Le Mars Man Arrested Following Eluding Law Enforcement
(Le Mars)— The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that about 3:15 a.m. this morning (Friday) a deputy attempted a traffic stop on a 1995 Pontiac Firebird. The vehicle failed to stop and fled the deputy in and around the Le Mars area. The Le Mars Police Department assisted with the chase that covered about six miles and ended in the 35000 block of county road C-30, east of Le Mars, when the vehicle went into a ditch. At that time, the driver fled on foot into a corn field. Additional units were
dispatched including the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department to provide lighting. The Iowa State Patrol also assisted with additional man power. A search within the area was conducted on foot and with a K9 dog. After about an hour, the search was terminated. At approximately 8:45 a.m. this morning
a suspect was located by the Le Mars Police Department in the 600 Block of 4th Avenue Northeast. 35-year old Chase Kounkel of Le Mars was taken into custody by the officer and turned over to the Sheriff’s Office for charging.
During the arrest, Kounkel was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Kounkel was taken to the Plymouth County Jail and booked on the following charges including: driving while barred, an aggravated misdemeanor; eluding, an aggravated misdemeanor; possession of methamphetamine (3rd offense), Class D felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.
Chase Kounkel 35 years of age
Soybean Product Helps Remove Unwanted Graffiti
(Le Mars) — There may be a solution to vandals that have spray painted graffiti on many monuments, memorials, buildings, and other structures, across the nation, including here in Iowa, and it comes from the farm. A company based at Brooklyn, Iowa, has developed a product that removes graffiti paint from nearly any surface, including porous surfaces such as brick and concrete. Jeff Gard is with Natural Soy Products, and says their product is environmentally friendly, bio-degradable, and is derived from
Gard says his company recently sent some bulk volume product to Iowa City and the University of Iowa to be used to remove recent graffiti.
The Sioux City Grandview Park Bandshell was recently the target of graffiti.
Besides the graffiti remover, Gard says soybean oil is used for many industrial products.
Other industrial products derived from soybean oil includes a paint stripper, adhesive remover, concrete cleaner, and even an asphalt release agent. He says his graffiti remover product has been sent to Los Angeles to be used on the LA Post Office, as well as the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For a complete
listing of the products go to www.naturalsoyproducts.com.
Arnolds Park Amusement Park To Re-open
(Arnolds Park) — Arnolds Park Amusement Park in northwest Iowa’s Dickinson County is reopening today (Friday) after being closed nearly two weeks following a spike in local COVID-19 cases. The park’s marketing director Paul Plumb says staff felt comfortable reopening as new daily cases have come down
and recoveries are rising. Plumb says the biggest new change is visitors will be required to wear masks.
Plumb says, “Otherwise we’re still pushing social distancing,
asking people to wash their hands regularly and stay that six feet apart.”
Before the park temporarily closed June 13th, all staff were wearing masks, while visitors were only recommended to wear them. At last report, Dickinson County had 232 positive cases of COVID-19 with more than 90 people considered recovered.
Reynolds Signs Legislation That Expands Rural Broadband
(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that changes the rules for awarding state grants to businesses that promise to expand broadband service, but it provides no additional state money for the program.
The state will instead use $85 million in federal pandemic response money for broadband projects. That block of money is to be distributed based on federal guidelines.
If state legislators in the future provide more state money for broadband, Representative Ray “Bubba” Sorenson of Greenfield says up to 35 percent of the project costs can be covered by state funds.
“The Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Fund will award grants based on a competitive basis that is weighed towards providing faster speeds and serving the un-served and underserved areas,” Sorenson says.
Senator Rich Taylor says service at his home just outside of Mount Pleasant is very limited.
“If we really want to keep our kids out in our communities, we’ve got to provide better internet service for them,” Taylor says.
The new law Reynolds signed this week directs state officials to draw up new, more accurate maps showing broadband speeds so it’s clear where internet access is slow or non-existent.
Last year, the legislature provided $5 million for broadband expansion, half as much as Reynolds requested.
Iowa Teachers Union Disappointed School Guidance Does Not Recommend Masks
(Des Moines, IA) — The teachers union is disappointed new state guidelines for re-opening Iowa schools says face coverings should be allowed, but not required. Iowa State Education Association president Mike Beranek said, “with the explosion of cases being identified in various parts of our country, I simply cannot understand why we, as a state, would not recommend
P-P-E for our staff and our students.” Beranek is urging local school boards and administrators to not only require face coverings, but to ensure there’s adequate physical separation of students inside classrooms. Districts may set their own rules, but state officials say parents must be notified if district standards are stricter than the state guidelines. The Iowa Department of Education recommends against screening students and staff as
they arrive at school as people can be sick without having a fever. Beranek says he believes districts around the state will do the right thing.
25 Years Since Disappearance of Mason City TV Anchor Huisentruit
(Mason City, IA) — Saturday marks 25 years since the disappearance of KIMT-TV anchor Jodi Huisentruit. Authorities believe she was abducted from the parking lot of her Mason City apartment early on June 27th, 1995. Her body was never found and the case remains unsolved. Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says most people thought the mystery would have been solved by now. He says “our focus right now is still to make sure that we’re giving the case a periodic review and doing the things that we think are useful to that in terms of evaluating the evidence and some of those other things as time goes on.” Brinkley says they continue to get calls and investigators
follow up on the information. One person from the Mason City Police Department is actively assigned to the case and a D-C-I special agent is working with them. Chief Brinkley believes there are people they haven’t talked to yet that may have information that would be useful to the investigation. Organizers of the
website FindJodi-dot-com are asking people to leave a porch light on or light a candle the next few days in memory of Huisentruit.
Iowa’s Senators Urge EPA to Reject Small Refinery Exemptions
(Washington, DC) — Iowa’s U-S senators are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to reject petitions for small refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst led a bi-partisan letter to the EPA warning that granting the petition would worsen the unprecedented challenges facing the biofuels industry. The senators wrote, “these petitions should not even be entertained because they are inconsistent with the Tenth Circuit decision, Congressional intent, the EPA’s own guidance, and – most importantly – the interests of farmers and rural
communities who rely on the biofuel industry.”
Waterloo Man Accused of Stealing Car With 1-Year- Old Inside, Leading Police on Chase
(Waterloo, IA) — A Waterloo who led police on a chase with a one-year-old in the car is facing child endangerment and other charges. Police took a report of a stolen vehicle with a child inside early Thursday. Officers say 43-year-old Adam Warren led patrol cars on a high-speed pursuit before he was taken into custody. The one-year-old was recovered unharmed. Warren is
jailed for child endangerment, eluding and violation of a no-contact order.
The incident is still under investigation.