Home News Saturday News, June 29th

Saturday News, June 29th


Firefighters Respond To Apartment Alarm

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a fire alarm at an apartment complex located at 1355 Holton Drive between the airport and Walmart. When firefighters entered the building, smoke was visible in the apartment’s hallways. Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the problem was located on the third floor.

Firefighters were on the scene for approximately a half an hour.



Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputies Respond To Shots Fired At James

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Sheriff’s Duputies responded to James on Tuesday evening, June 25th for a report of shots being fired. The incident happened at around 9:15 p.m. 20-year old Takudzwa Mukwindidza of James, Iowa was arrested for reckless use of a firearm and domestic abuse assault. Mr. Mukwindidza was transported to the Plymouth County Jail.



Two Arrested On Drug Charges Following ATV And Motorcycle Accident

(Le Mars) –On Wednesday evening, June 26, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office received a call in reference to a crash that occurred near 150th Street and Marble Avenue. Deputies investigated an ATV and motorcycle crash that had taken place. 21 year old Tyler Kennett of Le Mars was operating a 2007 Yamaha TTR230 motorcycle. Kennett was westbound on 150th Street and made contact with the ATV driven by 23 year old Tyler Plueger Foust of Le Mars, Iowa. Tyler Kennett was transported to Mercy in Sioux City. Tyler Foust was uninjured.

After further investigation, Foust was arrested and transported to the Plymouth County Jail and charged with possession of a controlled substance marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, and operating an ATV or Off-Road Utility Vehicle on roadways/highways/trails. A third rider, not involved in the crash, 25 year old Samuel Alexander of Le Mars, Iowa, was arrested and transported to the Plymouth County Jail and charged with possession of a controlled substance marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and operating while intoxicated.



Remsen Ambulance To Hold Dance Fundraiser While Celebrating 40 Years Of Service

(Remsen) — The Remsen Ambulance Services will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a dance and fund raiser. Kevin Rollins serves as the Director of the Remsen Ambulance Services and explains the scheduled events for Saturday evening.

Rollins says tickets are $20 for the evening’s dance with the sounds from the band “Lock and Loaded”. Rollins says the proceeds from the dance are to help purchase defibrillators.

The Remsen Ambulance Services Director says the staff now consists of 15 volunteers.

On average, Rollins says the Remsen Ambulance Services responds to around 250 calls each year.

Rollins was one of the original charter volunteers when the Remsen Ambulance Service began in 1979.

Rollins says the Remsen Ambulance Services is now its own entity, and no longer is a part of the Remsen Fire Department. Rollins expresses his gratitude for the Remsen community for the past 40 years of support. The dance scheduled for Saturday will begin at 8:00 p.m. and will continue until midnight, and will be held outdoors in the street in front of Beer City.



Le Mars Fire And Rescue Department Kicks Off Fund Campaign

(Le Mars) — You may have recently received a letter in your mailbox from the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department asking for a donation. Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the fire and rescue department has kicked off its annual fund drive. He explains the purpose for the fund raising campaign.

Chief Schipper says the money is used to help off-set any budget shortfalls.

Schipper explains how people can respond if interested in making a donation to the local fire and rescue department.

The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department consists of 31 members with three full-time employees, the others are volunteers that are paid for on-call services.



Sanford Health and Unity Point Healthcare To Merge

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota-based Sanford Health and Iowa’s UnityPoint Health have announced plans to merge in an agreement that would create a sprawling health system in the Upper Great Plains and Midwest.
The two providers announced their plans Friday. The Argus Leader reports if the merger is approved by regulators, it could be finalized by year’s end.
The providers said the merger would place the company among the top 15 largest nonprofit health systems nationwide. The new organization would employ more than 83,000 staff, 2,600 physicians and have more than $11 billion in revenue.
UnityPoint operates 32 hospitals and has relationships with 280
physician clinics throughout Iowa, western Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
Sanford Heath’s organization includes 44 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries.



Des Moines Police Investigate Homicide

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Des Moines police are investigating the city’s fifth homicide this year after officers say a man was shot to death in the Kirkwood Glen neighborhood.
Police say the shooting happened Friday afternoon, when officers and medics were called to the area for a report of a shooting and found the man suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to an area hospital, where he died.
Shortly after the shooting, another man showed up at the hospital with a gunshot wound not believed to be life-threatening. Police believe the shootings are connected.
Police have not announced an arrest, but say a police dog did track a possible suspect.
The names of those shot have not been released.



Cedar Rapids To Again Use Traffic CamerasĀ 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – It’s been called the largest speed trap in the Midwest, and it will be back in business next week after a two-year hiatus.
The City of Cedar Rapids says traffic cameras that enforce its 55
mile per hour speed limit at four locations on Interstate 380 will begin issuing tickets to drivers again Monday. Several additional cameras that enforce red-light running and speed violations throughout the city will also be issuing citations.
The city reactivated the cameras on June 1, and they have already issued nearly 13,600 warnings since then. Enforcement had been paused since May 2017 amid multiple legal challenges questioning the constitutionality and fairness of the program.
The tickets often hit not just local drivers but unsuspecting out-
of-staters who are passing through the city on their way north or south.



State Supreme Court To Hear Lawsuit Case Against Governor Branstad For Speeding

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has revived a long-running lawsuit that claims a state agent was fired in retaliation for his complaint about speeding by the governor’s security detail.
The court on Friday ruled that a judge erred in dismissing a
whistleblower claim filed by former Division of Criminal Investigation special agent Larry Hedlund. The decision sends the 6-year-old case back to a lower court for a trial.
The Department of Public Safety terminated Hedlund, a top criminal investigator, in 2013. The move came shortly after Hedlund had reported Gov. Terry Branstad’s vehicle for speeding and filed a complaint to superiors alleging it was a common and dangerous practice.
The department claimed that Hedlund had been insubordinate in
unrelated actions.
On Friday, the high court affirmed a judge’s dismissal of Hedlund’s age discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims.
The court’s majority says jurors could find the department’s
treatment of Hedlund “petty, wrong, or even malicious” but not “outrageous.”



State Audit Show Improper Spending By Mondamin’s City Clerk

MONDAMIN, Iowa (AP) – A new report by the Iowa state auditor reveals more than $70,000 in improper spending by a former city clerk of the western Iowa town of Mondamin, as well as more than $80,000 in overbilling by the city for utility services.
The report says former clerk Deborah Earleywine improperly paid
herself nearly $15,000 from city payroll coffers between 2015 and 2018. The report also found Earleywine made personal purchases – including for groceries, alcohol, medications and other items – of $3,323 using the city’s credit card and nearly $6,700 in direct payments to vendors.
The audit also found that Earleywine had failed to deposit nearly
$20,000 in city collections and made improper payments of more than $25,000 to the public library and nearly $20,000 to the local fire department.
The audit said the overbilling occurred because the city failed to
implement procedures recommended by an earlier 2016 audit.
A phone listing for Earleywine rang busy on Friday. A phone message left at City Hall on Friday was not immediately returned.



Bagley Fire Chief Investigated For Improper Spending

BAGLEY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand says his office has found more than $20,000 in questionable spending by the former president and treasurer of a western Iowa firefighter’s association.
The report released Friday identified $13,983 of improper spending and $6,901 of unsupported spending from the association’s bank accounts. The report also identified $2,634 in undeposited collections.
Television station WOI reports that Matt Sutherland served as
president and treasurer of the association when those questionable expenditures were made. The reports says Sutherland used the money to buy motorcycle gear, clothing, a wedding band, saddles and other items through Amazon that were sent to Sutherland’s home. Other purchases at stores
included cigarettes, a vacuum and dog food.
A call to a phone listing for Bagley rang unanswered Friday.
Copies of the report have been filed with the Guthrie County
Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement offices.



State Supreme Court Upholds Traffic Stops Citations Other Than Reasons For The Original Stop

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld policing practices that let officers charge drivers with crimes that may not be the reasons the drivers were stopped.
A divided 4-3 court Friday upheld so-called pretextual traffic stops that civil rights group say are racially discriminatory.
The court upheld the conviction of Scottize Danyelle Brown, of
Waterloo, who was convicted of drunken driving and driving with a suspended license. Her car was stopped in October 2015 for having a deficient license plate light and going through an intersection as a light turned red.
The opinion written by Justice Susan Christensen concludes “it is
reasonable to stop a motorist based on reasonable suspicion that the motorist violated the law.”
Chief Justice Mark Cady says Iowa law must prohibit traffic stops
motivated by race or any other classification, even when probable cause for a traffic violation exists.
He says such stops are offensive to the values of the constitution
and disproportionally affect blacks.