Thursday News, May 1
Le Mars Community School Foundation Honors Teachers, Staff, Alumni, and Top Students
(Le Mars) -- Two people were honored for being Le Mars Community School District's "Distinguished Alumni" during last evening's Le Mars Community School Foundation Awards Banquet. Glada Koerselman and Dr. Paul Summerside were the honorees. Summerside, now a medical doctor in Wisconsin reflects back upon his days attending Le Mars Community.
Summerside says he was influenced by his science teachers for pursuing his career, and he was eager to begin the day by arriving early to school.
Summerside also credits Glendon Peterson for making physics and advanced algebra fun and enjoyable classes, especially with topics that are often times difficult. Summerside says he was not an easy student while attending Le Mars Community.
Following his time at Le Mars Community High School, Summerside pursued a career in medicine and now resides in Wisconsin.
As for being recognized as a Distinguished Alumni, Summerside says he is humbled and honored.
Others that were recognized during last evening's award banquet were the teachers and staff who have been employed with the Le Mars Community School District for 25 years, those teachers and staff members that were selected as the school district's "Employees of the Month", and the top five percent of the graduating seniors. Middle School Band instructor, Mary Kay Benton, was formally recognized and presented two checks, both amounting to $500, along with a crystal bell for being named the "Le Mars Community Teacher of the Year".
Check back later for comments from the other Le Mars Community Distinguished Alum, that being Glada Koerselman.
Sioux City Man Charged With The Death Of Infant Son
(Sioux City) -- A Sioux City man is facing criminal charges after police say he brought his dead two-month old son to St. Luke's Unity Point Hospital Tuesday afternoon. 26 year old Michael D. Williams is charged with neglect of a dependent person. Court documents say Williams is the father of the child. He is also charged with contempt of court and probation violation. Sioux City Police were dispatched to the hospital after the dead infant was reported by emergency room personnel. Investigators searched Williams apartment at 2800 West 4th Street where they discovered the interior was littered with soiled diapers. Court documents says Williams told police he is a drug addict and he left the two-month old alone in the apartment for long periods of time on a daily basis. Police Lt. Mark Kirkpatrick says the cause of the baby's death is still under investigation. Williams is being held in the Woodbury County Jail on a $72,000 bond.
Iowa Legislature Passes Legal Medical Marijuana
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislature has passed a bill legalizing the use of a form of marijuana oil to treat chronic epilepsy.
The measure passed the House 75-20 and the Senate 38-8 at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday as lawmakers pushed toward adjournment. It goes to Gov. Terry Branstad.
It allows the medical use of oil derived from the cannabis plant as a last-resort treatment for seizures caused by a chronic form of epilepsy.
The oil cannot be smoked and doesn't create a high. It would have to be obtained in another state that produces it.
A written recommendation from a neurologist is required. Patients and caregivers must acquire a registration card from Iowa's Department of Public Health. Mothers of children with epilepsy lobbied lawmakers and are credited with changing minds of many.
Lawmakers Approve New HIV Bill During Early Morning Hours
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislature has sent to the governor a measure lessening the penalties for people who unknowingly expose someone to HIV with no intention of infecting them.
The House in the early morning hours Thursday passed a version of the bill the Senate had approved in February. The Legislature worked overtime to adjourn for the year passing the bill at around 2 a.m.
The bill changes a current law that says if someone exposes a partner to HIV without their consent, they can be convicted of a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
It creates more general rules about infectious diseases, making people eligible for 25 year sentences only if they intend to transmit a disease without someone's knowledge.
Legislators Fail To Pass Broadband Internet Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A plan to extend broadband and Internet access to rural Iowans has been declared dead this session after lawmakers couldn't reach agreement on how best to proceed following a House vote rejecting the measure.
Democratic Senators Liz Mathis and Steve Sodders issued a statement Wednesday saying no attempt would be made to resurrect the measure, effectively killing one of Governor Terry Branstad's main priorities this session.
When the bill failed in the House, Mathis and Sodders considered legislation that they say would have been "designed as a first step." They say Branstad's office adhered to key pieces of the bill the House had defeated.
Lawmakers have promised to work through differences during the interim and return to the issue next year.
Windschitl Elected To House Speaker Pro-tem Position
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Representative Matt Windschitl has been elected speaker pro tem, a top leadership position in the Iowa House.
The 30-year-old Windschitl of Missouri Valley replaces retiring Representative Steve Olson of DeWitt, who resigned the post Wednesday.
Windschitl was first elected to the House in 2006 and has served as an assistant majority leader for the past five years.
The speaker pro tem is part of the leadership team and presides over the chamber when the house speaker is absent.
Representatives Jarad Klein, a Keota farmer, and Lee Hein, a Montezuma farmer, were elected assistant majority leaders.
Sale Of Okoboji's "The Inn" Falls Through
OKOBOJI, Iowa (AP) - A planned sale of The Inn at Okoboji is off and the hotel's owner says there are now no plans to sell the historic lakefront property.
Brian DePalma, who heads North Texas-based DePalma Hotels, told the Sioux City Journal "the sale is not happening and there is no plan to relist it right now."
DePalma Hotels has operated the 200-room hotel since 2011, when it entered foreclosure.
Scott Nylen announced last October he planned to buy and renovate the property, but those plans have ended. Nylen hasn't returned repeated requests for comment.
DePalma says he doesn't know why the sale fell through.
He says the business is doing well and the company has been investing in new mattresses, bedding and carpet.
The hotel dates to 1896.
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