Home News Monday News, September 23rd

Monday News, September 23rd


MenuMasters Raises More Than $40,000

(Le Mars) — The eighth annual MenuMasters event, held Saturday evening and sponsored by the Le Mars Educational Enhancement Project, raised a total of $40,345. The MenuMasters Maids presented the over-sized check to Le Mars
School District Superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner.

The money will be used by the Le Mars Community School District and will go to teachers to cover expenses above budget items. 21 teams of chefs participated in the food festival event held at the Century Hall at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds. Taking top honors for the Judges’ Choice was the team from Primebank represented by Jordan Sitzman, Mark Schmidt, and
Cole Sitzman, with their “Ope, Let me SALAD on by ya’ here” coleslaw.

The winning entry for the “Best Food” was won by BLT, Inc. and Campell’s Electric “Dirty Old Grannys” represented by Keith Campell and Todd Brownmiller with “Not Your Granny’s Fluff.”

“Toyko Joe’s Japanese Steakhouse” with chefs Joe Gallas, Steve VanOtterloo, and Marty Pippett representing Galles Construction, Inc. and Mark Crop Insurance took home the top honors for “Best Theme.”

Best Entree was awarded to members of the Le Mars Fire Department’s “Backdraft B-B-Q” represented by Charlie Mohning, Kevin Bolton, and Michael Hargens with “Pump and Roll Pork Loin.”
Best Dessert was won by American Bank’s entry of “S’more Money, S’more Problems” with Micah Lang, Andy Schmidt, and Hunter Rowe. The trio served S’more Money Bites.
Best Appetizer was won by “Dirty Old Grannys with “Not Your Granny’s Fluff” with chefs Keith Campbell and Todd Brownmiller.



School Officials Acknowledge New Stadium With Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

(Le Mars) — Members of the Le Mars Community Board of Education were flanked by Chamber members, school officials, donors, cheerleaders, and others as the long-awaited anticipated ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Friday afternoon to officially acknowledge the new renovated stadium and new football field.  School Superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner thanked all
the donors for making a dream become a reality.

First to address the crowd was Patrick Murphy who has served on the Le Mars Board of Education for 25 years.  Murphy informed the gathering of 200 plus people, the process of renovating the stadium began several years ago.

Murphy informed the crowd it was the goal of the school board to secure a major donor that would help make the process of acquiring a new stadium possible.

As it turned out, Wells Enterprises made a pledge of $2 million to help get the project started.  Murphy acknowledged the support from several area businesses, and the many individual contributors.

The attorney says public schools need to remain competitive in all aspects, and Murphy says the Le Mars Community School District is among the best in the state.

Adam Baumgartner spoke on behalf of Wells Enterprises. He says although many things have changed during the 106 years of Wells’ existence, there is one thing that never has changed, and never will change.



School Board To Hold Meeting This Evening

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education has a short agenda for this evening’s meeting to be held at the Education Service Center beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Curriculum Director, Rachel Leavitt will provide the school board with general information regarding the Iowa State Assessment of Student Progress which is a new statewide assessment.
The school board will discuss an upcoming Employee Relations Conference sponsored by the Iowa Association of School Boards and scheduled for October 17th. The school board will also discuss the state convention scheduled for November 20th-21st to be held in Des Moines. The school board will discuss the superintendent’s goals established as part of the superintendent’s evaluation process. The school board has one contract to approve with Amanda Becker as a teacher associate at Clark Elementary School.



Former Sioux City Teacher Seeking To Be Reinstated

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City teacher accused of sending critical letters to her superintendent and other district leaders is appealing her firing.
The Sioux City Journal reports that Julie Fischer’s petition for
judicial review says the Sioux City Community School District board’s decision to terminate Fischer’s employment violated her First Amendment right to free speech. Fischer is asking for a reversal of the board’s decision, reinstatement and an award of back pay and benefits. No hearings have been scheduled.
The school board voted to fire Fischer even though a judge cleared her of criminal charges. In March a judge dismissed six counts of harassment Fischer faced, saying the letters were free speech, not harassment.
The board has said Fischer was not terminated because of the
letters, but because she violated the district’s Mandatory Cooperation in Workplace Investigation Policy and Code of Ethics. The board ruled that Fischer made false statements and provided misleading information during the district’s investigation.



Sioux City Man To Receive Two Life Sentences For Stabbings

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A man convicted of stabbing his ex-girlfriend and her friend in Sioux City has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Tran Walker, who will turn 20 Sunday, was sentenced Friday in the January 2018 deaths of 17-year-old Paiten Sullivan and 18-year-old Felipe Negron Jr.
Walker was convicted in August of two counts of first-degree
murder. Public defender Jennifer Solberg said she planned to appeal the verdict.
The Sioux City Journal reports the stabbing occurred after Sullivan told Walker she didn’t want to date him anymore.
The stabbing occurred when Walker and the two victims were in a car together because Walker said he wanted to discuss the breakup.
Medical evidence showed that Sullivan was stabbed 43 times. Negron was stabbed 17 times when he tried to intervene.



Iowa Fugitive Caught In Montana

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – An Iowa man who eluded authorities for nearly eight years plans to represent himself on federal firearms charges.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Michael Duane Strain of Lime Springs, Iowa, got permission to act as his own attorney this month. He was arrested in July at a remote ranch on a Montana Indian reservation.
Court documents say the 62-year-old defendant is a self-proclaimed sovereign citizen, a label used by people who contend they don’t have to answer to government authorities.
Authorities say Strain had been a fugitive since being indicted in
northern Iowa on two counts of a felon being in possession of a firearm.
During a 2011 search of his house, federal agents found thousands of rounds of ammunition and numerous firearms, including shotguns, handguns and rifles.



Warren Overtakes Biden For First Place In Iowa Polls

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden are entering a critical phase of the Iowa campaign in a close race for first place.
For Warren, it’s a sign that the investments she’s made in staff
and personal interactions with voters have paid off. But it also means she’ll increasingly be the subject of attacks from her rivals who want to blunt her rise.
For Biden, months of attacks have done little to erode his standing among Democrats. But Warren’s strength underscores his weaknesses among progressives.



Jury Deliberates Man Accused Of Killing Wife With Corn Rake

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – A judge has ordered jurors to resume their work Monday in the trial of an eastern Iowa hog farmer accused of using a corn rake to kill his wife.
The Telegraph Herald reports that the jury deliberated for nearly
three hours Friday in a Dubuque courtroom after closing arguments regarding 43-year-old Todd Mullis. Mullis is charged with first-degree murder in theslaying of Amy Mullis on Nov. 10 at the farm about 40 miles (64 kilometers)west of Dubuque.

Prosecutor Maureen Hughes said Friday that Mullis had wanted to killhis wife for years and was irate over her affair.

Mullis’ attorney suggested that Amy Mullis startled someone in thefarm’s shed where she was found, prompting that person to impale her in theback with the corn rake.