Council Approves Increase In Mayor’s Salary
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars mayor position will be getting a pay increase amounting to $6,000 per year following action of the city council. The city council conducted its third and final reading of the salary increase proposal during Tuesday’s council meeting. The council approved the increase in salary with a 4 to 1 vote with Councilman Clark Goodchild voting against the measure.
The mayor’s salary will increase from the current $12,000 a year to a new figure of $18,000 a year. The salary increase won’t take effect until January 1st of 2018. The mayor position is up for election this year. City code determines any increase in salary for either the city council or mayor’s position cannot occur until the start of the new term.
City Council Gives Final Approval For Library Renovation
(Le Mars) — The city council has given its final approval for the construction and renovation of the Le Mars Public Library. The council held hearings on Tuesday to gather comments and input for the construction projects. The entire renovation and expansion of the public library is estimated to cost $350,000.
Toi Sullivan with the F-E-C Design company of Sioux City informed the city council as to what would take place with the renovation of the library.
Sullivan says the second part of the bid package will be the rest of the renovation.
The deadline for contractor bids is April 11th, with the winning bid will be awarded on April 17th. Construction is expected to begin immediately. The library renovation is expected to be completed by mid-June. The Le Mars Public Library is scheduled to close on April 10th. They hope to be able to serve the public from the Eagles Club beginning on May 1st.
Prins Named Le Mars Community School District’s “Employee of the Month”
(Le Mars) — A teacher’s associate at Kluckholn Elementary school is the latest to receive the honor of “Employee of the Month” honors from the Le Mars Community School District. Judith Prins who assists with the Kindergarten through 5th grades was presented the award of certification during a small
ceremony held Thursday morning. Amy Gehling submitted the nomination and says the classroom wouldn’t be the same without Mrs. Prins. She goes above and beyond at school each day. She knows how to step in, and help my lessons,
monitor student behavior, and give the students the extra motivation when needed. Judy Prins also doesn’t hesitate to come early and stay late when necessary. She always stays busy. Judy has a heart of gold and is an asset to the Le Mars Community School District.
Sioux City Man Accused Of Biting 7 Week Old Daughter’s Face
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City man has been accused of biting his 7- week-old daughter on the face.
Court records say 22-year-old Edward Valdez is charged with child endangerment resulting in injury.
A court document says the child was bitten on March 24, when Valdez was alone with her. He told a police officer that the girl had been sick and wouldn’t stop crying. Valdez said he became frustrated and bit her right cheek. The court document says the bite left a white mark that lasted several days. Valdez was booked into the Woodbury County Jail on a $10,000 bond. He is now free on bond.
Senate Sub-committee Narrowly Passes Water Quality Bill
(Des Moines) — A bill that would provide money for water improvement projects seems to be TREADING water at the statehouse. The bill awaits a vote in the Iowa House and it was nearly DEFEATED in a three-member Senate SUB-committee
yesterday (Wednesday). Lawmakers are questioning whether to siphon money from other areas of state government to deal with water quality needs, including the repair and rebuilding of city sewer and drinking water systems. Senator Ken
Rozenboom (ROH-zen-boom), a Republican farmer from Oskaloosa, voted for the plan, but he’s not convinced by critics who say the situation’s urgent.
Senator Rick Bertrand (BER-trund), a Republican from Sioux City, voted AGAINST the plan because it drains millions out of the state account that pays to repair state-owned buildings.
Senator Joe Bolkcom (BOWL-kum), a Democrat from Iowa City, says he’s not a fan of the funding plan either, but he voted FOR the bill.
If Bolkcom had voted against the plan, it would have failed to clear its first test in the senate.
Holz Comments On House-Passed Abortion Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa House has passed a bill that would ban most abortions in the state at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The chamber voted 55-41 Wednesday for the legislation, which provides no exception for rape, incest or fatal fetal an-om-al-ies. The bill must return to the Iowa Senate for final approval, after the House amended it.
State Representative Chuck Holz of Le Mars says the legislation is not unique to the state of Iowa, but nearly 20 other states have passed similar 20 -week abortion legislation.
Holz says the bill requires a woman must wait 72 hours before getting an abortion.
The premise for the bill is that a fetus can begin to feel pain at the 20-week stage.
Gov. Terry Branstad has indicated support for a ban, though a spokesman says the governor reserves judgment on the legislation.
Aetna Will No Longer Sell Individual Insurance Policies
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Another health insurer has announced it will stop selling individual policies in Iowa, just days after Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield made a similar announcement.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/2oe32Ey ) that Aetna informed Iowa regulators Thursday that it would stop selling individual policies, which cover tens of thousands of Iowans who don’t have access to employer-provided coverage or government plans.
Like Wellmark, Aetna cited instability in the insurance market. Aetna had already had stopped selling such policies in most states for 2017, citing turmoil in the wake of the Affordable Care Act.
Aetna says it had not decided whether to pull out of the three remaining states where it sells individual policies: Nebraska, Delaware and Virginia.