Home News Thursday News, September 2nd

Thursday News, September 2nd


Wayne Schipper Takes Oath Of Office For City Council Position

(Le Mars) — A new city council member was given the oath of office and sworn into duty Wednesday morning.

Wayne Schipper, the city’s retired fire and rescue chief, will assume the duties of a city council member and will represent the people in Ward 3.  Mayor Pro-tem and coucil member Rex Knapp conducted the oath of office ceremonies.  Schipper was appointed to the position by the city council.  He will take over the vacated position left by former council member, Ken Nelson.  Nelson has recently moved to another home that is not located within the third ward, and therefore needed to resign from the city council.  Schipper is a member of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Schipper will serve the remaining four months on Nelson’s term.




Life Skills Training Center Names Honorary Chair For Phone-a-thon

(Le Mars) — A reminder that next Wednesday will be the annual Knights of Columbus phone-a-thon for Life Skills Training Center.  The phone-a-thon will begin at around 9:00 a.m. and will continue until nearly 9:00 p.m.  Shelly Thomson, the Development Director with Life Skills tells of the organization’s mission.

Thomson says two long-time supporters and volunteers of Life Skills Training Center have been selected to serve as the Honorary Chair.

Thomson says donations can be dropped off at the Knights of Columbus hall, or simply drop it off at your local bank.  This year, Life Skills Training Center has a goal of raising $57,000.




Le Mars World War II Veteran Given Ride On “Dream Flight”

(Le Mars) — A World War II veteran from Le Mars was honored Wednesday morning by participating on a flight aboard a bi-plane from the World War II era.  It was all part of what is known as “Dream Flight” and 96-year old Navy veteran William “Bill” Reuter was the honoree.  Reuter resides at the Le Mars Accura nursing care center.  Accura officials learned about the “Dream Flight” and contacted officials to offer the local veteran a ride of his life.  Darryl Fisher is the founder and president of the “Dream Flight” organization.  He says they want to honor the “greatest generation.”

Fisher says those first 25 flights were so successful that his wife suggested they continue to provide flights to World War 2 veterans.

Reuter was assisted in getting into the open cockpit airplane.  Prior to departure, Reuter was showing the attending crowd “thumbs up”.  Approximately 30 different people consisting of family and friends were at the Le Mars Municipal Airport waving American flags as Reuter was about to take flight. Fisher says the bi-plane used for the “Dream Flights” was used back in the era to help train pilots.

Fisher says the Dream Flight caters to World War II veterans of all military branches.  He says this month is a special time for Dream Flight honorees.

The actual flight was about 20 minutes as the “Dream Flight” plane circled Le Mars.  Upon landing at the Le Mars airport, Reuter was seen having a broad smile on his face.  The U-S Navy electrician that was stationed on an aircraft carrier in the south Pacific says he enjoyed the flight.

Reuter was presented a cap signed by the pilot that expressed appreciation for Reuter’s service to our country.  Reuter joined other Dream Flight honorees by signing his autograph on the tail of the plane.  Mary Ellensohn of Le Mars is a daughter to Reuter. She says her family is appreciative of the opportunity awarded to her father, but she wasn’t aware of her father’s honor and Wednesday’s event until just last week.

Ellensohn says her father served in the U-S Navy from 1943 until 1946 and he didn’t speak much about his time in the Navy during World War 2 until the children were adults.

Ellensohn says her father entered the Navy between his junior and senior year of high school at St. Joseph’s, now the present day Gehlen Catholic school.  She says a Catholic nun sent correspondence to Reuter so he had the opportunity to finish his high school education.




State Climatologist Says August Was Wetter And Warmer Than Normal

Des Moines, IA)  —  Iowa State climatologist Justin Glisan (Like listen) says August ended up wetter and warmer than normal.  He says numerous storms pushed rainfall above average.  “We were about four-point-six inches across the state, and that’s about a half an inch above average,” Gisan says.  He says the rain distribution varied widely across the state — with some of the driest areas seeing the most.  “If we look at the northern part of the state — anywhere from ten to 14 inches, with localized 15 to 20-inch rainfalls — especially over the last seven days,” Glisan says. “So we’ve really seen wetter conditions across the drought region.” August averaged out a little warmer than normal.  “We were about 73 degrees — and that was one-and-a-half degrees above average,” Glisan says.  He says the short-term outlook for September shows it could be a cooler and drier start to the month.




Des Moines Man Charged After Crashing Vehicle While Dropping Off Wounded Woman

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A 57-year-old Des Moines man is charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident after dropping off a woman with a gunshot wound at MercyOne Medical Center.  Clarence Lee crashed his vehicle in the hospital parking lot.  He fled the scene but was caught by officers a short distance away.  Police say the woman is expected to survive but the circumstances surrounding her shooting haven’t been confirmed.  Her name hasn’t been released.  Lee is being held in the Polk County Jail.




Composting Site In Eddyville Still Causing Problems For People Living Nearby

(Eddyville, IA)  —  People living near the Chamness Technology composting site in Eddyville say it is still causing problems.  One resident calls it a “glorified garbage dump.”  Emergency responders say they have been called to handle a series of fires there in recent months.  A woman who lives across the road first complained about the smoke three years ago.  She says the composting site still isn’t in compliance with Department of Natural Resources state guidelines.  Two former employees are among those who say they don’t think any effort has been made to come into compliance.  D-N-R officials say some progress has been made, but they were small improvements.




Jones County Neighborhood Shaken By Death Of Person Killed By Officers

(Martelle, IA)  —  People living in a rural area near Martelle say they are still shaken by the fatal shooting of a 45-year-old man Tuesday night.  Emergency responders were originally called to the location to fight a large fire.  Authorities say Jeremy Michael Berg pointed a knife at them when they arrived and he refused to put it down.  Several officials and Jones County deputies opened fire and Berg died a short time later.  The Iowa State Fire Marshal and the Division of Criminal Investigation spent all day Wednesday on the scene collecting evidence.




Protesters Damage University of Iowa Fraternity House

(Iowa City, IA)  —  A University of Iowa fraternity house is damaged following a protest near campus Tuesday night.  Police say a crowd of more than one-thousand people gathered at the Phi Gamma Delta or FIJI fraternity in response to an online petition that accuses two members of the fraternity of rape last year.  Officers say windows and doors were broken and graffiti was written on the house.  Much of the crowd then went to another residence and did the same type of damage, as well as overturning cars.  Police say the crowd broke up and no one was injured.  They are asking for anyone with video of the protest to contact them.  The department also says it takes all allegations of sexual assault seriously and investigates them to the fullest extent possible.




Georgia Woman Sent to Federal Prison For Stealing UI Employees’ Tax Refunds

(Davenport, IA)  —  A 39-year-old Georgia woman will nearly four years in federal prison for stealing the identities of “dozens” of University of Iowa employees to claim their tax refunds.  The U-S Attorney’s Office says Florence Rosale Julio of Brunswick was able to illegally obtain more than 450-thousand dollars in tax refunds that were owed to University of Iowa staff in 2015.  The money was deposited in bank accounts in Georgia she had opened under a fake business name.  A total of one-point-four-million dollars was laundered through those fake accounts.  Prosecutors say Julio used 44-thousand dollars to buy a Mercedes Benz in Tennessee.  She must serve three years of supervised release after 46 months in prison.




FEMA Providing Federal Funding For COVID Funerals

(Des Moines,IA)  —  The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing financial aid to Iowans for some COVID-19-related funerals.  FEMA spokesman Bryon Boka says the agency is covering up to nine-thousand dollars per person.  He says “If they’ve lost more than one person, they can apply for multiple individuals. ”  The maximum amount is 35-thousand dollars.  The aid applies to COVID funeral expenses after January 20th of 2020.  Boka says the funding is for anyone who has assumed those costs upon themselves and have no other form of insurance or pre-paid burial costs that are tied to the deceased individual.  You can apply on FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Hotline ( 1-844-684-6333).




Platinum Crush Soybean Plant Planned For Buena Vista County

(Alta, IA)  —  A new 350-million-dollar soybean-crushing plant is in the works in northwest Iowa near Alta.  The facility will be run by Platinum Crush L-L-C.  Developer Mike Kinley said “Buena Vista County has some of the best agriculture production in the United States if not thre world, and producers there would really benefit from having additional marketing opportunities in their backyard.”  The plant is expected to crush nearly 40 million bushels a year when it’s complete.  Kinley say the soybean meal, oil and a fiber component will be sold in the state and around the world.  Groundbreaking is slated for later this year and the plant is expected to become operational around March of 2024, and will create 50 to 60 jobs.