Home News Thursday Afternoon News, November 19th

Thursday Afternoon News, November 19th


Civil Service Commission Upholds Police Officer Termination

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Civil Service Commission decided on a 3-0 vote to uphold the termination of former Le Mars police officer Jeremy Singer. The announcement was made Thursday morning by Civil Service Commission chair, Dennis Foulkema.

The civil service commission went into closed session to deliberate the case against Jeremy Singer, and came out of the closed session about an hour and twenty minutes later with their decision. The defendant, Jeremy Singer was not present at this morning’s hearing, although his attorney, Justin Vondrak
was at the hearing on Singer’s behalf. Singer was terminated in September from the Le Mars Police Department after it became known that negative and objectionable racist and sexists posts found on social media were attributed to former officer Jeremy Singer.




Many Hometown Christmas Now To Be Held Virtually Online

(Le Mars) — Due to recent restrictions regarding the size of gatherings because of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, officials with the Hometown Christmas celebration have announced the planned event will undergo some changes. Cheryl Wells says “While we are extremely disappointed that we are unable to provide the full Hometown Christmas experience, we know how
important it is to still celebrate. This year has been such a challenge for all of us that we couldn’t let the pandemic stand in the way of bringing joy to the entire Siouxland community. We still intend to conduct a tree lighting ceremony that will be shared on Facebook to help spread the Christmas spirit. We hope you’ll join us by car, or via social media, or just by sharing a message of joy with family, friends, and neighbors.” The
drive-in movie, “Elf” will still be featured Friday evening at Total Motors, otherwise most of the other events, including the lighting of the 26 foot Christmas tree at the Olson Cultural Event Center will be done virtually and featured on Facebook.




Dordt University To Close Campus

(Sioux Center) — Dordt University has announced the campus will be closed to the public from Wednesday, November 25, to Tuesday, January 12. This includes the Rec Center, the Hulst Library, and the Campus Store. Purchases may still be made at the Campus Store’s website. Dordt will close the campus to the
public to limit community spread of Covid-19 as well as to ensure the safety of Dordt employees and remaining students as they continue work during the fall semester. Select events, such as athletic and music events, will allow attendees. Please be advised that Dordt will limit the number of attendees due to Covid-19 regulations. We also ask that attendees not congregate when events conclude.




Governor Reynolds Unveils COVID-19 Public Service Announcement During Thursday News Conference

(Des Moines) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds unveiled a new public service announcement that will soon be featured on Iowa television and radio stations. The new public service announcement focuses on how Iowans can “Step Up” to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The ad features Governor Reynolds, former Governor and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, former University of Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable, Carson King, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics C-E-O Suresh Gunasekaran, and Katie Witt, a TestIowa nurse.

Reynolds also announced the dates the TestIowa sites will be closed due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Appearing with Governor Reynolds during the news conference was Iowa’s Medical Director, Dr. Caitlin Pedati who reminded Iowans what they need to know and do if a family member should be tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.




Reynolds Revises COVID Restrictions on Fitness Centers

(Des Moines, IA) — Governor Kim Reynolds is modifying her ban on certain group fitness activities that she ordered Monday night. The governor did not order gyms, fitness centers or exercise clubs to close, but her declaration said “all group fitness activities are prohibited.” Late Wednesday, she changed the proclamation to say that group fitness activities may continue if
social distancing is enforced. Her office had been fielding questions and complaints from facilities that offer exercise classes and yoga sessions.
The governor’s adjustment means those kind of activities may continue, if participants are able to stay at least six feet apart while exercising.
There were exceptions for high school, college and professional sports.




First-Time and Continuing Unemployment Claims Up In Iowa

(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa Workforce Development is reporting an increase in initial unemployment claims and continuing weekly claims. The six-thousand-312 first-time claims filed between November 8th and 14th is an increase of one-thousand-95 from the previous week. The number of continuing jobless claims only went up by 29 to 35-thousand-242. State officials say 44 percent
of laid-off workers said their claims were not COVID-related. National unemployment claims rose for the first time in five weeks and economists say the pandemic continues to weigh on the labor market.




More CARES Act Funding Available For Iowans Facing Eviction, Foreclosure

(Des Moines, IA) — The state is using more federal CARES Act funding to support Iowa renters or homeowners at risk of eviction or foreclosure due to COVID income loss. Governor Reynolds says the Iowa Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention program has now been allocated more than 37-million dollars – with about eight million still available. Nearly 11-thousand renters and 500 homeowners have received assistance and another 28-hundred have applied for utility assistance. The deadline to apply is December 4th.




Iowa Board of Regents Extends Tuition Freeze to Spring Semester

(Urbandale, IA) — The board that governs the three state universities will keep its tuition freeze in place for the spring semester. Iowa Board of Regents president Michael Richards announced they will not increase tuition or mandatory fees for the rest of the academic year. Richards said the year-long pause in tuition hikes is the right thing to do in the midst of a
pandemic, but he said the board intends to resume its five-year plan of gradual tuition increases, starting in the fall of 2021. The presidents of Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa says they are facing financial and demographic headwinds that make tuition increases in the next few years critical.