City Council Approves Rate Increase For Water and Sewer Usage
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Council approved the new water rate and sewer rates during Tuesday’s council meeting. The new rate is an increase for the first 2,000 gallons from $6.50 per 1000 gallons to $6.83. The approved sewer rate would go from the current rate of $7.72 per 1,000 gallons to a new rate
of $8.11 per 1,000 gallons. In other action, the city council approved an architecture contract for phase 2 construction of the new police
headquarters. Phase 2 would include a locker room and exercise room for the officers, along with a training conference room.
Sugar ‘N Spice Wins Local Open 4 Business Contest
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars competition for the State of Iowa Main Street Open 4 Business contest was recently held. The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street program oversees the local portion of the competition. Two Le Mars businesses participated – Sugar-N-Spice and Bling-N-Fashions.
The Iowa Main Street Program Open 4 Business contest, launched in 2015, is an opportunity for businesses located within a state-designated Main Street district, to compete for a chance to win up to $28,000 in grant funds to assist with business development or an expansion project that will benefit
the local community. The two Le Mars competitors completed a 5 minute video outlining their business idea and how it would benefit the local economic climate downtown.
Each business had 15 minutes to present their business proposition. Then they were questioned by the judges. “The two presentations were very good and the scoring was very close. I’m excited about the plans presented,” stated Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street Manager Mary Reynolds.
Judges were: Tom Schuch, 2018 Open for Business winner (Get Branded 360 $14,500), Renee Billings, Economic Development Specialist with the City of Sioux City and Michaela Brown, 2017 Open for Business winner (The Brown Century Theater $18,500).
The Le Mars local winner was Sugar-N-Spice. They won a $500 cash prize to be used for their business.“ Jill Mescher will now submit sub-state materials to the Des Moines Main Street office,” said Reynolds. Dr. Steve Collins, Rich Ziettlow and Reynolds will write the Open for Business grant with Mescher.
Each designated Main Street community across the state may submit one local business to represent their community. Next Mescher will compete to be selected as one of the 12 semi-finalists. Skype presentations will be made to judges in Des Moines. Sub-state competition will be held on June 27,
Five sub-state winners will each receive $8,000 and advance to the state contest which will be held in Dubuque, Iowa the evening of August 27, 2019.
The state winner could win up to an additional $20,000.
At the sub-state and state competitions, a 25% cash match is required from the winning business. The grant funds are administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Downtown Resource Center and Main Street Iowa program.
Floyd Valley Acknowledges National Nurse Week
(Le Mars) — They are among the first people you see when you are either ill or injured. They offer care, comfort, and counseling. They can be found at hospitals, clinics, or even care centers. They are among the most trusted people. They are nurses. KLEM radio wishes to pay tribute to all nurses within the surrounding area during this National Nurses Week. Lorrie Mortensen serves as the Director of Patient Care for Floyd Valley Healthcare
and says there are 150 people that comprise the nursing staff for Floyd Valley and all of its entities. She says National Nurses Week dates all the way back to Florence Nightingale, who is the pioneer often credited with starting the nursing profession.
Mortensen says technology has advanced with the nursing profession. She says today, many nurses are able to assist a patient from several miles away through remote means.
Mortensen says nursing is still a highly sought career with many job opportunities.
The Director of Patient Care says Floyd Valley is fortunate to have many nurses who have certified specialized training.
Mortensen says nursing opportunities will continue to grow for college graduates and others.
Iowa State Patrol To Investigate Trooper
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa State Patrol is conducting an internal investigation into a manager who received $40,000 in benefits to relocate to western Iowa but for tax purposes recently claimed a newly built house 120 miles away as his residence.
The investigation is looking into whether Lt. Joel Ehler is in
compliance with its residency policy and whether the moving expenses were handled appropriately.
A spokesman says the patrol is taking “very seriously” the concerns raised in an anonymous complaint that sparked the investigation.
Ehler was stationed in Des Moines and living in Adel when promoted in 2017 to lead the Council Bluffs patrol post. He qualified for state-funded relocation benefits.
Property records show Ehler and his wife sold their Adel home in 2018 for $469,500. Then, he claimed a homestead tax break on a new West Des Moines home.
Dead Driver Identified From Car Chase
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have identified a driver who died following a three-vehicle chase and shooting in Council Bluffs.
Police say 18-year-old Ethan Edgar, of Hutchinson, Kansas, was
Police say the incident began when a man and several of his friends went looking for the man’s stolen car Monday afternoon. When the group spotted the car at a gas station, they used the two cars they were in to box in the stolen car. Police say Edgar, who was driving the stolen car, rammed the other cars in an attempt to flee.
That’s when a passenger in one of the rammed cars began shooting at Edgar, and a chase ensued before Edgar crashed. Edgar was taken to a hospital in neighboring Omaha, Nebraska, where he died. Police say his injuries included two gunshot wounds.
Police questioned but didn’t arrest the Omaha shooter or other men.
The Pottawattamie County Attorney is expected to present evidence to a grand jury to determine if criminal charges will be filed.
Man Convicted Of Death Of Girl Friend’s Daughter
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) – A jury has convicted a man accused in the 2015 death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter of first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death.
The Courier reports that Chad Little, of Waterloo, was found guilty Tuesday in a Black Hawk County court and faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
Prosecutors say Little abused his girlfriend’s two children, and
delivered a fatal head injury to 4-year-old Gracie Buss in May 2015.
During Little’s trial, doctors testified that the girl had a series
of old and new bruises all over her body and bleeding within her eye, pointing to abusive trauma.
Gracie’s older brother told police that Little had struck him and the girl in the year before the girl’s death, when Little moved in to the children’s home.
Pork Prices Have Increased In Value, Surprising Producers
(Le Mars) — Despite expansion within the pork industry and trade tariffs, hog prices have actually been steadily rising over the last few weeks. Since March 20th, lean hog prices have been on the increase, going up more than $15. That trend has surprised many people, including pork producers.
Iowa State University Extension Agricultural Economist Lee Schultz says the hog market has been rocked with volatility. He offers an explanation of the latest market trend.
Schultz says we are entering the key period of demand for pork, which should also help keep prices somewhat higher.
The Iowa State University Agricultural Economist says profitability levels are higher for the pork producer than what has been seen for the last few years. Schultz says prices have dipped a bit within the last couple of weeks, but he remains optimistic for a bullish price outlook for pork producers for the remaining months of 2019 and into 2020.