Home News Tuesday News, November 26th

Tuesday News, November 26th


Winter Storm Approaching

(Sioux Falls) –– A Winter Storm Warning has been posted for northwest Iowa beginning today and continuing through Wednesday evening. Todd Heitkamp, the chief meteorologist with the National Weather Services at Sioux Falls says expect the first snowflakes to fall by mid-morning.  Heitkamp says Le Mars and all of northwest Iowa probably can expect a heavy

The National Weather Services official says we can expect to see some drifting because of the predicted heavy snowfall and strong winds. He says visibility will be greatly reduced throughout the area. Heitkamp says a second winter storm will move into the area on Thanksgiving.

Heitkamp says the heaviest snowfall will probably occur between 3:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon through 11:00 p.m. Tuesday evening.



Plymouth County Sheriff Office To Participate In “Operation CARE”

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office, along with local and state agencies will be participating in Operation CARE (Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts). This will take place from Wednesday, November 27th, through December 1st. The purpose of this operation is to positively impact driver behavior behind the wheel and reduce traffic crashes. Deputies will
be looking for all levels of traffic violations, from the use of seatbelts to operating while under the influence. With winter around the corner and our first winter storm to hit today, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office would also like to offer these tips for winter weather driving.

  • The posted speed limit is for ideal conditions.
  •  As snow starts to fall and roads become snow or ice covered, reduce your speed.
  • When visibility starts to fall, turn on your headlights even during the daytime.  You may be able to see just fine, but oncoming traffic may not be able to see your vehicle.
  • If you are in the ditch or stranded, please notify 911.  The sheriff’s office often responds to calls of vehicles in the ditch from a passerby only to find that the original vehicle has driven out prior to our arrival.
  • Remember if travel is not advised, it also affects response time of emergency responders.  DO NOT CALL the communications center for weather reports.  We do not have any more information than what is being reported by the National Weather Services.



Iowa State Patrol Suggests To Pack A Winter Survival Kit When Traveling

(Des Moines) — Travel conditions are expected to deteriorate as a winter storm approaches the state. State Patrol Trooper Tom Williams of Mason City says if you do plan to travel, pack a winter survival kit in case something happens.

He says if you do get stranded — it’s important to take quick action.

He says it’s important to not delay in calling 9-1-1 as law enforcement is going to be busy. Williams says its important at any time this winter to be well prepared for your trip. You should leave early if the weather report shows things are going to get bad.

Williams says don’t get over confident simply because you have a four- wheel-drive vehicle.

You can check out road conditions 24 hours a day online at the D-O-T’s 5-1-1 travel.




County Supervisors Will Not Hold Meeting This Week

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are taking the week off due to the Thanksgiving holiday and will not convene for any meeting today.



Le Mars Community School Board Elects New Officers

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education met last evening and elected new officers. Taking over the position of president for the school board is Scott Kommes with Angela Catton being elected as the vice president.

Lisa Boehm has been again appointed as the Board of Education
Secretary, Kim Clarey is the Treasurer, and the Bauerly law firm has been retained as the school district’s legal counsel. The school board also approved the bank deposits for the fiscal year 2019-2020. What has been proposed is Primebank will receive approximately $8.2 million in deposits, Northwest Bank will have $5.2 million, American Bank also to receive $5.2 million in deposits from the school district. Iowa State Bank will hold $2
million for deposits from the school, and Midstates Bank to have one million dollars for school deposits. The school board thanked the services of Pat Murphy and Fred Zenk for their long tenure on the school board, and welcomed new members Mackenzie Lang and Kyle Plathe. The school board approved the
contracts for Keely Steffen as the new high school girls softball coach, and Judd Kopperud as the Assistant Coach for Middle School Track.

Le Mars Community Board of Education include front row left to right: Angela Catton, Makenzie Lang, Dave Miller.  Back row: Todd Lancaster, Scott Kommes, Jane Arnold, and Kyle Plathe.



Sioux City Council Dissolves Pit Bull Ban

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Sioux City officials have repealed an 11-year-old ban on pit bull ownership, saying a city ordinance is unfair and likely difficult to defend against court challenges.
The Sioux City Journal reports the City Council voted 4-to-1 Monday to overturn the ban, effective Saturday.
The ban adopted in 2008 prohibited residents from keeping dogs that are 51% or more pit bull. Those who owned dogs before April 2009 could keep them if they were registered each year.
The ban was spurred by concerns the dogs were inherently vicious, but pit bull advocates argued each animal should be judged independently.
City lawyers recommended the council adopt a “breed neutral” ordinance.



Des Moines Man Sent To Prison For Setting Fire That Killed Grandmother

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Des Moines man has been imprisoned for setting a fire at the house he shared with his grandmother, killing her.
The Des Moines Register reports that 32-year-old Ferid Hodzic was sentenced last month to 15 years. He’d pleaded guilty to arson and involuntary manslaughter.
Court records say he poured gasoline onto combustible items on Jan. 9 and used a lit cigarette to ignite them. His grandmother, Naima Hodzic, was unable to escape the smoke and flames, and firefighters found her near the front door. The 83-year-old was taken to a Des Moines hospital and then flown to an Iowa City hospital, where she died Jan. 25.
Authorities say Ferid Hodzic changed his account of the fire several times, with his final explanation being that he ordered a sweatshirt online and became upset after it arrived because it was the wrong size.



Ames Man Pleads Not Guilty To Stabbing His Roommate

AMES, Iowa (AP) – A man suspected of fatally stabbing his roommate at their Ames apartment has pleaded not guilty.
Story County court records say 55-year-old David Hunter entered the written plea Monday to a charge of first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 14.
Officers who responded to the residence around 6:10 p.m. Nov. 7 found an injured man later identified as 37-year-old Christopher Swalwell suffering from knife wounds. Police say he was taken to a local hospital and then transferred to a Des Moines hospital, where he died.
The court records say Hunter told investigators that he was responsible for Swalwell’s injuries.



Judge Orders Roadside Zoo To Close

MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) – A judge has ordered that bears, mountain lions, a camel, and other exotic animals be removed from an eastern Iowa roadside zoo.
In a ruling filed Sunday night, District Court Judge Monica Wittig
found the Cricket Hollow Zoo near Manchester to be a nuisance and that the exotic animals at the site must be placed at accredited sanctuaries or zoos.
Four plaintiffs sued to have the animals removed and the zoo owned by Pam and Tom Sellner closed. Pam Sellner had operated the zoo since 2002 despite repeated complaints that animals were mistreated.
During the trial, the judge toured the zoo and her ruling described improperly cared for goats and rams, bears that were “a very sad sight to see” and a baboon that was “the saddest and scariest” animal at the zoo.
A telephone call to the zoo rang unanswered.



Des Moines Bus System Awarded Federal Grant

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The federal government is awarding the Des Moines area bus system over $17 million for a new maintenance building.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday it would award $17.3 million to the Des Moines Regional Transit Authority for a new operations and maintenance facility. The transit authority wants to move its operations center from an area near downtown to an industrial area.
Amanda Wanke, the authority’s chief external affairs officer, told
The Des Moines Register the federal money was “the first step” toward those plans, with the total cost estimated at $68 million.
The Transportation Department also awarded $9.4 million toward the replacement of buses in rural areas of the state.
The grants were among $423 million that the Transportation
Department awarded across the country.