Home News Thursday Afternoon News, February 17th

Thursday Afternoon News, February 17th


City Water Department To Close Industrial Road Next Week

(Le Mars) — Le Mars city water department has announced it will be closing Industrial Road at the intersection of Industrial Road and 18th Street Southwest during the week of February 24th through March 2nd.  Water Department Superintendent, Rich Sudtelgte says the road will be closed three different times for up to four hours each time the road will be closed.  Sudtelgte says additional updates with specific times will be shared with the public next week.




Le Mars Public Library Submits Annual Report To City Council

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Public Library submitted its annual report to the city council on Tuesday.  President of the Le Mars Public Library Board of Trustees, Robbin Hermson appeared before the city council to answer any questions.  Hermson began by stating COVID had interrupted the library business, the prior year, and as a result the library was closed for several months.  He says the library is still recovering from the setback.

The report indicated the library installed a time management software on the computers used by the general public.  The software allows people to bypass the front desk and start a two-hour computer session without staff contact.  Another addition to the library was a self-check station to allow library visitors the ability to check out materials with minimum interaction from staff.  The station was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act through a grant from the State Library of Iowa.  Funds given to the Friends of the Library from Le Mars United Way were used to create “Explore With Me” activity kits for children ages 3 to 6 and their caregivers.  The United Way continues to fund the Books for Babies initiative with Floyd Valley Healthcare and the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.  The library report indicated that due to COVID concerns the fall and winter youth reading programs were either held virtually, or take home challenges. The report indicated the summer reading programs were able to offer a “normal” program with 432 youth registered.  Teen summer reading program had 43 registered, and there were 54 adults that had participated in the Adult Summer Reading program.  City council member Clark Goodchild inquired about the library’s need for additional space, and options available to the library?

Goodchild followed up his initial question by asking a second question inquiring about whether more electronic books are being checked out as opposed to the an actual book?

Hermson admitted not knowing the specific statistics, but he offered Goodchild his answer.

The library trustee president says the board has discussed the space issue, but have not taken formal action.

Hermson expanded on his answer regarding the discussion for additional space at the public library.

Hermson says other ideas have been mentioned, including adding a second story to the existing building.  However, city administrator, Jason Vacura informed the council that engineering studies conducted in the past indicate the present library structure would not support a second story addition.




Ft. Dodge Woman Dies in Crash

(Webster City, IA) — The Iowa State Patrol says one woman was killed and another hurt in a two-vehicle accident. The crash happened late Wednesday afternoon on Highway Three in Humboldt County. An eastbound 20-19 Nissan S-U-V operated by 56-year-old Brenda Knight of Fort Dodge crossed the roadway and struck a westbound two-thousand-six Hummer driven by 59-year-old Becky Rice of Pocahontas. Both drivers were transported to the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital. Knight died of her injuries upon arrival. The State Patrol is looking into why Knight crossed the center line.




Mask Mandate Ban Advances

(Des Moines, IA) – All future mask and vaccine mandates at K-through-12 schools, colleges, government agencies, businesses, and non-profits would be outlawed under a bill moving through the Iowa House. The measure passed Wednesday by a House committee would also bar employers from firing workers based on their vaccination status. Republicans say the bill prevents discrimination and protects personal medical information. All Democrats on the committee, including Bruce Hunter of Des Moines, voted no. He says the country has been torn apart not just by a virus, but by conspiracy theorists who claim that wearing a mask at the grocery store will somehow “lead to the rebirth of the Third Reich.” The bill can now go to the full House for debate.




Bill Would Classify Past Iowa PBS Broadcasts as Public Records

(Des Moines, IA) — A House committee has approved a bill to classify most of Iowa P-B-S archived content as public record, giving anyone access to it. Republican Megan Jones from Sioux Rapids, the bill’s manager, says the ultimate goal is to give Iowans access to their memories — including broadcasts of high school sports and classical music concerts. Opponents argue that the bill would strip Iowa P-B-S of its copyright protection and disrupt union contracts. Jean Berger of the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union says if contests become part of the public domain, they can be used in a way they have no control over by people they don’t wish to be associated with. The bill contains language limiting public use of Iowa P-B-S material to educational, historical or cultural purposes, and says it cannot be used to make a profit or for political purposes.




Missing Girl Last Seen in Iowa Found in Minnesota

(Davenport, IA) — A 14-year-old girl last seen in Keokuk, Iowa, is alive. Information from the F-B-I’s Quad Cities field office says that Addison Windbigler has been found in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is uninjured. The Nauvoo, Illinois, teen disappeared in December after a family member took her to Keokuk and left her with a family friend. F-B-I officials are not releasing any further details as they continue to investigate what happened.