Home News Wednesday News, August 2nd

Wednesday News, August 2nd


City Council Approves Mainstreet Challenge Grant For Brown’s Proposed Bed and Breakfast

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Council approved a plan proposed by The Browns musical family and the Le Mars Mainstreet organization to convert the upper level of the Central Avenue Events Center, formerly the Hi-Lite saloon, into a “bed and breakfast” venue. The plan would call for a submitted application for the Mainstreet Challenge grant amounting to $37,500. The money would be used to convert the upstairs level to accommodate five rooms and two suites. Michaela
Brown indicated she would live in one of the suites, and oversee the lodging accommodations. The city council approved funding $37,500 for the project from the Economic Development Fund. Le Mars has previously acquired Mainstreet Challenge funds for the renovation of the American Legion Hall, the Le Mars
Beauty College, and Claussen’s Mens Wear.



City Council Approves Alley Paving Project

(Le Mars) — The city council also approved an alley paving project behind the former Abbey nursing care facility. The estimated cost is $20,000 with the city financing half the project and the property owner, Adam Brown financing the other 50 percent.



The Browns Take Second Place In “Open 4 Business” Competition

(Sioux City) — Speaking about the Browns musical family. They competed last evening in the state’s “Open For Business” program, sponsored by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Mainstreet Iowa organization. The Browns
qualified as one of the five state finalists. The Browns first won the local competition, held here in Le Mars, then advanced through the regional and sub-state rounds at Des Moines to finish among the state’s top five businesses for the state title. Open for Business is a program sponsored by the Iowa Economic
Development Board through the state’s Mainstreet organization. It is designed to assist growing businesses with start-up expenses, and to help them grow. The Browns finished second among the state’s top five businesses selected. They
received a check for $10,000 from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The finals was held at the Sioux City Convention Center.

Photo from when The Browns won the local “Open 4 Business” Competition.



City Council Urges Residents and Businesses To Conserve Water

(Le Mars) — Due to the recent dry conditions, the Le Mars city council took formal action today to request residents and businesses to limit their water usage. The action by the city council only calls for a volunteer reduction of water, not a mandatory restriction. City administrator Scott Langel informed
the city council through a telephone conference call that the city is capable of handling up to six million gallons of water per day, but he indicated any amount close to five million gallons is reason to be concerned. Langel told the city
council that between July 16th through July 22nd, the average usage of water was at 4,492,000 gallons a day with the maximum listed at 4,915,000 gallons. Langel did report that there was a 13 percent reduction in water usage after city
officials initially asked residents and businesses to reduce their water usage.
Between July 23rd to July 28th the average daily water use was at 3,902,000 gallons of water with the maximum amount at 4,326,000 gallons of water. Langel says the city needs to implement stage 1 of the city’s water conservation plan.
Langel reports that water has been released from storage and there is an indication that without wise usage of water, a shortage in water supplies could occur. City officials ask residents and businesses to water lawns early in the
morning, prior to 6:00 a.m. to take advantage of the coolest times when the evaporation rate is less. Irrigating in the evening may result in potential fungus development on the lawn. Second, city officials ask that you check the interior plumbing for faucet and/or toilet leaks, and to make the necessary
repairs. A third suggestion is to clean outside surfaces such as patios, driveways, and sidewalks using a broom rather than a hose. Wash vehicles with a bucket and hose with a shut-off nozzle, rather than continuously running water through a hose. Fill sinks with water for tasks such as washing dishes, preparing food, brushing teeth, and shaving, rather than leaving water running.
The city also suggests residents install water-saving devices in showers, and use automatic dishwashers and washing machines with only full loads whenever possible.



Gilcrest Foundation Donates $100,000 To Le Mars Area Betterment Foundation For Postal Playhouse Renovations

(Le Mars) — During Tuesday’s city council meeting, Mike Donlin, president of the Le Mars Area Betterment Foundation offered an update to the city council regarding the Community Betterment Project.  According to Donlin, the city betterment foundation has received a $100,000 grant from the Gilcrest Foundation which will be used to make renovations to the Le Mars Postal Playhouse Community Theater. He says the Gilcrest Foundation initially contacted the Le Mars Area Betterment Foundation.  Donlin says the renovation for the Postal Playhouse wasn’t originally listed as a community betterment project.

Donlin talks about the grant for the postal playhouse, and how it is intended to be used.

Donlin says with the $100,000 grant from the Gilcrest Foundation, the total either pledged or accumulated for the Community Betterment 2 project now stands at over $5.1 million dollars.  Donlin says people who have contributed at least
$250 will qualify for having an engraved brick that will be located at one of three locations, the Olson Cultural Event Center, the Municipal Park Shelter House, or at the newly renovated club house for the Municipal Park.  Donlin also mentioned to the city council that a new mailing will soon be going out, asking
for contributions from those not yet having made a contribution.



Fire Department Issues July Report

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a total of 54 calls during the month of July. There were 15 fire calls, seven rescues, eleven investigations, and four times the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded
to mutual aid calls with Oyens, Merrill, Orange City, and Remsen. During July, the Le Mars Fire Department pressure tested 8,000 feet of hose for insurance rating, and all passed the test.



Lang Sentenced To 12 Months Of Prison For Embezzlement of Union Funds

(Sioux City) — A man who embezzled labor union assets, was sentenced last week to twelve months’ in federal prison.
Curtis Lang, 53, from Le Mars, Iowa, received the prison term after a May 8, 2017, guilty plea to one count of embezzlement and theft of labor union assets.
At the plea hearing, Lang admitted that from approximately 2005 to 2009 he was the vice president/treasurer of the United Dairy Workers of Le Mars, Iowa, and later, from 2011 through 2014, Lang was the president/treasurer of said union.

Over a period of approximately ten years, Lang embezzled over $98,000 in funds from union bank accounts. He used the money to purchase gift cards for himself.
Lang acted alone in the embezzlement, and made efforts to hide the crime from other Union officials.

Lang was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court
Judge Mark W. Bennett. Lang was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment. He was ordered to make $95,223.49 in restitution to the United Dairy Workers of Le Mars. Lang must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison
term, including a term of six months of home confinement with electronic monitoring. At sentencing, Judge Bennett commented that, “Lang inflicted irreparable harm on the union.”

Lang is to surrender to the United States Marshal on a date yet to be set.


National Night Out Open House Draws Hundreds

(Le Mars) — Several hundred people turned out for the annual National Night Out open house as hosted by the Le Mars Police Department.  Visitors were treated with free grilled hotdogs and hamburgers.  They had the opportunity to view the equipment and vehicles used by the Le Mars Police Department.



Tyson Foods Settles Lawsuit With Employees

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) – Tyson Foods has settled a 10-year-old class-action lawsuit and will disburse nearly $6 million to more than 3,900 current and former employees at a northwest Iowa pork plant.
Storm Lake employees sued the Arkansas-based company in 2007 to collect back pay for the time they spent putting on and taking off protective work clothes and equipment before and after their work shifts.
A Sioux City federal jury ruled in favor of the workers in 2011, a decision the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld in 2014. Tyson appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court rejected the company’s appeal in March 2016 to limit workers’ ability to challenge pay and workplace issues.
Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson says each worker will receive about $1,700.