Weather Official Says Above Normal Temperatures To Extend Through Weekend
(Le Mars) — With temperatures reaching the mid-70’s during the last few days, and with people walking around wearing shorts with no coats or jackets, and children playing outdoors, some people are wondering if we are actually in the month of November? Last week’s three inch snow is now a distant
memory, partly because all the snow has since melted, and because of our unusual warm temperatures. Jeff Chapman is a meteorologist with the National Weather Services at Sioux Falls. Chapman says enjoy the weather now, while we can.
Chapman says a weather front is expected to move into the area late Sunday evening and into Monday which should bring with it some rain, and cooler temperatures.
The National Weather Services official says the predicted winds for the weekend could reach a peak gusts of up to at least 35 mph, making for a high fire danger for the region.
Chapman says conditions throughout the northwest Iowa region are extremely dry, despite having snow last week. Chapman says the eight to 14 day forecast is not calling for any extremes.
Chapman says with the development of the La Nina in the Pacific Ocean usually means colder temperatures for the winter.
Ironically, Thursday was National Winter Weather Awareness Day. Chapman says now is the time to pack a survivor’s kit for your vehicle for when winter does strike.
Le Mars To Hold “Hometown Christmas” Following Thanksgiving
(Le Mars) — Le Mars will begin a new holiday tradition this year. Known as the “Hometown Christmas in Le Mars” it will feature dashing store displays and festive activities. The event will be held the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Leslie Bartholomew offers an explanation as to what can be expected.
Le Mars will be like New York and Kansas City and other major cities with a large Christmas tree. Bartholomew says a large tree will be at the Olson Cultural Event Center with the lighting ceremony to start at 6:30 p.m.
Bartholomew explains people will also have the opportunity to enjoy an old fashion drive-in holiday movie at Total Motors.
Bartholomew says there will be several local dance teams that will perform during the kickoff to the Hometown Christmas event.
Reynolds Addresses High COVID-19 Cases During News Conference
(Des Moines) — Holding her first news conference since early October, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds addressed the issue of Iowa’s rising COVID-19 numbers, including the increase in hospitalizations. For the last few weeks, the number of patients in Iowa’s hospitals being treated for COVID-19 has set daily records.
Reynolds issued a challenge to all Iowans to do what is needed, including wearing a face mask and observing social distancing for the next three weeks in order to turn the tide on the coronavirus positive cases.
Reynolds announced that $25 million dollars will be directed to Iowa hospitals to address staffing issues.
The Iowa governor says she has spoken with hospital officials from across the state, and although at present time, many hospitals are reporting they are able to effectively handle the increase of COVID-19 patients, they say they will not be able to continue to handle the added work load and increase
number of patients if the trend continues for an extended period of time.
Both the chief medical officers from MercyOne-Des Moines and Unity Point Healthcare appeared with Governor Reynolds during her news confernce. Dr. Hijinio (Heen-o) Carreon of MercyOne says many hospitals are scrambling and struggling to keep ahead of the spread of the virus.
Governor Reynolds says when she was traveling throughout the state of Iowa during the election campaign, she heard two comments from Iowans…”Please help keep our students in school, and please help keep my business open.”
Governor Sets Aside $1M For Iowans Who Can Pay Their Rent
(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa’s governor has set aside one million dollars for those who can’t pay their rent after the August derecho. Governor Kim Reynolds says her office is working with communities trying to bounce back from the devastating storm. Direct assistance from the federal HOME program is being distributed. Anawin Housing, the City of Cedar Rapids, and the
Eastern Iowa Housing Corporation are each getting 364-thousand dollars to help people forced to rent after their homes were damaged by the derecho’s strong winds.
Record 4562 COVID Cases in Iowa, 839 Hospitalizations
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting a record number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. There were an all-time high of four-thousand-562 positive tests today (Thursday), increasing the state’s total to 140-thousand-609 cases. Twenty more Iowans have died of
virus complications which brings the death toll to one-thousand-801. The 839 patients hospitalized with COVID also set a new daily record. One-hundred-88 patients are in intensive care units and 60 are on ventilators. Nearly 98-thousand patients are considered recovered.
Iowa State To Allow Limit Crowd Into Basketball Games At Hilton Coliseum
(Ames, IA) — The Iowa State Cyclones are going to limit crowds at basketball games at the Hilton Coliseum this season to less than 10-percent of the facility’s capacity. School officials say the decision was made because the country is still in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seating will be limited to 1,373 fans for both men’s and women’s games.
The Coliseum has a seating capacity of 14,384. There will be COVID-19 mitigation rules enforced, including the requirement to wear face coverings.
Mom Convicted In Daughter’s Death, But On Lesser Charge
(Ottumwa, IA) — A mother in southeast Iowa has been convicted in her five-year-old daughter’s death, but on a lesser charge. Kelsie Thomas was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but not murder. The ruling was handed down Thursday in Wapello County Court. It was the second trial for
Thomas after the first one ended with a hung jury. Cloe Chandler was found dead at the family’s home in July 2018. Thomas originally told investigators her daughter had accidentally hanged herself while playing with a pair of pajamas. She later confessed to killing the child.
Altoona Elementary School Put On Lockdown For 3 Hours During Domestic Situation
(Altoona, IA) — Altoona Police say an elementary school was placed on lockdown for nearly three hours Thursday afternoon while officers responded to a “domestic situation.” Police asked the Southeast Polk Community School District to place Clay Elementary on lockdown and requested that buses at
Spring Creek Junior High and High School be held. Officers say the standoff was caused by a person with a “mental health issue.” The situation was resolved peacefully with no injuries. The name of the person involved hasn’t been released.
Franklin County Authorities Confirm ID of Body Found in Submerged Car
(Hampton, IA) — Franklin County authorities confirm that the body found in a submerged car last week is Ethan Kazmerzak of Hampton. Kazmerzak had been missing since September 15th, 2013. A dive team recovered his car October 27th from a pond near his hometown. Sheriff Aaron Dodd says they are still
investigating the circumstances of Kazmerzak’s death. The full examination by the Iowa Medical Examiner’s Office is expected in a few weeks.
State Announces Iowa Movie Theater Relief Program
(Des Moines, IA) — Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority are launching the new Iowa Movie Theater Relief Program. It will provide short-term grants to eligible theaters to continue or resume operations during the COVID pandemic. Reynolds said, “in so many small towns
and rural communities, a movie theater can be the lifeblood of main street.”
This program will provide relief of up to ten-thousand dollars per screen to assist the 150 movie theaters housing 550 screens in Iowa. The state is using five-and-a-half million dollars in federal CARES Act funds for the program. The application window opens Monday.