Home News Tuesday News, August 9

Tuesday News, August 9


Facilities in the Le Mars Community School are nearly ready for students when they return this month.
Superintendant Dr Steven Webner says the board Monday toured the renovations made at the Le Mars Middle School.

One other project has been completed, while another is wrapping up.

The Board also identified two goals for the Superintendant to reach in the next school year. Superintendant Dr. Steven Webner said one of the goals has to do with school district facilities.

The other has to do with improving teacher leadership.

During their session yesterday, the school board were reminded of the Boards annual introduction to new teachers, to take place next month.


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors this morning approved the hire of a full time courtroom security officer. The Supervisors tabled the issue, as they wanted to know how the budget would be adjusted in order to increase the pay package for this position to full-time status. The board approved the position, which will include courtroom security, jail transfers, and occasional shifts as a patrol deputy in the Plymouth County Sheriffs Department. Last week, Carl McIntire, who works part-time for the sheriffs department and the US Marshals Service in Sioux City, was introduced to the Board as the person who will fill the new position.



The Le Mars Fire Department was called out shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday morning to a location just north of Le Mars, on the ramp near Fedders Marine and RV. The engine compartment of a semi-trailer truck was engulfed in flames.  The fire was quickly extinguished.  The trailer was filled with livestock, but none of the animals were injured.


A crash Sunday afternoon on the east side of East Lake Okoboji involving a UTV claimed the life of a 15-year-old passenger and injured the 14-year-old driver.

The Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office says a 2012 Polaris Ranger owned by Scott Groeneweg of Orange City was being driven southbound on Basswood Lane in the area of East Oaks North. Deputies say the 14-year-old driver lost control of the vehicle which rolled onto its side and collided with a tree, ejecting the driver and the 15-year-old passenger. The 15-year-old was pronounced dead a short time later at Lakes Regional Healthcare. The 14-year-old was treated for non-incapacitating injuries and was released from the hospital.

Authorities say the crash took place shortly before 2:30 pm and that it remains under investigation.

The Spirit Lake Police Department, Spirit Lake First Responders, Lakes Regional Healthcare ambulance and the Iowa State Patrol assisted on the scene.



The Alton Fire Department held an open house Monday for its new addition.  The expansion totals some 88-hundred 50 feet of space.  Fire Chief Quentin Van Es says the project came in on time and within it’s 2 million dollar budget.

The addition includes the luxury of space.

There’s now plenty of room for equipment, training, and enough overhead space to test equipment indoors.

As much of their training is now done online, part of the fire department addition includes a large conference room for this purpose.

Fire Chief Quentin Van Es says now that firemen are using the building, they see the potential for new ideas to utilize the extra space.

One of the design features of the new firehouse is a peaked roof and skylight. Chief Van Es says it serves a useful purpose.

Alton voters in March, 2021, passed a 2 million dollars bond issue to fund construction.  The vote was 335 to 11 in favor of the project.  The bonds are being paid off through local option sales taxes.

Van Es says the fire department has been using the new addition since mid-July.



A Sheffield Iowa man was injured in a motorcycle accident Sunday near Boyden, in Sioux County.  The Sheriffs Department says 41 year old Matthew Lane was riding on US Highway 18 around 6 am, when he lost control of the motorcycle and was ejected from it.  Lane was taken by Boyden Ambulance to Sanford Sheldon Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. Sheldon Fire and Ambulance also responded to the accident, which remains under investigation.



Iowa ranks ninth in the country on the annual Kids Count report, which ranks states on 12 factors divided into four categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. Iowa’s high ranking can be misleading, according to Anne Discher, executive director of Common Good Iowa, which partners with the Annie E. Casey Foundation on the report. Discher says Iowa ranks first for high school kids graduating on time but ranks 21st on the share of young children attending preschool, 22nd in fourth graders not reading proficiently, 25th in eighth graders not proficient in math, 25th on child and teen death rates, and 33rd on the percentage of kids who are overweight or obese. Discher says Iowa ranked 17th overall in the health category and it did well on some measures such as kids covered by health insurance, where it was ranked fourth best in the U-S.



The 2022 Iowa State Fair starts Thursday. Gary Slater, the fair’s C-E-O and general manager, says the organization is still recovering financially from the cancellation of the 2020 fair due to the pandemic. The State Fair lost 13 million dollars when the event was cancelled in 2020 but qualified for an eleven-million-dollar “shuttered venues” grant from the federal government. Attendance was down a bit during last year’s Iowa State Fair, but the eleven-day run of the 2021 State Fair turned a 36 million-dollar profit.



The Iowa D-N-R is in the midst of its annual wild turkey count and is looking for some help. Wildlife Biologist, Jim Coffey, leads the survey. He says they’re asking the general public if they see any wild turkeys to go to the Iowa D-N-R webpage under the turkey tab and report those sightings. You are most likely to see hens, which will gather together in groups to watch over the young birds. Coffey says males don’t typically spend time with hens except during the spring, but it’s still possible to spot some. The turkey survey lasts through August.



A 67-thousand-dollar federal grant will be used to pay for more local food in Iowa schools and early child care centers.  The Iowa Department of Education is receiving the two-year grant funding for the second time.  The state Ag Department contributes matching funds.  Schools don’t have to participate in the Iowa Farm to School program but the funding is there to train school workers on food safety and how local food can be incorporated into school lunches.



The man accused of murdering four people in northeast Nebraska is being held on one-and-a-half-million dollars bond.  Jason Jones is facing several charges including four counts of first-degree murder, accused of causing explosions at two houses in Laurel last week and killing four people.  Jones is currently being treated in the hospital for severe burns.