Home News Thursday Afternoon News, August 22nd

Thursday Afternoon News, August 22nd


Schools Prepare For The First Day Of Classes

(Le Mars) — School begins tomorrow, Friday, August 23rd, for both Le Mars Community and for Gehlen Catholic. Dr. Steven Webner, the superintendent of schools for the Le Mars Community School District says everyone is excited
for the start of a new school year.

Webner says the school district does anticipate a slight increase with student enrollment numbers. Webner says students will see seven new faces in terms of faculty and administration officials.

Webner says the new expanded parking lot is nearing completion, but still requiring additional work. He says that students and parents will need to know about Stadium Drive will be closed beginning Monday for an installation of a water main.

Across town, at Gehlen Catholic, Lisa Niebuhr, the Director of Development says classes will begin at 8:25 a.m. and there will be four new faculty faces to welcome the students.

Engebretson retired from Le Mars Community last May after teaching Middle School and serving as the cross country and track coach. Niebuhr reminds students of the Gehlen Catholic dress code.

Niebuhr says the renovations and remodeling at Gehlen Catholic school are now completed.



Law Enforcement Reminds Motorist To Watch For School Children

(Le Mars) — Both the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and the Le Mars Police Department are reminding motorists to slow down and be aware of children going and coming to school. Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte says people need to watch for additional bicycles, mopeds, cars, students walking, and a general increase of traffic.

Vande Vegte says the speed limit around school zones is 20 mph. He also wants people to know when a school bus stops and has its lights flashing with the stop arm extended, motorist on both sides of the bus need to also stop.

The Le Mars Police Chief says the law applies to motorists heading in both directions of a stopped school bus.

Violators who fail to stop for a stopped school bus could face fines of up to $600. Vande Vegte says Le Mars Community has equipped its buses with cameras to help identify violators.

Vande Vegte says more important than the fines, are the safety and protection of our children as they board and depart from the school bus.



City Crosswalks Have Been Painted To Be More Visible To Motorists

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte is praising city work staff for recently painting several key crosswalks within the city.  Vande Vegte says the newly painted crosswalks will make pedestrians more visible to motorists.



Vickery Named As School Resource Officer

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Police Department has had a presence in the past with our local schools, but beginning this year, Chief Vande Vegte has appointed a school resource officer.

Vande Vegte says Vickery is familiar with the school district as he has already been serving as a D.A.R.E. officer.



Audit Shows Public Safety Department Issued Certifications Without Conducting A Background Check

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An audit has found that the Iowa Department of Public Safety issued more than 5,800 licenses to private security workers over a two-year period without conducting required background checks.
The failure means the agency may have given credentials to some individuals with disqualifying criminal or personal histories to work as private investigators, security guards and bail bondsmen. The situation was discovered after one such individual applied for a gun permit in Linn County.
The audit largely blames the problems on the actions of a former
department clerk, Joseph Sheehan Jr., who was fired last November.
The report by State Auditor Rob Sand’s office says that, a year
after the department discovered the problems, hundreds of licenses have still yet to be reviewed to determine whether they are valid.
Applicants are required to have no prior convictions for serious
crimes and no history of alcohol and drug abuse, mental illness or violence.



Volunteer Firefighter Charged With Arson

NEMAHA, Iowa (AP) – A volunteer firefighter and another man have been accused of setting fire to a corncrib in western Iowa’s Sac County so the firefighter could respond with his department and help put it out.
Sac County court records say 25-year-old Brent Mack and 18-year-old Alexander Lilly have been charged with arson. A 17-year-old girl has been charged with conspiracy to commit a felony. The records don’t list the names of any attorneys for them. All three live in Newell.
The Nemaha and other departments responded early Monday morning to battle the blaze a little more than a mile (1.7 kilometers) north of Nemaha.
Suspicions grew after another firefighter found Mack had arrived first at the station even though Mack lived at least 15 minutes away in Newell.
The court records say Mack later told investigators that he, Lilly
and the girl had driven around the area, looking for a place to set a fire, and settled on the corncrib. It was a total loss.



Fish Kill Reported In Greene County

JEFFERSON, Iowa (AP) – Authorities are trying to find the source of a fish kill in a central Iowa creek.
The Iowa Natural Resources Department said in a news release
Wednesday that U.S. Agricultural Department employees sampling a stream noticed the dead fish in Hardin Creek, about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) east of Jefferson in Greene County. It’s uncertain how many fish have died.
The Iowa department says the affected area is at least 3 miles (5
kilometers) long. The department also says residents should keep children and pets out of the stream for 24 to 48 hours after the pollutant is gone.



Southern Iowa Suffers Damage From Tornadoes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The National Weather Service says the tornado that damaged or destroyed several buildings in rural Warren County was rated at EF3, with peak winds of 150 mph (241.4 kph).
It touched down near Lacona a little before 6 a.m. Tuesday and ran for nearly 6 miles (10 kilometers). It damaged the Iowa Operator and Engineers training facility. No deaths of injuries have been reported.
The Des Moines Register reports that another tornado spotted Tuesday touched down a little before 6:25 a.m. near Tracy. It was rated an EF1, with peak winds of 110 mph (177 kph). It damaged several roofs and trees but didn’t injure anyone.



Waterloo City Council Considering Of Starting Meetings With A Prayer

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) – Members of the Waterloo City Council are again taking up the question of whether their meetings should be opened with a prayer.
The Courier reports that that issue was raised Monday during work session. While agendas list “prayer or moment of silence” to open meetings, most start with a moment of silence.
Council members Pat Morrissey, Sharon Juon, Jerome Amos Jr. and Ray Feuss support a charge to call for “invocation or moment of silence” at the start of each meeting. Councilwoman Margaret Klein advocated for simply a moment of silence.
But Councilman Steve Schmitt said the council should keep the word “prayer” in the agenda and that each council member should have an opportunity to invite people to lead the opening prayer.
A decision will be made at a later time.