Home News Wednesday News, December 23rd

Wednesday News, December 23rd


Approaching Blizzard To Strike Northwest Iowa

(Sioux Falls) — Le Mars may find itself in the bullseye of an approaching winter storm. Weather officials have already issued a blizzard warning for Plymouth County and all of northwest Iowa. Meteorologist Brad Adams with the National Weather Services of Sioux Falls shares what we can expect with the
approaching storm.

Adams says snow should begin to fall on Le Mars by mid-morning.

The weather official is predicting Le Mars and Plymouth County to receive a significant amount of snow once the storm passes through the area.

Adams says we will have strong winds which will lead to low visibility and contribute to the blizzard warning.

Adams says the blizzard warning will remain in effect until 8:00 p.m. this evening, but the blowing snow conditions will continue through the overnight hours. The weather official advises people to stay off the roads once the winter storm blizzard strikes.




Newly Elected County Officials Take Oath Of Office

(Le Mars) — Two newly elected officials were given the oath of office and participated in a swearing ceremonies held Tuesday at the Plymouth County courthouse. A capacity crowd consisting of family members, friends, law enforcement officials, and county officials gathered inside the courtroom as outgoing and long-time Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo took the oath of office for his new position of County Supervisor. District Judge Jeff Neary administered the oath.

Following Van Otterloo, Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff TeBrink then stepped up to raise his right hand and repeated the oath of office. TeBrink was elected as the new Plymouth County Sheriff during the last election. He will assume the duties and responsibilities of being the Sheriff for Plymouth County
beginning January 1st. Again, District Judge, Jeff Neary administered the oath.

Following both individuals being sworn with the oath of office. Incoming Sheriff Jeff TeBrink asked the crowd to stand, in which the gathering gave Mike Van Otterloo a standing ovation for his more than 40 years in local law enforcement service.



Reynolds Talks About Relief Package During News Conference

(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds held a news conference this morning, in which she began by telling the media what the $908 Billion dollar COVID-19 second relief package contains. After several months of waiting, Congress
finally passed the relief stimulus bill during the final hours of session.
Reynolds says the relief bill will help Iowans.

The Iowa governor says with the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the second vaccine introduced by pharmaceutical company, Moderna, this will allow several rural hospitals access to the important vaccine.

Reynolds informed the media that already 8400 health officials in Iowa have received the vaccine. Unfortunately, the amount of the state’s allotted doses of the coronavirus vaccine is short of what was originally expected.
Iowa Director of Human Services and Public Health, Kelly Garcia appeared during the governor’s news conference and says there are some differences between the Pfizer vaccine and the newly introduced Moderna vaccine.

Garcia offered an insight as to the priority groups that would receive the COVID19 vaccine.

The Iowa Health and Human Services Director says vaccinations for staff and residents of Iowa’s long-term care facilities will begin during the week of December 28th.




COVID-19 Vaccines to Begin Monday in Iowa Long-Term Care Facilities

(Des Moines, IA) — State health officials say COVID-19 vaccinations will start Monday for residents and staff of Iowa’s long-term care facilities, despite a 20-percent reduction in the amount of vaccine in Iowa’s allotment.
Department of Public Health interim director Kelly Garcia says he newly-approved Moderna vaccine can be distributed in smaller batches, so it’s likely to be more widely used in rural Iowa. Garcia cautioned that “we’re still in the early stages where our efforts are focused solely on health care workers and long term care settings.” More than 84-hundred health care workers have been vaccinated with Pfizer’s vaccine. Governor Reynolds said
starting next week, Iowa vaccination teams have been given permission to vaccinate assisted living residents if they’re on the same campus as a nursing home.




1276 New COVID-19 Cases in Iowa, 64 Additional Deaths

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting 64 COVID-related deaths Tuesday after confirming zero new deaths on Monday and Friday. A total of three-thousand-653 Iowans have died of coronavirus complications since the pandemic began. One-thousand-276 more positive tests were reported which brings the state’s total to 269-thousand-
20 cases. Six-hundred-51 people are currently hospitalized with COVID.
One-hundred-40 patients are in intensive care and 71 are on ventilators.
Thirty-two Iowa counties have a 14-day average positivity rate of at least 15 percent. These numbers were compiled from just over 42-hundred tests.




Monona County Man Sentenced to Life For Killing Grandmother

(Onawa, IA) –– A Monona County man will spend the rest of his life prison for the June 2018 killing of his grandmother. A judge found 23-year-old Eliot Stowe guilty last month of the first-degree murder of 66-year-old Cheryl Stowe in their home in Castana. The mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole was handed down Tuesday. Prosecutors said
Eliot beat his grandmother with a baseball bat and her body was discovered the next day wrapped in a rug and duct tape at the edge of a cornfield.
Stowe was also ordered to pay 150-thousand dollars in restitution to his grandmother’s estate.




DOJ Report Released On Glenwood Resource Center

(Glenwood, IA) — The U-S Department of Justice has concluded an investigation at the Glenwood Resource Center and determined residents were subjected to unsupervised experimentation and inadequate health care. A
statement from the D-O-J says these conditions likely violated the constitutional rights of residents, who have severe intellectual and physical disabilities. An attorney for the D-O-J says, “individuals with disabilities are not human guinea pigs and … should never be subject to bizarre and deviant pseudo-medical experiments that injure them.” Governor Kim Reynolds
said in a statement this was “unconscionable and unacceptable” and that the state has fully cooperated with the investigation. She says she’s committed to using all state resources needed to address this.




Moderna Vaccine A Better Fit For Rural Areas

(Spirit Lake, IA) — The governor says all 99 counties will get doses of the newly approved Moderna COVID vaccine. Moderna’s vaccine can be stored in traditional freezers, while the Pfizer vaccine must be stored at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit in specialty freezers. The C-E-O of Lakes Regional HealthCare in Spirit Lake, Jason Harrington, says the storage issue makes
the Moderna vaccine a better fit for rural hospitals. Pfizer’s vaccine also comes in lots of one thousand doses each – while the Moderna vaccine comes in much smaller lots. Harrington says that is another plus in using the Moderna vaccine in a rural community.




Driver Accused Of Causing Crash That Injured Police Officer Taken Into Custody

(West Des Moines, IA) — West Des Moines police arrested a driver wanted for causing an accident on Interstate 35 that injured an officer last month.
Sixty-one-year-old Jon Henry Schwartz of Kellogg is facing charges of first- offense operating while intoxicated, serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving and other charges. The November 8th crash left West Des Moines Police Officer Jon Kaufman in critical condition. Kaufman was waiting for a
tow truck to arrive when Schwartz collided with his squad car. Schartz is being held in the Polk County Jail.





Man’s Death In Dallas County Called A Homicide

(Adel, IA) — The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of a man who was found at the intersection of two roads in rural Adel.
The man, who has not been identified, was found early Tuesday. The man had been shot and the death is being treated as a homicide. The Sheriff’s Department does say there is no danger to the public.