Bixenman Calls To Order First City Council Meeting
(Le Mars) — With the tap of the gavel, Rob Bixenman brought to order his first city council meeting as the new mayor of Le Mars. Bixenman asked comments to be shared from those visiting the council meeting. No one within the council chambers had approached the podium. The new mayor than asked the city council members for their “thumbs up” suggestions? Bixenman then thanked former mayor Dick Kirchoff, and former council members Rex Knapp and Ken Nelson for their long-term service to the community.
The next item on the city council agenda was to appoint a Mayor Pro-tem position.
Since Councilman Clark Goodchild turned down the role of Mayor Pro-tem, Mayor Bixenman then turned to Steve Wick the councilman, following Goodchild with the longest tenure of service.
The remainder of the city council meeting focused on council members and staff committee assignments, as well as a review of the fines, licenses, and charges for the 2022 year. Later during the meeting, council members heard the annual reports from the City Water Department, Public Facilities, and Street Departments.
Gehlen Catholic Hires New High School Principal
(Carroll) — Gehlen Catholic High School will soon be getting a new principal. Pete Haefs, who’s served as Kuemper Catholic High School principal since the 2016-17 year, is leaving that position in order to become principal at Gehlen Catholic High School in Le Mars beginning Jan. 17.
Kuemper Catholic School System announced Haefs’ resignation in a news release on Thursday.
“Haefs is a graduate of Hinton High School and is excited to return to northwest Iowa to be closer to family,” the news release said.
His wife, Mendy, who’s listed on the Kuemper website as middle school language arts/technology and K-12 English language learners teacher, will complete the school year here before joining her husband in Le Mars, according to the release.
Plymouth County Board Of Supervisors Pass Resolution Declaring January As “Human Trafficking Prevention Month”
(Le Mars) — Action taken by the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors, during its inaugural meeting of the year, the board approved a proclamation request declaring January as “Human Trafficking Prevention Month.” Supervisor chairman, Don Kass says human trafficking is occurring all over the nation, including here in northwest Iowa.
Kass serves on the Northwest Iowa Youth Emergency Services Center, and tells human trafficking has been a concern with younger children, especially girls.
Kass says awareness efforts are being spread to motels, rest stops, truck stops, and other places where human trafficking victims may be seen.
Iowa Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Charges For Actions During US Capitol Riot
(Washington, DC) — An Iowa man who joined the mob that stormed the U-S Capitol on January 6th has pleaded guilty to civil disorder. Federal prosecutors say Daryl Johnson of St. Ansgar and his son Daniel from Austin, Minnesota, climbed through a broken window to get in the building. Johnson is the first of six Iowans charged in the attack to plead guilty to federal charges.
Driver Fleeing Authorities Dies In Car Wreck
(Battle Creek, IA) — A man who was trying to get away from an Ida County Sheriff’s Deputy during a traffic stop died after rolling his car. The Iowa State Patrol says 47-year-old David Downing of Oto drove into the Crawford Creek Recreation Area and failed to make a curve. His car struck a tree and rolled several times and he died in the crash. The accident happened at about 11:30 p-m Monday.
Iowa Leaders Would Wait For US Supreme Court Ruling Before Issuing Mandates
(Des Moines, IA) — Republican legislative leaders and Governor Kim Reynolds say the state should wait for a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on federal COVID-19 vaccination mandates before considering state action on the issue. The governor predicts the Supreme Court will rule quickly on whether businesses with 100 or more employees will have to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested regularly. Some Republican lawmakers are proposing a statewide ban on COVID-19 mandates in the workplace. The U-S Supreme Court has upheld state vaccine mandates but has not yet ruled on any issued by the Biden Administration.
Charges Upgraded After Man In Davenport Fight Dies
(Davenport, IA) — The charges have been upgraded against a Davenport man after a man he’s accused of assaulting died nine days later. Thirty-one-year-old Jaret Leonard Lee Peck now faces a charge of second-degree murder. Davenport police were called to the city’s downtown area on Christmas Eve. When they arrived they found 47-year-old Terrance Woodard suffering critical injuries. Woodard died Sunday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Witnesses told investigators Peck punched Woodard in the head multiple times and continued after the victim was on the ground.
Health Officials Urge Iowans to Report Positive At-Home COVID Test Results
(Des Moines, IA) — Public health officials are urging Iowans who test positive for COVID-19 using an at-home rapid test to report those results to their local health department. The demand for at-home testing is rising as the highly transmissible omicron variant drives a spike in new infections. Nola Aigner (AG’-ner)-Davis with the Polk County Public Health Department says, “if you have a positive test, we would love for you to report it so we kind of have more of an accurate picture on what we’re seeing in the community.” Figures released by the Iowa Department of Public Health on Monday show the number of Iowans testing positive for COVID-19 has taken a sharp upturn. More than 17-thousand positive tests were reported in the last week, that’s up 37-percent from the previous week.
City of Coggon Presenting Key to City to Linn County Deputy Halverson
(Coggon, IA) — The Linn County Sheriff’s deputy shot by an armed robber last June in Coggon is getting a key to the city. Deputy William Halverson was shot several times by a Chicago man at a Casey’s General Store. Halverson spent nearly a month recovering in the hospital. Coggon Mayor Travis Beckman will present Deputy Halverson with a key to the city at the January 11th City Council meeting. Mayor Beckman said, “Deputy Halverson became Coggon’s Hero the night of June 20, 2021.” The city said it also plans to declare the anniversary of the shooting next June as “Public Safety Appreciation Day” to recognize all first responders serving the city.
Ex-Cedar Rapids Non-Profit Leaders Charged With Fraud For 2018 Music Festival
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — Two former executives of a Cedar Rapids non-profit are facing federal charges. Forty-six-year-old Aaron McCreight and 54-year-old Doug Hargrave are each charged with one count of bank fraud. The charges alleged that McCreight, who was then C-E-O of Go Cedar Rapids (“Go-C-R”), and Hargrave, who was the organization’s finance director, executed a scheme to get thousands of dollars in loans to finance the Newbo Evolve music and cultural event in August of 2018. The information alleges the two made misrepresentations about the event’s ticket sales, projected revenue, projected expenses, and the true amount of loss expected to get the bank to loan them the money. The three-day music festival featured Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson.
Student Detained For Bringing Gun to School in Dyersville
(Dyersville, IA) — A northeast Iowa elementary student is in trouble with the law for bringing a handgun on school property in Dyersville. Police say the student at St. Francis Xavier was detained this (Tuesday) morning and a search led to a gun in their backpack. The gun was never displayed, and no threats were made but the student was removed from school grounds.