Home News Wednesday Afternoon News, July 22nd

Wednesday Afternoon News, July 22nd


Fatal Grain Bin Accident Victim Now Identified

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County authorities have identified the man who died as a result of a grain bin accident as 65-year old Daniel Cronin of rural Le Mars.




Arts Center Offers Update To City Council

(Le Mars) — Le Mars city council members were given an update from the Le Mars Arts Center during the city council meeting held Tuesday. Nancy Toma, the president of the Le Mars Arts Council, informed the council of the many activities occurring at the arts center, including the display of a
nationally acclaimed water coloring painting exhibit.

Toma says, despite the COVID-19 virus pandemic, art center officials are pleased with the overall attendance to the art center.

The Le Mars Arts Center official informed the city council the arts center is about to have new windows installed in the Carnegie Hall.

Toma informed the city council the windows may be removed and taken to an off-site for the proper maintenance requirements.

The arts center official says the cost for the restoration of the inside windows may exceed the original budget of funds set aside for the project.

City Administrator Jason Vacura informed the city council the estimate for the refurbishing of the arts center windows was listed as $16,100.



City Council Approves Main Street Challenge Grant Application

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council approved the 2020 Multi-jurisdictional Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan during its meeting held Tuesday. Municipal and county governments are asked to submit a plan to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, every five years showing how they are making
plans to help alleviate potential disasters. The program helps with obtaining federal disaster relief payments for future disasters, as well as it provides federal grants to communities to help avoid disasters. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper reminded the city council that funds from that program were able to secure funding for two weather warning sirens that were installed in Le Mars during the last couple of years. In other action, the
Le Mars city council also approved a Main Street Challenge grant amounting to the city’s share of $37,500 for the renovation of the Vander Meer bakery building. Le Mars Main Street coordinator Mary Reynolds addressed the city council about the project and told them of how the program has benefited many
Le Mars buildings in the past.

Reynolds spoke to the city council about the latest proposed challenge grant application involving the Vander Meer bakery building.

The Le Mars Main Street official continued with the proposed renovation plans involving the downtown Vander Meer bakery building.

Nathan Kass, the owner of the building told council members it is their hope the bakery will continue to operate within the same building during and after the renovation. The city council gave their approval for the project with a 5 to 0 vote.




Teen Shot To Death In Waterloo

(Waterloo, IA) — Waterloo police are investigating a shooting that left a teenager dead. Police say 15-year-old Cortez Harrison had multiple gunshot wounds and was unresponsive when he showed up at a local hospital and died a short time after arriving there. Officers found him after being dispatched to
an east side neighborhood just after 10 p-m Monday to investigate a report of shots fired in the area. Investigators confirmed the shooting occurred in an
alley, where they found several spent shell casings. Police are asking for the public’s help in solving the homicide.




Clinton County Now Requiring Masks In Buildings

(Clinton, IA) — Clinton County is joining the list of Iowa counties that are requiring anyone entering county buildings to wear a face mask or a face shield due to COVID-19. Noting an increase in coronavirus cases in the county, County Board Chairman Dan Srp (SURP- rhymes with CHIRP) says the
policy was approved this week and it will be in place indefinitely. Visitors and employees in county buildings will have to wear face coverings in common areas or if they cannot maintain six feet of distance.




Native American Owned Iowa Casinos Now Smoke-free

(Des Moines) — The four Native American-owned casinos in Iowa are temporarily smoke-free. The WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Sloan has had the no-smoking policy in place since reopening in mid-June with restrictions, which include requiring face masks for all employees and customers. Casino marketing director Michael Michaud (mah-SHOD) says those rules will be in
place indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We don’t have a crystal ball and we can’t tell you what the
future holds,” Michaud says. “What we do see is the increase in the amount of testing and the positive cases around the country.” He says they want to make sure they’re taking care of guests and employees. With masks required, Michaud says staff felt it would be “insufficient” if they still allowed people to smoke. People can still smoke outside of the property. Larry Wright
Junior is chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska which owns the Prairie Flower Casino in Carter Lake. Wright says temporarily banning indoor smoking was one of the policies staff put in place to ensure peoples’ health and safety. Plus, he says they wanted all visitors and staff to wear masks.
Wright says, “As we looked at it, it would be very difficult to
enforce a 100-percent mask requirement when you have people in the casino smoking.” The American Lung Association in Iowa is applauding the four casinos and encourages them to permanently adopt a smoke-free policy.
Kristina Hamilton, the association’s advocacy director, says it’s a win-win.
Hamilton says, “These types of policies protect employees and
customers from harmful second-hand smoke so we know the long-term benefits are there for these types of policies.” Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act passed in 2008 and protects more than three-million Iowans from second-hand smoke.
Unfortunately, Hamilton says, the 19 commercial casinos in Iowa are exempt from the law so their workers and customers are without protection from those dangerous chemicals. Casino owners have long claimed they’d lose business if they banned smoking, but Hamilton says the opposite may be true.
“We really haven’t seen a decline in business in states that do
have smoke-free casino policies,” Hamilton says. “For bars and restaurants as well, owners were afraid that people would go to bars and restaurants less because they’re smoke-free and that isn’t the case.” The Blackbird Bend Casino in Onawa and the Meskwaki Bingo Casino in Tama are also now smoke-free.