Le Mars Community School Foundation Banquet
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community School Foundation banquet was held last evening to formally recognize the top five percent of the graduating seniors, those school district employees that have 25 years of service, and the school
district employees of the month. The evening is also to recognize the Le Mars Community School District Distinguished Alumnus, as well as to honor the “Teacher of the Year” Decades of Excellence Crystal Bell recipient. Two past alumni were honored as the Distinguished Alumnus, Dr. Gary Warnock from the
Class of 1963, and Kevin Petersen from the Class of 1969. Warnock was unable to attend the evening’s festivities, but Petersen was on hand to accept his honor. Petersen is a retired Director of NASA’s Dryden Flight Center at
Edwards Air Force Base in California. He served as its director for ten years. Petersen says he fondly remembers his days at Le Mars Community School District, and speaks highly of how Le Mars Community prepared him for his career in aeronautics engineering.
Petersen talks about the teachers at that time that greatly influenced him to look at space exploration and engineering.
The Le Mars Community alum talks about his career with NASA, and how he had a hand in developing some of the aeronautic technologies used today in many airlines.
During his acceptance speech, Petersen informed the gathering that cellphones used today, have more computer memory, and functions than the computer used during the Apollo moon journeys.
Petersen says he gets back to Iowa about once a year to spend some time at Lake Okoboji, and to visit with family members. His relatives include Larry and Luene Petersen and Gerald and Susan Klemme of Le Mars.
This year’s “Teacher of the Year-Decades of Excellence” recipient is Le Mars Community High School Science Teacher, Mr. Doug Martin. Martin has been a faculty member with Le Mars Community for 17 years. He teaches Physics, Anatomy, College Biology, and College Anatomy. He serves as one of the
coaches for Geared Up 9967, the school’s robotics team, and he has sponsored and facilitated several trips for Le Mars Community High School students to visit the NASA Space Centers in Houston and Florida. Martin began his acceptance speech by making reference to the Le Mars Community Distinguished Alum Kevin Petersen.
Martin spoke fondly of the Le Mars Community faculty, staff, and especially the students.
The Le Mars Community Science teacher expanded his comments regarding his love for his students.
Martin also spoke about one of his favorite projects, that being the robotics club.
The Le Mars Community School Foundation received over 40 nominations from past and present students, faculty, parents, administrators, and colleagues all suggesting that Martin be honored as the “Teacher of the Year.”
The School Foundation Banquet featured entertainment by Le Mars Community High School Students with a flute quartet consisting of: Diana Loutsch, Keegan Pippett, Joan Meis, and Grace Lamoreux.
In addition to the flute quartet, members of the High School Large Group Speech Contestants presented a short Musical Theater of the “Book of Mormon.” Those students included: Kyle Dunn, Devon Feenstra, Dalton Glawe, Max Hardyk, Keegan Pippett, Andrew Tonner, and Caden Washburn.
Top Five Percent of LCHS Graduating Class of 2018
The seniors include from left to right: Caden Washburn, Shelby Scheitler, Sam Vacera, Jayden Wiltgen, Oto Albrecht, Chloe Evans, Josiah Engebretson, and Madison Mahan.
Le Mars Community Faculty and Staff With 25 Years of Service
From left to right: Mary Boehmer, Wendy Weaver, Ted Hallberg, Michele Berkenpas, and Jean Hansen.
School District Employees Of The Month
From left to right: Adam Moss – November, Rhonda Justice – December, Dawn Richards – April, Sandy Small – October, and Marlyn Renken – May of 2017. Missing are Cody Wurth – February, and Kevin Westhoff – March.
Former Supreme Court Justice Passes
HARLAN, Iowa (AP) – Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Jerry Larson has died at age 81.
The Pauley Jones Funeral Home says Larson died Wednesday morning at a Harlan hospital.
A state news release says Larson served 1978 to 2008, longer than any other justice in the history of Iowa’s highest court.
Chief Justice Mark Cady served with Larson for 10 years and says in the news release that Larson “was a great mentor and better friend, with a keen legal mind, a quick wit and a deep love of the law.”
The release says Larson was born and raised in Harlan. He received his bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Iowa.
A funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the First Baptist Church in Harlan.
Man Arrested For Death Of Toddler
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Police in western Iowa have arrested a man and charged him in the death of a toddler.
Police say officers and fire personnel were sent to a Council Bluffs apartment last week for an unresponsive child. The child, a 16-month-old girl, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The initial investigation led to an arrest warrant being issued for
22-year-old Javon Jennings, of Council Bluffs, charging him one count of child endangerment causing serious injury. Police say Jennings was arrested Wednesday and is being held on $250,000 bond.
Police say Jennings was the sole caretaker of the girl when she was fatally injured. Her injuries included a broken left leg. The cause of the girl’s death remains under investigation, and detectives are awaiting final autopsy results.
Forest City Man Given Two Years In Prison For Making Counterfeit Money
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A northern Iowa man has been given two years in prison for making counterfeit $20 bills.
Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Victor Ineson Jr., of Forest City, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. He was ordered to make $240 in restitution to area businesses and serve two years of supervised release after he leaves prison.
He’d pleaded guilty, admitting that, from April through mid-May last year, he’d used chemicals to wash the print off lower denomination bills and reprint each bill to look like a $20 bill. He used some of the fakes at local retailers.
Two other charges were dropped in exchange for Ineson’s plea.
Iowa Legislature Still Working On State’s Budget
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa House has begun chipping away at the series of spending bills that will make up the next state budget.
The Republican-controlled chamber voted 57-36 Wednesday to approve legislation to fund agriculture and natural resources. That followed a unanimous vote to pay for transportation services.
The GOP-led Senate must also OK the bills. Preliminary votes could come as soon as Thursday.
Republicans have been negotiating behind closed doors to reach a broader agreement on a roughly $7.49 billion budget set to begin in July.
They want the deal to include tax cuts.
The $380 million bill funding the Department of Transportation
maintains overall staffing levels. The $129 million bill funding the
agriculture and natural resources departments restores staffing levels to where they were before mid-year cuts.
Former Vermeer Manufacturing Employee Charged With Fraud
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A former employee at agriculture and industrial heavy equipment maker Vermeer Corp. in Pella, as well as three others, have been indicted on fraud charges.
Federal prosecutors in Iowa say 54-year-old Scott Whitehead, 38- year-olld Natalia Sheps, 63-year-old Boris Vaysman, and 57-year-old Ana Hallon Gallego were all indicted Tuesday. Investigators say Whitehead was maintenance manager at Vermeer when he received kickbacks from two chemical companies over a five-year period. He’s accused of approving $3.6 million in invoices for products that Vermeer never received.
Whitehead is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Sheps and Vaysman, who had worked at All Industrial Chemical, and Gallego, who had worked at National Chemical Company, are charged with conspiracy and money laundering.
All four are scheduled to appear in Des Moines’ federal court on May 15.
Trial Is Delayed For Mother Accused Of Overdosing Her Daughter
GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) – The trial of a mother accused in the overdose death of her daughter has been rescheduled.
The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that the trial of 34-
year-old Misty Frazier will now start June 26. It had been set to begin on Tuesday.
Frazier is charged with child endangerment resulting in death and distributing a drug to a minor without a prescription.
Prosecutors say an autopsy shows the girl died in October 2016 of an overdose of the antidepressant amitriptyline, commonly sold under the brand name Elavil.
Police say the child did not have a prescription for that medication.