Home News Friday Afternoon News, October 23rd

Friday Afternoon News, October 23rd


Knapp Murder Trial Now Postponed Until March

(Le Mars) — The first degree murder trial of a rural Merrill man has been continued until next year. 82-yeaqr old Thomas Knapp is charged in the fatal shooting of his stepson, 51-year old Kevin Juzek back on May 11th at Knapp’s home. At a video hearing in Plymouth County District Court on Friday, both the defense and county attorneys stated that they were working through
hearing loss and competency issues before scheduling depositions, or filing any motions. Judge Duane Hoffmeyer set a new trial date for March 9th, with a February 23rd pre-trial conference. Court documents allege that Knapp shot Juzek twice with a 20-gauge shotgun following a dispute. Knapp is being held
in the Plymouth County Jail. His original trial date was scheduled for December 15th.




Le Mars Kiwanis Hold Annual Meeting

(Le Mars)-– The Le Mars Kiwanis organization recently held its annual meeting, in which they installed officers and accepted new members, and named the “Kiwanian of the Year.” Barb Hames, Kiwanis Division 5 Lt. Governor, installed Board Members Angie Erdmann and Terri Martin. Dan Rexwinkel is
also a new Board Member but was unable to attend the installation ceremonies.

Mike Donlin was re-installed as President. This is Mike’s second year as the Kiwanis President.
Ken Freyermuth is our Secretary/Treasurer and has served in this capacity for several years.








Two new Members were welcomed. Mike Dreckman was sponsored by Angie Erdmann and Scott Taylor was sponsored by Scott Pageler.

Kiwanis global organization dedicated to “Serving the Children of the World”. Kids need Kiwanis!
The local Kiwanis club also recognized the “Kiwanian of the Year”. This year the honor was bestowed upon Chuck Van De Water.

Chuck has been a Kiwanian for over 27 years as has been very active in the Club always helping setting up our meeting room, working in the Kiwanis Bakery out at the Plymouth County
Fair, helping make popcorn balls for Pioneer Village and many other activities.
Membership dues have been waived for new members to join the Kiwanis Club through December 31, 2020. They would love to have you join them! The next Kiwanis meeting will be on Tuesday morning, November 3rd (election day) at 7:00 AM in the conference room at Total Motors.

(photos contributed.)




Fewer Fire Fatalities Reported This Year

(Des Moines) — October is known as fire prevention month, and fortunately, according to State Fire Marshal Dan Wood, there have been fewer fire fatalities in Iowa so far this year compared to 2019.

Wood says the state fire marshal’s office has been called upon to investigate fewer fires this year as well. State law does not require fire departments to report structure fires to the Fire Marshal’s office, but many do. The state fire marshal says most house fires that lead to a fatality are in homes that do not have a working smoke detector.

Sunday, November 1st is the start of Daylight Saving Time — when clocks “fall back” an hour. The State Fire Marshal’s website indicates the total number of fires has been decreasing nationally, but the rate of fire-caused deaths has not. The State Fire Marshal says that’s partly due to modern trends, like open spaces and the use of building materials that cause fires
to spread more quickly.




State Climatologist Says Farmers Will Need To Adapt To Weather Changes

(Des Moines) — State climatologist Justin Glisan (like listen) says August 2020 was the driest in Iowa in 148 years. In a question-and-answer session with the Iowa Farmers Union, Glisan said other increasing extremes, such as cold spells and heavy rain events, are also affecting farmers and he advises
them to adapt.

Glisan says higher humidity has brought up the average overnight low temperature, which could begin to favor other crops such as hemp.

The same trends are also leading to a northward shift overall for the corn belt.




Absentee Ballot Request Deadline is 5 PM Saturday in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa voters have just one more day to request an absentee ballot for the November election. The deadline is 5 p-m Saturday.
You can request an absentee ballot at any Iowa county auditor’s office or the Iowa Secretary of State’s website. Eligible voters in the state were sent an absentee ballot request form. More than 807-thousand Iowans have already requested a ballot, and over a half million have been returned.




State Approves Loan to Freemont County For Flood Debris Removal

(Hamburg, IA) — State officials approved a loan for a southwest Iowa county to cover debris removal costs from last year’s Missouri River flooding. More than 450 homes in Hamburg and other areas of Fremont County were flooded in early 2019. FEMA officials initially agreed to pay about 146-thousand dollars for debris removal, then notified the county it would
only provide about a tenth of that to settle the contract. The 131-thousand dollar state loan was approved by the state Executive Council this week.
Fremont County will have 20 years to pay off the loan — the annual installments will be about 65-hundred dollars.




Wisconsin Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Iowa Meth Distribution

(Cedar Rapids, IA) — A Wisconsin man who transported pounds of methamphetamine to the Midwest from Las Vegas will spend more than 18 years in federal prison. Thirty-nine-year-old Daniel Decker from Kenosha pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute in U-S District Court in Cedar Rapids. Decker admitted to driving through Cedar County, Iowa with five pounds of ice meth in 2019 and planned to distribute it. Evidence showed Decker transported 20 pounds of the drug over a couple months.