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Tuesday News, February 28th


Le Mars Community School Board Approves Technology Program

(Le Mars) — At last night’s Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting, the school board approved a technology proposal as submitted by school superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt. The plan is budgeted for the next three years. Wendt informed the school board the program would consist of five different aspects starting with the development of the school’s computer network capacity. Second, the school would update and replace some of the I-Pads and laptop computers that were the first sets of devices purchased by the school. Dr. Wendt explained the third aspect of the technology upgrade plan would be to continue with the application process for classroom sets of devices for the next two years at an approximate cost of $150,000 per year. The fourth segment of the technology plan would be to increase the annual allocation to the technology department for equipment to $150,000 as outlined in the ten-year facility management plan. Wendt also advocated the general fund allocation should be increased from the current $100,000 to $125,000. The last area of the technology plan would be to set aside some funds for professional development. Wendt mentioned that it doesn’t do the school a lot of good if the school purchases the new computer technology, but the teachers don’t know how to incorporate that technology in the classrooms. The school superintendent also acknowledged the assistance of the DLITT team for their input on determining the technology program.


School board president, Pat Murphy then echoed Wendt’s sentiments.


Wendt estimated the cost for professional development at $75,000 per year. The plan that was approved by the school board would spend $680,000 in year one, $500,000 in year two, and $425,000 in the third year of the plan.

(Le Mars) — In other action from last evening’s school board meeting, the school board tabled the action with regards to the proposed school calendar. The Le Mars Board of Education approved five students to open-enroll to the Le Mars
Community School District. The school board approved the second reading, and adopted as new policy that would prevent Middle School aged students from practicing and participating in athletic competition with high school students.
The policy applies to both girls and boys, and it would cover the sports of football, basketball, wrestling, and volleyball. Another focus of attention during last evening’s school board meeting was a request to grant a honorary diploma to a past student, who was not able to complete her senior year. The idea failed based on not receiving a motion from the board members.

Le Mars Community School Board


Supervisors To Hold Public Hearing On Proposed Budget

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to convene this morning at the Plymouth County Courthouse board room. The county supervisors will hold a budget hearing regarding the proposed fiscal year 2017-
2018 budget. That hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Plymouth County Conservation Director, Nick Beeck is scheduled to appear before the county governing board to offer an update on the progress involving the purchase of new playground equipment slated for the Hillview Recreational Area. County Engineer
Tom Rohe will also appear before the supervisors to ask for a resolution to approve a Surface Transportation Board Grant for county road K-49. Rohe will also discuss and update proposed construction projects.



Sioux City Man Charged With Attempted Murder After Shooting At Sheriff’s Deputy

(Sioux City) — The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office has released additional information regarding the shooting incident that occurred early Sunday morning.
24-year old Melvin Spencer of Sioux City has been charged with the attempted murder of a Woodbury County deputy sheriff, resulting from the gun fight, early Sunday morning. The investigation remains on-going, and more information will be
released as it becomes available.


Sioux County Sheriff’s Office Conducts A.L.I.C.E. Training

(Orange City) — Recently, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office conducted A.L.I.C.E. training sessions with employees of Northwestern College, Northwest Iowa Rural
Electric Cooperative, Unity Christian High School and the Orange City Area Health System.
A.L.I.C.E. is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. This is a common sense base training for violent intruder situations.
So far in 2017, the Sheriff’s Office has conducted A.L.I.C.E. training at several Sioux County schools and businesses. For some it’s been a refresher; for others it was their initial A.L.I.C.E. training.
The concept, that Sheriff’s Office A.L.I.C.E. instructors teach, is how a person should mentally prepare for a response to a violent intruder. The key parts of being ready is to “Do Something.” It also shows the participants the inadequacies of being passive and doing nothing.
The common sense strategies taught are lifesaving options that can be used if anyone finds himself or herself in a violent intruder situation. Deputy Waylon Pollema said, “It’s our hope that these proactive defense strategies we’re teaching help to develop a survival mindset for all who attend the trainings.”


Denison Hospital Told To Reveal Settlement

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A county-owned hospital in western Iowa has released to the public how much it paid the husband of a woman whose death was blamed on a botched colonoscopy.
Settlement documents released by Crawford County Memorial Hospital show it and its insurer paid $500,000 to Eugene Christiansen, whose wife, Carole, died in November 2014 after her colon was accidentally torn.
The hospital had refused to release the settlement documents, saying the money was deposited into an estate account that was sealed by a judge. State law bars government agencies from entering into secret settlements of lawsuits.
The Carroll Daily Times Herald and the Iowa Freedom of Information Council took the matter to court. On Friday a judge ordered the hospital to disclose the settlement publicly.


Consortium Offers Plan To Protect Monarch Butterflies

AMES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa group has devised a strategy to keep monarch butterflies off the national endangered species list.
monarch butterfly
The 135-page plan issued Monday is aimed at helping farmers, backyard gardeners and others boost monarch butterfly habitat in Iowa. Nearly 40 agriculture, conservation, business, utility and government groups, calling themselves the Iowa Monarch
Conservation Consortium, pulled together the strategy.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering protecting monarch butterflies under the Endangered Species Act. Supporters of the protection say farming in the Midwest is among the reasons for monarch’s decline.
Steve Bradbury is an Iowa State University entomologist, and he says it’s unclear exactly how many habitat acres Iowa should add to help keep monarch butterflies off the national endangered species list.


Bondurant Man Pleads Guilty To Lascivious Acts With A Child

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A man, who allowed his teenage child to invite friends to his house for a party, provided them alcohol and then had sex with a 13-year- old girl after she was drunk, has been ordered to pay $127 million to the victim
and her family.
Polk County court records show 47-year-old James Lee Hohenshell of Bondurant pleaded guilty to lascivious acts with a child and providing alcohol to minors.
He’s serving just over two years in prison.
The girl’s parents sued Hohenshell seeking damages for emotional distress and other injuries stemming from the August 2013 party.
A jury returned the verdict on Thursday.