Home News Wednesday News, November 20th

Wednesday News, November 20th


Wet Nose Animal Rescue Seeking Assistance From Plymouth County and City Of Le Mars

(Le Mars) — Representatives of the newly formed animal rescue organization “Wet Nose” met Tuesday with the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors and later with the Le Mars City Council. The officials requested for some assistance by both the county and the city to help locate a facility to house the rescued pets, as well as to serve as an office space. “Wet Nose” animal rescue was first organized in mid-July, and are seeking donations to
help the organization grow and be able to maintain facilities. The Wet Nose officials informed the county supervisors that Noah’s Hope of Sioux City has an agreement with the city of Le Mars to house some stray dogs, but there is no such agreement with Plymouth County.

Mary Valentine says the organization has taken in some dogs after their owner had passed away. The supervisors and the city council were introduced to a 14-year old dog named “Buddy”, a mixed sheep dog, which had belonged to long-time museum volunteer Delores Burkard. Following Burkard’s death there
was no one else to care for the dog. The officials indicated in addition to seeking a shelter to house and care for the stray cats and dogs, they are also looking for foster families for the animals. During the city council meeting, the animal rescue organization asked the city officials for some
assistance. They indicated the city “needs to step up and take
responsibility” for the many dogs and cats that need rescuing. Councilman Clark Goodchild inquired about whether the city had any zoning issues with having multiple animals? City administrator, Jason Vacura responded to Goodchild’s question, saying there are some restrictions, but he would need
to follow up with some research involving the city ordinance. Vacura indicated the shelter would need to be located with a zoned area designated for businesses, and would not be allowed in the residential areas of town.
Eva Mouw, an advocate for the Wet Nose rescue center stood at the podium, and started criticizing the town for not having a designated “dog park” within Le Mars. Mouw was heard saying, “You let us (dog owners) down, because you don’t have a dog park.”  Mouw insisted the city leaders had promised the residents of Le Mars that a dog park would be created. City Administrator Jason Vacura explained that a dog park is part of the Community Betterment Project, but because it did not receive a state grant, and doesn’t have a deadline tied to it, the proposed dog park is not yet a top priority. Vacura offered assurance that a community dog park would be created within the next few years.



City Council Approves Engineering Contract For Plywood Trail

(Le Mars) — The city council approved allocating $256,000 dollars to McClure Engineering for fees associated with the proposed Plywood Trail for Phase 1 which would connect Le Mars with Merrill. The trail would connect at the County Road C-38 and would stop just prior to the bridge located on the north end of Merrill on Highway 75. Jason Vacura informed the council
the construction would ultimately go through Merrill, but it was not part of the initial McClure Engineering plan. Vacura also informed the city council that the invoices from McClure would go to the city, but the Plywood Trail Association would be responsible to reimburse the city for the recreational
trail costs. Vacura answered some of the city council’s questions inquiring whether the Plywood Trail Association would be able to afford the costs.
Vacura says he has been given assurance the recreational trail association through grants and donations have $400,000 in pledges through December, and they would acquire an additional $400,000 by April.



Total Motors Contributes To Breast Cancer Patients

(Le Mars) — Back in October, local auto dealership, Total Motors had a campaign Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, to draw awareness of breast cancer. For the third straight year, the dealership with locations in Le Mars and Orange City pledged to donate $100 for every vehicle that they sold during the month of October. After the month ended they were able to have their best year to date totaling $11,000 to be donated to organizations and individuals who have personally been impacted by cancer.
This brings their combined total in just three years to $31,000.
Total Motors requested nominations for anyone who currently has or had breast cancer and could benefit financially. Marketing Manager Mitch Christoffel stated, “It’s incredible to see what a difference the program has made for local families, they are always so positive and appreciative of all the efforts.”

Over the last week, Total Motors made contact with the recipients and nominees and gathered them together for a private presentation of the funds. Christoffel stated, “My favorite part of the program is when the individuals come together with their families and friends who sent in nominations. You can immediately see the strength and support between them.” The three individuals who were recipients of $2,000 for Total Motors’ 2019 program were: Ashley Holtgrewe – Le Mars, Iowa, Linda
Pratt – Sioux City, Iowa, and Marge Hartman – Le Mars, Iowa.

In an extended effort to help more individuals past the month of October, Total Motors also donates a portion of the funds to local hospitals where the money is used for screening assistance for people who are not able to afford a mammogram. Total Motors presented Floyd Valley Healthcare & Orange City Area Health System each with a check for $2,500.

Christoffel stated, “Total Motors is happy to support breast cancer awareness in such a big way for the third year in a row. We hope to continue our efforts in making strides against breast cancer.”

(photos contributed)



Supreme Court Justice Cady Funeral Scheduled For Today

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The family of Iowa Supreme Court Justice Mark Cady is holding a public memorial service to celebrate his life at Drake University in Des Moines, where Cady earned undergraduate and law degrees.
Cady, of Fort Dodge, died unexpectedly Friday night of a heart attack in Des Moines. He was 66.
The service is being held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the university’s Knapp Center.

Gov. Kim Reynolds credits Cady with opening the courts to the public by holding sessions on the road and establishing specialty courts focused on helping businesses, those with drug addiction or family problems and improving the judiciary system technology.
The Iowa Supreme Court will create the Chief Justice Mark S. Cady Learning Center on the first floor of the Judicial Branch Building in Des Moines that will serve as a feature for public and school tours. It will show the process of a case through Iowa’s court system, highlight Iowa’s civil rights history and demonstrate the importance of fair and impartial courts.



Day Care Director’s Trial Over Child’s Death Delayed Until February

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A trial has been delayed until February for a Johnston day care operator charged after a child in her care died.
Polk County court records show 48-year-old Trina Mazza has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment resulting in death and operating a day care without a license. Her trial was set to begin Dec. 2 but has been rescheduled to begin Feb. 3. She’s also asked the court to move her trial out of Polk County, citing pretrial publicity.
First responders were called to Mazza’s home day care on Feb. 15 because of an unresponsive child who later died at a hospital. Mazza’s attorney has said the child’s death was “a tragic home accident.”
Authorities say Mazza received notices in 2011 and 2017 from the Iowa Department of Human Services after complaints that she had more than five children present without a state license.



Psychologist Violates Policy With Sex Offender

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A psychologist in charge of treating Iowa’s most dangerous sex offenders violated policies by developing an improperly close relationship with a violent predator who became obsessed with her.
A termination letter obtained by The Associated Press alleges that Shannon Sanders committed “boundary violations” with a patient in her care.
Sanders is the treatment director at the Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders in Cherokee.
The letter alleges that she shared secrets with the patient, didn’t
apply the program rules to him, and failed to report that he was having personal feelings for her.
Those actions created potential security problems for the
institution, which houses sexually violent predators who have been ordered by the courts to be locked up for treatment following their prison terms.
Sanders declined comment.



Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Increases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s unemployment rate rose slightly in October to 2.6% but remains among the lowest in the nation.
Iowa Workforce Development reported Tuesday that the rate climbed from 2.5% in September. The unemployment rate also was higher than a year ago, when the October 2018 figure was 2.4%.
Iowa’s unemployment rate is tied for the fourth lowest in the
nation, behind Vermont, North Dakota and Utah.
The U.S. unemployment rate for October was 3.6%.



ICAP Director Decides Not To Seek Re-election Amid Controversy

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The longtime vice chairman of an insurance pool for Iowa municipalities will not seek re-election, following scrutiny of its travel and his arrest for domestic violence.
Gary Mahannah said earlier this year he would seek another 4-year board term on the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool, where he’s served since its formation in the 1980s.
But he recently changed his mind, telling board members his
departure would be “the best path forward” for a program that insures about 800 municipalities.
Voting has started among its membership to replace Mahannah as a city representative on the board. Andy Lent of Indianola and Matt Mardesen of Nevada are candidates.
Two other board members, retired Sioux County auditor Lois Huitink and Lake Delhi trustee Larry Burger, are unopposed for re-election.
Mahannah, 66, resigned as city administrator in Polk City in
February, weeks after he was charged with misdemeanor domestic abuse for striking his wife during an argument. He pleaded guilty and received probation – but remained on the ICAP board.
Days after his arrest, Mahannah attended ICAP’s February meeting in Florida, an annual trip the board is rethinking.