Tuesday News, November 19
Supervisors Expected to Vacate Road
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth county board of supervisors is expected to vote in favor of vacating 212th street during their weekly meeting scheduled for today at the county courthouse board room. The road in question runs on the south side of the NIPCO electrical utility cooperative and Smith Company Dump Truck Manufacturing. The supervisors will also hear from Plymouth County Conservation Executive Director Nick Beeck (Beck) as he presents the supervisors with the County Conservation Board's annual report. Beeck will also update the supervisors on the progress of the County lake near Akron. County engineer Tom Rohe is also scheduled to appear before the county supervisors.
City Council To Award Bids For Water Tower And Water Booster Station
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to hold a meeting today and it is expected the city council will award a contractor bid for both the new water tower and water booster station. The council will review an airport application for federal funding, and look at different proposals to stabilize the banks of the Floyd River from further erosion.
Floyd Valley Hospital To Award Bid For Expansion Project
(Le Mars) -- The Floyd Valley Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting Tuesday morning. The hospital trustees will formally review and are expected to approve a resolution awarding a contract for the bid package relating to the hospital's improvement project. L and L Builders of Sioux City submitted the lowest of the three bids which is for $15,113,000.
State Farm Insurance Gives $25,000 To Gehlen Catholic School
(Le Mars) -- During last evening's Gehlen Catholic Pride Night when the school was acknowledging the achievements of the students, and introducing the participants of the winter activities; school officials were given a surprise by State Farm Insurance agent, Michael Crank, when he presented Father Kevin Richter a check in the amount of $25,000. It was all part of the State Farm Insurance promotion of "Celebrate Our Drive".
Crank explains how it was that Gehlen Catholic school was awarded the $25,000 from State Farm Insurance.
Gehlen school officials then donated ten percent, or $2500 of the monetary gift to Opportunities Unlimited, an organization that helps people with brain injuries. Gehlen Catholic school and Opportunities Unlimited have been working in partnership for a few years, as Gehlen's affinity. Father Richter announced to the crowd the money from State Farm Insurance, along with other donations and memorial gifts, will go toward the rennovation of the floor of the back gymnasiusm.
Sioux City Council Says No To Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The City Council has rejected a proposal to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official holiday in Sioux City.
The council voted 5-0 against the proposal Monday night. The proposal would have added Martin Luther King Jr. Day to the list of holidays for three union and three employee groups that don't already have the holiday listed as a day off.
Mayor Bob Scott says he thought it would be unfair to provide the day off to those employee groups because other union groups already bargained for the holiday off by trading it for another day off.
He says another holiday would have cost the city $165,000 a year for paid overtime on top of a lost day of work.
Galva-Holstein School Official Accused Of Falsifying Records
HOLSTEIN, Iowa (AP) - A former school district official has been accused of falsifying safety inspection records on school buses for a northwest Iowa district.
Court records say 51-year-old Douglas Wessling, of Holstein, faces three counts of tampering with records. He's scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 6.
He was put on leave and then lost his job as transportation director for the Galva-Holstein Community School District after an investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.
Superintendent Dave Kwikkel says three district buses were taken out of service because of damage. Kwikkel says Wessling put one of them back into use before it had been repaired.
Wessling has not returned calls seeking comment. His attorney didn't immediately return a call Tuesday from The Associated Press.
Iowa National Guard Units: One Deployed, Another Returns
BOONE, Iowa (AP) - More than three dozen Iowa Army National Guard soldiers are being mobilized for peacekeeping duty in southeastern Europe.
The National Guard said Monday that a community send-off ceremony is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Friday at the Boone High School gym for members of Company B, 248th Aviation Support Battalion. The Boone-based unit has detachments in Waterloo and Davenport.
The soldiers will first go to Fort Hood, Texas, for additional training before their deployment to Kosovo.
While one National Guard unit is leaving, another is returning home. The public is invited to attend a homecoming ceremony for an Ottumwa-based Iowa Army National Guard unit that has been serving in Afghanistan.
The ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Evans Middle School gym in Ottumwa.
They'll mark the return of soldiers mobilized from the 833rd Engineer Company with a mission of removing physical obstacles, identifying and reducing minefields and bombs, constructing protective positions and other duties.
Advocacy Group Calling For Tougher Rules On Livestock Operations
ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - An environmental advocacy group says it is delivering a petition with 5,000 names to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission insisting the state crack down on water pollution that comes from large livestock farms.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement says it will demand at Tuesday's commission meeting that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources issue a Clean Water Act operating permit to the Maschhoff Pork farm near Keosauqua in southeast Iowa.
The farm, with nearly 7,500 pigs, spilled thousands of gallons of manure into a creek on Nov. 4, just weeks after a DNR inspection. It has had several spills in recent years.
The state hasn't issued a water permit to a hog facility before but environmental groups are increasingly pressuring the state to create rules to do so.
Branstad Reviewing Options On Fuel Tax
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he is reviewing his options for raising revenues to help Iowa's bridges and roads.
Branstad says he is trying to find out what approach might be politically possible. Earlier this year, Branstad expressed concern about raising the state fuel tax and asked Department of Transportation Director Paul Trombino to review the state's options for funding infrastructure costs.
That list of options includes raising new registration fees and raising fees for oversize vehicles. Branstad says he has not committed to any plan.
Iowa's fuel tax -now 22 cents per gallon for gasoline including fees - hasn't been raised since 1989. A commission appointed by Branstad in 2011 recommended an increase of 8 to 10 cents a gallon to boost funding for bridges and roads.