Home News Tuesday News, April 27th

Tuesday News, April 27th


Firefighters Respond To Tractor Fire

(Le Mars) — Firefighters were called to a farm northwest of town at about 10:00 p.m. Monday evening for a tractor that had caught on fire. Upon arriving at 13281 county road K-42, firefighters saw a four-wheel drive Case-IH tractor fully engulfed in flames, and the attached planter also started on fire. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper tells of the damages.

Schipper says due to the extensive damage, it would be difficult to accurately determine the cause of the fire, but Schipper does have an idea as to what maybe the reason for the fire.

The tractor had been shut off and was not in use during the time the fire was first spotted. Schipper says the farmer was doing his chores when he noticed the tractor was on fire.

Schipper says the winds were of benefit in one sense. Because the winds were blowing from the north, the fire was contained to the tractor and did not spread to the farm’s buildings. Firefighters were at the scene for nearly an hour.




County Supervisors To Open Bids For Culvert Construction Projects

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will review bids submitted by construction companies for three culvert installation projects during today’s weekly meeting to be held at the County Courthouse board room. In other business, the county governing board will present county employee
service awards, and they are expected to approve the weed commissioner’s notice for publication. County engineer Tom Rohe will review plans with the supervisors for a May 11th bid letting for three additional culvert construction projects. Rohe will also submit tile crossing permits for Preston and Elgin Townships.




Police Department To Host Town Hall Meeting On Wednesday

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Police Department will host a town hall meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening to be held at the Wells Enterprises Visitor’s Center and Ice Cream Parlor. Assistant Police Chief, Justin Daale says the town hall meeting serves the purpose for the community to better know their police

The town hall meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Daale says the police will focus on some specific topics, but he says discussion may hinge on what questions are asked by the Le Mars community.

With the addition of two new officers within the past few weeks, the Le Mars Police Department is again at full staff with 15 officers, and while all of the officers are trained for law enforcement, Daale says each officer has a specialty focus.

The Le Mars Assistant Police Chief says there has been a lot of interest with the School Resource Officer program, and Officer John Vickery will be attending the town hall meeting to offer a report regarding the presence of a police officer inside our schools. Daale says the town hall meeting is set up to provide a two-way dialog between the community and its police department.

Again, that Police town hall meeting is scheduled for Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the Wells Enterprises Visitor’s Center and Ice Cream Parlor located on north Central Avenue.




Sioux Center Selected For Urban Water Quality Project

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig
kicked off Soil and Water Conservation Week by announcing 12 urban water quality projects will receive funding from the state’s Water Quality Initiative. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will provide financial and technical assistance to the communities and organizations that are implementing urban water quality practices to manage storm-water. These practices help reduce precipitation run-off by capturing and
soaking up water and sediment from impervious surfaces.

Naig says, “These urban conservation projects are great examples of how state and local partners are collaborating to make a meaningful impact on water quality, and they provide valuable roadmaps that other communities can follow.” Naig continued, “When we all work together, we can improve our local water sources and help our neighbors downstream.”

To receive state funding, the urban water quality projects must include outreach and education components and local partners to support the project.
These community-based projects raise awareness about new storm-water management methods and encourage others to adopt similar infrastructure-based practices to improve water quality in local bodies of water. These urban conservation
projects include water quality practices like bioretention cells, bioswales, native plantings, permeable pavers, rain gardens, soil quality restoration and wetlands.

One of the funded water quality projects is at Sioux Center.

The City of Sioux Center is installing a large wet pond in the middle of an existing grassed waterway on the southeast side of the city. The Meadow Creek Wet Pond will capture and treat runoff from 144-acres of land to protect the West Branch of the Floyd River. The amount of the grant is $100,000.




Soil And Water Conservation District Emphasizes Erosion Control During National Soil And Water Conservation Week

(Le Mars) — Each year, depending on soil conditions, nearly ten tons of soil are lost on every acre of land due to either wind or water erosion. That’s about the size of a dump truck filled with soil for every acre of land.

Plymouth County Soil and Water Conservation District, as part of the U-S Department of Agriculture, wants to remind farmers, landowners, and the general public about the need to control erosion during this designated National Soil and Water Conservation Week. Ben Brady is the District Conservationist for Plymouth County. He says many farmers recognize the
importance of conservation methods and have implemented those practices as part of their farming operations.

Brady says farmers are also turning to planting cover crops as another method to help reduce soil erosion, and to help with the reduction of nitrate run-off into water sources. The District Conservationist says the USDA still offers a variety of cost-share programs as an incentive for additional farmers and
landowners to implement conservation practices.

Brady says May 7th is the deadline to apply for conservation cost-share funding for either new projects, or renovation of previous existing conservation methods.




Despite Cooler Temperatures, Farmers Have Begun Planting

(Des Moines) — Despite a wide range of temperatures, farmers were able to make up for lost time during their spring planting this past week. According to the latest crop condition report, nearly 20 percent of the state’s corn crop has now been planted, which is one day behind the five-year average.

Some farmers chose to plant soybeans with 6% of the crop planted, 3 days ahead of normal. Eighty-three percent of Iowa’s expected oat crop has been planted, 3 days ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of the 5-year average. Soil moisture levels still remain adequate to short supply with topsoil moisture levels rated 6% very short, 28% short, 64% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 10% very short, 35% short, 54% adequate and 1% surplus.




Sioux City Man Arrested For Methamphetamine Possession

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a Sioux City man early Thursday morning for possession of methamphetamine. The arrest of 30-year old Luis Enrique Medina-Navarro came about when a sheriff’s deputy made a
traffic stop on Highway 75 near Kesterel Avenue, just north of Merrill.
During the stop, it was learned the driver had a suspended license, and was wanted in Plymouth County for failure to appear in court on an unrelated charge. As a result, Medina-Navarro was arrested at the scene. A search found he was in possession of methamphetamine. He is currently being held at the Plymouth County jail on a $2,000 bond.




FEMA Gives Out Millions In Derecho Aid

(Cedar Rapids, IA) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency conducted about 73-hundred inspections of Iowa homes that were damaged by the derecho last August and concluded about 42 percent were eligible for FEMA’s individual assistance program. FEMA spokesman John Mills says grants were
approved for 31-hundred households and they have already received more than 11 million dollars in individual assistance grants. Mills says a homeowner or renter is not eligible for the program if the property is covered by insurance or they’ve received assistance from other government agencies or charities. In addition, the residence must also be declared uninhabitable.




Trial Date Set For 2 Inmates Accused Of Killing Nurse, Guard During Anamosa Escape Attempt

(Anamosa, IA) — A June trial date has been set for two prison inmates accused of killing a nurse and a guard during an escape attempt at Anamosa State Penitentiary. Michael Dutcher and Thomas Woodard are each facing two counts of first-degree murder. Investigators say they beat corrections Officer Robert McFarland and nurse Lorena Schulte to death using hammers. The two inmates are also facing additional charges of attempted murder and kidnapping. Prosecutors say they held another prison worker hostage during the attack last winter.




Iowa Attorney General Clears 4 Officers For Killing Suspect

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Safety says an investigation by the state Attorney General has cleared four officers who fired on the man accused of killing a State Trooper on April 9th. D-P-S says a Hardin County Sheriff’s Department deputy fired and missed Michael Lang after Trooper Jim Smith was shot and killed by Lang as officers entered his Grundy
Center home trying to arrest him. Troopers later used an armored personnel carrier to enter Lang’s home and he was hit three times by officers after they say he fired on them. The 41-year-old Lang was hospitalized until April 21st when he was released and charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, and assault on a peace officer.




Iowa Population Grows 4.7%, State Keeps Congressional Delegation Same Size

(Washington, DC) — The Census Bureau estimates Iowa’s population grew four-point-seven percent in the last decade to nearly three-point-two million on April 1st of 2020. The latest count will allow Iowa to keep four representatives in the U-S House. Based on overall population trends, it’s possible Iowa will lose a seat in congress after the 2030 Census. Iowa’s
population grew more than neighboring Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri in the last ten years — but Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota all had higher population growth than Iowa.




House Closed At Glenwood Resource Center

(Glenwood, IA) — A house at the Glenwood Resource Center has been closed and the head of the state agency that oversees the facility says other units are being consolidated, to better manage staffing levels. The facility that cares for patients with intellectual disabilities is Glenwood’s largest employer.
Department of Human Resources director Kelly Garcia says her agency got extra money one year ago to hire more staff — but were unable to fill around one dozen positions. Garcia says eight patients were in the housing unit that closed — one transitioned to the community and the other seven were transferred to Woodward Resource Center.