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Thursday News, November 19th

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Le Mars Civil Service Commission To Deliver Decision On Former Police Officer Jeremy Singer During Hearing Scheduled Today

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Civil Service Commission will convene this morning at 9:00 a.m. inside the Le Mars City Council Chambers to conclude the hearing regarding the termination of former Le Mars police officer Jeremy Singer.
The commission is expected to render their decision as to whether the city and Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte was within their rights to fire Singer. Officer Singer was terminated from his position as a police officer after it was brought to the attention of some objectionable and negative social media postings were attributed to Jeremy Singer. During Monday’s
opening hearing, Singer had stated that many of the social media postings were done prior to the time he was hired as a Le Mars Police officer. The city contends the social media postings are a determent to the Le Mars Police Department.

 

 

 

Judge Orders For Clean Up Of Property

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County has sought court action against a family that has been determined to be in violation with county zoning laws regarding the collection of salvage. Judge Dan Vakulskas has ordered Justin Harms of 18083 Iris Avenue to remove his collection of salvage. Plymouth County Board
of Supervisors chairman Don Kass says the issue has been a problem for several years.

Kass says, in past years, the county had agreements with the Harms and allowed for a generous timeline for the family to sell their salvage collection, and to begin cleaning the property. However, Kass says Harms did not follow up, and ignored the previous agreements, and has since added more salvage items.

According to the court order, the Harms have until December 31, 2020 to remove all salvage material. If they fail to comply with the order, the judgement says Plymouth County can enter the premises without further court order and remove all items that can be classified as “junk.” Harms will be responsible for all costs of the cleanup, even if the county performs the cleanup process.

 

 

 

Plymouth County To Sell County Owned Property

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County is looking to sell the property located at 1240 Lincoln Street Northeast, along Highway 3 on the eastern edge of Le Mars.
The property serves as a housing facility and is currently being leased by Pride Group for its clients. Don Kass, the chairman of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors explains why the county wishes to sale the property.

Kass says selling the building will allow for a better living conditions for clients, should Pride Group becomes the next owner.

Kass says anyone can bid on the property, and he tells of some of the interested parties that have shown interest.

The county board of supervisors chairman says the county has not yet established a timeline for the transaction of property.

 

 

 

Iowa Department Of Transportation To Close Hinton Street 

(Hinton) — The Iowa Department of Transportation has announced that on Friday, November 20th, they will close Starview Drive in Hinton and open Titan Road to accommodate the paving project of U-S Highway 75.

 

 

 

Patient Numbers At Iowa’s Largest Hospital Higher Than Ever – But There’s Still Room

(Des Moines, IA) — The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has never had so many patients. Last week, the state’s largest hospital had an average of 60 hospitalizations per day due to COVID-19. It peaked at 93 Wednesday.
C-E-O Suresh Gunasekaran says it’s a challenging situation, but there are still beds available. The U-I-H-C has a surge plan that includes adding more intensive care unit beds. It now has 116. He briefed the Iowa Board of Regents Wednesday about the situation as the number of positive test results continues to surge.

 

 

 

Record 40 COVID-19 Deaths in Iowa, 1527 Hospitalizations

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting a daily record of 40 deaths from COVID-19 complications. The latest fatalities bring the state’s death toll to two-thousand-64. The one-thousand-527 Iowans in the hospital being treated for coronavirus is also a new record. Two-
hundred-34 of those patients are in intensive care units and 134 are on ventilators. Three-thousand-896 new positive COVID tests were confirmed, increasing the total to 194-thousand-479 cases since the pandemic began.
There are currently COVID outbreaks at 94 long-term care facilities in Iowa.
More than 94-hundred tests contributed to the latest numbers.

 

 

 

New Restrictions to Reduce Attendance at Iowa Football Championships

(Cedar Falls, IA) — New COVID-19 restrictions from Governor Kim Reynolds will sharply limit attendance at this week’s state football championship games. There’ll be a maximum of 300 people compared to last week’s allowance for 24-hundred spectators for each semi-final game. The championship round
for six levels of high school football are Thursday and Friday at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls.  Remsen St. Mary’s Hawks will play in the 8-man state football championship beginning at 10 a.m.  Play-by-play of the action can be heard on Y101.3 ( a sister station to KLEM).

 

 

 

Reynolds Orders Flags at Half-Staff in Honor of Late US Senator Roger Jepsen

(Des Moines, IA) — Flags in Iowa will be flying at half-staff Thursday in honor and remembrance of former U-S Senator and Lieutenant Governor Roger Jepsen. He died last Friday at a hospice facility in Bettendorf at age 91.
Jepsen was lieutenant governor from 1969 to 1973 and served in the U-S Senate from 1979 to 1985. Governor Reynolds said about Jepsen in a statement, “throughout his political career, he championed lower taxes, a strong national defense, and was an influential voice for our farmers. My prayers go out to his family and loved ones, and I join all Iowans in commemorating the
legacy he leaves behind.” There’s a private funeral for Jepsen in Davenport.

 

 

 

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Not Seeking Re-Election

(Des Moines, IA) — Nine months after he took on the pressure-packed job, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party says he won’t seek re-election.
Mark Smith took over in February, right after the chaos of the party’s presidential caucuses. He submitted a written statement Wednesday highlighting the significant growth in the number of registered Democrats in the state. Smith also touched on record early voting and statewide organizing efforts. He will stay on the job until January when a new chair is elected. Because of major losses among state and local candidates, Smith says it’s time for the party to “rebuild, retool and re-energize.”

 

 

 

Department Of Corrections Announces 2 Deaths From COVID-19 At State Prisons

(Anamosa, IA) — The Iowa Department of Corrections has announced two deaths from COVID-19-related issues at the two prison facilities. Officials say 64-year-old inmate Robert Sirovy died at the Anamosa State Penitentiary.
The second death was a staff member at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville. The Mitchellville death marks the first time it was announced an I-D-O-C staff member has died due to COVID-19. The virus has infected more than three-thousand people in the state prison system, resulting in nine deaths.

 

 

 

Parents Charged With Child Endangerment After 2-Year-Old Shoots Mom

(Dyersville, IA) — Authorities in Dyersville are charging the parents of a two-year-old who shot his mom with child endangerment. Investigators say 23-year-old Logan Keller and 21-year-old Meriah Carlyle left a loaded handgun on a bedside table. They say the child found the gun, then accidentally shot
his mother two weeks ago. She had to be airlifted to an Iowa City hospital.
Police say both parents were in the bedroom with the little boy but didn’t notice he had picked up the weapon until it fired.