Home News Friday Afternoon News, December 31st

Friday Afternoon News, December 31st


Iowa Traffic Death Toll Reaches 5-Year High This Year

(Ames, IA)  —  The number of deaths on Iowa roadways is at a five-year high in 2021.  The Iowa D-O-T reports 348 people have died in traffic crashes this year.  That is the most fatalities since 2016.  There were also over 52-thousand car crashes across the state so far this year, up more than five-thousand from 2020.  The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed Thursday night north of Des Moines.




Tyson Foods COVID-19 Complaint to Be Heard in Iowa Court

(Waterloo, IA)  —  A COVID-19 lawsuit filed in Iowa against Tyson Foods will be heard in court.  Four Waterloo families of Tyson employees that died of COVID-19 complications last year claim that Tyson did not protect their workers.  Tyson wanted the lawsuit heard in federal court because they argued they were following former President Trump’s order to keep the food supply going during the pandemic.  The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Tyson Thursday, and the civil complaint will be kept in Iowa’s courts.




Winter Storm Watch Issued For Several Counties

(Undated)  —  The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for several counties for tonight (Friday) through Saturday.  The watch area begins in Story County and spreads south to cover most of the southeast and southwest corners of the state.  The storm could bring snow from three to eight inches. It is also expected to bring the coldest weather of the winter — including potentially dangerous wind chills at times from Saturday morning through Sunday morning.




Dick Kirchoff Reflects On His 14 Years As Le Mars Mayor

(Le Mars) — Mayor Dick Kirchoff, soon to be former mayor, pounded the gavel for the last time when he adjourned the special city council meeting on Thursday.  Kirchoff has served as the mayor of Le Mars for the past 14 years.  He decided earlier this year not to seek re-election.  Rob Bixenman was elected in November as the incoming mayor-elect, and will take over council meetings beginning on January 4th.  Many people believe Kirchoff elevated the mayor position to be an ambassador of the city known as the “Ice Cream Capital of the World.”  Kirchoff says he never really thought about being the mayor, in fact, he claims to dislike politicians.  But he says friends of his convinced him to seek the position.

Anyone that has heard Kirchoff speak knows he believes in what he refers to as the “3-P’s…public, private, partnership.  Kirchoff says he is most proud of the economic development that occurred during his tenure as mayor.

Another area which Kirchoff is particularly proud is the focus on tourism, and the efforts to make Le Mars a destination community.

The long-term mayor says the city’s citizens and the many volunteers help make Le Mars a special community.

Kirchoff says he is also proud of how the town and its people responded to the Community Betterment Programs by initially identifying the various projects, funding those projects, and implementing all ten projects.

He says the Community Betterment Projects have helped Le Mars enhance its “quality of life” provisions.

The mayor will soon exit his city hall office, but he remains optimistic about Le Mars’ future.

Upon his retirement from city government, Kirchoff says he will remain in the community and hopes to be participating in different events.  He says he is “leaving the door open” to offering help when possible.