Home News Saturday News, May 23rd

Saturday News, May 23rd


Iowa Announces Highest One Day Death Toll Related To Virus

(Des Moines) — The death toll from the coronavirus continues to rise in Iowa with 26 new deaths reported between 11:00 a.m. Friday to 11:00 a.m. Saturday.
The total number of deaths for Iowa is at 444. There were 387 new positive cases reported on Saturday, making the new tally at 16,795. There have been 9,188 people that have recovered from the virus. There are still 362 people that are hospitalized across the state because of COVID-19. The total people tested is at 119,462 with 4,192 new tests.



Courthouse Scheduled To Re-open To Public On June 1st

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Courthouse will be closed Monday, Memorial Day. However, officials have decided to re-open the courthouse the following Monday, on June 1, 2020 with regular Courthouse hours of 8 am to 5 pm, and providing all public services. The public is still being encouraged to
continue use county and court services online, or by phone, email, or video conference and to continue to use the USPS mail as much as possible. The secure drop box will still be available in the north lower level for use on weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm. It is still being recommended if at all possible, for the public to conduct their business with these alternative options and
to use in person options at the Courthouse if unable to otherwise, for the safety of the public and Courthouse employees during the COVID 19 pandemic.

The State of Iowa Clerk of Court office on the third floor of the Courthouse will be open to the public from 8 am to 4:30 pm beginning June 1, 2020.

At this time, the driver’s license department will operate by appointment only in the Courthouse Annex building on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays by calling 712-546-1663. The County Zoning and Sanitarian offices located in the Courthouse Annex are only open on Wednesdays from 8 am to 5 pm and the
Juvenile Court Services Office in the Courthouse Annex building is open from
8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

The public is being asked to use common sense and not to enter the Courthouse if they are sick with COVID 19 or have knowledge of being exposed to the coronavirus and need to quarantine. The public is being asked to use the CDC
and Public Health Department recommended sanitary guidance of protecting themselves while doing business in public places. Wearing of masks by the public is strongly recommended, upon entering the Plymouth County Courthouse.
Social distancing standards of remaining 6 feet apart from other members of the public while waiting for services will be required. There will be social distance floor markings and signs to direct members of the public when seeking services at each of the respective departments. Temperatures will not be taken before entering the Courthouse.



American Legion To Hold Memorial Day Program On KLEM

(Le Mars) — The traditional Memorial Day program by the American Legion Wasmer Post #241 of Le Mars will not be held at the Plymouth County Courthouse lawn.  However, a program will be offered through KLEM radio.  Listeners can tune into KLEM radio of Le Mars (1410-AM and 96.9-FM) at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 25th and hear Jim Rolfes recite his famous poem “Come Visit My Grave.”

The radio Memorial Day program will also feature Legion member Patrick Murphy as he will read the honor roll call of more than 1400 names of veterans with a connection to Le Mars.

The American Legion members still hope to have the flags on display at the Plymouth County Courthouse lawn and surrounding area on Monday, weather permitting.



Additional Charges Have Been Filed Involving Merrill Fatal Shooting Incident

(Le Mars) — Additional charges have been filed by Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond against the man arrested for the shooting death of 51-year old Kevin Juzek.  81-year old, Thomas Knapp, is being held at the Plymouth County Jail after authorities arrested him following the fatal shooting that occurred on May 11th, at  20139 Echo Road, west of Merrill.  Knapp is now being charged with Willful Injury Causing Bodily Injury.  Initially Knapp was charged with Domestic Abuse Assault While Using or Displaying A Dangerous Weapon, and two counts of Domestic Abuse Assault.  The charges are for actions taken against his wife.  The State Medical Examiner determined the fatal shooting of Juzek was considered as a homicide.

Thomas Knapp



County Courthouse To Be Open Saturday, May 30th For Absentee Voting

(Le Mars) — Primary Election in-person absentee voting will be available on Saturday, May 30th from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm in the Plymouth County Auditor’s office on 2nd floor of the Courthouse. Voters should use the north lower entrance into the Courthouse on Saturday. The secure drop box is also available in the north lower lobby from 7:30 to 3:30 on Saturday if a voter
wishes to drop off a voted absentee ballot. Any questions regarding Primary Election services offered by the Auditor’s office on Saturday May 30th, 2020, may be directed to the County Auditor and Commission of Election, Stacey Feldman at 712-546-6100.



Sioux Center Now Designated As A “Test Iowa” Site For COVID-19

(Des Moines, IA) — Governor Kim Reynolds is encouraging Iowans who have unsuccessfully tried to schedule a “Test Iowa” appointment for a COVID-19 screening to try again. The Test Iowa site in Sioux City closed Friday evening . Woodbury County has been a coronavirus hot spot, but Reynolds says
by now one out of 11 residents of the county had been tested. She said, “a majority of their tests are already being done by a local health care provider, so they are still going to have access to testing. This just gives us an opportunity to take that Test Iowa site and actually move it up to Sioux Center.” New Test Iowa sites will also open next week in Marshalltown, Council Bluffs and Burlington.



Farmers Get Good Start To This Year’s Crop, However There is Uncertainty With Renewable Fuels Industry

(Le Mars) — Farmers are off to a great start with regards to this year’s spring planting, with both corn and soybean planting nearly completed, and running at least a month ahead of last year’s pace. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says it is good to see farmers finally have a decent year in which to get their crops planted.

Naig says farmers were certainly benefited from having good weather conditions, but he also credits the fact there were no interruptions with delivering the farmer’s inputs, such as seed, fertilizer, and fuel.

The Iowa Agriculture Secretary says since people were urged to stay at home because of the COVID-19 virus, fuel was widely available, and prices fell, and distributors were able to deliver the fuel needs to farmers without many problems. However, Naig says the lack of driving has also negatively impacted Iowa’s renewable fuels industry, with many ethanol plants, including
Plymouth Energy at Merrill having to shut down, at least temporarily.

Naig says the loss of demand for ethanol has also affected the livestock industry, as distilled dried grains, a by-product of ethanol production, and a feed component for poultry, hogs, and cattle is becoming in short supply.
Naig believes the ethanol industry will be able to return, however, he says they will need some assistance.

Naig reminds people that much of Iowa’s corn production goes into ethanol production, and he is concerned about losing a significant market for our corn growers.



Iowa National Guard Announces Parade Route For Send-off Ceremony

(Johnston) — The Iowa National Guard will use a modified send-off ceremony for approximately 90 soldiers from Troop C, 1st Squadron “Red Horse,” 113th Cavalry Regiment from Le Mars. The send-off is scheduled for June 1, 2020.
Due to ongoing COVID-19 related public health concerns, the send-off ceremonies are not open to the public. The ceremonies will be livestreamed via social media. Local media is welcomed and encouraged to cover these events utilizing proper social distancing protocols.

An abbreviated send-off parade will be held immediately following the ceremony for each departing unit. Family and friends are encouraged to line the departure route to send these Soldiers off to active duty. Attendees should follow all Department of Transportation and Iowa Department of Public
Health guidelines while attending these parades.

In Le Mars, that parade will begin from the Iowa National Guard armory building. It will cross Highway 3 and go onto Park Lane through the Le Mars Municipal Park until it reaches 4th Avenue Northeast. The send-off parade for the troops will then go southwest until 6th Street, turning west on 6th Street to Central Avenue. The National Guard parade will follow Central Avenue, heading south, until 18th Street. At 18th Street, it will turn
right, or west, and drive to Hawkeye Avenue or Business Highway 75 and make a left hand turn heading south until it reaches Highway 75.



COVID-19 Cases in Iowa Top 16K, 18 More Deaths

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting 454 new cases of COVID-19, increasing the state total to 16-thousand-408. Iowa’s death toll rose to 418 after 18 more patients died from coronavirus. State health officials say 376 Iowans are hospitalized with COVID-19, 125 patients
are in intensive care units and 80 are on ventilators. More than 89-hundred Iowans are no longer in isolation. Four-thousand-552 people have been tested in the last 24 hours. There are now 36 coronavirus outbreaks in Iowa’s long-term care facilities.



John Deere Reports 18-Percent Drop in Sales and 41-Percent Net Income

(Moline, IL) — Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer is reporting foul financial news. Quad Cities-based John Deere reports net sales for the second quarter fell 18-percent while net income plummeted from one-point-one billion dollars a year ago to nearly 666-million this quarter. That’s a drop of 41-percent. With the pandemic, a Deere news release says the company’s
top priorities are to safeguard the health and well-being of employees while fulfilling obligations to customers. Production is halted at Deere’s factories in Dubuque and Davenport that make construction and forestry equipment.



DNR Recommends Social Distancing While Using Boat For Weekend Activities

(Des Moines) — Lakes and rivers are often full on Memorial Day, as many people get their boats out for the first time. Iowa D-N-R boating law administrator Susan Stocker says the desire to get out on the water is probably going to be higher than normal this year.

Stocker says you should continue to follow social distancing
rules on the water — and only allow your immediate family in the boat.

She says when you are at a fuel dock or loading and launching your boat, continue to maintain the six feet social distancing. She says you should stay away from some of the tractional things people do, such as landing on a sandbar and gathering — or doing what’s called “rafting.”

Stocker says the standard rules still apply whenever you are

Life jackets are required to be worn by anyone under 12 years of age when the boat is moving. Stocker also reminds everyone that you can be stopped and arrested for drunk boating.


Stocker’s final piece of advice is to plan ahead.

She says continue to follow the social distancing requirements at the launch area as you start and end the day.