Home News Wednesday News, July 21st

Wednesday News, July 21st


City Council Turns Thumbs Down On Proposed Salary Increase

(Le Mars) — During Tuesday’s Le Mars city council meeting, council members voted to keep the salary levels at the present rate for themselves, but they also voted to drop the salary of the mayor’s position back to $12,000 a year.
What had been proposed was an increase to salary levels, based upon tenure of service. The salary change is to go into effect at the start of the next year following the elections. Council members also approved the installation of yield signs to be placed at the intersection of 3rd Avenue southeast and
3rd street southeast in order to better control the north-south bound traffic. The request for the yield signs was made by residents living within the area during the previous city council meeting. It was also announced during the council meeting that the council will be appointing a person to fill the recent vacancy of Councilman Ken Nelson. Nelson was a long-time council member representing Ward 3. However, Nelson recently resigned from the council when he moved into another Ward. In a news release issued by Nelson, he does intend to seek re-election to the city council representing Ward 1, during the upcoming election. City Administrator Jason Vacura and City Attorney Mike Murphy said the city has 60 days to fill the vacant council seat. The new person would represent Ward 3 until the start of the
new year. The yet-to-be named council representative would serve the remaining portion of what was Nelson’s term. The appointed council member could decide to seek election by placing their name on the ballot, or the appointed council person could also decide not to run and seek election.




RAGBRAI Will Mean Traffic Congestion And Sporadic Cell Service 

(Le Mars) — RAGBRAI is just a few days away, and although the cross-state bicycle ride was in Le Mars 15 years ago, this time around may be a bit different. Peggy Sitzmann is a member of the Le Mars RAGBRAI executive committee and she says the RAGBRAI event may be a bit overwhelming with an expected crowd of 20,000 people converging on Le Mars. Sitzmann says we will all need to slow down, be patient, and be safe.

Sitzmann is in charge of public safety for RAGBRAI in Le Mars. She has been working closely with local law enforcement officials, fire and rescue, and medical personnel. Sitzmann says people may need to take a detour and perhaps a longer route to get to their destination because of the masses of people and bicycles that will be throughout our entire community, but
especially in the downtown area.

Sitzmann says reinforcements from other surrounding communities will be here to assist with law enforcement, fire and rescue, and medical needs.

The Le Mars RAGBRAI executive committee member says there will be a shuttle system set up to help haul our guests from one part of town to another part. Three shuttle routes will be established.

Sitzmann says offering the shuttle service will make it easier and safer for all the bicyclers.
Sitzmann says one other thing people may not realize due to the thousands of people converging on Le Mars is the loss of communications. It may be difficult to have cell phone service. She says it may prove difficult to send or receive calls, texts messages, or any type of photos and videos.




Sioux City Man Arrested For Multiple Vehicle Crash On I-29 That Injured Several

(Sioux City, IA) — A 22-year-old Sioux City man is accused of driving south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 29 Friday when he caused a multiple-vehicle crash. Several people suffered severe injuries. Eduardo Guerrero-Sanchez ran head-on into a second vehicle, causing serious injuries to a mother and daughter. Both suffered broken bones. That crash led to a
second collision where people were injured, including one who suffered a shattered ankle. Authorities say Guerrero-Sanchez had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, didn’t have a valid driver’s license and refused to cooperate with investigators. He’s charged with operating while under the influence and two counts of causing serious injury by vehicle.




Grassley’s Fundraising Is Slow But Doesn’t Mean He Won’t Run

(Washington, DC) — U-S Senator Chuck Grassley’s fundraising is slower than recent campaigns, but that doesn’t mean the Iowa Republican has decided not to run. The most recent quarterly campaign report shows Grassley raised 625 thousand dollars in the three months ending June 30th. That’s about 225 thousand less than he raised in the same quarter when he ran last time.
Grassley’s campaign reports he has about two-and-a-half million dollars in cash-on-hand. That’s about 40 percent less than what he had at this time when he was running for election 12 years ago.




Family Says Second Son Injured At Park Is Improving Rapidly

(Des Moines, IA) — The Jaramillo family reports their second son who was injured at Adventureland is improving rapidly. Sixteen-year-old David Jaramillo spent two weeks in intensive care at Blank Children’s Hospital.
Eleven-year-old Michael Jaramillo was fatally injured when a raft on the Raging River ride flipped July 3rd. David spent nearly two weeks in and out of a medically-induced coma, wasn’t able to see, speak, or even breathe without life support. As of Tuesday, his vision has returned and he has started physical therapy.




15-Year-Old Girl Found Dead of Gunshot Wound After Cedar Rapids Car Crash

(Cedar Rapids, IA) — Police in Cedar Rapids are investigating a car crash and shooting that left a teenage girl dead. Officers called to an accident outside an apartment building this morning (Tuesday) found a 15-year-old girl dead in the driver’s seat of an apparent gunshot wound. The car had extensive damage. The medical examiner will determine the official cause of death. Investigators said the shooting appears to be a targeted incident.
No arrests have been made. Anyone with tips is asked to contact the Cedar Rapids Police Department or Linn County Crime Stoppers.




Board of Regents to Name or Rename Facility Next Week

(Iowa City, IA) — University of Iowa officials are planning to attach a name to a facility on the Iowa City campus, but details won’t be released until next week. A spokesman for the Board of Regents says U-I officials “will present details” about the proposed facility naming at the board’s July 28th meeting. No word on whether it’s an entire building or some facility within a structure — or even whether the name is being attached to something new or replacing something that’s already named. The Board is scheduled to vote on naming whatever University of Iowa facility is identified shortly after its revealed next Tuesday. It’s similar to the process used in 2015 when the board approved naming the new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital for the Stead Family.




Winnebago Industries Reaches Agreement to Acquire Barletta Pontoon Boats

(Forest City, IA) — Forest City-based Winnebago Industries is acquiring Barletta Pontoon Boats. Winnebago C-E-O Michael Happe says Barletta is the industry’s fastest-growing premium boat manufacturer, since it was founded in 2017. Happe says Barletta has positioned itself to rise in the pontoon boat
industry. Barletta is currently number nine and he believes it can be a top three market share performer. It’s the second marine company that Winnebago has acquired in the last four years as it purchased Chris-Craft Boats in 2018. The agreement is for an initial consideration of 255-million dollars in cash and newly-issued Winnebago stock shares, plus up to 15 million in
Winnebago shares.




Man Convicted of 1976 Fatal Shooting in Keokuk Tavern Dies in Prison

(Fort Madison, IA) — A man convicted of a southeast Iowa murder that happened 45 years ago has died of natural causes in an Iowa prison. Ular Winfun shot Morris Green to death on July 31st, 1976 in the back of the Six-Pack Tavern in Keokuk. The two men had worked together on a painting crew for some time. There was “bad blood” between the two according to an
Iowa Supreme Court ruling on the case and the court outlined the events that led up to the shooting. Winfun had his girlfriend buy a gun, he did some target shooting that afternoon and that July evening back in 1976 he was at the tavern, drinking both beer and Tequila Sunrise cocktails according to the court record. After Green got to the tavern, Winfun shot Green once. After
Green fell to the floor, Winfun fired five more shots into Green’s body.
Winfun then left the tavern, walked to the Keokuk Police station and turned himself in. The Iowa Department of Corrections say Winfun died Monday at age 66.




Davenport City Officials Discover Sewer Overflow

(Davenport, IA) — Davenport city officials reported a sewer overflow as of Tuesday afternoon. City workers say the problem was caused by a blockage, combined with a pipe failure. A contractor will make reports. The city is advising everyone to avoid Walnut Creek, from Blue Grass Road downstream to
Black Hawk Creek. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has been notified about the overflow and the contamination caused in the creek.