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Tuesday News, June 2nd

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Today Is Primary Election Day

(Le Mars) — Today, Tuesday, June 2nd is Primary Election Day, and the polls opened at 7:00 a.m.
Voters will notice some changes because of the COVID-19 virus. Plymouth County Auditor, Stacey Feldman says one major change is there will be only one precinct open for voters. Feldman says all in-person voting will take place in one location. She says it doesn’t matter if you live in Westfield or Remsen; or Kingsley or Hinton, all voting will occur at the Le Mars
Convention Center.

The county auditor says voting is open to everyone that has declared a political party, although voters are able to change their voting registration the day of the election.

Feldman says voters wanting to vote in person will need to bring along some form of identification.

Polls will be open for the primary election between 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
Feldman encourages all voters to wear a mask, however, she says it is not required. Social distancing measures will be in place, should there be a line. Questions about the primary election can be directed to the Plymouth County Auditor’s office.

 

 

People Often Switch Political Parties For Primary Elections

(Le Mars) — It is not a big surprise to learn many people switch political parties in order to participate in a primary race most interested to them.
Two of the big races with watchful eyes are the Republican nomination for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District which features five candidates including, incumbent Steve King of Kiron, State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull, Former state legislator and Woodbury County Supervisor, Jeremy Taylor, Former Irwin
mayor Brit Richards, and Arnolds Park businessman Steve Reeder. On the Democratic ballot the nomination for U-S Senator has five candidates seeking the opportunity to oppose Republican U-S Senator Joni Ernst for the general election. The five candidates include: Michael Franken, Kimberly Graham,
Theresa Greenfield, Eddie Mauro and Cal Woods. Since the Iowa Caucus that was held February 3rd, the Plymouth County Auditor’s office last week indicated there have been 129 Democrats who have switched to the Republican party.
Meanwhile, the number the other way is nearly identical with 132 Republicans switching over to become a Democrat. Those voters that identified with no political party or classified themselves as an “Independent” prior to the Iowa Caucus, but now consider themselves a Democrat numbers 230. As for the voters with no party preference to now having signed up as a Republican is at 436. Other minor parties to now joining the Democratic party is at 14, while other political parties now considering
themselves as a Republican is at 4. Meanwhile, those voters who were once a Republican, but now don’t claim any preference in political parties is at 19,
and the voters that once were listed as a Democrat, but now have no party preference is at 16.

 

 

80 National Guard Soldiers Deployed For Africa

(Le Mars) — 80 soldiers from the 113th Calvary Troop “C” left Le Mars Monday morning for a nearly year long deployment to Africa. The send-off ceremony was held at the National Guard armory building, but was closed to the general public. Families were not even allowed to attend the ceremony, because of
the threat of the COVID-19 virus. Among the speakers at yesterday’s event was Brigadier General Steve Kremer, who is the assistant adjutant general for readiness for the Iowa National Guard. Kremer spoke fondly of his memories of the 113th Calvary, Charlie troop, when he addressed the
soldiers ready to leave behind their families and friends.

The Brigadier General says he recalls how the guard unit has always understood success, and mission accomplishment, every day, week, and month of deployment and it is based on the collective effort of working as a team.
Kremer says he is confident with the leadership of the 113th Calvary with its “C” troop.

General Kremer challenged the soldiers to give their 100 percent, and to watch over each other. Kremer says their mission is important and has meaning. He says many of the departing soldiers and their families were probably wondering if they are ready for this deployment?

General Kremer then tried to offer some reassurance to the soldiers about their year-long mission.

Kremer emphasized to the departing soldiers that their families are not alone, as the Iowa National Guard provides outstanding support.

Kremer concluded his message by thanking the families, friends and the community for the love and support shown to the soldiers. Le Mars mayor Dick Kirchoff also addressed the troops and wished them well on their deployment mission. Kirchoff reminded the local guard unit that all of Le Mars stand behind the unit and the mission. Before boarding the buses, Kirchoff and
Kremer presented to Commanding Officer Kyle Cooper an Iowa flag which is to be carried and raised during their deployment.

 

 

County Secondary Roads Department To Close Road For Culvert Installation 

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced they will close Quartz Avenue from county road C-44 going north to 240th Street.
The road is closed to replace an aging bridge with a new box culvert. The road is expected to be closed until Friday, June 19th.

 

 

Fire And Rescue Department Issues Monthly Report For May

(Le Mars) — May proved to be a busy month for the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, as they responded to a total of 42 calls. In its monthly report, the fire department answered 17 fire calls, eight rescues, 15 investigations, and they responded to two mutual aid calls, once with Merrill and once with Remsen.

 

 

Le Mars Municipal Band Will Not Perform

(Le Mars) — Another Le Mars summer tradition has fallen victim to the COVID-19 virus. It was announced on Monday the Le Mars Municipal Band will not be performing this summer at Foster Park. For more than 100 years, the Le Mars Municipal Band has played music to a gathered audience sitting on their lawn chairs. Corbet Butler is the president of the Le Mars Municipal
Band and says the decision not to perform this summer was a difficult decision.

Butler says although band members are sad to see a summer without the municipal band, he says it was the right decision. Butler says Foster Park may be large enough to accommodate sufficient space distancing for the audience,
he says concerns were with the band members.

Butler says the municipal band is looking forward to 2021 when they will return for the 115th year of existence.

 

 

Independent Voters No Longer The Majority in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA) — For the first time in years, independent or “no party” voters are no longer the largest voting block in the state. Independents have dropped to third behind Democrats and Republicans. Secretary of State Paul Pate says Republicans increased by about 36-thousand and the Democrats increased by about 31-thousand of new registered voters. In the fourth
congressional district, where Congressman Steve King faces a primary challenge, more than 12-thousand residents joined the ranks of Republicans in order to vote in the primary. In the third congressional district, Democrats gained nine-thousand and Republicans 85-hundred. In the second district, where Republicans have a competitive congressional primary, Republican voter rolls grew by more than nine-thousand. And, in the first congressional district, Republicans gained 11-thousand-seven hundred and Democrats gained 12-thousand voters.

 

 

Gamblers Were Waiting As Iowa Casinos Started Reopening

(Jefferson, IA) — Some of the 19 state-licensed casinos started re-opening Monday under new guidelines from the governor. Wild Rose President Tom Timmons says there were about 140 people waiting at his facility in Jefferson. At the Wild Rose in Clinton 60 to 70 people waiting to get in — and the Wild Rose in Emmetsburg had around 60 people in line. Timmons says it
felt like the grand opening all over again after being closed for 75 days.
The casinos are allowed to open at 50 percent of capacity — which is based on the number of gaming positions normally available. They have 600 positions in Jefferson — and are limited to 300 patrons inside right now under the coronavirus rules.

 

 

Iowa Economic Numbers Rebound Slightly

(Omaha, NE) — For the first time in months, Iowa’s economic numbers improved during May along with that of the Midwest, but the state and region are still struggling under fallout from the pandemic. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the monthly survey of business owners and supply managers in Iowa and eight other states shows promise, though there’s still a
long way to go toward recovery. The Iowa Business Conditions Index was still below the growth neutral point of 50 on a zero-to-100 scale. Goss says the job index remains well below the “growth neutral” point, but it’s starting to rebound. Joblessness is its worst in Iowa and nationwide since the Great Recession.

 

 

Iowans Will Know By June 15th Whether State Fair Is On Or Off

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa State Fair will announce its decision about the 2020 event no later than June 15th. The Iowa State Fair is the last big Midwestern fair to decide whether it can move forward. Fairs in Minnesota and Wisconsin have canceled in the last two weeks. Before that, Ohio and North Dakota called things off. Nebraska, South Dakota, Kansas, Michigan and
Indiana have all decided they will hold their fairs, despite the safety risks from the coronavirus pandemic.