Sunday News, January 31
Denny Callahan Honored As Citizen Of The Year; Timmy's Catering Is Business Of The Year
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet Saturday evening at the Le Mars Convention Center, and the person honored as the "Citizen of the Year" is a person who's voice is probably familiar to nearly everyone within the Le Mars community. KLEM sports director Denny Callahan was presented the award by outgoing Chamber president Peggy Sitzmann. Callahan received a standing ovation by the banquet attendees. Callahan, who has been broadcasting the local play-by-play action of the Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic high school sports action for over 42 years, told the audience when he and his wife Geri first arrived in Le Mars, they thought he would be around for only three years before moving on to the next career location. Callahan jokingly told the crowd, "I don't know when those three years will be up". The long-time sports announcer informed the crowd that in about a week and a half he will turn the age of 65, but retirement is not on his radar as of yet, which generated additional applause from the banquet crowd. Callahan says he has enjoyed his years broadcasting what has become three generations of athletes.
The honoree says he is still waiting on the opportunity when he can broadcast a Le Mars or Gehlen high school team winning a state championship, saying last year's Le Mars Community High School boys basketball team was ever so close, as he held up his thumb and finger indicating a small gap of space. The KLEM sports director was surprised by the honor and was humbled in receiving the recognition. He mentioned to Allie Freking, the Main Street Volunteer recipient, that he may need her speech writer. Callahan told the chamber banquet crowd that he really loves this community, and he is proud to watch the development of our youth. The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce provided an emotional and touching video of one of Callahan's daughters who now lives in Maryland and unable to attend the event. Callahan's daughter said to her father, via means of video, how proud she is of him, and she believes he is deserving the "Citizen of the Year" award.
Timmy's Catering with owners Timmy and Bonnie Rasmussen were the recipients of the Le Mars "Business of the Year". The husband and wife business has been providing catered meals to special events, banquets, weddings, graduations, and meetings for more than 32 years. Tim Rasmussen says they have never needed to advertise their business, as they have been able to depend on referrals. He says another secret to their business success is they have relied on only two vendors for all their food needs, saying they have high standards for food quality. During their announcement of the award, the Rasmussen's acknowledged and thanked their many employees, for which they say it is the employees who have made their business a success. Bonnie Rasmussen says they were surprised and honored to be thought of as the Le Mars business of the year. She says having been recognized by the Chamber of Commerce means so much and it shows that people do care about the work you do.
Other honors were presented to Allie Freking as the Main Street Volunteer of the Year, and Jeff Stanley for being named as the United Way Paul Olsen Volunteer of the Year. Todd Anderson of the Le Mars Beauty College and Terry Claussen of Claussen's Menswear were recognized as "Bosses of the Quarter". Gene Friederich of Subway and Kent Pauling of Northern Iowa Power Cooperative were unable to attend the banquet festivities.
The "Employees of the Month" from 2015 were recognized and presented a plaque. They included Mary Klein of Gehlen Catholic School, Bob Gengler with Total Sales and Service, Wesley Walding with Emily's Home Furnishings, Sharon Yockey with American Bank, Bill Rosacker with the Le Mars Ambulance Service, Richard Wilkins with Rust's Western Shed, Shannon Chaffin with The Education Station, Steve Groetken with Nor-Am Cold Storage, Jennifer Ladenthin with Kimmes Le Mars Country Store, Britt Jervik with Verizon/Wireless World, and Karla Less of Northwest Bank. Absent from the ceremonies were: Katie Casey with Cork-It!, Rod Eisma with ICON Ag and Turf, and April Leusink with the Le Mars Physical Therapy.
Santorum Makes A Saturday Evening Campaign Stop In Le Mars
(Le Mars) -- Two days before the Iowa Caucuses, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum brought his campaign for president to Le Mars. Santorum spoke to nearly 20 people Saturday evening at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream parlor, and informed them that he is the alternative candidate for the republican party. This marked the fourth time Santorum has appeared in Plymouth County and the third time in Le Mars within recent months. Santorum won the Iowa caucus in 2012, but polling indicators have him trailing behind at least five other candidates. Asked about his campaign strategy, the former Senator is still confident that he will have a better than expected showing in the first in the nation political event.
Santorum says he hasn't changed his position since the last time Iowa voters held a political caucus.
Santorum was asked where he needs to finish with the first four states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada in order to sustain his presidential political campaign. Santorum says he won't place much emphasis on New Hampshire, but feels confident about his chances in South Carolina.
A recent Des Moines Register poll has Santorum grouped with about six other candidates with polling numbers of two to three percent. The 2012 Iowa Caucus winner says the real story from Monday evening will be the candidate that can break away from the bottom group, and he is confident, he will be that candidate.
Cruz Defends Campaign Mailing
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Texas Senator Ted Cruz is defending a campaign mailer that Iowa's secretary of state says misrepresents election law.
The mailer bills itself as a "voting violation" notice and tells the recipient it's been sent due to "low expected voter turnout in your area." It then grades the recipient's voting history and that of several neighbors, citing public records.
Cruz told reporters in Sioux City, Iowa on Saturday that the mailing is "routine."
He says he won't apologize for "using every tool we can" to encourage Iowa residents to vote.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says in a statement that there's "no such thing" as an election violation related to voting frequency and that insinuating otherwise is "not in keeping in the spirit of the Iowa Caucuses."
Rubio To Air 30 Minute Television Program
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is airing 30-minute television programs in every Iowa television market this weekend.
Rubio is flying from Dubuque to Sioux City and other cities on Saturday as part of a busy weekend of campaigning heading into Monday's Iowa caucuses - the first contest in the 2016 race for president.
The TV programs will show excerpts of the town hall-style meetings Rubio has relied on in recent months, and especially in the days before the caucuses.
Rubio's team has focused more on Iowa in the past several weeks. His campaign sees an opening to rise into the top tier of the GOP field alongside Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
The Florida senator has held more public events in Iowa since Thanksgiving than any other Republican.
Sanders Asks Young Voters To Help Him
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Bernie Sanders has addressed a large audience at the University of Iowa, imploring young people to help him prove his critics wrong.
Sanders said he needed a large voter turnout to defeat Hillary Clinton in Monday's caucuses and most pundits don't expect young people to participate.
Sanders asked the crowd, "How would you like to make the pundits look dumb on election night?"
The event features a concert by Vampire Weekend and Sanders and his wife, Jane, joined the band on stage after his speech and sang along in a cover of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land."
Sanders Says Clinton Is Distorting His Record
CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is accusing rival Hillary Clinton of misrepresenting his record.
Sanders said during a Saturday stop in Charles City, Iowa that a Clinton ad in which the former secretary of state says the nation should defend Planned Parenthood and "not attack it" implies Sanders has taken on the organization.
Sanders says he has a "100 percent lifetime voting record for Planned Parenthood."
He also says he has a D-minus grade from the National Rifle Association, so "don't tell me that I'm defending or protecting the gun lobby."
Clinton's campaign has highlighted Sanders' vote for 2005 legislation that granted gun manufacturers immunity, and his vote against the Brady bill.
Voters To Decide On Iowa Lakes Community College Bond
ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Voters in 13 north-central and northwest Iowa counties will decide whether to approve a $16 million bond issue to benefit Iowa Lakes Community College.
Under Iowa law, the referendum requires at least 60 percent approval for passage.
Iowa Lakes president Valerie Newhouse says the bond would fund improvements on each of the college's five campuses, located in Algona, Emmetsburg, Estherville, Spencer and Spirit Lake.
If approved Tuesday, property taxes on a home assessed at $100,000 would increase by $11.70 per year over the 15 years required to pay off the bonds.