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Thursday News, December 12th

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Gehlen Catholic Students And Staff Prepare Advent Bags For Senior Citizens

(Le Mars) — More than 350 advent bags, prepared by Gehlen Catholic students and staff were distributed yesterday morning to residents of area nursing care facilities, apartment complexes, and to All Saints Parish shut-ins.
The advent bags contain donated socks, lip gloss, peppermint candies, lens wipes, tissue, lotion, & other items.  Attached to the individual bags is a recycled Christmas card which the students transform into a Christmas ornament. Mr. Nathan Sex’s fifth grade class delivered their advent bags to the residents of the Floyd Valley Apartments. While at the apartment complex, the students sang some favorite Christmas carols which seem to brighten the spirits of the listening residents. Each student
& Advent gift bag recipient will receive “Hope, Peace, Joy & Faith” promised this Advent & Christmas season!

 

 

Gloria Dreckman Named December “Employee Of The Month”

(Le Mars) — The December “Employee of the Month” honors were awarded to an employee of the Northwest Bank of Le Mars with more than 30 years employment. During the Chamber Coffee held Wednesday morning, branch president and Chamber representative Kevin Eekhoff presented the plaque to
Gloria Dreckman. Nominated by the entire staff of Northwest Bank, Gloria Dreckman started her banking career as a teller, then advanced to Lead teller, then to bookkeeping, and now is in Quality Control for the last ten years. Gloria is a vital part of the Quality Control team. Her years of banking experience in various roles and her friendly demeanor makes her well respected among her co-workers and customers. Gloria is a hard worker and a true team player who is always willing to help out with any task that needs to be completed. Gloria exemplifies these qualities on a daily basis as she works with both bank customers and staff alike. Always looking for opportunities to be of service, she has been a familiar face for our bank helping out in many activities, including the Backpack program, various parades, and making sure our South Bank location is always looking neat,
both inside and out. Gloria will be retiring in 2020, leaving behind a career dedicated to Northwest Bank and the banking industry. Our congratulations go to Gloria Dreckman as being honored as the December 2019 Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.

 

 

Survey Shows Slight Increase In State Land Values

(Ames) — The annual Iowa State University survey shows the statewide value of an acre of farmland increased by two-point-three percent and now is estimated at seven-thousand-432 dollars. Wendong Zhang conducts the survey and doesn’t think it’s a sign of any big upward trend.

That increase means an acre of farm ground is worth 168 dollars more than the year before. He says low commodity prices and low interest rates both helped keep the values from going up much more. Zhang, who is an assistant professor of economics, doesn’t think values are dropping off either.

 

Zhang says low dairy prices hurt the land values in the northeast district.
The northwest district reported the highest overall land values at nine-thousand-352 dollars ($9,352) an acre. The south-central district reported the lowest overall land values at 44-hundred-87 dollars ($4,487) an acre.
Scott County reported the highest land values at 10-thousand-837 dollars an acre. Decatur County reported the lowest at three-thousand-586 dollars an acre. It’s the seventh straight year Scott and Decatur have been the top and bottom county. Low-quality land statewide now saw an increase of three-point-three percent — more than the higher quality soils.

He says the demand for urban development help bring up the land in the central Iowa district. Zhang says there are two things he is watching that could impact the land values in the coming year.

Zhang says the rate cut would be more positive news for landowners.

Plymouth County saw nearly a $200 per acre increase in land values over last year. The average is now at $9,284. Last year, the average was at $9,087.
Sioux County’s average land value is now at $10,297, an increase of only $97 over last year. Woodbury County’s average acre of land is now valued at $6,873. A year ago, Woodbury County land  averaged $6,646.  O’Brien County had the second highest land value per acre average at $10,411.  The I-S-U Land Value Survey started in 1941. Zhang has been overseeing the survey for the last five years.

 

 

Farmers In Flooded Zone Wonders What Will Happen In 2020

CRESCENT, Iowa (AP) – This year’s record rainfall and devastating flooding are forcing tough decisions about the future of farming in the face of climate change. Farmers who lost billions of dollars in grain, livestock and equipment must decide whether to continue to gamble on fertile bottomlands,
as federal officials determine how many damaged levees can and should be rebuilt. Many farmers now believe heavier rains are the new normal – even those skeptical that human activity is a factor. With the ground still soggy heading into winter, experts say the stage is set for more flooding next spring.

 

 

Governor Reynolds Launches Vaping Educational Campaign

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds has announced a public service campaign to address increased vaping by Iowa teenagers. The campaign announced Wednesday will focus on social media and information programs for parents and students. Reynolds says increasing awareness and education on
the known risks of vaping will help prevent young people from suffering nicotine addiction and health problems. The campaign will feature videos targeted at teens on SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Hulu and other sites. Reynolds says she won’t sign an executive order to ban the sale of flavored vaping products because such moves have been blocked in the courts
in other states.

 

 

Mother Of Fatal Accident Victim Wants More Signage On Rural Roads

VAN HORNE, Iowa (AP) – The mother of a 26-year-old Iowa woman who died in a car crash last month is calling for better signage at rural intersections to protect motorists. WOI in Des Moines reports that Dawn Hess wants the Iowa Department of Transportation to take a closer look at areas where lighting or rumble strips might not be enough to warn people about upcoming stops. Her daughter, Baylee Hess, of La Porte City, was killed Nov. 30 at a Highway 30 intersection near Van Horne, in eastern Iowa. The Iowa State Patrol says Hess failed to stop and crossed under a trailer, landing in a ditch.

 

 

Fort Madison Shooting Victim Has Died

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say an armed man shot by a Fort Madison police officer has died. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says Wednesday that officers encountered the man after being sent late Tuesday to a manufacturing warehouse. The man was armed with a handgun. An officer shot the man, and he died later at a Fort Madison hospital. He was identified as 42-year-old Robert Allen Elfgen. The officer’s name hasn’t been released. Fort Madison Police Chief Mark Rohloff told station WGEM the warehouse incident was related to the earlier shooting of another man.

 

 

California Man Given 30 Years For Child Exploitation

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A California man who pleaded guilty in Iowa to child sexual exploitation has been given 30 years in a federal prison. Prosecutors say 22-year-old David Vogelpohl, of Vista, California, was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. He must serve five years of supervised release after he leaves prison and must comply with
sex offender requirements.He had admitted that he persuaded a girl under 18 to engage in sexually explicit conduct last year for the purpose of producing visual depictions.