Home News Tuesday News, August 31st

Tuesday News, August 31st


Le Mars Police Department And Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office To Conduct Citizens Academy

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Police Department and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office are teaming up to offer the Citizens Academy.  The Citizens Academy is a four-week program consisting of eight class sessions designed to provide residents information about their local law enforcement agencies, and how they operate.  Participants will learn what it is like to be a law enforcement officer.  Le Mars Assistant Police Chief Justin Daale says the program will kick off on October 12th.

The Citizens Academy are looking for 20 applicants that are at least 21 years of age, with half of the class from Le Mars, and the other half of the class residents of Plymouth County. Plymouth County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy, Rick Singer says applications are now being accepted.

Daale says the course will cover several areas of law enforcement including crime scene investigations, drug recognition and enforcement, accident investigations, use of firearms, tactical driving, and even the Combined Emergency Rescue Team or CERT the tactical weapons unit.

Chief Deputy Singer says the organizers hope to focus some attention on the Dive Team which operates through the Sheriff’s Office.

Both officers say the citizens academy is to open doors to the community and through education increase communication and understanding between citizens and law enforcement officers. Daale says the course is free of charge

Participants in the Citizens Academy program will also have a session regarding the K-9 units.  Chief Deputy Singer says a change is currently being made with regards to the County Sheriff’s K-9 program.

People have until Monday, September 13th to submit their application.  Applications can be picked up at either agency, the Le Mars Police Department offices, or the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office at the new Law Enforcement Center.




Supervisors Have Short Agenda For Today’s Meeting

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have a short agenda for today’s meeting.  The county governing board is expected to approve the courtroom renovation construction project with L and L Builders.  They will hear from Eric Jearneret as he makes a request for the supervisors to approve a minor subdivision in Meadow township.  The county supervisors will also hear from County Engineer Tom Rohe as they discuss construction projects.




Sitzmann Delivers Drivers License Report To County Supervisors

(Le Mars) — Last week, during the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meeting, Plymouth County Treasurer, Shelly Sitzmann appeared before the county governing board to offer an update on the number of driver’s licenses issued, and the amount of revenue collected through motor vehicle funds.  Sitzmann informed the county supervisors that the Driver’s License office will continue to take appointments for the issuing of driver’s licenses.  Sitzmann says there were 4,434 drivers licenses and identification cards issued during the fiscal year of 2020-2021.  Sitzmann reports 1,280 drivers licenses tests were administered.  Sitzmann also submitted the motor vehicle revenue funds.  She says the amount Plymouth County collected and will stay in the county equals $384,056 through the motor vehicle funds.  Sitzmann commented the total had increased nearly $13,000 from last year’s collected revenue.   The total amount of funds collected were at $12,036,381.




Weekend Motorcycle Accident Being Investigated

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a motorcycle accident that occurred Saturday afternoon at about 3:20 p.m.  The accident happened on county road C-38, just west of county road K-22 in rural Plymouth County.  A sheriff’s deputy arrived on the scene and observed two individuals involved in the motorcycle accident. 39 year old Christos Kritis of Sioux City was driving the motorcycle and 35-year old Ashley Kritis was riding as a passenger.  Upon investigating the scene, it was determined Christos Kritis lost control of the motorcycle after a group of motorcyclists participating on a poker run, had slowed down due to a vehicle blocking the opposite lane of traffic on County road C-38 near K-22.  The motorcycle entered the north ditch causing both individuals to sustain non-life threatening but serious injuries.  Both individuals were transported to MercyOne hospital in Sioux City.  Assisting at the scene were the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Le Mars Fire and Rescue, and Merrill Ambulance.




Farm Rental Rates Are Increasing

(Le Mars) — Farmers who lease ground will soon begin negotiations with their landlords regarding the terms of the lease agreement for the next crop season.  According to a recent survey conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the average cash rental rate is on the increase.  Gary Wright is the Farm Management Specialist with Iowa State University for northwest Iowa.  He says Iowa farm rental rates saw a three-dollar increase per acre during this past year.

Wright says Iowa led the nation of having the top bid for cash rental rates for farm ground. The I-S-U Farm Management Specialist says there are several reasons associated with seeing the increase in cash rental rates for cropland, including the productivity of the land.

Wright says land values have been going up, and that has also influenced the price of cash rent rates.

Wright talks about the rental rates for northwest Iowa counties.

Wright says he is not surprised by seeing cash rental rates on the increase, and he anticipates even another hike in rental rates for next year.




Bahena-Rivera Sentenced To Life In Tibbetts’ Murder

(Brooklyn, IA) — A statement from Mollie Tibbetts’ mother Laura Calderwood was read in court today (Monday) before the sentencing of Cristhian (Christian) Bahena-Rivera — who was found guilty of first-degree murder in Mollie’s 2018 death. Calderwood’s statement said Rivera’s actions changed the family’s world forever. She says the one senseless act means Mollie’s father Rob will never get to walk his only daughter down the aisle, and she will never get to see her daughter become a mother. The judge then gave Rivera the mandatory life sentence with no eligibility for parole. Bahena-Rivera sat in handcuffs and a striped jail jumpsuit and listened without showing any emotion during the proceeding. He declined his opportunity to make a statement, and has 30 days to appeal his sentence.




Homicide Investigation Underway After Body Is Discovered By Des Moines River

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Police say a homicide investigation is underway after a man’s body was discovered by the Des Moines River.  Authorities got a call about an unresponsible person on the riverbank at about 6:00 p-m Monday.  The victim has been identified as a 43-year-old Des Moines man, although his name hasn’t been released.  Police Sergeant Paul Parizek says, “Observations at the scene indicate his death is the result of a homicide.”




Early Indications Are That Donald Trump Will Try To Return To The White House

(Undated)  —  Comments on a radio talk show are early indicators that Donald Trump will try to return to the White House in 2024.  Trump announced his intentions to return to the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucuses while he was discussing large crowds drawn to rallies in Alabama and Ohio.  A local source says the former president is having conversations about holding a rally in Iowa.  U-S Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican is holding events in the Hawkeye this week, including one Monday night and another today (Tuesday).  Trump won Iowa’s electoral votes easily in 2016 and 2020.  A June poll showed Iowans were evenly split on the former president with 49 percent saying they had a favorable view and 49 percent unfavorable.




SE Iowa Woman Arrested For Assaulting Her Mother

(Burlington, IA)  —  Authorities in Des Moines County accused a woman of assaulting her mother.  Deputies were called to a home in Burlington Saturday night for a fight between members of the same household.  Thirty-seven-year-old Nita Christina Smothers was taken into custody on charges of serious domestic abuse assault.  She’s being held in the Des Moines County Jail.  Although her mother suffered injuries, authorities haven’t described them or said if she had to seek medical treatment.




Accused Killer Wants Trial Moved Out Of Woodbury County

(Sioux City, IA)  —  An accused killer’s attorney is asking that his trial be moved out of Woodbury County.  Marvin Hildreth Junior is charged with murder for a Memorial Day shooting in Luton.  His defense team is asserting that the shooting was justified.  Hildreth’s attorney wants the trial moved to Polk, Johnson, Black Hawk or Linn counties.  He points to extensive media coverage of the case, saying it could prejudice jurors and make a fair trial in Woodbury County impossible.  Authorities say Hildreth shot 40-year-old Russell Mohr of Mapleton to death May 31st.  They say he also wounded an unidentified woman.




Crop Conditions Holding Steady

(Des Moines) — Much needed rainfall fell on many areas of the state during this past week, causing some flooding conditions in the northeast portion of the state.  Corn in or beyond the dough stage reached 95 percent, one week ahead of the five-year average.  66 percent of the state’s corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, four days ahead of normal.  Six percent of the state’s corn crop has reached maturity.  Iowa’s corn condition is rated at 58 percent good to excellent.  Wind and heavy rain damaged some corn and soybean fields in north central, and northeast Iowa.

Soybeans coloring or beyond reached 18 percent, two days ahead of the five-year average.  There were scattered reports of soybeans dropping leaves.  Soybean condition was rated at 60 percent good to excellent.  Soil moisture levels were rated as 14 percent very short in top soil, 30 percent short, 52 percent adequate, and four percent as having a surplus.  Subsoil moisture levels rated 20 percent very short, 41 percent short, 38 percent adequate, and only one percent as having surplus moisture levels.