Home News Saturday News, November 20th

Saturday News, November 20th


Fire Destroys Kingsley Home

(Kingsley) — Fire has totally destroyed a house in Kingsley.  The fire was reported shortly after 3:00 a.m. Saturday at 308 Dover Street in Kingsley.  Firefighters responded to see the home fully engulfed.  Kingsley Fire Department requested mutual aid from both the Remsen Fire Department and the Moville Fire Department.  Brandon Sitzmann serves as the Assistant Fire Chief for the Kingsley Fire Department and explains the scene.

Sitzmann says the State Fire Marshal has been notified and will be arrive on the scene sometime Saturday to investigate the origin and cause of the fire.  Sitzmann says he is uncertain as to the dollar amount of damage, other than the home and much of the contents have been totally destroyed, as well as the adjoining garage.  A car that was parked inside the garage was also destroyed by the fire.  Sitzmann says the occupant of the house was able to escape the burning structure without any injuries.  The fire was reported by the occupant of the home as well as surrounding neighbors.  Sitzmann says there was some concern the fire may spread to immediate neighbors homes.

Kingsley firefighters remain at the scene as of 8:30 a.m. but Sitzmann says both Moville and Remsen were released from the scene of the fire at around 7:30 a.m. after battling the blaze for more than four straight hours. Smoke could still seen coming from the roof, as firefighters were watching for hot spots smoldering.




Pride Group Has Ground Breaking Ceremony For New Housing Units

(Le Mars) — The Pride Group held a ground breaking ceremony Friday afternoon for their new residential housing units for their clients.  The new housing units will be located on 14th Street SE, just south of the Plymouth County Law Enforcement Center, on the east side of the street.  Sarah Jackson serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Pride Group and talks about the new development.

Jackson offers a timeline as to when construction will begin, as well as when it will be completed, as well as the date Pride Group will need to vacate their current building located on Highway 3.

The new housing units will be able to hold up 20 clients, while the current facility has 43 clients. Jackson explains what will happen to some of the Pride Group clients.

Jackson says the new housing units is estimated to cost $3.5 million dollars.  She says the board of directors are keeping their options open to the possibility of adding a third unit to the construction site sometime in the future.




Fire And Rescue Responds To Overturned Anhydrous Ammonia Tanks

(Le Mars) — Emergency crews responded to a report of anhydrous ammonia tanks that had rolled over on its side ending up in a ditch.  The accident happened at about 11:18 a.m. Friday morning at 200th Street, about a quarter of a mile east of County Road K-49, and approximately a mile south of Le Mars.  Both tanks were filled with anhydrous ammonia at the time of the accident, but, fortunately, the tanks did not sustain any leaks as a result of the accident.  The anhydrous ammonia tanks are owned by the CVA cooperative elevator.  An employee of CVA was towing the anhydrous ammonia tanks when the tanks which were on a trailer slid off the road, causing the tanks to overturn. The employee escaped the scene without sustaining any injuries.  Le Mars Fire and Rescue Chief, Dave Schipper says everything did turn out ok, but he says there were some initial concerns.

With the assistance from Stockton Towing Company, firefighters were able to get the tanks out of the ditch and back right side up on the roadway, then at that time, both firefighters and CVA officials inspected the tanks to make certain there were no leaks or punctures with the anhydrous ammonia tanks.  Firefighters rendered the scene safe at about 12:25 p.m. at which point CVA hooked up to the trailer and hauled the tanks away from the scene.




Plymouth County Farm Bureau To Collect Food, Clothing, And Toys For Mid-Sioux Opportunity To Be Distributed To 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 families in need.

Bohner says we may not realize there is a 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.

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 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.




Christmas Acres To Turn On Lights 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.




Iowa Unemployment Rate Falls Slightly to 3.9 %

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a point to three-point-nine percent in October.  The number of unemployed Iowans decreased by 15-hundred last month to 64-thousand-700.  The total number of people working in the state increased by 16-hundred.  Iowa Workforce Development director Beth Townsend said in October Iowa saw net employment growth for the fifth time in the last six months.  The U-S jobless rate was four-point-six percent last month.




State Tax Breaks Approved For Northwest Iowa Soybean Plant

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A state board is approving tax breaks for a project that will expand a soybean processing plant in northwest Iowa.  Ag Processing, Incorporated — known as A-G-P — plans to spend more than 71-million dollars to upgrade its facility in Sergeant Bluff.  The improvement will speed up the crush rate of soybeans.  A-G-P also has refineries in Sergeant Bluff that process vegetable oil and soybean oil.  The company was formed in 1983 when Land O’Lakes, Boone Valley Cooperative Processing Association and Farmland Industries merged their soybean processing assets into a single company.




Council Bluffs Couple Died In Murder-Suicide

(Council Bluffs, IA)  —  The Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office is ruling the deaths of a married couple as a murder-suicide.  Deputies were called to a home near Council Bluffs on the morning of November 7th where they they found 83-year-old Bonnie Rankin dead from a gunshot wound.  Her husband was rushed to Nebraska Medical Center where he died on Tuesday.  Authorities say 86-year-old Harvey Rankin was the suspected shooter and with his death the case is closed.




Jones County Deputy Injured in Monticello Home Explosion Returns to Work

(Monticello, IA)  —  The Jones County Sheriff’s Office says the deputy injured in a Monticello home explosion is back at work.  Deputy James Rickels suffered minor burns from the flash of the explosion.  The Monticello Police Department said David Costello set off an explosion in his basement Wednesday night while police tried to talk to him.  Both Rickels and Costello were taken to the hospital.  No word on Costello’s current condition.  Investigators say Costello’s wife called to report he was threatening to blow up their house.




Iowa House Delegation Votes Along Party Lines on Build Back Better Act

(Washington, DC)  —  All Iowa Republicans voted against U-S House passage of the Build Back Better Act Friday morning  while Democrat Cindy Axne supported the nearly two-trillion-dollar measure.  Axne said, ” I look at this as a bill for Iowans and a bill for Americans because it fulfills the promises I made to the people here in the state when I decided to run which was putting money in people’s pockets and bringing more opportunity to the people that live here.”  The bill extends the enhanced child tax credits parents have been receiving since July and aims to lower the cost of some prescription drugs for seniors and diabetics.  It also provides federal funding to a variety of clean energy and climate initiatives.  Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson called the bill a “monstrosity” and said “the folks at home are frustrated by runaway government spending.”  G-O-P Congressman Randy Feenstra says the bill is a complete disaster and fellow Republican Marianette Miller-Meeks warns it will make inflation worse.




Union Negotiator For John Deere Ankeny Workers Dies of COVID

(Ankeny, IA)  —  The lead negotiator for the U-A-W local that represents employees at John Deere’s plant in Ankeny died of COVID the day after the strike at Deere and Company ended.  The death of Curtis Templeman was announced late Thursday on the Facebook page for UAW Local 450.  A post says Templeman had what he thought was the sniffles, but found out he had COVID.  The Des Moines Register reports Templeman was hospitalized at the beginning of November and he told a reporter he planned to participate in last week’s contract talks by phone from the hospital.  The union praised Templeman’s “selfless service” during negotiations and said he held on long enough to see the contract with Deere had been ratified.




Coe College Alumni, Students Protest Treatment Of Longtime Black Trustee

(Cedar Rapids, IA)  —  Coe College alumni and students are protesting the treatment of a longtime Black trustee after he submitted his resignation.  Darryl Banks served on the Board of Trustees for four decades, but he stepped down last month after David Hayes was named the school’s president.  Banks says he shared diversity and inclusion concerns at a board meeting last month and came under attack, with one trustee accusing him of lying and board leaders calling him dishonest when he complained.  Another trustee, Minnesota lawyer Alan Anderson, resigned last month while pointing to the way Banks was treated.




Marshalltown Woman Loses Cases In Civil, Criminal Court

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A federal judge has dismissed a Marshalltown woman’s lawsuit against that city’s police department.  That means Holli Lillibridge has lost in civil and criminal court.  She accused police of roughing her up while they were executing a search warrant two years ago.  The court decided the police did nothing wrong during the confrontation that left Lillibridge with significant bruises.  She got into trouble when her husband was charged with sex abuse.  During his trial – where he was acquitted – she took photos of Marshall County Attorney Jennifer Miller’s home.  That led to the confrontation as police arrived to seize her phone.