LE MARS ASSAULT
A Le Mars man was arrested on charges of Willful Injury and Attempted Murder after an incident late Friday afternoon. 24 year old Reese Harms is held in the county jail on those charges. Le Mars Police and Le Mars Fire Rescue were called to an apartment at Fieldcrest, 1120 Second Street SE. A male subject, who was not identified, had been assaulted, and was not breathing. Responders began life-saving measures. He was transferred to Floyd Valley Healthcare, and then to Mercy Medical in Sioux City. He’s listed there in critical condition. Authorities continue their investigation of the case.
Two Orange City residents died in a house fire early Friday. Orange City fire and ambulance were called to a home at the corner of 6th and Albany NE shortly before 7 a.m. Passersby had noted smoke coming from the residence. Firefighters found the home filled with smoke. Upon entering the home, they discovered two residents, Arlan Egdorf, 79, and Linda Egdorf, 82, had died. The house was a total loss. Damages exceeded 100-thousand dollars. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Assisting at the scene were fire departments from Alton, Granville, Hospers, and Le Mars. Orange City Police and the Sioux County Sheriffs Office also assisted.
HOUSE GOP TO INVESTIGATE NURSING HOME STAFFING
House Speaker Pat Grassley says House Republicans intend to examine the activities of agencies that provide temporary workers, like traveling nurses, in Iowa nursing homes.
Grassley says it appears the agencies are also “poaching” staff from nursing homes.
In December, Senate Democrats called on Senate Republicans to launch an investigation of cases of abuse and neglect in Iowa nursing homes. Grassley says as House members being drafting next year’s budget for the state agency that inspects nursing homes, those issues will be examined, along with nursing home staffing issues in general.
Grassley made his comments on “Iowa Press” on Iowa P-B-S. Six months ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services determined 42 percent of Iowa nursing homes had a shortage of nurses and other staff who provide direct care to residents. That’s nearly double the national average and Iowa nursing homes have begun to rely on temporary agencies to fill key roles.
IOWA’S BLOOD STOCKPILE IS RUNNING CRITICALLY LOW
Many Iowa businesses are still struggling to recover from last week’s double-whammy of powerful snowstorms, including LifeServe Blood Center. Spokeswoman Shay Willis says the heavy snowfalls caused the center several setbacks, which impacted patients in the 161 hospitals in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota which LifeServe supplies with blood products. Willis says they had to cancel blood drives and close donor centers last week, resulting in a loss of nearly one-thousand units of blood, which could have impacted some three-thousand lives. Willis says all of the non-profit’s facilities in Iowa are open again now, but blood supplies are running critically low and all blood types are needed.
DESOTO REFUGE SEES A DROP IN MIGRATING BIRDS
The manager of the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in western Iowa reports not as many birds flew through the area this past migration season. Desoto manager Tom Cox says the drought, left the refuge without the water to flood as much wetland for geese, ducks, and swans. Cox says birds tend to follow the habit, and with the region-wide drought, they’re probably skirting around the area and finding better habitat. Cox says the dry conditions led to bird numbers dropping 50 percent. He says that opens your eyes that the birds are after habitat, and that’s what supports them. The refuge is along the Missouri River near Missouri Valley, Iowa. Cox says overall, he isn’t too worried because conditions usually bounce back, allowing for better birdwatching during a different season.