Fire Department Responds To Grass Fire
(Le Mars) — Strong winds caused a control grass fire to get out of control as the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to 35995 Muskrat Drive, approximately three miles east of Le Mars for a grass fire. The fire was reported at about 2:40 p.m. Firefighters were able to contain and extinguish the fire before it had the opportunity to spread very far. A small area consisting of the ditch and a portion of the resident’s lawn had burnt. Firefighters used their grass rig to fight the fire. Firefighters
were on the scene for approximately 25 minutes.
Willer Named Le Mars Community School District’s “Employee of the Month”
(Le Mars) — Both the Le Mars Community School District and the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce recognized their “Employee of the Month” during separate presentation ceremonies held this (Wednesday) morning. The Le Mars
Community School honored a Kluckhohn Kindergarten teacher. Jayne Willer has indicated she plans to retire from teaching at the conclusion of the school year. Willer has been teaching for the last 33 years. In the nomination submitted by Kim Rohrs, Kari Gengler, Rachel Harris and the entire Kluckhohn staff, it reads in part: “Throughout her career, Mrs. Willer has shown
kindness and compassion to all students in her classroom. She finds the positive in each child, and has the patience to help each one develop to their full potential. Her classroom has a stimulating atmosphere where the children are actively learning. She has effectively used a multitude of creative strategies and activities to keep her students interested and learning. She has been a conscientious and dedicated teacher and her
sincerity creates a safe and purposeful learning environment for all students. Her peers admire and respect her positive and professional attitude. The Kluckhohn staff values working with a colleague that is knowledgeable in techniques, strategies and puts in the extra time to find appropriate activities to help all students reach their potential.” Our congratulations go to Jayne Willer for being honored as the Le Mars Community Employee of the Month.
Gina Lawson Honored For Chamber’s “Employee of the Month”
(Le Mars) — The second presentation of the “Employee of the Month” occurred at the Living Center as the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce honored Gina Lawson.
The nomination was submitted by Cheryl Wells and the staff of the Habitue’ Coffeehouse and Cakes To Remember. According to the nomination, “Gina is so dedicated, and such a hard worker and a very loyal employee of Habitue’.
She often goes above and beyond to serve our guests the most amazing experience while they are here. She understands that each booth and chair, and those guests that fill them, is her ministry field on a daily basis.
She loves our guests and always greets them with a genuine smile and heartfelt greeting. The same excitement Gina has for our guest’s continues on to those on our staff. She loves each staff member with her enormous mother’s heart, and cares for, and listens to them. We have so many people in the business that have a heart for others, and Gina sets the example with
her dedication and love. Congratulations to Gina Lawson for being honored as the March Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.
Woman Accused Of Stealing From Sears Pleads Not Guilty
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Nebraska woman has pleaded not guilty to stealing from a now-closed Sears store in western Iowa.
Woodbury County court records show 39-year-old Sandra Martinez, of South Sioux City, Nebraska, entered a written plea last week to the theft charge. The records don’t show that a trial has been scheduled.
The records say Martinez stole $400 on the first day she worked at the Sioux City store and stole $1,000 on the last day she worked there.
The store closed earlier this month – one of 80 closings the
troubled retailer announced in late December.
Woodbury County To Be Site For Trial For Mollie Tibbitts Accused Murderer
MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) – A former farmhand charged with first-degree murder in the abduction and killing of 20-year-old University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts will have his trial moved about 250 miles away to Woodbury County.
The Des Moines Register reports that a judge on Wednesday approved a motion filed earlier this month to have Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s first-degree murder trial moved out of Poweshiek County. Rivera’s trial is now set to be held in Sioux City on Sept. 3. His attorneys had argued the trial
should be moved to allow for more minority representation in the jury pool.
Rivera is accused of killing Tibbetts, who disappeared while out for a run July 18 in Brooklyn, Iowa. Investigators recovered her body a month later in a cornfield. Officials say she was stabbed to death.
Rivera, a Mexican national, also is accused of being in the country illegally. He worked at a dairy farm a few miles from where Tibbetts disappeared.
County Treasurer’s Association Does Away With Scholarships
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – County treasurers in Iowa have cancelled a college scholarship program that benefited their children and grandchildren, amid allegations that the awards have long violated state ethics law.
The executive board of the Iowa State County Treasurers Association voted Wednesday to end the program ahead of a previously announced application deadline for high school seniors.
The program awarded four, $500 scholarships annually to the children and grandchildren of county treasurers and their staffs. Most of the funding came from two companies that do extensive business with treasurers, GovTech Services and SRI, Inc.
Questions about the program’s legality resurfaced this month after The Associated Press reported that two treasurers went on vacation with GovTech CEO Marc Carr, staying free of charge in his Florida condominium.
Iowa’s ethics board issued an advisory opinion in 2015 that found the program violated the gift law, which bars public employees from accepting money from contractors. Instead of ending the program then, treasurers continued it with a minor change that some believed made it legal.
Biden Still Contemplating Another Presidential Run
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – As former Vice President Joe Biden prepares for a potential White House campaign, his associates increasingly see a strong showing in the Iowa caucuses as crucial to his ability to win the Democratic presidential nomination.
Although Biden hasn’t yet decided whether to launch a third
presidential campaign, one of his top associates was in Des Moines on Wednesday meeting with potential senior staff and longtime supporters and discussing a senior role on Biden’s team.
The move underscores the importance Biden’s team is placing on a commanding finish in Iowa. He needs to do well in Iowa in hopes of charging into the South Carolina primary, where Biden’s national security profile and enduring popularity among African-Americans would pose a challenge for newer faces trying to break through.
Powerball Jackpot Has One Winner In Wisconsin
(Undated) — A single ticket sold in Wisconsin matched all six numbers in the Powerball drawing to win the third-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history.
A statement on the Powerball website says that due to strong ticket sales, the jackpot climbed to an estimated $768.4 million at the time of the drawing with a cash option of $477 million. It was originally estimated to be the 4th largest jackpot.
The numbers announced Wednesday are 16, 20, 37, 44, 62 and the Powerball number is 12.
Seven tickets matched all five white balls, but missed matching the red Powerball to win a $1 million prize.
Powerball is played in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., the U.S Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.