Home News Saturday News, September 26th

Saturday News, September 26th


Hinton Schools To Implement Hybrid Education Program Schedule

(Hinton) — The Hinton School District is shifting classes for grades 7-12 to hybrid learning Monday because of cases of Covid-19 in the district.
The hybrid model will be used for a minimum of two weeks.
Pre-Kindergarten through 6th grade students will remain on-site.
Parents were e-mailed the plan on the Monday-Wednesday and tuesday-Thursday schedule.
Any non-quarantined student may come in on Fridays for extra assistance by e-mailing their teacher and setting up a time to meet.
All students have access to the internet from school parking lots.
The school district cancelled Friday night’s football game with West Sioux because of a lack of available players.




Le Mars Man Found Guilty Of Stealing Government Funds

(Sioux City) — A Le Mars, Iowa man who stole government funds using a COVID-19 unemployment scheme pled guilty today in federal court in Sioux City.
Dennis George Chinn, age 54, from Le Mars, Iowa, was convicted of theft of government funds.
In a plea agreement, Chinn admitted to falsely reporting his income, stating it was $150 per week so he could get an additional $600 weekly payment, and fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits related to COVID-19 relief funds to which he was not entitled. In total, Chinn obtained over $13,000 in COVID-19 pandemic CARES Act Iowa unemployment funds.
Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Chinn remains free on bond pending sentencing. Chinn faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons and was investigated by the United States Department of Labor and the Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.




Dave Hill Honored For Boss Of The Quarter

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce awarded its latest “Boss of the Quarter” honors Friday morning. Dave Hill of Total Motors was nominated by the employees of Total Motors. In the nomination, it reads: Dave Hill has helped shape what Total Motors is today. Not only through organizational development, but through actual physical development as well. During the new facility building project, you could find Dave working tirelessly morning and night on making Total Motors what it is today. During these hours you could find him doing a variety of things from operating equipment, shoveling rocks, sweeping floors, placing ceiling tiles, inspecting work, all while transitioning to run dealership operations during the working day. His leadership example has never been to sit behind a desk and tell you what he wants done. Instead, his display of leadership has been to lead by example, which he has continued to do since his time with Total Motors. His years of experience and skills has been essential and has helped shape our culture which has created a pleasant and welcoming experience for our employees and customers. Dave Hill displays selflessness outside of work with the Knights of Columbus, his local church and countless fundraisers and volunteer projects. It is nothing abnormal to see Dave helping someone out by organizing a fundraiser meal and cook for 200 plus people. At times, his expectations may seem high, only because he is pushing us to become better versions of who we are able to become. Dave is a big reason why Total Motors has been able to grow and become who we are today. Our congratulations go to Dave Hill for being named the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce 3rd Quarter Boss of the Quarter award.




Sioux County Health Officials Meet With Sioux County Educators

(Sioux Center) — Administrators from the four Sioux County health systems met with leaders from each of the county schools and colleges via a Zoom call on Friday to discuss the current status of the coronavirus outbreak in the region. Sioux County is currently experiencing a COVID-19 “positivity rate” of 30 percent, higher than any other county in Iowa. Positivity is the percent of people who test positive among those tested for COVID-19.

The meeting was called to provide educators information regarding the status of hospitalizations in the county and the region, and to urge the schools to adopt or continue to maintain measures to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Each of the four Sioux County hospitals – Hawarden Regional Healthcare, Hegg Health Center at Rock Valley, Sioux Center Health, and Orange City Area Health Systems – are currently caring for COVID-positive inpatients. Some of the more acute patients who would typically be transferred to larger hospitals (in Sioux Falls and Sioux City) are being cared for locally due to a full capacity in those hospitals. In addition, each of the county health systems is experiencing some level of staffing challenges because of employees being quarantined.

While the county health system administrators expressed confidence that the majority of COVID patients can receive the care they need in their local hospitals, they are asking for county schools and colleges to help slow the spread of the virus during this outbreak. The specific “asks” include:

1. Mandate facial coverings/masks at every possible level to help reduce the viral load/spread

2. Maintain recommended physical distancing protocols in all indoor facilities

3. Continue to promote hand hygiene, and measures to sanitize/clean surfaces.

Education leaders were also asked to adhere to public health guidelines, and to set a good example in their communities.
Hospital administrators affirmed that close contact during indoor activities presents the highest risk for spread of the virus. While that has always been the case – and public health guidelines have, for some time, included the use of face masks and social distancing – the current capacity situation in county and regional hospitals calls for a more urgent response.

State epidemiologists have looked at the positivity rate of COVID-19 cases in Sioux County and have not identified a specific source for the outbreak. To help slow “community spread,” healthcare leaders are not only urging schools to enact measures including masks and physical distancing, but all churches, businesses, residents, and visitors in the county to observe them as well – with the ultimate goal to protect those most vulnerable to becoming ill and requiring hospitalization.




Highway 75 Reconstruction Paving Project On Schedule

(Sioux City) — Reconstruction of the southbound lanes of a five mile stretch of Highway 75 near Hinton is said to be on schedule.  Dakin Schultz, of the Iowa Department of Transportation says paving of the highway will begin shortly.

Schultz says even if we run into a stretch of rain, the project should still finish on time before the onset of winter.

Schultz says the resurfacing of another southbound stretch of Highway 75 will begin about a week into October.

One of the southbound lanes of the highway will remain open during that work.