Home News Thursday Afternoon News, April 2nd

Thursday Afternoon News, April 2nd


Rollover Accident Send Two To Hospital

(Le Mars) — Emergency crews responded to a one-vehicle roll-over accident that happened this morning about eight miles west of Le Mars on County Road C-38, near the Huron Avenue intersection. The accident was reported at about 9:48 a.m. Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Rick Singer tells what occurred.

Singer says two people were injured during the accident, a male and a female.  They have now been identified as 33 year old Corey Jurrens of Le Mars, and his passenger 32-year old Heather Ortmann also of Le Mars.
Neither are believed to have life threatening injuries.  Singer did not indicate the severity of the injuries. However, he confirmed
that both victims were conscious and talking with firefighters and EMT officials. Singer also confirmed Mercy Air Care helicopter was initially called to the scene, but was unable to attend. Both victims were transported directly to MercyOne hospital in Sioux City. The accident remains under investigation by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.  Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.  The vehicle has been listed as a total loss.  Responding to the scene were the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, Le Mars Ambulance
Services, Merrill Fire Department, Merrill Ambulance, Iowa State Patrol and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.



City Officials Announce Playground Equipment Are Closed

(Le Mars) — City officials have announced that all public playground equipment, basketball courts and restrooms will be closed effective immediately, until further notice.
City administrator Jason Vacura says, during this closure, the public is asked to self-regulate while continuing to use Le Mars parks. The City of Le Mars will continue to monitor and may reevaluate the usage of other City park amenities. Equipment will be taped off and signs posted. Residents and visitors are asked to please comply with the temporary closures and do their
part to practice social distancing guidelines.



Coronavirus Takes A Toll On Unemployed Workers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – More than 58,000 people filed unemployment claims in Iowa last week as efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus took a toll on the state’s economy. Iowa Workforce Development reported Thursday that there were 58,453 claims for unemployment insurance filed last week. The figures came after a surge of nearly 42,000 claims last week. Nationally, more than 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. The largest number of Iowa claims were from workers in accommodation and food service businesses, which saw 12,519 people seek benefits.



Governor Reynolds Expected To Make Announcement Soon Regarding Schools

(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds will soon make clear how the school year may end for Iowa’s K-through-12 students. Reynolds was asked about the issue during a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.
In mid-March, Reynolds recommended that schools suspend classes until Monday, April 13th. President Trump has extended federal social distancing guidelines until April 30th and urging Americans not to gather in groups.
Reynolds says her day started with a meeting to examine how students may be able to take classes online for the remainder of the school year.

Last week, the Iowa Department of Education changed rules so schools now may issue grades and credits for classes completed online.

What’s going on in NEIGHBORING STATES? Wisconsin’s governor ordered his state’s schools to close, with no date set
for reopening. School buildings in Kansas are closed for the rest of the school year. Schools in South Dakota, Minnesota and Illinois are currently closed at least through the end of April. All schools in Missouri and Nebraska are closed and the governors of those two neighboring states are allowing local districts to decide when to reopen.



Iowa Business Council Survey Shows Downturn In Economy

(Des Moines) –– A quarterly survey of the state’s largest businesses released today (Thursday) predictably plummeted after months of positive news. Iowa Business Council executive director, Joe Murphy, says their overall economic outlook index fell to 37-point-five.

The I-B-C has 22 members representing many of the top decision-makers at major Iowa employers. Murphy says the drop has to be considered in the context of the coronavirus.

He says right now companies are doing what they need to do to get through the pandemic.

He says businesses were in a good spot heading into the pandemic, and the biggest thing facing them now is the uncertainty of how long it will last.

Heading into the pandemic the biggest concern for businesses was finding enough qualified employees in a time of record-low unemployment. Murphy says that will still be a problem once restrictions are lifted.

He says the federal government action thus far is a positive for business.

The Economic Outlook Survey has been completed by I-B-C members on a quarterly basis since 2004 to gauge projected trends for the state, which can be used for business and economic planning.



Man Sentenced To 40 Years In Prison Following DNA Match 

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – A man whose DNA linked him to Dubuque sexual assaults reported years ago has been given 40 years in prison. Martel Fountain Sr. was sentenced earlier this week. He’d pleaded guilty. Court documents say Fountain assaulted three women in 2011 after forcing his way into their
homes. The documents say another was raped in 2014 after Fountain forced her into her garage. A DNA sample taken from Fountain in March 2018 after his arrest in a federal drug case linked him to the four Dubuque assaults. DNA information from those four cases had been filed in an FBI database.