Monday, May 30, 2016
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Tuesday News, September 11

Branstad Orders Flags At Half-staff For 9-11

(Undated) -- We all remember what we were doing and where we were eleven years ago when we heard the news about the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon being struck by  airline jets flown by terrorists, along with that jet airline that perhaps was destined for our nation's capital city when it crashed in a Pennsylvania field.  Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is ordering flags at state government buildings and other sites to be flown at half-staff to honor those who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Branstad called for the flags to be lowered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at public buildings, grounds and other facilities throughout the state. Individuals, schools and businesses also are encouraged to fly flags at half-staff during this period as a show of respect.
The Sept. 11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.


School Board Elects Officers...Approve Purchase of Two Buses...and Set Annual Goals

(Le Mars) -- At last evening's Le Mars Community School Board meeting, Brenda Phelan was re-elected to serve another year as president, and Scott Kommes was re-elected by the board to serve as vice president.  The board accepted the bid submitted by Thomas Bus Sales for the purchase of two new school buses to be delivered sometime in December.  The winning bid was for $153,670 with a $2,000 trade-in making the final bid offer at $151,670.  The school district received three bids.  Just $42 separated the lowest bid from the second lowest, and $288 was the difference between the highest bid and the middle bid.  In other action, the school board heard reports from each of the district's principals.  The elementary principals, informed the board how the local Parent-Teacher Organization is assisting with the funding for new playground equipment.
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Steve Shanks, the Middle School principal informed the board how the students were being taught character as part of the character counts program.
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Shanks told the board the program also deals with "bullying".  Larry Johnson, the high school principal reported the students have adopted a "ready for business" attitude this year and have gotten off to a good start.  Johnson gave a report regarding the high school's tutorial program.

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The board approved their annual goals for the 2012-2013 school year to include decrease the percent of students in the non-proficient categories of reading, math, and science by ten percent.  Monitor the implementation of the Core Curriculum, and enhance the financial stability of the Le Mars Community School District.

Johnson Selected As School District Employee of the Month

(Le Mars) -- Speaking of schools, the Le Mars Community School District honored one of their own yesterday for the employee of the month.  This time the honor was awarded to Barb Johnson who serves as a building aide for the Kluchohn Elementary School.  Johnson has been on staff with the Le Mars Community schools for seven years.  According to the nomination form, Barb Johnson brings a smile and a positive attitude every day to Kluchohn.  She helps in the BD room making sure the students she is responsible for are successful.  While these students are intergrated into regular classroom setting she finds ways to make their learning a positive experience.  She is always willing to help other students and staff where she sees the need.  Our classrooms have benefitted from her presence.  Our congratulations to Barb Johnson for being selected as the Le Mars School District Employee of the Month.

Plymouth County Supervisors To Discuss Contract With Road Employees

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet today.  The Supervisors will hear from Doug Owens, the fire chief for the Remsen Fire and Rescue Department.  Owens is expected to discuss the fiscal year 2012-2013 local options sales tax grant award.  The supervisors are also scheduled to meet with Curt Sitzmann who is the president of the Secondary Road Employee Association.  The supervisors will hear the first proposal for the new contract between the county and the secondary road employee association.


Rose Confirmed As Judge

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Senate has confirmed U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose as a federal judge in Iowa.
Sens. Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley say the Senate voted 89-1 on Monday to confirm Rose in Iowa's Southern District, which includes Council Bluffs, Des Moines and Davenport.
Rose was one of three candidates recommended by Harkin to replace Judge Robert Pratt, who has taken senior status. President Barack Obama nominated her in February.
Rose has served as the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Iowa since 2009. She spent over 12 years in the office as an assistant U.S. attorney.
Rose received a bachelor's degree in 1994 and a law degree in 1996, both from the University of Iowa.


Ames' Big Brothers/Big Sisters To Close

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A lack of federal funding has led to the closure of a child mentoring office in Ames that opened just over three years ago.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters office in Ames is closing, and services for Story County will be handled
through the Big Brothers Big Sisters office in Des Moines.
Matt Ashburn, chairman of the program's board in Story County, says he's frustrated and saddened by the office's closure.
Kit Curran, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa, says the Ames office opened in 2009 with money from a federal grant. But he says funding for the grant was not renewed, and not
enough financial support came from the Story County community to keep it afloat.







Monday Afternoon News, September 10

Newly Constructed Halfway Houses Sit Empty

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Corrections officials say five newly built or expanded halfway houses are sitting empty because there is no money for workers.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports  that a $6 million, 45-bed center in Waterloo was completed more than a year ago but remains empty due to no staff.
The halfway houses are intended ease the overflow of people waiting to serve sentences at other correctional sites.
Corrections officials thought there would be money available to staff the new center when it was completed in April 2011, but the state Corrections Department had a tight budget and opted against
funding the Waterloo center or others in correctional service districts in Davenport, Ames, Sioux City and Ottumwa.
On Friday, corrections officials will consider a proposal to fund the Waterloo center.


Christmas Trees Hurt By The Drought

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Christmas trees in Iowa and other Midwestern states could become the newest victims of this year's drought.
The hot and dry summer took a harsh toll on tree seedlings. When the newly planted trees are ready for harvest by 2019, the selection could be sickly and sagging. Growers have also reported
losses in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Boone County tree farmer Jesse Randall says the supply will tighten in upcoming years. But growers and foresters say this year's crop, planted in 2005, will be as diverse as usual.
Randall says the drought was especially hard on fir trees, which are popular among buyers because of their silvery evergreen hues and rich aromas.

Des Moines Coach Gets Support For Disciplining a Student

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Supporters are rallying behind a Des Moines high school football coach who was suspended after he allegedly punished a sophomore who posted a negative comment about
the team on Twitter.
Athletes and other community members filled the Lincoln Rails practice field Sunday to show support for head coach Tom Mihalovich.
Mihalovich is under investigation for allegedly making sophomore Daunte Campero run until he threw up, after Campero posted a negative tweet about the team.
The rally drew dozens of supporters, including players from the Lincoln football team. They claim the punishment wasn't severe, and Campero never got ill. Campero no longer plays on the team and now goes to a different school.
A high school representative did not return calls for comment.


Nursing Home Administrator On Probation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State regulators have placed an Ames nursing home administrator on probation for two years, after one resident in her facility's care went missing for hours and others
engaged in sexual activity.
The Iowa Board of Nursing Home Administrators announced Monday that it had settled its case against Cynthia Gentz. Gentz had overseen the Abington on Grand facility.
Regulators say one resident left the facility once in August 2010, and again in November 2010. The resident was treated for hypothermia and frostbite in November after spending hours in the
cold. Board members say neither incident was reported.
Board members say three other residents engaged in sexual activity with one another throughout 2010. Staff believed some of the contact was consensual, but the facility had no policies to address resident-on-resident sexual abuse.




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