Home News Wednesday News, August 29th

Wednesday News, August 29th


Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel Passes Away 

(Le Mars) — Le Mars City Administrator, Scott Langel, lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday afternoon as he passed away.

Langel, 61, served as the city’s administrator since the mid 1990’s. He has been a city employee since the mid 1980’s. Prior to serving as the city’s administrator, he was employed as the city engineer. Langel returned home to Le Mars on Sunday evening from his stay at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. He was greeted by the mayor, members of the city council, and several city employees as they stood in front of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Station and waved and applauded. The homecoming welcome was attended by perhaps as many as 200
people. Included at the homecoming were members of Langel’s family and friends. Langel was escorted into town by the Le Mars Police Department and the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department. He and his family first went by the new police headquarters that is being constructed, and was met with several officers of the police department with their lights flashing. He was then
escorted past the Le Mars Fire Station and Public Library. City vehicles were parked on the side of the street with lights flashing to welcome him home. During his tenure as the city’s administrator, Langel helped with many economic development projects for the city of Le Mars. A new waste water
treatment facility, the renovation of the public library, the new police headquarters, a new street department storage and warehouse facility, the renovation and upgrade of the Le Mars Municipal Park, Campgrounds, and Shelter House, the installation of the Olson Cultural Events Center, the acquisition of some of the former Westmar College buildings, including the gym as the community YMCA, and the Convention Center. the acquisition of the fire department station from the Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative were all done under his watch.

Mayor Dick Kirchoff said of Langel that he was an innovator and entrepreneur, and always had the best interest of the city at heart. At times when Kirchoff was referencing Langel, he got a bit emotional. While addressing the 16 people attending the Le Mars Citizen Police Academy on Tuesday evening, Kirchoff was
visibly shaken with his voice quivering when he talked about his friend and city administrator.

Kirchoff says Langel was very instrumental and beneficial for any expansion of community development.

Kirchoff says he was so proud of the city council, city employees, and a vast number of friends that turned out Sunday evening to welcome Scott Langel home from his hospital stay at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

Additional comments from Mayor Dick Kirchoff are featured on the KLEM website featured page.



Buena Vista Authorities Investigate Hit-And-Run Accident

(Storm Lake) — Buena Vista County authorities are investigating a hit-and- run accident that happened Sunday afternoon, leaving an eight-year old girl with head injuries. The accident happened at about 1:40 p.m. when the Communications Center had received a 9-1-1 call reporting that a young child
was screaming and lying in the roadway on West Highway Street, otherwise known as, county road M-31 in Alta. Investigators have been able to determine that after striking the child, the vehicle failed to stop and continued south on West Highway Street and headed south out of Alta. The
eight year old reported that she had been struck by a pickup truck, and she believed the truck was dark in color, possibly black, and was a GMC pickup with possibly four doors. The child’s bike was damaged beyond repair, and if there is damage to the pickup truck it would be on the driver’s side. The
girl was transported to the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center for significant head injury, and injuries to her extremities. The Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for assistance with the investigation. Anyone with any information is urged to contact the Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office at (712) 749-2530.



Soybean Growers Respond To Assistance Package

(Des Moines) — The U-S-D-A on Monday revealed details of a trade relief package for farmers. For now, it amounts to $4.7 billion, with the possibility of more aid if exports continue to suffer. Iowa Soybean Association President Bill Shipley, who farms near Nodaway in southwest Iowa’s Adams County, says the best they can hope for is some mitigating help to assist farmers in staving off red ink in their operations.

Soybean producers are set to receive $3.6 billion in direct aid. Many farm groups have responded with calls for “trade not aid.” Shipley says the farm economy and the impacts of the retaliatory tariffs is worrying Iowa lenders.

Shipley hopes U-S and Chinese negotiators are making progress with their discussions about the current trade war and find some
possible ways to resolve it.

Shipley says trade issues are complicated and involve more
than just agriculture so it could take some time to hammer out a positive agreement. Aaron Putze (putt-zee) of the Iowa Soybean Association says the aid package will help soybean farmers, but it’s still less than half of their lost income.

Putze says the aid is a short-term partial solution to what they hope is not a long-term trade war.  On Monday, U-S Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said producers can begin to apply
for the aid on September 4.



Pork Producers Talk About Federal Assistance Program

(Clive) — The Iowa Pork Producers Association says details announced Monday by USDA on assistance for pork producers harmed by trade disruptions is a small positive step. Iowa’s pig farmers are more interested in having the Trump Administration continue its efforts to solve various trade disputes
that are creating economic losses for them and their rural Iowa communities.
Iowa Pork Producers President, Greg Hora of Fort Dodge says “The USDA announcement that outlines the details for increasing purchases of pork for federal nutrition programs and some direct payments to pig farmers is only short-term relief. It will not make producers whole for the dollars they’ve already lost in the marketplace.”

Hora says, “We’re more interested in a long-term solution that will return normal trading to China, Mexico and Canada.”
The Trump Administration’s announcement earlier that day about its Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Mexico to remove retaliatory tariffs on pork is an example of a long-term solution that is underway that can really help pork producers.

Hora says, “While we’re grateful and commend the administration for its action to help us, “what pork producers really want is to export more pork, and that means ending all these trade disputes soon.”



Grassley Approves Trade Agreement With Mexico

(Washington) — As Iowa farmers face as much as two-billion dollars in losses due to international trade tariffs, the Trump administration is announcing a tentative trade agreement with Mexico. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says President Trump has his mind set on eliminating the North American Free Trade
Agreement, or NAFTA, a longstanding deal between the U-S, Mexico and Canada.
[mkcg1] :15 “us and Mexico”

“I’m encouraged by the progress made,” Grassley says. “I’m also hopeful that a fair trade deal will be struck with Canada so we can still have a trilateral agreement as opposed to bilateral between us and Mexico.”
Grassley says he held 20 town hall meetings in Iowa this month and at every one, the issue of trade was brought up by concerned residents. For many farmers in Iowa and elsewhere, we’re in the fifth straight year of falling revenues.
[mkcg2] :21 “concern of tariffs”
“The sooner we get a new agreement in place, the sooner farmers and businesspeople in Iowa and across the country can focus on exporting,”
Grassley says, “particularly for Iowa, exporting our agricultural products to Mexico and Canada without any concern of tariffs.” Any trade agreement the Trump administration may make must be ratified by Congress. Grassley notes the law stipulates Congress needs to be notified 90 days before it can be sent such a measure for approval.
[mkcg3] :15 “December the 1st”
“The hope is to get this done within the United States Congress
before this Congress adjourns,” Grassley says, “and before a new president is sworn in in Mexico, which is December the 1st.” Iowa’s senior senator, a Republican, acknowledges the White House took the risk of upsetting Canada’s leadership by announcing this tentative trade deal with Mexico first.
[mkcg4] :10 “pressure on Canada”
“Yeah, I suppose it irritates Canada but I’m sure this is the
administration’s strategy, to put pressure on Canada.” Canada is Iowa’s number-one trading partner, with nearly double the market of Mexico for Iowa exports.



Woodward-Granger School Official Accused Of Theft

WOODWARD, Iowa (AP) – A former Iowa school district official accused of embezzling nearly $217,000 over the course of several years has been arrested on first-degree theft charges. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says 35-year-old Melissa Lee Lantz turned herself in Tuesday at the Dallas
County Jail and later was released on bond. The arrest follows a state audit that found that Lantz had cut herself 101 unauthorized checks over a five- year period.