Firefighters Called To A Controlled Burn That Got Out Of Control
(Le Mars) — Le Mars firefighters were at the scene of a Tuesday afternoon fire located at 18443 Hedge Avenue, or approximately eleven miles west of Le Mars. The call was received at about 3:30 p.m. What started as a control burn on a fence line soon turned into an uncontrolled burn when flames had entered
a grove of trees. Several trees were destroyed by the fire and had been burnt. Fortunately, the winds were fairly calm during the fire call, or the situation may have been worst. No property buildings were affected by the fire, and there were no injuries. Firefighters were on the scene for a little more than an hour.
300th Street To Close For Bridge Repairs
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department will close 300th Street between sections 8 and 17 in Garfield township. That road closure is set to begin today (Wednesday) and is expected to remain closed until Friday, April 23rd. Road crews are scheduled to perform some bridge repair work.
City Council Takes No Action On Proposed Water Line Insurance Program
(Le Mars) — A proposed water line insurance program was killed during the Le Mars city council meeting held Tuesday when the measure failed to generate a second to the motion. Councilman Clark Goodchild says he is in favor of the
The issue was discussed for several minutes with council members speaking of the pros versus the cons to having the company provide insurance coverage against water line breaks. One of the contentious points was having HomeServe USA corporation being able to use the city’s logo and letterhead showing the city’s residents that the city offer their endorsement.
City administrator Jason Vacura and City Attorney Mike Murphy informed the council members that Sioux City had used the same company to offer their residents extended
insurance coverage against water line leaks. Vacura says HomeServe USA actually has contract agreements with more than 90 Iowa communities.
Councilman Mike Donlin inquired if the city of Le Mars had ever given their endorsement to a private company in past years. Goodchild offered Premier Communications as an example, but others mentioned that Premier Communications did not use the city’s logo and letterhead. Councilman Ken Nelson wondered
out loud about the financial solvency of the company, several years from now?
Councilman Rex Knapp admitted to being on the fence with the issue, saying he sees both the benefits to a homeowner, as well as the negative points for the city. The plan called for the city to receive ten percent of the commission on any enrollments. City water superintendent Rich Sudtelge told council members those residents who would participate in the plan would see cheaper
rates for the insurance compared to coverage provided by homeowners insurance.
Councilman Clark Goodchild made the motion to authorize city staff to prepare a marketing agreement with HomeServe USA Corporation to provide residential service line protection. but other council members remained silent.
The issue died as a result of not receiving a second to the motion.
Pork Producers Say “Thank You” To Iowa Communities
(Des Moines) — Pork producers are taking the opportunity to say “thank you” to several Iowa communities that were adversely affected by the COVID virus.
Dal Grooms is the Director of Communications for the Iowa Pork Producers Association and says pork producers will be in Storm Lake today to show their appreciation.
Grooms says pork producers are conducting the “Thank you” days with the communities with major pork processing facilities, including Waterloo, Ottumwa, Marshalltown, Denison, and Sioux City. She says the pork producers meet with city leaders, including the mayors of the selected towns, and discuss economic development opportunities.
The pork producer spokesperson says several dignitaries have appeared at past events, including Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, who will schedule a stop at today’s Storm Lake event.
Grooms says a major part of showing the appreciation to the Storm Lake community will be the distribution of free pork products to the town folks, including donations to the area food banks and food pantries.
She says following the check presentation to the local food bank charity, pork producers will show their gratitude to first responders, as well as to the general public.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association will hold a “Thank You” day next Wednesday at Sioux City.
Morningside College Expands Its Agriculture Programs
(Sioux City) — When you think of colleges or universities that offer agricultural courses, you may first think of Iowa State University, or perhaps South Dakota State University. Dordt University at Sioux Center, may also come to mind. But few of us probably don’t ever think about Morningside College as
a potential agriculture school. However, the fact is that Morningside College, soon to be referred to as Morningside University at Sioux City has a rich tradition of offering agriculture courses that dates back to the days of the Sioux City Stockyards.
That’s Dr. Tom Paulsen, the Director of the Regina Roth Applied Agriculture and Food Studies with Morningside College. Paulsen says, now there has been a resurgence of offering agriculture courses to Morningside students.
Morningside’s decision to offer agricultural studies is looked upon as being a long-term commitment, especially since the Sioux City school conducted ground breaking ceremonies last week for a new Ag Research Center.
Paulsen says also to be located near the Agriculture Center will be a greenhouse facility that will measure 120 feet by 30 feet.
The Morningside College professor says construction has already begun with the razing of the old elementary school building. He says completion of the new Agriculture Center is expected to be done by autumn.
Paulsen says students with agriculture degrees are in great demand by the industry, often times there are not enough students to fill the open career positions.
Des Moines Community Leaders Say They Are Relieved By Verdict, But Won’t Celebrate
(Des Moines, IA) — Des Moines community leaders say they are relieved by the guilty verdict a Minnesota jury gave former police officer, Derek Chauvin, but they won’t celebrate. Chauvin was convicted on all three charges for causing the death of George Floyd last May. That led to months of protests in
Des Moines and many other U-S cities. The Reverend Rob Johnson says the verdict sends a powerful message to young Iowans. He says his seven-year-old nephew Sheldon will grow up in a world knowing that “his life matters.”
Johnson and the Reverend Ako Abdul Samad say Tuesday’s verdict represents accountability, but justice won’t be served until there is a change in the country.
Charges Filed Against Man Who Stole An Iowa State Patrol Cruiser And Took Off
(Dexter, IA) — The Iowa State Patrol says a man in handcuffs managed to steal a trooper’s squad car and lead authorities on a chase Tuesday afternoon.
Charges have been filed against Brandon Eugene Doerring of Dallas Center. A trooper was checking on a disabled vehicle on the side of Interstate 80 when Doerring was spotted walking on the shoulder. The trooper found drug paraphernalia on him, so he was taken into custody. The trooper went over the
check on the disabled vehicle and it isn’t clear how Doerring managed to get into the driver’s seat and take off. The pursuit ended in Madison County where Doerring was taken into custody a second time. He was still wearing the handcuffs when he was pulled out of the squad car.
Authorities Identify NW Iowa Teen Found Unconscious – He Died Later
(Swea City, IA) — Authorities in Kossuth County have identified the teenager found unconscious inside a hog building near Swea City Monday night.
Seventeen-year-old Victoria Marie Parra Lerdo had been helping with the cleaning and power-washing of the building. She was found lying on the floor at about 9:00 p-m by a second person who was working in that area. Lerdo was taken to Kossuth Regional Health Center where she died before doctors could
begin treating her. An autopsy will be done to determine an official cause of death.
June Sentencing Set For Iowa Man Found Guilty Of Violent Home Invasion
(Ottumwa, IA) — A June sentencing date has been set for an Iowa man found guilty of a violent home invasion. Joseph Allen Bloom is facing up to 80 years in prison. Prosecutors say the Eldon man and two others broke into the victim’s home and beat him repeatedly with a wooden chair. The attack was so
violent the man’s skull was fractured in two places. Bloom was found guilty on all counts, including first-degree robbery and burglary. Alexies Meier and Anthony Lankford are scheduled to go on trial this summer.
Senator Ernst Pushes For Crackdown on Sexual Harassment at VA
(Washington, DC) — U-S Senator Joni Ernst is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation aimed at cracking down on harrassment at the Department of Veterans Affairs. A recent watchdog report exposed instances of sexual harassment by employees and management failures at the V-A. The bill would implement policy changes within the V-A based on recommendations from the
Government Accountability Office. Ernst said, “sexual harassment must be addressed and rooted out no matter where it exists, but under no circumstance can it be permitted under the roof of our nation’s VA—a place so many of our
veterans trust and rely on.” The Iowa Republican is a sexual assault survivor and combat veteran. Ernst says she’s disturbed by the failures that have gone on at the V-A for far too long.
Iowa Legislature Setting Speed Limits For Electric Bicycles
(Des Moines, IA) –– Iowa legislators have voted to establish some speed restrictions for low-speed electric bicycles. People riding e-bikes on multi-use trails or in bike lanes along city streets would be required to abide by any posted speed limit for other traffic. If there are no speed limits in the area, 20 miles an hour would be the upper limit. Representative Bob Kressig of Cedar Falls says other states are taking similar steps to set
standards for e-bikes that are different from the rules of the road for mopeds and scooters. Kressing said, “We’re seeing a lot more electric bikes that are coming and people are riding them. I imagine one day I’ll be on one, too — maybe a few years from now.” E-bikes are equipped with low-speed motors and
the rider must be pedaling, even when the motor kicks in. The bill has cleared the House and Senate and now goes to the governor.
Two Ottumwa Men Sentenced For 22018 Shootout, Robbery Attempt
(Ottumwa, IA) — Long prison sentences for two southeast Iowa men who were in a 2018 fatal shootout with police. Thirty-five-year-old Michael Bibby was sentenced to 60 years and 26-year-old Dalton Cook received a 35-year sentence.
Prosecutors say Bibby was armed with an AR-15 rifle when he and two others attempted to rob a home. Bibby wounded a man in the house and fired at officers. Cook was armed with a knife but did fire at police. Bibby and Cook were both found guilty of first-degree burglary, robbery and willful injury.
Bibby was also convicted of attempted murder of a peace officer. David White of Fairfield was killed in the shootout.
Scott County Daycare Provider Waives Hearing On Baby’s Death
(Davenport, IA) – – A Le Claire daycare provider accused in the death of a five-month-old baby waived her preliminary hearing. Scott County court records show 56-year-old Angela Marxen will be arraigned on May 13th. She’s charged with first-degree murder, and child endangerment resulting in death.
Police say the infant was found in Marxen’s in-home day care in February. An investigation showed the girl died of blunt-force trauma to the head.