Home News Tuesday News, July 5

Tuesday News, July 5



A motion to approve the first reading of a Vacant Building Ordinance in Le Mars was supported by the city council today.  The ordinance would affect buildings in the Le Mars Downtown Historic District. During a public hearing, supporters of the new ordinance said it would help those downtown building owners who make a living in the downtown district, by making sure neighboring properties do not become rundown, and potential hazards.  One opponent of the ordinance said the new ordinance needs to better clarify the definition of a vacant building, and that much of  this new ordinance is already addressed in other parts of the existing city code.  The City Administrator says parts of the vacant buidling ordinance are indeed reflected in parts of the current city code, but it’s best to have this issue directly stated in the city ordinance.  The council passed the ordinance to first ready on a unanimous vote.  Three readings are required before adoption.


One of the highlights of the Le Mars Independence Day celebration was a talk from Natalya and Alex Turkinov, who moved to northwest Iowa six years ago from their native Ukraine.  Natalya was asked about her attitude toward the US since leaving Ukraine.

Natalya talked about the affect Russian propaganda has had on their people in the struggle with Ukraine.

Natalya also spoke on becoming a US citizen

Alex Turkinov was asked if they made the right decision to come to the US six years ago.

Alex still communicates with family in Ukraine.

Both Natalya and Alex are impressed with the US support for Ukraine in their struggle against Russia.

The Turkinovs live in Sioux City with their three children. They recently brought Alex’s mother from the Ukraine to live with them, as her husband remains there, as he is involved in the fight with Russia..



A heat advisory remains in effect today until 8 pm.  Heat value up to 105 are expected in parts of northwest Iowa, and adjacent parts of Nebraska and South Dakota.  Hot temperatures and high humidities today could cause heat illness to occur.  Take the proper precautions.  Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air conditioned room.  Stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.  The forecast predicts a high of 96 degrees today.


Le Mars Fire-Rescue responded late last night to a garage fire at 316 3rd St NW. The call went out around 11 pm. When firefighters arrived, smoke and flames were coming from the detached garage. It was located within 3 feet from the house and two feet from another building. Firemen brought the fire under control in about 10 minutes. Chief Dave Schipper says the origin of the fire was outside a corner of the garage. It was determined to be accident, with the most probably cause being improperly discarded fireworks. A large fireworks container was found outside in the garage in the area where the fire and smoke were first observed. Schipper says there were no injuries and damage was moderate.



A Rock Valley teenager drowned Monday at a pond north of Rock Valley. The Sioux County Sheriffs Department says an emergency call came in around 4 p.m. There was a report that 19 year old Aldo Tomas De Leon of Rock Valley was at the Groeneweg Pond, went under, and did not resurface. Bystanders and emergency responders found the victim after some time, and attempted to resuscitate him. De Leon was flown directly to a Sioux Falls hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Groeneweg Pond is located along 290th St, a mile north of Rock Valley. Rock Valley Police, Fire, and Ambulance assisted the sheriffs department at the scene.



A man sent to prison for his involvement in a 1969 crime spree in northern Iowa has died in the Iowa State Penitentiary. According to Iowa court records, Elvin Gilroy was one of four men who broke out of a jail in St. Cloud, Minnesota in June of 1969. They stole a county car, ditched that vehicle and stole another car. They made their way south and robbed a grocery store in Spirit Lake, a filling station in Emmetsburg and the Fareway Store in Algona. Melvin Bay, the store manager in Algona, was shot during the robbery. He died ten days later. Gilroy did not pull the trigger, but he was convicted of robbery and murder and sentenced to life. State officials say Gilroy died last week in the Iowa State Penitentiary’s hospice, where he had been transferred due to a chronic illness. He was 82.


The Plymouth County Road Department says construction has been completed on a couple of projects.
A bridge repair project northeast of Kingsley on Roosevelt Ave, and a culvert project on Quarry Road and C-70 are now finished. Roosevelt and Quarry Road have now been reopened to traffic.



The city council of Le Mars will hold three hearings at their meeting today.  The first is for street repairs on Hawkeye Avenue and 12th Street; the second is for improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, particularly an ultraviolet disinfection system.  The third concerns a vacant building ordinance that has been a subject of discussion over the past two council meetings.



The month of June ended up being a little on the warm side. State Climatologist Justin Glisan says the statewide average temperature was “about 71-point-seven degrees, nearly two degrees above average.” He says it took about half of June before “the atmospheric furnace turned on” with “triple-digit heat indices.” June is also the wettest month of the year, and Glisan says rainfall was “about an inch and a half below average,” causing drought conditions to expand in parts of Iowa.



One of the new laws that took effect July 1 will allow police to search through a person’s garbage for criminal evidence without a warrant. But the new law is at odds with an Iowa Supreme Court decision last year that said the search of a Clear Lake man’s trash without a warrant was an invasion of his privacy. Drake University law professor Bob Rigg says that decision stands despite the new law.

Rigg says the issue is likely to end up back before the Iowa Supreme Court, which will soon have a new member. Rigg says a new justice could change the court’s perspective on illegal search and seizure.

A new Supreme Court Justice will replace retiring Justice Brent Appel who was part of the majority in the previous case. That new member could make a difference in the garbage searching decision.



Well over half of the purchases for food, beverages and other items at last year’s Iowa State Fair were done electronically — and Gary Slater, the General Manager and C-E-O of the fair, says expects that to increase for this year’s event. In 2014, there was significant push-back when the Iowa State Fair announced a cashless system for buying food during that year’s State Fair and the plan was abandoned as a result. But Slater says last year they switched to a system where every vendor has at least one register that accepts credit cards. Various surveys indicate at least 80 percent of Americans make cashless purchases today.