Home News Friday News, March 29th

Friday News, March 29th


Le Mars Little League Receives Donation Of $2,500

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Little League is the benefactor of the American Farmers Grow Communities donation. Each year, the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program partners with local farmers to provide grants to local non-profit organizations. The program is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, a
philanthropic arm of Bayer. The program provides farmers the opportunity to support and give back to non-profit organizations they care about in their local community by enrolling for a chance to direct $2,500 donation to a non-profit of their choice. Since 2010, the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program has given more than $33 million to over 8,000 non-profit
organization across rural America. Wayne and Julie Bietelspacher of rural Le Mars was the winner of the local program. On Thursday, the Bietelspachers, along with officials with Channel Seed Company, a subsidiary of Monsanto, presented a check for the amount of $2,500 to officials with the Le Mars Little League Association. Accepting the check was Annette Kuiken who serves as the treasurer of the Le Mars Little League Association.
Kuiken says after last September’s flood, the Le Mars Little League set a goal to raise $100,000. Kuiken says the Le Mars Little League has been able to raise more than $70,000 of the goal. However, with last week’s flooding once again spilling water into the ballparks, Kuiken says the board of directors with the Le Mars Little League may have to seek additional funds.
This is the third time the Bietelspachers have been selected to direct grant funds to area organizations. Previously, they directed money to help the L.E.E.P program and the Le Mars Back pack program.

Standing (left to right) are David Christoffel, District Sales Manager with Channel Seed Co.; Annette Kuiken, Le Mars Little League treasurer; Wayne Bietelspacher, Julie Bietelspacher, and Keith Koerselman, Channel Seed Company local seed representative. Channel Seed Company is a subsidiary of Monsanto/Bayer Company.



Iowa Barbeque Company Of Le Mars Takes Second Place For “Best Pulled Pork”

(Des Moines) — A Le Mars barbecue restaurant finished in second position among 80 restaurants statewide that were nominated for having the “Best Pulled Pork” Sandwich. The contest was sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers
Association. The Iowa Barbeque Company of Le Mars lost to the eventual winner in the championship round to Warehouse Barbecue Compnay of Ottumwa.

Iowa Pork Producers Association Consumer Outreach Director, Kelsey Byrnes initially invited Iowa Pork social media followers to nominate the Iowa restaurant they felt had the best pulled pork sandwich. About 1,130 pork fans nominated 80 restaurants, and Byrnes then selected the top two vote-getters in each of Iowa Pork Producers Association’s eight districts to fill out the “Sweet 16” bracket that got the head-to-head contests underway.
Warehouse Barbecue Company is owned by a father and son duo, Dusty and Roger Ware. The menu describes their winning Pulled Pork as made from hickory-smoked Duroc premium pork. Along with the bragging rights, Warehouse Barbecue Company receives $250 and a “Pulled Pork Madness” plaque.



Iowa House Passes Bill Allowing Felons To Restore Voting Rights

(Des Moines) — The Iowa House has embraced a plan that would automatically give felons who’ve completed their sentences the right to vote in Iowa. The idea, in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment, has been one of
Republican Governor Kim Reynolds’ priorities. The House voted 95-to-two in support of the concept. House Republican Leader Chris Hagenow (HAG-eh-now) of Clive calls it a “bipartisan accomplishment.”

Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann (COUGH-mann) of Wilton says legislators will decide LATER how much restitution and fines must be paid before a felon gets to vote and whether some felons may never qualify to vote again.

Iowa and Kentucky are currently the only states in the country that force felons to apply to the governor to get their voting rights back. House Minority Leader Todd Prichard (PRICH-ard) of Charles City says Democrats are enthusiastic supporters of getting rid of that system and instead give felons their voting rights back when they’re paroled.

Representative Vicki Lensing, a Democrat from Iowa City, says she’d prefer the governor take immediate action and issue an executive order to automatically restore voting rights.

Key G-O-P senators like Brad Zaun (ZAHN) of Urbandale have said they’re reluctant to automatically give any felon the right to vote after they’ve been released from parole.

Governor Reynolds issued a written statement this (Thursday) afternoon, praising the “strong bipartisan vote” in the HOUSE and vowing to “continue working with members of the Iowa Senate to move the process forward, allowing Iowans a vote on this important issue.”



House Passes Bill That Would Strengthen Penalties For Animal Abuse

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa House has unanimously approved a bill that would increase the penalties for animal mistreatment.
The measure approved Thursday by a vote of 96-0 moves to the Senate.
The bill heightens the criminal penalties for animal abuse and
neglect, animal torture and abandonment. It exempts farm livestock and some wild animals.
Animal welfare advocates have long considered Iowa among the worst states for mistreatment of animals in puppy mills. The state has thousands of dogs in more than 200 large-scale breeding operations.
Under the House-backed bill, failure to provide an animal with
access to food, drinkable water, sanitary shelter, veterinary care and grooming could be considered animal abuse, punishable by two years in prison. A second offense would be a felony carrying up to five years in prison.
Animal torture, which is intentionally causing prolonged suffering
or death, would be a felony punishable by up to five years. Abandoning an animal could carry a 30-day jail sentence, a year in jail if the animal is injured or two years if it sustains a serious injury.



Iowa National Guard Top Officer To Retire In May

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) – The adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard has announced his plans for retirement.
A National Guard news release says Maj. Gen. Tim Orr intends to step down effective May 1 after 10 years as the Iowa Guard’s commander. He was named to the post by then Gov. Chet Culver in March 2009.
Brig. Gen. Stephen Osborn will serve as the interim adjutant general.
Orr enlisted in the Iowa Army National Guard in 1978 while still a senior at Boone High School and rose through the ranks.



Oskaloosa Man To Face Trial Next Month For Stabbing Basketball Player

DAWSON, Iowa (AP) – An Oskaloosa man charged in the stabbing death of a college basketball player in Oskaloosa will go to trial next month after a judge rejected his “stand your ground” defense.
Television station KCCI reports that the judge on Tuesday denied 24-year-old Luke VanHemert’s argument that he was defending himself when he fatally stabbed 22-year-old William Penn player Marquis Todd in March 2018.
Iowa’s “stand your ground” law, enacted in 2017, says a person
doesn’t have to retreat before using deadly force if he or she reasonably thinks his or her life is being threatened.
VanHemert’s lawyers argued that he was defending himself during a fight that began with a car crash and that VanHemert should be exempt from prosecution. But the judge says Iowa’s law does not apply in the case.
VanHemert’s second-degree murder trial is set to begin April. 9.