Home News Wednesday Afternoon News, February 27th

Wednesday Afternoon News, February 27th


Keri Gross Honored As School District’s “Employee of the Month”

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Community School District awarded its “Employee of the Month during a small ceremony held Wednesday morning. Middle School Administrative Assistant Keri Gross was presented a plaque by her daughter. Gross has been an employee of the Le Mars Community Schools for the past five years. Middle School Principal Steve Shanks and Activities Director, Karlton Hector nominated Keri Gross for the honor. Their nomination reads in part: “Keri is an awesome secretary who is great with students, staff, and parents. She multi-tasks with the best of them, and helps keep the main office calm during in times of storm. Keri understands that kids come first, and goes the extra mile in helping them navigate their day. Keri can handle any project that comes her way. She also helps our main office plan important events like birthdays, and group Powerball entries (when the jackpot gets really big). Keri is a great employee for this school district, and we are very fortunate to have her here at LCMS. Congratulations go to Keri Gross for being named the February Employee of the Month for the Le Mars Community School District.



Cold Winter Weather Affecting Livestock Production Operations

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s cold and snowy winter has been especially difficult on livestock producers, who have often struggled just to reach their animals.
State Climatologist Justin Glisan tells The Des Moines Register that Iowa so far has seen a February snowfall average of 21 inches (53 centimeters). That’s just short of a record 22.2 inches (56.39 centimeters) set in 1962.
Pork producer Trent Thiele says he had to ride a snowmobile 50 miles Sunday to check on his pigs. He says blowing snow made the trip treacherous.
He says the heavy snow is causing an overwhelming amount of maintenance issues as farmers work to ensure machines in animal facilities are providing fresh air, food and water.
Iowa has a $13.6 billion livestock industry and leads the nation in pig and egg production.



School Nurse To Be Sentenced For Having Sex With Student

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – An April sentencing is scheduled for an eastern Iowa school nurse accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student.
Linn County District Court records say 47-year-old Angela Beik, of Marion, entered an Alford plea Monday to a charge of sexual exploitation by a school employee. In an Alford plea, a person doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a likely conviction.
Her sentencing is set for April 23.
Beik was the school nurse at Linn-Mar High School in Marion and also employed at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids. Police began an investigation of Beik last March. They’d learned that state officials were checking a report that Beik told fellow St. Luke’s nurses that she’d had consensual sex with the boy. They reported the conversation to officials.



Council Bluffs Woman To Be Sentenced For Social Security Fraud

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A 37-year-old western Iowa woman has been sentenced to three months in prison for Social Security fraud.
Prosecutors say Jamie Opalia, of Council Bluffs, was sentenced last week. She must serve three years of supervised release after she leaves custody and must pay restitution of nearly $22,600.
Federal court records say she’d pleaded guilty, admitting that she used for herself Social Security benefits that were granted to support another person.



Des Moines Man Sentenced To 40 Years For Child Pornography

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A 50-year-old Iowa man has been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for having and producing child pornography.
Federal prosecutors for Iowa said in a news release Tuesday that
Joel Thomas Augard was sentenced Monday in Des Moines’ federal courthouse.
Augard had pleaded guilty in October to two counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Des Moines police say a victim reported in April having been
sexually assaulted by Augard on multiple occasions about 10 years earlier, when the victim was a child. Police say the victim also reported that Augard videoed some of the abuse. Police say a search of Augard’s Cherokee, Iowa, home turned up child pornography, including the videos he had taken of the
victim who reported the abuse.