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Tuesday Afternoon News, April 29

Students Learn About Plymouth County History At The Museum

(Le Mars) -- More than 300 fourth grade students, along with their teachers and chaperones from the Plymouth County schools, got a brief  history lesson today as they visited the Plymouth County Historical Museum as part of the annual May Day at the Museum celebration.  This was the 14th year for the field trip celebration.  For many students, it was their first time visiting the museum.  A portion of the history lessons involved learning about Pioneer life and those pioneers who first settled Plymouth County, and as a result there were several students who were dressed back in time to reflect the 1800's.  The students learned about the Loess Hills, along with the wildlife that either today, or at one time, roamed Plymouth County.  Other areas of focus was on the changes of agriculture through the ages, and students also learned how the railroad was instrumental in the settlement of Plymouth County communities by viewing the model railroad exhibit.  Students saw how their ancestors learned in school by visiting the one-room school house exhibit. Students got a history lesson by visiting the various displays that showcase past Le Mars businesses. Students also learned about the tradition of dancing around the May pole in the Old Central gymnasium.   


School Board Heard A Suggestion To Offer More Advanced Science Courses

(Le Mars) -- During last evening's Le Mars Community School Board meeting, Gail Ahlers spoke before the school board asking them to give consideration of modifying the dual credit concurrent enrollment program to include more advance science courses.  Ahlers spoke favorably about the general dual credit enrollment program, saying her own children have benefitted from the program.  However, she believes the district is falling behind in preparing students for the STEM courses required for STEM-related careers.

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Ahlers says she is not critical of the teachers, or of the method of teaching, but simply saying Le Mars Community offers only the basic science curriculm, and she says the district needs to look at advanced science courses.

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The concerned parent also asked the school board if Le Mars should perhaps look at joining another conference, perhaps the Siouxland Conference, that would be closer in terms of distance and time for extra curricular events. Ahlers says extra curicular events are an important part of a student's entire education.  However, she believes the students may be having to travel too far to participate.

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Sioux City Students To Vote For Name Of New School

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Students at two Sioux City elementary schools are getting the final say on what to name a new school.
     Students at Washington elementary voted on potential names Monday and Whittier elementary students will vote Tuesday.
     Both schools will close after the new elementary opens in August 2015.
     Although the students will select the new name, parents and teachers also had a role. They established a list of 14 names, and then narrowed that down to seven. School staffers then chose four options, which were presented to students.
     At Washington on Monday, students voted at desks shielded by cardboard dividers and placed ballots in a voting machine provided by the city.
     The winning name likely will be presented to the school board in May.


Legislators Still Hope To Adjourn By Wednesday Evening

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislature hasn't given up hope of adjourning, seven days beyond their planned 100-day session.
     Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal had suggested lawmakers could finish late Tuesday night, but with work continuing on several budget bills, that timeline could be difficult.
     Lawmakers also were working for passage of several others bills. 
     A House committee Tuesday passed a Senate medical marijuana bill with amendments. The bill had little chance this year until parents of children with epilepsy lobbied lawmakers and changed minds. 
     Two of Gov. Terry Branstad's priority measures - anti-bullying legislation and broadband expansion - appeared to have stalled but could re-emerge as amendments on other bills.


Legal Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Through Another Level

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An already specific bill legalizing the use of oil derived from marijuana to treat chronic epilepsy has been further narrowed by a legislative panel.
     The House Public Safety Committee amended and approved the measure Tuesday, 13-5. It is now eligible for floor debate. 
     The legislation requires patients and caregivers to acquire a registration card through Iowa's Department of Public Health, per a written recommendation from a neurologist. The oil would have to be obtained in another state that produces it. 
     Amendments adopted by the panel would limit the amount of the oil in a patient or caregiver's possession, require rules for temporary registration cards and charge the University of Iowa with the task of conducting a clinical study to determine how the drug works and whether there are side effects.


State Senator Wants Audit Of Secretary Of State Office

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A state senator is requesting an audit into an arrangement in which Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz allowed his top aide to keep a $126,000 annual salary after eliminating the job.
     Democratic Sen. Liz Mathis of Robins said Tuesday that Schultz chief deputy Jim Gibbons was a "no-show employee" for seven months before resigning in December 2012. She said Schultz "owes Iowa taxpayers an explanation and an apology."
     In a letter to State Auditor Mary Mosiman, Mathis requested a special review to look at what Gibbons was doing during this period.
     Mosiman has a conflict because she was Schultz's other deputy back then and took over Gibbons' duties. She says she raised objections to the arrangement.
     Mosiman has said she would recuse herself from any review of Gibbons' pay.


Woman Suspect Escapes From Hospital

 CLIVE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in Clive say they're looking for a woman who walked out of a hospital where she was being monitored by police.
     The Clive Police Department says 29-year-old Christina Stein walked out of a Des Moines hospital Monday. She was being monitored by police following a car chase.
     Stein is accused of leading the chase early Sunday. Several attempts to use stop sticks on her vehicle were unsuccessful.
     Stein was captured after she wrecked her vehicle. She was found walking away from the wreck, and taken to the hospital for her injuries.
     Stein is wanted in Wisconsin on a parole violation. She faces multiple charges in connection to Sunday's chase.








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