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Thursday News, April 12th


School Board Approves Budget, Stadium Renovation Contractor, and Decides To Extend The School Year By Two Days

(Le Mars) — In last evening’s Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting, the members of the school board approved the budget for the upcoming school year.
Expenses are anticipated to be at $23,481,046 and the total operating fund spending authority is projected at $28,068,935 allowing the school district of approximately a five million dollar cushion between revenue and expenses. The school board also voted to approve L & L Builders of Sioux City to be the general
contractor of the stadium renovation project. L & L came in with the lowest of five submitted bids at $4.62 million dollars base bid. School officials said they were pleased to see five companies have an interest in the project and submitted bids. Along with the stadium renovation, the school board approved some alternate specific project bids including having the school logo at mid-field, lettering in the endzones, alternative synthetic turf, and resinous flooring inside the rooms beneath the stadium. The school board also discussed the last day of school. Originally, the school calendar had school being dismissed on May 23rd, but due to school closings because of weather conditions,
and dismissing classes during the Girls Basketball State Tournament, the board during their last meeting had approved the last day to be scheduled for Friday, May 25th. However, since the school cancelled classes due to the snow and ice
storms of this past week, the school board was again faced with the decision as to when classes should be dismissed for the summer. School superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner offered the board members two options for consideration. The first
option would be to dismiss classes on Friday, May 25th and forego the missed days, and the second option would be to come back to classes following Memorial Day for an extra two more days of education. Board member Pat Murphy spoke in
favor of extending the school year for the additional two more days, while board member Angie Catton spoke against the proposal. Catton said the board had previously announced Friday, May 25th would be the last day, and she said the
board should stand by its earlier committment. Catton mentioned that several families, including faculty members, have made plans for family vacations that would begin during the Memorial Day weekend. Catton also brought up the fact
that the members of the Le Mars Community High School Choir are scheduled for a tour, and wondered if it was a good idea to extend the school year when so many students, and some faculty members would not be in attendance? Catton says there is already a baseball game scheduled for Tuesday, May 28th which was scheduled to begin at noon.
Superintendent Webner informed Catton the baseball game would be re-scheduled. When the vote was taken, Catton stood alone as the other members voted to extend the school year by the extra two days after Memorial Day, with now the last day
scheduled to occur on Wednesday, May 30th.



Dawn Richards Named School District’s “Employee of the Month”

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community School District named its latest “Employee of the Month” during a ceremony held this morning at Kluckhohn Elementary School.
Long-time 5th grade teacher Dawn Richards was recognized as the “Employee of the Month” by Larry Petersen, a board member of the Le Mars School District Foundation. Richards has been a teacher with for 34 years. The entire Kluckhohn staff submitted the nomination for Richards. The submitted nomination reads:
Dawn adds a lot to our building. She is a very positive person that always sees the good in people. She loves teaching social studies, reading, and written language. Many times her light is on past 4:00 because she wants the best for her students, and plans accordingly. Dawn is retiring this year, and Kluckhohn
will miss her smile, her laughter, and her love for the job she does. Recently, she told us that she had taught at Akron, and then came to Le Mars to teach in the Middle School. She also told us that she had taught in a pre-school and would love to sub in the lower grades. We would love to have you sub in our
school, Dawn, then we would still hear the laughter adnd see how you love the kids at Kluckhohn. Our congratulations go to Dawn Richards for being named as the Le Mars Community School District “Employee of the Month.”



Taylor and Grosenheider Named As Chamber “Boss of the Quarter”

(Le Mars) — On Wednesday, there was not one, but rather two, presentations made to honor the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce “Boss of the Quarter.” The first presentation was made Wednesday morning during the Chamber coffee event held at
the Le Mars Public Library. Library Director Shirley Taylor was given the honor of “Boss of the Quarter” as she was nominated by the library staff. Taylor was instrumental in overseeing the transition of the library during its renovation period, and when the public library was operating out of the Eagles Club. Later
that night, during the Chamber After 5 event, the staff of Hotopp’s Jewelry and Gifts nominated and presented the “Boss of the Quarter” award to Robin Grosenheider. Robin and Dave have been the owners of Hotopp’s for 40 years, and were celebrating the business’s anniversary.



County Supervisors Pass Resolution Naming April As Sexual Assault Awareness Month for Plymouth County

(Le Mars) — April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and during their weekly meeting held on Tuesday, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution calling attention to the fact that sexual violence is
widespread and impacts every community.



House Members Pass Tax Reduction Measure

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Republicans in control of the Iowa House have announced their proposal to cut state taxes, but it’s unclear if it has support in the GOP-majority Senate.
House leaders released a plan Wednesday that they say would cut state tax revenue by $1.3 billion over five years. It would keep a contested deduction on federal income taxes known as federal deductibility.
House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, a Clear Lake Republican, says the House plan “tweaks” a tax bill proposed by Gov. Kim Reynolds, who suggests cutting $1.7 billion in tax revenue over six years. Senate Republicans passed a bill earlier this session that would eventually cut $1 billion in taxes annually.
Upmeyer says their plan is a “wonderful first start,” an indication she anticipates changes.
Tax-writing committees in both chambers are scheduled Thursday to review possibly competing versions of the bill.



Reynolds To Travel To Washington To Discuss Trade Tariffs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds is traveling to Washington to discuss trade with President Donald Trump amid escalating tensions with China over tariffs.
Reynolds’ staff says in a press release Wednesday that the governor will be in Washington on Thursday to meet with Trump, governors and congressional leaders. The press release says Reynolds will discuss “issues impacting the agricultural community, including trade.”
Reynolds has said she’s closely monitoring communication between the countries over proposed tariffs on a range of products. China’s tariffs on U.S. exports could have a huge economic toll on soybeans, ethanol and pork.
Reynolds’ trip caused her to cancel an event in Muscatine. She plans to return to Iowa by Thursday afternoon and will attend an event in Bettendorf.



Wyoming Man Ordered To Pay After Scamming Money From Iowans

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) – Authorities say a Wyoming man has been ordered to pay $373,000 in restitution and penalties for allegations that he convinced two Iowa residents to invest in his company and then used the money to pay his personal
credit card bill.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports that the Iowa Insurance Division in August ordered Bruce Hauptman on Friday to pay the restitution.
Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen determined Hauptman had violated four Iowa statues in the deal: selling unregistered securities, transacting as an unregistered agent, engaging in dishonest or unethical practices and omitting
material facts.
Hauptman has maintained that the investments made in his company were not sold as securities and he has disputed the insurance commissioner’s findings.
Hauptman did not immediately respond to a voicemail requesting comment.