Part 3 — Conversation With Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo
(Le Mars) — We conclude our three-part series focusing on long-time Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo as he begins his new job of being a Plymouth County Supervisor. Van Otterloo says he will forever cherish the relationships that he has been able to build and maintain with his staff, other agencies, and with county officials. During his more than 30 years
serving Plymouth County as its sheriff, Van Otterloo saw the need to expand his staff to better serve the needs of the growing county. He says he is appreciative of the board of supervisors, both past and present, for recognizing the need to expand the sheriff’s staff.
Van Otterloo says he is fortunate in the fact that he can’t think of a single cold case that did not get resolved.
Unfortunately, the long-term sheriff has had to deal with more than 300 deaths during his tenure, whether they be homicides, suicides, deaths from natural causes, or from fatal traffic accidents. He says he always felt that it is the responsibility of the sheriff to be informed and involved in some manner
when a death had occurred.
Van Otterloo says each and every death has had its own set of unique circumstances, and none of them were identical and alike. Van Otterloo says when going to the scene of a death, he reminds himself to focus on the issue at hand, and he tries to put aside emotions for a later time. Van Otterloo gives a great deal of credit to his wife for being a spiritual and emotional
counselor after he has had to deal with a tough situation.
Van Otterloo speaks fondly of the relationships that developed because of his job as the county sheriff.
The retiring sheriff says he wants to continue with those relationships, and that is a main reason why he is switching jobs to become a county supervisor.
Van Otterloo says he doesn’t have any specific goals in mind for when he begins his duties as a supervisor beginning on Monday, but believes his more than 30 years as the sheriff will be able to provide some insight relating to county governing issues.
After more than 30 years as the county sheriff, Van Otterloo says he tried to perform his duties following a biblical verse.
Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo…thank you for your 30 plus years for your service to Plymouth County.
18-Year-Old Woman Killed, Several Wounded in Sioux City Drive-By Shooting
(Sioux City, IA) — Police in Sioux City are investigating an early morning drive-by shooting that left one dead and several people injured. Officers responding to a call of shots fired just before 1 a-m today (Friday) found an 18-year-old woman dead. They say several other victims were also struck by gunfire and taken to hospitals. No other details have been released.
Investigators are asking for tips about the shooting. The Sioux City Police Department is holding a news conference this afternoon.
Iowa State Better Prepared For COVID For Second Semester
(Ames, IA) — Students in k-through 12 classes and at the college level had to deal with a lot of changes in their routine this past year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Iowa State University president Wendy Wintersteen says they adjusted on the fly. Wintersteen said, “we finished the semester and we
had an emphasis on having our laboratories, our studios in-person. Our classes and lecture halls of course were virtual. We still had a significant amount of in-person interaction.” She believes the action they took appeared to have stopped the spread of the virus. Wintersteen says “this coming semester we
now know that there are ways that we can provide structured and monitored activities for our students to be able to come together and have some of that social interaction in a relatively safe environment.” I-S-U’s Spring session begins on January 25th.
Congressman Loebsack Moving On After 7 Terms in US House
(Mount Vernon. IA) — Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack cast his last votes as a member of the U-S House this past Monday. Loebsack says he felt “a little bit of sadness, but a lot more relief, happiness, ready to move on, do other things, take a break for sure to begin with.” The 68-year-old Democrat did not
seek re-election. Loebsack said he’s most proud of his work in securing federal aid to help eastern Iowa recover from the 2008 flooding. Loebsack said he doesn’t have a lot of regrets, although he admits he’s still wrestling with his 2014 decision to be one of just 31 Democrats voting in favor of the construction of the Keystone X-L Pipeline.