Home News Friday News, July 9th

Friday News, July 9th


Much Needed Rain Falls On Plymouth County

(Le Mars) — Much needed rain fell on Plymouth County last evening. Here at KLEM offices, we received four tenths of an inch of rain. Although weather reports from last evening showed Plymouth County was in the bullseye of a severe thunderstorm warning, Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office says they did
not receive any reports of storm damage. More rain is certainly needed, but last evening’s rain will definitely assist the corn crop as it begins the critical pollination period. Farmers are still hopeful for a good crop to produce a good harvest, but many believe due to the prolonged dry conditions, and last week’s high temperatures and heat wave that created stress on the crops, we may not see top yields this autumn. Several farmers say they
wouldn’t be surprised to witness at least a ten to fifteen percent yield reduction.




Crazy Days Now Happening At Le Mars

(Le Mars) — Crazy Days for Le Mars is going on now and will continue through Saturday. With the crazy days, shoppers will be assured of getting several discounts and bargains on their merchandise. Michelle Bomgaars with Piece of Cake is a committee member for Crazy Days. She offers an overview of the Crazy Days event.

Bomgaars says the Crazy Days has been around for only a few years, yet the event has grown substantially.

Crazy days is designed to stimulate shopping, as many small businesses and vendors will offer bargains on their sales.

Bomgaars says at present time more than 70 vendors have committed to being in Le Mars and located on Central Avenue selling their wares. However, the Crazy Days organizer says vendors are still asking if they can be included?

Bomgaars says Crazy Days will continue, rain or shine.




Volunteers Needed For RAGBRAI

(Le Mars) — RAGBRAI Le Mars Committee is in need of volunteers to assist with the welcoming of the 20,000 plus bicyclers expected to arrive at the “Ice Cream Capital” when Le Mars serves as the kick-off to this year’s cross-state bicycle ride. Mitch Christoffel is on the executive committee for RAGBRAI-Le
Mars. He says during the past two weeks people have stepped forward to offer help. Christoffel says there are several opportunities still available for people to volunteer with the big event.

Christoffel is asking for volunteers to commit to a three or four hour shift.

The RAGBRAI executive committee member talks about the various duties and areas of responsibilities of the volunteers.

Christoffel recommends volunteers to sign-up on-line.

Christoffel says there are volunteer opportunities available that will financially go to help both Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic schools.
The local RAGBRAI committee member says residents of Le Mars can help by allowing bicyclers to set up a tent on their lawns. Christoffel says residents can acquire a small yard sign indicating that they are willing to allow bicyclers camp overnight on their lawns.

RAGBRAI is scheduled to start from Le Mars with bicyclers beginning to arrive on Friday, July 23rd, with all the events and activities scheduled for Saturday, July 24th, and the ride to officially begin on Sunday, July 25th.




MercyOne Requiring Hospital Staff To Be Vaccinated

(Des Moines, IA) — Administrators at MercyOne says employees in seven hospitals in Iowa must get the Covid vaccine by this fall. The company estimates nearly 75 percent of its national workforce has had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Employees and contractors hired to work in MercyOne hospitals in Clinton, Dubuque, Dyersville, Mason City, New Hampton, Primghar and Sioux City must show proof they’ve been vaccinated by September 21st. Employees will be able to seek a religious exemption or provide documentation they should not be vaccinated for medical reasons.




Democrat Criticizes Governor On Use Of Pandemic Funds

(Des Moines, IA) — The top Democrat in the Iowa Senate is criticizing Republican Governor Kim Reynolds for how the state has managed federal pandemic funds to help low-income Iowans pay overdue rent and utility bills.
The state has handed out only about two percent of the 195- million dollars in rent relief it received from the last round of pandemic aid. Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls (walls) of Coralville says that’s unacceptable. The head of the state agency that’s managing the program says they weren’t ready for the
funding when it came, and a computer system contracted to help did not work.
A federal moratorium on evictions for renters who’ve lost work due to the pandemic is set to end July 31st.




Iowa Gets Millions In Purdue Pharma Settlement

(Des Moines IA) — Attorney General Tom Miller says Iowa will get 25-million dollars from a settlement in a lawsuit over opioid abuse. A-G spokesperson Ashlee Kieler says it involves the Sackler family and their company Purdue Pharma, which was the target of lawsuit that was filed back in the spring of 2019. The multi-state lawsuit alleged that Purdue officials repeatedly made false and deceptive claims that OxyContin was safe and
suitable for a wide range of pain patients. Iowa’s share of the money comes from a total settlement of four-point-three billion dollars, and will be used for opioid treatment and prevention programs.




Congresswoman Axne Support Permanent Federal Child Tax Credit

(Washington, DC) — Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne says she’s working to make the temporary federal child tax credit permanent. The new credit is included in the American Rescue Plan passed in March. Staring next week, low and middle income parents of kids under the age of six will get 300 dollars a
month through the end of the year, while parents of kids age six through 17 old will receive 250. Axne says nearly 200-thousand Iowa families qualify.
The Iowa Democrat said during a news conference today (Thursday), ” It’s time to support working families and ensure that they can raise their kids successfully and be prepared for the world and this tax credit will directly support that.” Some critics have questioned the cost of making these tax credits permanent and others say there may be better ways to spend the money.




Survey Shows 80% of Iowa Restaurants Still Understaffed

(West Des Moines IA) — A new survey shows 80 percent of Iowa restaurants are operating understaffed, and more than half are not re-opening to full capacity. Iowa Restaurant Association president Jessica Dunker says part of the reason for short staffs is workers are switching positions and not returning to the industry. She says they are trying to hire younger workers
to fill some of the vacant jobs. Dunker also thinks some restaurants will regain staff this fall when parents send their kids back to school. The Iowa Restaurant Association has job listings on its website.




Missing Mason City Man Found Dead

(Mason City, IA) — Police in Mason City say a missing man has been found dead. Officers say 29-year-old Zachary Solum was last seen July 1st leaving a residence on foot following a family argument. Investigators say Solum was found dead Wednesday night and there is no evidence of foul play. An autopsy is being done to determine the official cause of death. Solum’s funeral and visitation are being handled by the Major Erickson Funeral Home.




Iowa DNR Looking For Wild Turkey Counters

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is asking for help in counting wild turkeys. Wildlife biologist Jim Coffey says “during the month of July and August, we look for the general public to report any turkey sightings that they see. What we are really looking for is a way to count this
year’s production — so this year’s poults that are produced.” He says the wild turkey population changes dramatically after nesting and half the poults are expected to die in the first four weeks. The young birds must survive the weather and predators. Coffey says wild turkeys can be spotted across the state and they mainly live in the forest, but spend a lot of time in pastures
and hayfields this time of year. Turkey sightings can be reported on the D-N-R website.




Water Main Break Leads To Fish Kill In Ames Creek

(Ames, IA) — The Iowa D-N-R believes a broken water main is responsible for a fish kill along Ioway Creek in Ames. A passerby noticed dead fish mid-morning Thursday and called the D-N-R. Several different species and sizes of dead fish were found. Some 700-thousand gallons of water got into the creek after a water main break that happened in the late afternoon Wednesday.
Drinking water contains chlorine and has a temperature of 55 degrees, both of which can stress fish, especially when the stream flow is low. D-N-R Fisheries staff will be conducting a dead fish count and the D-N-R will determine appropriate enforcement action.