Home News Friday News, June 3

Friday News, June 3



The raffle of an A-R-15 style rifle that had been scheduled this weekend at the Sioux City Bandits indoor football game has been indefinitely postponed. Brett Funke (FUNK), the team’s marketing and sales director, says plans for the fundraiser began a year ago, after a similar gun raffle on “military night.”

Funke says he’s not sure when the rifle raffle will be rescheduled, but now is not the time for it after A-R-15s have been used at recent mass shootings in Buffalo, Texas and Oklahoma. A Sioux City businessman had threatened to withdraw his sponsorship of the Bandits after comments the team’s owner made to the Sioux City Journal — that complaints about the give-away were from mainly from East Coast residents who drive electric cars and have an overblown obsession with a piece of metal. Funke admits that spurred a social media firestorm.

Funke says there were no complaints about last year’s fundraiser.

The Bandits will still honor veterans at their game Saturday and collect donations for veterans’ causes. Veterans also will be invited to walk around the field at halftime, so the crowd can recognize and applaud the group. 



A 28-year-old Spencer woman faces charges in Clay County for an alleged attack with a tire iron.  Tiffany Clabaugh is accused of barging into a man’s home last Wednesday and attacking him.  Clabaugh allegedly told the people inside that home that she was the police, forced her way in, and started beating the victim.  His name hasn’t been released.  Both Clabaugh and her target sought medical treatment at the Spencer hospital.  She was arrested Tuesday and is being held in the Clay County Jail.



The guidelines are changing for the age at which people should begin getting screened for colon cancer, which is the third most common cancer in Iowa and the second leading cause of cancer death. Dr. Samir Shah, president of the American College of Gastroenterology, says screenings should now start at age 45, not 50.

Beginning the screenings five years earlier raises the chances of survival if cancer is found. He says studies are finding that late-stage colon and rectal cancers are increasing dangerously among younger people.

For Iowans who would prefer not to start with the colonoscopy, there are other options to screen for the disease.

Research shows people younger than 40 experienced the steepest rise in advanced cases of late stage colon and rectal cancers between 2000 and 2016. Shah says starting screening at age 45 improves the chances of finding polyps and cancers sooner and hopefully preventing late stage disease and death.  To learn more, go to gi.org/ColonCancer



Tuesday, a Lyon County Deputy responded to the 300 Block of East Dakota for a domestic situation. Reporting parties stated a male had tried to run over a female with his car. The male party left prior to law enforcement arrival. After further investigation, Bradly Engelkes, 41 of George, was arrested on Domestic Abuse 1st Offense-Using a Weapon and Domestic Abuse-Impeding Flow of Air/Blood, both Aggravated Misdemeanors. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sheldon Police Department in locating the male party.



Authorities say crews have recovered the body of a missing Omaha woman from a river in Iowa. Officials said the body of 20-year-old Emma Sue Olsen was found in the Missouri River in Harrison County Thursday morning. According to officers, Olsen was on a boat in the river that started taking on water last Sunday, and she was reported missing a short time later. The investigation is ongoing.



The National Weather Service is confirming that two tornadoes touched down in South Dakota on Memorial Day in Brandon and Sioux Falls.  An EF-1 tornado was confirmed to have touched down early in the morning in Sioux Falls near 41st Street and Western Avenue.  A second EF-1 tornado touched down in Brandon near the 262nd Street and 484th Avenue.  Sections of the roof at Beaver Valley Lutheran Church were destroyed and multiple trees were uprooted at a farmstead nearby.



A former Plymouth County Deputy Sheriff has been sentenced to up to four decades in prison on theft and burglary charges. Forty-three-year-old Aaron Leusink (LOO-sink) was accused of stealing prescription pain medication and other property from the evidence room at the sheriff’s department and from two pharmacies as well as homes in the area. Leusink had over 16-hundred pills in his possession when he was arrested in the spring of 2020. Leusink spoke during his sentencing hearing.

Prosecutor Monty Platz had asked for the maximum penalty on most counts, saying Leusink had betrayed the public trust.

The former Plymouth County Sheriff, the current sheriff for the county and a deputy sheriff were among several people who gave victim impact statements during Thursday’s hearing. Leusink, who pleaded guilty to 11 different charges, was sentenced to 25 years in prison for first degree burglary, 10 years for second degree burglary and five years for felonious misconduct in office — for a total of 40 years in prison.  Eight other counts for burglary, theft and unlawful possession of prescription drugs will be served concurrently.



A stop to assist a motorist has resulted in a drug and alcohol arrest.  Wednesday morning, a Plymouth County Sheriff’s deputy stopped to assist a stranded motorist just west of Key Ave and Hwy 3.  While assisting the motorist, it appeared the motorist may be under the influence of an illegal narcotic and possibly illegal narcotics in the vehicle.  A K9 Officer with the Le Mars Police Department assisted with the investigation.

As a result of the investigation, Ellis Emery Cournoyer, age 41 of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was arrested and charged with operating while under the influence 2nd offense, possession of controlled substance 3rd and subsequent and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Cournoyer was booked into the Plymouth County Jail and held on bond.



A bill passed late in the legislative session that places a two-year hold on new gambling licenses was one of the subjects at the  Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s meeting Thursday in Emmetsburg. Racing and Gaming administrator, Brian Ohorilko  says he anticipates the Commission will pause the licensing process.

Governor Kim Reynolds has not yet indicated if she will sign the casino moratorium bill into law. Organizers in Cedar Rapids wanted the Commission to consider an application for a casino there after the Linn County gambling referendum passed.

Ohorilko says the process was just getting started.

Many things could change in the Iowa casino landscape in two years if the bill goes into law. One of those is the start up of gambling in Nebraska.

He says all of the Nebraska facilities will likely be up and running next year — which will have an impact on Iowa casinos.  Ohorilko says it’s hard to know what other changes might happen if the moratorium happens.

Two other attempts to get a gambling license in Cedar Rapids were denied.’



Online retail giant Amazon is ramping up its criticism of an anti-trust bill co-authored by U-S Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Amy Klobucar of Minnesota.  Amazon maintains its consumer business targeted by the bill is more like big-box retailers Walmart and Target than it is like Apple, Facebook, or Google.  The company is trying to distance itself from other tech giants that are being focused on.  Grassley’s legislation would limit giant tech firms from giving preferential treatment to their own products.



The registration period for the Field of Dreams ticket lottery is underway.  Baseball fans with an Iowa zip code can enter for a chance to get tickets to the August 11th game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs.  Registration started this (Thursday) morning online at MLB-dot-com and it continues for a week.  The drawing will be held on or about June 14th and winners will be emailed the next day.  They will be allowed to buy two tickets and a parking pass.