Home News Wednesday News, December 6th

Wednesday News, December 6th


Shelving Mix-up Delays The Opening Of The Renovated Public Library

(Le Mars) — A mix-up on shelving for the renovated public library is likely to push back the opening for the Le Mars Public Library. Shirley Taylor, the Director of Library Services, appeared before the city council on Tuesday to explain there was some confusion between all parties involved with the specific description of the ordered shelving. Taylor had brought along two different types of metal shelving to the council meeting in order to better demonstrate what had happened.

Taylor was feeling bad about the confusion and delayed
deadline, but council members gave her re-assurance. Councilman Rex Knapp indicated he hopes to have the renovated library to be open in time for the Christmas holiday, so students will have a place to go during their Christmas break. Taylor informed the council that she believes the correct type of
shelving will arrive next week, which she hopes for a new target opening to be on December 19th. Some members were wondering if the library could open without the correct shelving in place for the children’s area. However, City Assistant
Administrator, Jason Vacera, told the council he believed it may be worth the wait, and make the needed corrections, before having the formal opening. Vacera says people may have several questions of the library staff about the incomplete
work. Vacera believes the public would have a greater appreciation for the renovated work, if all the work was completed for the formal opening.



City Council Approves Agreement With Merrill For Ply-wood Trail

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Council approved an agreement with the Merrill City Council regarding the proposed Ply-wood recreational trail. However, before the council voted to approve the agreement, Councilman Clark Goodchild had questions for members of the Ply-wood Recreational Trail Committee.
Goodchild was concerned that the trail would be incomplete, and constructed in pieces. Goodchild says he favors having a trail that would connect Le Mars to Merrill, to Hinton and on into Sioux City. However, he wanted assurance the trail would not get started in one area, and not completed in another area.
Mark Sturgeon and Leslie Bartholomew appeared before the council to answer questions. The two gave assurance to Goodchild that although the specific trail has not yet been determined, they believe a final trail would be proposed to the
public sometime in January. Bartholomew and Sturgeon informed the council that fund raising activities are continuing, and meetings with land-owners are taking place. The two trail advocates said the trail would not begin until everything
was completed. The council approved the agreement on a five to zero vote, with everyone voting in favor of the agreement with Merrill for the Plywood Recreational trail.



Organizations Can Apply For Hotel-Motel Sales Tax Grants

(Le Mars) — Applications for Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau Hotel/Motel sales tax funding are now available online at lemarsiowa.com or at Le Mars City Hall during regular business hours. Applications must be returned to city hall no later than noon on Friday, December 29th, 2017 for consideration.
Applications received after the deadline will not be considered for funding. All applications must be typewritten. Le Mars non-profit and not-for-profit organizations qualify for CVB sales tax funds. Projects must begin no earlier than July 1st, 2018, and must be completed by June 30th, 2019. Multiple projects must be submitted on separate applications. Preference is given to
projects with a tourism/event scope of work. Organizations receiving CVB Hotel/Motel sales tax funds cannot request additional funding toward the same project from the Le Mars City Council. Organizations will not be notified of awards until March after city budgets have been approved. Since the incorporation of the five percent hotel/motel sales tax in Le Mars in 2001, more than $1,772,000 in grant funds have been awarded to a variety of projects.



Fair Board Requests Funding From County Supervisors

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are beginning to receive budget funding requests for the next fiscal year.  At Tuesday’s meeting, Rich Benson, president of the Plymouth County Fair Board appeared before the supervisors.  He informed the county governing board of the capital improvements the fair board is wanting to make before the next upcoming fair.

Benson also mentioned the fair board wants to install a new sidewalk.

Benson thanked the county for its past support of the Plymouth County Fair. He mentioned the fair had a record attendance during the 2017 fair.  Benson also informed the county board of supervisors that the fair has already paid off the
Hall of 15, and is currently debt free.  Many of the supervisors complimented Benson for the nice exhibit facility.  The fair board president informed the supervisors of the proposed upgrades being planned for Century Hall.

Considerable discussion focused on the most popular attraction from the past year’s fair, which was the helicopter rides.



Bank President Talks About 2018 Agricultural Financial Outlook

(Le Mars) — The 2017 harvest is complete, and farmers are looking ahead to next year.  Many farmers are now visiting with their financial lenders to begin the process of setting up credit and establishing their business operation plans for the next crop year.  KLEM news spoke with Paul Jacobson, president of
American Bank of Le Mars and Remsen to learn what lenders are thinking for the 2018 agricultural outlook.  The agricultural economy is down from what it was a few years ago, but Jacobson says many bankers are encouraged, because farmers
were able to get better than expected corn and soybean yields.

Jacobson says farmers will need to cutback on their input costs, and he says they need to have an adequate cash flow system.

The bank president says farmers should also look at restructuring loans and debts to help during this belt-tightening times.

Jacobson says those farmers that are able to expand on their operations, are probably those that have sufficient cash reserves which would allow them to expand.  He says farmers are also being benefited from low interest rates.
Many times we think back to the 1980’s when the farm economy was depressed.  But, fortunately today’s agriculture economy is better than that of the 1980’s.  Farmers have learned to be better marketers, better business operators, and they
are more efficient.  We have seen much better yields than that of 40 years ago, and interest rates are considerably lower than in the 1980’s.  Having said that though, for some farmers it may prove to be a difficult year.



North High School Has Bomb Threat

(Sioux City) — Sioux City Police are investigating a bomb threat against North High School.The Sioux City School district says the threat was identified by a student that saw the message displayed on a Minecraft message board.It stated the bomb was allegedly scheduled to go off at 1:28 pm Tuesday. School Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman says student safety was the top priority and a school evacuation was ordered.

Police searched the North High campus and found no threatening device.  Lt. Pat McCann says police will work to determine the identity of the culprit.

The students were brought back to the school after police signaled an all clear for the campus and then were dismissed for the day.
Dr. Gausman says the North students and staff responded to the threat well.

Evening activities scheduled for Tuesday at North were to proceed as normal.



Record Store Owner Accused Of Hiding Camera In Restroom

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A West Des Moines record store owner accused of hiding a camera in the business’ bathroom and recording an underage girl is now under federal indictment. Federal prosecutors say 48-year-old Robert Kuhn, the owner of Wayback Records, was indicted last week on a count of attempted production of child pornography. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in federal prison. On Tuesday, Kuhn was ordered detained pending trial after prosecutors say investigators had found videos of other females disrobing. In late August, a girl who had worked for Kuhn told police she found a
camera hidden on a shelf in the bathroom after Kuhn had asked her to try on dresses. A public defender representing Kuhn said it’s his office’s policy not to comment on cases.



Cedar Rapids Will No Longer Sell Fireworks

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – The city of Cedar Rapids has banned the use of fireworks within city limits just days before the state’s second period of legal sales and use begins. The council signaled its plans last week with its initial vote to
advance the ban. Television station KGAN reports that the council finalized adoption of the ordinance Tuesday. That means the new ordinance will go into effect before Sunday, when the next state-approved fireworks sale-and-use period begins. The council also passed new rules last month restricting where fireworks could be sold in the city. Cedar Rapids city leaders decided to install new ordinances regarding fireworks use after an increase in injuries and noise complaints during the
first legal fireworks period. —