Home News Thursday News, August 29th

Thursday News, August 29th


Vehicle Drives Into Floyd River

(Le Mars) — Rescue workers were called to the bridge on the north end of Merrill on Highway 75 at about 12:20 p.m. Wednesday afternoon as a vehicle heading southbound, left the roadway, and entered the Floyd River. The 1999 Pontiac Grand Am had just missed striking the bridge. No other vehicles were
involved with the accident. Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office had received a phone call, prior to the accident occurring, talking about an erratic driver heading south on Highway 75. As it turned out, the vehicle in question was the car that drove into the river.

The driver was identified as 48 year old Sally Menke of Sioux
City, and it appears the driver may have suffered from some sort of medical condition that lead to the accident. Menke was alive and was assisted from her car, but was placed on a back board and the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department used their aerial truck to lift her from the river bank.

Menke was transported to Floyd Valley Healthcare in Le Mars by the Le Mars Ambulance Service. While performing the rescue, traffic was kept open on Highway 75, although it was reduced to two-lanes. Following the extraction of Menke, rescue crews assisted with the extraction of her car from the river. The vehicle is considered as a total loss. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident.



Le Mars Man Charged With Vehicular Homicide Following Accident

(Sioux City) — A Le Mars man has been charged with vehicular homicide and drunken driving in a crash last month that killed his cousin.
37-year-old Darrick Toel was arrested late Tuesday on the charges.
Authorities say Toel was driving about 90 mph the night of July 1st when he lost control of his car, left the road, rolled and hit a tree.
His passenger, 37-year-old Ryan Toel, of Struble, was critically
injured and died two days later.
Police say Darrick Toel also was injured, and a blood test taken at a hospital more than an hour after the crash showed his blood alcohol content was .111, which is more than the legal limit to drive.
He’s being held in the Woodbury County Jail on a $50,000 bond.



Former Gehlen Catholic Student To Receive Mike Rowe Scholarship

(Le Mars) — A former Gehlen Catholic student is the recipient of a scholarship provided by television personality Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame. Rowe established the scholarship program to help students pursuing a vocational education. 2019 Gehlen Catholic graduate, Christopher Fuentes of Le Mars is one of 500 students who received the Mike Rowe Work Ethic Scholarship for $3,500. Jim Fuentes of Le Mars, Christopher’s father,
discovered the scholarship through an on-line search. He encouraged Christopher to apply since many of the scholarship criteria emulated his son’s values or responsibility, hard work, and a desire to learn.
Christopher Fuentes is now enrolled at the Lake Area Technical Institute located at Watertown, South Dakota. He is pursuing a two-year degree as an Air Frame Maintenance Technician. He will also complete all of his testing to receive his certification by the Federal Aviation Industry, so he can work on aircraft for the airline industry.



Residents Living Along Highway 75 Are Questioning Iowa D-O-T Motives

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors were recently presented with an appeal by several residences and homeowners living between Hinton and Sioux City questioning the actions of the Iowa Department of Transportation as to whether the construction improvements now in progress
are for only the highway, or if they also include the proposed Plywood recreational trail that would extend from Le Mars to Sioux City. County Supervisor Craig Anderson says the people of southern Plymouth County want to know the intentions of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Anderson tells of the intended actions by those who have signed a petition calling for a hearing with the Compensation Board.

Anderson says IDOT officials deny knowing anything about a proposed recreational trail, and yet engineers hired by the Plywood Trail Association say they have had numerous conversations with the Iowa D-O-T. Anderson says
he is disappointed with the conflicting information.

The county supervisor wonders how the city of Le Mars has been able to grant authority of the proposed recreational trail beyond its city borders?

Anderson says he usually hears the answer of “that has yet to be
determined.” Anderson says the answers should have been addressed years ago.

Anderson says an alternative route was presented that would have followed the Floyd River on the eastern edge of the river front, instead of running parallel to Highway 75, and would have been millions of dollars cheaper, was rejected by the Plywood Trail committee.



Le Mars Skate Board Park Nearing Completion

(Le Mars) — Construction on the new city skateboard park located at O’Tool Park on the north end of town is nearing completion. City Administrator, Jason Vacura says the project was funded by contributions to the Community Betterment 2 program. He says the final touches are now being conducted on the new skateboard complex.

Vacura says the city is planning to have two separate celebrations acknowledging its opening.




DNR Investigating Why Creek Is Green Colored

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) – Officials in suburban Des Moines are seeking answers on what has caused a creek there to turn bright green.
The Des Moines Register reports that city officials reached out to
the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday morning after a Clive resident posted a photo online of a vivid green Walnut Creek.
Department officials have since taken samples of the water, but
Clive Assistant City Manager Pete DeKock says the department has not shared the results with city officials.
DNR senior environmental specialist Janet Gastineau says the agency has traced the green water back to a lake in the Country Club development, but did not say caused the bright green color.



Army Corps Of Engineers Official Testifies At Flooding Hearing

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) – An official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says a study is needed to consider changes to flood-control measures along the Missouri River south of Sioux City, Iowa.
Speaking after a U.S. Senate field hearing Wednesday in North Sioux City, South Dakota, Brig. Gen. Peter Helmlinger noted such a study could call for actions such as changing the Missouri River channel in the Sioux City area to let the river spread out and carry more water. The Sioux City Journal reports that levees also could be rebuilt farther from the river to give the waterway more room.
Helmlinger, commander of the corps’ Northwestern Division, says such a study would take three years and be delivered to Congress.
He spoke after answering questions at a hearing headed by Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota.



Missing Boater Now Found

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) – Southwestern Iowa officials say the body of a missing boater has been found in the Nishnabotna River.
The Omaha World-Herald reports that the body of 77-year-old Thomas Gibson, of Watson, Missouri, was found Wednesday morning by his family members. The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office says Gibson’s body was found near the Goldenrod Boat Access on the river just east of Hamburg.
Gibson’s family had reported him missing Monday when they found his vehicle on the boat ramp and his unoccupied boat about a mile down river.
An autopsy will be conducted by the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny.



Farmers Showing Disappointment With President Trump

LACONA, Iowa (AP) – When President Donald Trump ordered tariffs on China that scrambled global grain markets, many U.S. farmers were willing to absorb the financial hit.
But the patience of Midwest farmers with a president they mostly
supported in 2016 is being newly tested.
The administration has now granted waivers to 31 more oil refineries so they don’t have to blend ethanol into their gasoline. Given that roughly 40% of U.S. corn is processed into ethanol, that’s a fresh blow to producers struggling with low prices and potentially mediocre harvests.
Nebraska farmer Lynn Chrisp, president of the National Corn Growers Association, calls it “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in Illinois Wednesday that Trump will take action to soften the effects, but there are no details.