Saturday News, January 31
Soderberg And Anderson Hold Legislative Forums
(Le Mars) -- State Representative Chuck Soderberg and State Senator Bill Anderson will hold legislative forums in Kingsley, Remsen, and Akron this morning. The public is invited and encouraged to attend. The lawmakers will discuss legislative issues from the 2015 General Session. The forums will take place at the Kingsley Community Center at 8:30 a.m., the Remsen Public Library at 9:45 a.m. and at the Akron Jo's Cafe at 11:30 a.m.
Chamber To Hold Annual Awards Ceremony During Banquet
(Le Mars) -- Tonight at the Le Mars Convention Center, beginning at 6:00 p.m. the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual awards banquet. The chamber will recognize those people selected as the "Employee of the Month" and the "Bosses of the Quarter". The awards ceremony will also announce the Le Mars "Citizen of the Year" and the "Business of the Year".
Le Mars School Board To Hold Special Meeting On Monday
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will hold a special meeting scheduled for Monday, February 2nd. The meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Education Administration Center. The school board will present their initial bargaining position offer to the Le Mars Teacher Association. In their proposal, the teacher association proposed a $2000 increase in the base salary from $34,585 to $36,585. The teacher association had also requested an additional $100 per month for insurance coverage boosting it from $945 per month to $1,045. The local teacher association also asked for an additional personal day off going from two personal paid days to three personal paid days.
Wold Arrested For Drug Possession Charges
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities have placed a Sioux City woman under arrest for various drug related charges, and for a warrant for failure to appear. Sheriff's deputies made the arrest of 32 year old Shelly Wold. She was found to be in possession of a controlled substance for a third offense, drug paraphernalia, and prescription pills without a valid prescription. Wold was booked into the Plymouth County jail.
Maclem Arrested For Assault Charges
(Le Mars) -- A Le Mars man has been arrested by Plymouth County sheriff's deputies for assault with intent to inflict serious injury. 23 year old Andrew Macklem was booked into the Plymouth County jail and held on a $2,000 bond.
Supervisors Work On County Budget Nearing Completion
(Le Mars) -- "Plymouth County is in an enviable position." That comment was made by Jim Henrich, chairman of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors, when he describes the financial condition of Plymouth County. The county supervisors have been working on the fiscal year budget during the last few weeks.
Henrich says one area that was expanded was the supervisors approved the addition of another deputy to be added to the sheriff's staff.
For any county, road and bridge repair seems to be one of the largest, if not the largest expenditure. Henrich says the county has increased the funding for additional road and bridge repair, however, he says it may not go very far.
Another major expense for the county is funding for mental health programs. Henrich says that area is still up in the air, due to a reorganization process within the state over mental health funding.
The county supervisors have set February 24th at 10:00 a.m. as the date for a public hearing regarding the county budget for fiscal year 2015-2016.
Snow Is Likely For The Weekend
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two storm systems merging over the Midwest this weekend are expected to produce significant snowfall across Iowa and lighter accumulation in Nebraska.
The National Weather Service says precipitation beginning late Saturday morning in some areas and late afternoon in others will transition into snowfall overnight. Accumulation of up to nine inches is possible in southeastern Iowa, and anywhere between one to four inches is expected across northern portions of the state.
Meteorologist Melinda Beerends says a storm entering the region from the southwest and another dropping out of Canada will meet. She says snowfall will get heavier as the storm moves through the state, with central and southeastern Iowa anticipating higher totals.
Beerends says light snow is expected in Nebraska, with predicted snow totals highest in the northeast.
Legislators Working On A Sales Tax Program For Road Repair
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State Rep. Walt Rogers is working on legislation that would use sales tax revenue to pay for road improvements.
Rogers, a Republican from Cedar Falls, said Friday he plans to introduce a bill next week that would shift a portion of state sales tax revenue to roads and bridges. Rogers said he is trying to find an alternative to increasing the fuel tax, which has been discussed by legislative leaders.
The proposal would require amending the state constitution, a process that takes years. It would need approval twice in the Iowa Assembly before going to a statewide vote.
Sen. Tod Bowman, a Democrat from Maquoketa who heads the Senate transportation committee, said the sales tax proposal would shift money out of the state general fund.
School Enrollment On The Increase
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Enrollment in Iowa's public schools is on the rise for the fourth year in a row.
The Iowa Department of Education released a report Friday that shows the overall number of students enrolled for the 2014 to 2015 school year again increased from the year before. The pattern follows 17 years of declining enrollment.
The state education department says student enrollment will likely follow the same pattern the next few years, but that the rate of growth is slowing and will eventually plateau.
According to the report, nearly 82 percent of Iowa's largest districts posted enrollment gains, which contributed significantly to statewide growth.
Despite the increase, a majority of the state's school districts saw declining enrollment, with the smallest districts facing the largest losses.
Attorney To Refile Lawsuit For Senate Legislative Staff Employee
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An attorney for a former Iowa Senate Republican Caucus aide says he plans to refile her sexual harassment lawsuit after a judge dismissed the case over a minor filing dispute.
Judge Dennis Stovall ruled that Kirsten Anderson's petition failed to mention that she's exhausted her administrative remedies as required by the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
Attorneys on both sides agree Anderson exhausted those remedies, but the petition simply didn't mention it. Granting the state's motion to dismiss, Stovall called the omission "fatally defective" but said the case could be refiled.
Anderson's attorney, Michael Carroll, said he disagrees with the ruling and wants Stovall to reconsider. He plans to refile the lawsuit otherwise.
Anderson contends that she was fired in 2013 after complaining about sexual harassment by male aides and lawmakers.