Home News Tuesday News, April 2nd

Tuesday News, April 2nd


Le Mars Community School District Holds Fund Raising Campaign For Stadium Renovation

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community School District is holding a fund raising campaign this week for the new stadium renovation. Entitled: “Fill the Pillars,” Angie Catton, a member of the Le Mars Community School District Board of Education, says the effort is to make a final push for donations.

Catton explains donor cards are located throughout the town at various businesses, allowing people to make a donation or pledge for the new stadium.

On Saturday, school officials will convene at Total Motors to tabulate the collected donations, and to specifically recognize those businesses, families, or individuals that have contributed to the stadium renovation.
Any amount of money can be donated to the “Fill the Pillars”, but to be listed on a plaque on the pillars, a minimum of $200 will be required.
Questions relating to the “Fill the Pillars” stadium renovation fund raising campaign can be directed to the Le Mars Community School District superintendent’s offices.



County Board Of Supervisors To Approve Construction Contracts

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will convene this morning at the county courthouse boardroom for their weekly meeting. The supervisors will hear from county engineer Tom Rohe as he presents several permits for tile crossings, along with a permit from Southern Sioux Rural
Water Association for work in Fredonia township along county road K-64.
Century Link is also seeking a permit for work in Hungerford township. Rohe will discuss with the county governing board a proposed road embargo for Marble Avenue. Rohe will also ask the supervisors to approve two separate construction contracts…one for a bridge repair and the other for re-
surfacing work to be conducted on county road C-60 and also K-49. The county board of supervisors will meet as a drainage board to discuss necessary repairs in the Westfield Drainage District.



City Council To Decide To Have “On Call” Engineering Services

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council will gather at noon today for its meeting. The city council have a short list of agenda items. The city council will begin by holding a public hearing on a proposed development agreement with M.L. Fedders Marine and R-V. There is only one action item listed for today’s business. The city council take action on a report regarding an “on-call” engineering services agreement with JEO Consulting
Group, Incorporated.



Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department Responds To 56 Calls In March

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department kept busy during the month of March. According to the monthly report, firefighters responded to a total of 56 calls. They put out 13 fires, acted on 16 rescues, conducted 16 investigations or accident clean-ups, provided mutual aid on five separate times…twice to Sioux City, once to Hinton, one time for Merrill,
and once for Orange City. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had six request for services. During March, all 31 Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department members passed the self-contained breathing mask test. Eight members assisted with the clean-up of the Willow Creek Golf Course due to flood debris and damage. Several hours were spent on flooding watch, prior
to the floods, during the floods, and following the floods.



Sioux City Has Certified Development Site

(DES MOINES) — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced on Monday that the 27 Flags site in the Southbridge Business Park in Sioux City is the latest to achieve certification through the Iowa Certified Site Program. This site is the 25th in the state to be designated as project-ready for industrial development.
Debi Durham, IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority director says, “This is a very big win for Sioux City. Companies exploring expansion or new operations do not often have the luxury of dedicating substantial amounts of time to the site location process, so having a site available where all the development
questions have been asked and answered better positions the community to attract new investment”.
27 Flags is part of the Southbridge Business Park, located on the southern edge of Sioux City between the Missouri River and Interstate 29, and is ideal for large-scale industrial projects. The 27 Flags property includes nearly 120 developable acres with features including a new electric substation, water treatment plant, access to Interstate 29 and a drop and pull rail yard served by Union Pacific Railroad.
Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott says, “We know being shovel-ready is critical.”
Scott says, “Sioux City has been a leader in business development, attracting both good-paying jobs and capital investment to the area. We are committed to the goal of creating new industrial sites with an eye on continued growth in the future.” 27 Flags is Sioux City’s second certified site, following the 250-acre Bridgeport West Industrial Park that was
certified by an earlier process and later sold to Seaboard Triumph Foods.



Iowa Business Council Releases Quarterly Report

(Des Moines) — In the Iowa Business Council (IBC) quarterly economic outlook survey, members express economic optimism but challenges remain in attracting and retaining a quality workforce. This has been a consistent theme throughout the past year for IBC members, with nearly 70 percent of
IBC members citing either engineering, IT or healthcare as key job positions they are unable or struggling to fill within the state.

“This survey aligns with our 2019 Competitive Dashboard data which measures Iowa’s progress in five categories relative to other states; the lack of available and qualified workforce is threaded throughout every category,”
IBC Executive Director Georgia Van Gundy said. “As an answer to this challenge, the Iowa Business Council has brought together leaders from both the public and private sectors to identify potential initiatives to attract and retain people to our state.”



Democrats Concerned With The Departure Of UnitedHealthCare

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The loss of a second major health care insurer in the Iowa Medicaid program is raising concerns about the stability of a system that serves about 600,000 poor and disabled people.
Democratic lawmakers continued calls Monday for Gov. Kim Reynolds to reverse the move three years ago to privatize the program. They say the change is disrupting lives for vulnerable Iowans.
Republican House Speaker Linda Upmeyer says leaders are monitoring the situation and will help constituents navigate the transition.
Auditor Rob Sand says he’s investigating “multiple matters”
involving the state Medicaid program but wouldn’t discuss specifics.
UnitedHealthcare announced Friday it would leave Iowa’s $5 billion program in the coming months over money and “program design challenges.”
Reynolds says the company made unacceptable demands.
It is the second health care insurance provider to leave the Iowa
program over money since it was handed over to private companies.



Governor Reynolds Appoints Two Judges

(Des Moines) — Gov. Kim Reynolds announced her appointments of Gina Badding and Amy Moore as district court judges in Judicial Election District 2B.
Badding, of Carroll, Iowa, received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Iowa. She currently practices law with Neu, Minnich, Comito, Halbur, Neu & Badding, P.C. in Carroll.
Moore, of Ames, Iowa, received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and her law degree from the Creighton University School of Law.
She currently serves as a part-time judicial magistrate in Story County and practices law with Mid-Iowa Mediation and Law PLLC.
Judicial Election District 2B includes Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Marshall, Pocahontas, Sac, Story, Webster, and Wright counties.



Prison Guard Is Suspended For Doing A Newspaper Interview

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Corrections has suspended a prison guard for giving an interview to his hometown newspaper for a positive feature story about his life and work.
The Bloomfield Democrat, a weekly paper in southern Iowa, featured John Cox in a front-page story about how he inspires and teaches inmates at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility.
The newspaper publisher, Karen Spurgeon, had taught Cox music in his youth and was impressed by his passion for prison work after bumping into him in December. Cox agreed to an interview.
Prison leaders put Cox under investigation after the article was
published, saying he violated work rules that require prior authorization for media interviews. Ultimately, they gave him a three-day suspension.
Cox and his union are appealing, arguing the discipline is an
infringement on his free speech.



Pella Health Coach Accused Of Fraud

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A June trial has been scheduled for a Pella health coach accused of defrauding dozens of people who lost more than $6.5 million by investing in a gym program.
U.S. District Court records say 49-year-old Mark Blankespoor has
pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of mail fraud and 12 counts of wire fraud.
His trial is set to begin June 3 in Des Moines.
Prosecutors say Blankespoor told investors from at least May 2013 through this past January that the medically oriented program would be licensed to fitness clinics nationwide and that investors could earn a 40 percent return on their money.
But prosecutors say Blankespoor instead used their money for himself and to pay other investors.



Grassley Disappointed Democrats Reject Flood Relief Funding

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa issued the following statement after Democrats blocked the Senate’s consideration of a disaster aid appropriations package that would have provided relief following the devastating floods in the Midwest, including southwest Iowa.

“I’m disappointed in my colleagues who decry Washington political games while on the campaign trail in Iowa, but then return to the Capitol only to play political games themselves. The disaster aid appropriations bill I voted for in the Senate would not have left anyone in the lurch, from Iowa to Puerto Rico. But the Democrat poison pills will do exactly that. I hope my colleagues who voted against this much-needed relief will reconsider.”