Civil Service Commission Certifies Decision
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Civil Service Commission met yesterday afternoon to officially certify their ruling regarding former Le Mars Police Officer Jeremy Singer, and affirmed Chief Kevin Vande Vegte’s decision to terminate Jeremy Singer on the basis that the decision was not arbitrary and was based
on Chief Vande Vegte’s judgment that Officer Jeremy Singer was unsuitable for employment following the disclosure of past statements, with no finding of any violation of the city’s handbook or operation manual or any misconduct in
the performance of duties while an officer of the Le Mars Police Department.
The civil service commission was unanimous on their decision.
Governor Kim Reynolds Gives Upbeat Holiday Message
(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says in her Thanksgiving message that the holiday season marks the end of what has “undoubtedly been one of the most difficult and challenging years of our lifetime.” She calls on Iowans to pause for a moment and give thanks for the blessings we do have. Reynolds says even with this year’s challenges, Iowans proved once again that we always step up to help a friend or neighbor in need. Do what’s right for a loved one or family member, and not because we are told to, but because it’s the right thing to do. Reynolds says “while we are currently facing unprecedented times, I’m incredibly optimistic about our state’s future. We are all in this together and Iowa will get through this.”
Second District Race In Single Digits
(Scott County, IA) — The margin in Iowa’s Second District Congressional race is now down to single digits. The Associated Press and The Quad City Times report Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks leads Democrat Rita Hart by just eight votes. The results of recounted ballots cast in 22 of the 24 counties in the southeast Iowa congressional district have been confirmed. The recount boards in Scott and Clinton Counties are not done yet. The Miller-Meeks campaign is using the word “unreliable” to describe its view of the Scott County recount and accuses Hart’s team of “gamesmanship.” The Hart campaign says these objections signify nothing other than alarm from the Miller-Meeks camp that the race is so close.
Need For Food Increases
(Des Moines, IA) — Food Bank of Iowa president and C-E-O Michelle Book says Food insecurity has doubled since March of 2020 and tripled for households with children. There are more than one- thousand food pantries in Iowa, serving all of Iowa’s 99 counties. Book says a legion of churches under the banners of HelpDSM and Project Zume (ZOO-may) have stepped up and offered facilities, volunteers, and their organizational skills to help distribute more food in metro Des Moines and across the entire state. Project Zume volunteers are making home deliveries in nine central Iowa counties to frail elderly and other Iowans who cannot make the trip to a food pantry.
Deere Ends Fiscal Year With A Profit
(Quad Cities, IA) — Deere and Company survived the pandemic, trade issues, and a severe storm that destroyed a lot of Midwestern crops in 2020 to come out with a profit for the fiscal year. The company reported net income of two-point-seven (2.7) billion dollars for the full year — which was a drop of 15 percent compared to 2019. Sales and revenue declined nine percent to 35-point-five million dollars. Spokeswoman Jennifer Hartmann says Agriculture and Turf equipment sales played a key role — as did government support in the ag sector and higher crop prices. Hartmann says Deere expects combine and tractor sales to increase five to ten percent across the industry n 2021. Deere forecasts income for 2021 will be three-point-six to four billion dollars.
Record 47 COVID-19 Deaths in Iowa, 3365 New Cases
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting a record-high 47 COVID-19 deaths today (Wednesday). The single-day record brings the death toll to two-thousand-271 since the pandemic began. Three-thousand-365 new positive tests were confirmed, increasing the state’s total to 218-thousand-947 cases. There are one-thousand-305 people hospitalized with coronavirus. Two-hundred-69 of those patients are in intensive care and 150 are on ventilators. There are COVID outbreaks at 149 long-term care facilities in Iowa. Ninety-one counties currently have a 14-day average positivity rate of at least 15 percent.
Union Leader Speaks Out Against COVID Outbreak at Mount Pleasant Prison
(Des Moines, IA) — The leader of the union representing corrections officers is criticizing the Iowa Department of Corrections for a COVID-19 outbreak at the Mount Pleasant prison. AFSCME Council 61 president Danny Homan says staff at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility were notified Wednesday that 74 inmates tested positive – an increase from 11 on
Monday. Homan said in a statement,”Just two days ago, I called on the Department of Corrections to take immediate steps to stem the spread of COVID-19 in our prisons, including stop inmate transfers and to put the Department on a four-week lock down until new case counts are under control.”
Homan is calling on the Department of Corrections and Governor Reynolds to take mitigation steps now to stop these outbreaks.
Sioux City Man Dies 3 Weeks After Shooting
(Sioux City, IA) — The Sioux City Police Department says a man has died three weeks after being shot. Officers say 27-year-old Brian L. Henderson was wounded November 1st and recently died of serious injuries in the hospital. Henderson’s death is now a homicide investigation. Detectives are seeking information or witnesses to the shooting. Anyone with tips is asked to contact the Sioux City P-D or Crime Stoppers.
Dubuque Meth Dealer Sentenced to 4-Plus Years in Federal Prison
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — A man who sold “ice” methamphetamine near Loras College in Dubuque is going to federal prison for more than four-and-a-half years. Forty-year-old Virgil Hubbard was sentenced to 57 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute meth near a protected location.
Hubbard admitted to possessing at least five grams with intent to distribute or sell it. He was also caught with a gun. Hubbard was previously convicted of selling heroin within one-thousand feet of a park in Iowa.