Home News Friday Afternoon News, February 8th

Friday Afternoon News, February 8th


Le Mars City Council Sets Budget

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council has been crunching the numbers for the upcoming fiscal year city budget. Council members heard from each of the city’s department heads on Tuesday in determining the budget. Councilman Rex Knapp explains the city is reducing its levy rate, therefore allowing
the city to save some money.

Knapp says the city has been able to reduce individual tax collections since the revenue is being offset by the expansion of some businesses and industries.

The Le Mars city council member says the private contributions donated to the Community Betterment Projects have also helped keep taxes stabilized since additional tax dollars are not needed to fund those projects.

Knapp says since the mil levy is being lowered, he says the city of Le Mars will be able to see some substantial savings.

Knapp explains some of the ways the city was able to cut back on its budget, and still provide the services to the city.

Knapp says fortunately, the city will not be needing to reduce the city staff, or make any layoffs.



City Audit Completed

(Le Mars) — Williams and Company of Le Mars released an audit report on the City of Le Mars for the year that ended on June 30, 2018.  Officials with Williams and Company reported the city of Le Mars governmental fund type revenues totaled $16,036,653 for the year ended on June 30th, which represents a 2.6 percent decrease from 2017.  The revenues included $8,876,009 in taxes, $1,220,103 in road use tax funds, and $2,280,501 in other intergovernmental revenue.

Governmental fund type expenditures for the year totaled $16,294,113 which was an 8.8 percent decrease from the prior year, which included $3,269,790 for public safety, $2,546,783 for culture and recreation, $1,600,687 for public works, $546,997 for community and economic development, $1,379,055 for general government, $5,759,126 for capital outlay, and $1,191,675 for debt services.



Farmers Need To Know Their Balance Sheet When Obtaining Capital Loans For 2019 Crop Year

(Le Mars) — Farmers have been meeting with their financial lenders in recent weeks to set up a business plan going into this crop season.
Commodity prices have declined, based in part of the trade tariffs, and land values are lower, making for tight margins for a farmer’s capital equity. Iowa State University Extension Farm Management Specialist Gary Wright says the farmers’ bottom line has been helped by having better than expected crop yields during the last couple of years.

Wright says most agriculture lenders will start with the farmer’s balance sheet as they begin to look at how much credit is to be extended for the 2019 crop year.

The Iowa State University farm management specialist says he tells farmers to look at their “enterprises.”

If farmers are needing to cutback on their input costs, Wright suggest farmers look at volume discounts.

Wright says once farmers know what their break-even point is, they should look at some forward-marketing opportunities.

Wright says sometimes farmers need to take a long, hard, look at the amount of acres being farmed, and make the unpopular decision they may need to let go of some of that ground.

Wright says more agricultural lenders are requiring farmers to know their break-even mark, before lending them money.



Former Teacher Accused Of Possessing Child Pornography

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) – A former central Iowa high school educator who taught for 30 years has been imprisoned for distributing child pornography.
The Times-Republican reports that Glen Sedlacek, of Marshalltown, was sentenced Thursday to 11 years in federal prison. He’d pleaded guilty in October after prosecutors dropped two other counts.
Prosecutors say Sedlacek had numerous computer files containing pornography of children younger than 12, dating back to March 2013.
U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose also ordered Sedlacek to make restitution of $6,000 to a female minor identified as Lily and $3,000 to a girl identified as Chelsa. Prosecutors say the two had appeared in porn films he’d viewed in his Marshalltown home.



Eastern Iowa Teacher Accused Of Sending Nude Photos To Students

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) – A former high school teacher in eastern Iowa who sent nude photos of herself to a student has been given two years of probation.
Clinton County District Court records say 32-year-old Ramsey Hinkle also was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and was ordered to register as a sex offender. She’d pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation by a school employee.
The records say Hinkle admitted sending the photos to a 17-year-old boy while she was a teacher at Central DeWitt High School in November and December 2015. The boy told a police officer that emails he exchanged with Hinkle were sexual in nature. He reported that they talked about having sex
but didn’t because he was too nervous to follow through on the idea.



New Jersey Senator Cory Booker To Visit Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is taking his call for social justice to Iowa, where he plans to visit with African-American leaders on his first trip to the early 2020 caucus state as a Democratic presidential candidate. Booker is using rhetoric reminiscent of the civil rights movement to distinguish himself early in the 2020 race. And although Iowa is a vastly white state, the sentiment echoes within the state’s Democratic base. Booker’s two-day trip begins Friday.