Home News Friday News, November 19th

Friday News, November 19th


Granville Woman Charged With Child Abuse

(Orange City, IA)  —  A northwest Iowa woman is charged with felony child endangerment in Sioux County for causing serious injuries to her 11-month-old child.  Twenty-year-old Christina Fivecoate-Champion of Granville was arrested after the child was taken to an Orange City hospital with a dislocated elbow.  An exam revealed several fractures to the child’s arm.  Investigators say Fivecoate-Champion claimed the child fell in a crib with that arm between the crib and rails.  But doctors in Sioux Falls determined there were additional injuries prior to dislocated elbow that suggest a pattern of abuse.  The Iowa Department of Human Services placed the victim in foster care.




Pride Group To Hold Ground Breaking Ceremonies For New Residential Housing Project

(Le Mars) — The Pride Group is proud to announce the construction of two new buildings for community-based services in Le Mars.  These residential care facilities will each house ten beds and serve members with mental illness receiving Medicaid residential waivers.  Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of The Pride Group, says, “We’re very eager to support additional members and help meet the high demand for this type of residential service in Iowa.”

Ground breaking ceremonies will take place this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at 248 14th Avenue northeast. Founded in 1986, The Pride Group’s mission is to empower individuals with mental illness and disabilities in achieving an excellent quality of life.  Pride Group believes in providing services in the most independent settling possible and designing programs that will address the specific needs of our members.




Le Mars Community Theater To Present “Till Beth Do Us Part”

(Le Mars) — Folks at the Le Mars Community Theater and Postal Playhouse are getting set for their next production, “Till Beth Do Us Part.”  Angela Drake tells us more in this report…




Christmas Acres To Turn On Lights This Saturday Evening

(Le Mars) — The switch will be turned on Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. which will bring to life one of the state’s largest Christmas light displays located on what is known as Christmas Acres, approximately six miles west of Le Mars.  Rob Scheitler and his family have operated Christmas Acres for the past 25 years, and with each passing year, the extensive light display continues to expand.

Scheitler says the elaborate display of lights and figurines not only covers his farm, but it now has expanded into his neighbor’s fields to include more than four acres of Christmas lights.  Scheitler says each year, he needs to start earlier to make certain the display is finished by the opening weekend.

Scheitler says he has traveled across Iowa and other states picking up Christmas displays, while others have given him their used displays to add to his ever-expanding Christmas Acres exhibit.

Through the years, Scheitler has collected several thousands of dollars in contributions, all of it, according to Scheitler, is donated to the local charity, Christian Needs Center.

Scheitler says people from neighboring states have traveled several hours and hundreds of miles just to view his Christmas light display.

Besides his light display, Scheitler is also known for his baked goods.  He says he has converted his garage into a bakery with ovens and shelving for pies, cookies, breads and cakes.  He says he has already been building up his bakery goods inventory.  Last year he sold more than 200 pies on one evening.

Christmas Acres will be illuminated each evening from now through January 1st starting at 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., weather permitting.  It is located along Highway 3 on Impala Avenue.




Plymouth County Farm Bureau To Collect Food, Clothing, And Toys For Area Families Of Need

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Farm Bureau organization, along with their insurance agents are conducting a collection fund drive.  Donations of food, clothing, and toys can be dropped off at the Plymouth County Farm Bureau offices beginning on Monday, November 22nd.  Mark Bohner is the Regional Manager of the Plymouth County Farm Bureau, and says the collections of the items will be delivered to Mid Sioux Opportunity to be distributed to local families in need.

Bohner says we may not realize there is a local need for the donated items.

Last year, only one local Farm Bureau insurance agent participated in the program.  However, Bohner says this year, all the local agents have agreed to assist with the collection program.

The Farm Bureau official says a few donations have already been dropped off to the Farm Bureau office, making for a good start to the program.  Bohner tells of some of the specific items that are needed for area families.

Pictured are the collections from the 2020 program.  From left to right: Betty Neisius and her granddaughter, Ben Johnson, president of Plymouth County Farm Bureau; Farm Bureau Financial Services agent, Tyler Meekma; Leah Johnson, and Mark Bohner, Farm Bureau Regional Manager.

Bohner says the local farm organization and insurance agents have established a “matching” program with the value of the collections.

Collections of food, clothing, toys, and household goods will be accepted through December 9th.  Donations can be dropped off at the Plymouth County Farm Bureau offices, and Tyler Meekma offices at 28 2nd Avenue SW, or at Levi TeBrink’s office located at 101 Central Avenue SW, or at Mike Kinney, Greg Fischer, and Jon Mortensen’s insurance office located across from the Fareway grocery store at 21 1st Avenue NE




Biden Administration Fills Top 2 USDA Posts In Iowa

(Des Moines, IA)  —  President Biden has appointed the leader of a climate action group and the Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Senator Joni Ernst a year ago to the top two U-S-D-A posts in Iowa. Matt Russell will be executive director of the Iowa Farm Service Agency which oversees U-S-D-A credit and loan programs as well as conservation and disaster programs.  Russell raises cattle and produce on a 110-acre farm near Lacona. Theresa Greenfield will be the U-S-D-A’s director for rural development in Iowa. Greenfield, who grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota, has worked as a community planner and was the president of a central Iowa property development firm before running for the U-S Senate in 2020.

(photo contributed.)




Cost Of Typical Thanksgiving Dinner Up By 14% This Year

(Des Moines, IA). —  The Farm Bureau’s annual survey of items used for a traditional Thanksgiving feast found a 14 percent increase in cost compared to last year. Iowa Farm Bureau economist, Sam Funk, says they based the cost on a meal for ten people.  “That amount was 53 dollars and 31 cents,” he says.  The price of the meal centerpiece turkey was up an average of one dollar, 50 cents.  Some people canceled the big holiday gathering last year, but plan to return to the tradition this year — and that comes as he says the supply of turkeys is down by about four percent.

(Photo contributed.)




Federal Panel Deliberating Challenge Of Governor’s Mask Mandate Ban

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A three-judge federal panel is deliberating a challenge of Governor Kim Reynolds’ mask mandate ban.  Reynolds backs a parent’s right to choose whether or not their child needs to wear a mask at school.  Iowa’s law banning mask mandates for state schools is on hold until the court decides.  The governor’s office filed an appeal of a temporary injunction with the U-S 8th Circuit Court.  Reynolds signed the bill into law last May, but it was put on hold when the A-C-L-U sued the governor.  Schools have been allowed to implement mask mandates since then.




1300 Afghans Could Be Resettled in Central Iowa

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Officials say as many as 13-hundred Afghans who were evacuated this summer could be relocated to central Iowa by June of 2022.  Three weeks ago, the Pentagon announced nearly 67-hundred Afghans had been resettled throughout the country, but more than 53-thousand remained at military facilities in six different states.  Polk County Supervisor Robert Brownell said today (Thursday), “I know that the military bases are wanting these folks off military bases A-S-A-P and so time frame keeps getting compressed a little bit because they want these folks resettled.”  Brownell indicated the coalition working on the resettlement project has secured warehouse space for beds and other furniture.  He says they’re also working on a contract with a call-in translation service so Afghans can communicate with English-speaking Iowans as soon as they arrive.




Woman Rescued From Indianola Fire Airlifted to UI Burn Treatment Center

(Indianola, IA)  —  A woman rescued from a burning home in Indianola is being treated at the Burn Treatment Center at the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City.  The Indianola Fire Department says flames were coming out of the windows and doors on the front side of the house when crews arrived shortly after 8 p-m Wednesday.  A man found outside was taken to a Des Moines hospital for treatment, but firefighters had to enter the burning home to rescue the woman inside.  Officials say the fire was quickly extinguished by fire crews from Indianola and three other cities.  Investigators have not determined what caused the fire.




Hinson Votes Against Censuring GOP Congressman For Violent Social Media Videos

(Washington, DC)  —  Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson says political rhetoric has become too heated on both sides of the partisan divide, but she voted against the formal reprimand of a fellow Republican because House Democrats haven’t taken similar action against members of their party.  Hinson voted against censuring Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar for posting an animated video online that depicted him attacking President Biden and killing a New York congresswoman.  Hinson argues Democrats failed to censure a California congresswoman last year who had called on protesters to get more confrontational.  G-O-P Representatives Randy Feenstra and Marianette Miller-Meeks also voted “no” on censuring Gosar.  Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne voted “yes.”

(photo contributed.)




I-74 Bridge At Bettendorf:  1 Year Late, $75M Over Budget

(Bettendorf, IA)  —  The Interstate 74 bridge at Bettendorf is scheduled to open for traffic next month – one year later and 75-million dollars over budget.  Coming up on December 1st, the public will have a chance to walk across the bridge over the Mississippi River that connects Iowa to Illinois.  The Iowa-bound portion of the twin span bridge was originally scheduled to open by the end of last year.  The portion of I-74 traveling into Illinois was supposed to open at the end of this year.  With 74-and-a-half-million in additional construction costs, the final price tag of the big project will approach 400-million dollars.