One individual is in critical condition after a boating accident occured Sunday near the James Trail in Mahaska County. The incident took place around 7pm last night; The initial call said a boat had capsized on the Des Moines River and that one person was unconscious and another individual was missing. Mahaska County Sheriff Russ Van Renterghem said that a group of eight individuals left Eveland Access, with six of those individuals in tubes, while the other two took the boat, drifting with the tubes, with the intention of bringing everyone back when they finished floating. Just before 7 pm, the group decided they had enough, and started to enter the boat. Van Renterghem said it appears there were too many occupants for the boat and it capsized. One male was in critical condition at the river and was transported to Mahaska Health Partnership. An adult female that couldn’t swim clung to the overturned boat and was picked up by Eddyville Fire Department near Hardfish – no names have been released at this time.
Senator Joni Ernst toured the Weiler facility in Knoxville Saturday afternoon, followed by a meeting with community leaders to discuss the VA campus in Knoxville. Among the topics discussed was the need for housing in rural communities for companies like Weiler to expand their workforce, and the value of getting current students involved in STEM or other manufacturing fields. Senator Ernst shared the frustration with local community leaders about the VA campus, and said that something must be done.