LEUSINK RETURNED TO PLYMOUTH COUNTY
A former deputy, Aaron Leusink has been returned to Plymouth County, after his 2022 conviction and sentence for theft, burglary and misconduct was overturned. Leusink filed for post-conviction relief after a 3rd Judicial District Judge ruled that his attorney failed to notify him of the implications of a guilty plea to one of the felony charges in his case. Leusink will be retried on the same eleven charges. He was transported Thursday from the state corrections system to the custody of the Plymouth County Sheriff. Warrants were issued by the District Court for five counts of felony burglary, felonious misconduct, four counts of theft, and unlawful possession of prescription drugs. Leusink Thursday was booked into the Plymouth County Jail. He then posted bond, which was set at 30-thosuand dollars. Leusink was arrested charge in 2020 by state authorities in a case involving burglary at two pharmacies, and theft from law enforcement evidence lockers. At the time of his arrest, Leusink was in possession of a large quantity of prescription medications.
ARNOLD THE NEW LEADER AT UNITYPOINT
A Le Mars native have been named Market President at UnityPoint Health in Sioux City. Jane Arnold will oversee operations at UnityPoint Health – St Luke’s, and UnityPoint Clinics in Siouxland. She takes over the post in October. Arnold says their focus will continue to be to take great care of their patients and community, support their providers, and invest in their workforce. Arnold has been with the organization for 23 years, most recently as Senior Vice President of Business & Network Development and Regional Vice President of Ambulatory Operations for UnityPoint Clinic in Sioux City. Jane is the daughter of John and Lorene Rexwinkle of Le Mars
Dordt University set several enrollment records this fall. The total semester enrollment is 1,911 students, up nearly 50 from last year, which was also a record.
It’s also the largest full-time undergraduate enrollment in Dordt’s history at 1,526 students. The incoming class of 498 undergraduate students is also a record. The student body represents 43 states and 33 different countries. Dordt’s freshmen to sophomore retention rate is 85 percent.
SIOUX CENTER WOMAN SENTENCED FOR FELONY THEFT
The Sioux County Attorney says a Sioux Center woman has been sentenced in a theft case. Thomas G. Kunstle says Blanca Cecilia Castro Ramos, 29, of Sioux Center was sentenced in July after pleading guilty to theft and two counts of fraudulent practice.
A Sioux Center Police investigation revealed Castro Ramos stole significant amounts of money from a Sioux Center business. This led to ten felony charges, including Ongoing Criminal Conduct, Theft, and Fraudulent Practice.
In a plea agreement, Castro Ramos pled guilty. Ashe was convicted of First Degree Theft, Second Degree Fraudulent Practice, both felonies, and Third Degree Fraudulent Practice, a Serious Misdemeanor. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison, suspended while she completes four years of probation with the Department of Corrections. Castro Ramos was also ordered to pay restitution and fines totaling some 59-thousand dollars. She was also sentenced to serve 30 days in the Sioux County Jail.
NANCY DREW CREATOR
Nearly a century after she first appeared in print, girl-detective Nancy Drew is still thrilling young readers — and the original writer of the mystery series was an Iowan. Mildred Augustine Benson was a Ladora native who had a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. Barbara Lounsberry, a retired University of Northern Iowa English professor, has researched Benson’s life and career. Lounsberry says Benson was a ghost writer and she created the character and personality of Nancy Drew. The first book, “The Secret of the Old Clock,” was released in 1930 under the pen-name Carolyn Keene. The collection of Nancy Drew books continued to grew well into the 1980s and eventually encompassed 78 separate mystery stories. Benson wrote 23 of the first 30 volumes. Benson died in 2002 at age 96. Lounsberry will give a presentation about Benson at Mulberry Center Church at Wilson Brewer Park in Webster City at 1 P-M on Saturday.
SLAIN OFFICER HONORED
Governor Kim Reynolds has ordered all flags in Iowa to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset today (Friday) in honor and remembrance of the Algona Police officer killed in the line of duty Wednesday. A spokesman with the Iowa D-C-I says 33-year-old officer Kevin Cram was shot and killed while trying to serve a warrant just before 8 p-m Wednesday. The man wanted in the harassment warrant, 43-year-old Kyle Ricke was arrested near Sleepy Eye Minnesota just before midnight Thursday. Ricke has been charged with first-degree murder and will be brought back to Iowa.