Home News Tuesday News, January 28th

Tuesday News, January 28th


Dordt University Professor Explains The Difference Between Primary and Caucus Elections

(Le Mars) — In less than a week, Iowans will participate in the first-in-the-nation political caucuses. The Iowa Caucus, for both political parties, is scheduled for Monday evening, February 3rd at 7:00 p.m. Many people may be confused as to the differences between a caucus and a primary election.
Jeff Taylor is the chair of the Political Science Department at Dordt University of Sioux Center. Over the weekend, Taylor spoke at the Plymouth County Historical Museum to a gathering to inform them about political caucuses, and why Iowa uses the caucus system to begin the process of selecting a presidential nominee. He offers an explanation of the difference between a primary election and a caucus.

Taylor says the phrase “legislation goes to those that show up” is
especially true with political caucuses, and he says for those people that participate in the political process, they have a big impact on the process.

The Dordt University Political Science professor says the eyes of the nation, and for that matter, the world, are on Iowa during the night of the caucus. Taylor says participants need to know where their political party caucus precinct is located, and to make certain you show up before the caucus begins, as many locations lock the doors once the proceedings begin.



Le Mars FFA Chapter To Hold Soup Supper Fundraiser

(Le Mars) — If you are hungry for soup, you may want to visit the Le Mars High School Commons this evening as the Le Mars FFA Chapter is holding a soup supper fund raiser. Kiley Allen is an officer with the Le Mars FFA and explains the proceeds from this evening’s soup supper will go to help fund scholarships.

The soup supper will be between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. and Allen explains the types of soups to be served.

The FFA member says this marks the first time for the soup supper fundraiser, but hopes it will become an annual tradition. She says the alumni chapter is being organized to assist current FFA members, although she says anyone can join and you didn’t need to be a former FFA member.

Tonight’s soup supper is a free will donation and it will be held at the Le Mars Community High School Commons.



County Supervisors To Hear County Audit Report

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will review and approve a limited services and road maintenance agreement when they convene for their weekly meeting scheduled for today at the Courthouse Board Room. The county governing board will also hear a report from Justin Jacobsma from Williams
and Company as he reviews the fiscal year 2018-2019 county audit. The county supervisors will also hear from County Engineer, Tom Rohe as he submits a series of construction and tile-crossing permits. Rohe will offer to the county board comments from landowners regarding the proposal to close
180th Street for vacating purposes.



School Board Approves Resignations And Holds Retreat

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education held a special meeting last evening, before the administrator and board annual retreat. The school board approved the resignations of Julie Roy, Vickie Borchers, and Peggy McAlister. All three intend to retire at the end of the present school year. Together, the three faculty members combine for 91 years of teaching
at the Le Mars Community School District. The board also approved the resignation of Kevin Westhoff  from the MTSS leadership position effective immediately, and Angela Jacobson, effective February 7th. During the retreat, school board members and administration officials discussed student mental health issues, and
academic interventions. The school board and administration were introduced to the high school media class students as being taught by Nancy Isebrand.
The media class have been taught how to use a video camera, and video editing skills, and demonstrated their abilities by showing a featured video, complete with interviews with various people from the school district. The final portion of the retreat was to discuss facilities, and to review the ten-year facility plan. During this portion of the evening, School Superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner showed the school board and administrators some architect’s drawings for the proposed renovated baseball
and softball complex. Immediately following last evening’s meeting, many of the school board members headed to Des Moines for today’s lobbying effort to visit with state legislators about school funding.



Mark Hentges Retires From Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department

(Le Mars) — For the past 40 years, Mark Hentges of Le Mars has responded to the call to fight fires, perform rescues, help at vehicle accidents, detect natural gas and propane leaks, investigate a build up of carbon monoxide in homes, act upon and clean up a hazard materials spill, and a whole list of
other duties and responsibilities of being a member of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department. On Thursday, January 23rd, Hentges turned in his firefighter helmet and turnout gear as he officially retired as a firefighter. Hentges rose to the rank of captain, and for a time, as the assistant fire chief with the department, and he worked with three different fire chiefs. He tells what got him interested in becoming a firefighter.

At the time Hentges first started as a Le Mars firefighter, the fire station was located on the north end of Central Avenue, or what now is the Turn Around Dance Academy. He says because of the proximity of his employment with the Le Mars Daily Sentinel to the then fire station, he would often be able to be the first one on the scene of an emergency.

Hentges says he has seen far too many vehicle accidents during his career as a fire and rescue member, and they all seem to blend together in his memory. But, he does recall specifically three incidents involving fires or explosions.

The retiring firefighter says he always wanted to extend a hand to those that faced adversity either through a home fire, or a tragic vehicle accident, or any other emergency.

Fortunately, according to Hentges, the greatest changes that have occurred over his 40-year career is that the equipment has become safer.

He says the turn-out clothing gear is safer, along with the air packs and oxygen masks worn into fires and other dangerous situations have become better for the firefighter. He recalls the time when the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department acquired its first ladder truck, and the trucks since that time that have been added to the fleet.

Hentges says he will not miss waking up in the middle of the night to respond to a vehicle accident, or a fire. However, he will miss the brotherhood and camaraderie and “family atmosphere” he had with his fellow firefighters.

Hentges is pleased to have his son, and sons-in-law carry on the tradition as they too have become full-time firefighters and paramedics in central Iowa. Le Mars Firefighter Number 31 is now officially off duty.



Dispute Continues Over Woodbury County Supervisor’s Residence

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Woodbury County supervisor has agreed not to attend a meeting Tuesday due to a dispute over where he is registered to vote. Supervisor Jeremy Taylor said he would not attend the weekly Board of Supervisors meeting after a decision by the county auditor over which of his two homes he could use for voter registration purposes. The Sioux City Journal reports Sioux City resident Maria Rundquist had filed a legal
challenge over Taylor’s use of a home as a primary residence in the city’s District 2 when he and his wife also spent time at a home in another district. Taylor accused auditor Pat Gill of partisanship in his decision.



Bloomfield Focuses On “Super Tuesday” States For Presidential Campaign

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – When the leading Democratic presidential candidates marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day by linking arms and marching through South Carolina, Michael Bloomberg was nowhere near the early primary state. Instead he was in Arkansas, which votes March 3. The decision
illustrates the parallel race Bloomberg is running to try to capture the Democratic nomination for president. He’s bypassing the first four voting states to focus on the 14 states that vote on Super Tuesday. It’s a nontraditional approach that has never been successful. But Bloomberg has already spent more than $200 million on ads, 10 times the leading candidates, and voters are noticing.



Candidates Hoping For Volunteers And Campaign Staff To Help Push Them Over The Top As Caucus Approaches

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) – With just one week left until the caucuses, the candidates’ Iowa organizations are more important than ever. Hundreds of staffers and volunteers have fanned out across the state, knocking on doors and making calls to ensure their candidate’s supporters turn out on caucus night. Bernie Sanders’ campaign is canvassing voters in unusual locations, like trailer parks and outside CVS pharmacies. Elizabeth Warren has had some of the most seasoned staffers organizing in Iowa since the spring, and she’s hoping they’ll help her make up for lost ground in the polls. Meanwhile, Joe Biden is facing questions about how robust his organization is in smaller counties around the state.



State Lawmakers Introduce Bill That Would Ban Cell Phone Use While Driving

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa would join numerous other states in prohibiting drivers from using hand-held cell phones or other electronic devices under a bill that has advanced to a full Senate committee.The bill drew no objections from other subcommittee members or lobbyists when it was
introduced Monday. Current law prohibits use of electronic devices to write, send or view messages while driving. The proposed bill goes further by prohibiting the use of any electronic communication devices while driving unless in hands-free mode. The bill makes it a moving violation, which means it goes on a driving record.



Lawmakers Upset Over Transgender Flag Flying Over Capitol Building

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Angered by a flag observing Transgender Day that briefly flew over the Iowa Capitol, Republican lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that would limit the types of flags state and local governments can display. Republicans on Monday moved the bill from a subcommittee to a
full committee for consideration. It would allow only the flag of the United States, state of Iowa, a prisoner of war/missing in action flag and a flag of the city, county or school district from being flown at government buildings. A flag observing Transgender Day flew over the Capitol for less than five minutes in November.