Home News Friday Afternoon News, January 22nd

Friday Afternoon News, January 22nd


Le Mars Ambulance And Le Mars Fire And Rescue To Combine Services

(Le Mars) — As the Le Mars city council tackles the work of figuring the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, two departments will now be combined into one budget. City Administrator Jason Vacura says the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department and the Le Mars Ambulance Services will operate
under one budget, and the two public safety units will be merged together as one entity.

Vacura says the city looked at three separate areas when considering the merger. He says they even discovered some cost savings.

The city administrator says the merger should make both entities more efficient along with improved service. Vacura says the city is planning to purchase a third ambulance unit.

Vacura says with the merger of the community ambulance and fire department, there will be some cross-training with those volunteers.

Another consideration for the merger, according to Vacura, is the fact that both the Le Mars Ambulance as well as the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department are often called upon to provide assistance services to neighboring communities, such as Merrill and Oyens. Vacura says response time is expected to improve with the consolidation.

Vacura says the same would hold true with the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.

Vacura says the city council has been involved with the discussion, and both the ambulance volunteers and the fire and rescue volunteers held a meeting this past Monday to be informed of the merger.




Firefighters Respond To Vehicle Fire

(Le Mars) — Firefighters responded to a vehicle fire Friday afternoon at about 3:28 p.m. The fire was reported to have occurred near the alley of 308 4th Avenue S.W. Fire Chief Dave Schipper says it appears the car may have backfired when the owner tried starting the vehicle. Schipper says the fuel line going into the engine had ruptured causing gasoline to spray all over
the engine which ignited into flames. The flames were quickly extinguished by responding firefighters. The car was parked outside of a garage, but damage was limited only to the vehicle. There was no damage done to the garage or surrounding area. Firefighters were on the scene for approximately 20 minutes. There were no injuries associated with the fire.




Moose Spotted Wandering In Plymouth County

(Le Mars) — Reports of a wandering lost moose have been seen in Plymouth County. The moose is a female cow moose and is thought to have traveled to northwest Iowa from northern North Dakota. Iowa D-N-R Wildlife Biologist Doug Chafa says it is a rare occasion to see a moose in Iowa, but it has
happened a couple of times in the past.

Chafa says there are usually two reasons for a moose to travel this far south. He says the first reason may be if a young bull moose has left the herd because it couldn’t compete for position with other older bull moose.
The second reason, and is being speculated with the female moose in northwest Iowa is that it may suffer from some mental brain disease.

Chafa says he understands the curiosity factor from people wanting to see the moose, but he warns people to keep their distance.

The Iowa DNR Wildlife Biologist says there is no way in determining whether the moose will continue heading south, or if it has found its new home.
Chafa says several years ago, a wandering moose found its way south to Interstate 80 near Walnut, Iowa. Chafa doesn’t believe the moose will do much property damage, but he says that onlookers hoping to see the moose should respect a landowner’s private property rights and not trespass.

(photo courtesy of Iowa DNR)




Grassley Calls Trump’s EPA Waivers ‘A Disgrace’

(Washington, DC) — Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is blasting the Trump Administration for granting more ethanol waivers to the oil industry, just before Joe Biden became president. Grassley told reporters, “what we saw in
the final hours of the Trump Administration was a disgrace to the biofuels community.” A federal court already has temporarily blocked the three waivers Trump’s E-P-A granted to small refineries, excusing them from the requirement to blend ethanol into gasoline. Congresswoman Ashley Hinson called granting waivers at the last minute “a slap in the face to biofuel
producers in Iowa.” She’s asking the Biden Administration to “revoke these waivers immediately and ensure the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard is maintained going forward.”




Iowa AG’s Office Reports 24 Percent Increase in Consumer Complaints in 2020

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Attorney General’s office blames a combination of the pandemic and the derecho for a 24-percent increase in consumer complaints during 2020. The office got more than 600 complaints last year just about price gouging for toilet paper and other products. The derecho complaints included disaster repair services, tree trimming and electrical work. Complaints over canceled trips also soared. The A-G’s office says for the third year in a row, auto-related problems topped all categories of complaints.




Wild Rose Casino in Clinton Fined $20K For Underage Gambling

(Altoona, IA) — The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is fining the Wild Rose Casino in Clinton 20-thousand dollars for underage gambling. A 20-year-old visited the casino some 40 times and gambled — but Wild Rose vice president Tom Timmons says “this person had his cousin’s ID. And the cousin
and him were practically identical twins, definitely the same D-N-A.” He says the illegal use of the I-D was only discovered by a relative who worked in housekeeping and was there to disinfect the casino. A review of security video showed the juvenile was not asked for an I-D in 13 of the times he came onto the casino floor. The Riverside Casino was also fined 20-thousand
dollars for letting in an underage gambler.