Home Uncategorized Monday Afternoon News, November 8th

Monday Afternoon News, November 8th


Third Class Completes Citizens Academy

(Le Mars) — 14 people from Le Mars and Plymouth County recently completed the four-week course of the Citizens Academy program offered by the Le Mars Police Department and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.  The class participants were able to have a close up look at how law enforcement officials perform their jobs and duties.  Justin Daale is the Assistant Police Chief for the Le Mars Police Department.  He served as one of the instructors for the course, and talks about the cooperation between the police department and the sheriff’s office in offering the course.

Daale says Le Mars is a small enough community that it is likely the officers may personally know, or, know of the people involved with a crime or accident.  He says a goal with the citizens academy is to share that perspective with the attending participants.  He says actors from the Postal Playhouse assisted with scenarios, especially with domestic disturbance scenarios.

Participants of the citizens academy are often placed in a similar scenario as are law enforcement officers.  One such section of the class had the participants play the role of a law enforcement officer through a life-like realistic video projection program.  The scenario could have the officer walking up to a residence of a reported domestic dispute, or approaching a stopped vehicle for going through a stop sign, or encountering a mental health patient in a park with small children. There are several different types of situations. The outcomes of the mentioned scenarios, can be altered, depending on the type of interaction the officer has with the person featured in the video.  The scenarios may end peacefully, or they may turn violent.  The program is a helpful instructional tool for officers to be aware of what could be the consequences.  The citizens academy participants had to take on the role of a police officer during the various scenarios.

Daale says the experience proved to be an eye-opening experience for the contestants, and often provides for split-second decision making.  Participants were introduced to drug and alcohol intoxicated recognition, to accident investigation, to crime scene homicide investigation, and mediator to domestic disputes.  Other areas covered in the course were the use of tazers and other non-lethal ammunition.  Class participants were introduced to the K-9 unit, as well as the strategic weapons tactical unit known as “Combined Emergency Response Team, or CERT”, and they even fired a variety of guns at the city’s shooting range.  Daale tells of the 14 different people that completed the citizens academy.

The Le Mars Assistant Police Chief explains why the local law enforcement agencies offer the citizens academy.

Daale says another citizens academy course will be offered again next fall.




Woman Shot By Des Moines Police Gets Out Of Hospital, Is Immediately Arrested

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A 35-year-old woman who was shot by Des Moines police last month has been arrested immediately after getting out of the hospital.  Police say Katherin Margaret Mehle had tried to stab a man in downtown Des Moines before she was confronted by an officer.  When she advanced toward Ryan Chareunsab investigators say he was forced to shoot her.  Mehle had been hospitalized in critical condition before the hospital finally released her Friday following more than four weeks of treatment.  She faces charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, assault on a police officer with a dangerous weapon, and interference with official acts with a weapon.




Fairfield Schools:  Threat Not Credible, Classes Resume

(Fairfield, IA)  —  Officials with the Fairfield School District say an online threat about the high school wasn’t credible.  Classes have resumed today (Monday) after being canceled last week following the murder of Spanish teacher Nohema Graber.  Fairfield Superintendent Laurie Noll announced Sunday students would be returning to class.  The online threat had mentioned a violent attack at the school, but an investigation determined the threat was a fake.  Two of her students are charged with killing Graber.  No motive for the crime has been released.




Iowa Health Care Providers Start Giving Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine To Kids

(Ankeny, IA)  —  Iowa doctors say getting the COVID vaccine to kids ages five-through-11 will make schools safer and help parents be more confident about letting them go to sleepovers and sporting events.  MercyOne pediatrician Doctor Sara Schutte tells Iowa Public Radio some of the youngest patients are anxious when they get the shot.  That means it takes more coaxing and more nurses to help them get through the experience.  Schutte says she’s seen some mixed reactions from parents.  Some are excited to get their children vaccinated and others are hesitant.




Two Dallas County Towns Say Goodbye To Their Fire Chief, Call Him A Hero

(Woodward, IA)  —  The people who worked with Fire Chief Ken Cavanaugh say it is obvious he is a hero.  Cavanaugh was fire chief in Woodward and Bouton.  He died last week of a heart attack.  Cavanaugh has been hospitalized since he had the attack October 18th while driving a Woodward-Granger school bus.  Despite the pain, he was able to get the bus off the highway – keeping the students safe.  His friends say he always cared about others more than himself.  Cavanaugh was a firefighter for nearly 45 years.  Friends and co-workers say his final act was saving lives.