Home News Monday Afternoon News, December 3rd

Monday Afternoon News, December 3rd


Remsen To Celebrate “Old Fashion Christmas” Tonight

(Remsen) — The town of Remsen will celebrate its 15th annual “Old Fashion Christmas” this evening with the official lighting of the community Christmas tree located at the main street intersection in downtown. The celebration will begin at 5:30 p.m. Katrina Homan serves on the “Old Fashion Christmas” committee and explains tonight’s schedule.

A cookie and candy exchange will take place at the Remsen VFW hall.
Following the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree, Santa Claus will make his way to the Remsen Heritage Museum to listen to children as they share their Christmas wishes. Homan says children will also be able to select a gift for their parents at the Kids Corner.

Kids Corner is located in the north part of city hall next to the council chambers. Homan says Mid-Sioux Opportunity will be at the Remsen Public Library collecting donations for area needy families. Speaking about the Remsen Public Library, the library will have a children’s coloring activity in the conference room at the library. Homan says several businesses will be open sharing holiday refreshments, and offering some drawings.

Other activities scheduled for this evening at Remsen’s “Old Fashion Christmas” includes Remsen St. Mary’s basketball team assisting children with Christmas cookie decorating, and horse drawn trolleys will offer rides to people attending the holiday festival.

(photos are from 2017 Old Fashion Christmas)



Christmas Acres Attracts Hundreds Of Visitors

(Le Mars) — Many Iowans are spreading holiday cheer with Christmas displays on their property, but possibly the biggest exhibit is in Plymouth County. For 22 years, the Scheitler family has been hosting “Christmas Acres” – a display of 150-thousand (150,000) lights and around 13-hundred (1,300) plastic figurines and sculptures. Rob Scheitler says his favorite part is interacting with all the people.

Word of mouth and social media bring more and more people to Christmas Acres each year. It’s located along Highway 3, about seven miles west of Le Mars, then south on Impala Avenue. A 16-foot-tall inflatable Santa is one of the more popular decorations.

Scheitler said. The attraction often draws tour buses and church groups. Visitors to Christmas Acres can make donations – with all of the money raised going to the Christian Needs Center.

(Photos and story contributed)



Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department Release November Report

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a total of 45 calls during the month of November. Firefighters had 13 fires, five rescues, and ten investigations. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department offered mutual aid four separate times, once to assist Akron, twice to help
Oyens, and once with the Merrill Fire Department. The fire department had 13 requests for services. Chief Dave Schipper says one notable fact is that all members are re-certified in CPR. The fire department and the city of Le Mars were awarded federal grants for two additional tornado warning sirens
for Le Mars.



Jeneary Assigned To Additional Legislative Committees

(Des Moines) — State Representative-elect Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars has been given his committee assignments for the upcoming legislative session.
The retired dentist was assigned last week by House Speaker Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake to be the vice chairman of the Natural Resources Committee. Late last week, Jeneary learned he will also be a member of the Veterans Affairs,
Public Safety, and Health and Human Services Committees. Jeneary, a republican, was elected in November. He is about to begin his first term as a state legislator.



State House Race District 55 Results Still Being Challenged

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Democratic candidate for a northeast Iowa House seat who is trailing by nine votes has won a court ruling that gives her the right to determine whether 33 absentee ballots were mailed on time. The ruling could potentially change the results of the race if the ballots are
Democrat Kayla Koether  sued election officials who refused to count the ballots, saying they lacked a postmark that would indicate when they were mailed. The ballots do contain a postal bar code that Koether says Iowa law allows to be used as proof of mailing.
Incumbent Republican Michael Bergan leads Koether by nine votes in the three-county district.
Judge Scott Beattie’s order Monday does not hold up certification of the race with an injunction and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says he certified the results with Bergen winning, but the judge’s order says Koether can contest the election, which means a winner will not be seated until the ballot dispute is resolved.
Beattie ordered the ballots preserved, scanned by the Postal Service and a date of mailing determined by Wednesday. That information must be provided to the court and the attorneys by Friday.



Election Statistics Released By Iowa Secretary of State

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – More than 60 percent of Iowa voters cast ballots in last month’s election, the highest percentage for a midterm election in 24 years.
Secretary of State Paul Pate released election details Monday showing a voter turnout of 61.55 percent. That’s the highest for a midterm election since 1994.

Pate says 1,334,279 people voted, setting a state record for voters in a midterm election.
The highest turnout was in southern Iowa’s Ringgold County, where 71.49 percent voted.  The second highest was Harrison County (68.57%), followed by Dallas (68.13%), Warren (67.88%), Sioux (67.42%), Fayette (67.11%), Polk (66.77%) and Linn (66.32%).
About 41 percent of voters cast absentee ballots.  Every county in Iowa surpassed 50% in voter turnout. The lowest was 52.53%.
•547,205 voters cast absentee ballots, a record high for a midterm election.
•41.01% of voters cast absentee ballots, on par with the 2016 and 2014 elections.
•Jefferson County had the highest percentage of absentee voters, with 56.64%. Winneshiek County was second with 55.79% and Dickinson County was third with 50.03%.
•Nine legislative races were decided by 500 votes or less. The closest was House District 55, decided by nine voters. House District 82 was decided by 37 votes.



Department of Administrative Services Receives Complaints About Sexual Harassment

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A complaint alleging that employees at Iowa’s workplace safety agency used a toy banana to make sexual jokes triggered the investigation that led to the removal of two top officials.
The complaint was sent to Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Department of Administrative Services, which is the state human resources agency. A copy of the complaint obtained by The Associated Press said the allegations would be released to the media if the “disgusting” behavior wasn’t addressed.
Both of the accused employees say the allegation was false, that the toy was actually a stress ball and that it wasn’t used for sexual innuendo. The complaint nonetheless triggered an investigation by the Department of Administrative Services that cast a harsh light on the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health unit. That led to a management shake-up.



Recycled Paper Market Plunges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Tons of paper meant to be recycled was instead dumped into a Des Moines landfill because of plunging prices for the material.
Mid America Recycling President Mick Barry tells the Des Moines
Register that about 20 tons of paper a day ended up in the landfill this summer. The company processes the metro area’s recyclables.
Cities have been struggling to get rid of recyclables since China
tightened standards on what it would accept about two years ago.
Des Moines’ recycling program is expected to see a $50,000 deficit next fiscal year, compared to $320,000 in revenue in 2017. The city is looking to raise its solid waste fee by 2 percent next year to help cover losses.
Metro Waste Authority, which handles recycling for the metro’s suburbs, has also seen costs increase.