COMBATTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Le Mars Community High School alumnus David Lorenzen has recently retired from a long career in law enforcement, and with the Iowa Department of Transportation. He has also worked many years in combatting human trafficking
Lorenzen says it’s hard to get a handle on human trafficking in Iowa.
He says Kids on social media have to be careful, or they could get become victims, too.
Lorenzen served in Law Enforcement, and the Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement division. He is a founding member of the Human Trafficking Committee, and serves on the National Board of Truckers for Truckers Against Trafficking.
THEN FEED JUST ONE
Then Feed Just One, the food packing program of Gehlen and Spalding Catholic Schools, renews next week.
Their goal is to pack 190-meals for distribution in Honduras. Meal packing shifts will be next Wenesday, May 3rd, from 5-15 to 6-30 pm, and three shifts Thursday, May 4th, at 8-15 and 10-45 am, and at 1 pm. Participants are to check in 20 minutes prior to your shift at the Gehlen Catholic School Gym.
STUDENT ID CRISIS LINE
Printing the state’s 2-1-1 suicide crisis line on student I-D cards would be required under a bill getting bipartisan backing in the Iowa legislature. Senator Jeff Taylor, a Republican from Sioux Center, says the bill applies to student I-Ds issued by public schools in Iowa, but he’s hoping private schools offer the same information if they provide I-D cards to students.
It’s important for students to know they have a place to go when they face anxiety.
The bill passed the Senate unanimously today (Thursday). It passed the House on a 91-to-four vote a month ago. The House must approve a slight change the Senate made in the bill before it goes to the governor.
ETHANOL PLANT FINE
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has fined a Sioux Center ethanol plant for an equipment violation. Siouxland Energy Cooperative was to have a filter in place to capture dust from a corn bin. This was required 20 years ago. But recently, DNR discovered the filter equipment had been removed. The company told them they were not aware the filter was required. The bin holds about two days worth of corn for the ethanol facility, and it’s used as backup storage. The company was ordered to pay a 10-thousand dollars fine, and install the filter equipment by July 1.
OIL INDUSTRY OPPOSES E-15 PUSH
A trade group that represents the oil industry is calling on Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and seven other governors to drop their push to get gas with 15 percent ethanol available in the Midwest all year long. The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers says fewer than five percent of U-S gas stations sell E-15 and the rest would have to retrofit their tanks, pumps and other equipment to be able to dispense gas with the higher blend. The group’s vice president says some oil refineries would have to spend between 50 and 75 million dollars to shift to year round E-15 production. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and a bipartisan group of governors have asked the E-P-A to grant a waiver, so E-15 can be sold through the summer months in eight Midwestern states. Reynolds says E-15 is a lower cost alternative for consumers and keeping gasoline with a higher blend of ethanol on available year round would address some potential fuel shortages caused by the war in Ukraine.
A gas leak in downtown Le Mars yesterday caused evacuation of a downtown business and an apartment. Le Mars Fire/Rescue Chief Dave Schipper says they were called to an alley behind the Pizza Ranch around 5 p.m. A concrete crew was removing pavement in the alley. Firemen found gas in the basement of a nearby apartment. Chief Schipper said monitoring equipment indicated the gas was concentrated enough to explode if accidentally ignited. The apartment and the Pizza Ranch were evacuated as a precaution. Plymouth Street SW was closed and Mid-American Energy was called to shut off power to the buildings and render the gas leak safe. Fire/Rescue and MidAmerican Energy crews secured the situation in about 90 minutes. The gas was ventilated from the buildings. MidAmerican crews made repairs, and then restored gas service. Chief Schipper said the incident was ruled an accident, when a buried gas line was struck during concrete removal. There were no injuries.
OPEN HOUSE 2
Now comes the task of creating a development plan for Le Mars, after a community open house was held Wednesday night.
Le Mars Economic Development Director Mark Gaul says they have no priorities among the ideas presented so far.
The open house provided a welcome surprise to Gaul.
The consultant threw in some ideas they thought could work in Le Mars.
The consulting firm will summarize the information gathered Wednesday and work toward a master plan.
Information on housing, highway commercial, and industrial development were other areas where ideas were gathered at the open house. This information can be viewed on the city development web site, and you can comment on, and add information there.
ACCIDENT INJURES REMSEN TEENAGER
A Remsen teen was injured in a two vehicle accident near Matlock Monday evening. The Iowa State Patrol says a car rear-ended a manure wagon being pulled by a tractor on County Road L22, southeast of Matlock. The driver, 17 year old Miranda Ross of Remsen, was attempting to pass the tractor, when it struck the rear of the wagon. Ross was injured in the crash, and was taken to Sanford Sheldon Hospital for treatment. The driver of the tractor, Marshall Ohrt, 27, of Paullina, was not hurt.
NORTHWESTERN RESIDENCE HALL
Northwestern College in Orange City will name a new residence hall for its president and his wife. The college’s Board of Trustees decided to name the building in honor of President Greg Christy, and his wife, Michelle. This was done at the request of the lead donors of the project, Mary DeWitt of Holland, Michigan, and her children and their spouses. The DeWitts contributed five million dollars to the project. They say they want to honor the Christys for their strong leadership, humility, work ethic, integrity, and commitment to Christ. Greg Christy has served as Northwestern’s President since 2008. In that time, he has led fundraising for ten building and renovation projects. Enrollment there has grown to a record 1,712 students. Groundbreaking for the project took place on April 21. The new residence hall is to be ready for occupancy by August of 2024.
HOLOCAUST RAIL CAR
A museum exhibit featuring a replica of a rail car used to transport Jews to concentration camps during the Holocaust of World War Two opened Wednesday in Sioux City. George Lindblade designed the exhibit and said the tough part was finding a railcar.
The rail car was moved to the Sioux City Museum two years ago and the work began on it. Lindblade says they want the exhibit to be something that young people would visit, so they tried to make it realistic.
The exhibit includes items or replicas of items from Holocaust survivors of concentration camps. That includes a one-way ticket to Auschwitz.
Lindblade says. He says they blew the ticket up so it can be easily read. There are also numerous photos on display — including those taken by then Private Veron Tott of Sioux City. Tott’s unit came across survivors left behind at the Ahlem concentration camp by fleeing Nazis in the waning days of World War Two.