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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.
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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.
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Shanks offers an example of how the students were taught the lesson of respect by using a film clip from the movie "Babe".

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And do the students "practice" the different characteristics that make up character?

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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.

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Anderson,a republican, advocates using a portion of the state's surplus funds for road and bridge repairs.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Monday Afternoon News, February 25

Union Pacific Comments On the Disabled Train

(Le Mars) -- An Union Pacific Train became disabled blocking many of the intersections in Le Mars on Sunday.  The train, consisting of two locomotives and 111 rail cars, was on its way to Valley Park, Minnesota when it encountered mechanical problems.  U-P Spokesperson, Raquel Espinoza explains why the train became disabled.
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Espinoza says the repairs and the moving of the train was an all day ordeal.

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The train stretched across town blocking every street intersection from 1st Street NE to nearly 12th Street SW near Business Hwy 75 and Hy Vee.

 

New Le Mars Business Lends A Helping Hand

(Le Mars) -- Jerry and Amy McGill have seen a need in  Le Mars and are doing their best to try to fill it.  Their new business, called "A Little Help Home Care," has been set up to do just that...lend a helping hand to those living at home that need it.  Jerry explains:

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Jerry adds that the services they're offering cover the gamut.

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The McGills have experience working in the field of care.  Jerry was previously employed by the Pride Group in Le Mars, Hope Haven in Rock Valley, and worked as a pastor for 6 years.  His wife is currently employed at the Pride Group as well. The reason they decided to start doing this work in Le Mars was based on their experience and the conversations they had in the community.

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Plymouth County is currently the focus for service, but Jerry would like to eventually expand the businesses reach.  He says as the business grows they look to add staff that are motivated by taking care of people.

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To learn more about this new Le Mars business, you can visit their website: alittlehelphomecare.com.

 

Snowmobile Accident Results In Arrest

(Storm Lake) -- A snowmobile accident on Friday in Buena Vista County results in an arrest. The Buena Vista County Communications Center received a 9-1-1 emergency call describing a snowmobile accident resulting in injuries.  When deputies arrived at the scene, it was determined that 37 year-old Laura Wheeler-Plantz of Emmetsburg was needing medical attention.  She sustained serious head and upper torso injuries and was transported to the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake, then transferred to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.  During the investigation, the operator was identified as 27 year old Brent Ulrich of Albert City was found to be intoxicated.  Ulrich was also found to have a concealed 9 millimeter handgun.  Although Ulrich had a permit to carry the weapon, that permit becomes invalid when the person is intoxicated.  Ulrich was charged with an OWI and carrying a concealed weapon.  Further charges are possible due to the severity of the injuries to Wheeler-Plantz.


Storm Lake Man Arrested For Assaulting Police Officer

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A 19-year-old northwest Iowa man has been arrested, accused of punching a police officer 10 to 15 times after jumping out of a closet.
Erick Gutierrez, of Storm Lake, was arrested on Friday night. Officers had been called to a Storm Lake house to investigate a domestic disturbance.
Police say one of the officer's hands was broken during a melee that followed the discovery of Gutierrez's hiding spot. A stun gun was used to subdue Gutierrez.
Court records say Gutierrez faces three misdemeanor charges, including two for assault. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.

 

Sioux County Authorities Investigate Hawarden Burglary

(Orange City) -- On Saturday, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office of a suspicious vehicle that was parked near Sioux City. Upon further investigation, deputies determined that the vehicle found near Sioux City belonged to rural Hawarden, residents.  Investigation of the vehicle found near Sioux City led to the discovery that the vehicle owner’s home, had been burglarized.  Deputies found that the perpetrator(s) damaged a door to gain entrance to the residence.  Once inside, several items were taken including a large safe, power tools, firearms, and cash. The case remains under investigation.


Dr. Alan Laird Named Chief Medical Officer

(Orange City) -- Marty Guthmiller, CEO for Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS), announced the appointment of Alan Laird, MD, to the position of Chief Medical Officer (CMO). This is a new role for the health system, and involves serving on the administrative leadership team, participating in strategic planning, developing and maintaining quality and patient safety initiatives, and serving as a resource and advisor to the medical staff.

"The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is uncertain in many respects," reports Guthmiller. "But one thing is certain — health care access and financing will change.  As part of our commitment --  our mission -- of providing quality healthcare to our region, Dr. Laird, in this new position, will be instrumental in navigating the various wellness aspects of the many programs and insurance plans that healthcare consumers will face."

Dr. Laird has served as a family practice physician with OCAHS since 1991. A native of Storm Lake, Iowa, Laird graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City, and received his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine. As part  of a team of 16 family practice doctors and advanced level practitioners serving in four OCAHS medical clinics, Laird will continue to see patients in the Hospers Family Practice Clinic in addition to serving in the new role of CMO.


Farmer Feeds Sawdust To Cattle

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) - A Southeast Iowa farmer has come up with a surprising solution to the high cost of cattle feed.
Bob Batey, of Mount Pleasant, says his 50 cows devour the sawdust mixture he feeds them.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that Batey, who is 85, stumbled upon the idea in the 1970s when he noticed cows eating sawdust that had washed into their pasture from a nearby paper
mill.
Experiments on his farm led him to discover a way to treat and cook sawdust that results in a digestible feed cows find tasty. It has a nutritional value equivalent to grass hay.
Veterinarian Tara Wellman-Gerdes of West Point confirms Batey's cows are healthy.
The drought created a shortage of corn and hay, causing prices to jump for livestock farmers.

 



 

 

 

 

   

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