Home News Wednesday News, May 16th

Wednesday News, May 16th


Le Mars City Council Approves Several Agenda Items

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Council approved the contract naming Michael Murphy as the new city attorney. Murphy will take over the position from retiring Joe Flanery on July 1st. Murphy has a three-year contract with the city. In other business, the city council on Tuesday approved the JEO
Consulting firm to an engineering agreement for electrical improvements to the Le Mars Municipal Park. The city council also approved the Police Department to hire a full-time office assistant. The city council approved an agreement with the LBIC for the Cresent Ridge Addition, and the city approved a contract with Precision Concrete Cutting for just shy of $44,000 to grind down trip hazards on the city’s sidewalks. Sidewalks was also the
topic for discussion by the city council as they talked about the need to have a sidewalk along Business Highway 75 South near the McDonald’s restaurant. Mayor Dick Kirchoff made the announcement the city will hold an Open House for the newly renovated club house and shower facilities for the Le Mars Municipal Park. That open house is scheduled for May 31st.



St. George Pre-School To Close

(Le Mars) — A Le Mars pre-school that has been teaching young students for more than 50 years will soon be closing its doors. St. George pre-school located at 400 1st Avenue Southeast will hold classes for the last time on Thursday, May 17th. Linda Van De Water has served as the instructor at St. George Pre-school for the last few decades. She says the pre-school had its start back in 1964.

After teaching for 26 years, Van De Water has decided it is time to retire, and the board of directors didn’t feel they could afford a new instructor that would require benefits such as insurance, and a retirement pension.

St. George Pre-school has taught 3, 4, and 5 year olds. Van De Water explains the options parents now face in choosing another pre-school facility.

Van De Water admits seeing the pre-school close its doors for a final time holds bitter-sweet feelings. The long time pre-school teacher says other pre-schools have inquired about having access to their educational materials.

Van De Water says the last day will be spent at a local park and having a day of recreation.

The long time pre-school teacher says she has had several other teachers tell her that they knew the children that had attended St. George Pre-school because they were better prepared for Kindergarten than many other children.
Van De Water says they don’t focus so much on the alphabet and numbers, but rather teaching manners, and discipline and how to listen to lessons.




Planned Parenthood and American Civil Liberties Union File Lawsuit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Abortion-rights groups say they have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which bans most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, around the sixth week of pregnancy.
The Iowa law is slated to take effect July 1. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed the challenge Tuesday in Des Moines.
The groups are seeking an injunction that would put the law on hold during the lawsuit, a process that could take years.
The Iowa attorney general announced that he would not defend the law because it would undermine rights and protections for women.
Republicans want the legal challenge to reach the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.





House Republicans Name New Ways and Means Committee Chair

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa House Republicans have announced a new chairman for a key tax-writing committee.
House Speaker Linda Upmeyer on Tuesday named Rep. Peter Cownie, a West Des Moines Republican, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Cownie replaces Rep. Guy Vander Linden, an Oskaloosa Republican who is not seeking
Cownie was the floor manager for the tax cut legislation passed by lawmakers in the final hours of the session earlier this month. He has been the chair of the House Commerce Committee since 2013. He was first elected in 2008.
Cownie will face Kristin Sunde, a West Des Moines Democrat, in the November general election. Neither faces a primary opponent. If Democrats win control of the House, they would appoint their own members to chair committees.



Governor Reynolds Defends Naming Her Father To Judicial Commission

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds is defending her decision to appoint her 78-year-old father to a panel that helps select judges in central Iowa.
Reynolds told reporters Tuesday in Davenport that her dad Charles Strawn “wanted to volunteer and give back, just like hundreds of other Iowans that we appoint to boards and commissions.”
Reynolds last month appointed Strawn to an unpaid six-year term on the District 5A judicial nominating commission, which recommends candidates for judicial openings to the governor in four counties. The 11-member commission meets Thursday in Indianola to interview candidates for one vacancy.
Critics have called the appointment unusual and an example of nepotism but it isn’t barred by law. Strawn wrote in his application that he was “invited” to serve on the board.
Reynolds said Strawn is a retired farmer and factory worker who has coached youth baseball and been involved with county government.



Parents of Dead Teenager Girl Plead Not Guilty To New Charges

ADEL, Iowa (AP) – The adoptive parents of a 16-year-old Iowa girl who weighed only 56 pounds (25 kilograms) when she died have pleaded not guilty to new charges.
Misty and Marc Ray entered the pleas Tuesday in Dallas County District Court to charges of ongoing criminal conduct, theft and fraudulent practice. The pair already have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, child endangerment resulting in death and other counts related to the starvation death last May of Sabrina Ray.Marc Ray’s lawyer, Jake Feuerhelm, has said the new charges are related to money the couple received from the Iowa Human Services Department. Prosecutors say the Rays engaged in “deception for financial gain on an ongoing basis.”
The two live in Perry.