City Council Appoints Jason Vacura As City Administrator
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Council has named Jason Vacura as the new City Administrator. Vacura had been appointed to the position of Assistant City Administrator when Bill Cole had vacated the position in December of 2015. Prior to the promotion, Vacura served as the city’s Building and Code Enforcement Officer. When former city administrator Scott Langel had passed away, Vacura was named as Interim City Administrator.
The city formed a committee consisting of council members Rex Knapp and Steve Wick, along with Mayor Dick Kirchoff to conduct a search for the new city administrator through the services of a professional job position recruiter from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kirchhoff says the committee met with four different professional recruiting services before selecting Richard Fursman with Huelife. Knapp says Fursman met with city council members, city staff, and the city’s department heads to get a better idea of the city’s needs for a city administrator.
Council members Wick and Knapp spoke favorably of Vacera’s accomplishments, both as the city’s Assistant City Administrator, and as the city’s Interim Administrator.
Kirchoff says he has worked side by side with Vacura for the last ten years, and spoke highly of Vacura’s past work and capabilities as a city official.
Kirchoff says the committee considered whether it should look at individuals outside the city. But upon the suggestion of Fursman, as well as with many other factors, the committee felt confident in Vacura. Kirchoff says Vacura is already familiar with
past, present, and future city projects including the “Community Betterment II Projects. The Le Mars mayor says with another individual it may have taken up to a minimum of six months before the individual would be familiar with the city’s programs. The city council voted 5-0 in favor of hiring Vacura as the new city administrator. Vacura will be paid an annual salary
City Council Approves Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Board’s Funding Requests
(Le Mars) — In other council action, the city council approved the $127,775 requested by the Convention and Visitors Bureau to be allocated to nine different funding projects that include Pioneer Village Winter Wonderland, Plymouth County
Cyclists “Frosty Cross”, Plymouth County Fair, Le Mars Chamber of Commerce “Ice Cream Days,” Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau “Group Tour Initiatives” American Legion’s Wasmer Post #241 electrical upgrade, and the Knights of Columbus hall roof replacement.
Rohmiller Named Le Mars Police Officer of the Year
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Police Department introduced its newest officer to the Le Mars city council today during the city council meeting. Named: “Ace”. He is part of the Le Mars Police Department K9 unit. Bob Rohmiller is the handler for Ace, and while attending the city council meeting, Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte threw a surprise towards Rohmiller.
Kingsley and Oyens Fire Departments Respond To Hog Barn Fire
(Kingsley) — Firefighters from Kingsley and Oyens responded to a hog barn that caught on fire last evening at the 3800 block of 260th Street. The fire was reported at around 2:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, and much like other recent hog barn fires reported within Plymouth County, officials believe a build up of methane gas emerging from the pit area may have been the cause of the fire. Kingsley Fire Chief Paul Huth says it appears the structure sustained a “flash fire.”
Huth says there were no pigs injured as the hog barn was empty at the time of the fire as the pork producer had recently cleaned the barn, and was preparing the barn for the next delivery of pigs. Huth says by the time the fire departments were notified of the fire, it had already burned through the building’s ceiling.
Huth says as a result of the fire, the hog building is considered as a total loss. Firefighters were on the scene for approximately two hours.
Postal Playhouse Is Set To Kick Off 50th Year With “An Inspector Calls”
State Republican Lawmakers Forming A Bill To Make Abortions Illegal In Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A committee has approved a bill that would amend the Iowa Constitution to declare there is no right to an abortion in Iowa, making it eligible for debate in the full Senate.
All but three of the 32 Senate Republicans have signed onto the bill, which the committee approved Tuesday. No Democrats have signaled support of the measure.
Republican Sen. Jake Chapman introduced it in January, just days after an Iowa judge overturned last year’s fetal heartbeat law, which banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
Chapman says his bill addresses what he considers judicial tyranny and overreach.
Democratic Sen. Claire Celsi says she’s disgusted by Republican
attempts to “spread misinformation and scare monger about women’s constitutional rights to make their own health care decisions.”
She says the bill is a response to GOP frustrations over their lack of progress in the courts.
State Senate Subcommittee Approves Of “E-Verify” Work Program
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Senate committee has approved a bill that requires all Iowa businesses to use the federal E-Verify system to confirm employees are legally authorized to work in the United States or face losing their business license.
The bill is now eligible for Senate debate.
The bill voted out of a committee Tuesday prohibits businesses from knowingly employing workers with no legal residency status. It requires Iowa Workforce Development to investigate violations and enforce the measure.
Democratic Sen. Rob Hogg echoed the concerns of several business groups who say E-Verify routinely wrongly flags U.S. citizens as not being in the country legally and makes other errors.
Republican Sen. Julian Garrett says employers who pay low wages to workers in the country illegally creates an unfair advantage over companies that follow the rules. He says the bill would help ensure only legal workers are employed in Iowa.
Garrett says more than 20 states have similar measures.