Home News Monday News, April 29th

Monday News, April 29th


Friends Of Gehlen Ball Raises More Than $264,000

(Le Mars) — Committee members of the Friends of the Gehlen Ball presented Gehlen Catholic administration officials Saturday evening with a check amounting to more than $264,000 during the annual event. The Gehlen Ball serves as the primary fund raising activity for the local Catholic school.
The Peter J. Gehlen Award was presented to Larry Freking in honor for him and his late-wife Karolyn. Freking was honored to be recognized, but he credits his wife for the award.

Freking is a long time supporter of Gehlen Catholic, but he attended Remsen St. Mary’s as a youngster, and couldn’t resist taking a few jabs at Gehlen discussing the rivalry between the two Catholic schools.

Freking says the two schools may have been rivals on the field or court, but afterwards, they were great friends. He says many of the Remsen boys would often date the Gehlen girls.
Freking says his wife, Karolyn, contributed her time, talents, and resources to Gehlen. He says the couple began by donating $500 to the school back in the 1960’s.

Freking says that both he and his wife believe in a Catholic education. He says he is proud his children and grandchildren have gone to Gehlen Catholic school.

Freking announced to the crowd that he purchased 25 computers for Gehlen Catholic schools. The naming of the gym was awarded to Bob Campbell. This is the first time the gym has been named to the same person for two years in a row.



Water Department To Begin Flushing Hydrants

(Le Mars) — The city of Le Mars Water Department will flush fire hydrant in the north section of the city beginning on Monday, April 29th through the end of the week. The week of May 6th the city water department will be flushing hydrants in the southwest side of town. Flushing will occur in the southeast sector of town during the week of May 13th. Residents can expect lower water
pressures, and discolored water while flushing is occurring. If your home still has discolored water, following the days of flushing, you are asked to contact the Le Mars Water Department at 546-5555.



Secondary Roads Department Closes C-44 Bridge Near Merrill

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced the bridge located on county road C-44 just east of Merrill will be closed beginning on Monday, April 29th. The bridge will be closed until mid-November. Traffic will be detoured from County road C-44 and Highway 75 at Merrill north on Highway 75 to county road C-38 to K-49 and back to C-44.



State Auditor Rob Sand Holds Town Hall Meetings To Ask Public For Ideas To Save Money

(Le Mars) — State Auditor Rob Sand crossed the state during the last few days to learn from people as to how government agencies from the state, county, or city, or other public entities, such as schools, can become more efficient and save money. Sand calls the program PIE for Public Innovations and Efficiencies.

Sand held town hall meetings Friday at Council Bluffs, Holstein, Sioux Center, Le Mars, and Sioux City. He says he is searching for “common sense” ideas that often times would be overlooked as a means to save the tax payer’s money, such as unplugging electronics at the conclusion of a work day. He says government entities will be encouraged to fill out a “check list” to
measure their progress on becoming more efficient.

Sand says the state auditor’s office began looking at being more efficient and saving tax payers money on day two of Sand’s term. He says the auditor’s office is releasing public audit reports in a different and more efficient manner.

The state auditor estimated his staff worked a total of 325 hours each year, just to print and bind audit reports. Sand has collected a list of ideas from each of the town hall meetings, which he hopes to implement within the next few months.



Lawmakers Conclude General Session On Saturday

(Des Moines) — The state legislature wrapped up its business on Saturday afternoon. The Iowa House finished at 2:14 p.m. and the Iowa Senate concluded its business at 2:25 p.m.

Partisan clashes over a few issues marked the final day of the 2019 Iowa legislative session. A BI-partisan coalition of 40 SENATORS passed a bill that expands Iowa’s medical marijuana program. Senator Tom Greene, a retired pharmacist from Burlington, grew emotional during his remarks on the bill.

Senator Brad Zaun (ZAHN) of Urbandale says his attitude about medical cannabis changed a few years ago as he saw his father battle cancer.

The bill COULD expand the potency of the cannabis products being sold in Iowa. Terminally ill Iowans would not face any limit on the amount of cannabis products they use. The bill would let nurse practitioners and physicians assistants recommend medical marijuana as treatment for nine conditions or severe or chronic pain. Today, only doctors can do that.

In other action on the 2019 legislature’s final day, Republicans passed their scaled back plan to change the state commission that nominates judges.
Representative Andy McKean of Anamosa, the lawmaker who left the Republican Party Tuesday, called it irresponsible.

Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison, says the governor deserves “a little bit more voice” in the process.

The governor recently called upon legislators to advance the plan, which would have the Supreme Court vote every two years to determine who among them is the chief justice. The proposal also removes the most senior supreme court justice from the commission that chooses nominees for openings on the state’s
highest court. Representative Mary Wolfe, a Democrat from Clinton, suggested Republicans were being “opportunistic” in giving the governor the ability to appoint not just eight, but nine of the 17 members of the commission.

Iowa lawyers will continue to elect the other eight members of the commission. Holt says that shows Republicans listened to concerns and adjusted the plan.

Holt and all but one of his G-O-P colleagues in the House voted to add the proposal to a budget bill that cleared the legislature on its final day.
Senate Republicans later sent that bill to the governor. Some other policy bills got a few moments of final debate on Saturday. That includes a bill that establishes a new fee for electric vehicle owners. A final budget bill that cleared on Saturday includes two hotly debated proposals. One would bar Medicaid coverage for gender reassignment surgery. The other ends state
contracts with Planned Parenthood employees who teach sex ed classes to at-risk teens. Democrats objected to both. Republicans, who hold a majority of seats in both the House and Senate and took final votes sending their entire state budget plan — including these policy matters — to the governor.



Woman Shot While Driving Vehicle

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) – Authorities are investigating the death of a woman who was shot while driving in northeast Iowa.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the shooting happened on Highway 218 on the outskirts of Waterloo around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Waterloo police say a bullet struck a woman in the neck as she was driving. The bullet continued on to strike one of the woman’s two male passengers and injure him.
Paramedics were called after the woman pulled over near the Glenhill Road exit on the highway. She died at the scene.
The identities of the woman and her injured passenger were not
immediately released on Sunday.
The highway has reopened since the shooting, but police were searching the area for evidence.



Fire Destroys Cedar Rapids House – Three Are Injured

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say three people were taken to a hospital after a house fire in Cedar Rapids.
Firefighters say the front of the two-story house was engulfed in flames when firetrucks arrived early Saturday morning. All six people in the home got out on their own, but three were taken to a hospital. One occupant who leaped from a second-story window had to be helped away from the structure.
No names have been released.
The fire cause is being investigated.