Home News Wednesday Afternoon News, August 23rd

Wednesday Afternoon News, August 23rd


Webner Comments On Expectations Of New School Year

(Le Mars) — Thursday is the first day of school for both the Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic schools.  Le Mars Community has a new superintendent of schools, Dr. Steven Webner now takes over the position that was held by Dr. Todd Wendt for the last 17 years.  Webner says it has been a smooth transition going from the Assistant Superintendent position to now Superintendent.

Students are returning to school to further their education, and Webner says the faculty, school board, and administration officials have done an excellent job of building up the Le Mars Community to be one of the best school districts in Iowa. Webner’s expectations for Le Mars Community for the 2017-2018 school year is to continue with its upward trend and tradition of being a revered and respected school district.

Webner says he has a personal goal to meet and to work with all the supporting partner organizations that help with the Le Mars Community School District.  He admits one of the challenges for the local school district is an on-going battle for state funding.

One area that Le Mars Community has directed its focus is creating a partnership with various businesses and industries in an effort to have students be better prepared for life after their formal education ends.

Students will notice nine new faces at Le Mars Community. Webner says he is excited about the new members of the administration, faculty, and staff.

The new school superintendent is hoping for an increase in student enrollment, but he says that number won’t be officially known until mid-October.



Iowa State University Receives $7 Million Gift 

AMES, Iowa (AP) – Officials say a family foundation has committed $7 million to add classroom and other space for the Iowa State University College of Business in Ames.
The university says the Gerdin Charitable Foundation gift will help build an approximately 35,000-square-foot (3,251 square meters) addition to the existing Gerdin Business Building. Business dean David Spalding says the college has experienced a 30 percent increase in enrollment since August 2013, which has led to the hiring of more staff and the need for more space.
The university says Ann Gerdin and her late husband, Russell Gerdin, provided the foundational gift for the Gerdin Business Building in 1998. The Gerdins established the company Heartland Express, which specializes in logistics and transportation. Its headquarters are in North Liberty.



Dubuque Woman Fatally Wounded From Mower Accident

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have released the name of a woman who died after becoming pinned between a lawn mower and an air conditioner in Dubuque. The incident was reported around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday at a condominium complex near Kennedy Mall on the west side of town. Police Lt. Scott Baxter said Wednesday that 61-year-old Barbara Casey, of Dubuque, was mowing on an incline when her riding mower either rolled or was propelled back into the platform-mounted air conditioner. Baxter says Casey’s upper torso was compressed between the air conditioner and the mower’s steering wheel. She was declared dead at the scene. An autopsy has been ordered.



Des Moines Authorities Investigate Another Slaying

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have released the name of a 19-year-old man who was fatally shot at a Des Moines convenience store. Officers sent to the store around 10:10 p.m. Tuesday found Noah Campbell, of Des Moines. Police say he died later at a hospital. No arrests have been reported in what police say is the city’s 22nd homicide of the year.



Churches Turn To Solar Energy

NORWALK, Iowa (AP) – Church leaders in central Iowa are turning to solar power for their buildings in an effort to aid the environment and save money. The Des Moines Register reports that the St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Norwalk has more than 200 solar panels which the Rev. John Ludwig says saves them about $2,000 a year. Church member Terry Dvorak founded Red Lion Renewables, a solar development firm. Dvorak gathered investors who contributed about $200,000 to purchase the panels. The company then sells the energy generated to the church at a low rate. Bishop Robert Pates says Pope Francis’ campaign combating climate change inspired the move toward solar. Leaders of the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines say the church is just the first in a larger scale solar energy initiative. —



Charges Filed Against AK-47 Bandit

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Robbery charges have been filed in Nebraska against a man suspected of being the “AK-47 bandit,” who investigators believe robbed banks in five states. Court records show 39-year-old Richard Gathercole was indicted Tuesday for an August 2014 bank robbery in Nebraska City, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Omaha. His attorney didn’t immediately return a call Wednesday from The Associated Press. FBI officials have been looking for years for the man they believe robbed banks in California, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska and Washington state typically while carrying an AK-47 rifle. Gathercole, of Montana, was arrested June 20 near Lexington, Nebraska, after a sheriff’s deputy spotted a pickup truck that Kansas authorities had reported stolen by a man who fired at a state trooper. Gathercole also faces weapons charges.