Home News Friday Afternoon News, December 18

Friday Afternoon News, December 18


School Board Approves Plan To Swap Lights

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community School Board approved a program to install LED lights in order to qualify for a rebate, and to be energy efficient and reduce energy costs.  Dr. Todd Wendt, school superintendent says he was first made aware of the program when representatives of Langel’s Electric of Le Mars approached him recently informing him about MidAmerican Energy’s policy to offer rebates for businesses, institutions, and residents that would switch from the traditional florescent lighting to the brighter and more economical LED lighting.

Listen to
{audio} images/stories/mp3/December 2015/Wendt1.MP3{/audio}

The school superintendent explains the costs and rebates to be earned associated with the light swap program.

Listen to
{audio} images/stories/mp3/December 2015/Wendt2.MP3{/audio}

Wendt says he is not certain as to the total energy savings.

Listen to
{audio} images/stories/mp3/December 2015/Wendt3.MP3{/audio}

Wendt says the school district has a short time period to order the new LED bulbs, and to have the installation completed, so to qualify for the energy rebate.

Listen to
{audio} images/stories/mp3/December 2015/Wendt4.MP3{/audio}




Wick Appointed To Serve On School Foundation Board

(Le Mars) — A retired fifth grade teacher from Kluckhohn Elementary has been appointed by the Le Mars Community School Board to serve on the Le Mars Community school district Foundation board.  Dr. Todd Wendt says the school foundation approached Steve Wick to inquire if he would serve on the school foundation board.

Listen to
{audio} images/stories/mp3/December 2015/Wendt-Wick.MP3{/audio}

Wendt anticipates even additional names will be nominated and selected to serve on the school district’s foundation board.  The Le Mars Community School Foundation board is primarily responsible for raising money for scholarships that are then distributed to graduating seniors.






Lottery Investigators Expand Their Investigation On Scam

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Investigators have expanded their inquiry into a lottery tampering scheme to determine if a former Iowa national lottery official may have rigged jackpots in more games  than presently known. 
Eddie Tipton, former security director of the Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, was convicted in July of fraud after buying a winning lottery ticket in Des Moines in 2010.  He was accused of rigging lottery computers to allow him to determine the winning number in advance. 
Tipton is also accused of rigging jackpots in Colorado, Wisconsin and Oklahoma, which use computers or code provided by the multi-state lottery.  Investigators are now looking into possible tampering with lotteries in 37 other states or territories that used association computers since Tipton joined the association in 2003.





Monsanto To Drop Iowa Expansion Plans

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Agribusiness giant Monsanto is dropping a major construction project in Iowa telling state officials that market changes have led it to change course. 
Documents distributed by the Iowa Economic Development Authority indicate Monsanto planned to build a $90 million seed corn plant in Independence, creating 47 jobs. Monsanto says it’s no longer pursuing the project and wants to cancel a contract for $7.5 million in job creation tax credits.
DuPont Pioneer also seeks to cancel contracts for $13 million in tax benefits tied to creating 300 jobs for three projects. Pioneer is completing the projects but will not create the promised number of jobs.
Farm income is down for the third consecutive year prompting farmers to spend less pressuring seed companies like Pioneer and Monsanto to lower profit expectations.





Tax Increase Proposed To Meet The Needs Of Statewide Broadband Internet

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Representatives for companies trying to expand broadband in Iowa say the state needs to update its rules for taxing them.
Industry officials told a legislative committee Friday that property taxes are a significant expense for some telecommunications companies in Iowa, and it can affect investments on high-speed Internet.
There are several types of companies that offer telecommunications services in Iowa, and state code taxes them differently. Officials say that’s left some at a financial disadvantage.
An Iowa Department of Revenue spokeswoman says a 2013 state law lessened some property taxes and saved nearly $20 million for telecommunication companies. She says the department is open to exploring options with the Legislature.
A 2015 law includes a 10-year property tax exemption on new broadband projects, but those exemption rules are still pending.