Home News Thursday News, April 7

Thursday News, April 7



Iowa’s rural communities are losing emergency service volunteers.
Le Mars fire chief Dave Schipper says that’s true in rural Plymouth County, too. Schipper says one of the things Le Mars has done is merge their fire and EMT services, and the merged department has performed well.

Schipper says one factor leading to attrition is higher qualifying standards for these volunters.

Since the merger, Le Mars Fire-Rescue is able to use the skills of their volunteers in both capacities.

The merger also makes recruiting easier.

LeMars Fire-Rescue held their annual awards banquet last weekend. Schipper says the department has a good mix of new and experienced volunteers – some with over 35 years of experience.

Colby Hannasch and Tyler Silverthorn were named Firefighters of the year for 2021.



The first renovation of the Plymouth County Distrtict Courtroom in 50 years is now complete.

-County Supervisor Mike Van Otterloo will lead tours of the Courtroom at an open house Friday afternoon.


The renovations were a long time in coming.

The courtroom sees increasing use over time.

-Part of the 600-thousand dollars renovation included new technology.

Security was upgraded in the courthouse several years ago

-Supervisor Van Otterloo says open house tours Friday afternoon will also recall some history, specifically the Farmers Holiday in the 1930s.

History recalls that the Sheriff back then kept the mob from seriously injuring Judge Bradley.

-The open house at the District Courtroom will be Friday from 2 to 4 pm.

-The first day of court in the renovated courtroom will be Monday, April  11.




Researchers at the University of Iowa say the discovery of a key part of the brain that is linked to memory storage.  Researchers say this could one day help in the battle against Alzheimer’s and dementia.  They point to studies that show restoring a “protein folding mechanism” in brains can help reverse memory loss.  To simplify, it essentially acts as a molecular switch for memories in the brain.  The discovery is called crucial in understanding how those memories are stored and it could help the researchers understand what is happening in memory ailments.




A key House member says now is the time to pass a moratorium to prevent developers from seeking government condemnation of land along proposed carbon pipeline routes before February 1st. Republican SENATOR Dennis Guth recently said the plan does absolutely nothing, because the Iowa Utilities Board process for eminent domain wouldn’t start before next February anyway. Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann disagrees.


According to Guth, he’s been assured by the chair of the Iowa Utilities Board that the rules for seeking eminent domain would stretch the process out well into next year. Kaufmann says the point of the House proposal is to address the fears of property owners who do not want the pipelines to pass through their land or feel pressured to sign leases with the developers.


Kaufmann says the moratorium — which would be in effect while the legislaure is NOT in session — is designed to send a message to the pipeline developers, too.


KaufPipe3     :do things.” :20


Senator Guth says he’s working with Senate leaders and others to develop a long-term fix to present in the 2023 legislative session, to limit the broad use of eminent domain for private sector projects. The Senate has not yet taken a vote on the bill that includes the temporary moratorium on the subject that HOUSE members have approved.



South Dakota banker and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford is listed on Forbes’ annual survey as one of the thousand richest people in the world.  Sanford’s wealth in 2022 has been valued at three-point-four billion.  The number represents a 600 million dollar increase from where the magazine valued his wealth last year.  Sanford has donated hundreds of millions toward Sanford Health, named for him 15 years ago.  The money is being used to expand the Sanford Sports Complex, as well as to create a virtual hospital to improve care in rural areas, and to add eight new medical school residencies and fellowships.