Home News Thursday Afternoon News, March 4th

Thursday Afternoon News, March 4th


Floyd Valley And Plymouth County Community Health Department Adds Two Vaccination Clinics

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Community Health Director, Tara Geddes has announced two additional clinics have been scheduled for COVID vaccinations.
Geddes says, “We just learned that we will have extra doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine that need to be administered. These doses were set aside for our manufacturing facilities, but learned last evening that there will be extra vaccines available. Due to this, we are opening up and making
the Johnson & Johnson available community wide until gone. The clinic dates are tomorrow, Friday, March 5th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Tuesday, March 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. If more vaccine becomes available, additional times will be added. We are asking that you go to the Floyd Valley Healthcare website at www.floydvalley.org and click on our new Vaccine
Scheduling Link to schedule the appointment. For those that don’t have access to online scheduling, we do still have our vaccine phone line available by calling (712)546-3646.” said Tara Geddes, Floyd Community Health manager.




Le Mars Man Sentenced To Federal Prison Due To Felon Illegally Possessing A Handgun And Possession Of Drug Charges

(Sioux City) — A Le Mars man, who possessed a loaded gun, was sentenced February 26, 2021, to more than three years in federal prison.  Joshua Jacobs, age 39, from Le Mars, Iowa, received the prison term after a September 18, 2020, guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Jacobs was previously convicted of felony drug crimes which made it illegal for him to possess a gun. Evidence at Jacob’s, detention, change of plea, and sentencing hearings revealed that on October 15, 2019, officers of the Sioux City Police Department conducting surveillance on a residence observed a vehicle not registered to Jacobs leaving the residence. Due to a malfunctioning license plate light, officers initiated a
traffic stop of the vehicle. The vehicle did not immediately stop and “slow rolled” for a distance before coming to a stop. Immediately upon stopping the vehicle, Jacobs
exited the driver’s seat. Due to this unusual behavior, Jacobs was placed in handcuffs. A female passenger in the vehicle, was observed to be bleeding from her hand and to have a white powder on her shirt. Officers also observed what
appeared to be a broken methamphetamine pipe on the passenger’s side floor.
Due to those items, officers conducted a probable cause search of the vehicle.
On the passenger’s side, officers located a digital scale, broken glass, and a baggie that was found to contain approximately four grams of methamphetamine. In the center console, officers found a black bag, which contained a number of small
baggies of a white powder and crystalline substance that appeared to be methamphetamine. Jacobs stated that the substance in the black bag was not methamphetamine but was MSM. In a spare tire well in the trunk of the vehicle,
officers located a loaded .40 caliber Springfield XD handgun, which was later found to have been stolen. The 12-round magazine contained 11 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition. The defendant initially denied having any knowledge of the
firearm; however, in a subsequent interview, Jacobs admitted that he had possessed the firearm, which he knew to be stolen.
Jacobs was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand. Jacobs was sentenced to 41 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a two-year term of supervised release after the prison term.
There is no parole in the federal system.
Jacobs is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.




Remsen Woman Charged With Insurance Fraud

Des Moines, Iowa – A Remsen woman has been charged with one count of Insurance Fraud – Presenting False Information (Class D Felony) following an investigation by the Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau.

Charges against Stephanie Lynn Rink, age 32, of Remsen, stems from an investigation which began in March of 2020. According to a criminal complaint filed by the Iowa Insurance Fraud
Bureau, Rink was involved in a motor vehicle collision in June of 2019. Rink was later involved in a second collision in August of 2019. After the August 2019 collision, Rink provided false information to her insurance company indicating damage from the June 2019 collision had been repaired, when it had
not, in order to obtain additional insurance benefits to which she would not have otherwise been entitled.

On February 25, 2021, Rink was arrested and booked into the Plymouth County Jail and later released after posting a $5,000 bond. Trial will be set for a future date. No additional details will be provided at this time.

(Photo courtesy of Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office)




Iowa Congressional Delegation Requests Additional Staff To Assist With IRS Issues

WASHINGTON — Rep. Randy Feenstra (IA-04) joined the Iowa
congressional delegation in sending a letter requesting additional staffing for the Iowa Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) office.

In a letter to the head of the National Taxpayer Advocate office, the members highlight concerns that the Iowa TAS office does not have enough staff to assist Iowans with questions and concerns regarding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“Due to the disruptions and complicated situations faced by Iowans during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all of our offices are anticipating a significant increase in constituent requests for assistance with resolving tax issues,” the members wrote. “Our constituents are already dealing with new unfamiliar situations like unemployment and the Recovery Rebate Credit with reduced
ability to get in person help… the ability of our offices to resolve these concerns quickly and effectively depends on an efficient Iowa TAS office, which is under-resourced at a critical time.”

Iowa’s only Local Taxpayer Advocate office, located in Des Moines, serves the entire state to resolve problems with the IRS, including lack of communication from the IRS or financial difficulties.

The members ask that additional staffing be expedited for the Des Moines TAS office, or that Iowans be allowed to work with available staff at other TAS offices to alleviate caseloads.

“We are asking for immediate proactive measures to be taken to mitigate the disruption in casework, such as the temporary transfer of experienced TAS caseworkers to the Des Moines office or the ability for Iowa Congressional offices or their constituents to work with other TAS offices,” the members wrote.

Each state has at least one Local Taxpayer Advocate who is independent of the local IRS office and reports directly to the National Taxpayer Advocate.

The National Taxpayer Advocate assists all types of taxpayers, including individuals, businesses, and tax exempt entities, to resolve specific problems taxpayers are experiencing with the IRS. This office can help alleviate taxpayers’ problems and identify potential legislative changes to prevent these problems from occurring again.




Black Legislators Want Anti-Racial Profiling in Back the Blue Bill

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Legislative Black Caucus is calling on Governor Kim Reynolds to intervene on so-called “back the blue” legislation.
Reynolds proposed a package in January that included enhanced penalties for those who riot and who harass and attack police as well as provisions to address racial profiling by police. Representative Ras Smith of Waterloo complains the Republican majority in the legislature is leaving a key part out. Smith said, “this legislation should not pass without including anti-
racial profiling language. It should not pass without implicit bias training being part of this ‘Back the Blue’ package.” Smith said the GOP-controlled legislature appears to be “taking Iowa backwards” after the progress of last spring, when a police reform package that passed unanimously last June. A
spokesman for the governor has not responded to a request for comment.




Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Lesser Penalties For Marijuana Possession

(Des Moines, IA) — A bill that would reduce the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana is moving forward in the Iowa Senate. The measure making five grams or less of cannabis a simple misdemeanor cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Republican Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale says convictions under current law for young Iowans could mean losing a scholarship, housing and job opportunities. Some Democrats call this a modest change to marijuana laws and complaint that it doesn’t go far enough.
The legislation is now eligible for debate on the Senate floor.




UI Taking Public Comment on Reforming Campus Police Department

(Iowa City, IA) — The University of Iowa is taking public comment on proposals to re-imagine campus policing and safety. A committee has drafted three potential models, some of which include moving away from the traditional role of police and diverting calls for service to other responders like health care providers. The review stems from last year’s protests against systemic racism and police brutality, while critics say the
U-I Police Department has impacts far beyond the university. Julia Zalenski of Prairielands Freedom Fund, a community bail and bond fund, is pushing for the model that would reduce the campus police force and reallocate funding to social services. She said, “a lot of these ideas are drastic, or feel drastic, just because we are not accustomed to imagining a world without the
kind of policing that we have right now.”




Sioux City Stabbings Leave Victim in Critical Condition

(Sioux City, IA) — Police in Sioux City are investigating stabbings that left one victim seriously injured. Officers say there were two stabbings early this Thursday morning just blocks apart. A man who suffered a wound to the chest and was taken to MercyOne Hospital in critical condition. It’s unknown whether the incidents are related. Anyone with tips is asked to call
Sioux City Crime Stoppers (712-258-TIPS).