Home News Friday News, December 18th

Friday News, December 18th


Fire Department Responds To Fire At New Kwik-Star 

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department needed to respond to a fire at the new Kwik-Star convenience store that is under construction.  The fire was reported at around 4:18 a.m. Friday morning.  According to Le Mars Fire Chief, Dave Schipper, the fire was started from a heater that ignited some plastic. Schipper says fortunately, firefighters were able to extinguish the flames before it had reached any of the new wood construction materials.  Schipper says the damage was minimal, and construction crews should be able to continue working on the building today.




American Legion To Hold “Wreaths Across America” Ceremony On Saturday

(Le Mars) — On Saturday, American Legion Posts from across the country, including the Wasmer Post #241 of Le Mars will remember fallen veterans and the separate branches of the military with a program entitled: “Wreaths Across America.” The program, according to Past Post Commander and local
organizer, Wayne Schipper has been in existence for more than 25 years. In Le Mars, the American Legion have participated in the national program for the last eight years.

Schipper says the program has expanded to include more than 2500 locations throughout the United States. Schipper says the program recognizes each of the military branches, plus a few others.

The local program is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Plymouth County Veterans Park located on 3rd Avenue Southeast and 10th Street southeast.

Schipper says all of the wreaths originate from Maine and then are distributed across the nation. Schipper says in most cases, it is the local American Legion that conducts the ceremony, but others have assisted in other parts of the country.




Le Mars Community Theater To Present Radio Play “Its A Wonderful Life” On KLEM Radio

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Theater will present an old time Christmas classic story Saturday afternoon. People will have the opportunity to go back in time as they listen to the radio for some nostalic theater. Here, on KLEM radio beginning at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, the Le Mars Community Theater will present the radio version of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Most people are familiar with the black and white movie version that appears on television each Christmas season featuring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. Margaret Britton was the original director when the local theater group presented the radio play at the Postal Playhouse a few years back.

Britton says at the time the Le Mars Community Theater presented the radio play, no one had to memorize their lines, as they were able to read the scripts. Britton tells of the storyline for the radio production and says the real star of the show are the various sound effects.

Britton tells of the many people from the Le Mars area that helped with the production.

If you pass by the Postal Playhouse, you will notice the marquee sign saying they are in “intermission” having to suspend their stage productions due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. However, Britton says the local theater group has been offering some plays to its members via virtual online means.

When the pandemic virus is controlled, Britton says the first production to be featured at the Postal Playhouse will be “Till Beth Do Us Part.”

“Its a Wonderful Life” will be featured on KLEM radio — 1410 AM and 96.9 FM, Saturday at 4:00 p.m.




1973 COVID-19 New Cases in Iowa, 97 More Deaths

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting one-thousand-973 positive COVID tests, increasing the state’s total to 262-thousand-237 cases. Ninety-seven more Iowans have died of coronavirus complications which brings the death toll to three-thousand-451. The 746 people hospitalized with COVID is 31 fewer than Wednesday. One-hundred-46
patients are in intensive care and 87 are on ventilators. Forty counties currently have a 14-day average positivity rate of at least 15 percent.
There are virus outbreaks in 147 long-term care facilities in Iowa.




Congresswoman Axne Calls Easing of COVID Restrictions ‘Confusing’

(Washington, DC) — Third District Congresswoman Cindy Axne says the relaxing of COVID-19 prevention measures in Iowa is confusing during a time when people should be working to slow the spread of the virus. Governor Kim Reynolds amended her emergency order allowing bars and restaurants to resume
normal operating hours and and higher attendance at sporting events. Axne said “I think relaxing statewide restrictions on social gatherings now sends the wrong message to Iowans.” She says the December holiday season “in no way, shape or form” presents a lesser risk than Thanksgiving did. Congress
is working to get a COVID-19 stimulus package passed before its deadline of Friday night. Axne is pushing for rental assistance, extended unemployment benefits and an additional round of the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.




Initial and Continuing Unemployment Claims Drop in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA) — Unemployment claims dropped last week in Iowa after a big spike in the previous week. Continuing weekly unemployment claims fell by more than 37-hundred in the past week after a jump of nearly 54-hundred the week before. Iowa Workforce Development said in its weekly report that
this is the time of the year where claims tend to go up as seasonal businesses lay off workers. The report says nearly 58 percent of those who filed unemployment claims last week said their claims were not COVID-19 related. Initial unemployment claims were down by 32-hundred last week.




Iowa Attorney General Joins Anti-Trust Suit Against Google

(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is joining a coalition of 38 attorneys general in suing Google. The antitrust case alleges Google illegally maintains its monopoly power over general search engines and related advertising markets through a series of anticompetitive exclusionary contracts and conduct. Miller says they will seek to consolidate the case with one filed by the Justice Department. He says the case is among other
things about power as Google has immense power in the technology world. The attorneys general argue that more competition in the general search engine market would benefit consumers.




Incoming Iowa Congressman Joins Group Calling For Investigation Of Voter Fraud

(Washington, DC) — Iowa Congressman-elect Randy Feenstra of Hull is joining a group of 26 other incoming Republican House members in calling for an investigation of “fraudulent activities” surrounding the 2020 presidential election. Feenstra says he signed a letter to House Speaker and Democrat Nancy Pelosi requesting the probe be launched. Members of the nation’s
Electoral College met earlier this week and cast a majority of votes for Joe Biden, but Feenstra says he and the other Republicans will wait until Congress counts those votes early next month. Feenstra says there are still questions looming about the presidential election that need to be answered.




Judge Rules Federal Government Must Pay Landowners For Flood Damages

(Omaha, NE) — A federal judge has ruled the U-S Army Corps of Engineers caused increased flooding on the lower Missouri River by making changes to comply with the Endangered Species Act. Judge Nancy Firestone with the U-S Court of Federal Claims is telling the government it has to pay landowners for flooding damage caused by those changes. The judge says the Corps’
actions violated constitutional protections against taking property without compensation. The ruling doesn’t cover all flood-related damages and not all property owners between Sioux City, Iowa and St. Louis will qualify for compensation.




Fort Dodge Man Accused Of Assaulting 2, Trying To Flee From Police

(Fort Dodge, IA) — A 29-year-old Fort Dodge man is accused of assaulting two people and trying to get away from the police. Joshua J. Cristy faces multiple charges in the Thursday morning incident. Police say they were told Cristy assaulted a 34-year-old woman, then assaulted a 23-year-old man who tried to intervene. Cristy took off in the woman’s vehicle and was spotted
about 20 minutes later. His effort to elude police failed and he was taken into custody. He faces charges of domestic assault causing injury, assault causing bodily injury, operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, eluding, criminal mischief and several other traffic offenses.




Five Suspects Plead Not Guilty in Fort Dodge Double Homicide

(Fort Dodge, IA) — All five of the men facing a second-degree murder charge in a June double shooting in Fort Dodge are pleading not guilty. The June 16th shooting left Jamael Cox and Tyrone Cunningham dead and two women injured. Thirty-five-year-old James Davis Junior, 23-year-old Darrell L. Jones, 33-year-old Michael J. Wells, 22-year-old Jeremiah Hatten all of Fort
Dodge, and 55-year-old Michael J. Shivers all entered not guilty pleas. Four of the five pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a weapon