City Council Approves Library Renovation Project
(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 for Project #1 is April 17th, with the winning bid will be awarded on April 18th. Project #2 are due April 25th with the contract to be awarded on May 2nd. 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.
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.
Prins Awarded School District’s “Employee Of The Month”
(Le Mars) — A teacher’s associate at Kluckhohn 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. Our congratulations go to Judith Prins for being named the Le Mars Community School District’s “Employee of the Month”.
Legislature Approves Gun-Rights Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa lawmakers have given final approval to a gun-rights bill that includes a stand-your-ground provision and the right to carry concealed firearms on state Capitol grounds.
The Iowa House voted 57-36 Thursday for the bill, which had already cleared the Senate. It heads to Gov. Terry Branstad, who in the past has supported gun-rights legislation.
Most elements would take effect July 1 but a provision to allow minors under 14 to use handguns with parental or guardian supervision would take effect immediately.
Democrats, who largely opposed the bill, focused criticism on so-called Capitol carry and stand-your-ground language. The stand-your-ground language allows deadly force even if alternative actions are available or an assessment of danger is incorrect.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 24 states have approved similar laws.
Aetna To Quit Selling 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 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.
Navy Upset With Facebook Postings By Iowa State ROTC
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Navy is denouncing an incident in which members of its officer training program at Iowa State University posted explicit photos on a Facebook page.
Lt. Sean Brophy, a spokesman for the Naval Service Training Command, tells The Associated Press that the March 4 incident involved seven members of the school’s NROTC program.
He says Navy leaders learned about the pictures the next day and responded quickly. He says such behavior “has no place in our military or society, and it does not comport with our core values.”
Brophy says the photos were removed from Facebook. NROTC leaders apologized to Iowa State academic officials and trained the 68-member battalion on proper social media behavior.
Brophy says “administrative actions” have been taken against the midshipmen, who remain part of the program.