Iowa Roads Are Snow Covered – Plows Are Active
(Le Mars) — Snow covered roads are common this morning throughout the state of Iowa and the entire Midwest. The Iowa Department of Transportation are out this morning with their snow plows trying to push the snow off the roadways. Highway
20 east bound near Galva is blocked in two locations. The Iowa D-O-T says Highways 75, 3, 60, and 12 are all covered with snow. Allow some extra time for your morning commute. At Sioux City, Interstate 29 southbound exit is currently
closed. For road condition updates, go to 511ia.org.
Legislature Approves One Percent Increase For K-12 Education Spending
(Le Mars) — The Iowa Legislature has passed a bill that would add $32 million dollars, or a one percent increase to the state’s K-12 educational funding.
Although the state House, and the state Senate, have agreed on the one percent increase, the Senate has proposed an additional $14 million dollars to fund the costs with transportation, and the inequities between larger and smaller schools. Le Mars School Superintendent, Dr. Steve Webner says many school districts are appreciative of the increase, especially when other educational
institutions have had to face some harsh budget cuts. However, many school districts claim the one percent increase is simply not enough. Webner explains how the one percent increase will affect the Le Mars Community school district.
Webner says many school districts may have to face some tough decisions if the school funding is not increased in the future.
The Le Mars school superintendent says the teacher’s retirement fund, known as IPERS, will take a large chunk of the appropriated school funding.
Several school officials from across the state visited with Iowa lawmakers last week. Webner tells they didn’t have a specific figure in mind when they spoke with legislators. He says school officials also spoke about extending the SAVE
Webner says many school districts were asking lawmakers for some flexibility with the different school funding programs.
The Iowa House and Senate will need to go to conference committee to resolve the differences in school funding.
Wurth Honored As School District’s “Employee Of The Month”
(Le Mars) — A computer technician that has his office at the Education Service Center is the latest school staff member to be honored as the “Le Mars Community Employee Of The Month.” Cody Wurth has been employed with the Le Mars Community
School District for the last two years. Colleagues Bruce Ludwig and Mark Walz nominated Wurth for the award. They write: “Cody was hired to help manage and maintain our help desk system, along with other duties assigned. I have noticed
since his hiring a significant improvement in the overall maintenance of all of our technology in all of our buildings. In addition, to his superb work ethic.
Cody brings a positive attitude with his work each day. He treats all with kindness, respect, and greets everyone with a smile, despite the demands of maintaining five buildings each day. Cody is a fabulous employee, a huge asset to our department, and is so deserving of this award and recognition.”
Larry Petersen with the Le Mars Community School Foundation presented Cody Wurth with the Le Mars Community School District “Employee of the Month.”
Gehlen Catholic Given Gifts For Technology Advancements
(Le Mars) — During the Gehlen Catholic girls’ basketball game against Akron- Westfield, Gehlen Catholic recognized several generous benefactors for their gifts to the Technology Department.
First, Angie (Sitzmann, ’75) Erdmann & Premier Communications Foundation were applauded for their annual support of $1,000 for technology. Mrs. Erdmann stated, “Premier Communications Foundation is very supportive of all of the communities we are in, in particular to all the schools Premier Communications
provides service too.” Premier Communications Foundation gift will be used to replace a projector for use in the classrooms in conjunction with the SMARTBoards.
Mr. David Schoenhardt & Catholic United Financial was thanked for their $500 grant for elementary Chromebooks. According to their website, “Catholic United Financial has awarded $430,000 in grants from their Priority Fund in to more than 800 Catholic schools & parishes. These grants focus on hardware & software
to benefit elementary students to provide dollars in developing lives of children & young adults. Grants are made possible by the faithful giving of Foundation donors & fundraising efforts of our annual golf tournament.”
Gehlen Catholic parents, Brad & Angie Jochum made a generous “Christmas gift” to the school, as well as the Gehlen Catholic Class of 1961, to the Technology Department.
Technology Director, Mrs. Lori Schuch, stated, “Thanks to Catholic United Financial, the Jochums & the Class of 1961, 24 Chromebooks have been added this school year for the students to use in their classrooms.”
Afterwards, Mrs. Susy Kessenich, on behalf of St. Joseph’s – Struble, shared the parish’s recent investment into the school’s technology department by purchasing a new SMARTBoard.
Gehlen Catholic School President, Rev. Bruce A. Lawler; PK-6 Principal, Mrs. Lorie Nussbaum; & Board of Education President, Mr. Mark Kallsen (’94), asked those in attendance to express their gratitude to all of the benefactors.
Dawson To Run For State Senate Seat
LAWTON, IA – Dave Dawson (age 44) of Lawton, Iowa has announced he will be a candidate to represent Senate District 3 in the Iowa Legislature. The district includes every town in Plymouth County and large parts of Woodbury County from
Correctionville to Morningside and from Pierson to Salix. Dawson is running as a Democrat. The seat is currently being held by Republican Jim Carlin after a special election was held in December.
Dawson was born in Cherokee and grew up in Washta. He graduated from the last class of Willow Community High School (now part of River Valley Schools). He received anundergraduate degree at Iowa State University and earned a law degree at UCLA School of Law. For three years, Dawson worked on legal matters for a variety of businesses at a law firm in Chicago. Dawson has lived in Woodbury County for sixteen years, and during that time, he has practiced law in Sioux City. He ran his own law office for over five years and is currently a
prosecutor for Woodbury County, where he has worked for over 10 years.
Since 2011, Dawson has been a board member at the Community Action Agency of Siouxland. He is currently vice-president for New Perspectives Inc. and has served on its board since 2014. He joined the board of Siouxland CARES in 2017.
Sioux City Man Charged With Stabbing
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City man charged in a fatal stabbing has pleaded not guilty and been released after posting a bond.
44-year-old Jeremy Lillich pleaded not guilty and posted a $2,000 bond late Wednesday. He’s scheduled to appear at a
court hearing March 16.
Lillich was arrested earlier Wednesday after being paroled from prison following a drug conviction.
A Woodbury County grand jury in November indicted Lillich on one count of involuntary manslaughter in the June 3 stabbing death of 21-year-old James R.D. Purcell, of Sioux City.
Although Lillich was serving a prison sentence on the drug conviction, Corrections Department records show he would have been either on work release or parole when the stabbing occurred.
Legislature Looks At Abortion Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Republican-led legislative panel has approved a bill that would ban most abortions in Iowa once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The bill would make it a felony for doctors to perform abortions after detecting a fetal heartbeat, which occurs as early as at six weeks of pregnancy.
Two Republicans on a three-person Senate subcommittee advanced the bill Thursday, and a committee vote is expected next week.
If the measure becomes law, it likely would be appealed by opponents who would argue it violates U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
The legislation comes less than one year after the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature banned most abortions in the state after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
A three-day waiting period on women seeking the procedure is not in effect amid ongoing litigation.
Central Iowa Man Charged With Killing Two-Month Old Daughter
NEVADA, Iowa (AP) – Prosecutors say a central Iowa man charged in the death of his 2-month-old daughter killed the baby by placing pillows on her face.
The Des Moines Register reports that 29-year-old Calvin Curtis White, of Nevada, has been charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death after his daughter was found not breathing Jan. 29 and later died. Police also say they found a recorded message on White’s phone in which he said he
killed the infant by placing pillows on her face to keep from hearing her cry.
Police say White was the sole caregiver of his daughter at the time of her death.
White remains in the Story County Jail on a $1 million bond. His public defender did not immediately return a phone message Thursday seeking comment.