Home News Tuesday News, December 28th

Tuesday News, December 28th


Plymouth County Board Of Supervisors Will Not Meet This Week

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are enjoying this holiday week by not having any meeting for today.  The next scheduled meeting of the County Board of Supervisors will be for Tuesday, January 4th to be held at the County Courthouse Board Room.




Law Enforcement Agencies Turn Out For Le Mars Police Officer’s Funeral

(Le Mars) — More than 50 different law enforcement agency vehicles and 15 K-9 units from across the state were in attendance for former Le Mars Police Officer and K-9 handler, Mark Reed’s funeral, which was held Monday afternoon at the Rejoice Community Church at Le Mars.  The former police officer died last week after being diagnosed with brain cancer.  Following the funeral, a processional of law enforcement vehicles followed the hearse from the Rejoice Community Church to the Rexwinkel Funeral Home.  K-9 units from such places as Des Moines, West Des Moines, Altoona, Sioux City, and Sheldon all stood at attention with their police dogs while the hearse carrying Reed passed by.  The funeral processional was led by the Le Mars Police Department with its K-9 vehicle with a wreath of flowers on the vehicle’s hood, followed by the Rexwinkel Funeral Home, carrying the body of the former police officer.  Next, were family members and close friends.  Then, the chain of law enforcement vehicles, all with their emergency red and blue lights flashing, were led by the Le Mars Police Department, followed by other area municipal police vehicles from Akron, Merrill, Hinton, Remsen and Kingsley.  Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office with a staff of deputies were next.  Sioux, O’Brien, Lyon, and Woodbury County Sheriff’s Offices were all represented at the funeral, as were the Iowa State Patrol, Division of Criminal Investigation, and Sioux City Police Department, and Plymouth County Conservation Board Park Ranger.  Stockton’s Towing Company had set up one of their wrecker trucks at the Le Mars Convention Center’s parking lot at the 12th Street SE with a large banner measuring approximately eight feet high and as much as 15 feet in length showing the law enforcement flag with the blue stripe, and the badge of Officer Reed, with the words “Mark Reed”.  The banner could be seen by all funeral attendees as they turned the corner from the Rejoice Community Church at 3rd Avenue SE on to 12th Street SE.  Also, along 12th Street SE at the Le Mars Outdoor Swimming Pool parking lot, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had set up their aerial truck stretching above 12th Street with the American Flag hanging above the street.  Members of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department stood at attention, while wearing their class A uniforms.  Besides the aerial truck, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had on display their ladder truck and an ambulance, all with their emergency lights flashing, showing their respect.  Several people from the community had parked at the Community Wellness Center and YMCA’s parking lot and got out of their cars, standing at attention at the sidewalk, many with their hand over their heart as the funeral processional passed.




Iowa State University Extension And Outreach To Hold Crop Advantage Seminars

(Le Mars) — Farmers are beginning to plan for their next crop and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach hopes to help farmers with their decision making process.  A series of 14 Crop Advantage meetings are being scheduled for various locations across Iowa.  Joel DeJong serves as ISU’s crops specialist-agronomist for northwest Iowa.  He says area farmers should take time to attend one of the Crop Advantage seminars.

“DeJong, Joel”

DeJong says each of the Crop Advantage seminars for northwest Iowa will feature the same two key-note speakers, entomologist Erin Hodgson, and agricultural economist, Chad Hart.

The Le Mars Convention Center will host the Le Mars seminar scheduled for January 26th.

Registration is $60 up to a week before the seminar, then the fee will increase.

Sheldon will host the first seminar, and it will take place on January 4th at the Northwest Iowa Community College at Sheldon.  Other seminars to follow include Storm Lake, Burlington, Okoboji, Ankeny, Cedar Falls, Mason City, Chariton, Webster City, Atlantic, Davenport, Coralville, Le Mars and Denison.




Lawmakers Urged To Spend More Tax Dollars To Transform Public Spaces

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Placemaking is the buzzword several Iowa business and economic development groups are using to describe the process of improving already existing attractions and creating new public spaces. Jennifer Peters, president of Iowa Travel Industry Partners, is urging Governor Reynolds to use more federal pandemic relief on tourism marketing and to boost the budget for grants that support community attractions and tourism sites. She says increased tourism investment will lead to a healthier economy and a strong workforce for Iowa. The Vision Iowa program created when Tom Vilsack was governor provided 200 million in grants to projects like the River Center in Dubuque, the MidAmerica Center in Council Bluffs, and the Science Center, and other attractions in downtown Des Moines. Those bonds were paid off last year. Republican House Speaker Pat Grassley says he’s wary of putting the state in debt again.




New Year’s:  Is This Finally The Year You Quit?

(Undated). —  One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to quit smoking.  A new survey finds 70-percent of Iowa smokers want to quit, while 50-percent will try to quit in 2022. There are mixed messages circulating about how vaping can help smokers to kick the habit, messages that are blatantly false, according to Erika Sward, spokeswoman for the American Lung Association. The U-S Food and Drug Administration has not found any e-cigarette to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit, she says, and the Lung Association is urging smokers to step away from all tobacco and nicotine products – and not switch to vaping.




Snow Owl Ranging South To Iowa This Winter

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A bird that lives in Canada has been sighted in Iowa this winter. D-N-R Avian Ecologist, Anna Buckardt Thomas, says the snowy owl will occasionally range into our state.  “Snowy owls breed in the Arctic Tundra in Canada. And when we see them in Iowa — it’s often because they’ve had a really great breeding season the summer before,” she says.  Thomas says they could be seen almost anywhere in the state.  She says she’s heard of reports in the Ames area and the Cedar Rapids area and all over the state.  That means they are definitely around and it’s just a matter of getting lucky and coming across one. She says you could spot them for the next several weeks.

Snowy Owl seen near Holstein. Photo courtesy of Don Poggensee.




Conservation Plan Changes For Monona County Loess Hills Area

(Monona County, IA) — The Loess (LUSS) Hills wildlife management area in western Iowa’s Monona County is shifting its conservation strategy. A forest stewardship plan is proposed, which means techniques would be used like forest thinning and timber harvesting to protect and attract new species. Forester Joe Herring says, in the past, wildlife areas would acquire property and leave the area to grow, but ecologists are pushing for a more hands-on approach. Herring says major forestry issues in Iowa include the decline of oak tree populations and the rise of invasive species.




Effort Underway To Help Schools Buy Local Foods

(Ames, IA) — A report by Iowa State University Extension says some type of incentives are needed to help schools districts in obtaining fresh local food for students. I-S-U field specialist Teresa Wiemerslage (Wimmer-slog) says pandemic grants totaling 250-thousand dollars in 2020 led to 57 schools working with food hubs to get fresh food — but that number dropped in half when the grant money went away the next year. She says the money was a big part of the issue, along with the experience of setting up connections. Wiemerslage says they are continuing to work on ways to connect schools with locally grown food.




Mason City Inmate Dies In Coralville State Prison Facility

(Coralville, IA)  —  A Mason City man serving a life sentence has died in prison.  The Iowa Department of Corrections says 54-year-old Kenneth Ray Sharp died from natural causes Sunday at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center. Sharp was convicted by a jury of first-degree kidnapping in November of 1995 after he and another man were accused of kidnapping and raping a woman. Sharp went to prison on December 21st, 1995 – and unsuccessfully appealed his sentence in 2008.