County Supervisors To Review Zoning Fees
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will convene this morning for their weekly meeting at the County Courthouse Board Room. The county supervisors will approve the resolution and the consenting acknowledgement to assignment form for a new trustee agent, escrow agent, and paying transfer agent for county general obligation bonds. County Zoning Administrator, Alan Lucken, is scheduled to appear before the board of supervisors to discuss county zoning fee structure. The county governing board will meet with Fred Schiefen who is seeking approval of a minor subdivision in Johnson township.
County Engineer Tom Rohe will appear before the board to submit various permits. Rohe will also discuss with the supervisors projects slated for micro-surfacing and sealing coat for county roadways.
Life Skills Training Center Holds Annual Meeting And Distributes Awards
(Le Mars) — Life Skills Training Center held its annual meeting last evening, and according to Marketing and Development Director, Shelly Thomson, 2018 had some ups and some downs, but over-all last year proved to be a good year, setting several financial records.
Thomson says new records were also established with the annual Knights of Columbus phone-a-thon held in September.
The Life Skills Marketing and Development Director thanks the people of Plymouth County for their constant generous contributions. She says the people of Plymouth County are special people, as Life Skills usually generates more funding than other similar handicapped special needs training centers across the state.
Life Skills Training Center handed out two awards during last evening’s banquet and annual meeting. A new award was created acknowledging the Staff Team Player Award. That honor was given to Rachel Engvall.
The traditional Client Achievement Award was presented to Austin Fenner.
School Board Approves Purchase Of Real Estate
(Le Mars) — During last evening’s Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting, the school board approved a real estate purchase for property adjacent to the high school. The school board agreed to buy a home that was owned by Jeffrey and Terri Brown for the purchase price of $130,000. The home sits next to property the school district had acquired in previous
transactions including a former church and home.
Middle School Math Teacher Awarded “Employee Of The Month”
(Le Mars) — A Le Mars Community Middle School math teacher was honored Monday morning as the Le Mars Community “Employee of the Month.” Al Engebretson has taught at Le Mars Community for the past 37 years. He plans to retire at the end of this school year. Tina Gray states in her nomination
of Engebretson that “Al is the teacher I often model myself after.” Al cares about kids…all kids! He works diligently to make sure his students know the math material he is teaching. He expects the best of them both academically and in their social interactions throughout the school day. His students continually perform well on both math assessments and in math
contests throughout the year. I smile every time a student walks in my room talking about a “Yippee” stamp they earned for receiving a 100 percent on a math test. He gives his students a great start for high school math opportunities. His athletes are taught how to be gentlemen through his modeling and his leadership style. The man NEVER yells. Finally, he is an
exceptional representation of someone who balances their teaching and coaching responsibilities. Our congratulations go to Alan Engebretson for being named as the Le Mars Community School District’s “Employee of the Month.”
Dordt College Is Now Known As Dordt University
(Sioux Center) — As of yesterday, May 13th, 2019, Dordt College is now officially known as Dordt University. The announcement of the name change was made a year ago. Brandon Huisman is the Vice President of Enrollment for
Dordt University. He says there are three primary reasons for the name change.
Huisman says Dordt has expanded its various graduate Master’s programs, which is another reason for changing the name from Dordt College to Dordt University.
Another reason to change the name of the higher education school, is because Huisman says international students relate to the word “university” better than the word “college.”
Huisman admits the name change from Dordt College to Dordt University will be expensive as signs, business cards, letter head, stationary, brochures, pamphlets, media logos, and much more will all have to be updated. He says, fortunately, the money allocated to finance the changes will not be a part of
the student’s tuition, but rather a special fund had been started to absorb most of the expenses.
Dordt University has an enrollment of around 1600 students.
Reynolds Signs Sports Betting Bill Into Law
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that establishes a legal way to bet on professional, collegiate and international sporting events.
It also legalizes fantasy sports contests and internet fantasy sports betting but delays betting based on college sporting event statistics until May 2020.
The new law excludes betting on some events, including minor leagues and in-state college team players.
Sports betting is limited to those 21 and older.
Reynolds, a Republican, has declined to suggest whether she supported the expansion of gambling in Iowa. She signed the bill on Monday.
The law gives the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regulatory authority over sports betting. The commission regulates the 19 state-licensed casinos in Iowa and its administrator, Brian Ohorilko, has said most of the
state’s casinos are expected to set aside onsite space for betting.
The casinos also will contract with online and mobile application
vendors to set up bets electronically.
The commission has been developing rules that will determine how sports betting will work at the casinos, online and through a mobile application.
Betting is expected to begin as early as this summer.
Reynolds Signs Bill For Growing Industrial Hemp
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that allows Iowa farmers to legally grow industrial hemp.
The Iowa Hemp Act passed the Legislature with overwhelming support last month.
The bill Reynolds signed Monday allows licensed growers to cultivate the crop on up to 40 acres. First, however, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship must develop a plan and submit it for approval of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The USDA must still release its own regulations this fall, with hopes of allowing farmers to grow hemp next year.
Since the 2018 Farm Bill eased federal restrictions on hemp
production, most states have either legalized production or are growing it under a 2014 law that allows limited commercial production or research plots.
Among those that haven’t is South Dakota, where the governor vetoed such a law last month.
Bookkeeper Accused Of Stealing From Church
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A bookkeeper is accused of stealing more than $200,000 from at least three Open Bible Churches in the Des Moines area.
Polk County court records say 54-year-old Michelene Kinning is
charged with four counts of theft. The records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for her.
Authorities say she wrote unauthorized checks to herself from the churches’ bank accounts from 2010 until she was fired last year.
Knoxville Boy Says He Hasn’t Been Outside For Months – Parents Charged With Kidnapping and Child Endangerment
KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say an 11-year-old Iowa boy whose bedroom was covered in plastic sheeting told an investigator that he hadn’t been outside in several months.
His parents have been charged with kidnapping, child endangerment and neglect. Marion County court records say 49-year-old Rocky Wooldridge and 43-year-old Jennifer Wooldridge, of Knoxville, are scheduled for arraignment June 6. The records don’t list an attorney.
Rocky Wooldridge has pleaded not guilty to the child endangerment and neglect charges and to three weapons counts. His trial on the weapons counts is scheduled to begin June 24.
A criminal complaint says the Iowa Human Services Department in March reported only one blanket in the boy’s room, along with wet underwear and the plastic sheeting.
The complaint also says the boy had injuries consistent with child
Group Trying To Preserve One Room School House
INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) – A group is trying to raise money to repair the roof of a historic one-room schoolhouse near Indianola and prevent damage to documents inside the building.
The Des Moines Register reports a nonprofit group that manages the Hoosier Row schoolhouse is trying to raise $7,000 to replace the roof after storm damage this past winter.
Group secretary Genie Hansen says the 119-year-old building south of Indianola is filled with maps, desks, slate chalk boards and other items that could be ruined if rain seeps into the structure.
The building, named for original settlers who moved to the area from Indiana, is the last one-room schoolhouse in Warren County. It was closed in 1958 and has been used since then as a community center.
Ottumwa School Officials Told To Change How They Raise Money For Student Trips
OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) – School officials in Ottumwa say they’ll change how they raise money for student trips to abide by state guidelines even though the move could threaten a program that has helped thousands of children to travel around the country.
Iowa Department of Education guidelines indicate the Ottumwa
Educational Travel Program, which has operated since 1976, is no longer permitted to keep individual accounts for students.
The Des Moines Register reports that Evans Middle School travel
program director Larry Northup says any funds raised by students moving forward will be shared and split evenly among the group. That includes the $14,500 that is currently in the students’ separate accounts.
The district intends to start pooling the funds beginning next school year.
Northup noted that parents are unhappy with the rule change.