Home News Monday News, April 12th

Monday News, April 12th


Early Morning Accident Happens Near Hy Vee

(Le Mars) — An early morning accident happened today near the Hy-Vee grocery store involving two vehicles. Le Mars Police say there were no injuries associated with the accident that occurred at about 8:04 a.m. at 12th Street Southwest. Apparently, according to police officers, a vehicle had pulled
out of the Hy Vee parking lot and struck another vehicle on 12th Street southwest. Police report the rising sun from the east cast a glare which prevented the driver pulling out of the Hy Vee parking lot from seeing the oncoming vehicle. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department were called to the scene to help clean up the debris and fluids.




Two New Police Officers To Get Badges During Ceremony

(Le Mars) — A pinning badge ceremony is scheduled to take place today at noon at the city council chambers. The Le Mars Police Department is welcoming two new officers to the department. Geoff Fay, a former officer with the Kingsley Police Department, and Logan Sparr, who previously served with the Remsen Police Department will be given the oath of office.




Le Mars Community Board of Education To Convene This Evening

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education will gather this evening for its monthly meeting. The school board will begin the meeting by holding a public hearing on the proposed budget for the 2021-2022 school year. Following the hearing, the school board will consider adoption of the
2021-2022 school budget. The Board of Education will also hold a second public hearing on the purchase of two 72-passenger school buses for the 2021-2022 school year. The school board will review the submitted bids and take appropriate action. Members of the school board that participated in the
National School Board Association’s On-line Experience will report on what they had learned. School Superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner will update the board on an open enrollment student. Lexi Johnson, a kindergartner from MOC-Floyd Valley wishes to attend Le Mars Community beginning next school
year. Trent Eckstaine will present to the school board the Le Mars Community Financial Literacy Curriculum Report. The school board is scheduled to discuss the Annual Foundation Banquet, which this year will be held virtually on Wednesday, April 28th. The event will be available for viewing on the
school district’s website. The school board will also discuss the Senior Awards Night which is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, May 19th beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the high school competition gymnasium. The senior class commencement graduation ceremonies is scheduled for Sunday, May 23rd
beginning at 3:00 p.m. at the Le Mars Community Stadium.

The school board will act on several resignations and contracts during this evening’s meeting. Resignations include: Terry Rohlfsen from the Food Services position effective May 26th. Stephanie Buhman has resigned as the basketball cheerleading coach effective May 29th. Stephany Becker is resigning from her position as a kindergarten teacher at Franklin Elementary
effective at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year. Jill Brown is resigning from her position as a 6-12 grade Instructional Coach effective at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year. Tami Fisher is resigning from her position as an 8th grade special education teacher at the conclusion of
the 2020-2021 school year. Megan Baartman has resigned her position as a middle school teacher associate effective April 1st. Kelly Collins has resigned her position as a 7th grade literacy teacher, effective at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year. High school Administrative Assistant, Beth Collins will resign effective May 31st.

Contracts are being offered to Ashley Finck as a high school science teacher,Cole Berkenpas as a middle school math teacher, Mikayla Westhoff will be offered a contract as the elementary interventionist teacher. Abigail Mehlhaff will also be given a contract as an elementary interventionist teacher as well as the head girls cross country coaching position. Kelly Collins will be offered a contract as a 6-12 grade Instructional Coach and
Literacy Generalist.

The board of education will consider approving the tentative agreement with the Le Mars Community Education Association for the Master Contract. What is being proposed is an increase of base pay by $800 or 2.06 percent. The proposal will increase the cost of base wage salary for the district by $345,080.11 for the upcoming school year.




Iowa State Patrol Trooper Is Killed During Stand-off

(Des Moines) — A 27-year veteran of the Iowa State Patrol was shot to death Friday night during an armed stand-off with a man who authorities say had assaulted a policeman earlier that evening. Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Jim Smith was part of a team that entered the Grundy Center home of Michael Lang
at about 9 p.m. Friday. Mitch Mortvedt (MORT-vet), Assistant Director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, delivered a briefing on the case Saturday afternoon.

Just before midnight, authorities used an armored vehicle to batter into Lang’s house.

Mortvdt says Lang was taken to University of Iowa Hospitals, where he’s listed in critical condition after surgery for several gunshot wounds. Lang has been charged with one count of first degree murder and being held on a one MILLION dollar bond. The chain of events began shortly before 7:30 Friday
night when a Grundy Center policeman attempted to make a traffic stop, but Mortvedt says Lang sped away, then stopped in an area southeast of Grundy Center and assaulted the officer.

Mortvedt says a Hardin County deputy who arrived at that scene tried to arrest Lang, but Lang got back in his vehicle and sped back into Grundy Center. The deputy found the vehicle parked outside Lang’s house, saw Lang walking inside and called for back-up. Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens  says Smith’s death is a horrific loss to his family and his co-workers.

Smith had been stationed to the patrol’s district office in Oelwein since 1996 and was the leader of one of the patrol’s Tactical Teams. Smith is the second state trooper in the history of the State Patrol to be shot and killed in the line of duty. The first was Trooper Oran Pape, who was killed in 1936 as he pursued a suspect.




Governor Reynolds Comments On State Patrol Trooping Being Killed

(Des Moines, IA) — Governor Kim Reynolds released a state on the death of Iowa State Patrol Sergeant. Jim Smith was killed in the line of duty in Grundy Center Friday. Reynolds says Smith was “a courageous hero who died in the line of duty. Sergeant Jim Smith was a loving husband, father of two, and
a pillar of the community. I along with the entire state of Iowa grieve for his family and friends as they try to cope with this devastating loss.” The governor ordered all flags in Iowa to be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on the day of Smith’s interment.




First Presidential Finalist Visiting U-I

(Iowa City, IA) — The first finalist in the University of Iowa presidential search is the dean of the Penn State school of Law and International Affairs. Hari Osofsky is the first of four finalists. She will meet with faculty, staff, students, and other members of the campus community. Osofsky will hold a public forum today (Monday) at 3:30. The name of each finalist is being
released 24 hours prior to their campus visit. The Board of Regents expects to name a new president from one of the four finalists on April 30th.




Man Accused Of Starting Fire In Hospital ICU

(Des Moines, IA) — A man who had just been released from the mental ward at MercyOne Medical Center in Des Moines is accused of starting a fire in the hospital’s intensive care unit. Emergency responders were called to the hospital Saturday at 7:45 p-m. Thirty-seven-year-old Andrew Boyd reportedly
told officers the reason he started the fire was that “he was bored.”
Investigators say Boyd started the fire in the first-floor I-C-U. Several people were in that part of the hospital at the time. No one was injured and crews from the Des Moines Fire Department put the fire out quickly. Boyd is being held in the Polk County Jail.