Home News Thursday News, October 25th

Thursday News, October 25th


Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department Closes 190th Street.

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has closed 190 Street between Highway 140 going east one mile to Roosevelt Avenue. The road is closed so work crews can replace an old wooden bridge with a box culvert. The road is expected to remain closed until November 14th.



Le Mars Community Students Score Well On ACT Exams

(Le Mars) — Last week we shared a story about how Iowa High School seniors across the state had lower ACT college entrance exam scores. The trend showed a decline in the state’s average score. However, Le Mars Community students showed an increase in their ACT scores. Curriculum Director Rachel
Leavitt reported to the Le Mars Community Board of Education that Le Mars students scored higher than the Iowa average.

Leavitt says since the individual category scores were higher, it also means the over-all composite score for Le Mars Community was also higher.

The Le Mars Community Curriculum Director says 99 students, or nearly two- thirds of the 2018 senior class took the ACT college entrance exams.
Leavitt says those numbers are consistent with past graduating seniors that took the ACT tests. Leavitt informed the school board the Le Mars Community faculty is doing what is necessary to prepare Le Mars students for a higher level education.

89 percent of the Le Mars Community graduating class went on to a post-secondary education.



Le Mars Community Student Enrollment Is Up From Last Year

(Le Mars) — School student enrollment at Le Mars Community School District is up from last year’s numbers. Le Mars Community Curriculum Director Rachel Leavitt informed the Board of Education that enrollment had increased by 72 students from the 2017 enrollment numbers. This year’s total school
enrollment was at 2,254.43 students compared to last year’s 2,184.28
students. Leavitt told the school board the three elementary schools consist of 969 students, the Middle School has 504 students, and there are 663 students attending Le Mars Community High School. Resident students that have chosen to open enroll and attend other neighboring schools has also increased. A total of 114 residential students are attending other
schools, that’s up from last year’s 112. With the exception of 2013, the open enrollment numbers have increased nearly every year since 2011.



School Board Approves The Hiring Of An Additional ELL Instructor

(Le Mars) — During the last Le Mars Community School Board meeting, discussion focused on the growing minority student enrollment, and the need for an additional English Learner Language instructor. It was mentioned during the meeting that Le Mars Community has a total of 112 students of which English is not their primary language. Clark Elementary has 72 students enrolled in the English as a second language course. Curriculum
Director Rachel Leavitt informed the school board of the growing trend from the last five years.

Leavitt shared with the school board members that the second language is not always Spanish.

The school board did approve action to hire an additional English Learned Language instructor.



Iowa Business Council To Hold “Vision To Vitality” Public Forum

(Le Mars) — The Iowa Business Council will be holding a program entitled: “Vision to Vitality” this afternoon at the Wells Enterprises corporate offices at 1 Blue Bunny Drive. The program is open to the public and will begin at 4:00 p.m.
Mike Wells, C-E-O of Wells Enterprises, and a member of the Iowa Business Council will lead a forum on how to drive economic growth in the Siouxland area.



Steve King To Visit Le Mars

(Le Mars) — Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King has scheduled a visit to Le Mars. King will meet with fellow republicans at the Le Mars Pizza Ranch beginning at 5:30 p.m. this evening. King will discuss the political issues that are crucial to the upcoming election.



Lawnmower Catches On Fire

(Le Mars) — Fire officials were called to the north end of Le Mars late Wednesday afternoon for what turned out to be a lawnmower that had caught on fire. The incident happened at about 4:30 p.m. The owner of the lawnmower didn’t at first realize his mower was on fire until a passerby notified him
of the situation. Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze.



Badgerow Building To Be Sold At Auction

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A financially troubled historic Sioux City building is set to be sold at auction next month to settle debts of the California development that owns it.
The auction is set for Nov. 21 at the Woodbury County Courthouse.
The 12-story Badgerow Building, built in 1933, went into foreclosure in January. That’s when a judgment of more than $5.2 million was entered against the building’s owner, Mako One Corp., and against its managing partner, Bruce DeBolt, for the defaulted portion of a $6 million bond agreement that was secured to pay to renovate and redevelop the building.
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its art deco architecture style.



Jones Eye Clinic Subject Of Cyber Attack

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Officials say a cyberattacker might have taken patient data from a Sioux City vision and surgical practice.
The Sioux City Journal reports that officials for Jones Eye Clinic and an affiliated surgery center, CJ Elmwood Partners, discovered a ransomware attack on Aug. 23. In such online attacks, data is locked and payment demanded for the data to be released. The computer systems were put back into service using backup information, and no ransom payment was made.
Officials say the attackers would have had the ability to access
patient information contained in billing and schedule software but not medical records. The compromised patient data included some individuals’ Social Security numbers and insurance claim information.
Jones Eye Clinic and the surgery center have told patients about the data breach and are paying to enroll the affected patients in a year of credit monitoring.



Emergency Room Physicians Upset With New Medicaid Changes

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Emergency room physicians are protesting an Iowa Medicaid billing change that they say will harm low-income patients and hospitals.
Starting Aug. 1, Iowa Medicaid no longer allowed emergency rooms to receive full reimbursement for treating some conditions that turn out to be non-emergent.
For instance, if a patient shows up with a splitting headache, the
claim will be covered if it’s related to an emergency such as a hemorrhage.
But if the headache is just a migraine, patients will be charged copays of $3 or $8 and hospitals would be reimbursed at lower non-emergency rates.
The American College of Emergency Physicians says the change unfairly puts the burden of self-diagnosis on patients and may discourage them from seeking treatment. The group warns that some may be hit with surprise bills and hospitals won’t be reimbursed the full cost of necessary treatment.
The Iowa Department of Human Services says hospitals cannot knowingly bill Medicaid patients for non-covered services. Hospitals may still seek full reimbursement by submitting justification of why the patient believed an emergency existed.



Lobbyist Fired After Sexual Harassment Charges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Finance Authority fired its lobbyist for retaliating against a woman who reported being sexually harassed by its director.
The agency has belatedly released its Sept. 27 letter terminating
government relations director Wes Peterson.
An investigation ordered by Gov. Kim Reynolds found Peterson was aware of wrongdoing by her friend, director Dave Jamison, but failed to report it.
The report portrayed Peterson as a “sidekick” who drank with Jamison and witnessed him grabbing a colleague’s breasts in 2016. Peterson allegedly yelled at the victim after Jamison was fired in March, demanding to know whether she had filed a complaint with Reynolds. He warned that he’d falsely claim he was too drunk to remember the incident.
The termination letter says Peterson “engaged in retaliatory
conduct” toward the woman in violation of work rules. His attorney says the report contains unspecified inaccuracies.
An agency spokeswoman says the letter’s delayed release was due to an oversight.
Reynolds helped Peterson land his job after he worked on the 2010 governor campaign.