Home News Thursday News, July 23rd

Thursday News, July 23rd


Grain Bin Accident Victim Identified

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County authorities have now released the identity of the man killed from the grain bin accident that happened Tuesday morning. The victim is identified as 65-year old Daniel Cronin of rural Le Mars.



Le Mars City Council Approves Main Street Challenge Grant For Renovation To Vander Meer Bakery Building

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council approved the 2020 Multi-jurisdicional 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 alieviate 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.




Le Mars City Council Hears Update On Arts Center

(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.




Grassley Advocates For Direct Coronavirus Stimulus Payments Over Tax Cut

(Washington, DC) — U-S Senator Chuck Grassley is pushing for direct coronavirus stimulus payments over the president’s idea of a payroll tax cut. The Iowa Republican isn’t predicting what the final draft of the relief package will look like. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the who package should total no more than one trillion dollars. That’s about one-third the size of the package approved last May. Grassley says Republicans are concerned about the rapidly-growing national debt. He didn’t say how much stimulus he thinks people should get this time.




Iowa Supreme Court Issues Guidelines For Resuming Jury Trials

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Supreme Court has issued a long list of guidelines to be used while jury trials are resumed. Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Larson Christensen released the nine-page order Wednesday. It covered questions like summoning a jury, selecting jury members, how to hold trials and deliberations. Special questions related to coronavirus will be added to juror questionnaires. The guidelines should be implemented in time for jury trials to resume September 14th.




Fort Dodge Police Make Arrest In Apparent Attack By Flare Gun

(Fort Dodge, IA) — Fort Dodge police have made an arrest in an apparent attack using a flare gun. Officers were called to a location Tuesday at about 8:40 p-m. Emergency medical responders were treating a 52-year-old man who had been shot at least two times in the face and upper box. After firing the flares at the victim, investigators say 31-year-old William C. Goddard Junior attacked the man with an unknown object before running away. The man who was attacked is expected to survive. Goddard is being held in the Webster County Jail and he has a court appearance scheduled for today (Thursday).




State Medicaid Director Leaving

(Des Moines, IA) — The state Medicaid Director Mike Randol will be leaving his position next month. The Iowa Department of Human Services announced today (Wednesday) that Randol will leave his position for the private sector on August 14th. Randol joined the state in December 2017. He oversaw the state’s shift to a privatized Medicaid program that serves more than 700-thousand Iowans. Randol was previously the director of the Kansas Medicaid program, which also has a system run by private firms.




Michigan Fugitive Arrested In Cedar Rapids

(Cedar Rapids, IA) –The U-S Marshals Northern Iowa Fugitive Task Force arrested a man in Cedar Rapids today (Wednesday) who is wanted in Michigan on charges of homicide and possession of weapons. Twenty-three-year-old Franky Joseph Ackley was wanted on charges stemming from a March 6th incident in Jackson, Michigan. Marshals conducted a fugitive investigation that led investigators on a multi-state hunt involving task forces across the U-S. After more than two months, Marshals narrowed the search for Ackley to the southwest area of Cedar Rapids. Shortly after 12:30 p-m Marshals identified Ackley exiting a residence and took him into custody without incident.




Johnson County Board Of Supervisors Approve Mandatory Wearing Of Masks

(Iowa City) — The Johnson County Board of Supervisors is poised to approve their own local mask mandate after the mayor of Iowa City issued a proclamation Monday on the issue. The supervisors were unanimous in supporting a face covering order during discussion Wednesday. That’s despite the county attorney’s opinion that such a mandate may not be enforceable, and could draw lawsuits. Supervisor Janelle Rettig (juh-NELL REH-tig) says the spread of the virus warrants action.

Supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass says voluntary efforts have failed to control the virus.

The board is working with the county health department to finalize the language, in the hopes of taking up the issue at a formal meeting today (Thursday).