Monday News, October 12
School Board To Learn Enrollment Numbers
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will convene this evening, and they will hear a report from assistant superintendent Steve Webner as to how many students are officially enrolled within the school district. October 1st was the date of the registered enrollment. School board members will review a report submitted by Joel Jentz regarding the adoption of high school business law textbooks. The school board will hear building reports from each of the district's principals. The board of education will also discuss the upcoming state and national school board conventions. It is expected the school board will accept the resignation of 7th grade assistant volleyball coaching position from Jason Martin, while approving the contract for Steve Wick as the boys golf coach. The board will also review and possibly approve the classification changes due to graduate work completed by teachers.
Le Mars Community High School To Offer "College Fair"
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Community High School will host a "college fair" Monday evening at the Carey gym. Barry Borchers, guidance counselor with Le Mars Community High School says the college fair will feature nearly 60 representatives from colleges, universities, community colleges, and the military.
Borchers says the college fair will begin at 6:00 p.m. and all area juniors and seniors, along with parents are invited to attend.
In addition to gather information about institutions of higher education, Borchers says students and parents alike can learn more about available financial aid assistance.
Last Day Remsen-Union And MMC To Vote For New School Name
(Remsen) -- Today is the last day community people from the Remsen-Union and Marcus-Merriden-Cleghorn school districts can vote on the proposed new school name and mascot name once the two schools share programs beginning next academic year. The two names being offered for consideration are Northwest and MMCRU. People can choose between the mascot names Huskies and Royals. All area community people within the two school districts are eligible to vote. Voting takes place at each of the school's administration offices. The two school boards will announce the new name and mascot character during a joint school board meeting scheduled for November 9th.
Health Insurance Companies Offered Contracts By Iowa Government Officials
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The four national health insurance companies selected to manage Iowa's $4.2 billion Medicaid program have signed contracts with the state to begin work.
The Iowa Department of Human Services said Friday that contracts have been signed with Amerigroup, AmeriHealth Caritas, UnitedHealthcare and WellCare Health Plans.
The companies were selected this summer among 10 bidders after state officials announced this year that Iowa's Medicaid program would switch to a private system. The selected companies are expected to take over management Jan. 1.
The decision has been criticized by some health care advocates and lawmakers, who say the plan to implement the new system is moving too quickly.
Branstad's office has said the shift will help the state find savings while improving care.
Spencer To Send Dead Tree Waste To Ethanol Plant
SPENCER, Iowa (AP) - The northwest Iowa city of Spencer is recycling more than 1,500 tons of wood waste by sending it to an ethanol plant to be burned.
The wood waste will help power the ethanol plant, and it won't cost the city of Spencer anything to dispose of between 50 and 100 truckloads of debris.
The wood waste that accumulated in Spencer over about six months will be burned at a Poet Biorefining plant in Chancellor, South Dakota, over the next few weeks.
The ethanol plant has helped dispose of large amounts of trees after ice storms in the past. And this approach might help Iowa cities deal with dead ash trees from the emerald ash borer.
USDA Offers Federal Grants To Organizations To Help Farmers
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Several Nebraska and Iowa organizations will receive some of the $17 million in grants the federal Agriculture Department is handing out to help new farmers and ranchers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the grants recently. The money helps support programs to train and support beginning farmers and ranchers.
Legal Aid of Nebraska will receive $654,902 for its programs to help educate farmers, especially veterans returning from military service.
The Community Crops program in Lincoln will receive $381,726 to provide training in business and production skills for 150 Hispanic farmers.
An Iowa State University program will receive $698,393 to help aging farmers plan for succession at their operations.
Freedom Of Information Council Selects New Leader
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's Freedom of Information Council has chosen a retired Des Moines Register editorial page editor as its new leader.
The group picked Randy Evans as its new executive director. He will replace Kathleen Richardson, who has led the group since 2000.
The nonprofit group works with journalists, librarians, lawyers and other Iowans who are committed to accessible government.
Evans worked for the Des Moines Register for 40 years before retiring last December, and has played an active role in the group.
Richardon, who is also dean of Drake University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, says she is working with Evans on the transition.
Eaton Corporation To Lay Off Workers At Shenandoah Plant
SHENANDOAH, Iowa (AP) - New jobs are being sought for 71 workers who will be laid off from the Eaton Corp. plant in Shenandoah.
The company announced last week that it would be eliminating its third shift at the plant by early December. Jim Michels is manager of global business communications for Eaton Vehicle Group, and he says the layoffs result from ongoing reviews of market conditions. Despite the layoffs, Eaton's Shenandoah plant and plants in Belmond and Spencer still will employ about 1,100 workers.
Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association Executive Vice President Gregg Connell says the Pella plant manager in Shenandoah says the plant is aggressively hiring now. Connell says he's hoping some of the Eaton workers will find new jobs with Pella Corp.
Des Moines Teenager Charged With Killing Grandmother
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A young man is facing charges after Des Moines police found his 79-year-old grandmother dead inside a home on the city's east side.
Des Moines Police said they were called to the home around 11:20 p.m. Saturday to investigate an assault.
Seventy-nine-year-old Rachel Pray of Des Moines was found dead inside the home.
Police said Sunday that the suspect in the case is Pray's 17-year-old grandson. He is suspected of first-degree murder, and prosecutors plan to ask the case to be transferred to adult court.
Police didn't release many details about the circumstances of Pray's death Sunday.
There have been 13 homicides in Des Moines this year.