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Thursday News, June 2

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LEUSINK SENTENCE

A former Plymouth County law enforcement officer was sentenced to up to 40 years in prison Thursday. Aaron Leusink pleaded guilty to ten counts, including burglary, theft, possession of controlled substances, including prescription drugs, and felonious misconduct by a law officer.
Presiding Judge Roger Sailer heard victim witness statements from Leusink’s wife and pastor, from the former and current Plymouth County Sheriffs, the department’s chief deputy, and two people whose home and business were burglarized by Leusink.
Judge Sailer sentenced Leusink to 25 years in prison on one count of felony burglary, 10 years on a second burglary count, and 5 years for felonious misconduct, all to be served consecutively. There were eight other counts of burglary, theft, and possession of prescription drugs.  The prison terms for these charges will be served concurrently. The prison term could be reduced by up to half on good behavior.
Leusink was involved in a series of pharmacy and residential thefts in Plymouth County that dated back to 2017. At the time, Leusink was a deputy with the Plymouth County Sheriffs Department. Leusink was arrested in September, 2020, by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. He was fired in April of that year.

 

WARMER MAY WEATHER

State climatologist Justin Glisan says the numbers show the state May temperature average was slightly warmer than normal.

Glisan says there were some 80 and 90-degree days in the month that brought the average up.   He says the warm days helped make it an active month for severe weather.

Glisan says those storms brought rain with them and May ended up wetter than May of last year.

Glisan says the end of May marks the start of the climatological summer season that will run through August 31st.

 

GAMBLING LICENSE PAUSE

A bill that places a two-year hold on new gambling licenses is on the governor’s desk and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission administrator anticipates the licensing process will go on hold. Administrator, Brian Ohorilko (Oh-reel-koh) says it’ll be difficult to do much in terms of moving forward with an application process if the bill goes into law. Governor Kim Reynolds has not yet indicated if she will sign the casino moratorium bill into law. The Commission is scheduled to meet today in Emmetsburg and were going to discuss starting the licensing process.

 

MIDWEST ECONOMY

A monthly survey shows the economic pictures for Iowa and the Midwest are darkening, with a few sunny breaks in the clouds. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the overall figures for Iowa sank during May, as did the numbers for the nine-state region. Goss says the survey of business leaders and supply managers showed hiring slowed during the past month.

According to the survey, the greatest economic threats for the rest of 2022 include supply chain disruptions, inflationary pressures, higher interest rates and labor shortages.

The inflation index for May rose to 91.7 on a scale of zero to 100, that’s up from 89.7 during April. The survey asked supply managers how much more they expect prices to rise during the second half of the year.

Iowa’s overall economic index for May fell to 59.6, dropping significantly from 69.8 in April. Despite that, Goss says: “Both durable and non-durable goods manufacturers in the state are growing at a solid pace with companies linked to the farm economy expanding at a healthy rate. The state’s leisure and hospitality industry has benefited from this healthy growth, but employment in this industry remains 8,300 jobs (5.7%) below pre-pandemic levels.”

 

WORLD RECORD CATCH

A world record attempt will take place in Council Bluffs later this month.  On June 19th, the Council Bluffs Parks and Recreation Department will attempt to break the world record for the largest game of catch.  Everyone’s invited to participate.  The event will take place at Tom Hanafan  River’s Edge Park starting at 3:30 p.m.