Home News Tuesday News, February 4th

Tuesday News, February 4th


Iowa Democratic Caucus Still Counting After Delays With The System — No Winner Announced As Of Yet

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Democratic Party officials in Iowa are working furiously to deliver the delayed results of their first-in-the-nation caucus. They say final results will be released Tuesday. Frustrated presidential candidates are claiming momentum and plowing ahead in their White House quests. Technology problems and reporting “inconsistencies” kept
party officials from releasing results from Monday’s caucus, the much-hyped kickoff to the 2020 primary. It was an embarrassing twist after months of promoting the contest as a chance for Democrats to find some clarity in a jumbled field with no clear front-runner. Instead, caucus day ended with no winner, no official results and many fresh questions about whether Iowa can
retain its coveted “first” status.



Caucus Watchers Anxiously Awaiting The Results

(Des Moines) — Everyone involved with the Iowa Caucus are anxiously awaiting to see who actually won the first-in-the-nation political process.
Radio Iowa’s O.Kay Henderson tells us the latest in this report.



Problems With An App Seems To Have Created Delays With Counting Caucus Results

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Problems with a mobile app appear to have forced a delay in reporting the results of the Iowa caucuses. The campaigns, voters and the media are pressing party officials for an explanation – and getting few answers. An Iowa Democratic Party official is pointing to “inconsistencies in the reporting” of the results and says “quality control”
efforts are holding up the results. The official stresses that delay was not caused by a “hack or an intrusion.” But other caucus organizers are putting the blame squarely on a new technology used to report results from some 1,700 caucus meetings across the state.



Officials Say Voter Turn-out Similar To 2016 Levels

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Turnout for the Iowa caucuses is on pace to match 2016 levels based on early data. That’s according to a state party official on Monday night. At some caucus sites there have been long lines and delays, with the caucus starting about an hour late at a downtown Iowa City precinct. The Democratic county party chairman in Polk County, Iowa’s
largest county, says the party printed tens of thousands of extra voter registration forms but some sites are running out. About 170,000 people participated in 2016. The high-water mark for the contest was 2008, when nearly 240,000 participated.



Van Otterloo To Retire As Sheriff At The End Of Term, But Will Run For County Supervisor Position

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Sheriff, Mike Van Otterloo, has announced this will be his last term serving as the sheriff for Plymouth County. In a news release, Van Otterloo says he will not seek a ninth term. He has served as the Plymouth County Sheriff since 1990, when he succeeded Dave Stock who
retired with two years left on his term.

Sheriff Van Otterloo will complete 30 plus years in the office, being the longest sitting sheriff in Plymouth County history. He says “it will be tough to leave a career that has spanned so many years.”

Sheriff Van Otterloo began his law enforcement career in 1974 with the Le Mars Police Department, and completed 16 and a half years of service before deciding to run for office of sheriff.

“It will be a bitter sweet day on December 31st of 2020. I am trying not to think about it right now,” commented Van Otterloo. “The day will come soon enough. I will truly miss the people I have worked with and are currently working with.”

In the same release that Van Otterloo announced he will retire as the county sheriff, the long-time sheriff says he would like to run for a county supervisor position. Van Otterloo will be vying for the District 2 seat currently occupied by Supervisor Mark Loutsch. Loutsch had announced last week, he will not be running again as a county supervisor. Van Otterloo says, “I am excited to hopefully have an opportunity to continue to serve
the great Plymouth County, and to work with some of the same elected officials and county constituents. Having many years as a county leader, I believe I can offer those same leadership qualities to the board of supervisors.”



County Supervisors To Hear From Treasurer Shelly Sitzmann

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hear from county treasurer, Shelly Sitzmann as she will deliver a report on the driver’s license update, and she will be seeking approval of the 2020 depositories resolution. County engineer Tom Rohe will appear before the county governing board seeking approval of some construction permits. One of those permits is from the University of Iowa for a stream sensor to be placed on
some bridges of Plymouth County. Rohe will also discuss with the county supervisors a bridge construction project. The supervisors will review the plan and give final approval for the project.



City Council To Act On Ice Cream Days Financial Request 

(Le Mars) — Le Mars City Council will act upon a request from the Ice Cream Days Committee for $7,500 for a family friendly concert to be held at the Olson Cultural Event Center during Saturday evening of the Ice Cream Days event. Officials say the total cost for the concert may be around $25,000.
In other action items, the city council will review the submitted bids for the construction renovation project for the Community Wellness Center or YMCA. The city council is expected to set a date for a public hearing regarding an engineering services agreement with McClure Engineering. The cost is estimated at $56,400. The city council will vote on a new city bargaining contract with city employees. The city bargaining committee and
administration recommends a two year contract with a three percent increase in salary pay for the first year, followed with a two and a half percent increase the second year.



School District Foundation And School Alumni Association Seeking Nominations For “Teacher of the Year”

(Le Mars) — The LeMars Community School District Foundation and Alumni Association will again jointly sponsor and select a “Teacher of the Year” to represent the many great teachers who exemplify our school district and its educational goals.
The award is called the Decades of Excellence Crystal Bell Award. Its purpose is to recognize and honor teachers who demonstrate excellence in education by meeting the needs of the students. Anyone wishing to nominate a teacher for the Decades of Excellence Crystal Bell Award may stop by the Superintendent’s Office or any of the principals’ offices or visit the school district’s website to obtain nomination materials. The application should be completed and submitted by Friday, March 27, 2020.
If any questions, please call the Superintendent’s Office at 546-4155.



Chamber Agriculture Committee Schedules Ag Luncheon

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee has scheduled Tuesday, March 24, 2020 as the date for the 26th annual Agriculture Business Luncheon. The event will be held at the upper level of the Le Mars Convention Center, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with a Chamber Coffee sponsored by Plymouth County Farm Bureau organization.

“This year’s Ag Luncheon will be special,” according to Jordan Sitzmann, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the Chamber Agriculture Committee. “The Chamber Ag Committee has extended an invitation to Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Mike Naig to be our noon luncheon key-note

“With the recent trade deals that have been signed with our greatest export partners consisting of Japan, Mexico, Canada, and China, it appears as though Iowa agriculture will be the benefactor from those trade agreements.

Secretary Naig will highlight those trade agreements, and explain how Iowa commodity and farm organizations helped paved the way for an increase in agricultural exports with various trade team delegations to those and other nations of interest,” said Sitzmann.

During the morning, Dr. Chris Rademacher, the state swine veterinarian from Iowa State University, has been invited to address the issues related to the African Swine Fever. “Fortunately, the dreaded swine disease that is wiping
out thousands of herds in China has not hit the United States, said Sitzmann. “Dr. Rademacher will tell the gathering what U-S officials are doing to help prevent the disease from striking American pork production.

He will share the lessons learned from when the U-S poultry industry suffered losses due to a disease, and Dr. Rademacher will tell local pork producers about the latest bio-security methods,” explained Sitzmann.

During the annual Ag Luncheon, the Chamber Agriculture Committee will award a scholarship to a Plymouth County FFA member, as well as the prestigious “Outstanding Service To Agriculture” award. “In addition to those awards, the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee has been informed by the Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers organization that a Plymouth County farmer will be presented the “Gary Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award,” named after a Des Moines farm radio broadcaster,” said Sitzmann.

“We have been told the selected farmer will be recognized for his work with protecting the environment while incorporating it as part of his farming operation,” commented Sitzmann.

The annual Ag Luncheon will feature a noon meal that will be catered by M’s Catering.

Tickets for the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Ag Luncheon are $15 a person and can be purchased from a Chamber Agriculture Committee member, or from the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce office.