Tuesday News, February 26
Le Mars Middle School Teaches Character
(Le Mars) -- At last evening's Le Mars Community School Board meeting, Middle School Principal Steve Shanks along with Middle School staff presented a report regarding the "Character Counts" education program. Shanks says once a month the district focuses on various topics that help define character.
Shanks says the "Character Counts" program utilizes film clips from popular movies to help emphasize the importance of character. The Middle School principal says the program is part of what is known as the "study back" program when students use the last 30 minutes of the day to return to their home rooms and utilize the time to review lessons from the day. Shanks says the students seem to enjoy the unique educational program. He says students are encouraged to speak up and openly discuss the topic relating to character.
Shanks offers an example of how the students were taught the lesson of respect by using a film clip from the movie "Babe".
And do the students "practice" the different characteristics that make up character?
Le Mars School District Sets Goals For Proficiency
(Le Mars) -- Each of the Le Mars Community School District principals spelled out the goals of the district in terms of percentage of students achieving proficiency in reading, math, and science. In each case, the goal of the district is to lower the non-proficiency rating by at least ten percent.
Supervisors To Hear From Sohl
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hear from retiring County Conservation Executive Director, Dennis Sohl. Sohl will be seeking approval from the county governing board for a letter of request for Loess Hills Alliance grant funds, as well as approval for land acquisitions by the Plymouth County Pheasants Forever grant to be transferred to Land Acquisition Trust Fund. It is also expected that Sohl will present a donation to the county from the Plymouth County Conservation Foundation for the Center for Outdoor Learning project.
Legislature Considers Raising Gas Tax
(Des Moines) -- The Iowa Legislature is considering whether or not to introduce a bill that would increase fuel tax. The state's share of fuel tax is 22 cents, and it hasn't seen a raise since 1989. State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson says there were more state law makers in favor of a fuel tax increase at the start of the general session when the average price of gasoline was hovering around three dollars a gallon, as opposed to today when gasoline costs have gone up more than seventy cents a gallon.
Anderson,a republican, advocates using a portion of the state's surplus funds for road and bridge repairs.
Durham To Answer Lawmakers Questions
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority could face tough questioning from legislators about $200 million in tax breaks given to an Egyptian company that
plans to build a fertilizer plant in southeast Iowa.
Director Debi Durham will appear Tuesday before the Senate Way and Means Committee, where Democratic lawmakers are expected to question her about the state's dealings with Cairo-based Orascom Construction Industries. The company plans to invest $1.4 billion to build the plant near Burlington.
Committee chairman Sen. Joe Bolkcom has criticized incentives approved for Orascom, saying the state engaged in "amateur hour" negotiations with the company.
Durham has acknowledged that during those negotiations, the state failed to uncover that a federal lawsuit alleges an Orascom subsidiary improperly won $332 million in U.S.-financed
construction contracts in Egypt.
Rockwell-Collins Gets Contract For Airbus A350 Plane
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Cedar Rapids based military contractor and private airlines parts manufacturer Rockwell Collins says it will build the rudder and brake pedal assembly for the new Airbus
A350 passenger jets.
Rockwell Collins also has contracts for communications, information management, landing and navigation systems for the new wide-body jets. The company says its total contract for the newly
designed commercial jet is valued at about $2.5 billion.
More than 600 A350 jets have been ordered by airlines throughout the world.
The jet, made of composite alloys and carbon fiber, is lighter in weight to save fuel. It is designed to carry from 270 to 350 passengers and is expected to be delivered for service next year.
Prep Chefs Win Competition
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A team of prep chefs from Waterloo East High School has won the culinary competition at the Iowa ProStart Invitational restaurant competition.
Monday's competition at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids included a competition in management, which was won by the Davenport Community School District team.
The two teams will compete at the National ProStart Invitational in April in Baltimore, Md.
The teams of no more than four students had to develop and price
menu items and then cook them.