4-H Superintendents Comment On Exhibits
(Le Mars) — Today is the start of the Plymouth County Fair, but the 4-H static exhibits were judged yesterday. Lorraine DeJong and Jo Johnson serve as the superintendents for the 4-H exhibits found in the 4-H exhibit building. DeJong says the judges were impressed with the number of quality exhibits from Plymouth County 4-H members.
Jo Johnson talks about the different categories that are the most popular with Plymouth County 4-H members.
The two 4-H exhibit superintendents say they are always impressed each year with the innovative and creative ideas that evolve from the Plymouth County 4-H members.
Lorraine DeJong says there was one exhibit in particular that caught her attention.
DeJong says that particular exhibit will be represented at the Iowa State Fair in the Visual Arts category. Other exhibits that qualified for the state fair competition can be seen in the center of the 4-H exhibit hall. The superintendents suggests attendees of the fair take the time and observe all the exhibits found in the 4-H building.
The two 4-H superintendents say the number of entries from Plymouth County that are allowed to compete at the state fair level depends upon the number of entries within the specific category exhibited at Plymouth County.
Both DeJong and Johnson teach at the Le Mars Community School District, and both agree they can tell which of their students are 4-H members.
Jo Johnson teaches Consumer Family Sciences and she says there was a cooking entry that she may want to incorporate as part of her classroom curriculum.
Both of the 4-H exhibit superintendents say they enjoy assisting young 4-H members with their projects, and they get a thrill when they see a 4-H member who is excited and enthusiastic about his or her project.
Democratic Contender For Congress Announces Campaign
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A former baseball player intends to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King in Iowa’s 4th District.
J.D. Scholten announced his candidacy Tuesday for the Democratic nomination. He says he wants to put “Iowa values back at the center of public service, create new opportunities for Iowa’s middle class, and ensure that Iowans never again need to worry about health care as a barrier to living free, productive, and successful lives.”
The 37-year-old played baseball at Morningside College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and later for the Sioux city Explorers. Since leaving baseball he’s worked as a paralegal.
He’s the lone Democrat in the race. Kim Weaver dropped out in June, citing threats she’s received for her safety and concerns about her mother’s health problems.
Governor Reynolds Declares Four Counties As Disaster Area
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation for four counties in northern and eastern Iowa ravaged by severe weather, heavy rains and flash flooding.
The governor’s office said Tuesday that the proclamation covers Chickasaw, Dubuque, Floyd and Kossuth counties affected by weather Friday and Saturday.
The proclamation allows state resources to be used to aid in recovery efforts. It also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance program for qualifying residents of the four counties. The program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The money can be used for such things as home and car repairs, temporary housing expenses or replacement of clothing or food.
Lawmakers Look At Modifying IPERS Program
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The head of Iowa’s largest public pension system says the trust fund that pays out retirement benefits is “sound,” but at least one GOP lawmaker thinks changes might be needed.
Donna Mueller, chief executive officer for the Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as IPERS, says her assessment is based on industry standards. She spoke Tuesday to a handful of lawmakers at the Capitol.
Republican Sen. Charles Schneider of West Des Moines says he’s exploring whether to hold legislative meetings to review IPERS because of long-term unfunded liabilities. He says he’s not suggesting specific changes. Gov. Kim Reynolds has said she supports Schneider’s efforts.
The IPERS trust fund has unfunded liabilities of about $5.6 billion and could increase to about $7 billion in the next several months. But it has assets of about $28 billion, and IPERS officials say they expect the shortfall to be paid off. About 350,000 public employees benefit from the system.
Iowa Lags Behind Other States With Foreign Language Education
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A national report has found that Iowa is lagging behind much of the U.S. in foreign language instruction for K-12 students.
The Des Moines Register reports the study was conducted by the American Councils for International Education and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. It says slightly more than 15 percent of Iowa’s K-12 students were enrolled in a foreign language course for the 2014-15 academic year. Iowa ranked 35th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for foreign language instruction.
Jason Noble is president of the Iowa World Language Association. He says larger school districts can typically offer more foreign language options, which creates a rural-urban divide.
In Iowa, teacher shortages and budget issues have forced some districts to cut programs in recent years.
Convicted Murder Inmate Dies In Prison
ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a man convicted of two murders in northwest Iowa has died of natural causes.
The Iowa Corrections Department said Tuesday that Paeng Saengaroun died Saturday afternoon. It’s unclear whether he died in a prison or a medical facility. Prison officials didn’t immediately return calls from The Associated Press.
The department says he was 67.
He’d been sentenced to life following his February 1997 convictions in Buena Vista County. He was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for killing his wife and father-in-law in Storm Lake.