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Friday Afternoon News, March 22

Kluckholn Kindergarten Teacher Selected As "Teacher of the Year"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District has awarded Jayne Willer, a kindergarten teacher at Kluckholn Elementary as its teacher of the year. Willer has been teaching for 30 years.  She admits to being surprised by the honor.  She says her students are often frighten when they first start attending Kindergarten since it is their first time being away from their parents and being in a classroom setting, and Willer says she considers those factors as part of her education philosophy.
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She says she gets a thrill when former students come back as an adult to greet her.

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Denise Anthony, a member of the Le Mars Community School Foundation presented Willer with a certificate acknowledging the honor.  Willer received a $500 check as part of the award, and she will also receive an additional $500 which she can use for her classroom.  In the nomination submitted by Brandi Moss, it states: "Mrs Willer builds an atmosphere conducive to learning.  She always has a well-managed classroom.  She has her room set up in a way that is appealing to kindergarteners, with a reading corner, a "pretend-Play" area, and a large carpet in the front where much learning takes place as a group. She is continually evaluating her processes and making changes so all students can learn."  Our congratulations go to Jayne Willer for being selected the Le Mars Community Teacher of the Year.


Branstad Orders Flags To Fly At Half-Staff

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Branstad is ordering all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, to honor Army Staff Sgt. Steve Blass, 27, of Estherville, who died in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crash in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Monday, March 11.
Blass’ funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at the Estherville High School Gym.
Flags will be at half-staff on the state Capitol building and on flag displays in the Capitol complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.

State Revenue Expected to Rise Slightly

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A panel of budget experts says overall state revenue will come in slightly higher than expected for the current fiscal year.
The Revenue Estimating Conference met Friday to project state revenue numbers. The three-member panel includes the governor's top budget adviser, the financial adviser to the Legislature and an independent member, Mason City economist David Underwood.
The group predicts net state revenue will come in at about $6.6 billion for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. That's a slightly higher projection than what they made in December and
represents about $326 million more than the revenue collected in the previous financial year.
The legislature is required to use the lower numbers from December when drafting the state budget.

Hamburg, Iowa Doesn't Get A Levee

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) - The small western Iowa town of Hamburg on the Missouri River has lost its bid to keep an earthen levee erected in 2011 to save the town from the river's floodwaters.
The city had needed to raise nearly $5 million to keep the top eight feet of the levee, which was raised to 19 feet from its original 11 feet. The money would have been used to bring the
raised part of the levee within federal regulations. Mayor Cathy Crain even created an Internet site that included a video of townspeople dancing to a revamped version of Credence Clearwater
Revival's "Proud Mary" in the hopes of gathering donations.
But Crain says the effort raised only $52,000.
The Hamburg City Council voted Friday to take down the extended levee.



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