Home News Thursday News, March 1st

Thursday News, March 1st


No School Today At Le Mars Community

(Le Mars) — There will be no school for Le Mars Community today (Thursday) due to the Girls basketball team will play the semi-final round this afternoon at 3:15 p.m.
Denny Callahan will bring you the play-by-play here on KLEM radio 1410 AM and 96.9 FM.



School Board Approves Change Of Conferences

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education had two major decisions to make last evening during its regular bi-monthly meeting. The first issue was to decide if Le Mars Community would want to leave the Lakes Conference and follow
up on the invitation to join the Missouri River Activities Conference. The Missouri River Activities Conference includes Sioux City North, East, West, and Bishop Heelan along with Sergeant Bluff. In addition, it also includes two schools from Council Bluffs, Abe Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Le Mars
Community school board unanimously approved joining the Missouri River Activities Conference beginning with the year 2019. School Board president Todd Lancaster explains why Le Mars Community decided to change conferences.

Lancaster says once the school board learned all the facts, he says it became a much easier decision.

The school board president explained some of the reasons that drove the decision to leave the Lakes Conference in favor of the Missouri River Activities Conference.

Lancaster noted the change of conferences will not be much different for our competitive sports schedules of the past few years.

Lancaster noted for many sports, Le Mars Community already plays Bishop Heelan and Sergeant Bluff, and the Sioux City schools have competed against Le Mars Community for basketball and track. School superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner
reminded the board members one of the stipulations to joining the Missouri River Activities Conference would require Le Mars to begin offering soccer as a competitive sport.



School Board Gives Go Ahead For New Football Stadium Project

(Le Mars) — Plans for the proposed new football stadium were also discussed at last evening’s school board meeting. The school board approved the plans to move ahead with the project. The new stadium is estimated to cost $4.6 million dollars. Brent Koch, an architect with the firm Cannon, Moss, Brygger and
Associates met with the board last evening to go over cost estimates, diagrams, and contractor bidding requirements and construction timetables. Koch says the construction project includes a new stadium and press box, track, and football/soccer field.

Koch says contractors will be notified almost immediately seeking bids for the project. He says bids will need to be submitted by March 21st. He offers a timetable for the awarding of the contract and the construction of the project.

Koch says with the new design, the seating capacity should increase from today’s 1700 seats to 2200 seating capacity.

School Board president, Todd Lancaster says the stadium was built in 1959, and he says it is time Le Mars upgraded the facilities. School officials say a donation of $2 million dollars has already been secured for the project.

Lancaster says, once completed, Le Mars will have one of the premier football facilities within northwest Iowa. Lancaster says the $4.6 million dollar project will be financed through the one percent SAVE sales tax. Lancaster says he has heard several positive comments from the greater community regarding the
new athletic facility.

Construction is expected to be completed by August 1st of 2019, just in time for the football season. In other action during last evening’s school board meeting, the directors approved the school calendar for the 2018-2019 school year. Classes are scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 23rd, and conclude on
May 22nd. The approved school year will have 1,147 hours.



Ice Cream Days Receives Hotel-Motel Tax Grant

(Le Mars) — Ice Cream Days is the recipient of $7,500 allocated funds from the motel-hotel tax revenue. The funds will be used for the 2018 Ice Cream Days, scheduled for June 13-16th. The grant will be used for parade entries, entertainment, and various activities for Ice Cream Days. Sue Butcher with the Chamber of Commerce says the “Ice Cream Days Committee is excited to receive these special tax funds.” Butcher says, “Ice Cream Days increases tourism by bringing out-of-town visitors and former residents into Le Mars as family activities and school reunions are planned around the occasion. Numerous local people also take part in the wide variety of entertainment offered during the
four-day event.” Butcher says, “It is an opportunity to showcase several areas of our community including parks, businesses, the Arts Center, and Museum. It brings together community involvement and community unity.”

Ice Cream Days was one of ten applicants receiving funding for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Funding recommendations of the Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board were approved by the Le Mars City Council in February of 2017.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board received 13 application requests totaling $49,763 for the 2017-2018 fiscal budget year.



Farmer Pleas Guilty To Tax Fraud

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a western Iowa farmer has pleaded guilty in a tax fraud case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa says 64-year- old Kurt Neldeberg, of Whiting, pleaded guilty Wednesday to making a false and fraudulent tax return.
Prosecutors say he failed to report more than $315,000 in farm income from 2009 through 2012 and filed false tax returns.
Neldeberg faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he’s sentenced at a later date. He will also be required to pay the taxes due on the unreported income.



Judge Sets Trial Date For Godfrey-Branstad Lawsuit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A judge has set a trial date for a lawsuit filed by a former state official who alleges he was pressured by former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to resign because of his sexual orientation.
A judge on Wednesday set aside four weeks beginning Jan. 14 for the lawsuit filed by Chris Godfrey. He accuses the state of discrimination based on sexual orientation and retaliation, and of violating his constitutional due process guarantees.
The lawsuit also alleges Branstad and some of his staff tried to extort Godfrey by threatening to cut his salary if he didn’t quit.
Godfrey was serving a six-year term when Branstad took office and insisted he resign. Godfrey refused and Branstad slashed his pay in July 2011.
Branstad, now U.S. ambassador to China, denies Godfrey’s claims.
Branstad’s attorneys tried to delay the trial saying it would be difficult for him to leave his duties in Beijing.



State Senate Passes Tax Reform Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Senate Republicans appear set on approving more than $1 billion in annual tax cuts to the state without explaining how they plan to pay for it.
GOP lawmakers in the chamber are advancing legislation that would include reducing corporate income taxes and individual income taxes. The sweeping bill also would eliminate some tax credits, rework sales tax collections and mirror parts of the federal tax system.
Senate Republicans have scheduled a floor vote for the bill Wednesday, one week after releasing the proposal publicly. It would then head to the House, where its future is uncertain.
GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds has proposed a separate bill that would cut $1.7 billion in taxes over several years. A House panel is scheduled to review that bill Thursday.



State Senate Passes “Fetal Heartbeat” Abortion Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lawmakers in the Iowa Senate have approved a bill that would ban most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat.
The Republican-controlled chamber voted 30-20 Wednesday along party lines in support of the so-called heartbeat bill. The chamber’s lone independent lawmaker also voted for the legislation.
A heartbeat can be detected as early as 6 weeks of pregnancy. The legislation would only allow abortions at a later period to save a pregnant woman’s life.
Leaders in the GOP-majority House haven’t said publicly if they will support the bill. GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds also hasn’t given a definitive answer on the legislation.
If the measure becomes law, it likely faces litigation by opponents who argue it violates U.S. Supreme Court rulings that affirm women have a legal right to abortion.