Home News Friday News, March 9th

Friday News, March 9th


Le Mars Arts Center To Celebrate Its 45th Anniversary

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Arts Center will be holding a fund raiser benefit event this Saturday evening at the Le Mars Convention Center. The Le Mars Arts Center turns 45 this year and Arts Center Director Judy Marienau says the theme
for the evening’s event will focus on music, with the highlight featuring music from Remsen’s own, Danika Portz.

Marienau says attendees will celebrate the anniversary of the Arts Center by holding a birthday party.

Marienau says the event is a free-will offering, without the need for advance tickets or reservations. Danika Portz is a country singer living in Nashville.¬†She has released a few albums, including her latest album entitled “Shades.”

The Le Mars Arts Center director says although the community is forward thinking with its depiction of various art projects scattered throughout the town with alley art, ice cream cones, and the various large murals on several
downtown building walls, she believes the local arts center is a secret gem, that far too many people have not yet discovered.

In addition to those programs, Marienau says the Arts Center also offers various types of art programs to seniors, as well as the disabled and handicapped. She says people don’t need to be an artist to enjoy the Le Mars Arts Center.

The Le Mars Arts Center is located in the old Carnegie Hall at 200 Central Avenue southeast.



State Legislature Passes Bill To Abolish Teacher Tests

(Des Moines) — The Iowa legislature passed a school related bill that discontinues the practice of having potential teachers pass a test before they can obtain their teaching certificate. State representative Chuck Holz of Le Mars says although the measure passed, it did have some controversy associated with it.

Holz says the passed bill now does away with the testing of teacher requirement.

Holz says for some people, the argument was that in order for Iowa to continue to excell in our education levels, teachers should need to prove themselves worthy of being a teacher. However, as the Le Mars republican lawmaker says, not everyone is suited to take tests, and their should be additional criteria used to determine if an individual would make a good teacher.



Boy Takes Father’s Marijuana To School

AVOCA, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say they’ve have charged a western Iowa man whose son took some of his father’s marijuana to school.
Court records say the fourth-grader found a small bag of pot Feb. 23 on the floor of his dad’s bedroom in Avoca, took it to school that day and gave it to school officials. They contacted law enforcement.
The records say 30-year-old James Mills is charged with child endangerment and possession of marijuana. His attorney, Amanda Heims (heyms), said Thursday that Mills will plead not guilty.
The records say Mills told investigators that his son did the right thing but that he was annoyed because the boy got into Mills’ safe to get the marijuana.



Corrections Officer Wins Lawsuit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A jury has awarded $2 million in damages to a former Iowa correctional officer who faced retaliation after complaining she was sexually harassed by inmates.
The Polk County jury made the award Wednesday for lost earnings and emotional distress to Kristine Sink, a former officer at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.
The jury ruled that Sink was the victim of retaliation for bringing an earlier lawsuit, which exposed how inmates at the maximum-security prison were allowed to watch graphic films and masturbate in front of her. Jurors sided with the state and awarded her no damages in 2014.
On Wednesday, jurors found that Sink’s superiors retaliated against Sink days after the 2014 verdict by putting her on leave, investigating her and forcing her to return to direct inmate supervision.



Man Accused Of Killing Family Wants To Change Plea

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Court records say a central Iowa man accused of killing his mother, father and sister intends to change his plea.
The records say lawyers for 21-year-old Chase Nicholson had requested a plea hearing, which has been scheduled for April 30 in Polk County District Court.
The records don’t say how he’ll plead and to what charges. He’s already pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the April 6 shooting deaths of 58 -year-old Mark Nicholson; 56-year-old Charla Nicholson and 24-year-old Tawni Nicholson. Authorities say Nicholson used a shotgun that was recovered at the
family home in Bondurant, where the bodies were found April 6.
Chase Nicholson surrendered April 7 in Neosho, Missouri. Police there have said Nicholson told an officer that he had killed three people the night before.



Attorney Files Lawsuit Claiming Wrongful Termination

WAUKEE, Iowa (AP) – An attorney fired by the Iowa Association of School Boards for writing a partisan newspaper column defending Gov. Kim Reynolds has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Anna Bergman, a Republican running for the Iowa House, is suing the association and executive director Lisa Bartusek, claiming her free speech rights were violated.
The 26-year-old was the association’s director of policy and legal
services until last month, when she wrote a column for the Des Moines Register headlined, “Iowans are not buying Democrats’ hyperbole.” She suggested that Iowa is “in great shape” and defended Reynolds against criticism of her record on education. A disclaimer in the print version noted Bergman’s views “do not
necessarily reflect those of” the association.
The association dismissed Bergman, saying her statements conflicted with its duty to remain nonpartisan.
Bergman’s lawsuit claims other association employees made pro-
Democratic and anti-Trump statements on social media without consequence.