Thursday News, July 3
Fire Department Issues June Report
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has issued its monthly report for June. The Fire Department responded to a total of 37 calls for the month, of which 13 were fire calls, 6 rescue calls, ten investigations, and seven times the fire department had requests for services. The Le Mars Fire Department also responded to one mutual aid call to Merrill. During the month of June, the Fire Department conducted a joint training session with Dean's Foods regarding tornado safety. According to Chief Dave Schipper, members of the Sioux City Haz-mat team, Urban Search and Rescue team, Dean Foods Corporate supervisors, along with Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff, and the Le Mars Police Department attended that training seminar.
Remsen To Celebrate Quasquicentennial
(Remsen) -- The town of Remsen is set to celebrate its Quasquicentennial this weekend, and Karen Harnack serves as co-chair for the celebration. Harnack says the German-Luxemborg heritage town got its name from a visiting doctor.
Harnack says one of the more notable events for Remsen took place 78 years ago.
The quasquicentennial co-chair says Remsen wouldn't be Remsen if not for the annual Octoberfest.
The Plymouth County community has several events scheduled for the weekend celebration that begins tonight at 6:00 p.m. with the opening ceremonies on Main Street. Check the KLEM website for the complete Remsen Quasquicentennial itinerary.
Independence Day Holiday Weekend Means More Law Enforcement On Highways
(Le Mars) -- Independence Day means more traffic on the roads, and with the 4th of July falling on a Friday allowing for a three-day weekend, law enforcement agencies will be stepping up their presence on the highways. Iowa State Patrol trooper Vince Kurtz says Governor Branstad and the Governor's Safety Traffic Bureau have established a goal to have zero fatalities for the long holiday weekend.
Kurtz says so far this year, Iowa has had a low number of traffic fatalities.
The Iowa Highway Patrol officer says they will watch the holiday traffic for instances of speeding, seatbelt usage, distracted driving, and of course, intoxicated drivers.
Kurtz says motorists need to realize the Iowa Highway Patrol and other local law enforcement agencies are on the roads to enforce the laws, but to also offer assistance to motorists.
Rohde Reinstated By State Mortuary Board
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state has reinstated the license of a northwest Iowa funeral director who'd been convicted of theft and tax evasion.
55-year-old Mark Rohde, of Kingsley, admitted embezzling nearly $180,000 from a former partner in a Le Mars funeral home. His state funeral license was revoked in 2009 after he pleaded guilty to felony charges of theft and tax evasion.
The Iowa Board of Mortuary Science says in documents released Wednesday that Rohde had met all requirements it had set in 2009.
Sioux City Children Receive Free Meals
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - About 2,000 children each day are getting free meals in Sioux City through a program that provides breakfasts and lunches at schools and churches.
More children are getting nutritious meals through the Summer Food Service Program, offered by the Sioux City school district with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
It's the 12th year for the program, which expanded to five more schools this year. That has enabled organizers to provide food to about 700 more children daily than last year.
Rich Luze, the district's food service director, says the increased participation demonstrates the need for the program.
Server Julie Koetters says she enjoys interacting with children and seeing their smiling faces. She says it's clear many children need the free, nutritious meals.
Sioux City Man To Go To Trial For Dead 2 Year Old Son
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A trial has been scheduled for a Sioux City man charged with neglect after his 2-month-old son died.
The trial is set to begin Aug. 5 for 26-year-old Michael Williams.
Williams was arrested April 29 after taking his dead son to UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's hospital in Sioux City.
Court documents say he told investigators that he left his son unattended for long periods of time in his apartment. Investigators say the apartment was in poor condition. Two other children in the apartment were taken into protective custody.
97 Year Old Des Moines Man Dies From Beating
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say a 97-year-old Des Moines man was killed and his wife was injured during a home invasion.
Des Moines Police Sgt. Jason Halifax says officers responded to a property on the far east side of town after a woman called 911 and reported that a suspect had entered her home and assaulted her and her husband.
Police say Rupert Anderson, 97, and Harriet Anderson, 94, were taken to the hospital, where Rupert Anderson died. Harriet Anderson is in stable condition.
Halifax says witnesses and a possible suspect were brought to the police station for questioning.
Halifax says Anderson's death is the sixth homicide in Des Moines this year.
Fort Dodge Woman Pleads Guilty To Hatchet Slaying A Man
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A woman has pleaded guilty in connection to the hatchet slaying of a Fort Dodge man last year.
Holly Ekstrom submitted the plea Wednesday on aggravated misdemeanors of accessory after the fact and operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent.
Ekstrom said she saw Ronald Dilley kill 22-year-old Steven Fisher in July 2013. She admitted to driving Dilley away from the scene and disposing of evidence in the case.
Dilley is serving 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in the case. He earlier admitted to killing Fisher with a hatchet.
Ekstrom is scheduled to be sentenced Monday.
ACLU Director Resigns
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The leader of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa is resigning after 18 years of leading the organization.
The ACLU announced Wednesday that Executive Director Ben Stone planned to leave the position and return to practicing law. In a news release, Stone says the time is right to "return to fighting for justice one client at a time."
During Stone's tenure, the ACLU of Iowa has grown from three staff members to eight staff positions.
The organization has taken on issues dealing with voting rights, free speech, religious freedom, the fair treatment of sex offenders and other prisoners and the rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.
An interim director will be appointed while a search is launched for a permanent executive director.