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Friday News, July 1


A full day and evening of activities are planned for Le Mars’ Independence Day celebration.
Judy Bowman of the Plymouth County Historical Museum says this post-covid celebration will include a couple of key features, including a parade and a luncheon.

Bowman says they have one immediate need for the parade that they hope volunteers can fill.

Another change in this year’s parade is the route it will take.

And a familiar fixture of the Le Mars parade will be on hand.

Bowman says usually, the Independence day luncheon was catered. Not this year.

Luncheon will be served for a freewill donation, a suggested five dollars. And you can enjoy the meal in comfort.

This is the second time Bowman and her friend, Glada Koerselman have organized the parade and luncheon. She says it’s something they want to continue.

Other plans for the celebration include a watermelon feed on museum grounds later in the afternoon. There will be tours of the Museum, and and a Civil War re-enactor will also be on the museum grounds.


Drought is widening in northwest Iowa. The Midwest Drought Monitor’s latest report this week says Extreme Drought is developing in northeast Nebraska and adjacent South Dakota and Iowa locations near Sioux City. Most of Plymouth and about half of Woodbury Countys are in D3 categorty, extreme drought. A broader area of northwest Iowa, from Palo Alto to Monona and Sioux Counties are in moderate to severe drought. The rest of the northwest quarter of the state is listed as abnormally dry. Parts of southwest and southeast Iowa, and the Mississippi River basin, are also abnormally dry. The northwest Iowa area is described as having short and long term precipitation deficits, combined with high evaporation rates. This has created significant soil moisture and groundwater shortages.


A Sac County woman is charged with felony criminal mischief and livestock neglect after hundred of dead hogs were found at confinement lots in Sac County, Iowa. Thirty-three-year-old Elana Laber of Early was arrested Thursday by the Sac County Sheriff’s Office after deputies located more than 1,000 dead pigs at two hog confinements in rural Sac County. Authorities say the animals had been dead for more than a week when they were discovered, and the pigs did not have access to food and water.
Laber was hired to manage both sites. The owners, Corey AGR Inc., estimate losses at more than $150,000. As of Friday, Laber remained in custody at the Sac County Jail on a $22,000 bond.



Area law enforcement are urging drivers to concentrate on their driving this weekend.  Kari Yaneff with the Iowa State Patrol says this weekend is the most dangerous time of the year on the roads and highways.

In 2020, the latest year statistics were kept, there were nearly 500 fatalities during the July 4 weekend.

Yaneff says law enforcement will be looking for impaired drivers.

Yaneff says even though families are anxious and excited to reach their destinations this weekend, safe driving is the most important factor.

It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, heavier volumes of traffic this weekend will increase the potential for accidents.

Even though gasoline prices are at record highs, this Fourth of July weekend is expected to have record numbers of travelers on the roads.



Fourth District Iowa Congressman, Randy Feenstra, held his second annual family picnic fundraiser Thursday. The Republican from Hull got emotional as he addressed the crowd.

Feenstra says he is proud to be a conservative and talked about the recent U-S Supreme Court decision overturning legal abortion.

Feenstra says it is some they have wanted for the last 50 years.

Feenstra says he wants to remain in Congress to keep fighting for fiscal responsibility, support law enforcement, and continue fighting for agriculture. Feenstra says Republicans are going to win big in Congress and the Senate in November, and says they need to have a plan that will make a difference and make sure that their conservative conservative agenda gets passed. Former South Carolina Governor and U-N Ambassador, Niki Haley, spoke at the event. She echoed Feenstra — saying it is important to win Republican majorities in the House, Senate, and in the 36 governor races across the country.

Haley criticized the Biden Administration policies she says have put a strain on Americans.

Haley says the federal government now has to borrow to pay the interest on the national debt.

Congressman Feenstra will face Democrat Ryan Melton of Nevada in November.

On the same day Feenstra held his picnic, a group of protestors gathered on the steps of the Plymouth County Courthhouse to voice their concerns over the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe Vs Wade. Lacy Overman, with a group called Progressive People of Plymouth County, Last night, they were joined by Ryan Melton, Feenstra’s general election opponent, to speak out against the high court’s ruling. The group plans another demonstration Sunday morning at 10 am at the courthouse.



A concrete overlay project on Iowa 3, from Le Mars to Remsen in Plymouth County, will require lane closures beginning on Tuesday, July 5, until July 25, weather permitting, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s District 3 Office. During this project, motorists will be detoured around the work zone using Business U.S. 75, Lake Avenue, Plymouth County Road C-38, and Iowa 140. Croell Inc., of New Hampton, was awarded the $7.9 million dollars project.



A judge has ordered the University of Iowa Athletics Department to turn over all documents and materials from an external review of the football program.  Several former Hawkeye football players have filed a federal lawsuit alleging they were the victims of racially-motivated discrimination.  The suit was filed two years ago.  The university had claimed attorney-client privilege to avoid releasing the review, but the judge said that only applies to obtaining legal advice.  Conditioning coach Chris Doyle agreed to a separation deal after the allegations were made.



Fireworks are legal to buy in Iowa — but most cities have restrictions on their use or outright bans. Sioux City Police Sergeant Jeremy McClure says the sounds of bottle rockets and other fireworks are already being heard there, even though they are not yet legal to shoot off. Mcclure says the number of complaints about fireworks is not as high as in previous years.

He says there have been no citations issued — as officers have to answer other calls first.

Mcclure says if they do catch you in the act, it could cost you.

McClure says the department hopes people will follow the law and be respectful of people who may be affected by the loud blasts such as some military combat veterans or pet owners. You can shoot off fireworks in Sioux City from 1 p-m until 11 p-m on Sunday, July 3rd, and from 1 p-m until midnight on Monday, July 4th.  You should check with your local officials to determine when you can legally use fireworks.