Widespread damage was reported across Le Mars by winds generated from a thunderstorm late last night into early this morning. Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper says trees and limbs that were downed by the winds caused power outages that lasted up to four hours in parts of the city.
Schipper says winds at the Le Mars Municipal Airport gusted up to 60 miles per hour in the storm.
Schipper said the thunderstorm winds came from the east, an unusual direction for thunderstorm winds in this area. This caused some trees to be uprooted.
Several trees came down – 6 bigger ones – and limbs came down as well.
A utility shed on South Greenwood Drive was damaged when a tree fell on it. Two wooden power poles were also taken down by falling trees. So were power lines in parts of the city.
The first alarm came in at 11:45 p.m. There were seven more calls by 1 a.m.
No injuries were reported.
KINGSLEY WOMAN SENTENCED
A Kingsley woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for multiple felonies, the most recent a theft case in SIoux County. County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says 44 year old Krista Ann Brown was sentenced for First Degree Theft Monday. She was arrested for unauthorized use of an Orange City company’s credit card between November, 2022, and June of this year. At the time, Brown was on probation for two previous convictions, First Degree theft and dependent adult abuse. She was determined to be an habitual offender.
The court imposed a ten-year prison sentence for the Sioux County felony, and a fifteen-year prison sentence for the Plymouth County convictions. The Plymouth County sentences will be served concurrently, to be followed by ten years more for the Sioux County conviction. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Sioux County Attorney Lori Ehlers.
A new deputy was sworn in to service in the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.
District Court Judge Daniel Vakulskas administered the oath of office to Loren Sparr of Remsen Thursday in the Plymouth County Courtroom. Sparr is a Remsen native, and a graduate of Remsen-Union High School. He has served eight years in the Naval Reserve, was a corrections officer in Plymouth County. He became a certified law officer while in the Remsen Police Department, and then was hired by the Le Mars Police Department, where he served prior to this post.
FEENSTRA BACKS A FREEZE ON MONEY TO IRAN
Fourth District U.S.Representative Randy Feenstra of Hull cosponsored a bill which urges President Biden to freeze the 6 billion dollars he authorized. Iran is accused of funding the attacks made by the terrorist group, Hamas, against Israel a week ago. The bill was sponsored by Texas Rep. August Pfluger, who said “Iran’s support of Hamas is despicable”. He says the U.S. must never tolerate regimes that fund terrorism.
The Superintendent of Le Mars Community Schools says It’s a continuing problem: motorists who aren’t paying attention to school bus rules. This is Dr. Steven Webner.
Dr. Webner says drivers have to pay attention when a school bus stops to pick up to drop off students.
Dr. Webner told the school board this week that that’s over 500 possible incidents where students could get hurt.
Dr. Webner says school leaders are taking steps to address these violations.
Since installing external cameras, the schools have been able to identify more violators. That information is then turned over to law enforcement. Penalties for violators include a fine of 250 dollars, and could also include drivers license suspension. This could lead to higher insurance rates for violators. If the violation leads to an injury, the driver could face up to a month in jail.
The Fourth Jaywalk-A-Thon planned for Friday (October 13) at Gehlen Catholic School will be held indoors due to the inclement weather. Amy Jungers says it will now be held in the main gym. Guests can enter through the Memory Lane Entrance. She describes the event as an upbeat walk-a-thon based on prayer and the special intentions of the Gehlen family and the Le Mars community.
The event kicks off with an all-school mass at 8:45 a.m. Friday with the first group of student walkers starting at 10:30. Jungers says the public is invited to take part, not only in prayer and with sponsorships, but all are welcome to join in by walking with the students.
NAIG CONCERNED ABOUT BIRD FLU MIGRATION
Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig (like egg) says the fall migration of wild birds is a danger sign for poultry producers about the potential for Aviation Influence exposure. Naig says the first major outbreak in 2015 saw a lot of contamination between sites, but the most recent outbreak saw isolated exposures in facilities brought on by wild birds.
He says there are already confirmed cases in two states to the north of us. (Spring and Fall migration)
Naig says producers can’t take anything for granted when it comes to keeping down the contact with wild birds.
The Avian Influenza or bird flu can have different strains, but Naig says he doesn’t know yet what the test results show from the early cases.
There were some 77 facilities impacted in the first major outbreak in 2015, with millions of birds destroyed. The most recent outbreak saw 32 facilities impacted.
HIGHWAY 60 ACCIDENT
An accident near Alton Wednesday afternoon caused no injury, but extensive damage. The accident that occurred on Iowa highway 60, two miles northeast of Alton, IA.
52-year-old Bruce Korver of Alton was driving a farm tractor pulling two loaded grain wagons southbound on Iowa Highway 60. 65-year-old Russell Green, of Pasadena, TX, was driving a pickup southbound on 60 behind Korver when he struck the rear wagon.
Green was transported by the Alton Ambulance to Orange City Area Health System for treatment of minor injuries. Korver did not report injuries.
The grain wagons sustained approximately $20,000 in damage; the Chevrolet sustained approximately $65,000 in damage.
Green was cited for following too close.
Orange City Police, Alton Fire and Ambulance and Orange City Fire assisted at the accident scene.
19-THOUSAND QUALIFY FOR SCHOOL ACCOUNTS
State officials say nearly 19-thousand applicants have qualified for state-funded accounts to cover private school expenses. In January, Republican legislators approved Governor Reynolds’ plan to deposit state money in Education Savings Accounts that are to be used to pay tuition and other costs for students in a private K-through-12 school. Each account is to get 76-hundred dollars. but there were household income limits. The number of approved accounts is about a third more than lawmakers had expected. A final report on how many accounts were activated will come in December after officials confirm students were enrolled in a private school. Some parents who submitted applications may not have found a spot in a private school for their child. In July, state officials indicated 60 percent of applications were from parents whose child already attended a private school. Forty percent were for kids who’d be enrolling in a private school for the first time.