Home News Saturday News, February 20th

Saturday News, February 20th


Accident Victim Identified

(Cherokee) — The Iowa State Patrol has identified the injured victim from Thursday morning three-vehicle accident that happened on county road C-38. 41-year old Fernando Galvin Lopez of Le Mars suffered severe third-degree burns to his legs when his pickup started on fire as a result of the accident. Rescue units had to extinguish the flames, and then needed to extradite Lopez from the vehicle. Lopez was initially taken to Floyd Valley Healthcare in Le Mars, then was transferred to MercyOne Medical Center in Sioux City, and was finally transferred to a burn hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is listed as being in stable condition.




Iowa House Approves Extra School Funding For COVID Costs

(Des Moines, IA) — A bill providing public schools extra money to cover COVID-related costs has gained bipartisan approval in the Iowa House. Twenty-seven million dollars would be split among all districts, but Republican Representative Dustin Hite of New Sharon says districts that had the most classes in-person would receive the largest share of funding. He said, “we all know in this room that kids in school is the best learning environment for the vast majority of our students in the state of Iowa, but this year is took a little bit extra to get them in the room and that’s what this bill does.” About two dozen Democrats voted against the bill. Representative Sharon Steckman of Mason City says the funding distribution ignores the expenses of hybrid and remote learning. The House plan gives a financial break to districts that had buildings damaged in the August derecho and could not hold classes until repairs were done. State Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars offers an explanation of the bill.

Jeneary says there are some differences between the House version and the Senate version of the bill.




State Lawmakers To Hold Town Hall Meetings On Saturday

(Le Mars) — State lawmakers Dr. Tom Jeneary and Jim Carlin will hold a series of town hall meetings scheduled for today (Saturday). The legislators will be at four different communities to discuss current legislative bills and actions, as well as to gather input from their constituents. The town hall meetings are open to the public, and Jeneary says he looks forward to meeting people at the various town hall meetings.

Representative Jeneary and Senator Carlin will be at the Moville City Hall beginning at 9:00 a.m. then on to Correctionville City Hall at 10:30 a.m. The two legislators are scheduled to be at the Kingsley Community Center at 1:00 p.m. and finish the townhall meetings with a gathering at the Pierson Community Center at 2:30 p.m.




Le Mars Police Department Holds Fund Raiser For K9 Unit

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Police Department is kicking off a fund raising campaign to help with expenses associated with its K-9 patrol unit. Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte says the fundraiser is to cover expenses that are not part of the city’s budget.

“Ace” is the Le Mars Police Dog K9 unit. He is a cross between a German Shepard and Belgian Malinois. Officer Rob Rohlmiller serves as the handler for “Ace.” He explains why the department is looking to upgrade the cage facilities inside the patrol car.

Rohlmiller says “Ace” is capable of detecting narcotics and other drugs, plus tracking, as well as with article searches.

The Le Mars K9 dog has performed well at recent police dog competitions.

Chief Vande Vegte says having a K9 unit is an important part of the Le Mars Police Department, and “Ace” serves an important role.

Vande Vegte explains how the community can help with the fundraiser and help support the local K9 unit.

The Le Mars Police Department has already received generous contributions from the Le Mars Toy Store and Stockton’s Preferred Auto Body and Graphics. People wishing to contribute can contact the Le Mars Police Department.




House Ag Committee Adds Feenstra’s Derecho Plan to COVID Relief Package

(Washington, DC) — The U-S House Agriculture Committee is adding Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra’s proposal for derecho relief to the one-point-nine-trillion-dollar COVID relief package. The freshman Republican says the bill sets aside a total of four-billion dollars for U-S-D-A programs. Feenstra says the bill sort of looked a helping producers hit by catastrophes, so he created an amendment that identified catastrophe as derechos, hurricanes or fires. It directs the U-S-D-A’s Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program to distribute relief for losses due to the August 10th storm that flattened crops, silos and farm buildings. He hopes his amendment stays when the package goes to the U-S Senate.




John Deere Reports Large Increase in First-Quarter Net Income, Sales

(Moline, IL) — Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer is reporting spectacular first-quarter earnings. Quad Cities-based Deere and Company says net income for the quarter more than doubled from a year ago to more than one-point-two-billion dollars, including a 23-percent gain in net sales. Deere officials credit the “successful execution of a new operating strategy.” Chairman and C-E-O John May said that the results were aided by improving conditions in the farm and construction sectors. The full-year earnings for fiscal 2021 also increased to a range of four-point-six to five-billion dollars.




Linn County Salvation Army Smashes Fundraising Goal

(Cedar Rapids, IA) — The Linn County Salvation Army says it raised nearly a million dollars during its Christmas fundraising drive. The total is far more than the 711-thousand goal it had set, and is welcome news for a non-profit that’s been hit with financial setbacks. Its building was heavily damaged by last summer’s derecho, and donations have dwindled during the pandemic. The Salvation Army raises nearly half of its entire budget during its holiday fundraising drive.




Scott County Authorities ID Robbery Suspect Who Exchanged Gunfire With Officer

(Davenport, IA) — Scott County authorities are identifying the armed robbery suspect who exchanged gunfire with a Davenport police officer Thursday night. Sheriff’s deputies say 30-year-old Clarence Washington of Davenport is hospitalized in stable condition. The unidentified officer who fired at Washington was treated and released. Investigators say Washington had a gun and fired at officers in a Walgreens parking lot. He was accused of an armed robbery late Thursday morning and police spotted his vehicle around 5:45 p-m. He struck a squad car before getting stuck in snowbank and that’s when shots were fired.




Changes In The PPP Program May Prove To Benefit Farmers

(Des Moines) — Changes members of Congress made to the Paycheck Protection Program could mean bigger payments to Iowa farmers who’ve seen their operations hurt by the pandemic. Iowa Farmers Union president Aaron Lehman
(LAY-mun) says those tweaks to the program were much-needed.

Under recent P-P-P provisions, Lehman
says that money won’t be taxed as income and won’t affect any deductions farmers may take.

Lehman says federal aid is critical for agriculture, especially since farmers and ranchers have a long road to economic recovery following the pandemic.

Farmers and small businesses can apply for P-P-P loans through their traditional lenders such as banks and farm credit institutions.