Home News Friday News, September 3rd

Friday News, September 3rd


Labor Day Holiday Weekend Known For Deadly Traffic Accidents

(Le Mars) — Labor Day is thought as the unofficial end of summer as we celebrate with picnics, barbecues, swimming, and road trips.  But be aware as you travel this holiday weekend as Labor Day weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year in terms of drunk driving fatalities.  Iowa State Patrol trooper Karey Yaneff

Trooper Yaneff tells of what is fairly typical in terms of what occurs on the highways during the long holiday weekend.

Back in 2019 in Iowa, there were six fatalities over the three-day Labor Day weekend.  Three of the fatalities involved a drunk driver.  Yaneff says extra patrol units will be on the highways throughout the holiday weekend watching for impaired motorists.

The STEP program referenced by Yaneff stands for Special Traffic Enforcement Program.  Yaneff says law enforcement patrol units will also be looking for speeders, as well as distracted drivers, and those that may be on their phones texting.  Yaneff reminds motorists to drive sober, stay within the speed limits, buckle-up, and put the phone down.




Plymouth County Adds Assistant Attorney

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County has a new Assistant County Attorney.  Jennifer Gieselman was sworn in by Judge Daniel Vakulskas on Thursday, September 2, 2021, as an Assistant County Attorney with the Plymouth County Attorney’s Office.  Ms. Gieselman is a Sioux City native, completed her undergraduate degrees at the University of South Dakota in Political Science and Spanish with a minor in International Studies.  She then worked for Senator Grassley for approximately three years before attending University of Iowa Law School.  Following law school she served as a law clerk for the Judges in the Fourth Judicial District in Iowa.  Following her clerkship, she chose prosecution having seen the various areas of law practice during her experience as a law clerk and began working in 2019 as a prosecutor in the Muscatine County Attorney’s Office.  Ms. Gieselman also serves as a 1st Lieutenant in the Iowa National Guard as a Judge Advocate.  The Plymouth County Attorney’s Office is excited to have such an excellent candidate accept the position of the new Assistant County Attorney.




Iowa Attorney General’s Office Will Take Over Investigation Of Fatal Police Shooting

(Des Moines, IA)  —  The Iowa attorney general’s office will take over the investigation of a fatal police shooting at the scene of a house fire.  Jones County Attorney Kristofer Lyons made the request Thursday.  That means Attorney General Tom Miller will ultimately decide if criminal charges should be filed in the death of 45-year-old Jeremy Michael Berg.  He was killed last Tuesday.  Two Jones County deputies and three Anamosa police officers fired shots after they say Berg refused to drop the knife in his hand.  Multiple police and fire departments responded to the location in a rural area near Martelle.




Beer For Sale For First Time At Iowa Hawkeyes Football Game

(Iowa City, IA)  —  When the Indiana Hoosiers visit Kinnick Stadium Saturday for the 2021 football season opener fans will be able to buy beer for the first time.  School officials say there will be more than 30 alcoholic beverage stations in the stadium – none will be near the student section.  The selection of adult beverages will include old standbys like Budweiser and Busch products, but Iowa breweries like Singlespeed, Backpocket, and Big Grove will also be available.  Thirty percent of the sales will benefit the state’s Alcohol Harm Reduction effort.  The University of Northern Iowa and Drake University will sell beer at home games, too.  Iowa State University doesn’t allow sales to the general public.




Ohio Congressman Cheered When Praising Former President Trump

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Congressman Jim Jordan was cheered by a group of Dallas County Republicans when he praised former President Trump Thursday in West Des Moines.  The Ohio Republican is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus and he is one of the strongest defenders of the former president.  Jordan told the crowd he thinks Trump will run again in 2024.  The potential candidate has teased a possible campaign in the next presidential election but made no formal statement.  He said late last month he intends to travel to Iowa to hold his first rally in the state since losing the 2020 vote.




Iowa Legislators Ask State Supreme Court To Overturn 2018 Ruling On Abortion

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Sixty Iowa legislators want the state Supreme Court to overturn a 2018 ruling on abortion.  Lawyers filed the brief Monday in the case where Planned Parenthood of the Heartland sued Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.  The Iowa Supreme Court hasn’t set a date for arguments to be offered.   The suit was filed after Reynolds signed a 2020 law requiring a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion.  An Iowa judge struck down the law in June, ruling it unconstitutional.  The judge pointed to the 2018 Iowa court ruling while abolished a 72-hour waiting period for abortion.  The governor’s office appealed.




Reynolds Says ‘No Cause For Panic’ About Rise in COVID Cases

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Governor Kim Reynolds says there is “no cause for panic” about the rise in COVID cases in Iowa, especially among children and teenagers.  The Republican governor also said there’s no need to change the state law which prevents mask mandates in schools.  Reynolds told reporters, “the virus — it’s here to stay, “which means we have to find a way to live with it in a responsible, balanced and sustainable way.”  The governor says vaccines are the best tool to counter COVID, but she does not believe in government mandates.  Twenty-two percent of cases confirmed by testing in the past week were among Iowans under the age of 18.  Another 20 percent were between the ages of 18 and 29.




Iowa Department of Public Health to Update COVID Data 3 Times Per Week

(Des Moines, IA)  —  The Iowa Department of Public Health is shifting from weekly to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday updates of COVID-related information on hospitalizations, testing data, and deaths.  Acting director Kelly Garcia says “we know there’s an intense interest and need and we’ve packaged what we hopes resonates and shows what today looks like in our system.”  Garcia called it a “refresh” of the website.  The dashboard highlights how many hospital patients with COVID have not been vaccinated.  Today’s (Thursday) number shows 90 percent of all Iowa hospital patients with the virus have not gotten the vaccine.   In July, the department had shifted to posting this kind of information once a week.



Iowa Capitol Riot Suspect Sent Back to Jail For Violating Terms of Release

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A central Iowa man arrested during the January 6th riot at the U-S Capitol is going back to jail for violating the terms of his release.  Forty-two-year-old Doug Jensen of Des Moines was caught using a cellphone to go online and watch video of My Pillow founder Mike Lindell’s election fraud cyber symposium.  A federal judge released him to home confinement in July with the provision he was not to use the internet.  The judge says it’s unlikely Jensen will follow the terms of his release, and ordered him to return to jail while awaiting his trial. He faces seven charges — including obstruction of a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder.  Jensen was taken into custody by U-S Marshals following Thursday’s hearing.




Northwest Iowa Man Killed in Pocahontas County Tractor Accident

(Rolfe, IA)  —  A northwest Iowa man is dead after a tractor accident Wednesday afternoon near Rolfe.  The Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Office says 83-year-old LeRoy Simonson was operating a tractor when an attachment to the loader came apart.  Simonson was thrown from the tractor when it ran over the attachment and went under of one of the rear wheels.  Deputies say Simonson died at the scene.