Home News Wednesday Afternoon News, November 13th

Wednesday Afternoon News, November 13th


Sheriff Van Otterloo Asks County Supervisors To Add Beds To Jail

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo appeared before the County board of supervisors Wednesday to inquire about expanding the number of beds for inmates at the Plymouth County Jail. Van Otterloo informed the county governing board there is a need to have additional beds.

Van Otterloo explains with the additional four female beds, it would double the female jail population, but due to room size and available space, he can only fit an additional four female beds.

Van Otterloo says the additional beds have been approved by jail inspectors, and it would not lead to over-crowding within the Plymouth County jail. The Plymouth County Sheriff believes the purchase of the additional beds and tables, the total cost would be just under $19,000.

The sheriff asked the supervisors if he could convert one cell pod by including six additional beds for the male cell population, and in addition ask a contractor to paint the jail cell. Van Otterloo told the supervisors he expects the entire project can be completed under $25,000. Van Otterloo says if the county can pick up the cost for the installation of the beds, he may be able to finance the additional furniture costs.

Van Otterloo says the proposed plan will not require any renovations to the jail facilities, and the county will still be within the guidelines established by the state. The county board of supervisors did approve the proposed plan.



Le Mars Community Middle School Hold Assembly Program Honoring Veterans And Active Military

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Community Middle School held an assembly this morning recognizing and honoring veterans. Kari Kopperud serves as the Middle School Guidance Counselor and helped organize the event. She says each month the Middle School student body gathers for an assembly program to
review the yearly theme.

The assembly program featured photos of various active and retired military service personnel.

Kopperud was asked if the students have a better appreciation for the military and veterans, as a result of the assembly program?

The entire assembly program lasted for about 15 minutes.



Gabe Davis Named Le Mars Community School “Employee Of The Month”

(Le Mars) — A Middle School science teacher is the latest to be honored as the Le Mars Community School District’s “Employee of the Month.” At the start of today’s assembly program, Deb Ahlers, a member of the Le Mars Community School District’s Foundation Board presented a plaque to Gabe Davis. Davis has been a teacher with the Le Mars Community for the last 15
years.  Davis was nominated for the award by Ryan Zittritsch, Alaina Milledge, and Kari Kopperud.

The nomination reads: “Gabe taught 6th Grade Science at the Middle School and currently teaches Middle School Technology.  He is a positive spirit whose presence is felt throughout the middle school.  He has also started the high school Leadership Club, Lead Dogs.  He has helped guide those students in numerous projects that benefit others throughout the Le Mars community such as serving with the Backpack Program, and even starting the first Father/Daughter Dance led by club members last year.

In addition to his high school group, Mr. Davis has spread his positive leadership ideas into the middle school with his one word project this year, a project where students picked one positive word that would guide their lives for this year.  He has also taken on his responsibilities as a Science teacher always with a smile on his face, even as he took on the challenge of incubating 30 chicken eggs in his OpenSciEd pilot curriculum program.  Gabe Davis is an important piece to building a positive culture at Le Mars Community Middle School.

Mr. Davis also wears the hat of coach in guiding our high school boys on and off of the basketball court.  Mr. Davis has also served on the CIA team leading in-service activities for middle and high school teachers in the subjects of Science, Social Studies, Health, PE, and the career and technical subjects.  He has always led with a smile and has looked for ways to help others in their curricular areas whatever way he could with Unit Plans the past couple of years.  Mr. Davis spreads his positive vibe to staff members by sending encouraging notes, emails, and sharing valuable resources that he comes across.  He goes above and beyond to take the time to share these things with those he works with to help them have a better day and make LCMS a better place to work and learn.  Having a positive spirit is an essential quality needed in education today, and it can spread throughout a building, impacting both staff and students.  When we think of someone helping to establish a good school culture in the middle school, one of the first people that comes to mind is Gabe Davis.  Our congratulations go to Gabe Davis for being honored as the Le Mars Community School District “Employee of the Month.”



Spencer Businessman Accused On Failing To File Taxes

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) – A northwest Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he didn’t pay the state more than $89,000 in sales taxes generated by his businesses.
The Sioux City Journal reports that 36-year-old Christopher Burg, of Spencer, entered the written pleas Tuesday in Clay County District Court.
The charges include seven counts of fraudulent practices and 11 counts of sales tax evasion. His trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 10.
Court documents say Burg owns Burg Endeavors and committed the crimes from April 1, 2017, through Oct. 2. Prosecutors say he didn’t pay the sales taxes as he should from his businesses: Liberty Lanes, Southside Grill and A+ Carpet & Cleaners.



District Judge Denies Request From Branstad Attorneys To Set Aside Jury Verdict

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A district court judge has rejected a request by former Gov. Terry Branstad’s lawyers to set aside a jury verdict that concluded Branstad discriminated against a former state official because he’s gay.
The ruling by Judge Brad McCall filed Tuesday summarily rejects dozens of arguments, including challenges to legal rulings during trial and jury instructions.
Branstad’s attorneys asked McCall to set aside the July 15 jury verdict of $1.5 million awarded to former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey.
Jurors concluded Godfrey was the victim of discrimination and
retaliation when Branstad tried to force him to quit in 2011 and then cut his pay.
Branstad’s attorney Frank Harty asked McCall in a July 31 motion to dismiss the lawsuit or order a new trial. Harty says the verdicts are unsupported by substantial evidence and are contrary to law.
McCall concluded that substantial evidence exists to support the jury’s conclusions.
The bill to Iowa taxpayers for the case stands now at about $8 million if the verdict isn’t reverse.



Iowa Man Pleas Guilty To Threatening The President

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa man has pleaded guilty to threatening to kill President Donald Trumps with homemade bombs.
The Gazette reports that 25-year-old Christian Delatorre, of
Dubuque, entered the plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.
The charge: willfully threatening to take the life of and inflict serious harm upon the president. His sentencing date hasn’t been set yet.
A proposed plea agreement says a Secret Service agent interviewed Delatorre on April 29 at a Dubuque hospital where he was being treated for psychiatric problems. A psychiatric nurse practitioner at Mercy Hospital reported that Delatorre had been making threats about assassinating Trump.
The agent reports in the document that Delatorre said he was angered when Trump mocked people and talked about sending immigrants back to their home countries.
The document says Delatorre’s plans included attaching bombs to drones he’d fly over and detonate at the White House. The document also says Delatorre intended to undertake a suicide mission if his other plans didn’t work.