Amy Oetken To Assume Duties Of Lyon County Attorney
(Le Mars) — For the past 23 years, Amy Oetken of Le Mars, has served the people of Plymouth County as the Assistant County Attorney. However, beginning December 1st, Oetken will leave Plymouth County to assume new duties as the Lyon County Attorney at Rock Rapids.
Oetken says she applied for the position after the Lyon County Attorney was appointed to become a District Court Judge.
Oetken says she is filling the two-year vacant term of the former Lyon County Attorney, and in two years will run as a candidate seeking the office of Lyon County Attorney. Oetken says she will be moving to Lyon County as the requirements do ask that she is a Lyon County resident. Oetken says she is looking forward to her new position, and has nothing but great admiration for
her peers and colleague, Darren Raymond in the Plymouth County Attorney’s office.
When asked about which court cases she will long remember, Oetken replied by saying it is not necessarily the high profile cases that she will recall, but rather those court cases that made a difference in people’s lives.
She continues to recall some of her more memorable court cases.
The new Lyon County Attorney says since the Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice has suspended all jury trials until at least February 1st, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, it will give her a little more time to review pending cases and be better familiar with the Lyon County court system.
Primghar Man To Serve As State Elector
(Le Mars) — You may believe the presidential election is over since many media agencies, during the weekend, declared former Vice President and Democratic contender Joe Biden as the winner. However, the real presidential election won’t take place until mid-December. That’s when the members of the
electoral college will gather at their respective state capitals to cast their votes for president. Kurt Brown of Primghar is one of six electors for the state of Iowa. Brown, who has previously served as an elector tells how he acquired the role and responsibility.
Brown says the number of electors for each state is based on the number of Congressional members, plus two more to represent the entire state. So, the more populated states such as California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania will have more electors, than the low populated states such as
South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada and Alaska. Iowa has six electoral votes because we have four Congressional members and two Senators.
Brown says each political party chooses their panel of electors, with the winning candidate and the party representatives casting the important electoral votes.
Brown says it is widely believed that the electors must cast their vote based on the results of the state’s popular vote outcome. Although he does plan to vote for President Trump, he says there is no law that says he must vote for his party’s candidate.
Each time he has been selected to be an official elector, Brown says he has received hundreds of solicitations through postcards, letters, email and text messages, and telephone calls from various people, organizations, interest groups and others, trying to influence him on how he should cast his important vote.
Although some people would like to see the Constitution be changed to eliminate the Electoral College, Brown says it is very important to retain, especially for small states like Iowa.
The Iowa electors will gather in Des Moines at the state capitol building on December 14th to cast their ballots.
Meteorologist Says We Could See Colder Temperatures During Winter Months
(Ames) — While an active La Nina pattern continues to form over the Pacific Ocean, questions remain about what impact it will have in Iowa. Past La Ninas have led to colder winters here with some increase in snowfall. Meteorologist Dennis Todey (TODD-ee), director of the U-S-D-A’s Midwest Climate Hub in
Ames, says it appears November will be more mild than cold.
Some longer-range climate maps indicate warmer-than-normal temperatures early next year, but Todey says nothing’s certain.
While we can study what’s happened during past La Ninas, there’s no guarantee this latest one will follow the playbook.
A La Nina occurs when sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific Ocean cool below long-term normal trends.
Two Additional Veterans Receive Quilts From “Quilts Of Valor”
(Le Mars) — Two more local veterans received a patriotic-themed quilt during a small presentation ceremony held Wednesday evening, Veterans Day, at the Wasmer Post #241 American Legion of Le Mars. Quilts were wrapped around the shoulders of Jim Rolfes and Ken Plueger. The quilts were sponsored by Total Motors. Six other local veterans were presented quilts during a ceremony held Sunday at the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Le Mars. Those quilts were sponsored by local financial institutions of Le Mars and Remsen.
Pictured are from left to right: Veteran Jim Rolfes, quilter Ginny Freyermuth, Veteran Ken Plueger, Dave Hill of Total Motors, and Past Post Commander, Wayne Schipper.
764 New COVID-19 Cases in Iowa, 26 Additional Deaths
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting four-thousand-764 new positive tests for COVID-19, increasing the state’s total to 166-thousand-21 cases. Twenty-six more Iowans have died of coronavirus complications which brings the death toll to one-thousand-898.
Another daily record of one-thousand-190 patients have been hospitalized with COVID since Tuesday. Two-hundred-ten of those patients are in intensive care units and 101 are on ventilators. Ninety-two of Iowa’s 99 counties have a
two-week average positivity rate of more than 15 percent.
Democratic Leader Steps Down From Iowa Senate Position
(Des Moines, IA) — Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen of Des Moines will be stepping down from that leadership role. Petersen said in a written statement that her Senate colleagues asked her to stay on, but she will not seek re-election as Minority Leader for the 2021 legislative session.
Petersen — the first female floor leader for Democrats in the Iowa Senate — just won re-election to a second term. Petersen quoted author C. JoyBell in her statement, suggesting holding onto something good for you now, may prevent you from getting something better. The partisan make-up of the Iowa Senate won’t change next year. Republicans will occupy 32 senate seats
compared to 18 for Democrats.
Possible COVID-19 Case Among Food Service Staff Sends Students Home Early
(Charles City, IA) — High school and middle school students in Charles City were dismissed early Wednesday morning, due to a possible COVID-19 case on the foodservice staff. In a written statement, the district’s administrators said they didn’t think it was wise to serve food until the staffer gets a COVID test and they can review how the situation impacts staffing. The district’s website shows 17 active cases in the district and 101 people from the district’s campuses are in quarantine. Over the weekend, came news a special education teacher in the district who fell ill with COVID in September had died. Charles City students will be out today (Thursday) and Friday as administrators prepare for the possibility of digital days for
Verizon: Service Interruption Caused By “Large Fiber Cut” In Des Moines
(Des Moines, IA) — Officials with Verizon say a “large fiber cut” has caused an interruption in service. Users say they haven’t been able to call 9-1-1. The company disputes an earlier report that it had been “hacked.”
Normal cell phone usage was reportedly also affected. Some G-mail accounts were paused. An estimated 350 Verizon tower sites were having network issues as of Wednesday afternoon.
Attendance To Be Limited At Iowa State Football Semifinals, Finals
(Cedar Falls, IA) — Officials say attendance will be limited at Iowa high school football semifinal and final games over the next two weeks. Those games will be played at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. The finals have been played at the University of Northern Iowa facility since 1976. The attendance restrictions are based on input from the Black Hawk County Health
Department, Iowa state health officials, and the Iowa High School Athletic Association. The university is taking extra steps to mitigate the threat of the spread of COVID-19 – including mandatory face masks, social distancing, running the ventilation system at 100-percent capacity, and extensive cleaning efforts between the games.
Remsen St. Mary’s High School football is scheduled to play Montezuma Thursday morning, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Play-by-play action can be heard on Y101.3 FM.