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Tuesday News, April 6th


DNR Investigating Plymouth County Manure Spill And Fish Kill

REMSEN—Responding to a report of brown water in a creek, Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating a manure spill and fish kill that occurred about five miles southeast of Remsen.

The spill apparently started after Louis Pick, who owns LCNJ Farms, filled a tanker with manure from his confined beef operation late on Saturday evening.
Pick says a valve on the tanker failed, allowing manure to run down a road ditch and into a tributary of Whiskey Creek. He discovered the spill Monday morning.

Monday, DNR staff found dead fish for several miles downstream. Pick blocked the road ditch leading to the tributary, stopping the manure release. He is working to recover pooled liquid manure remaining in the area.

The DNR will continue to monitor cleanup and will consider appropriate enforcement action. DNR fisheries is on site conducting a fish kill count.




County Board Of Supervisors Will Not Hold Meeting This Week

(Le Mars) — No meeting is scheduled for this week for the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors. The county governing board will convene again next Tuesday.




Le Mars City Council To Discuss RAGBRAI, Ice Cream Days, And Renaming Of A City Street

(Le Mars) — Le Mars city council will gather at the council chambers at noon today. The city council will hold two public hearings. The first, will focus on the Floyd Valley Healthcare Specialty Clinic and Therapy Expansion Project. The second hearing will be to review the parking lot improvement
project for Cleveland Park. During the General Discussion, the city council will hear a report about the month of April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The city council will review the consent items that include extending the contract for an additional three years to Premier Communications for telephone and internet services for the city. Other consent items include lifting the 10:00 p.m. curfew for the city parks, during the days of RAGBRAI will be in town. Crossfit of Le Mars is
requesting Prospect Street to be closed on Saturday, April 24th for the Festivus Games. As for action items, the Le Mars city council will vote on renaming a street. The city council will also vote on RAGBRAI miscellaneous permits ordinance. Ice Cream Days committee is requesting $7,500 from the city to help with requested concert costs associated with Ice Cream Days.
Last year, the Ice Cream Days committee approached the city council with a request for $7,500 to put on a Saturday evening concert at the Olson Cultural Events Center. The request was in addition to the annual $7,500 allocated to Ice Cream Days from the Convention and Visitors Bureau Tourism Committee.
The council last year approved of the request. Due to the COVID-19 virus, Ice Cream Days was cancelled, and the money was not allocated. It was anticipated the $7,500 would come from the Hotel/Motel tax last year. This year’s Hotel/Motel receipts are trending down, and because of that, the Convention and Visitors Bureau Tourism Committee did not recommend funding
additional events beyond the six annual events. The city council will also decide to participate with the county to re-surface 12th Street Southeast and County Road C-30. The estimated city’s share of the project would be more than $72,000. The project will be funded by RUT funds.




Grassley To Visit Northwest Iowa Today

(Le Mars) — U-S Senator Chuck Grassley is scheduled to make appearances in northwest Iowa as part of his annual 99-county tour of Iowa. The republican senator will stop at Marcus at 1:00 p.m. to visit the MMCRU school district.
Then at 3:30 p.m. Grassley will visit the Wells Enterprises corporate offices at Le Mars to view the new Wells health clinic that is scheduled to open for Wells employees on Thursday.




Farmers Are Ahead Of Schedule For Spring Field Work

(Le Mars) — Spring field work is running ahead of schedule, according to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach agronomist Paul Kassel. Kassel, who is based in Spencer says due to the mild autumn and winter, many farmers in his region were able to get a lot of the field preparation done last fall.

Temperatures reached the 80’s during the weekend, and is forecast to be in the 80’s again today for Monday and Kassel says soil temperature have also followed the air temperatures trend.

Many areas of northwest Iowa are listed as being in some form of a drought, but Kassel says it may still be too early to be concerned about the short moisture levels. He says conditions could still show signs of improvement.

Rain is being predicted for many areas of Iowa beginning later evening and continuing through Thursday. Kassel says that rain will no doubt help the situation.

Kassel says the window for planting corn is normally from April 15th until May 15th. He says some studies indicate a possibility of higher yields when corn is planted early. However, he says farmers should wait to plant their corn until April 11th when crop insurance coverage begins.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says during its first crop condition update for the season that no corn or soybeans have been planted as of yet.




Iowa Pays $225K To Settle Lawsuit Over Trooper’s Conduct

(Iowa City, IA) — The state of Iowa will pay 225-thousand dollars to settle a lawsuit filed by a man injured by a state trooper. Bryce Yakish says Iowa State Patrol trooper Robert Smith knocked him down and put his knee on his neck during a traffic stop in 2017. The suit was filed after the dash-cam video of the arrest was released. Smith is accused of assaulting and falsely arresting Yakish, then lying about what happened. Smith left the patrol after 30 years of service. Prosecutors dismissed several cases brought by Smith because they no longer saw him as a credible witness.




Sioux City Fire Department Flies Donate Life Flag

(Sioux City, IA) — The Sioux City Fire Department is now flying a “Donate Life” flag at one of its stations. The Iowa Donor Network’s John Jorgensen says it is the first time this has been done at a fire station. He says they hope the flag will inspire more people to become organ donors. Paramedic Liz Ford helped get the flag for Station 4, and says her husband died in an accident and was an organ donor. Ford says it is important to talk beforehand about someone’s wishes to donate their organs. You can find out more at IowaDonorNetwork.com.




Linn County Woman Who Died In Fire Identified

(Marion, IA) — The Linn County Sheriff has identified the woman found dead after a ditch fire she was tending north of Marion spread out of control. The woman has been identified as 79-year old Carol Woodson of Marion. Woodson was found on the ground and died at the scene. Investigators are trying to determine exactly what happened, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the investigation.




Man Charged After Fatal Stabbing At Cedar Rapids Hotel

(Cedar Rapids, IA) — A man suspected in a stabbing at a Cedar Rapids hotel is facing first-degree murder, going armed with intent and assault with a dangerous weapon. Police have charged 39-year-old Victoriano Dias-Barrera in the stabbing death of a 33-year-old man, whose name has not been released. Police say the two men knew one another and had been arguing before the stabbing. There were also several other people inside the hotel room where the stabbing happened.




Camanche School District Moving Toward New Mascot

(Camanche, IA) — The Camanche (kuh-MANCH) School Board hopes to have a new mascot in place by this fall after recently voting to replace the Indians nickname and mascot. Wednesday is the final day for submitting ideas to the committee selecting a new mascot. About 90 different nicknames had been submitted by the end of last week. Blue and white will remain the school colors. According to the website for the city of Camanche, the town was founded by a man from New York who named the city in honor of the Comanche Native American tribe, but he misspelled the tribe’s name.




Bill Would Make Treatment Of Biological And Adopted Children The Same

(Des Moines, IA) — A bill has cleared the Iowa House that seeks to make workplace benefits for adoptive and biological parents equal. The bill would require Iowa businesses that give parents time off after the birth of a biological child to give the same benefit to parents who adopt a child under the age of seven. Representative Brian Lohse (LOH-see) of Bondurant and his three siblings were adopted and he says it is important to tell parents of adopted children that they are the same in every way and should be treated the same in every way as those who have biological children. The legislation cleared a Senate committee in mid-February, but has not yet been passed by the full Senate.




Mason City Murder Suspect Arrested In Algona

(Algona, IA) — A man wanted in a murder in Mason City was arrested following a standoff with police in Algona. Mason City police say 38-year-old Benjamin Gonzalez was arrested Monday on first-degree murder charges in connection with the shooting of 36-year-old Michael Creviston on March 31st. Gonzalez is being held at the Cerro Gordo County Jail on a one million dollar cash bond.