Home News Wednesday News, December 5th

Wednesday News, December 5th


Le Mars Community School Acknowledges Major Donors Of New Football Stadium

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community School publicly announced and thanked the major donors to the new football stadium during a ceremony held Tuesday evening during the halftime of the girls basketball game. School board president Todd Lancaster made the announcement in front of the crowd. Three donors have stepped forward to make contributions of $100,000. Lancaster
says American Bank and Perspective Insurance, together, are pledging $100,000 as is Primebank.

Lancaster also acknowledged the commitment of a two million dollar donation that from Mike and Cheryl Wells, and Wells Enterprises. Lancaster calls the contribution “a huge jump start” for the completion of the new football stadium.

The Le Mars Community school board president says the new football stadium facility will be considered “state-of-the-art.”

Lancaster says with the two million dollar contribution, the football stadium will have a new name.

The project is estimated at over five million dollars, with more than half the money already raised or committed. Lancaster says people around Le Mars are excited about the opportunity of having a new stadium facility.

The new stadium facility is expected to be completed by August, just in time for the start of the 2019 school year and football season.



Spilled Milk

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a semi truck and tanker trailer roll-over accident last evening at about 11:25 p.m. along Highway 75, about two miles south of Le Mars. The semi and tanker were heading northbound on Highway 75 when the driver lost control of the
rig and ending in the east ditch. The tanker trailer had ruptured during the accident, spilling milk into the ditch. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper describes the scene.

Schipper believes the entire load of milk had spilled from the tanker.

The accident involved only the semi truck and tanker trailer. An individual was transported to the Floyd Valley Healthcare by the Le Mars Ambulance.
The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident.

(photo contributed.)



Le Mars Police Department Now Located In New Facilities

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte informed the Le Mars city council that the police department has now moved into their new building located on Business Highway 75 north, and will conduct all business from that location. The police department is utilizing what was the former Motor Inn auto dealership at 205 5th Avenue Northwest.



City Council Passes Proclamation Noting 50th Anniversary Of “Home Rule” Amendment

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council approved a proclamation of marking the 50th anniversary of Home Rule in Iowa. The city of Le Mars joined cities from across the state to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Home Rule Amendment to the Iowa Constitution. “Home Rule” is essential to effective
and responsive municipal governance in all cities in Iowa, and that local control continues to be vital to the health and prosperity of all cities in Iowa. In 1968, the Home Rule Amendment was passed by the citizens of Iowa
and constitutionalized local control in the state. This transitioned Iowa from a Dillon’s Rule state, where local government powers are derived from the State Constitution. City Assistant Administrator, Jason Vacera says
“Home Rule has allowed the city of Le Mars to be less dependent on State Legislative oversight and freer to address issues specific to our community in a timely manner. Alan Kemp, executive director of the Iowa League of Cities says, “Local control is what gives citizens a voice in their local communities. Home Rule, or local control, truly empowers residents and leaders at the city level to make the decisions that best fit their community.”



Fair Board Officials Appear Before County Supervisors To Request Funding

(Le Mars) –Members of the Plymouth County Fair Board appeared before the County Supervisors Tuesday morning to make a request for funding for the 2019 fiscal year. President Rich Benson and Vice President Loren Schmepf requested the same amount of funding, as was approved last year. Benson
informed the supervisors of the recent land purchase made by the fair board.

The county board of supervisors were complimentary of the fair board for their efforts of having a successful fair. Several supervisors told the fair board representatives that they made the correct decision in obtaining the nearly nine acres of land between the fairgrounds and Donagal Insurance
Building. Supervisor Craig Anderson asked the fair board officials if the fair was debt free prior to the land purchase? Benson replied by saying
“Just about. We have a little to pay off on the remodel of Century Hall.”
Schmepf says the fair board is looking at making some improvements to the recently acquired land parcel.

The supervisors did not take action on the funding request, but will consider the matter when they deal with the upcoming fiscal year budget.



Soybean Growers Hopeful To Re-establish Trade Relations With China

(Le Mars) — Soybean growers are elated over the 90-day temporary suspension agreement made over the weekend by President Trump and Chinese President Xi of the trade war and tariffs imposed on U-S agriculture products sent to
China. Iowa Soybean Association president, Lindsay Greiner of Keota, Iowa, says he believes it will mean good news for the soybean industry.

Greiner says the response of the news of the agreement from the G-20 summit in Argentina was a bump in soybean prices.

The Iowa Soybean Association president says he is hopeful that both sides will continue to negotiate for a long-term trade agreement which will allow U-S soy products again to be shipped to China.



U-S House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Says Farm Bill Will Pass Congress 

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A key congressional voice on agriculture says he’s optimistic that lawmakers can pass a new farm bill next week.
U.S Rep. Collin Peterson is the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee and is expected to become chairman next year. So he’s been heavily involved in negotiations that produced an agreement in principle last week.
Peterson told reporters in South St. Paul Tuesday that it’s not the
best possible farm bill, but it’s the best bill that’s politically possible.
He says it’ll provide certainty, but he worries that it won’t be enough for farmers who’ve been hit by low commodity prices that have been aggravated by the U.S.-China trade war.
He says it may be necessary for Congress to take another look next year at how to help struggling farmers.



D-C-I Releases Investigation Of Railroad Official Shooting

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) – State investigators say an altercation preceded a railroad officer’s shooting of a man in northern Iowa’s Mason City.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said in a news release Tuesday night that Union Pacific special agent Louis Miner stopped 30-year- old Nathan Olson for trespassing across Union Pacific property around 4:25 p.m. last Thursday. That’s when the altercation broke out.
The release didn’t say whether Olson was armed. He remains
hospitalized. Miner was treated at a hospital Thursday and then released.
Union Pacific Railroad employs certified police officers to patrol
its properties across the Midwest.
The division says it will turn over the results of its investigation
to Cerro County prosecutors.



Attorney Wants To Remove Judicial Commission Members

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Republican lawyer is seeking to remove 3 members from the judicial nominating commission that will recommend finalists for vacancies on the Iowa Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.
If successful, the challenge by Bill Gustoff would sideline three
experienced attorneys from the process to recommend replacements for Justice Daryl Hecht and Court of Appeals Chief Judge David Danilson.
The impact could tip the balance of power to the 8 Republican non-lawyers on the panel.
At issue is when the terms of attorneys Connie Diekema of Des
Moines, Martin Diaz of Swisher and Suzan Boden of Sioux City are due to end.
The Iowa Judicial Branch believes they expire June 30, 2019 under Iowa law.
But in a letter to state officials Monday, Gustoff argues that a
conflicting law makes them expire Jan. 1.
He says elections should be held to replace them and it would be
“unfortunate” if they were vacant while the commission considered candidates to replace Hecht and Danilson.



FEMA Turns Down Tornado Disaster Relief Request

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has again rejected a disaster assistance request for victims of tornadoes that hit Marshall and Polk counties last summer.
Reynolds’ office announced Tuesday that FEMA had denied her appeal of the agency’s earlier rejection of individual disaster assistance stemming from the July 19 tornadoes. The assistance would have helped homeowners, renters and businesses in the two counties.
In its denial letter, FEMA stated that the damage wasn’t severe or widespread enough to merit individual assistance.
President Donald Trump did designate disasters in Marshall and Polk counties, making them eligible for other kinds of assistance.
Marshalltown was hit especially hard by the July tornado, which the state estimates damaged more than 900 homes.



One Teenager Dies, Second One Injured During Police Chase Accident

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Des Moines authorities say one teenager died and another was injured when the stolen car they were in crashed into a delivery van.
The car was reported stolen a little after 8:10 p.m. Monday after it was left running unattended. A vehicle matching its description was seen about 30 minutes later where gunshots rang out several blocks northwest.
Police say an officer soon spotted the suspect vehicle and tried to
pull it over. It raced away but crashed into a U.S. Postal Service van and then into trees and fencing. A gun was recovered from the car.
A 16-year-old passenger, identified as Emilio Esteban Garcia, of Des Moines, was killed. The 17-year-old driver, who wasn’t identified, was in critical condition at a hospital. Police say the van driver wasn’t injured.



Cedar Rapids Woman Given Probation After Driving Car Into River

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A Cedar Rapids woman who drove her car with her two children inside into the Cedar River on a chilly March evening has been given probation.
Linn County court records say 35-year-old Alicia Cole pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child endangerment causing injury. She was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and two five-year prison terms that were suspended. The judge also suspended a total of $1,500 in fines.
Authorities say firefighters and police were sent to Cedar Rapids’
Mohawk Park around 4:45 p.m. on March 11. They found that boaters already had helped Cole and the two children from the sinking car.
A court document says all three “were exposed to potential hypothermia and drowning.”



Ames Middle School Principal Suspended Due To Student Bullying

AMES, Iowa (AP) – Concerns about student-to-student bullying have led the Ames school district to suspend its middle school principal.
District spokesman Eric Smidt says the decision to move out principal Dan Fox wasn’t based off just one incident but rather was an effort to improve Ames Middle School.
The district said in an email to parents and staffers last week that district administrators “will be working on various measures to ensure there is a safe and orderly environment for teaching and learning.”
Concerns were raised by parents and students, and an online petition appeared that sought improved safety for LGBTQ students at the school.
Associated Press efforts to reach Fox were unsuccessful Wednesday.
Officials say Fox still works for district and is being paid while on