Monday News, October 14
Le Mars Community School Board To Review Student Enrollment Numbers
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board will learn what the actual student enrollment is for the school year 2013-2014 during this evening's board of education meeting. Assistant Superintendent, Steve Webner, will inform the board as the certified enrollment was due on October 1st. The school board will also be given a report from the Le Mars Educational Enhancement Project from the recent MenuMasters fund raising event. Reports from each of the building principals will be delivered to the school board for their consideration and review. The Le Mars Community Board of Education is expected to discuss the upcoming state and national school board conventions.
Kessenich Honored At Bishop's Dinner
(Sioux City) -- A Gehlen Catholic school teacher was honored last evening during the Bishop's Dinner. Carol Kessenich was presented the "Excellence in Education" award. Kessenich, and three others were given the honor. Kessenich has been a teacher at Gehlen Catholic for 17 years. Prior to Gehlen, she also taught at Remsen St. Mary's. She teaches both junior high religion and mathematics. Kessenich is the seventh Gehlen faculty member to be honored with the Excellence in Education award by the Sioux City Diocese. The last Gehlen faculty member to be given the honor was the late Steven Shea, for which the Gehlen gymnasium is being named for this year.
Farmers Busy With Harvest - Corn And Soybean Yields Better Than Expected
(Le Mars) -- Farmers took full advantage of the weekend's nice weather to harvest their crops. Soybean harvest is wrapping up, while the corn harvest is just getting started.
Doug Schurr is the manager of the Craig Farmer's Cooperative Grain Elevator, and offers a general overview of the soybean harvest in northwest Plymouth county.
Schurr says many farmers were delayed with their planting due to the cool temperatures and spring rains. However, he says it was the cool temperatures in late July and early August, along with some timely rainfall that helped this year's harvest.
The grain elevator manager says he has not heard any farmer say he has been disappointed with the yield for bushels per acre. Schurr says corn needs to have some additional warm weather in order to help bring down the moisture levels, but as with the soybeans, Schuur believes the corn harvest will prove to be better than most people had expected.
The Craig grain elevator has needed to dry most of the corn that has been been delivered.
However, Schurr says there has been some corn that is ready for long-term storage.
Schurr says in order for grain and oilseeds to be stored for long-term storage, and not spoil, soybeans should have a moisture content under eleven percent, and corn should be below 17 percent.
Government Shut Down Preventing Farmers To Assess Crop Damage From Tornadoes
MOVILLE, Iowa (AP) - The partial federal government shutdown is preventing farmers in
northwest Iowa from getting needed assessments of crop damage from last week's tornadoes.
As many as nine storms crisscrossed the region October 4th, flattening thousands of
acres of corn and soybeans in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Workers in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency have been idled by
the partial federal government shutdown. A damage assessment by the FSA is one of the first
steps for farmers who sustained losses to qualify for low-interest emergency loans or
Iowa state officials say farmers should contact their local FCA offices and follow the
usual damage-reporting process once the government re-opens.
Pumpkin Harvest Looking Good
(Le Mars) -- Looking for that perfect pumpkin? You may want to travel on County road C-12
about three and a half miles west of Craig to Diane's Pumpkin Patch. There, you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of the orange-colored gourds scattered across a three acre field. Diane Ten Napel, along with her husband, operate the pick-your-own pumpkin farm.
She says this year's pumpkin harvest has been one of the best in her ten years of business.
Ten Napel says the late summer hot spell also helped with the pumpkin harvest.
The pumpkin patch attracts several visitors to the farm.
Diane's Pumpkin Patch is open Friday evenings 4-6 p.m. Saturday's from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
and Sunday's from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. During the week, Diane hosts several pre-school and
grade school children from near-by schools.
Sloan Police Officer Has Auto Accident While Chasing Drunk Driver
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A police officer for the city of Sloan has been hospitalized after his car hit a light pole and flipped over as he was responding to a call.
Sioux City police say 45-year-old Brent Vanderweil lost control of his patrol car just before three a.m. Saturday in Sioux City.
Vanderweil lives in Sioux City but is an officer with the police department in Sloan, about 20 miles south.
He was responding to a report of a drunken driver.
Sioux City police say Vanderweil's car flipped onto its side and he was partially
thrown out. He was taken to the hospital but police say his injuries are not
Questions Surround Hard Rock's Manager Hiring
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The developer of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City on
Friday defended the hiring of general manager Todd Moyer, who has come under scrutiny after
being fired from his previous casino job.
Moyer was fired as general manager of the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque after being accused of shoving a subordinate and using public profanity. A three-member board under the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission also suspended Moyer's gaming license for 30 days.
The president of Sioux City Entertainment, which is developing the new downtown Sioux City casino, says Moyer disclosed those facts as he was being considered for the new casino's general manager job. Bill Warner also says Moyer will bring "energy and drive" to his new job.
Arnold's Park Roller Coaster Renovation Near Complete
ARNOLDS PARK, Iowa (AP) - Renovation on an old wooden roller coaster at Arnolds Park Amusement Park in northwest Iowa is almost complete.
Officials started dismantling The Legend roller coaster a few weeks ago to replace one
of the tracks this winter. That's aimed at matching a track that was replaced last spring.
Additional work on the more than $500,000 project will include replacing the catwalk
and adding several concrete footings.
Officials say the renovation will bring in more customers to the roller coaster, which
was built in 1927 and is considered the 13th oldest wooden roller coaster in the world.
The final phase of the renovation is scheduled to be done prior to the roller coaster's
opening in spring 2014.
Simon Estes To Help African Children With Malaria
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa-born opera singer Simon Estes has spent a career traveling
the world singing and now is lending his voice to help end child deaths caused by malaria in
Centerville native Estes is inviting every student in Iowa from kindergarten to 12th grade to sell at least three copies of his latest CD, "Save the Children, Save Their Lives." He'll donate $4 from each $15
purchase to the students' schools and another $5 to the nonprofit Nothing But Nets campaign,
which buys mosquito nets and sends them to the poorest areas of Africa.
Estes says he learned in 2010 from the World Health Organization that malaria kills a child every 60 seconds in sub-Saharan Africa. Nets treated with insecticide ward off the insects.
Branstad Focusing On Bullying Prevention
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Bullying prevention will again be a key issue for Gov. Terry Branstad this fall.
The governor's push for anti-bullying legislation meant to help school districts combat harassment on social media sites failed during the last legislative session.
In a few weeks, Branstad will host a second bullying summit in Des Moines. The event will feature panels with students, educators and lawmakers who will discuss how to make kids feel safe at school. Headlining the program will be journalist Emily Bazelon, the author of "Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy."
Branstad's special assistant for education Linda Fandel says the focus of the gathering this year was on practical steps students, educators and parents can take to prevent bullying.
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