Thursday News, May 7
Gehlen Catholic Announces National Honor Society Students
(Le Mars) -- 11 students have been inducted into Gehlen Catholic's National Honor Society. To be eligible for NHS, a student must be a junior or a senior, or a student that will be either a junior or senior for next year. Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better. Each student meeting this qualification is invited to complete a student activity information form and essay which provides data concerning involvement in school, extra-curricular, parish and community projects. Faculty members rate eligible students as to their demonstration of NHS traits. The NHS Faculty Board reviews the data and chooses those students who they feel best exemplify the four qualities of NHS.
Candidates inducted included the following:
• Jaci Alesch – Alton
• Carly Bunkers - LeMars
• Shainn Hansen – Alton
• Carson Kneip – LeMars
• Christina Schmit – Hospers
• Krayton Schnepf - Granville
• Chandler Willett - Hospers
• Stephanie Heuertz – LeMars
• Dustin Schmit - Alton
• Kaylee Schmit – Hospers
• Catalina Uribe - LeMars
“We are very proud to recognize these outstanding members of our student body. National Honor Society members are chosen for and then expected to continue their exemplary contributions to the school and community,” said Kristin Hausman, Moderator.
The inductees joined current members:
• Nathan Klein, President, Senior – LeMars;
• Carli Bollin, Vice President, Senior - LeMars;
• Emily Meyer, Secretary, Senior – Ireton;
• Megan Kellen, Treasurer, Junior - Alton;
• Michaela Bretey - LeMars
• Aaron Britt – LeMars
• Crystal Gloden - Hospers
• Matthew Holzman – Alton
• Trisha Langel – LeMars
• Evan Niebuhr – LeMars
• David Puhl - LeMars
• Josie Schipper – LeMars
• Ashley Schmit – Hospers
• Brittany Schmit – Hospers
• Melissa Schmit - Alton
• Ryan Stoll - Granville
• Ashley Weber - LeMars
• Josie Galles - LeMars
• Sarah Henrich – LeMars
• Jill Kessenich - LeMars
Kluckhohn Teachers Honored As "Employees Of The Month"
(Le Mars) -- Two Kluckhohn elementary teachers, who both plan to retire following the end of the school year, were honored Wednesday afternoon with the Le Mars Community School District's "Employee of the Month". Fifth grade teacher Steve Wick and Second grade teacher Jane Synder were presented the award from school district foundation officials. Wick has been teaching for 27 years and Synder for 30. Peg McAllister, Renae Buss, and Marie Kooistra nominated both Steve Wick and Jane Synder. In the nomination for Wick they write: "Steve Wick is supportive to his co-workers, a team player and committed to community betterment and involvement. In the classroom, Mr. Wick challenges his students to be the best they can be by establishing goals, providing hands-on opportunities, and utilizing technology. He took over the monthly paper drive many years ago when Mr. DeKoster retired. This required many hours of service, which he gave willingly. Mr. Wick's positive attitude with students and staff make the classroom and workplace more enjoyable. His commitment to students doesn't end at Kluckhohn, but reaches over to the high school where he coaches golf and refs for football and basketball".
In the nomination for Synder they write: "Jayne Synder has proven her passion to help children succeed throughout her years at Le Mars Community Schools. Along with her commitment to her students in the classroom, Jane was one of the first to "step-up" and help in extra activities to enhance student's educational experiences. Dr. Suess Day, Wellness Day, Career Day, Paper Drive, and the penny drive for Children's Miracle Network are among the many activities Jane has volunteered. Jane has also been "the" perfect colleague and role model! The staff has learned from one of the best what it means to be a teacher." Our congratulations go to both Steve Wick and Jane Synder for being named the Le Mars Community School District's "Employees of the Month".
Le Mars Public Library Issues Quarterly Report
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Public Library has released its quarterly report. Between February 1st and April 30th, the library had 17,102 people walk through their doors. More than 5,800 items were checked out by adults, and 6,629 items were checked out by children. In the electronic area, the library had 3,072 DVD's that were checked out, 1,187 audio books and music CD's, and 1,322 times an e-book or audio download occurred. Library officials report there were over 15 hundred computer sessions logged, and 274 log-ins on the library's wi-fi system. The meeting room was utilized 117 times with an attendance of 1,131. Volunteers at the library had worked a total of 131-point-25 hours.
More Iowa Poultry Farms Affected With Bird Flu
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa agriculture officials say five additional commercial chicken farms show signs of the presence of bird flu and a backyard duck flock near a previously confirmed case also has tested positive.
The new chicken cases are on Sioux County farms. Two had a total of 200,000 chickens. Estimates were not immediately available for the remaining three farms. The backyard ducks are on a farm in O'Brien County.
The new cases raise Iowa's total number to 34 cases in 11 counties.
About 21 million of Iowa's chickens will be affected if the latest cases are confirmed. The number of turkeys to be lost is approaching 500,000.
More than 100 farms in the Midwest have the bird flu virus with more than 28 million birds affected.
Senate Passes Budget For Human Health Services
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Democratic-led Iowa Senate has approved a $1.9 billion spending plan for the state health and human services departments, which includes an oversight committee to watchdog the governor's plan to privatize Medicaid.
The budget was approved in a 26-22 vote Wednesday. It provides slightly less funding than sought by Governor Terry Branstad, but more than the proposal from the Republican-controlled House. The plan includes funding for Medicaid, public health programs and veterans.
Senator Amanda Ragan, a Mason City Democrat, said the bill would create an oversight committee to supervise the governor's plan to privatize Medicaid services. The legislation also includes dollars to keep two mental health institutions open that Branstad has slated for closure, with most of the money coming from federal grant funding.
Fireworks Bill Clears Senate Ways And Means Committee
(Des Moines) -- A bill that would make it legal for Iowans to set off fireworks has cleared a Senate committee. Senator Randy Feenstra (FEEN-struh) of Hull says it's time to make the change.
If the bill becomes law, Iowans could legally set off fireworks from 9 a.m. through 10 p.m. any day of the year, plus for an extended period on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and on New Year's. The only fireworks which are legal to sell and set off in Iowa today are sparklers and snakes. The measure sets up a state licensing system that would allow Iowa retailers to sell consumer fireworks like bottle rockets and flares. Critics like Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids say fireworks create safety risks for the people who use them, as well as their neighbors.
Senator Bill Dotzler of Waterloo supported the bill.
Dotlzer says the bill creates some potential economic benefit to Iowa retailers who may choose to start selling fireworks. The bill is now eligible for debate in the full, 50-member Iowa Senate.
Le Mars State Representative Chuck Soderberg says he isn't sure if the bill will move through the state House chambers.
Soderberg says although the main focus is to pass all of the state's departments budgets, he does say that other bills can still remain eligible as long as they have previously been introduced.
Santorum Prepares To Announce His Candidacy For President
WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum says he'll hold an event at the end of May to announce his decision on a potential 2016 presidential campaign.
The Republican tells Fox News Channel he will make the announcement May 27th in Butler, Pennsylvania, where he was raised.
Santorum ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and surprised many by winning the leadoff Iowa caucuses. But his strong support among social conservatives was eventually no match for the organization and fundraising prowess of eventual nominee Mitt Romney.
Santorum says he was "clearly the underdog" in that race, and acknowledges he would be in the same position in 2016. But he says he is "very comfortable there."