Home News Friday News, August 23rd

Friday News, August 23rd


Schools Are Prepared For The First Day Of Classes

(Le Mars) — School begins today, Friday, August 23rd for both Le Mars Community and for Gehlen Catholic. Dr. Steven Webner, the superintendent of schools for the Le Mars Community School District says everyone is excited for the start of a new school year.

Webner says the school district does anticipate a slight increase with student enrollment numbers. Webner says students will see seven new faces in terms of faculty and administration officials.

Webner says the new expanded parking lot is nearing completion, but still requiring additional work. He says that students and parents will need to know about Stadium Drive will be closed beginning Monday for an installation
of a water main.

Across town at Gehlen Catholic, Lisa Niebuhr, the Director of Development says classes will begin at 8:25 a.m. and there will be four new faculty faces to welcome the students.

Englebretson retired from Le Mars Community last May after teaching Middle School and serving as the cross country and track coach. Niebuhr reminds students of the Gehlen Catholic dress code.

Niebuhr says the renovations and remodeling at Gehlen Catholic school are now completed.



Law Enforcement Agencies Urge Motorists To Slow Down Around School Zones

(Le Mars) — Both the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and the Le Mars Police Department are reminding motorists to slow down and be aware of children going and coming to school. Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte says people need to watch for additional bicycles, mopeds, cars,students walking, and a general increase of traffic.

Vande Vegte says the speed limit around school zones is 20 mph. He also wants people to know when a school bus stops and has its lights flashing with the stop arm extended, motorist on both sides of the bus need to also stop.

The Le Mars Police Chief says the law applies to motorists heading in both directions of a stopped school bus.

Violators who fail to stop for a stopped school bus could face fines of up to $600. Vande Vegte says Le Mars Community has equipped its buses with cameras to help identify violators.

Vande Vegte says more important than the fines, are the safety and protection of our children as they board and depart from the school bus.



Crosswalks Painted To Offer More Visibility

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte is praising city work staff for recently painting several key crosswalks within the city.  Vande Vegte says the newly painted crosswalks will make pedestrians more visible to motorists.



Police Officer John Vickery To Serve As School Resource Officer

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Police Department has had a presence in the past with our local schools, but beginning this year, Chief Vande Vegte has appointed a school resource officer.

Vande Vegte says Vickery is familiar with the school district as he has already been serving as a D.A.R.E. officer.



YMCA Employee Accused Of Sexually Abusing Child

CRESTON, Iowa (AP) – A man who’d been working for a YMCA in southern Iowa has been accused of sexually abusing a child.
Union County court records say 35-year-old Allen Long, of Lenox, is charged with lascivious acts with a child. His attorney didn’t immediately return a call Friday from The Associated Press.
Court documents say the girl told deputies on Aug. 9 that Long
molested her at a home in Afton.
YMCA officials say Long no longer is athletic director at the YMCA
in Creston. He’d been hired in December.



Ethanol Plant Forced To Close

CLOVERDALE, Ind. (AP) – The owner of a western Indiana ethanol plant is blaming its shut down on the Trump administration allowing some refineries to not blend ethanol with gasoline as required under federal law.
South Dakota-based ethanol producer Poet says it will cease
production by mid-October at its Cloverdale plant, one of four it operates in Indiana. A company notification says 50 workers will lose jobs from the closure.
The company says production is being cut at half of its 28 plants
where corn is processed into ethanol. Poet says it’s consolidating jobs at plants in Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, South Dakota and Missouri.
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued gasoline refinery exemptions removing 2.6 billion gallons (9.8 billion liters) of ethanol from production.
Poet calls those exemptions “bailouts to oil companies.”



Audit Shows Licenses Were Distributed Without Background Checks

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An audit has found that the Iowa Department of Public Safety issued more than 5,800 licenses to private security workers over a two-year period without conducting required background checks.
The failure means the agency may have given credentials to some individuals with disqualifying criminal or personal histories to work as private investigators, security guards and bail bondsmen. The situation was discovered after one such individual applied for a gun permit in Linn
The audit largely blames the problems on the actions of a former
department clerk, Joseph Sheehan Jr., who was fired last November.
The report by State Auditor Rob Sand’s office says that, a year
after the department discovered the problems, hundreds of licenses have still yet to be reviewed to determine whether they are valid.
Applicants are required to have no prior convictions for serious
crimes and no history of alcohol and drug abuse, mental illness or violence.



Democrats Blame President Trump For Downturn In Economy

PROLE, Iowa (AP) – As the U.S. economy flashes recession warning signs, Democratic presidential candidates are leveling preemptive blame on President Donald Trump.
They argue that his aggressive and unpredictable tariff policies are prompting gloomy economic forecasts. Yet they’re also straining to avoid the appearance of cheering for a downturn that would inflict economic pain on millions of Americans, but potentially help their party’s political fortunes in 2020.
An election year slump would likely scramble the White House race. A strong economy would be a bulwark for Trump, helping him maintain the support of many independents and moderate Republicans who are turned off by his incendiary statements and pugnacious personality.
Trump’s advisers worry that support could deteriorate if there’s an economic downturn in the coming months.



Daycare Worker Charged With Child Endangerment

DONNELLSON, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa day care worker has been arrested and charged with child endangerment in the December death of a child in her care.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety says in a news release that Laura McDowell was charged Thursday with the felony. Investigators say McDowell was the site supervisor and lead teacher at Raisin Em Up Daycare in Donnellson. Medics were called to the child care center on Dec. 3 for an unresponsive child. Police say the child was taken a nearby hospital, and
later to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
On Dec. 11, the child was taken of life support and pronounced dead.
No details about what caused the child’s death or what led to
McDowell’s arrest were released.