Le Mars World War 2 Veteran Participates On Honor Flight
(Le Mars) — A Le Mars World War 2 veteran recently participated on a “Honor Flight” to our nation’s capital. 93 year old Ralph Niehus traveled with 75 other veterans to Washington D.C. this past Tuesday to observe various memorials and monuments. Niehus says the Honor Flight brought back
memories from his last visit to Washington D.C., some thirty years earlier.
At that time, the Vietnam Memorial was not constructed. Niehus says he enjoyed seeing the Vietnam Memorial during this trip.
Niehus says the veterans made stops at the new World War 2 memorial, as well as the Korean Conflict memorial. They saw the Washington Monument as well as the Lincoln Memorial, and the Arlington National Cemetery with the tomb of the unknown soldier.
Niehus served in the U-S Army for 20 months following the surrender of the Japan Empire. He was stationed in Japan for a year helping with the reconstruction of Japan, and he reflects on his time stationed in the land of the rising sun.
The World War 2 veteran achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant while enlisted in the Army. He says when he returned home after his time in the military there wasn’t any Homecoming, or Welcome Home ceremonies. However, Niehus says when the veterans returned back to Sioux Falls at the conclusion of
the Honor Flight, they were given a large Welcome Home celebration and thanked for their service to our country.
Niehus doesn’t consider himself as any hero…just a guy that did the job he was asked to do.
Orange City Tulip Festival Establishes Theme For 2020 Event
Orange City, Iowa — The Orange City Tulip Festival Steering Committee has revealed the theme for the 2020 celebration as “Vibrant Together.
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” The event, set for May 14-16, will be Orange City’s 80th annual Tulip Festival.
Reese and Cristi Kelch, co-chairpersons of the 2020 Steering Committee, felt the theme captured the spirit of the community, honoring the rich history of the festival and looking forward to continued years of the annual Dutch celebration. The theme is also a nod to the city of Orange City’s 150 year anniversary, taking place in 2020.
“The Tulip Festival is vibrant because of Orange City and its community members, and Orange City is vibrant
thanks to our annual Tulip Festival celebration,” say Reese and Cristi. “It is with the help of our vibrant and willing volunteers that the festival has thrived for 80 years, and together as a community, we look forward to a future that continues to celebrate the Dutch traditions Orange City was
founded on 150 years ago.”
Plans are well underway for this year’s Tulip Festival, and the Steering Committee encourages community members of all ages to consider joining the event in one of many volunteer opportunities.
Arnolds Park Businessman To Run For Congress
(Arnolds Park) — A businessman from Arnolds Park announced a run Thursday against Republican Congressman Steve King for the Fourth District Congressional seat. Steve Reeder says he has the experience to help small businesses.
The 58-year-old Reeder also says education is an issue that is important to him.
Reeder is the fourth candidate to announce a challenge of the incumbent King, along with State Senator Randy Feenstra, Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor and former Irwin Mayor Bret Richards.
Interstate Highways Are Open Again Following Recent Flooding
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Portions of interstates in Omaha and across the Missouri River in western Iowa have reopened after being closed for several days for flooding.
The Interstate 680 bridge spanning the Missouri River from Omaha to the Interstate 29 interchange in Iowa reopened Friday afternoon, as did I-29 in Iowa from Crescent to Council Bluffs.
The Iowa Department of Transportation tells the Omaha World-Herald that floodwaters have receded and cleanup is complete on the roadways.
The department cautioned that rainfall expected in the area could cause additional flooding that would require the exit and entrance ramps in the area to close again with little or no advance notice.
Flood-related closures continue on both directions of I-29 between the Crescent and the Loveland exits and on Iowa Highways 275 and 333 near Hamburg.
New Trial Set For Man Accused Of Killing Woman And Her Two Children
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A new trial date has been scheduled for a Guatemala man accused of killing an Iowa woman and her two children.
Polk County District Court records say 31-year-old Marvin Escobar-Orellana is charged with three counts of first-degree murder under what authorities say was a false name he initially gave to police: Marvin Esquivel-Lopez. He’s pleaded not guilty.
Police say he fatally shot 29-year-old Rossibeth Flores-Rodriguez, her 11-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son on July 16 in a Des Moines home.
Court records show the new trial date of Jan. 27 will give attorneys for both sides more time to prepare. The original trial starting date was Oct. 28.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have said Escobar-Orellana is in the United States illegally and had twice been deported before the shooting. He was convicted in 2010 of illegal entry into the U.S.
Oskaloosa Mom Pleads Guilty To Killing Daughter
OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) – An Oskaloosa woman has pleaded guilty in the 2014 death of her 17-month-old daughter.
Des Moines television station KCCI reports that Alicia Ritenour
pleaded guilty Thursday to child endangerment causing death. KCCI says she received a sentence of 50 years in prison with credit for time served.
Ritenour was convicted of first-degree murder in November 2014, but a judge set aside her conviction in December and ordered a new trial after agreeing with her that her trial attorney had been ineffective.
Police went to Ritenour’s Oskaloosa apartment in January 2014
following a 911 call and found 17-month-old Ava Ritenour dead. An autopsy showed she died of head trauma.
Corrections Employee Charged With Having Sexual Relations With Inmate
MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa (AP) – A former employee of women’s correctional facility in Mitchellville was arrested Friday morning after being accused of engaging in sexual acts with an inmate in exchange for tobacco products.
The Des Moines Register reports that 55-year-old Shawn William
Durrell, of Urbandale, was arrested Friday and charged with sexual misconduct with an offender. He had been employed as the correctional food service coordinator at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women when the alleged sexual misconduct took place between July 4 and Aug. 9. He had been working at the facility for 16 years before resigning in August.
Court documents say Durrell was released $2,000 bond. His next
court appearance is Oct. 7.
No attorney for Durrell appears in online court records. Durrell
did not immediately return a message left Friday at a phone listing for him.
Muscatine Deputies Send Letter Of “No Confidence” To Sheriff
MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) – Members of the union representing Muscatine County sheriff’s deputies in eastern Iowa have issued a letter of no confidence in Sheriff C.J. Ryan.
The letter issued Tuesday cites deputies’ complaints that Ryan “has consistently displayed favoritism towards a chosen group of deputies.” The letter also accuses Ryan of retaliating against deputies who speak up for themselves or question Ryan’s actions, but doesn’t detail what retaliatory actions Ryan is accused of taking.
The letter issued by the Teamsters Local 238 says morale in the
department is at an all-time low and has resulted in turnover affecting staffing.
Farm Safety Specialist Reminds Farmers To Take Breaks During Harvest Season
(Des Moines) — The harvest will soon ramp up to full speed and that can lead to some hectic days on the farm. Iowa State University , professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, Charles Schwab, says this year is an example of how tough the harvest season can be on the health of farmers. The late planting could lead to a later harvest and a rush to get all the crops in.
Schwab says one thing farmers need to do is take time to meet their nutritional and other needs during the harvest.
He says not taking care of yourself could end up causing more trouble in the long run.
Schwab says just remember you can get a lot done while still taking precautions.
The crop report out last Monday showed a minimal amount of crops had been harvested.