Home News Friday Afternoon News, October 27th

Friday Afternoon News, October 27th


Gehlen Catholic Honors Outgoing State Senator Anderson For His Support of STO

(Le Mars) — As Republican State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson begins to wind down his remaining days as a state legislator, before resigning from the State Senate to start a job as the Economic Development Director for Cherokee, he made
an appearance at Gehlen Catholic schools on Thursday to be honored. Gehlen principals, Jeff Alesch and Lorie Nussbaum presented State Senator Anderson with a plaque in appreciation for his service to the Iowa Legislature. Gehlen Catholic officials wanted to thank Anderson for his support of the School Tuition Organization (STO) and Educational Savings Act during his
time in the Iowa Legislature. The STO referred to in the Sioux City Diocese as the Monsignor Lafferty Tuition Foundation provides low to low-middle income students a tuition grant to help offset their parent investments. Donors receive a 65 percent state income tax credit and can also claim their donation
as a charitable contribution on their federal income tax statements. Gehlen Officials say that 3 of every 5 students receive some tuition assistance.



Wendt Decides To Seek State Senate Position

(Le Mars) — As we reported on Thursday, former Le Mars Community School District Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt of Le Mars is seeking a position at the State Senate.  Wendt says he will run as a Democrat, for the State Senate District number 3.  Senate District 3 encompasses a majority of Plymouth County, the northern section of Woodbury County, and a portion of Sioux City. The 21-year school administrator acknowledges an uphill challenge, since the district is predominately classified as Republican-based.  Still, Wendt says he is ready for
the challenge, and believes people will reflect on his past performance as a school administrator.

Wendt clarifies his stance and position as a moderate Democrat.

The former school administrator says it is time Iowans come together with shared mutual priorities.

Wendt also believes it is not good for the state government to be entirely controlled by one political party.

State Senator Bill Anderson has announced he will be resigning from political office in November to become the Economic Development Director for Cherokee.
Wendt says he doesn’t know of other candidates seeking the position for the Democrats, but admits it will need to go to a nominating committee convention.

Wendt says at this point in time, he is not aware of anyone else seeking nomination on the Democratic ticket.  Next week, KLEM news will feature a series of reports with Dr. Todd Wendt as we
discuss issues of interest to the state legislature.



South O’Brien FFA Member Wins National Honor

(Indianapolis) — You may recall earlier this week KLEM news had reported about an FFA member from the South O’Brien schools that currently works as a mechanic at a John Deere dealership that was a finalist for the National FFA Stars Over America for Agri-Placement. We are pleased to announce that Kellie Einck was selected as the winner of the FFA National Star Over America. Einck joins three other people from across the nation that were honored with the title “Stars Over America.” Einck won the Agri-Placement category, FFA also honored a
Star Farmer, Star Agribusiness, and a Star Agri-Science.



ICON Ag and Turf To Be Sold To Agri-Visions Equipment

(Pacific Junction, Iowa) — Agri-Visions Equipment, a full service John Deere farm and consumer equipment dealer, has announced the company’s intention to acquire ICON Ag and Turf stores in January of 2018, pending approval from Deere and Company.  Through this acquisition, Agri-Visions Equipment will add five locations in Doon, Ireton, Paullina, Lawton, and Le Mars to its existing 10 locations serving southwest Iowa, southeast Iowa, and Northwest Missouri.

Despite recent downward trends in the agricultural industry, Agri-Visions Equipment continues to invest in innovation, technology, and resources.  Agri-Visions Equipment is dedicated in investing in and building sustainable rural communities through strong relationships.  The family-owned and operated company is motivated by the success of its customers and the healthy economic growth in northwest Iowa.  Agri-Visions sees joining forces with ICON Ag and Turf as a win-win, yielding sustainable advantages for customers and employees alike.



Northey’s Nomination To USDA Post Is Being Held By Texas Senator

(Washington) — The Texas senator who won Iowa’s 2016 presidential caucuses has placed a hold on Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey’s nomination for a federal job.

Senator Ted Cruz is blocking a vote in the senate on Northey’s nomination to be an undersecretary in the U.S.D.A. Cruz is reportedly irked with the way Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst pressured the E-P-A Administrator to back off on a plan to reduce the federal biofuels mandate. Cruz and eight other senators from states that have oil refineries are now asking for a meeting with President Trump. They want to discuss an overhaul of the Renewable Fuels Standard. This group of senators charge the R-F-S hurts jobs in their states.
Thirty senators — including the two Republican senators from Iowa — were part of the coalition that pressed the Trump Administration to favor ethanol and biodiesel. Senator Chuck Grassley issued a statement regarding the delay of
Northey’s confirmation vote.

“There are mechanisms in the Senate that are aimed at encouraging dialogue and resolving different points of view. I’d be happy to discuss Secretary Northey’s outstanding qualifications to be a top USDA official with any of my colleagues.

Bill Northey’s abilities and record earned him a unanimous, bipartisan vote from the Senate Agriculture Committee. At this point, I’m continuing my work to get him on the job at USDA for the benefit of farmers across the country. We need him to do for American agriculture what he did in Iowa and in the Midwest with his leadership.”



Iowa’s Veteran’s Affairs Director To Resign

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The head of Iowa’s veterans department has announced she’s retiring just months after she took on the job.
Jodi Tymeson announced Thursday in a press release that her last day as executive director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs will be Nov. 17.
Tymeson was named executive director in April and started May 1. The press release offers no additional information about her short tenure and includes a link for others to apply for the job.
Tymeson previously served as executive director of the state veterans affairs department between 2011 and 2013. She most recently had leadership roles at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. Tymeson retired from the Iowa Army
National Guard in 2007 after 33 years of service. She was a state representative from 2001 to 2010.




Governor Reynolds Wants To Tackle Opioid Abuse

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has outlined priorities for combating opioid abuse in the state, but she stopped short of offering specifics on future legislation or whether there will be additional state money available.
Reynolds told reporters Thursday she will prioritize existing initiatives in Iowa that aim to prevent and treat opioid abuse, including increasing participation in a prescription monitoring program and expanding education on decreasing opioid prescribing.
A Reynolds spokeswoman says the governor is still formulating her 2018 legislative package.
Reynolds’ comments come on the same day that President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. Trump’s declaration includes no new money, and a state health official says it’s not immediately clear how it will impact Iowa.