Home News Tuesday News, March 31st

Tuesday News, March 31st


COVID19 Cases Rise To Above 400 – 6 Iowa Deaths

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials say the coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of two more Iowa residents, raising the state death toll to six.
The Iowa Public Health Department says in a news release that it’s been notified of 88 more positive COVID-19 tests, taking the state total to 424.
Nearly 6,200 people have tested negative for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The two dead people were described as age 81 or older. One lived in Linn County, the other in Washington County. The state reported 38 new cases Sunday and the fourth death of an Iowa resident.



Linn County Nursing Facility Has 21 Cases Of Coronavirus

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An outbreak of the coronavirus at an eastern Iowa long-term care facility has infected 21 residents and employees. The outbreak at the Cedar Rapids facility has contributed to a recent surge of infections in Linn County, which on Monday became the county in Iowa with the most cases. Linn County Public Health spokeswoman Heather Meador would not
identify the affected facility, saying that could jeopardize the privacy of its residents. She said state and local public health officials were working with the facility’s corporate owner to monitor the situation, including the health of residents and safety of employees.



Woman’s Body Identified Following Winterset Home Fire

WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) – Officials say the body of a 64-year-old woman was found by firefighters after they put out a blaze at a house in south-central Iowa. Madison County authorities say the fire erupted Saturday night at a residence just west of Winterset. Station KCCI reports that the body’s been identified as that of Debra Robinson. The cause of her death and of the fire
are being investigated.



Pleasantville Church Destroyed From Fire

PLEASANTVILLE, Iowa (AP) – Firefighters are battling hot spots following a fire that gutted a church in south-central Iowa. Crews from several departments were dispatched to the Pleasantville Christian Church in Pleasantville before 6 a.m. Monday. They battled to keep flames from reaching nearby homes and had to truck in water because the community supply was too
limited. The intense heat melted siding on some of those houses. By midmorning smoke was still escaping from the building, and bricks were strewn about near the foundation and on a sidewalk. No injuries have been reported. The fire cause will be investigated.



County Board Of Supervisors To Hold Bid Letting On Construction Projects

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will again hold its weekly meeting at the basement of the Courthouse Annex Building, that is so they can keep their separation distances due to the coronavirus. The county governing board has a short agenda. County engineer, Tom Rohe will appear before the county supervisors to open some bid letting regarding construction projects.



Le Mars Community School District Offering Free Lunches

(Le Mars) — Many area school districts, including the Le Mars Community School District, are offering free lunches to students during this time when schools are temporarily recessed due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Judy Lubben serves as the Director of Food Services for the Le Mars Community School District and is overseeing the local “Grab and Go” lunch distribution program. Lubben says it is set up similar to the summer-based lunch program.

Lubben says, so far, her staff has created about half the number of daily lunches for the “Grab and Go” program as would be for the regular school lunch menu served if school was in session.

The school district food service director believes the program will grow, especially, if the threat of the coronavirus continues. Lubben says the lunches are available to any student in Le Mars, and not limited to just those attending Le Mars Community.

Lubben says the meals are free to the students, as the program is being financed through a grant with the U-S Department of Agriculture.

Lubben says the qualifications for the free lunch are fairly simple.

The Le Mars program serves both breakfast and lunches, and are offered at Clark Elementary and the Le Mars Community High School at their respective loading docks. Lubben says this week the lunches have consisted of cold sandwiches, but next week, her staff will begin serving hot meals.

In addition to Le Mars, Kingsley-Pierson and the MMCRU school district are also offering free lunches through the “Grab and Go” program.



Driver Charged With Vehicular Homicide And Other Charges Following Death From Accident

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) – A driver has been charged with the crash death of a boy in northern Iowa’s Floyd County. Court records say Jesse Blade is charged with vehicular homicide while intoxicated and with other crimes. His attorney didn’t immediately return a call Tuesday from The Associated Press.
Blade’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday. The crash happened in Rudd on Oct. 26. The Iowa State Patrol has said Blade didn’t halt his car at a stop sign and rammed into the passenger side of a minivan. The crash killed 9-year-old Royce Fisher, who lived in Sioux City. Officials say Blade lives
in Charles City.



Judges Rule On No Abortions During COVID-19 Directive

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Federal judges in Texas, Alabama and Ohio have temporarily blocked efforts to ban abortions during the coronavirus pandemic.
The rulings Monday were handed down as providers in Iowa and Oklahoma filed lawsuits to stop states from trying to close their doors during the outbreak.  Their aim is to stop state officials from prohibiting abortions as part of temporary policy changes related to the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of Texas said the “Supreme Court has spoken
clearly” on a women’s right to abortion. A separate judge in Ohio says such orders are unconstitutional if they prohibit abortions.