Home News Wednesday News, July 31st

Wednesday News, July 31st


USA Today Names Le Mars As One Of “Best Towns To Live In”

(Le Mars) — USA Today publications has recently announced its nationwide list of “Best Towns To Live In,” and Le Mars was ranked at 15th. Le Mars Mayor, Dick Kirchoff says he is pleased to see others recognize Le Mars as a friendly, nice community.

USA Today publication specifically mentions goods and services in Le Mars cost on average 15 percent less than the nationwide average. The newspaper also says housing in Le Mars is particularly inexpensive, with the typical household spending about $4,000 less than the average annual housing cost

Kirchoff believes the national high ranking and recognition for Le Mars may in fact help with the community’s economic development, attracting both businesses and families to Le Mars.



Le Mars Community Stadium Making Progress To Completion

(Le Mars) — The new artificial turf is down. Rock is being poured for the track, and the visitor’s bleachers are now assembled. Anyone traveling on 12th Street southwest recently, can easily see progress that is being made on the new stadium. Le Mars Community School District Superintendent, Dr.
Steven Webner says contractors are keeping busy working overtime, to complete the project. Webner says August 19th is the projected date of completion.

Webner talks about some of the latest projects that have been completed, or near completion.

The school superintendent says no date has yet been set for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, or grand opening, as they want to wait for the completion of the stadium project.

Webner talks about some of the projects associated with the new stadium that are still needing to be completed.

Webner says the hope is for good weather to continue in order for the contractors to be able to finish the stadium in time of the first home football game scheduled for August 30th.

The cost for the new stadium is close to $5 million dollars.



Democrat Senate Candidate Mauro Visits Le Mars

(Le Mars) — One of three Democratic candidates running for U-S Senator made a visit to Le Mars on Tuesday. Eddie Mauro of Des Moines talked with a handful of Democrats about his stance with healthcare, the minimum wage, the environment, and the nation’s infrastructure. Mauro, a former school teacher and baseball coach, has established a small business. When discussing raising the minimum wage, Mauro has a different stand than most Democrats. Mauro says we need to raise the floor of the minimum wage. The Des Moines businessman would rather give out tax credits.

Mauro, who will need to defeat two other candidates in the Democratic primary before facing Republican U-S Senator Joni Ernst, says Ernst is vulnerable.



Judge Prepared To Deliver Verdict On Stabbing Trial

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A judge intends to announce his verdict Thursday in the slaying of two people in Sioux City.
Woodbury County District Court records say the verdict will be handed down to 19-year-old Tran Walker, whose nonjury trial ended in May.
He’s accused of killing 17-year-old Paiten Sullivan and 18-year-old Felipe Negron Jr. Police say Walker was in a car with the other two on Jan. 28 last year when he stabbed Sullivan and then Negron when he tried to intervene.
A friend of Walker testified that the defendant said he had wanted to talk to the girl about their breakup and that he needed closure. Sullivan’s stepmother, Stevie Sullivan, testified that Walker and Sullivan broke up because he didn’t want her to finish school.



Officials Approve Sports Betting Rules

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa officials have approved a final set of rules for the state’s new law allowing sports betting, which is set to go live at noon on Aug. 15.
The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa Racing and Gaming
Commission on Tuesday approved the new rules to legally bet on professional, collegiate and international sporting events. The new law also legalizes fantasy sports contests and internet fantasy sports betting, but delays betting based on college sporting event statistics until next May.
The new law excludes betting on some events, like in-state college team players. While it allows betting on-site or through a mobile app, players must first travel to a casino to prove their age and identity and set up an account with that casino. Mobile apps also will only be operable within state borders. So, for example, residents in Omaha, Nebraska, would have to cross state lines each time they wished to place a bet on their



Iowa City Police Officer And Victim Released From Hospital

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa City police officer and a woman accused of shooting him with a BB gun have been released from a hospital.
A city news release sent Tuesday night says 25-year-old Cierra Lewis was taken to Johnson County Jail after her release and has been charged with two felonies: assault with a weapon on a police officer and willful injury-serious injury. Court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for her.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says the exchange of
shots occurred Monday afternoon, after police were called to check a shoplifting report. The officers found a suspect who was later identified as Lewis, and police say she shot one of the officers several times, including in the face. He then shot her.
The officer’s name hasn’t been released.



Prosecutors Are Dropping Many Ticket Offenses From Former Officer

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Prosecutors are dismissing several criminal charges and traffic tickets against people arrested by an Iowa police officer who is no longer considered credible.
Cedar County Attorney Jeffrey Renander said Tuesday his office is dismissing cases tied to officer Robert Smith “in the interest of justice.”
He says his office has concluded it is unlikely to obtain a
conviction in criminal cases where Smith is the primary or only state witness.
Court records show that cases involving at least three people have been dismissed since Friday, and Renander says more will be tossed in coming days.
Smith resigned last week as an officer in the town of Durant, after video surfaced showing him striking a motorcyclist during a 2017 traffic stop. He previously worked 30 years for the Iowa State Patrol.



Reynolds Appoints Information Technology Director

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed an information technology officer for the Iowa Department of Transportation to become the state’s top technology officer.
Reynolds said Tuesday she named Annette Dunn to lead the Iowa Office of the Chief Information Officer.
Dunn begins the new appointment Aug. 5.
The office manages information technology for state agencies, which includes securing state computer systems from cyberattacks.
Reynolds says Dunn will play an important role in cyber security,
rural broadband connectivity and “driving innovation and technological change within state government.”
The office has been occupied by an interim director since January.
Robert von Wolffradt, who held the job for six years, stepped down on Jan. 3 as Reynolds took office as governor.
Dunn has been chief technology officer for the Iowa Transportation Department since 2015.



Ottumwa Demolishes Old Hospital

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) – Work has resumed to tear down a partially demolished hospital in Ottumwa.
The Ottumwa Courier reports that crews this week began work on the former St. Joseph Hospital, nearly a year after a halt in the demolition.
Des Moines-based Blackbird Investments had initially planned to
convert the 94-year-old building into apartments but then opted to demolish the structure and build new housing. Demolition started in 2018 but was halted over a pay dispute that led to a lawsuit.
The dispute left the city with the eyesore of a five-story partially
demolished structure behind a chain-link fence.
Fairfield-based Drish Construction is now taking over the work from the previous contractor and is scheduled to complete the demolition by fall.