Thursday Afternoon News, November 20
Several Le Mars And Gehlen Musicians Selected For All State Honor Music Festival
(Le Mars) -- Today through Saturday, several hundred students from high schools across the state of Iowa are in Ames rehearsing for the All State Chorus, All State Band, and the All State Orchestra. Concerts will be featured on Saturday. Several Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic students have been selected to participate in the All State Music Festival. From Le Mars Community, five students were picked for the All State Chorus. They include: Megan Connor, Trevor Kliever, Katy Price, Andrew Ritts, and Tom Toel. Gehlen Catholic is being represented by four vocalists who were selected for the All State Honor Choir, which will perform Saturday, November 22nd, at Hilton Coliseum on the Iowa State University Campus. They are:
• Senior, Abigail Chagolla, First Soprano,
• Senior, Josie Schipper, First Soprano,
• Freshman, Carlyn Bretey, Second Alto,
• and Senior, Ben Fuentes, First Bass.
This is Josie and Ben’s second time selected for All State and Abi and Carlyn’s first year.
Instrumentally, senior, Michaela Bretey, was selected for Cornet I for the All State Honor Band. This is Michaela’s second year being selected for the All State Honor Band.
Le Mars Community will have four students participating in the All State Band, and three in the All State Orchestra. They include: Peter Meis
Dominic Loutsch - 1st Alternate, Ellen Meis - 1st Alternate and Emma Parry for the band, and the All State Orchestra features Kajsa Hallberg, Natalie Siebens, and David Barker.
2014 marks the 68th anniversary of the Iowa All State Music Festival. Auditions for the 281-piece All State Band, 201-piece All State Orchestra, and 601-member All State Chorus were held Saturday, October 25th in six locations throughout the state. Approximately 17% of the students who auditioned were selected for membership in the All State ensembles. The All State Music Festival is under the auspices of the Iowa High School Music Association and Iowa Music Educators Association.
Selections Made For Northwest Iowa Honor Band
(Le Mars) -- Speaking about musical honors, four Gehlen Catholic high school band students have been selected for two different honor bands. Representing Gehlen for the Drake University honor band will be senior trumpet Nathan Klein, son of Jim and Mary Klein of LeMars; senior tuba player, Evan Niebuhr, son of Paul and Lisa Niebuhr of LeMars; and junior percussionist, Megan Kellen, daughter of Tom and Laurie Kellen, of Alton. This is Evan’s third year, Nathan’s second year, and Megan’s first year performing in the Drake Honor Band. The 2014 Drake Honor Band Festival, will be held December 5th and 6th in Des Moines. The other Gehlen band member to be featured in an honor band is Gehlen Catholic senior, Michaela Bretey. She is one of approximately 180 high school musicians from 43 area high schools who will combine their talents for the 61st annual Northwest Iowa Honor Band Festival, Saturday, January 10th, at 7:00 p.m. in the newly remodeled Eppley Auditorium at the Morningside College Campus in Sioux City. Michaela was selected for first part, first chair, trumpet, through auditions held November 1 in Storm Lake from among 315 entries. This is the third time Michaela was selected for NWIBA.
Le Mars Community High School will have 18 members of their high school band represented at the Northwest Iowa Honor Band Festival. They include: Emily Ahlers, Cody Hatfield, Katy Price, Chloe' Evans, Alexandra Pick, Ellen Meis, Paige McDougall, Sarah Benton, Kajsa Hallberg, Alexis Looyenga, Emma Parry, Tessa Hansen, Tom Toel, Cole Berkenpas, Aimee Luksan, Dominic Loutsch, Mary Meis and David Barker.
Remsen-Union And MMC Say No To Class Sharing
LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - The Remsen-Union and the Marcus-Merriden-Cleghorn school districts have decided not to share grades in the upcoming school year.
The decision means both school districts will have to make big budget cuts. Together, they face budget cuts totaling about $600,000.
Remsen-Union will have to make about $400,000 worth of reductions in general fund expenditures to not face a budget shortfall. The MMC district will have to make about $200,000 worth of budget cuts.
The decision was made at an MMC school board meeting Monday. Remsen-Union school board members also were in attendance.
Both school boards had to approve a whole grade sharing plan before February. Grade sharing would have meant sending students in grades five through eight to one district and those in grades nine through 12 to another.
Grassley says President Obama Is Breaking The Law On Immigration Policy
(Washington) -- Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says President Obama would be breaking the law if he proceeds with plans for an executive order to provide legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants. President Obama is scheduled to address the nation on the topic of immigration later this evening.
Grassley says he would advise the President to work with Congress first on issues of mutual interest and agreement, before submitting a proposal that is widely controversial. Grassley says President Obama needs to look at the example set by President Clinton.
The Iowa Republican Senator offers several examples where President Clinton worked with the Republican-controlled House and Senate to pass legislation.
Grassley says President Obama may face some serious consequences, if he offers a blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants.
Harkin Defends Obama On Immigration Policy -- Blames House Republicans For No Bill
(Washington) -- Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says he understands why President Obama will likely issue an executive order today (Thursday) providing temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants. Harkin, a Democrat, blames the Republican-led U-S House for its inaction on immigration. He notes, the Senate passed a bi-partisan immigration reform bill 18 months ago, a bill that hasn't yet come up for debate in the House.
Harkin says if House leaders would allow the bill to go to a vote, it would likely pass. He's expecting the president to take action today where the legislative branch of government has failed.
The most controversial part of the expected executive order would grant legal status, at least on a temporary basis, to as many as five-million immigrants who are now in the country illegally.
One Republican U-S Senator says the president's actions today may spark violence and "anarchy" from immigration opponents. Harkin says the comments from Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn go too far in predicting such a negative reaction about the president's pending executive order.
The president is expected to address the nation from the White House tonight.
Cherokee Man Pleads Not Guilty To Stand-off Charges
CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) - A Cherokee man has pleaded not guilty to several charges in connection to a lengthy standoff with police.
Thirty-five-year-old Joshua Allender entered his written plea Wednesday in Cherokee County District Court. He faces charges of attempted murder, possession of a firearm or offensive weapon by a domestic violence offender, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, assault while participating in a felony and assault on a police officer.
Police responded to a call on Oct. 30 about a suicidal person. Allendar is accused of refusing to come out when officers arrived and firing a gun from an upstairs window.
After six hours, a tactical unit fired tear gas into the home and Allender was arrested.
Activist Group Wants Hy-Vee To Stop Selling Tobacco
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Anti-smoking activists are launching a campaign calling on Iowa's largest grocery store chain to end tobacco sales at locations with pharmacies and clinics.
The Iowa Tobacco Prevention Alliance said Thursday that Hy-Vee, Inc. should stop selling cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes to demonstrate its commitment to its customers' health.
The alliance noted that Hy-Vee is a leader of Iowa's "Healthiest State Initiative" and has taken many steps to focus on health and wellness. Executive director Jeneane Moody said selling tobacco products is inconsistent with those values.
She said the group went public with its campaign after Hy-Vee didn't respond to a letter requesting a meeting to discuss the issue.
A Hy-Vee spokeswoman said Thursday the company doesn't advertise tobacco products, but also doesn't believe it should police customers' personal choices.
Two Students Arrested For Making Threats To School
PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) - Officials say two students are suspected of being involved in the threatening messages posted against their high school in a Des Moines suburb.
Southeast Polk Community School District Superintendent Craig Menozzi released the information in a statement Wednesday night.
Pleasant Hill police say they've identified persons of interest in the case, but they're still questioning several students.
A series of threats against Southeast Polk High School have been posted on a social media app over several days. Some of the threats have also been directed at Pleasant Hill police officers.
Authorities have stepped up their security presence at the school.