to Van Leeuwen as a suspect in the crime.
A search warrant was executed at Van Leeuwen’s residence and evidence from the drug store burglary was discovered as well as other property that linked him to another active Hull
residential burglary investigation where electronic equipment and personal property had been stolen.
Van Leeuwen was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft and two counts of criminal mischief.



UnitedHealthcare To Leave Iowa Medicaid Program

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – One of the three insurance companies providing services for the Iowa Medicaid program is quitting.
The Iowa Department of Human Services says UnitedHealthcare informed the state Friday it would leave the in the next several months.
DHS Director Jerry Foxhoven says the 400,000 Medicaid recipients with UnitedHeathcare will be asked to choose one of the other two companies, Amerigroup of Iowa or Centene Corp. subsidiary Iowa Total Care for coverage.
Gov. Kim Reynolds says she ended negotiations with UnitedHealthcare on Friday when the company dictated contract terms she believed unreasonable.
Foxhoven says the company wanted full payment without meeting all required performance requirements in its contract.
UnitedHealthcare says persistent funding and program design challenges made it impossible for them to provide the quality care and service they believe people deserve.
Former Gov. Terry Branstad hired private companies to manage the Medicaid program previously run by the state in 2016 and it has been the target of criticism since for cuts in services, reported slow payment of bills and doubts about its promised savings to taxpayers.



Democratic Presidential Hopefuls To Hold Farm Forum At Storm Lake

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Several Democratic presidential candidates will make their case to Iowa farmers on Saturday – part of a broader effort to win over rural voters who have drifted to Republicans in recent years.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of
Minnesota are among the White House hopefuls who will attend the Heartland Forum in Storm Lake, Iowa. They’re likely to tout proposals they released this week aimed at helping rural communities.
The attention on agricultural communities and issues is the result
of a recognition that Democrats need to do more to win over rural voters, especially in places like Iowa. This state has long been a presidential battleground that swung between Democrats and Republicans. But Iowa has trended more solidly Republican over the past two election cycles.



Northey Tours Flooded Regions

(Hamburg) — Iowa’s former secretary of agriculture is back in the state to survey flood damage and talk to displaced residents, especially farmers who have had many hundreds of acres underwater. Bill Northey, now an undersecretary at the U-S-D-A, says it was “mind-boggling” to tour the disaster areas of water-logged southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri on Thursday.

Northey and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley held a town hall meeting at the Fremont County Fairgrounds in Hamburg Friday afternoon. Northey says he worries a wrecked levee system along the Missouri River is leaving the area vulnerable to more flooding, perhaps very soon. He says he knows fields are
unprotected, as farmers wait for the water to recede.

Northey says he’s overwhelmed by the scope of the damage he’s witnessing in the region, noting, flooding is always devastating but he wasn’t prepared for this.

Northey says he has two messages for his boss, U-S Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. First, farmers need help to recover — now, and second, changes are needed in how the Missouri River is managed to prevent another repeat.



Officials Estimate It May Take Several Months To Repair Roads Damaged From Floods

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Transportation officials say it will take months to repair major roads in western Iowa damaged by spring flooding.
The Des Moines Register reports that state transportation official
Scott Suhr says crews were on site Thursday to inspect some of the worst damages on parts of Interstate’s 29 and 680, Highway 34 and state highway 2.
Suhr says around 25 miles of interstate in southwest Iowa and
roughly 14 miles of roads north of Council Bluffs remain closed Thursday afternoon due to washed away shoulders, eroded pavement and scattered waste.
Suhr noted his chief concern is state Highway 2, since portions are still submerged.
Suhr added getting construction equipment into the area will be
challenging because the ground is drenched, saying that inescapable spring downpours could muddy things.



Southeast Iowa Man Sentenced To Prison For Leaving Scene Of Accident

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) – A man convicted of leaving the scene after his girlfriend leaped to her death from his car in southeast Iowa has been sentenced to five years in prison.
The Des Moines Register reports that 29-year-old Damian Hamann was sentenced Friday. He was found guilty in December of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Hamann told investigators that 20-year-old Sadie Alvarado, of
Muscatine, jumped from his car on Aug. 5 in rural Lee County as they were arguing. He says he drove home to Morning Sun, but went back later to look for her.
Her body already had been found by a passer-by. An autopsy report shows she suffered blunt force injuries after her leap and had a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit to drive.