ASSAULT VICTIM DIES
Le Mars Police are considering additional charges against a man arrested on Willful Injury and Attempted Murder charges. This, after the victim of an attack last Friday died. Police say 44 year old Michael Roy Gomez of Merrill, died Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. at Avera McKennen Hospital in Sioux Falls, as a result of injuries sustained Friday afternoon, January 19, at Fieldcrest Apartments in Le Mars. Police say the investigation into his death is ongoing and additional charges are pending.
TWO FATAL ACCIDENTS
There have been two fatal accidents in the past two days in northwest Iowa. One person died yesterday afternoon in Sioux City in a three vehicle crash on Gordon Drive. The Iowa State Patrol pursued a speeding vehicle into Sioux City. The Patrol stopped the pursuit, but the driver of the vehicle then rearended one vehicle and rolled into another. The driver of the speeding vehicle, Melissa Thede, 40, of Churdan, Iowa, died in the crash. She was not wearing a seat belt. Another driver, 29 year old Hector Alvarez Collazo of Sioux City, received minor injury. The accident occurred at Gordon Drive and Spalding Street in Sioux City.
The second fatal accident occurred Tuesday night, when two semis collided in Buena Vista County. The accident occurred at the intersection of U.S. Highway 71 and Iowa Highway 7, southeast of Storm Lake. A semi driven by 63 year old Humberto Aladro-Valdes of Storm Lake failed to stop at the intersection and was struck by an oncoming semi. Aladro-Valdes died at the scene of the crash. He was not wearing a seat belt.
DONATIONS TO CHECK-OF FUND DWINDLE
Fewer Iowans are donating to the state’s Fish and Wildlife Fund on their tax returns to help wildlife conservation efforts. Last year, about 58-hundred people checked the box for the so-called Chickadee Check-off, which is only about four-tenths of one percent of Iowa’s taxpayers. Stephanie Shepherd, a wildlife biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Diversity Program, says that check-off is the program’s only source of funding. It helps Iowa’s non-game wildlife, including songbirds, bald eagles, bumblebees, frogs and toads, dragonflies — the thousands of species you can’t hunt, fish or trap. Shepherd says the check-off brings conservation work for all those species, everything from outreach to research to habitat management projects. The number of donors off has dropped by 50-percent in the past 20 years.
BILL WOULD REQUIRE TEACHERS, STUDENTS TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM DAILY IN IOWA SCHOOLS
A bill introduced in the Iowa House would require that students and teachers in Iowa public schools stand at attention and sing the National Anthem daily. Representative Sue Cahill, a Democrat from Marshalltown, is one of the legislators assigned to review the bill and she asked everyone present to join her in singing the National Anthem. Cahill says the Iowa Capitol’s a perfect place to sing the song, but patriotism comes from the heart and shouldn’t be forced. Representative Henry Stone, a Republican from Forest City, says backing the bill is a no-brainer for him. Stone, who retired after a 23 year career in the Air Force, says he supports anything that advances patriotism. If the bill as written becomes law, teachers and students who object to singing the National Anthem would be required to stay silent and stand while others sing. The bill says students in every grade should be taught the words and history of the song and how to love, honor and respect the anthem. It also specifies at least one of the four verses of the song be sung every school day — and on patriotic occasions the entire song would be sung.
BILL WOULD LET ATVS TRAVEL FASTER ON SOME IOWA ROADS
A bill under consideration in the Iowa Senate would let drivers operate all-terrain vehicles at higher speeds on some Iowa roads. A law passed in 2022 lets A-T-Vs travel on county roads and two-lane state highways at no more than 35 miles an hour. Senator Mike Klimesh (KLEH-mish) of Spillville says A-T-Vs can be a hazard when they’re moving at 35 miles an hour.
State law also allows A-T-Vs to travel on gravel roads if they’re being used for farming. Klimesh says A-T-Vs driving at 35 miles an hour or less on a gravel road are at risk of being rear ended.
Alyson DeMoss (dee-MOSS), a lobbyist for the Iowa Motorcycle Dealers Association, says the group supports letting A-T-Vs drive up to 35 miles an hour on some roads, but not at higher speeds.
Senator Tony Bisignano, a Democrat from Des Moines, says he’d like to let Iowa’s largest counties with the most traffic say no to letting A-T-Vs move at higher speeds.
The bill cleared a Senate subcommittee this (Wednesday) morning and is eligible for a vote in the Senate Transportation Committee.
Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Chair Don Kass got a sense of deja vu Tuesday, when he shared a letter he received from a student at an Ankeny school.
Kass, during the Board of Supervisors meeting, read a letter addressed to him from Emmitt Thomas, a fifth grade student at St Luke the Evangelist School in Ankeny. Emmitt said he was to study one of Iowa’s counties in a Social Studies class. He chose Plymouth County. The letter asked for information and brochures on Plymouth County. Auditor Stacey Feldman replied to Thomas. She sent a packet of information which included brochures, maps, a detailed history of Plymouth County, and things to do in Plymouth County, attractions and businesses.
Kass says the letter reminds him that in 5th grade he, too, was assigned to study an Iowa county. He chose Humboldt County.
UI STUDY SAYS TO ASK MANAGER, DON’T TELL THEM TO GET CHANGE
A University of Iowa study finds workers may see more success by making suggestions to their bosses using a question instead of a declarative statement. Daniel Newton, a U-I professor of management and entrepreneurship, says instead of saying, “We should have fewer meetings to boost productivity,” you should ask, “Have we thought about having fewer meetings to boost productivity?” Newton says a direct assertion may come across as pushy, but by framing suggestions in the form of a question, employees create a dialogue that allows managers and employees to work together to make the company better. While many of us are taught that we have to speak up to get anything done, the study determined a less direct approach may work better, following the old saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar.