Home News Friday News, September 13th

Friday News, September 13th


Elementary Students Enjoy Farm Tour 

(Le Mars) — 217 elementary students had an up-close experience of farm animals today. It was all part of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee sponsored annual Ag Tour. Third and fourth grade students from Le Mars Community Franklin, Clark, and Kluckholn, as well as students from Gehlen Catholic, Remsen St. Mary’s, and MMCRU participated in the four-farm tour. Jordon Sitzmann serves as the Vice President of the Chamber Agriculture Committee and explains the purpose behind the tour.

The Chamber Agriculture Committee has sponsored the tour for more than 20 years. Sitzmann explains what was featured on today’s agriculture tour.

Sitzmann says the teachers also appreciate the agriculture tour, and often incorporate aspects of the tour as part of their curriculum.

As for the students, Sitzmann says the experience of touring a farm within their community, is something that will remain as a long-term memory.

Following the morning-long farm tours, the Chamber Agriculture Committee with the assistance of the Plymouth County Pork Producers and Plymouth County Cattlemen Association, and Plymouth County Farm Bureau fed the elementary students a picnic lunch complete with grilled burgers, chips, a cookie, milk and ice cream. The lunch was provided at the West Floyd Park on the west side of town.



Le Mars Women Honored By Governor Reynolds For Volunteering

(Storm Lake) — Three Le Mars women were honored on Thursday for their years of volunteering. Etta DeJager, Iris Hemmingson and Vi Schroeder were honored with an individual Award of the Governor’s Volunteer Award presented
by Governor Kim Reynolds. The award ceremony took place at Buena Vista University at Storm Lake. The three ladies names were submitted for nomination by Floyd Valley Healthcare. Governor Reynolds says “Volunteering is who we are as Iowans, and I’m honored to recognize those who continue to
give back and help their fellow Iowans.” In addition to the above mentioned ladies being recognized for volunteering, Gehlen Catholic’s Christian Leadership Team will also be given a Governor’s Volunteer Award for the work they do with the assisted living and community nursing care centers.
Volunteer Iowa and its partner agencies work with organizations and individuals on three main fronts. The first is to help agencies develop quality programs that use service as a strategy to fulfill their missions and address Iowa’s greatest areas of need. The second is to help engage Iowans in their communities by promoting service and expanding the volunteer
base. Finally, the third area of work is to connect individuals with
appropriate service opportunities by building the volunteer infrastructure.



Public Defenders Refuse To Handle Case Due To Boss’ Conflict Of Interest

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) – Public defenders are seeking to stop representing an Iowa man charged with murder after revelations that their boss moonlights for a police department involved in the case.
Lawyers with the special defense unit of the State Public Defender’s office said in a filing Wednesday that they now believe their representation of Jeffrey Stendrup is a conflict of interest. They have asked a judge for permission to withdraw.
Their supervisor, special defense unit director Mike Adams, works on the side as a reserve police officer with the Colfax Police Department.
Its officers are prosecution witnesses against Stendrup, who is charged in the 2018 beating death of a man at a Colfax home.
The public defenders had disclosed the potential conflict at a hearing last month but indicated they planned to continue representing Stendrup.
They said in Wednesday’s filing that they have learned additional
information since then that changes their analysis.
If approved, their withdrawal would likely delay Stendrup’s Oct. 23 trial date.



Judge Allows Lawsuit To Proceed Against State Over Clean Water

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A judge has allowed a lawsuit challenging Iowa’s management of fertilizer and hog farm pollution in rivers and streams to move forward, handing a significant victory to environmental and community
activist groups challenging the state’s voluntary farm pollution
Judge Robert Hanson says in a ruling filed Wednesday that Iowa
Citizens For Community Improvement and Food & Water Watch may proceed to trial in their effort to prove the state isn’t doing enough to clean up the Raccoon River, a drinking water source for 500,000 central Iowa customers of Des Moines Water Works.
The lawsuit claims the state has violated the rights of citizens to
clean water for recreational and drinking water uses. It asks the court to order mandatory limits on nitrogen and phosphorous pollution and for a moratorium on new and expanding hog confinement facilities.
A spokesman for the Iowa attorney general’s office says the state is reviewing the ruling and considering next steps.
A spokesman for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says she will not comment on the decision.



Public Universities Report A Decline In Student Enrollment

(Des Moines) — Total enrollment has dropped at Iowa’s public universities.
The University of Iowa on Thursday reported enrollment of more than 31,200 students this fall, compared with nearly 31,700 last year.
The University of Northern Iowa reported enrollment of nearly 10,500, down from more than 11,200 last fall.
Iowa State University reported nearly 33,400 students this fall, down from nearly 35,000 last year.
The number of students enrolled from other countries dropped this year at all three universities.



Des Moines House Destroyed By Explosion

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say an explosion destroyed a house in Des Moines and damaged others.
The blast occurred around 3:15 a.m. Friday, a few blocks northeast of Birdland Park. Police say no injuries have been reported.
Natural gas is suspected of being the source of the explosion. An
investigation is underway.



Two Men Arrested For Breaking Into Courthouse

ADEL, Iowa (AP) – Two men arrested on suspicion of breaking into a central Iowa courthouse say they were hired to test the building’s alarm system.
The Des Moines Register reports 29-year-old Justin Wynn of Naples, Florida, and 43-year-old Gary Demercurio of Seattle were found in the Dallas County Courthouse early Wednesday after an alarm was tripped. Both face burglary charges and are being held on $50,000 bond apiece.
The men told deputies they worked for the cybersecurity firm
Coalfire and had been hired to test the courthouse alarm system. The state court administration acknowledged hiring the firm but only to test the security of electronic access to court records, not for “forced entry into a building.”
No attorney is listed for the men in online court records. Messages left Thursday with Coalfire and Sheriff Chad Leonard were not immediately returned.



Drake Basketball Player Charged With Shooting

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Drake men’s basketball player has been charged with an off-campus shooting that he says was accidental.
Des Moines police say Tremell Murphy was charged Thursday with discharging a firearm inside city limits and making false reports to law enforcement. Court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for him.
A university spokesman says Murphy has been removed from basketball activities. Murphy was a starting forward for the Bulldogs as a junior last year.
Police say the shooting occurred the night of Aug. 31 during a party at a home near campus. Officers found a 19-year-old man bleeding from his head and noticed a bullet hole in a nearby wall, leading them to believe the shot had come from Murphy’s adjacent room. Police say Murphy first insisted the man had fallen but later acknowledged he’d accidentally fired the .22-
caliber bullet.