Home News Friday Afternoon News, January 8th

Friday Afternoon News, January 8th


Gehlen Catholic To Allow Unlimited Spectators At Sporting Events, While LCHS Still Imposes Attendance Limits

(Le Mars) — Governor Kim Reynolds has updated her public health emergency proclamation so Iowa high schools do not have to limit the number of spectators at basketball games, wrestling meets, and other sporting events. The restrictions end today (Friday), but school districts can still impose their own limits. Fans at indoor games or meets must still wear masks and maintain their distance from others who don’t live in their household. The governor’s updated proclamation has extended the mask mandate for many indoor public spaces until February 6th. Amy Jungers with Gehlen Catholic school tells of the decision officials made.

Le Mars Community school officials issued a news release saying their ultimate goal is for the health and safety of our students, staff, and community, and to make sure our students are able to continue to attend school and participate in current and future activities throughout this pandemic. It has been determined by Plymouth County Public Health and the Le Mars Community School District that COVID continues to be a very real and present danger.

Although the governor’s proclamation has changed by reducing restrictions, our community COVID-19 status has not changed dramatically enough forus to allow for unlimited spectators to events. Therefore, Le Mars Community requires the following at all basketball games: Masks are required for all spectators and participants over two years of age. Each athlete, team personnel, and cheerleader will be allowed six names on the pass list. Dance team members are allowed six names on the pass list to attend only for their halftime performance. Junior varsity spectators are required to leave, unless their student is also participating in a varsity contest. Varsity girls and boys pass list spectators will be allowed to check in starting at 5:10 p.m. Le Mars high school students only can attend with their student ID and for $5 or an activity ticket.




Reynolds Is Concerned With The Slow Pace Of Vaccinations For Long-term Care Residents

(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds says the the pace of Covid-19 vaccinations for Iowa nursing residents and staff is unacceptable. Under a federal agreement, Walgreens, C-V-S and a regional chain called Community Pharmacy were hired to get the shots deployed to Iowa nursing homes. Some nursing home managers say they cannot find out when shots will be administered in their facilities.

Reynolds and other governors spoke with executives from the two national pharmacy chains late Thursday. Reynolds says if C-V-S and Walgreens can’t fulfill the contract in a timely basis, local pharmacies should get the business.

Reynolds says the agreement to have the national pharmacy chains in charge of delivering and administering the Covid vaccines in nursing homes seemed to address concerns about having enough staff to give the shots.

The first doses of vaccines in nursing homes were given December 28th. However, a dozen days later, it’s still unclear how many of the state’s more than 60-thousand nursing home residents and staff have been vaccinated. The governor says about 60 percent of the doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that the state has received so far have been given, but there’s no break-down on who’s getting the shots. According to the most recent federal data, Iowa’s Covid-19 vaccination rate is among the highest in the country.




Missouri River Basin Snow Melt Predicted To Be Lower In 2021

(Omaha) — After record flooding in parts of western Iowa in 2019, officials with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers are predicting below-normal runoff into the Missouri River system during the year ahead. Kevin Grode (GROW-dee), an engineer in the Corps’ Omaha office, compared last year’s runoff with this year’s prediction.

Some sections of western Iowa are ranked as being in moderate, severe or extreme drought. Grode says the soil is very dry and there isn’t much snow pack across the basin.

Grode says mountain snowpack is also below normal so far.

The below-normal forecast follows several years of above-normal-to-record runoff in the basin.




Democratic and GOP Candidates Nominated to Run For Miller-Meeks Senate Seat

(Ottumwa, IA) — The Republican and Democratic candidates are picked for the January 26th special election in Iowa Senate District 41. Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa resigned from her state Senate seat last week. Democrats nominated retired Indian Hills Community College educator and community activist Mary Stewart of Ottumwa. The Iowa G-O-P nominated trucking company businessman Adrian Dickey of Packwood. Senate District 41 in southeastern Iowa includes Davis, Jefferson, Van Buren and Wapello counties.




Two Missing Girls From Jones County Found

(Lost Nation, IA) — The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says two girls reported missing in Jones County have been found. Sheriff’s deputies say 14-year-old Elizabeth Rodgers and 13-year-old Rylea Ostrander were last seen at Rustick Park in Lost Nation Thursday. Midland Middle-High School posted on Facebook Thursday Rodgers and Rylea Ostrander rode a bus to Lost Nation and went to Ostrander’s home.



Coralville Man Arrested For Breaking Into North Liberty Fire Department

(North Liberty, IA) — An eastern Iowa man is accused of breaking into the North Liberty Fire Department while drunk and causing five-thousand dollars in damage. Police say witnesses saw 30-year-old Robert Mlejnek of Coralville climb into the building through a broken window January 3rd. Mlejnek told investigators that he had been kicked out of a bar and had a lot to drink. Officers say he was uncooperative and kicked them as he was being taken into custody. Charges include criminal mischief, interference with official acts and public intoxication.