Floyd Valley Reports New Year’s Baby Is Born
(Le Mars) — Floyd Valley Healthcare of Le Mars is reporting the birth of the New Year’s baby. It is a little boy named Aleph Belete Endale (Endolly) and is the new son of Belete and Winnshet Tesema of Le Mars. The time of the birth was at 7:21 p.m. The new year’s baby weighed eight pounds and one ounce,
and measured 21 inches in length. The attending physician was Dr. Destiny Miller.
Sioux City Police Investigate New Year’s Eve Fatal Shooting
(Sioux City) — The new year started with tragedy in Sioux City with a fatal drive by shooting in Morningside. Shortly before 1:00 am Friday, officers were dispatched to a call at 2637
South Walker Street where multiple shots had been fired into the residence where a party was taking place.
Police Chief Rex Mueller says several people were injured including an 18-year-old girl who suffered a fatal gunshot wound:
Sgt. Mike Manthorne says the other people injured all sustained non-life threatening injuries and are in stable condition at Sioux City hospitals.
One of those victims was a juvenile and no names have been released at this time. No suspects have been identified at this time and Manthorne says more than one weapon was fired at the home. Many people fled the party during the shooting, so it’s not known yet how many people were there. Chief Mueller says police are asking for assistance from the public:
Anyone with information should contact the Sioux City Police Department at 712-258-tips (8477).
Van Otterloo Retires From County Sheriff And Ready To Become County Supervisor
(Le Mars) — Long-time Plymouth County Sheriff, Mike Van Otterloo has retired from being the county sheriff and is now ready to begin his new duties as a Plymouth County Supervisor. Van Otterloo will report to the county courthouse Monday morning and take the chair the was occupied by Mark Loutsch. Van Otterloo will represent the second district of Plymouth County. Van Otterloo was the sheriff for the past 31 years, and says he tried to guide his law enforcement career based on a biblical verse.
A three-part series of reports focusing on a conversation with Van Otterloo is on the featured page of the KLEM website.
Land Values Survey Shows A Slight Increase
(Ames) — The recently released Iowa State University Land Value Survey found a modest one-point-seven percent statewide increase in the value of farmland. Survey leader Wendong Zhang (When-dong Jon) says one of the factors in the increase is the lack of available land.
That average price of an acre of ground in the survey this year was seven-thousand-559 dollars ($7,559).
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.
Iowa State University Says They Are Better Prepared To Handle COVID-19 Virus 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.
Human Trafficking Still A Concern In Iowa
(Des Moines) –– As a crossroads for three major interstates, authorities say Iowa is a critical troublespot for human trafficking — and problems are worsening in the pandemic. Megan Cutter, director of the National Human Trafficking Hotline, says the first month of COVID-related shutdowns brought a 40-percent increase in crisis calls, while requests for shelter nearly doubled. Cutter says recent federal funding sent to local communities to help victims find housing is vitally needed.
Cutter says any legislation, federal or state, that can help provide stable housing to those in need, will go a long way toward helping curb human trafficking. It’s estimated 40-million people are trafficked every year in an industry worth 150-billion dollars a year. Cutter says traffickers often prey on people who don’t have a secure place to live.
The 2019 investigative documentary, “Gridshock,” explored the human trafficking industry in Iowa and claimed people are being bought and sold for sex — every day — in communities across the state. The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 888-373-7888.