Home News Friday News, April 30th

Friday News, April 30th


Le Mars RAGBRAI Committee Unveils Theme And Logo

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars RAGBRAI executive committee unveiled Thursday the logo and the theme for when Le Mars will be hosting the cross-state bicycle ride in late July. The theme is “Le Mars A La Road”. Mitch Christoffel serves as the co-chair for the Le Mars RAGBRAI Executive Committee and explains the chosen logo and theme.

The Le Mars RAGBRAI executive committee member talks about the logo.

Le Mars RAGBRAI Executive Committee includes from left, Peggy Sitzmann, Mike Wells, Jr., Julie Hurt, and Mitch Christoffel.

Christoffel says the Le Mars RAGBRAI executive committee are looking for volunteers to assist during the weekend when bicycle riders arrive in Le Mars.

According to the news release issued by the Le Mars RAGBRAI executive committee, riders, spectators, and locals are sure to find a variety of food, shopping, and entertainment in downtown Le Mars beginning Friday, July 23rd and continuing Saturday, July 24th. Food and vendor applications are now being accepted, with a for-profit vendor fee starting at $700 and a starting $250 non-profit vendor fee depending on size and necessities. Christoffel says for people who want to volunteer can register on the website, Le Mars RAGBRAI-dot-com. Christoffel tells what can be expected for the RAGBRAI event in addition to hosting 20,000 plus bicyclers from around the world converging on the “ice cream capital of the world.”

Christoffel says for ongoing updates, volunteer information, vendor applications, and Le Mars RAGBRAI merchandise, including t-shirts, visit ragbrailemars.com website or the RABRAI Le Mars on Facebook.




Plymouth County Secondary Road Department Closes Key Avenue

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has closed Key Avenue from county road C-38 going north to the southern entrance of Sadona Hills development. The road is closed in order for construction crews can perform pavement repairs. That stretch of roadway will remain closed unti next Friday, May 7th.




Le Mars Community High School Student Selected As Iowa FFA Vice President

(Le Mars) — A senior at Le Mars Community High School, was recently named Northwest State Vice President, with the Iowa FFA organization, earning her a spot on the nine-member Iowa FFA state officer team. Kiley Allan will spend the next year serving the more than 16,000 Iowa FFA members and their chapters on the regional, state and national levels.

Allan says she is honored to represent, serve and work alongside Iowa’s FFA members. Collectively, we will strengthen leadership skills and lay the foundation for career success by living out the FFA motto and creed.

Allan says, “For me, the first line of the FFA creed sums it up well: ‘I believe in the future of agriculture.’”

Allan was elected to the position, by her peers, last week during the Iowa FFA State Convention, held in Des Moines, Iowa. She participated in over a dozen interviews, a written test, writing exercises and multiple speeches prior to earning a spot on the ballot.

“I have learned a great deal about the organization and strongly believe it is well suited for everyone,” said Allan. “Although FFA is deeply rooted in production agriculture, it is also a good fit for those who plan to pursue other careers. FFA will help everyone learn how agriculture touches all of our lives and it will better prepare students through leadership, educational and service roles.”

Allan currently serves as president of the Le Mars FFA Chapter and the Iowa Northwest District. She is the daughter of Mark and Alise Allan, of Le Mars, Iowa.

(photo contributed.)





Le Mars Community Theater Moves To Museum For Season’s First Production

(Le Mars) — Live theater is back in Le Mars, and the experience will be a throwback one. The Le Mars Community Theatre is currently in rehearsal for the 1940’s radio play “Jake Revolver: Freelance Secret Agent” by Matthew Konkel. Performances are scheduled next weekend, May 6th-9th.

You’ll feel transported back in time with this radio noir play, in which private detective Jake Revolver, played by Joe Ouradnik, fights to uncover the killer of his own narrator played by Bob Hill. The script is full of slapstick humor, commercial spoofs hilariously delivered by Jennifer Scholten and Eddie McKee, and live sound effects performed by Curt Sitzman. Other characters help, and hinder, Revolvers quest to uncover the truth. Those cast members include: Jeff Neary, Ken Niehus, LCT newcomer Tracie Ritz, Angela Riedeman and Denny Callahan playing, you guessed it, the “Radio Announcer.” Another “character” in this Le Mars Community Theatre Production is the stage it’s being performed on in the Plymouth County Museum’s Central Gym. The historic feel of this space really lends itself well to make those in the audience, and in the cast, feel like they are performing “back in the day.” The decision to leave the Postal Playhouse space is just a temporary one due to COVID-19 and social distancing concerns. The seating space available in the Old Central Gym allows for an audience of about 200 with ample social distancing. Seating will be on the floor in chairs and in the bleachers on a first come, first serve basis. It is suggested that you still buy or reserve your ticket ahead of time to make it easier to get people seated upon arrival, but you may purchase tickets at the door. If you are a Le Mars Community Theatre Membership holder, your 2020 membership is being honored for this season. If you’d like to see the show and you’re not a member, tickets are $15 and can be booked online at lemarslive.org or by calling the box office Monday-Friday 11:00am to 1pm at 546-5788.

Show nights for the Le Mars Community Theatre’s production of “Jake Revolver: Freelance Secret Agent” at the Plymouth County Museums Central Gym are Thursday, May 6th- Saturday May 8th beginning at 7:30pm with a Sunday Matinee at 2pm.

(photos contributed.)



Grassley, Ernst Support Major Shift in Military Sexual Assault Investigations

(Washington, DC) — Military commanders would no longer decide whether soldiers accused of sexual assault are prosecuted under a proposal Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are supporting. Ernst is an Iowa National Guard veteran and sexual assault survivor. She said sexual assault has plagued the military for too long and it makes sense to have a neutral party make the decision. A Pentagon report estimated nearly 21-thousand members of the military were sexually assaulted in 2018 and two-thirds of those who reported the assault faced retaliation. Under the plan that will be considered in a Senate committee, commanders will be notified of pending cases, but it will be prosecutors in the military justice system who decide if charges will be filed when a soldier accuses another soldier of sexual assault. Senator Grassley said “sexual assault cannot be tolerated anyplace, but particularly in the military.”




Ames Police Investigating ‘Suspicious’ Death of Toddler

(Ames, IA) — Police in Ames are investigating what they call the “suspicious” death of a toddler over the weekend. Authorities responded to a medical call Saturday afternoon involving a young child. The toddler was airlifted to a Des Moines hospital in critical condition and died Sunday. Officers say the Ames Police Criminal Investigations Division and Iowa Department of Human Services are looking into the death. No arrests have been made. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Ames P-D or Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa.




ACLU Claims Prison Book Policy Undermines Inmates’ Rights to Freedom of Expression

(Ames, IA) — A new state policy bans family, friends, and others from sending books to Iowa prison inmates, and it’s raising civil rights concerns among loved ones and advocates. The A-C-L-U of Iowa’s Veronica Fowler says limiting inmates’ access only to books they buy themselves from state-approved vendors undermines their rights to freedom of expression. Fowler said, “and no matter what your position is in our society, we should not be limiting that, within reason.” For people serving time, books have long been a means of education and connection, a way to understand themselves and the outside world. The new policy also appears to cut off access to nonprofits which are dedicated to sending books to inmates. The Department of Corrections says the policy is needed due to an increase in contraband entering the prisons with books. Similar bans in other states have prompted legal challenges and public outcry.




Corrections Officials: Synthetic Drugs Found At Clarinda Correctional Facility

(Clarinda, IA) — Officials with the Iowa Department of Corrections say synthetic drugs have been found at a state prison. They say a significant amount of material laced with a dangerous drug called K-2 was discovered by an investigation at the Clarinda Correctional Facility in southwest Iowa. About 60 inmates are believed to be involved in smuggling what is also known as synthetic marijuana into the prison. The drugs were found during a check of the mail coming into the facility. The Corrections Department says it is working to make changes to its inmate mail system.




Iowa Man Cites First Amendment Rights For Telling Governor She Should Be Hung

(Des Moines, IA) — A 48-year-old Iowa man is charged with first-degree harassment for a January 5th voice mail message he left for Governor Kim Reynolds. Harvey Hunter Junior cites his First Amendment rights when defending his comments. Hunter is in legal trouble for saying Reynolds should be “hung for treason” for pushing what he called “this COVID scam.” He called the Republican governor a dictator, called her two derogatory names used for women, then said she needed to “be put in front of a firing squad.” Hunter turned himself in and pleaded not guilty. If convicted in his June trial he could serve up to two years in prison.




Former Teacher, Coach At North Mahaska Schools Resigns During Investigation

(New Sharon, IA) — A former teacher and coach at the North Mahaska Community School District has resigned. The Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office is reportedly conducting an investigation focused on Chris Sampson. He was an instructional coach and technology liaison in the district. The nature of the investigation hasn’t been revealed. The district’s superintendent says Sampson submitted his resignation Monday and the investigation isn’t linked to his employment with the district.




Fort Dodge Teen Arrested For February Shooting, Running From Police With Gun

(Fort Dodge, IA) — A Fort Dodge teen is charged in connection with a February shooting and is also facing felony charges after running from police while carrying a gun on Wednesday. Officers took 18-year-old T’vyon S. Gully into custody after a foot pursuit. Police were able to get Gully to drop the gun without incident. Gully faces charges from the February shooting in which a 21-year-old man was injured, and he faces new charges that stem from Wednesday’s incident.