Home News Tuesday Afternoon News, May 26th

Tuesday Afternoon News, May 26th


Le Mars Police Remind Residents Of City’s Fireworks Ordinance

(Le Mars) — Fireworks can be sold in Iowa starting on June 1st, but residents of Le Mars need to know the city council approved a new ordinance last year that narrows the window for the discharge of fireworks. Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte says there are only three days surrounding Independence Day that allow fireworks to be discharged within the city

The Le Mars Police Chief says fireworks can only be discharged from private property.

Vande Vegte says other places forbidden to discharge fireworks would include school grounds and vacant lots. He says the Le Mars ordinance also sets a time frame in which fireworks are allowed.




Property Taxes Are Now Due

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Treasurer, Shelly Sitzmann, reminds property owners that the second-half property taxes are still currently due. Governor Reynolds, in her COVID-19 Proclamation, waived all interest and penalty through June 27, 2020. Starting June 28th, penalty will be assessed to any unpaid property taxes.

Taxes can be paid by dropping off at the courthouse in the drop box located in the entrance, paying online, or through the mail.

Delinquent interest of 1.5% per month rounded to the nearest dollar attaches to all unpaid taxes on June 27, 2020 and an additional 1.5% penalty each succeeding month thereafter.

Anyone who needs information on property taxes should contact the Plymouth County Treasurer’s office at 546-7056.




Le Mars Community Agriculture Instructor Honored

(Le Mars) — The Iowa Association of Agricultural Educators is proud to announce Danielle James, agriculture teacher from     Le Mars Community School as the Northwest District Outstanding Young Member for 2020. This award was established as means to encourage young teachers to remain in the profession and to encourage and recognize participation in professional activities. It is awarded to an outstanding young agricultural educator in each district in Iowa. James has earned this honor in 2020 for her work in building and sustaining the agriculture and FFA in her career at Le Mars. A plaque is typically awarded at the annual Iowa Association Agricultural
Educators Summer Conference in June, this year arrangements will be made for James to receive the award. Congratulations on behalf of the Iowa Association of Agricultural Educators.



Reynolds Allows Bars and Lounges To Re-open

(Des Moines) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says she is ready to allow additional businesses to open later this week. During her daily briefing, Reynolds says bars and lounges will be able to resume business, although, like restaurants, they must maintain a 50 percent capacity.

Reynolds also is allowing for sports and recreational activities to resume as of June 1st.

The governor is also allowing spectators to watch sporting events, but with social distancing in place.

Reynolds says with the privilege also comes the responsibility to keep safe measures in place.



Reynolds Discontinues Moratorium On Foreclosures And Evictions

(Des Moines) — Governor Reynolds says while many relief efforts will continue, the moratorium on foreclosures, evictions, and other debt activities will quit as of midnight Wednesday evening.

Reynolds says eligibility requirements will be provided in the near future, including income restrictions.



Another Tyson Plant Worker in Waterloo Dies of COVID-19

(Waterloo, IA) — COVID-19 is blamed for the death of another worker at the Tyson Foods plant in Waterloo. Forty-four-year-old Jose Ayala died at St. Luke’s Hospitals in Cedar Rapids Monday after being hospitalized six weeks.
Friend and co-worker Zach Medhaug confirmed Ayala’s death and says he was in the room at the time. Medhaug said on Facebook “Today Jose has gone in peace to be with his mother. May you Rest In Peace my friend.” Ayala is said to be the fifth worker at the plant to die from coronavirus. Tyson issued statement saying, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of any Tyson team
member and are keeping the family in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. Tyson Foods’ top priority is the health and safety of our team members.” The company says it has put in place “a host of protective steps at our facilities that meet or exceed C-D-C and OSHA guidance for preventing COVID-19.”



Iowa Nursing Homes Face Shortfall in Medicaid Reimbursement

(West Des Moines, IA) — The head of the trade association for long-term care facilities in Iowa says 52 percent of nursing home operating income is dependent on Medicaid payments. Iowa Health Care Association C-E-O Brent Willett says due to Medicaid reimbursement rates, there’s a 32-million dollar shortfall in the state. Willett said “the Medicaid system was designed never
for facilities to make a dollar on Medicaid. It was designed to cover the cost of an Iowan receiving care, so that facility could do that.” There are currently 37 COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities. The recent federal CARES Act temporarily boosted federal Medicaid reimbursement rates.



EF-1 Tornado Touches Down in Polk County, Downing Trees and Powerlines

(Johnston, IA) — Clean-up is underway in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston after an EF-1 tornado touched down about 6:30 Monday night. Meteorologist Roger Vachalek at the National Weather Service says the twister was relatively weak and only lasted about three minutes, but still caused plenty of trouble. He says the estimated winds were 95 miles-per-hour, it traversed
about one-point-six miles of Johnston and the maximum width of it was 50 yards. Large trees were uprooted with some limbs tearing down utility lines as they fell, while several houses had damage to roofs and siding. There were no injuries reported. Vachalek says there’s the potential for more severe weather this afternoon and evening.



Wind Gusts Sparked Hog Barn Fire in Dubuque County

(Dubuque County, IA) — Investigators say severe weather started a hog barn fire Monday night in Dubuque County. The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office says firefighters from New Vienna and Holy Cross responded to the fire along
Highway 52 North about 7:30. A hog barn owned by James and Joseph Schieltz lost its roof due to high winds during the storm. The roof blew onto another hog building, causing the second hog building to collapse onto a nursery building. The nursery building caught fire, and a fourth building sustained exposure damages. All 300 hogs in the nursery building were lost, as well as
some hogs in the second hog building. Total damages are estimated at 250-thousand dollars.