Former Sheriff’s Deputy Pleads Not Guilty To Burglary Charges
(Le Mars) — A former Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputy dismissed from his duties and accused of stealing prescription pills and tampering with evidence pleaded not guilty during his arraignment held Monday. 41-year old Aaron Leusink of Le Mars submitted his written plea of not guilty at Plymouth County District Court. Leusink also waived his right to a speedy trial.
Leusink has been charged with more than ten felony charges of burglary. DCI agents conducted a search of Leusink’s home as part of their investigation of the charges, and found more than 1600 prescription medication pills and several opened evidence bags. Leusink was arrested in September. No court date has yet been set.
County Supervisors To Discuss Vacancy Position Within County Attorney’s Office
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors returns today for it’s weekly meeting, following being off last week for Thanksgiving. The county governing board will hear from Richard Port as he seeks approval of a minor subdivision in Sioux Township. The county board of supervisors will discuss
the clean up of Harm’s property located on Iris Avenue, west of Le Mars.
County engineer, Tom Rohe, will appear before the county board of supervisors to present construction contracts with L.A. Carlson of Hinton. The construction company will work on developing slope protection around bridges that eroded from heavy rains from 2019 flooding. Rohe says the funding for the projects is being financed through FEMA. Plymouth County Attorney Darin
Raymond is scheduled to appear before the county board of supervisors to discuss the vacancy of the Assistant County Attorney position, as well as additional staffing needs. Former Deputy County Attorney, Amy Oetken has left the position to become the County Attorney for Lyon County in Rock Rapids.
City Council To Discuss Municipal Airport Improvements
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council will meet at the council chambers today at noon. The council is expected to approve the re-appointment of Linda Mayrose for another five-year term to the Board of Zoning Adjustment. The term would be from January 1st of 2021 through December 31st, 2025. In other
consent items, the city council is expected to approve the request of $2.5 million of TIF tax receipts within the Le Mars Highway 75 Bypass Urban Renewal Area for fiscal year 2021-2022. During action items, the city council will discuss an offer to purchase property. The property is within the Le Mars Industrial Park, South Addition and consists of approximately five acres. The city council will schedule a hearing date to consider any
and all offers on the property. The city council will discuss a proposed work order involving the reconstruction project of the city’s municipal airport runway. The project is estimated to cost $4.085 million dollars with a 90 to 10 percent financial split with the Federal Aviation Administration financing 90 percent of the project, and the city of Le Mars to pay for the remaining 10 percent of the costs. Engineering Company, Bolton and Menk will
conduct the engineering studies, grant administration, and supervise the construction of the project. Along the lines of the Le Mars municipal airport, the city council will review the proposed five-year airport improvements as being submitted by the city’s Airport Advisory Committee.
The city council will then submit the proposed improvements to the FAA. The city council will also consider and discuss a development agreement with Morrow Lin Apartments for a tax exemption for a period of three additional years, on top of the already agreement of seven years of a tax deferral.
Grassley Talks About Biden’s Possible Cabinet Positions
(Washington) — U-S Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is back at work in our nation’s capital after having to quarantine himself for the past two weeks due to testing positive with the COVID-19 virus. Grassley, at 87 years of age, says he never had any of the typical symptoms associated with the virus, and is feeling fine. Grassley participated in an exclusive interview with
KLEM news Monday afternoon. He was asked about when or if, President Trump should concede the election to Democrat Joe Biden?
Grassley then spoke of names he has heard that are being circulated to be part of president-elect’s Joe Biden’s cabinet. Grassley says, so far, he has heard of only a few names.
As for who may be in line for the U-S Secretary of Agriculture position, Grassley says he has heard of a North Dakota connection, that being former Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
Grassley was asked about his opinion if former Iowa Governor and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack would return to the cabinet post?
Grassley Discusses The Split Within The Democratic Party
(Washington) — During his conversation with KLEM news on Monday, Iowa U-S Republican Senator Chuck Grassley spoke about the likelihood of a second COVID-19 relief package. Grassley says negotiations for a second package are
occurring between the House and the Senate, as well as with the White House. He says many in Washington are hoping a successful relief package bill will emerge before Congress takes its holiday recess.
Grassley says you don’t hear much about it, but he says there is an internal battle among the Democrats in Congress between the far progressive leftists and the moderates.
The Iowa Republican senator says the progressives, which are being lead by New York Democratic Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are not pleased.
Sioux City Guard Unit Wins Award
(Sioux City, IA) — The 185th Iowa Air National Guard Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City has won the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for efforts during 2019. It’s the fourth year in a row the unit has earned the award. Vice Wing Commander, Colonel Stephanie Samenus, says the citation notes the unit’s high
operations tempo that included thousands of flying hours, plus recruiting and retention efforts that led to maintaining 100-percent staffing. The unit recruited 90 new guard members in the last year. During the 2019 evaluation period, the humanitarian efforts of the unit’s medical group in Puerto Rico
were also highlighted.
Second Congressional District Results Certified
(Des Moines, IA) — State election officials have certified the election results giving Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks a six-vote win over Democrat Rita Hart in the Second Congressional District race. Secretary of State Paul Pate said after the certification Monday it is the closest race in the country this cycle after a district-wide recount of more than 394-thousand ballots. The Hart campaign has two days to challenge the outcome in
Mariannette Miller-Meeks Rita Hart
Finkenauer Among Contenders To Become US Labor Secretary
(Washington, DC) — Outgoing Iowa Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer is among the contenders to become Labor Secretary in a Biden administration. The 31-year-old Democrat is among a list of five people being considered.
Finkenauer served in the House of Representatives starting in 2018, but she was defeated for re-election last month by Republican Ashley Hinson.
Finkenauer has known president-elect Biden since 2007 and he campaigned for her two years ago. She was the first member of Iowa’s congressional delegation to endorse a candidate when she did so for Biden before the Iowa Caucuses.
Prison Staffer At Clarinda Dies From COVID-19
(Clarinda, IA) — The Iowa Department of Corrections says an employee at the Clarinda prison died November 28th from COVID-19. It is the second COVID-related death prison staff member after an employee at the Iowa prison for
Women died November 16th. The D-O-C website shows 10 prisoners have also died of the disease. The website says there are 195 inmates who have tested positive as of Monday and three-thousand-146 who have recovered. There are
61 prison staff members who have tested positive as of Monday and 453 who have recovered.
Cedar Rapids Woman Sues Police For Dog Attack
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — A Cedar Rapids woman is suing the police after her teenage son was attacked by a police dog. The 13-year-old was arrested but was then released without any charges being filed. The open records lawsuit is asking the court to order the Cedar Rapids Police Department to provide
records, body camera records, and audio and video from the incident involving the Black 13-year-old boy. Tonya Marie Adams says her son was spending the night at a friend’s house two days after the derecho seriously damaged the city. Adams said he fell asleep in the backyard and awoke to the police dog
attacking him and police officers yelling at him.