Home News Tuesday News, August 11th

Tuesday News, August 11th


Concerned Parents Speak At School Board Meeting About Mandatory Face Mask Mandate

(Le Mars) — Nearly 30 parents and concerned community people attended last evening’s Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting to express their opinions regarding the mandated requirement for students, faculty, and staff to wear face coverings or masks during school hours. The school board approved the measure during their last special meeting. School superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner informed the gathering the board made the decision to require masks be worn following recommendations and discussions with the Centers for Disease Control, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Plymouth County Health Department. A half of dozen people took the opportunity to address the school board beginning with a student of Le Mars Community. Isabelle Manning informed the board why she opposes the mask mandate.

Many of those who spoke said they wished the school had conducted a poll or questionnaire with parents to get their thoughts about whether or not masks should be worn. Jean Hansen, an employee at Le Mars Community School informed the school board that there isn’t any science study indicating masks will work to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Kluckholm teacher associate then proceeded to tell board members that statistics show children rarely get severely ill from the virus.

Hansen admitted she rarely uses a mask, and even commented she had difficulty in breathing when wearing a mask. She then proceeded to tell school board members the dangers of wearing a mask.

Hansen then told the school board of personal research she has conducted involving using masks and the low levels of oxygen.

Some parents said prior to the COVID-19 era, they constantly wondered if their children may be in danger of contracting other diseases while attending school such as measles, chicken pox, mumps, influenza, pink eye, head lice, or a host of other diseases, and no preventable action was ever taken. Dr. Webner told the parents that if the school doesn’t follow the recommendations set up by health officials it could place the school in a legal liability position.




School Board Approves Plan To Upgrade Ball Diamonds

(Le Mars) — In other action, the school board, by a vote of 7 to 0, approved the proposal to renovate and upgrade the softball and baseball diamond complexes. Brent Koch, an architect with the CMBA firm, presented some initial drawings to the board. The project is part of the ten-year facility plan, and therefore would be financed through the PPL sales tax revenue, instead of from the general fund. Bids will be received and opened on September 1st with an approval of a hearing scheduled for September 3rd during a special school board meeting. The school board has approved funding of $600,000 for the project. Koch informed the school board that early estimates and projections would run around $540,000.




Plymouth County Board Of Supervisors To Hear Highway 75 Construction Update

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will meet this morning at the County Courthouse Board Room. The county governing board will review a proposal to be submitted by Nohava Roofing Company of Le Mars for roof repair. County Engineer, Tom Rohe will appear before the county board to submit a construction permit for access to a substation and operations facility in Remsen township. Rohe will also present to the county supervisors seal coat proposals. Brett Langley with McClure Engineering will appear before the supervisors to submit a REAP grant application for the proposed Plywood Recreational Trail. The Plymouth County Supervisors will also hear a Highway 75 construction update from Dakin Schultz and Shane Tymkowicz with the Iowa Department of Transportation.




Scholten To Bring His Campaign To Le Mars

(Le Mars) — The Democratic contender seeking the 4th District U-S Congressional seat will be bringing his campaign to Le Mars today. J.D. Scholten of Sioux City is scheduled to be at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds this evening at 6:00 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to remain in their vehicles if they choose and can listen to Scholten through a special radio frequency.

Scholten says he will be traveling in his recreational vehicle with the plan to visit every community within the Congressional district.




Grassley Defends Ernst While Attacking Greenfield

(Undated) — Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is coming to the defense of his Iowa colleague Senator Joni Ernst by telling news reporters how bad of a choice Democratic Senate contender Teresa Greenfield would be for Iowa. During a news conference held Monday, Grassley blasted Greenfield for being the hand-picked candidate of New York Democratic Senator Chuck Shumer. Grassley says Greenfield has many inconsistencies, and is  not accessible. Grassley worries that Greenfield would endorse the rulings from the Obama Administration dealing with the Waters Of The U-S, which he says would be damaging to Iowa agriculture.

Grassley told reporters of conversations he had with county engineers when the issue first was introduced.

Grassley says because of contributions to the Greenfield campaign from Senator Chuck Shumer of New York, a leading advocate against ethanol, he believes Iowa’s ethanol industry would suffer great hardships if Greenfield is elected.

Grassley says Senator Joni Ernst has worked hard to preserve the ethanol industry by combating opponents of ethanol.

The Iowa Republican said of Ernst that she helped extend a five-year biodiesel tax credit, something he doubts would happen with Greenfield in the Senate.




Strong Storms Hit Central And Eastern Iowa

(Undated) — A severe storm the National Weather Service calls a derecho (Duh-ray-cho) rolled from west to east across Iowa just before midday on Monday. The skies were so dark, the streetlights switched on. Heavy rain, scattered hail and winds up to 100 miles-an-hour in some places was reported in central Iowa. The energy companies reported more than 250-thousand customers without power at one point across the state. The wind blew part of the roof off of an ice hockey arena in Urbandale. There are no reports of any injuries. The Iowa D-O-T warned that many roads, highways and interstates are impassable. Interstate 35 is closed in both directions from Ames to Alleman. Interstate 680 is closed from Iowa City to Cedar Rapids. The D-O-T says the roads are littered with overturned and damaged vehicles as well as other debris. Electronic sign boards that normally alert motorists to problems are also out in many of those areas.

(Des Moines, IA) — The derecho (duh-rech-oh) that plowed through Iowa Monday caused significant damage in several cities. The Marshalltown area, a part of the state still recovering from the 2018 tornado, saw a 99 mile-an-hour wind gust reported at the Marshalltown Airport as the winds and rain inundated the community, damaging buildings, houses and trees. Ames is without power and water and it could be several days before the power is back on. In eastern Iowa, the damage in Cedar Rapids caused city leaders to enact a citywide curfew that started at 10:00 p-m Monday. The evening curfew will continue until further notice.




Mahaska County Emergency Management Says People Improperly Calling 9-1-1

(Oskaloosa, IA) — The Mahaska County E-9-1-1 Director, Jamie Robinson, says some 70 people called 9-1-1 Monday after the emergency sirens went off to find out why the sirens were blaring. Robinson says this is the worst thing to do as it can overwhelm the 9-11 center with phone calls when they have emergency notifications to get out to the public. Robinson says you can check radio and T-V stations to find out why the weather sirens are sounding. He also says you shouldn’t call 9-1-1 to ask for a phone number for your local electric utility — that also ties up phone lines when there might be a real emergency.




Tearing Down Abandoned Houses Has Impact On Neighbors

(Ames, IA) — An Iowa State University study finds that tearing down abandoned houses can be an incentive for nearby homeowners to spruce up their own properties. Dan Kuhlmann (COOL-mun), an I-S-U professor of community and regional planning, says he did extensive research on how the demolition of dilapidated eyesores positively impacted many of the neighbors. Kuhlmann says demolishing a structure that you think is dragging down your home price can also contribute to your decision to up the maintenance on your home. The research focused on cities like Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia, where the number of abandoned houses steadily rose in the wake of the 2008 recession. He says communities across Iowa, too, had pockets of houses sitting empty — and that may still be vacant.




Judge Approves Change-Of-Venue For Murder Trial

(Fort Dodge, IA) — A Webster County judge has approved a change-of-venue for a murder trial. Thirty-six-year-old Joshua Pendleton is accused of killing a well-known Fort dodge pastor last October. Pendleton’s trial will be held in Scott County. Prosecutors say Pendleton killed the Reverend Allen Henderson during a physical confrontation outside St. Paul Lutheran Church. Pendleton had tried to force his way into the building through a side door. Pendleton’s mother says her son suffers from a severe form of schizophrenia. After being found incompetent once, a psychiatrist at the Iowa Medical Classification Center in Coralville found Pendleton had been restored to competency in May.