Authorities Identify Fatal Accident Victim
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County authorities have now identified the victim of that fatal accident that happened last Friday on Highway 12 near Westfield.
You may recall the victim’s vehicle had caught on fire after striking a tree.
The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office determined the deceased victim to be 43-year old Jeremy A. Parker of Macy, Nebraska. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and the Le Mars Police Department continue to investigate the accident.
Floyd Valley Healthcare Receives COVID-19 Vaccines
(Le Mars) — Floyd Valley Healthcare has received its first allotment of the COVID-19 vaccine, and officials expects to receive the planned allotment of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. As directed by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Floyd Valley anticipates moving from Tier 1A Frontline Healthcare workers caring for COVID patients to Tier 1A Frontline Workers in
Other Healthcare Settings in early January. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 712.546.3646 after December 27th. Phones will be answered Monday – Fridays from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Identification from an employer, such as a name badge or letter from the employer, will be required
to assure those seeking a vaccination are in the current priority group.
As set forth by IDPH, Tier 1A Frontline Workers in Other Healthcare Settings:
Healthcare providers (HCP) with direct patient contact and thus who are unable to telework, including those who work in inpatient, outpatient, or community settings, who provide services to patients or patient’s family members, or who handle infectious materials including: CNAs/LPNs/RNs, Chiropractors, Dental Workers, Dieticians, EMS, Massage Therapists, Mental Health Counselors, Physical and Occupational Therapists, Optometrists, Pharmacists, Physician Assistants, Physicians, Podiatrists, Psychologists, Radiological Techs, Respiratory Care Practitioners and Social WorkersHCP working in residential care or long-term care facilitiesSkilled nursing facility residents
1A Community Group clinic dates are:
· January 6th from 3 – 7 p.m.
· January 7th from 3 – 7 p.m.
· January 8th from 11:00 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Those vaccinated will be required to remain for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine for an observation period, with 30 minutes of observation being recommended for patients who have experienced a severe allergic reaction in the past, such as to oral medications, foods, bees, etc. Due to social distancing concerns and potential adverse reactions with this new vaccine, we
are discouraging all staff from one location to receive the vaccine at once, but spreading vaccinations for your staff through the various clinic times.
While we try to provide some flexibility with our communities, we will not be able to offer that with this vaccination. Due to storage and handling of this sensitive vaccine, there will be no off-site clinics or drop-ins to planned clinics allowed. While we understand the desire for many to receive this vaccine, we ask that you are patient as we work through this process.
As we receive the priority group guidelines from IDPH, we will keep the community informed of the ever evolving plan. We anticipate that the next priority group will be announced in late January with clinics held after that update. Due to the volume of people to be vaccinated and stringent guidelines, Floyd Valley Healthcare will not be vaccinating any group early nor keeping a waiting list for those wishing to be vaccinated. All vaccinations will be given in a vaccination clinic setting and not on an
individual basis. Please continue to monitor media sources for future updates.
State Climatologist Says Iowa Usually Has A Brown Christmas Instead Of A White Christmas
(Le Mars) — We are all familiar with the Christmas song, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” made popular by Bing Crosby. It looks as though because of Wednesday’s snow storm, this year, we will have a white Christmas, but more times than not, Iowa usually ends up with a brown Christmas. State
Climatologist, Justin Glisan says officials usually look at the past 40 years. Glisan says northern Iowa does have a more probability of having a white Christmas than does southern Iowa. He defines a white Christmas as having at least an inch of snow on the ground.
The state’s climatologist says going back to 1925, Iowa had a large amount of snow piled up on Christmas Day, and specifically in Le Mars large snowfalls were noted in 1968.
Glisan says weather officials are watching for another storm system that may enter Iowa late next week. Glistan says yesterday’s snowfall may be welcomed when you consider many parts of Iowa are below average with subsoil moisture
The state’s climatologist says he has some concerns about the dry conditions going forward into 2021.
Law Enforcement Officials Say To Be Prepared For Winter Storms
(Le Mars) — Law enforcement officials say now is the time we need to be prepared for winter storms. Iowa State Patrol trooper John Farley says before you travel, you should know the weather conditions not only where you may begin your travels, but also for your destination.
Farley says to make certain you have a charged cell phone with you, especially if you should get stranded.
The Iowa State Patrol trooper says to take special attention to signs, landmarks, and mile markers so emergency personnel can find you and get to you as quickly as possible. Farley says to have a survivor’s kit with you in your vehicle, and if you do get stranded to remain in your vehicle.
Following yesterday’s winter blizzard storm, there were several reports of vehicles that were stranded in the ditch or median throughout northwest Iowa.
1999 New COVID Cases in Iowa, 15 Additional Deaths
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting nearly two-thousand positive COVID tests, increasing the state’s total to 271-thousand-19 cases since the pandemic began. Fifteen more Iowans have died of coronavirus complications which brings the death toll to three-thousand-668. Six-hundred-44 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. One-
hundred-34 of those patients are in intensive care and 71 are on ventilators.
There are currently 127 outbreaks at long-term care facilities in Iowa.
Initial and Continuing Unemployment Claims Increase in Iowa
(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa Workforce Development is reporting an increase in initial and continuing unemployment claims from December 13th through 19th.
The seven-thousand-645 first-time claims last week was an increase of more than 11-hundred from the previous week. The 38-thousand-318 continuing claims is up 200 from two weeks ago. About 69 percent of these claims were not related to COVID-19 layoffs. I-W-D says federal unemployment programs
are scheduled to end December 26th in Iowa. Congress extended federal benefits in the 908-billion-dollar COVID relief package.
UNI To Unveil New Logo With Update of Marketing
(Cedar Falls, IA) — University of Northern Iowa president Mark Nook says the university will unveil a new logo in the culmination of an update to its marketing program. Nook says the goal is to enroll more out-of-state students who will end up staying in Iowa after graduation. He says they spent a lot of time looking at their brand and what it is in Iowa and across the Midwest.
In addition to updated marketing, Nook says it’s time for a comprehensive, long-term plan for the institution as they approach their 150th anniversary in 2026.
Home Sales Continue Strong In November
(Undated) — The number of homes sold in November was down a bit from those sold in October, but Iowa Association of Realtors president, Jen Burkamper says sales were up by 15-and-a-half percent compared to last November. With one month remaining in 2020 home sales overall are up eight-point-three percent. Burkamper says low-interest rates and lockdowns seem to be behind the positive numbers as people who have been staying at home during the pandemic are realizing they need more room. She says the days on the market for a home were down to 48 — something not seen since 2018.
United Way Study Finds Need Continues To Increase
(Undated) — A study from the United Ways of Iowa shows how the pandemic is impacting the state’s households and finds low-income families are suffering disproportionately in trying to pay for essentials. Deann Cook, the agency’s executive director, says the report finds more than half of Iowa households are reporting a loss of income or increased expenses due to COVID-19. She
says the Iowans who are still in a position to give have been very, very generous, particularly with disaster funds. Cook says there’s still simply more need out there than the non-profit sector is able to provide.