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Tuesday Afternoon News, September 24

New School Board Members Take Oath

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education met last evening and the first item was to take the oath of office.

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With that... Todd Lancaster, Scott Kommes, Chris Collins, and Brenda Phelan started their new term as a school board director for the Le Mars Community School District.  Lancaster is the only new board member as the others were re-elected.  The school board elected Wells Enterprises corporate executive Scott Kommes as its new president.  Kommes was elected with an unanimous vote.  Dr. Mark Stelzer was elected as the Vice President of the Le Mars Community School Board.  The board selected Lisa Boehm as its secretary and appointed Kim Clarey as the treasurer.  The school will be represented by the Trotzig and Bauerly legal firm.


Student Enrollment Appears To Be Higher For Le Mars Community

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board heard a preliminary enrollment report from Assistant Superintendent Steve Webner during last evening's board meeting.  Webner informed the board that it appears enrollment will have increased by 20 students over last year's enrollment.  October 15th is the deadline for the school district to certify its enrollment figures.


LEEP To Host MENuMasters Fund Raising Event

(Le Mars) -- Saturday evening will be the second annual MenuMasters event as hosted by the Le Mars Educational Enhancement Project.  The first time around proved to be successful and LEEP president Gail Vonk says the second year should be even bigger and  better.

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Last year nearly 600 people attended the culinary event, and Vonk believes more people will attend this year's program.  LEEP's mission is to help raise money for the Le Mars Community School District.  She says the organization started in 2009 with the idea to help programs that are not necessarily covered with the budget.

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Vonk says the organization was able to raise more than $26,000 last year and has contributed more than $24,000 back to the school.

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Vonk says MenuMasters evolved from observing a fund raiser held in Rock Valley.

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Limited number of tickets are still available at Le Mars banks.  MenuMasters will be held at the Century Hall located at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds. It will begin at 5:00 p.m. with food samples available through 8:00 p.m.  Afterwards, the band BLT will perform until 11:30 p.m.

Half Of Iowa Schools Failed To Meet "No Child Left Behind" Standards

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A progress report issued as part of the federal No Child Left Behind law shows that more than half of Iowa's schools did not meet educational targets during the latest school year.
But State Education Department Director Brad Buck says Tuesday the results show the federal program is a poor fit for states and needs to be revised.
Buck says the current system is a one-size-fits-all effort that doesn't acknowledge different needs in different schools. He also says schools making progress with disadvantaged students are not rewarded.
During the 2012-2013 school year, 64 percent of the state's 1,361 public schools did not meet standards for test participation and proficiency in reading and mathematics.
The federal law requires annual testing to show proficiency in reading and mathematics.


Delayed Degree

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A 99-year-old woman who dropped out of a Waterloo high school in 1932 has finally received her diploma.
Audrey Crabtree was surrounded by family and others on Monday as Waterloo Community Schools presented her with an honorary diploma during an education board meeting.
Crabtree dropped out of high school as a senior in 1932 due to an injury and to care for her grandmother. She would go on to run her own business for nearly three decades.
At the meeting, Crabtree received a diploma, a copy of her last report card and high school memorabilia from her time at Waterloo East High School. She also received more than 100 handmade congratulatory cards from middle school students.

Attorney General Wants E-cigarettes To Be Regulated

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is part of an effort urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate electronic cigarettes in the same way it regulates tobacco products.
Miller is one of 40 attorney generals who signed a letter Tuesday to the FDA. It says e-cigarettes are being marketed to children through cartoon-like advertising characters and by offering fruit and candy flavors, at the same time they are becoming more affordable and available.
The letter says e-cigarettes are also being advertised during prime-time television hours and are portrayed as safe alternatives to traditional cigarettes. But it says they are addictive and capable of delivering high doses of nicotine.








Tuesday News, September 24

Plymouth County Board Of Supervisors Take The Week Off

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will not meet this morning.  The next meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday at the Courthouse Board Room.

Sanborn Man Sentenced To Five More Years For Possessing A Controlled Substance

(Orange City) -- A Sanborn man has been sentenced to five additional years for possessing a controlled substance while confined in a residential treatment facility at Sheldon.  22 year old Zachery Buckwald was found guilty for the crime of Prisoner Possessing a Controlled Substance While Confined, a Class D Felony.  On May 6, 2013, RTF staff searched Buckwald’s room at the RTF facility and discovered a pill hidden in a ball cap under the brim of the cap. Officers determined the pill was clonazepam, a controlled substance, which substance is only available by prescription. Buckwald did not have a prescription. Clonazepam is a commonly abused prescription drug and is often traded or sold by drug users.


Akron Fire Department Responds To Pole Barn Fire

(Akron) -- The Akron Fire Department responded to a pole barn that had caught fire.  The alarm was sounded at about 1:20 p.m. at 18592  235th Street.  Fire officials were on the scene for more than an hour.  No report as to the damage caused, or the cause and origin.

Plymouth Energy CEO Says Keep Renewable Fuel Standard

(Merrill) -- Plymouth Energy’s Eamonn Bryne, CEO, of the Merrill-based ethanol plant, is among the latest renewable energy spokespersons to call for the continued support of the Renewable fuel Standard and continue to “get the facts out” on the benefits of ethanol.

The Merrill operation  which this past year produced some 50 million gallons of ethanol and an additional 160,000 tons of ethanol co-products is part of Iowa’s 41 refineries in the state’s renewable fuels network.  Annual production capability  at these plants is 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol according to figures available through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA).

Further indication of Iowa’s ethanol leadership Byrne said is evidenced by the IRFA’s recent statewide launch of a new E15 promotion program with the blend now available at eight Iowa locations with pending registration for several additional outlets.

Bryne says the moves to repeal RFS, as evidenced this week by the efforts of the American Petroleum Institute (API) in Congressional meetings must be stopped,” he continued. “Repealing the standards as the API is demanding would be detrimental to the ethanol industry,”

The Merrill-based ethanol leader says “There’s no longer any subsidy given to the renewable fuel industry. The one thing we have is the RFS, and it’s in place and working. Byrne recently returned from his own Washington visit and conference with Congressional leaders.  Bryne informed Congressional leaders its imperative ethanol leaders not let down their guard with explaining all that the industry offers to consumers as well as agriculture.

Bryne says "at the end of the day, the ethanol industry has created 400,000 jobs in what is now a $40 billion industry. The ethanol industry currently supplys 10 percent of the nation’s fuel,” he said. “It’s a fuel good for the environment, good for families because it puts money in their pocket books and on-the-farm crop production.  I think rational, level-headed people understand this."


Woodbury County Settles Law Suit Against Deputies

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Woodbury County has settled a lawsuit that accused two sheriff's deputies of excessive force and false arrest.
The county has paid $280,000 to settle the lawsuit filed by nine people after an incident on Oct. 5, 2008, in Sloan.
Final lawsuit dismissal papers were filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City.
In September 2010 the lawsuit was filed against deputies James McCrystal, Todd Trobaugh and Woodbury County. The plaintiffs said they were attending a benefit party in Sloan when McCrystal and Trobaugh responded to a disturbance call. McCrystal was accused of using excessive force while arresting one of the nine.
The suit says the deputies filed charges and made false statements against the other eight plaintiffs to cover up McCrystal's actions.

Destroyed Mailboxes

SHELDON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating the vandalism of more than two dozen mailboxes in northwest Iowa.
The Sioux County Sheriff's Office says 26 mailboxes were smashed or ripped from their posts near Sheldon between Friday and Saturday.
Many of the mailboxes were hit with a blunt item. Others were pushed over or thrown in the roadway.
Authorities say no arrests have been made. Similar incidents have been reported in Lyon and O'Brien counties.


Grocery Stores To Help With Bullying Summit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Hundreds of grocery stores in Iowa have promised to help raise money next month to fund an anti-bullying campaign promoted by Gov. Terry Branstad.
The president of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association says 260 stores will ask customers to donate $1 to help prevent bullying in schools and elsewhere.
Michelle Hurd appeared with Branstad as his weekly news conference Monday and says large chain stores including Hy-Vee, Dahls, and Fareway will begin taking donations Oct. 1 as well as smaller independent stores.
Branstad says the goal is to raise enough money to cover most of the $90,000 cost of the Governor's Bullying Prevention Summit scheduled for Nov. 4 in Des Moines.
Branstad says any leftover funds will help set up a bullying prevention education fund for Iowa schools.


State Republicans Schedule Convention

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Republican State Central Committee has voted to hold its state convention in June, a month earlier than previously scheduled.
The committee voted Monday to hold the convention June 14 after initially voting to hold the event in July.
The decision to change the date came after complaints that a July convention could delay the selection of a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, giving an edge to the Democrats. A number of Republicans are seeking the GOP Senate nomination while Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley has no competition for his party's nomination.
The committee also agreed to hold the 2014 caucuses on Jan. 21, the same date the Democrats have agreed to.


Civil Rights Groups Sue Secretary Of State

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two civil rights groups will proceed with their lawsuit challenging Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz's authority to pass emergency voting rules months prior to an election.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa are suing Schultz claiming he violated the law in using emergency rulemaking procedures to pass new rules in July 2012, a few months before the November General Election. The groups say he lacked legal authority to make the emergency rules and that the rules chilled the exercise of the right to vote.
Schultz had asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit but Judge Scott Rosenberg in documents filed Saturday denied the motion saying the lawsuit may move forward.


Biden To Campaign For Mowrer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden is planning a fundraiser for Iowa congressional candidate Jim Mowrer.
The White House says Biden will attend the private event Tuesday at a home in Washington.
Biden has been raising money for Democratic committees, but it's rare for him to hold fundraisers for individual House candidates.
This isn't Biden's first event benefiting Iowa Democrats. He traveled to Iowa last week for a major annual fundraiser that frequently attracts potential presidential candidates.
Iowa's caucuses kick off the presidential primary season every four years. Biden hasn't ruled out a third run for president in 2016.

Branstad Organizing Campaign But Yet To Announce

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - He has a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and he is inviting supporters to a campaign office opening this weekend, but Gov. Terry Branstad still isn't officially running for re-election.
He says he and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will wait until next year to announce whether they're running for sure.
Branstad says he's focused on his job as governor and he has a lot of things to
At his weekly news conference, Branstad says he has a good team of people committed to putting the groundwork in place in the event he decides "to blow the whistle in 2014 and go forward."
That team is kicking into high gear with a grand opening of a campaign headquarters on Saturday in Urbandale.


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