Le Mars Fire And Rescue Department Issues August Report
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has released its August monthly report. The local fire department responded to a total of ten fires during the month, performed four rescues, conducted 16 investigations, or accident clean-ups, and responded to a mutual aid call to Merrill, and had
one request for services. All added up, the fire and rescue department answered 32 calls during August. Fire Chief Dave Schipper reported that all fire apparatus trucks passed the annual pump testing requirements for the city insurance rating.
Hinton Community School Turns To Hybrid Learning Model
(Hinton) — More and more schools across the state are encountering a high rate of absenteeism which has prompted some schools to convert to a hybrid learning, or even an on-line education system. Hinton Community Schools as of last Friday has switched from having all students attend in-person classes
to now a hybrid system. Hinton Community School Interim Superintendent, Kathy Rhodes explains.
Rhodes wouldn’t comment on the rate or percentage of students that have been absent from the Hinton school district. She would only say Hinton school saw a sudden spike in the absenteeism numbers, which lead to the decision for the hybrid learning system. Rhodes explains how the hybrid education system will
Rhodes says the faculty at Hinton schools have planned for such scenarios, and should be able to keep both separated groups together for their education learning process. She says they don’t anticipate any long-term effects of the system, and emphasized this would only be a temporary process until the
absenteeism rate drops. The interim superintendent was asked about students that may not have access to the internet at home, as to how would they complete the on-line lessons?
As for extra curricular activities such as sports, arts, and music, Rhodes says they haven’t had any interruptions as of yet.
Rhodes says they hope to return to all students attending in-person classes as soon as possible, noting when the student absenteeism rate drops, they will resume the in-person classes. If the rate continues to climb, Rhodes says Hinton School will appeal to the Iowa Department of Education for on-line remote learning.
Le Mars Community Reports Two Students Tested Positive With COVID-19
(Le Mars) — Le Mars Community School Superintendent Dr. Steven Webner says after the first week of school, things are proceeding the way they had expected.
Webner says there are two students identified as being infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Webner says when a student is positive with COVID-19, the school has to perform what is known as contact tracing to determine if the infected student has been within six feet for 15 minutes or more with other students, faculty, or staff. He says there are some students that have been placed in quarantine.
Webner says having the two positive cases doesn’t yet warrant going to remote, or on-line learning models. He says school officials will continue to monitor the situation.
The Le Mars Community School Superintendent says students, faculty, staff and administrators will continue wearing face coverings or masks.
Dordt University Reports Having Students With COVID-19
(Sioux Center) — As of Monday, August 31, Dordt University reports that there are 24 active cases of students who have tested positive for Covid-19. These students are in isolation provided by Dordt or have returned home to isolate.
Dordt will continue to operate at a yellow alert level, which includes restricted class sizes, heightened precautions for residence hall living, and restricted attendance to campus events. For the month of September, we will not allow outside entities to rent Dordt’s campus buildings for indoor events. Students and employees are encouraged to continue to wear masks indoors, practice social distancing, and complete their daily symptom checks.
Dry Weather Will Accelerate Harvest Season
(Le Mars) — Dry conditions may push up the starting date for this year’s harvest, and according to one agronomist farmers may see a wide range of yields even within the same field. Joel DeJong serves as the crops specialist for northwest Iowa through the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach program. He says there are several area soybean and corn fields that have begun turning color, and showing signs of drying.
He says area corn fields are showing similar signs of early maturity.
DeJong says much of the area’s silage has already been harvested which was earlier than for normal years. The I-S-U Extension crops specialist says rainfall amounts during this growing season were spotty and inconsistent.
DeJong says he never had a good rain at his home in Le Mars.
DeJong says the rains varied across the county from some locations getting an average rainfall to other parts way below average.
The Iowa State University crops specialist says the only saving grace to this year’s yield is that we began the season with adequate amounts of subsoil moisture. However, he says corn roots have gone down seven to ten feet below the surface to find moisture. He says next year could be even worse than
this year, if we don’t get plenty of rains during the autumn.