Home News Monday News, May 23

Monday News, May 23

Le Mars officials were alerted to a lack of response to the derecho which struck the city on May 12.  The lack of response was from citizens.
Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper said that night there was no tornado, but there were dangerously strong winds.
Schipper says even while sirens sounded, people weren’t paying attention.  People need to respond to the sirens when they are sounded.  The sirens are a warning that storm danger is imminent.
Schipper says when storm sirens sound, people need to find a safe place in the lowest part of a building, usually an interior room in a basement.  If there is no basement, find a room in the middle of the building that has solid walls, usually a bathroom or interior closet.  He says there are also designated storm shelters  at mobile home parks, and in community gathering places.


The Le Mars Police Department and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office are participating in the “National Click it or Ticket Campaign”. The campaign begins today, and extends through June 5.
Law enforcement officers will be looking for speeding drivers, distracted drivers, impaired drivers, and drivers not wearing their seat belts. The goal is to decrease injury and fatality accidents in Le Mars and Plymouth County.



Starting today, the Plymouth County Road Department will be working on a pair of projects near Kingsley. The work will involve the closure of a pair of rural roads because of construction.
Quarry Road north of C-70 will be closed due to work to replace a bridge with a box culvert. The road will reopen in mid-June.
Also, 320th Street from Noble Ave east one mile to K-64 will be closed due to the repair of a bridge abutment. The road will reopen by the end of this week.



The Iowa Department of Education today awarded a one million dollars grant through the Carer Academy Incentive Fund to Western Iowa Tech Community College.
The grant will help build a new regional center in Denison. The center will increase access to jobs in high-demand fields to area high school students.
The WITCC Regional Center at Denison will serve students from five school districts: Denison, Boyer Valley, MVAOCOU, OABCIG, and Woodbine.
The center will provide students with access to career academy programming in agriculture, business, electrical and education.
This is one of two grants announced by the Iowa Department of Education today. The other is a half-million dollars grant to Indian Hills Community College to expand a career center in Centerville.



The latest data from Iowa Workforce Development shows more than 10-thousand jobs were added to the payrolls at Iowa restaurants and hotels over the last 12 months. Jessica Dunker is C-E-O and president of the Iowa Restaurant Association.

Dunker says the state’s restaurant industry still has about 10-thousand fewer workers than it did in 2019, before the pandemic hit. Dunker’s also the president and C-E-O of the recently-formed Iowa Hotel and Lodging Association.

Mike Whalen (WHAY-len), founder of The Machine Shed Restaurants, is president and C-E-O of the Heart of America Group which operates hotels as well. He says there are plenty of job openings at their six restaurants

Whalen says there is a national trend of people who retired at the onset of the pandemic deciding to go back to work.

And Dunker says prior to COVID, the fastest growing demographic in the hospitality industry was people age 55 and above.

Dunker suggests with a scarce number of teenagers available, older workers and those who may be “un-retiring” are ever more critical for the hospitality industry. Dunker and Whalen made their comments this weekend on “Iowa Press” on Iowa P-B-S.



An Iowa man has landed the biggest flathead catfish ever caught in South Dakota.  Ethan Vink of Hospers caught the catfish — weighing 67 pounds, eight ounces — on the Missouri River in Union County at five o’clock in the morning using cutbait.  The catfish had a length of 51-and-a-half inches and a girth of 32-and-a-half inches.



Iowa Workforce Development reports initial unemployment claims fell to five-thousand-290 (5,290) last month — the lowest monthly number since 1973.

That led to a drop in the April unemployment rate to three percent, down from three-point-three percent in March.

The total number of working Iowans increased by 10-thousand in April compared to March — and that’s 45-thousand-100 more than April one year ago.

Manufacturing added 11-hundred jobs  — the most of any sector for the month — and the fifth consecutive gain for the sector.



Two people were injured in an  accident Friday afternoon.  The Sioux County Sheriffs Department says  A pickup and a semi collided at the intersection of Iowa 60 and 360th, , four miles south of Sheldon.

The sheriffs department says the pickup, driven by 27 year old William Hollinger of Manilla, Iowa, stopped for a stop sign at 360th, then attempted to cross Highway 60 and was struck by the semi.  Hollinger, and the driver of the semi, 49 year old Shane Peterson of Ashton, were injured.  Both were injured, and transported to Sanford Sheldon Medical Center for treatment.



Iowa Congresswoman Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Marion, says the baby formula shortage in the U-S is due to a lack of foresight and action by the Democrat administration.

The baby formula is regulated by the F-D-A and Hinson says that’s important to keep it safe, but they need to be able to react to these types of situations.

Hinson says a plan proposed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that passed the House threw money at the problem, but didn’t provide a long-term solution.

Hinson and fellow Republicans  Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Randy Feenstra voted against the Pelosi bill.

Democrats Congresswoman Cindy Axne voted for the measure.  Hinson says families looking for special formulas may find some relief soon.

The president announced that he is invoking the Defense Production Act to try and help speed up the restocking of the formula.

She says the president’s action does not go to the root of the problem in creating a plan for the F-D-A to deal with the situation.

The Iowa Republican says when a Michigan plant that made the formula was shut down in February the F-D-A should have developed a plan to prevent the shortages.



The Iowa Supreme Court says drug evidence discovered during a warrantless pat down by a police officer can be used in court.

A Dubuque officer said he felt baggies of what he believed to be drugs in the pocket of Earnest Hunt Junior while patting him down to check for weapons after a traffic stop.

The bags contained crack –but the district court suppressed the evidence – saying there was no clear indication of what was in the baggies.

The Supreme Court says the drugs found could be used as evidence based on what’s called the “plain feel” doctrine.

It says officers can determine if an item may be drugs based on their experience and the feel of the item in someone’s pocket.



One person is dead following a plane crash in Wayne, Nebraska.  The crash took place during the MayDay STOL Drag Races at the Wayne Municipal Airport on Friday night, and officials are calling it a “stall spin” accident.

The pilot, who was the only person aboard the single-engine Cessna 140, was killed, and all remaining events for the drag races were cancelled.  The deadly crash is under investigation.



Deere and Company saw net sales and revenue rise 11 percent in the last quarter and the company’s executives are predicting even higher sales of tractors and combines in the months ahead. Deere and Company’s net income in the last quarter was more than two billion dollars — about 300 million dollars more than in the same period last year.

Deere’s chairman and C-E-O says it’s due to strong demand even as the company faces supply chain pressures on equipment production and delivery schedules.

Deere projects demand for farm equipment will remain strong through the rest of the year.