Home News Thursday News, February 6th

Thursday News, February 6th


Police Department Holds Town Hall Meeting

(Le Mars) — Nearly 60 people attended last evening’s town hall meeting hosted by the Le Mars Police Department. The event was at the Le Mars Convention Center and several people were interested in knowing about scams, active shooting incidents, and about the new school resource officer.
Officer John Vickery serves as the school resource officer and he informed the gathering he visits each school every day. Vickery says, at first, the students were uncertain and apprehensive to approach him. However, Vickery informed the interested crowd that as time progressed, the students have gotten accustomed to him, and have approached him with issues and concerns.
Vickery says he never sets a pattern with his school visits, and he never parks in the same location. He says one aspect of the position that was overlooked when he began his duties as the school resource officer is how much he has interacted with the teachers to assist with classes. He says teachers have asked him to discuss the dangers of smoking, alcohol, and drug use with their classes, as well as other topics of concern for students. Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte informed the people about scams, and reiterated that a person should never give out any personal information to phone calls, email messages, or mail. He says often times it is difficult to retrieve any money that is lost due to a scam. Vande Vegte says the scammer will be a slick salesperson that will touch your emotions in order to get you to send money. He says the best method to fight scams in to
simply hang up the phone, delete the email, or throw away the scams that come through the mail. Vande Vegte says one thing that is usually certain is if you fall victim to a scam, it is very likely you will be targeted again.

Assistant Police Chief Justin Daale and Senior Officer Jeff Kramer discussed active shooting incidents with the gathering. Kramer and Daale says it doesn’t need to be a shooting incident with a gun. It can also be a person with a knife, or other type of weapon. The two police officers says the one thing that is common with an active incident is the perpetrator has a plan,
and the individual is intent to having large numbers of fatalities and causalities. Both officers say there is no negotiation with a person that is intent to cause harm. They emphasized when an incident happens, you need to react by leaving the scene if possible, or causing a distraction to the criminal subject, and sometimes you may need to confront the subject and
throw anything at the individual. Daale says one of the worst things to do is to remain in the vicinity. He used the Virgina Tech shooting episode as an example saying the individual anticipated people to hide under a desk, and he walked up to them and shot them.




City Council Approves CVB Grants

(Le Mars) — During Tuesday’s Le Mars city council meeting, the city council approved the grant applications through the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The city’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau tourism committee received three qualifying grant applications requesting a total of $11,737 in funding for the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget year. The approved organizations for funding include: Plymouth County Cyclists for “Tour de Plymouth 2021” ride expenses amounting to $1,000. The Junior Golf of Northwest Iowa requested funding for the “National Collegiate Golf Championship” with anticipated expenses of $5,000. The Le Mars Arts Council requested funding for “American Watercolor Society Art Exhibit with the amount of $1,240. The Convention and Visitors Bureau Tourism Committee previously identified six
organizations that continually perpetuate tourism growth within our community and recommend the funding that includes: Plymouth County Pioneer Village Christmas at $2,500. Plymouth County Cyclists with “Frosty Cross” at $3,000. Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau with “Group Tour Initiatives” at $7,500. Plymouth County Fair with $7,000. Le Mars Area
Chamber of Commerce “Ice Cream Days” at $7,500. and the city of Le Mars with “Community Enhancements” was approved for $7,500. Based on the 2021 estimates, the Hotel-Motel Tax funds will total approximately $170,000.



Buttigieg and Sanders Nearly Tied After Iowa Caucus

WASHINGTON (AP) – New results from the Iowa Democratic caucuses show Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders nearly tied with almost all the votes counted.
But the race remained too early to call early Thursday with 97% of precincts reporting. Party officials were scrambling to verify the remaining results three days after Iowans gathered at caucus sites across the state to begin choosing which Democrat will take on President Donald Trump in November.
Buttigieg has a lead over Sanders of three state delegate equivalents out of 2,098 counted. The deadlocked contest gave both a burst of momentum as they seek to pull away from the crowded field.



Mapleton Shooting Victim Now Identified

MAPLETON, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have identified the victim of a deadly shooting in western Iowa as a 16-year-old boy from Mapleton. The Iowa Department of Public Safety on Wednesday said Joseph Hopkins was killed in the shooting Friday night in Mapleton, about 40 miles southeast of Sioux City. Mapleton police and medical crews found Hopkins’ body after responding
to a 911 call about a shooting. An autopsy conducted Monday by the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office determined Hopkins died of a single gunshot wound. Investigators haven’t made any arrests. Officials said they don’t think there is a danger to the public in connection with the shooting.



Des Moines Man Charged With Assault After Fighting With Police Officers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A suspect shot while struggling with Des Moines police officers has been charged with assault. Polk County court records say 34-year-old Ryan Matthews is charged with two counts of assault on an officer and one of harassment. The court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for him. Officers were sent Friday to an apartment to check a report about a domestic dispute involving a threat. The
court records say Matthews charged Officer Charlie Negrete with a stick when he arrived at the apartment. Officer Alycia Peterson use a stun gun on Matthews, but he grabbed her.



Robbery Charge Added To Man Accused Of Killing Brothers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Another robbery charge has been filed against two men suspected of killing two brothers and a teenage friend at a southeast Des Moines duplex. Emmanuel Totaye Jr. and Daishawn Gills already are charged with murder and robbery connected to last Thursday’s shootings. Polk
County court records don’t list the names of lawyers for them. Police said in news release Wednesday that the two assaulted and robbed a juvenile at his home earlier on the day of the shootings. Totaye and Gills are accused of killing 19-year-old Devonte and 16-year-old Malachi Swanks and a friend,
15-year-old Thayne Wright.



Senator Ernst Comments On Speaker Pelosi Ripping Up Copy Of State Of The Union Address

(Washington) — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, is not pleased with Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s action to tear up a copy of the President’s speech right after he finished the State of the Union.

Ernst says it was not appropriate.

Some of the trying times that Ernst refers to is the impeachment hearings.
She says she will vote against impeachment when it comes before the U-S Senate.

Ernst was also asked about the issues with the Iowa Caucuses during her weekly conference call with reporters. She doesn’t buy into any conspiracy theories about what happened.

She says the Iowa Caucuses are still important in the selection of the president.

Ernst says she will continue to defend the process because she believes it puts the candidates through a rigorous test with all the questions they face in the state.