CITIZEN POLICE ACADEMY
Applications for the Citizen Police Academy will be taken through tomorrow.
Le Mars Police Assistant Chief Justin Daale says Citizens Academy will take place in October.
This is a joint effort between Le Mars Police and the Plymouth County Sheriffs Office.
Assistant Chief Daale says it’s a chance for officers to show the specialty training they’ve received. Some of the topics covered include firearms training; use of force; drug enforcement, including a K9 demonstration; interview and interrogations; and crime scene investigation. Classes start Monday, October 9. The last session is Thursday, November 2.
Applications can be found at the Le Mars Police Department and the Plymouth County Sheriffs Office. Filing deadline is Friday, September22.
A pretrial conference for a former deputy from Plymouth County will take place next month. Aaron Leusink was recently granted another trial after filing for post-conviction relief. A Third District Court Judge overturned his conviction and sentence on burglary, theft, and misconduct charges. He was returned to the custody of the Plymouth County Sheriff. Leusink was later freed after posting bond. Leusinks charges stem from incidents that occurred in Plymouth County between 2017 and 2020. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced last year to up to 40 years in prison. Leusink faces the same 11 charges in his new trial. The pretrial conference will take place October 16.
LE MARS PUBLIC LIBRARY HIGHLIGHTS
In her annual report to the city council, Le Mars Public Library director Shirley Taylor listed some of the highlights for fiscal year 2023. These include receiving two STEM Scale-up Program grants, which allow the purchase of equipment for youth support programs. A second highlight was the first Library Trustee event held in May. This included Sioux and Cherokee Counties. A third highlight was receiving a Space Utilization grant from the State Library of Iowa. Le Mars Public Library hired FEH Design to conduct a Space Needs Assessment. They recommended a 20 to 25-thousand square foot structure for the library. They currently operate in one-third of that space. The Library Board of Trustees will await the Le Mars Community Development Plan to determine their next step.
An Illinois man who pled guilty to a bank robbery in Sheldon was sentenced to eight years in federal prison. 38 year old Leon Sutton of Chicago was sentenced in Sioux City before U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Strand. On June 3, 2021, Sutton entered the bank armed with a handgun and demanded money. Surveillance video showed Sutton was seen in a recently purchased car with no plates. After the robbery, Sutton fled to Chicago. Police traced the car through its former owner, and Sutton was later arrested in Chicago. He also was sentenced to serve three years of supervised release after this term. There is no parole in the federal system.
ALGONA POLICE OFFICER FUNERAL
Slain Algona police officer Keven Cram was remembered Wednesday as hundreds of family, friends, and law officers gathered in the Algona High School gym. Algona Police Chief Bo Miller says Cram was a man who cared about a life of service, and says almost every story told about him in the last few days was “about him always giving, he always gave, and barely ever receiving anything.” Miller says. He says the 33-year-old Cram could be described as the perfect officer and away from the job, Miller says Cram cared so much for his family. There was a private graveside service for Cram following the public funeral. The man accused of shooting and killing Cram last Wednesday night as he served an arrest warrant remains in jail awaiting extradition from Minnesota.
BLUE RIBBON SCHOOLS
Five Iowa schools have received the National Blue Ribbon designation from the U-S Department of Education. The award recognizes schools for their graduation rates and high scores in English and math, and for closing the gap in test scores between all students. This year’s winners are East Elementary School in Sheldon, the Grundy Center Middle School, Norman Borlaug Elementary School in Iowa City, Perry Elementary School, and St. Ansgar High School. Representatives of each school are invited to Washington, D-C later this year for an event honoring all the winners.
GOP LEGISLATORS TESTIFY AGAINST EMINENT DOMAIN
An Iowa lawmaker is suggesting the Iowa Utilities Board lacks the authority to grant Summit Carbon Solutions permission to seize property along its proposed pipeline route from unwilling landowners. Republican Representative Steven Holt of Denison says eminent domain authority is reserved for projects that have a clear public use and public benefit.
Holt, who is chairman of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee, says he’s not opposed to pipeline projects that developers argue would benefit farmers by making corn-based ethanol carbon neutral.
Holt was one of two Republican lawmakers who testified Tuesday at the Iowa Utilities Board hearing reviewing Summit’s application for a permit to build and maintain a carbon pipeline in Iowa. Senator Sandy Salmon, a Republican from Janesville, says Summit’s request to seize about a third of its route across Iowa is breathtaking.
Salmon says private property rights are essential for prosperity and must be preserved.