Home News Tuesday News, June 12th

Tuesday News, June 12th


Plymouth County Supervisors To Canvass Primary Election

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will not be holding a regular meeting for today. However, they will gather in order to canvass and certify the primary vote.



School Board Approves Increasing Substitute Teacher Daily Pay

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education approved an increase in daily pay for substitute teachers during its monthly meeting held Monday.
According to a survey of school districts within the Northwest Area Education Agency, Le Mars ranked last with substitute pay at $95 per day. School board president Todd Lancaster informed the school board that he personally knows of several substitutes who have driven to Sioux City instead of working at Le Mars due to the discrepancy in pay. High School principal Dr. Mark Iverson
confirmed to the school board that often times it would be difficult to have substitute teachers work in Le Mars, because they were able to get higher pay at neighboring schools. The school board approved a new daily rate of $115 per day for substitute teachers. The new daily pay will be comparable to
Sioux Center and Cherokee, but greater than MOC-Floyd Valley. However, still less than Sheldon and Sioux City which pays $125 and $120, respectfully. West Sioux, Kingsley-Pierson, and Akron- Westfield pays $100 per day, and Hinton and Boyden-Hull offers substitute teachers a daily salary of $105.

In other action during the school board meeting, the board approved Deans as the milk distributor, and awarded the bread contract to Casey’s Bakery of Sioux Center. The Le Mars School Board also approved a three-year contract with school superintendent Dr. Steven Webner.

The school board heard a report from District Curriculum Director, Rachel Leavitt regarding the academic assessments of the Le Mars Community School students. Leavitt says Le Mars students did show some significant growth with improvement for all grades, and in all categories of reading, math, and science.

As for the academic assessment goals, Leavitt says Le Mars Community students came close, but actually only attained two of the ten goals.

Leavitt reported to the school board that the 9 through 11th grades did meet the goal in the science category.



Floyd Valley Healthcare Trustees To Meet

(Le Mars) — Floyd Valley Healthcare Board of Trustees will meet this morning for their monthly meeting. The hospital trustees will hear a medical staff update from Dr. Andrew Geha, as well as a general update from Administrator Mike Donlin. The hospital trustees will focus on Rural Network Re-alignment and CORE team Concept by Avera representative Craig Hohman.



Demolition of Damaged Grain Elevator Begins

(So. Sioux City) — Two weeks after it was badly damaged by an explosion, the top tower of the Anderson Farms grain elevator in South Sioux City was pulled down Monday evening.

South Sioux Fire Chief Clint Merithew says the contractor, Terminal Solutions, brought in more equipment and succeeded in tearing down the elevator tower shortly after 6pm:

And while there’s still a hundred feet of the tower still standing for now, the 26 displaced residents were allowed to return to their homes Monday night.

Most, but not all of the barricades in the neighborhood were taken down:

Terminal Solutions will next take down the remainder of the damaged elevator tower.  Chief Merithew says there’s still a lot of work to be done, including checking the stored grain in the back bins of the elevator:

Merithew and South Sioux Police Chief Ed Mahon thanked all of the neighboring town, county and state agencies and departments for providing help during the last two weeks.



Many Ice Cream Days Venues Have New Locations

(Le Mars) — Ice Cream Days begins on Wednesday, but many of the traditional events have a new location, due in part to street construction on Central Avenue, and what was anticipated having the Olson Cultural Events Center would have been under renovation. People will want to check the schedule to
cross-reference the new location. Here is a short list of those changes, starting with the the Ice Cream Days Parade. Instead of going south on Central Avenue, this year’s parade will assemble at the Le Mars Community High School. It will first travel east on 8th Street Blvd, then turn north on Central Avenue passing Foster Park. The parade will then go back to the
east on 3rd Street Southeast and conclude at the Plymouth County Courthouse.
Another change will be the 3 on 3 basketball tournament. Instead of being downtown, it has now moved to the YMCA parking lot located on 12th Street Southeast. The annual Rib Rally will now be held at the Cleveland Park instead of the Olson Cultural Events Center. The Outdoor Movie will be held
at the new Total Motors Auto Dealership, the site of the original Le Mars Drive In movie theater several decades ago. The Extreme Stunt Show scheduled for Friday evening has moved from the Olson Cultural Event Center to be located at the YMCA parking lot.



Sioux Center Christian School Teacher Pleas Guilty To Sexual Abuse of a Child

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) – A former Sioux Center private school teacher has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a child and agreed to a 15-year prison sentence.
Curtis Van Dam pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court to one count of sexual exploitation of a child as part of
a plea agreement with prosecutors. He agreed to a 15-year term, which is the mandatory minimum required by federal sentencing rules.
Police arrested Van Dam on Oct. 23 after the parents of an 11-year-old boy reported the teacher had sexual contact with their son. He initially faced 146 Iowa counts.
Police say the charges stem from incidents involving numerous children over four years and that the crimes occurred at various locations, including Sioux Center Christian School, where Van Dam worked.



Fired Finance Authority Director Not Eligible For Unemployment Benefits

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A judge says fired Iowa Finance Authority Director Dave Jamison is disqualified from collecting unemployment benefits due to credible allegations of sexual harassment. Administrative Law Judge Nicole Merrill ruled the allegations against Jamison by female subordinates haven’t
been fully detailed but are credible and amount to “disqualifying
misconduct.” Gov. Kim Reynolds fired Jamison in March after two of his subordinates complained about his behavior.



Appeals Court Upholds Conviction Of Illegally Selling Guns To Lebanon

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – An appeals court has upheld lengthy prison sentences for three relatives who conspired to illegally ship guns and ammunition from Iowa to Lebanon. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments from Ali Herz, his brother Bassem Herz and Bassem’s wife Sarah Zeaiter. The court upheld prison terms of roughly 28 years for Ali
Herz, 8 years for Bassem and 7 years for Zeaiter.



Southwestern Iowa Communities Able To Drink The Water Again

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) – People in four Iowa cities have been told they can once again safely drink water from their taps.
The Southern Iowa Rural Water Association says the treatment system is back up and running with new filtration membranes. Three cities given an all-clear Monday were Afton, Diagonal and Lenox. Creston was cleared Sunday.
The advisory remains in effect for people in rural areas around Creston and in several counties served by the association.
A membrane filtration system failure at the Twelve Mile Water Plant in Creston had left association customers without safe tap water since June 1. People were advised to boil tap water before consumption to avoid pathogens and parasites that could cause illness.
The water was considered safe for bathing and for pets and livestock.