Category: News

Sheena Kremer joins MercyOne Family Medicine

MercyOne Family Medicine is pleased to welcome Sheena Kremer, ARNP, to its staff. She serves patients in several family medicine locations in the northeast Iowa region, including La Porte City.
Kremer began her career at MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center, formerly Covenant Medical Center, in 2011 and worked as a nurse in the Rehabilitation, ICU and Emergency Care. After earning her Master of Science in Nursing–Family Nurse Practitioner from Kaplan University in 2018, she knew she wanted to stay in the organization.
“As I advanced my career, I knew I wanted to stay with the organization and community that I enjoy so much,” she said. “Becoming a nurse practitioner allows me to work with my patients throughout their lifespans and provide guidance for a healthy lifestyle.”
Kremer is originally from Wadena, Iowa. She currently lives on a small acreage outside of Waterloo with her husband.
Kremer rotates among the MercyOne Family Medicine clinics in Cedar Falls, Dysart, Evansdale, Gladbrook, Independence, Jesup, La Porte City, Parkersburg, Reinbeck, Traer, and Waterloo.
Schedule an appointment by calling 319-272-5000.

52nd annual Fish Fry set for March 30

The Lime Creek Fish and Game Club will host its 52nd annual Fish Fry on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at the Brandon Community Center in Brandon.
Serving will take place from 4 to 7:30 PM. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children ages 5 to 12 , and kids under age 5 eat for free. Door prizes will be awarded; you need not be present to win. Everyone is welcome.
The club uses all proceeds from the event for area conservation and community projects.

La Porte City Police Report – February 2019

February 2019
21 Warnings
6 Citations
112 Calls for Service
16 Assist Black Hawk County
3 Assist Benton County
1 Assist Waterloo
Traffic
2-Registration Violation
2-Speed
1-Improper Brake Equipment
Criminal
1-Minor using Tobacco/Vapor
February 2019 Arrest Log
Katario Roby, 32, of La Porte City, Driving While License Suspended on 2/13/19.
Melissa Axline, 29, of Waterloo, Driving While License Suspended on 2/20/19.
One juvenile of La Porte City, Driving While License Suspended on 2/27/19.

Second Chances: A Conversation with Police Chief Brecher

The vast majority of Iowa inmates will someday be set free. Will they stay there?
Fifth in a series
By Mike Whittlesey
The Iowa Department of Corrections is the state agency entrusted with the mission of creating opportunities for safer communities. In addition to safer communities, the department seeks accountability for those breaking the law while making responsible use of taxpayer dollars. Despite a staff numbering in the thousands and a budget of some $400 million, there are no guarantees that can be offered to Iowans regarding their safety, nor should the state’s residents have the unrealistic expectation that their well-being is solely dependent upon the government.
If public safety begins at home, what does that look like in La Porte City?
How can local residents go about protecting themselves and their community from those who do not obey the law?
On March 26, 2018, the City of Council of La Porte City approved Mayor Dave Neil’s appointment of Chris Brecher to serve as the city’s Chief of Police. Succeeding Larry Feaker, who had been La Porte City’s top cop since 1986, Brecher’s service as an officer actually began with the La Porte City Police Department in 2009. While the transition to running the department has been relatively smooth, his first year as Chief has been eventful.
“It’s definitely been a learning experience,” Brecher said.
“There are a lot of things you think you know going into it that you don’t,” he stated.
Less than a month after his appointment, Brecher was thrust into one of the state’s most challenging missing person’s case of 2018, as the four month search for 16 year old Jake Wilson began in April and concluded in August when his remains were found near Wolf Creek. While the challenging nature of the case tested even the most veteran law enforcement officers involved, Brecher came away from the experience having learned a lot about the number of resources that are available to assist his department.
“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Child Abduction Response Team… These are resources that are taxpayer funded that we have the ability to reach out to,” he said, citing a few examples of the agencies involved in the search for Jake.
“Hopefully, we never have to reach out to them again,” he added.
Unfortunately, small, rural communities are not immune to crime, which can keep Brecher and his officers actively working cases that extend beyond their regular patrols.
“Things kind of go in spurts in La Porte City. For awhile, we had a very serious drug problem in town. We were executing multiple search warrants on different residences for different narcotics violations, from marijuana to meth to heroin,” Brecher reported.
“That’s been on the decline, which is absolutely okay with me. If La Porte gets the reputation for people in that trade to stay away, great. That has transitioned to burglaries. We’ve had a fair amount of burglaries over the past year. They can be tough to solve because of the limited amount of evidence that is available,” he said.
While burglaries can be difficult cases to solve, the steps to prevent many of them are not difficult to take.
“Burglaries are typically a crime of opportunity. If a burglar sees something in a car and that car happens to be unlocked, [there is a good chance] they’re going to open up the car and take what they want. If your car is locked, very rarely will somebody take the time to break out a window to get something, depending on its value,” Brecher explained.
“Lock your houses. Lock your cars. Lock your garages,” he advised.
In a small town, complacency can be an invitation for misdeeds.
“We never could have imagined it would happen,” is a common lament police officers hear.
With warmer weather on the way, Brecher encourages local residents, as well as his officers, to remain vigilant.
“In the winter months, things kind of naturally slow down because people don’t want to be outside. With the amount of burglaries we’ve had, it’s important that [the officers] stay vigilant on their patrols,” he said.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to discover officers parked in obscure places around town where traffic is minimal.
“You may not see a lot of traffic, but you might see someone who is up to no good,” Brecher reasoned.
One of the best tools the police have when investigating crimes are the security cameras that are installed in the area.
“Those have helped us solve many cases, being able to put somebody at the scene. We always encourage people to have cameras,” Brecher advised.
“Criminals who are out there are also looking for [cameras]. Having those cameras up is a huge deterrence,” he added.
Though not everyone has the resources to spend a couple hundred dollars on a basic security system, such an investment is still less money than the insurance deductible most people carry.
“If somebody breaks in a takes a couple thousand dollars worth of your stuff, it’s money well-spent. Cameras are a huge asset to have,” Brecher stated.
One relatively low cost solution he suggested are the doorbells equipped with cameras. Powered by home wiring or rechargeable batteries, La Porte City’s Chief of Police recommends utilizing them as one way to combat porch pirates who look for packages that have been left on homeowners’ doorsteps.
“If you don’t have the money for cameras, that’s fine. Just lock your stuff up. Most of the time, just having your doors locked is enough of a deterrent. Criminals are looking for the ones that are open,” he said.
“It’s easy to do, especially in a small town. You leave that door unlocked because you know you’ll only be gone for an hour. You’d like to think that everybody means well in La Porte City, and for the most part they do. There’s just isolated people in town who don’t care whose day they ruin. If they see something, they’re going to take it,” Brecher said.
A Positive Presence
Looking back on his first year as La Porte City’s Chief of Police, it is evident that Chris Brecher’s vision of public safety extends beyond catching criminals. The La Porte City Police Association has been actively supporting the community in a number of ways. Last summer, it was Ice Cream with a Cop, where youngsters were encouraged to visit with police officers and check out their equipment and vehicles while enjoying an ice cream cone at Tootsie’s Ice Cream & More. Recently, Brecher cited a four year old who was helping his mom clear the snow “with the world’s smallest snow shovel.” The Tootsie’s Ticket citation was also good for a free ice cream cone.
“I think it’s important people know we are watching when you’re doing the right thing and we do notice it,” he said.
In December, the Association sponsored Shop with a Cop, making the holidays a brighter time with Christmas gifts for four area families. A pair of booster seats were also donated to La Porte City Elementary School to be used to transport students safely to and from school.
In June, the Police Association is planning a major community event. The Family Health and Safety Fair will bring a number of local businesses and agencies together on Main Street to promote public safety for people of all ages. Information on a wide range of topics will be presented. Bicycle safety, the danger of kites and power lines, stranger danger and hunter safety are just a sampling of some of the activities families can explore as they get ready for the summer season. Additional details about this special event will be announced as plans are finalized in the coming weeks.
While around-the-clock police protection is provided by La Porte City Police Department, its Chief has a few last words of advice about staying safe.
“It all comes down to being an informed citizen. Knowing what’s going on in your community, be it public safety or infrastructure, or anything. If you want to live in a good community, you have to invest in your community. If you want a safer community, you need to know your neighbors. The more you invest in your community, the more it matters to you.”

Proposed Rule would allow E15 sales year-round

On March 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulatory changes to allow gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) to take advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver for the summer months that has historically been applied only to E10. EPA is also proposing regulatory changes to modify elements of the renewable identification number (RIN) compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program to enhance transparency in the market and deter price manipulation.
“Consistent with President Trump’s direction, EPA is working to propose and finalize these changes by the summer driving season,” said Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “We will be holding a public hearing at the end of this month to gather important feedback.”
Under the proposed expansion, E15 would be allowed to be sold year-round without additional RVP control, rather than just eight months of the year.
Proposed reforms to RIN markets include:
Prohibiting certain parties from being able to purchase separated RINs;
Requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings exceed specified thresholds;
Limiting the length of time a non-obligated party can hold RINs; and
Increasing the compliance frequency of the program from once annually to quarterly.
EPA welcomes public comment on the proposal and intends to hold a public hearing on March 29. Additional details on the comment period and public hearing will be available shortly.
On October 11, President Trump directed the EPA to initiate a rulemaking to expand waivers for E15 and increase the transparency in the RIN market.

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