Monday News, January 12
"Lunch And Learn" Session Scheduled For Today
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce along with the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Plymouth County will again be hosting another "Lunch and Learn" session today. The program will feature Le Mars City Administrator, Scott Langel. The seminar will be held at the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor beginning at 12:00 noon. Reservations are needed and you can contact either the Chamber office at 546-8821 or the Extension office at 546-7835.
Le Mars Community School Board To Meet Tonight
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education is scheduled to meet this evening. The school board will discuss briefly the initial bargaining proposal from the Le Mars Education Association for the 2015-2016 master contract, which will be presented to the school board on January 19th. The school board has scheduled January 26 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. as the school board and administration retreat. The school board will begin the process of evaluating the job performance of school superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt. The school board will also discuss and is expected to take action on two students petitioning for open enrollment.
Auditions For "Boeing...Boeing" Play Scheduled For This Evening
(Le Mars) -- Auditions for the next Le Mars Community Theater will be held tonight and tomorrow evening beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Le Mars Postal Playhouse. The play, "Boeing...Boeing" is a comedy that requires a cast of two men and four women. The plot of the story involves a swinging bachelor pilot who ends up having three fiancee's who are airline stewardesses. None of which know about the other two. Due to scheduling conflicts, all three finally end up at the bachelor's apartment at the same time. Larry Brangwin will direct the play. Performance dates are scheduled for March.
Soderberg Wants To Use Good Principles For Appropriations
(Le Mars) -- Iowa's General Assembly will convene for the new session on today. Republican State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars has again been appointed to chair the House Appropriations Committee. Soderberg says he has a goal to present a balanced budget that will remain within the state's budget principles.
Soderberg says establishing good budget principles five years ago, has helped the state's financial position today.
Soderberg indicated he has not pre-filed or authored any bills for consideration. However, he says he has a personal goal to restructure the personal income tax program.
Port Neal Fertilizer Plant Has Explosion And Fire
(Sergeant Bluff) -- Over the weekend an explosion rocked the Nulex fertilizer facility located at the Port Neal Industrial Area, south of Sioux City. The plant, although it suffered some damage from the explosion and fire from Saturday evening, is expected to start up production again within the next few days. No one was injured during the blaze and there were no employees working when the fire broke out. Officials are investigating to find a cause for the fire. A dozen local fire departments responded to the fire, and it took more than three hours to bring the fire under control.
Authorities Still Investigating Death Of Sloan Man
SLOAN, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they are continuing to investigate the death of a 29-year-old man found inside his Sloan home as suspicious.
The Woodbury County Sheriff's Department hasn't released a cause of death yet for Dustin Taylor Wilder, who was discovered Friday morning inside his residence.
The sheriff's department said more information will be released as it becomes available.
Authorities were dispatched to the home after they say they received a report about an unconscious male.
Wahlert Resigns From Unemployment Post
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The embattled head of the Iowa agency that oversees benefits for unemployed workers has retired from her job.
Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert submitted a formal notice to Gov. Terry Branstad on Friday. Her retirement becomes effective Sunday.
Wahlert was named to the post by Branstad in 2010. Last year, she was accused of mismanaging the department and creating a hostile work environment. A former chief judge said he was fired because he stood up to Wahlert.
Wahlert later defended her work in front of lawmakers investigating the agency.
Beth Townsend, executive director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, will be acting director of the agency. A press release from the governor's office says a timeline has not been set to name a permanent director.
Flu Strikes Several Iowa Nursing Homes
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say at least 32 care centers in Iowa have had outbreaks of influenza recently, despite safeguards like vaccination and sanitation measures.
Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the state's top infectious disease expert, says she's received daily reports of the disease affecting nursing homes, assisted living centers and other care facilities. She says the rate of infection is higher than it's been in the past.
At the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston, every resident and employee was vaccinated. But the virus spread at the center in December. Several residents required hospitalization.
Quinlisk says the flu contributes to hundreds of deaths of the elderly in Iowa during a typical year.