Home News Friday News, February 11th

Friday News, February 11th


Feenstra Comments On Inflation Rate, National Debt, And Russia-Ukraine Situation

(Le Mars) — While in Le Mars on Thursday, visiting Floyd Valley Healthcare, Republican U-S Congressman, Randy Feenstra commented about some of the issues facing the nation, starting with the rising inflation rate and continued national debt.

Feenstra explains how the nation got to this position of deeper debt.  He says the nation should follow the example set by Iowa, and not to spend more money than is generated.

The Republican Congressman gives his opinion as to why the Democratic majority party in both the U-S House and U-S Senate, along with the Biden Administration, choose to ignore the growing financial concern.

Feenstra says he is also troubled by the lack of leadership with President Biden in regards to the handling of the Russian built-up of military at the Ukraine border, which many people believe will be an invasion into the Ukraine.

The Iowa Republican congressman says it is still not too late for the United States to place economic sanctions on Russia as a deterrent to invading the Ukraine.




Knights of Columbus And Le Mars Chamber of Commerce To Host Trivia Night

(Le Mars) — Are you suffering from cabin fever, brought on by the cold winter days?  Are you looking for an opportunity to get out and visit with your friends and have fun?  The Le Mars Knights of Columbus may have just the remedy.  The local Knights of Columbus along with the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce will be holding trivia night scheduled for this Friday evening at the KC Hall.  Justin Freking tells us more about the event.

Freking says the trivia categories will most likely be all encompassing including questions about sports, entertainment, history, science, and general knowledge.  He says there will also be questions that will focus on Le Mars.

Freking says trivia night is open to anyone.  Although he says if people have an interest in participating in the event, they may want to contact the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce as soon as possible.

The Knights of Columbus official says individuals without a team are welcomed to participate in the trivia night.  The cost for the meal and to compete in the trivia night is $20.

The Knights of Columbus will be serving their Philly steak with cheese sandwiches with french fries.  As mentioned earlier, doors will open at 4:30 with the meal and event to begin at 5:30 p.m. and Freking estimates the evening’s event will conclude at around 7:00 p.m.  Freking says prizes will be awarded to the winning teams and individuals.

Trivia Night at the KC Hall is scheduled for tonight, Friday, February 11th beginning at 5:30 p.m.




Heelan High School Placed On Lockdown Thursday Morning

(Sioux City) — A Sioux City man is in custody facing several charges after a standoff near Bishop Heelan High School on Thursday.  Sioux City Police Sergeant Jeremy McClure says the incident happened just after 11:30 a.m. when officers had detained a suspect possibly involved in an armed robbery several days ago.  The suspect, 36-year old, Emanuel Pleitez was handcuffed in the back of the police squad car when he told the officer he had a gun in his hand as the car drove near Bishop Heelan High School.

Sioux City Police Chief Rex Mueller says negotiators tried for over an hour and a half to get the man to surrender the gun.

Chief Mueller says the weapon was a small gun that the suspect had hidden on him.

Pleitez was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment and later booked into the Woodbury County Jail.  He is charged with intimidation with a dangerous weapon and felon in possession of a firearm.  Chief Mueller has asked the Iowa DCI to conduct an independent investigation of the incident.

Bishop Heelan High School was placed on lock-down during the incident.  4th District Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra was visiting the high school at the time of the incident and remained inside until the suspect was taken into custody.




Iowa D-N-R May Sell Honey Creek Resort

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa D-N-R is going to consider selling the Honey Creek Resort near Moravia. D-N-R director Kayla Lyon told the Natural Resources Commission the contract with the management company is expiring — and the next step in the process is to get an appraisal. Lyon says the goal is to sell the property. The current management contract for Honey Creek expires in April of 2023. The resort sits on the shore of Lake Rathbun and opened in 2008 at a cost of around 60 million dollars. It lost money it its early days and the state paid off the debt owed on the resort in 2013 after the then D-N-R director said the revenue coming in was not enough to pay the debt.




Concern Over Cellphone Access for Iowa’s Elderly

(Des Moines, IA) — The 3-G networks will switch off on February 22nd and those who have older cellphones may suddenly find their devices no longer works. A-A-R-P Iowa spokesman, Tom Kamber, says he’s concerned for Iowa’s significant population of senior citizens, especially those in rural areas who don’t use their phones very often. He says those with older flip phones should call their provider and ask if that phone needs to be upgraded. He says that also goes for those who may have 3G-reliant alarms as well. Kamber says most companies are offering free replacement services for 3G-reliant.




Obscene Materials in School Bill Moves Forward

(Des Moines, IA) — A bill that would make it a serious misdemeanor for a teacher or school librarian to provide students with access to obscene material or hard-core pornography has passed out of a Senate subcommittee. A conviction could land an educator in prison for up to a year. Senate President Jake Chapman, a Republican from Adel, sponsored the bill and says while we have fantastic teachers –that does not negate those teachers that have advocated and distributed this type of material. Melissa Peterson of the Iowa State Education Association says the bill is unnecessary because there is already a very clear definition of what constitutes obscene materials.




Bill Banning Transgender Athletes From Iowa Sports Clears Subcommittee

(Des Moines, IA)  —  The Iowa Association of School Boards is telling lawmakers a bill that bans transgender athletes from competing in girls’ sports will put schools in a bad situation.  A House subcommittee cleared the bill Thursday after a public hearing lasting almost four hours.  The lobbyists for the state school board say that will leave local schools to choose between following state law or federal guidelines that prohibit discrimination in sports based on gender identity. Two girls spoke in favor of the bill — including seventh grader Poppy Malone of Boone, a 7th grader in who wrestles and says Girls’ Wrestling just got sanctioned and “I’m not going to let males come in and ruin the sport for us.” Similar laws have been passed in at least eight states.  The legislation is expected to be considered in a full House committee next week.




West Des Moines High School Student Jailed For Felony Stalking

(West Des Moines, IA)  —  A West Des Moines high school student has been booked into the Polk County Jail after being charged with felony stalking.  Eighteen-year-old Evan Litt is accused of stalking a classmate.  He was released Thursday.  The incidents date back to November 2020.  Police spoke to Litt last October and they say he agreed to stop all contact.  Since then, he is accused of driving up and down the victim’s street and showing up at her workplace more than once.  A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 2nd.  A no-contact order is in place.




End Of Coronavirus Emergency Order Will Cause School Staffing Problems

(Des Moines, IA)  —  When Iowa’s coronavirus emergency order expires next week it will immediately cause staffing problems for schools in the state.  That expiration will mean para-educators or teaching assistants won’t be allowed to serve as substitute teachers moving forward.  While the emergency was in effect they have been allowed to be in classrooms as substitute teachers while districts struggle with a teacher shortage.  The emergency expires Tuesday at 11:59 p-m.  Para-educators will still be allowed to substitute if they are full-time employees and have an assigned classroom.




Iowa State University Scientists:  Species Of Mosquito Now Surviving Winter

(Ames, IA)  —  An invasive species of mosquito appears to be surviving Iowa’s winters.  Discoveries of the mosquito have been made in three Iowa counties.  Researchers at the Iowa State University say the winter cold had killed them in the past.  Now they have been found in Lee, Des Moines, and Polk counties.  That means they will likely establish a permanent home in Iowa.  The invasive mosquitoes first showed up in Texas almost 40 years ago.  They don’t spread West Nile Virus, but scientists say they are a “competent vector” for Zika and other viruses.