Lancaster, Kommes, and Miller Elected to Le Mars Community School Board
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County voters went to the polls on Tuesday to decide upon their representatives for local community school board directors. Many of the
races were uncontested. At the Le Mars Community School District Todd Lancaster was re-elected from district 1. Lancaster received 115 votes. Scott Kommes will return to the Le Mars Community School Board. Kommes ran unopposed and collected
120 votes, from district 2. All eyes were on district 4, since no one had submitted nomination papers, and Brenda Phelan had announced she was not going to seek re-election. However, Dave Miller had a successful write-in campaign and received a total of 59 votes, allowing him to fill the void left by out-going
school board member Brenda Phelan.
At the Remsen-Union school board election, Mike Sparr and Robin Weiler were able to be re-elected with 71 and 70 votes, respectfully. The third director-at-large position will be filled by Chris Poeckes, who was a write-in candidate and received 58 votes. Rich Van Dam was another write-in candidate, but received only 8 votes. Remsen-Union votes also approved the penny sales tax for school improvements with a vote of 66 to 39.
Akron-Westfield voters re-elected Nick Schoenfelder, Josh Martinsen and Cory Tucker. The district 2 position was a close race between Pam Von Hagel and Kelly Pierce, both were write-in candidates. However, Von Hagel will be on the Akron-Westfield school board by receiving five votes compared to Pierce’s two votes.
Hinton Community School Board election had three candidates seeking two positions. Erin Weiland received the most votes with 92. The two incumbent candidates between James Binneboesse and John Reintzel came down to a margin of three votes separating the two candidates with Binneboesse retaining his position on the school board. Binneboesse received 65 votes compared to Reintzel’s 62 votes.
The Kingsley-Pierson school board election also had three candidates seeking two positions. Winning at Kingsley-Pierson were Kate Pratt with 160 votes, Jason Collins narrowly defeated Blake Laddusaw with 107 to 104 votes.
Neil Adler and Russell Wray were re-elected to serve on the board of directors for the Western Iowa Technical Community College.
County Supervisors Approve Cherokee To Be Involved With SRT Unit
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo appeared before the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning to ask for their support and approval to allow Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Cherokee Police Department to be a part of the Special Reponse Team, or otherwise known as S-R-T. The Special Response Team is a strategic tactical law enforcement unit comprising of members of the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office, Le Mars Police Department, and the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, and is called upon for stand-offs, hostage situations, active shooter incidents, or otherwise critical and life-threatening incidents. Van Otterloo says on a few occassions the SRT unit has been called to Cherokee County to offer mutual aid assistance with some incidents.
Van Otterloo says nothing would change with the original agreement, other than the addition of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Cherokee Police Department. He says the only change would be with the name, which may now be referred to as the Tri-County SRT. Van Otterloo says discussions have taken place over the last several months with the Le Mars Police Department and with Sioux County Sheriff’s Office about possibly adding Cherokee County.
Van Otterloo also informed the supervisors that the addition of Cherokee to the SRT would also mean more people that would be available on weekends or holidays when there could be a possibility of three or five members may be away from the immediate community.
The Plymouth County Sheriff informed the county supervisors that in recent years, the SRT unit has been called upon on a more frequent basis. He says the SRT unit has been used to deter possible uprisings and confrontations The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors gave their approval of having Cherokee as part of the SRT unit. Van Otterloo believes it may be two to three months before all entities sign on to the agreement.
MenuMasters Scheduled For Saturday Evening
(Le Mars) — LEEP, Le Mars Educational Enhancement Project will hold its sixth annual MenuMasters fundraising event this coming Saturday evening at the Century Hall at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds. Amanda Susemihl serves as one of the co-chairs, and talks about of the annual event.
Although only samples will be served, Susemihl says you will get filled up if you try all 28 foods from each team.
The MenuMasters co-chair says part of the fun is seeing the different costumes and themes that go with the food items.
Susemihl says the evening’s fun will begin at 5:00 p.m. and following the food samples and judging, attendees can unwind and enjoy a dance.
Susemihl says there are a limited number of tickets available for the MenuMasters event. She says no tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets are available from Primebank, American Bank, Northwest Bank, and at the School Superintendent’s office.
USDA Projects Record Soybean Crop
(Washington) — The U-S Department of Agriculture issued its monthly crop production report on Tuesday, and the results have many people scratching their heads wondering about the yield projection estimates. Despite Hurricanes Harvey and Irma that have flooded many of the southern states, and a prolonged dry spell in the upper Midwest, the U-S-D-A is believing farmers will produce a record soybean crop of 4.43 billion bushels. That figure represents a three percent increase from 2016 production. Corn production is estimated to drop six percent from 2016 production levels. The U-S Department of Agriculture is saying corn farmers will produce a yield of 142 billion bushels. In Iowa, corn production is thought to drop from last year’s average of 203 bushels per acre to this year at 187 bushels per acre with a total production of 2.449 billion bushels of corn. Iowa’s soybean production is estimated at 57 bushels per acre at 567 million bushels. That compares to last year’s production of 60.5 bushels per acre with a total production of 571 million bushels.
Crop Specialist Says Crop Conditions Are Mixed Prior to Harvest
(Le Mars) — In a matter of a few weeks, combine harvesters will be busy in the fields harvesting this year’s crops. It has been quite a year with hail hitting some areas, and dry conditions during the months of June and July. Joel DeJong, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach crops specialist for northwest Iowa believes farmers may see a wide variety of yields. He says prior to harvest, the corn conditions are mixed.
DeJong says the rains and cooler temperatures of August helped reduce the stress level on the corn crop, giving it an opportunity to recover from the dry spell.
DeJong says the corn crop is still about 30 days away from full maturity. He says he is hoping for a warm and dry October, so the corn will dry down naturally, and not having to use artifical means to dry the corn, which would only add to the expense for the farmer. As for soybeans, DeJong believes farmers will have a reduction in yield compared to last year’s crop. He says it may still be a good harvest, but not a record yield.
Iowa Organic Farms On The Increase
CASCADE, Iowa (AP) – The number of organic farms in Iowa is growing rapidly, but they still constitute only a small percentage of farms in the state. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that Iowa has seen a 42 percent increase in organic farms from 2008 to 2015. The state had more than 670 organic farms in 2015, which was less than 1 percent of the farms in the state. Iowa Organic Association Managing Director Kate Mendenhall tells the Telegraph Herald that a growing demand for organic products is driving the increase in organic farms. Kim and Marvin Lynch had their Cascade dairy farm certified as organic in 2009. The couple had to stop using fertilizers, insecticides and synthetic herbicides for three years before becoming certified. —
Insurance Official Is Not Optimistic About New Proposal Being Adopted
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa official says he’s less optimistic a proposal will be approved that would allow the state to shift money used for the Affordable Care Act.
Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen told lawmakers Tuesday he’s still awaiting a decision from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding a so-called stopgap measure for the state’s individual insurance market. He says he’s “less optimistic” because he expected an answer by now.
Ommen says he’s still hopeful and his office has been preparing as if the federal government will give its approval. Open enrollment for health insurance coverage begins Nov. 1. Some other states have sought a waiver to change some funding rules for their individual ACA markets, but data shows Iowa’s plan is among the most expansive.
The proposal would allow government subsidies designed to lower costs for low-income and older participants to be used to entice younger people to buy insurance. Ommen says the plan is needed because Iowa’s current market is facing huge rate increases.