Home News Wednesday Afternoon News, January 5th

Wednesday Afternoon News, January 5th


(Le Mars) — On Tuesday, Rob Scheitler owner of Christmas Acres, the elaborate Christmas light display located west of Le Mars on Impala Avenue, made a donation to the Christian Needs Center of Le Mars.  Scheitler presented checks amounting to $27,024. The money was from collections by visitors to Christmas Acres this past holiday season.  Scheitler presented the checks to Christian Needs Center manager, Susan Van Driel.  She explains what the donation means to the center.

(photo contributed.)

Since Christmas Acres began donating to the Christian Needs Center back in 2012, more than $132,000 has been contributed to the center to help those people with limited means.

Van Driel explains the mission of the Christian Needs Center.

Van Driel says the Christian Needs Center assists several individuals and families each month.

The Christian Needs Center manager says people have a need for the center’s services all year long.

Christian Needs Center is open Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.




Semi Truck With Side Dump Trailer Rolls Over

(Le Mars) — Strong winds may be partially responsible for a semi truck that had rolled over on its side.  Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to the accident involving a semi truck with side dump trailer that had rolled over.  The side dump trailer was filled with silage.  The accident happened at about 10:40 a.m. Wednesday morning and was located near the intersection of County roads K-22 and C-38.  Assistant Fire and Rescue Chief, Mike Wise says there were no injuries involved with the accident, and the accident only involved the semi truck and trailer.




City Departments Offer Annual Reports To City Council

(Le Mars) — During the city council meeting held Tuesday, city council members heard annual reports from the city water department, public facilities, and from the city streets department.  Rich Sudgtele serves as the superintendent for the city water department.  He reported to the city council that during the year 2021, one-billion,121-million, and 139 thousand gallons of water were pumped from six wells to serve the city’s industrial, business, and residential needs.  The average daily amount of water pumped was listed at 3-million 47-thousand gallons, which was an increase of 65,500 gallons per day from the 2020 daily average water consumption.  As you would imagine, the highest amount of water pumped occurred during the summer months.  June was the highest with 129-million,86-thousand gallons of water being pumped.  January of 2021 had the least amount of water usage with 63-million, 429-thousand gallons. Sudgtele informed the council the city water department repaired eight different water main breaks, oversees 768 fire hydrants.


As for the city public facilities, Superintendent Brad Eppling informed the city council that his staff installed security cameras at the Olson Cultural Events Center, Foster Park, West Floyd Park, Public Works Building, O’Toole Park at the shelter house and skate park, and at the Municipal Park Shelter House in order to cut down on the number of graffiti incidents.  Eppling reported the security cameras have helped identify graffiti offenders on city property.   Eppling says the Public Facilities Department made repairs, to, or sealed more than 150 picnic tables.  Eppling informed the city council that Cleveland Park restrooms were constructed during the autumn, and will open in the spring.  The Public Facilities staff extended the dock lengths at the Municipal Park and pond.  They made repairs to the outdoor swimming pool, and repainted the outdoor pool before it was open to the public in the spring.  Eppling says his staff seeded the new dog park, and installed equipment at the dog park.    In the annual report, Eppling says his staff installed the Christmas decorations at Olson Cultural Events Center, Downtown, and at Foster Park.  He says the staff mowed city property, upgraded landscapes at various parks and city property, and prepped the city parks and downtown areas for both the annual Ice Cream Days celebration, as well as for the RAGBRAI event.





Reynolds, Republicans Want Parents to Know About School Library Books

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s working on legislation that would set parameters for local school officials to follow when parents object to books in the school library.  Reynolds said, “If a parent has a concern about what’s in there, there should be a process where they get answers and they should have options.”  This fall, two Republicans in the state Senate proposed charging teachers and school librarians with a crime if students have access at school to certain books.  Reynolds instead suggested that parents be given easy access to a list of books in the school library and the books being used in the classroom as well as a process to follow in their local district if they object to certain books.  Senate Education Committee Chair Amy Sinclair of Allerton said while she’s “never one to ban books,” parental consent could be required for certain titles in a school library.




State Representative Smith Suspends Democratic Campaign For Governor

(Waterloo, IA)  —  State Representative Ras Smith is suspending his campaign for Iowa governor.  The Democrat from Waterloo said in a statement that he’s come to the” “heartbreaking conclusion” there are “barriers that one campaign cannot overcome,” no matter how hard it works.  Smith, who is black, did not mention race in his statement.  He said there’s “a drastic disconnect between the current political system” and the majority of hardworking Iowans.  Smith says he’ll run to the legislature and focus on continuing to amplify the voice of the people.  Governor Reynolds has been raising money for the 2022 campaign but hasn’t formally announced she’s running for another term.




World War II Veteran Receiving Auburn High School Diploma

(San Angelo, TX)  —  A 98-year-old western Iowa native who says one of his greatest regrets was not getting a high school diploma will be awarded that document today (Wednesday)in a special ceremony.  Donald Huisenga (WHOSE-in-gay) didn’t graduate from the former Auburn High School in 1943 because he was drafted to serve in World War Two.  Kevin Litterer, principal of East Sac County High School, heard about Huisenga and took quick action.  Litterer said he contacted somebody who had a diploma from 1948, copied it and had Jostens make a 1943 diploma with the Auburn logos.  Huisenga served in the European theatre and parachuted into Normandy in 1944.  He also spent six months in a German prisoner of war camp.  District administrators decided Huisenga is more than deserving of the diploma, so Litterer is flying to Texas, where Huisenga now lives.  They’ll meet this afternoon at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in San Angelo for a ceremony nearly 80 years overdue.




Iowa DNR Urges Caution on Frozen Lakes and Ponds

(Undated)  —  The Department of Natural Resources is reminding Iowans that no ice is ever 100-percent safe.  Ice is growing on lakes and ponds after a recent cold spell and anglers are ready for ice fishing.  D-N-R fisheries chief Joe Larscheid says it’s important to check ice thickness on your way to that favorite fishing spot because conditions change constantly across a lake.  At least four inches of clear ice is recommended for walking or ice fishing and a minimum of five for snowmobiles and A-T-Vs.  Snow on a lake insulates the ice, slows its growth, and can hide weak spots.  The D-N-R also says anglers should not go ice fishing alone so someone is there to help if something happens.