Home News Thursday News, March 11th

Thursday News, March 11th


Hearing Is Scheduled Today For Thomas Knapp

(Le Mars) — A video hearing is scheduled for today (Thursday) for 83-year old Thomas Knapp of rural Merrill. Knapp is accused of shooting his step son 53-year old Kevin Juzek back on May 11th of 2020. Knapp has been charged with first degree murder. Trial for Knapp has been pushed back until May 11th, the anniversary date of the shooting.




Floyd Valley Healthcare To Open Up Next Tier Of Vaccinations

(Le Mars) — Floyd Valley Healthcare has updated the vaccination schedule against the COVID-19 virus. Those in the Tier 1C Priority Group are now able to make appointments for the COVID-19 vaccination clinics being scheduled for next week. Health officials will also continue to vaccinate those in groups
1A and 1B. Please use our online form to quickly and easily choose your appointment time. The link can be found at FloydValley.org.

Appointments are on a first come – first served basis and there is not a waiting list. Priority is given to those living in or that have a primary care physician located in Plymouth County. You must be 18 years of age or older to receive the Moderna vaccine.

Tier 1C includes adults 64 years of age or younger with certain underlying medical conditions who are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19 as defined by the CDC and IDPH. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death.

Adults of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

Chronic kidney disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Down Syndrome
Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2) or Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
Sickle cell disease
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
COVID-19 is a new disease. Currently there is limited data and information about the impact of many underlying medical conditions on the risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know at this time, adults of any age with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe
illness from the virus that causes COVID-19:

Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
Cystic fibrosis
Hypertension or high blood pressure
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
Liver disease
Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
Type 1 diabetes mellitus




Jeneary And Carlin To Hold Two Town Hall Meetings On Saturday

(Des Moines) — State Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars and State Senator Jim Carlin of Sioux City, both Republicans, have announced they will conduct two town hall meetings next Saturday, March 20th. Those town
hall meetings will be held at the Hinton Community Center beginning at 9:00 a.m. and then the second town hall legislative meeting is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. at the Kissinger Community Hall at Merrill. Dr. Jeneary says he enjoys meeting with constituents during the town hall meetings.

Jeneary reflects upon the issues that were discussed during the town hall meetings held two weeks ago at Akron, Le Mars, and Remsen.

The state lawmaker says people usually have a better understanding of a presented bill if it is explained to them rather than to simply reading the bill.




Governor Reynolds Creates Task Force Committee To Address Childcare In Iowa

(Des Moines) — With an official calling Iowa a “childcare desert”, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Wednesday announced a new task force with the mission to help Iowans locate, set-up, and utilize additional affordable child care facilities. The governor appointed Emily Schmitt, general counsel with Sukup Manufacturing at Sheffield, to lead the new task force committee.
Reynolds says the shortage of the state’s childcare has always been a concern, but it was intensified during the pandemic. Schmitt, a mother of two daughters, says Iowa has the highest percentage of any state with both parents working, with a childcare shortage.

Schmitt continued to offer additional statistics regarding the shortage of affordable childcare within the state.

Schmitt shared her goals for leading the new task force committee.

The governor’s childcare task force chair says the pandemic has
disproportioned the opportunities and career advancements for Iowa women, and she says we cannot allow that to happen.

Schmitt says the task force committee will measure their success by establishing a goal of increasing Iowa’s childcare slats by 50 percent within five years.




Reynolds Reflects Upon One Year Anniversary Of COVID-19

(Des Moines) — As Iowa acknowledges the one-year anniversary of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, Governor Reynolds offered some statistics during her weekly news conference held Wednesday morning. Reynolds says a year ago
state officials and health officials did not know much about the virus.

Reynolds reminded the news media it was within nine months that the first vaccine to COVID-19 was introduced to the public.

Reynolds says now that Iowans have three different vaccines available, she anticipates the one-millionth Iowan will receive a COVID vaccination by the end of this week.

The governor announced to the news media that she anticipates a ramp-up of vaccines will be made available to Iowans in April, and without telling the specific number expected, the governor says “a significant” number of COVID vaccine doses is to arrive in the state by June.




Governor Says Iowa’s 2-1-1 Helpline Off To A Good Start

(Des Moines) — Seniors, age 65 and up, can now get assistance for establishing a vaccine appointment by calling the 2-1-1 help line. The service started yesterday, and allows people to call the help line, where a COVID navigator will assist with making an appointment at the person’s earliest convenience, and at a HyVee pharmacy close to them. Governor Reynolds says the program is off to a great start.

Reynolds says operators at the 2-1-1 helpline are able to translate nearly any language.




Legislation Would Penalize Cities That Defund Police

(Des Moines, IA) — All Republicans and ten Democrats in the Iowa Senate have passed a bill designed to penalize cities that “defund” the police.
Republican senators passed another bill that would boost penalties for rioting. Senator Julian Garrett, a Republican from Indianola, says it’s about supporting law enforcement officers who dealt with violent rioters last summer. He says they are trying to make the penalties stiff enough people think twice about it. Garrett’s bill would keep arrested protesters in jail
for 24 hours before they’d be eligible for release. Garrett calls it a cooling-off period. Senator Tony Bisignano, a Democrat from Des Moines, says Republicans seem to have forgotten why people were protesting last summer.




US House Democrats Pass $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package

(Washington, DC) — Thousands of Iowans will soon be receiving 14-hundred-dollar stimulus checks after today’s (Wednesday) U-S House passage of the one-point-nine-trillion-dollar COVID relief package. No Republicans in Congress voted for the so-called American Rescue Plan. Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne said in a statement, “This legislation provides the tools critical to ending this pandemic, getting Iowans safely back to work, helping the workers and businesses that’re hurting, and keeping a roof over the heads of those still struggling.” G-O-P Congresswoman Ashley Hinson said, “less than nine percent of spending in the bill goes toward public
health measures to stop the spread of this virus, and it sends billions of additional taxpayer dollars to schools without requiring them to reopen this year.” Hinson called it a “partisan pork spending package.”




”Hair Help” Is Coming For Iowa Brides

(Des Moines, IA) — Brides who want intricate braids, up-dos, or chignons for their wedding day could have a professional stylist on-site if a bill that cleared the Iowa House becomes law. Representative Ann Meyer says the legislation will allow licensed cosmetologists to practice cosmetology at a wedding venue, on the day of the wedding. Currently, they can only practice in a licensed salon. In addition to hairstyling, some licensed cosmetologists do nails. That means if this bill becomes law, brides could get touch-ups on their manicures and pedicures at their wedding venue, too. Hair salons took a hit during the pandemic as they were closed for weeks last spring to curb the spread of Covid. Supporters say this bill could provide cosmetologists with a welcome source of new income.




US House Of Representatives Postpones Decision On Election Challenge

(Washington, DC) — A committee in the U-S House of Representatives has voted to postpone its decision on the challenge to election results in Iowa’s Second Congressional District. Members of the Committee on Administration
say they will review the merits of the case. Democrat Rita Hart has argued that at least 22 legal ballots were wrongly left out of the final count. She only lost by six votes. Republican Congresswoman Marianette Miller-Meeks has asked
the committee to toss out the challenge. Hart’s campaign was happy with Wednesday’s decision. An attorney for Miller-Meeks continues to say Hart should have taken the case to state court first.




Iowa Woman Gets 6 Months In Prison For Leaking Identities Of Drug Informants

(Des Moines, IA) — The U-S Department of Justice says an Iowa woman has been sentenced to six months in prison for leaking the identities of federal drug informants. Thirty-seven-year-old Danielle Taff of Ankeny was working as a paralegal for the feds at the time. She had entered a guilty plea last
November to a federal charge of computer fraud and could have received a five-year sentence. Pictures and phone numbers for the informants wound up on a Facebook page that was dedicated to outing “snitches.”




Des Moines Register Reporter Acquitted of Charges at Racial Justice Protest

(Des Moines, IA) — A jury has acquitted Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri of charges of failure to disperse and
interference with official acts at a protest at a Des Moines mall last May.
Sahouri’s then-boyfriend, Spenser Robnett, was also found not guilty of the same two charges. Prosecutor Bradley Kincade told jurors during closing arguments that the two failed to follow an order to disperse. Defense attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt said in his closing that “you cannot refuse to obey what you did not hear.” Klinefeldt says Sahouri was doing her job as a reporter and covering the event before being pepper-sprayed and arrested.




Delaware County Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Killing Boyfriend

(Manchester, IA) — A northeast Iowa woman pleaded not guilty to the February shooting death of her boyfriend in Delaware County. Thirty-three-year-old Danielle Weiner is charged with the first-degree murder of 27-year-old Devon Hierrezuelo. Weiner initially reported that someone broke into her apartment and shot her boyfriend. Investigators determined that Hierrezuelo had been shot in a bedroom, moved to the kitchen/living room area and there were no signs of forced entry. A gun with blood on it was recovered at the scene. Weiner’s next court hearing is April 8th.