Wednesday Afternoon News, April 6
Floyd Valley Healthcare Honors Volunteers
(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Healthcare honored all of its 350 plus volunteers this morning during a luncheon held at the Willow Creek Golf Club. Michelle Ten Napel serves as the Activities Coordinator with Floyd Valley and oversees the volunteers. She says volunteers serve an important role at the health care facility, and she talks about the hours contributed by volunteers during this past year.
Ten Napel says when you calculate the number of volunteer hours contributed to Floyd Valley and multiplied that with the current minimum wage, you can begin to see how valuable volunteers are to the program.
The health care official says the work done by volunteers is priceless to the health Floyd Valley facility.
Floyd Valley Healthcare honored those volunteers who have achieved a milestone in terms of volunteer hours. The volunteer with the most cumulative hours over her lifetime is Yvonne Law, who has donated more than 5000 hours to the hospital. Ten Napel says Law has spent many years at Floyd Valley as a volunteer.
1500 hour Floyd Valley Healthcare Volunteers
2000 hour volunteers
Yvonne Law - 5000 hours of Volunteer Time with Floyd Valley Healthcare.
Jenny Kayser With American Bank Honored As "Employee Of The Month".
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce also honored its latest "Employee of the Month" earlier today during the Chamber coffee held at the American Bank. Jenny Kayser has been an employee with American Bank for five years and is currently the Electronic Banking-Info Securities Officer and Marketing Manager. She began her career at American Bank in May of 2011 and brought with her five years of banking experience. Kayser quickly learned teller functions, fed-line transfers, new account functions and many other duties. She soon started training other staff members in the new accounts and fed-line transfer's area of the bank. Kayser represents American Bank well by responding to customer's needs effectively and volunteers her time and talents in the community. She was instrumental in developing content, structure and functionality of the new American Bank website which was introduced in early 2015. She also led the efforts to launch American Bank's facebook page and helps maintain a fresh presence on this page, helping educate and responding to customer and community comments and inquiries. Jenny Kayser is a key person called upon to assist with marketing directives. She is very skilled in desktop publishing needs and coordinating with the Marketing Director and Committee. She was promoted to Electronic Banking Officer in June of 2015 to lead American Bank online banking efforts, both personal and business, fed-line functions and website maintenance and development. Overall Jenny Kayser has earned the respect of her co-workers with her "can-do" attitude and better yet, she has many friends at American Bank. She is always willing to help a co-worker and customer with their needs. Our congratulations to Jenny Kayser for being honored as the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce April "Employee of the Month".
Kevin Eekhoff with the Chamber of Commerce presents the "Employee of the Month" award to Jenny Kayser with American Bank. - photo contributed.
Branstad Signs Into Law Education Spending Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has signed legislation into law that sets new funding levels for K-12 education in the next state budget.
Branstad signed legislation Wednesday that will increase K-12 education spending by 2.25 percent for the fiscal year that begins in July. The Republican-majority House and the Democratic-controlled Senate approved the funding earlier this session.
The state currently pays about $6,445 per student in most school programs. The new legislation will increase that by $145.
Some educators say the funding increase isn't enough to avoid financial hardship for school districts around the state. Legislative leaders in both chambers have said there's limited funding available for the new budget, though some Democrats have also criticized the compromise.
The state spends about $3 billion on K-12 education.
State Senate Passes Crime Victims Housing Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has passed legislation that would prevent landlords from evicting crime victims who contact law enforcement for help.
The Democratic-controlled Senate voted unanimously 50-0 Wednesday for the bill, which would create rules for how cities and counties must handle cases of emergency assistance involving crime victims. The Republican-majority House previously passed the bill, and it will return to that chamber with some changes.
Advocacy groups say Iowa law is vague and allows cities and counties to enforce housing ordinances with certain rules involving nuisances. The groups say those nuisance rules can allow landlords to purposely evict crime victims, including domestic violence victims.
Lawmakers say the latest bill version would ensure crime victims are protected and allow cities and counties to enforce housing rules that maintain safety.
Senate Passes Bill Calling For Stronger Penalties For Repeat Offenders Of Domestic Violence
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has passed legislation that would increase penalties for repeat domestic abusers.
The Democratic-controlled Senate voted unanimously 50-0 Wednesday in support of the bill, which would create a mandatory minimum punishment for stalking, harassment and repeat domestic violence. It would also allow a judge to set a higher mandatory minimum sentence.
The bill received overwhelming support in the Republican-majority House in March.
Supporters say the legislation would better protect domestic violence victims. The Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence initially opposed the bill amid concern over the value of longer sentences. The group said Wednesday it now supports the bill because of several other elements in the measure.
Changes to the bill mean it will return to the House before it can reach Gov. Terry Branstad's desk.
Branstad Signs Law Allowing Guns To Be Carried On ATV's And Snowmobiles
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new law will allow drivers or passengers in snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles to carry loaded firearms.
Gov. Terry Branstad signed the legislation into law Wednesday. The law will allow people to carry a loaded firearm whether it's concealed or not, though there are separate rules for gun owners who are on their private land and those who are not on such property.
A gun owner on his or her own land will not be required to keep their gun permit on them at all times. They will also not be required to keep a firearm on a retention holster.
Gun owners will still not be allowed to shoot a weapon from the moving vehicles.
Former Teacher Protests Order To Not Visit School Activities
TREYNOR, Iowa (AP) - A former teacher and coach accused of sexual abuse is appealing a school district decision barring him from district grounds.
The Treynor school board plans an appeal hearing April 13 after 46-year-old Michael Travis asked to have some restrictions removed. District attorney Joe Thornton says Travis is prohibited from district facilities unless he's attending his children's activities.
Travis gave up his teaching and coaching licenses upon pleading guilty in August to simple assault.
Travis maintained his innocence despite his negotiated guilty plea.
He was arrested in May 2014 on two counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee. Former students accused Travis of inappropriately touching them between 2001 and 2006.
Travis was an assistant softball coach at Treynor High School and taught elementary school.
Authorities Make Connection To Texas Man Involved With Lottery Jackpot Scandal
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Investigators say they've uncovered how a lottery employee allegedly rigged jackpots and have charged his brother in connection with prizes in Oklahoma and Colorado.
Tommy Tipton, a former justice of the peace in Texas, surrendered to Iowa authorities on Wednesday. He's the brother of Eddie Tipton, who was convicted of fixing a $16.5 million jackpot and faces charges related to other jackpots.
Prosecutors allege Eddie Tipton used his job with the Multi-State Lottery Association to tamper with random number generators used by lotteries.
Authorities said Wednesday they've recovered the generator used for a $2 million jackpot claimed by Eddie Tipton's friend. An examination found that code allowed numbers to be picked by a different program three days of the year.
All six jackpots linked to Tipton were drawn on either Nov. 23 or Dec. 29.