Monday News, February 1st
Denny Callahan Honored As Citizen Of The Year
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet Saturday evening at the Le Mars Convention Center, and the person honored as the "Citizen of the Year" is a person who's voice is probably familiar to nearly everyone within the Le Mars community. KLEM sports director Denny Callahan was presented the award by outgoing Chamber president Peggy Sitzmann. Callahan received a standing ovation by the banquet attendees. Callahan, who has been broadcasting the local play-by-play action of the Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic high school sports action for over 42 years, told the audience when he and his wife Geri first arrived in Le Mars, they thought he would be around for only three years before moving on to the next career location. Callahan jokingly told the crowd, "I don't know when those three years will be up". The long-time sports announcer informed the crowd that in about a week and a half he will turn the age of 65, but retirement is not on his radar as of yet, which generated additional applause from the banquet crowd. Callahan says he has enjoyed his years broadcasting what has become three generations of athletes.
The honoree says he is still waiting on the opportunity when he can broadcast a Le Mars or Gehlen high school team winning a state championship, saying last year's Le Mars Community High School boys basketball team was ever so close, as he held up his thumb and finger indicating a small gap of space. The KLEM sports director was surprised by the honor and was humbled in receiving the recognition. He mentioned to Allie Freking, the Main Street Volunteer recipient, that he may need her speech writer. Callahan told the chamber banquet crowd that he really loves this community, and he is proud to watch the development of our youth. The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce provided an emotional and touching video of one of Callahan's daughters who now lives in Maryland and unable to attend the event. Callahan's daughter said to her father via means of video, how proud she is of him, and she believes he is deserving the "Citizen of the Year" award. Callahan was joined by his wife Jeri and a granddaughter at the banquet ceremonies, along with many co-workers from KLEM radio.
Timmy's Catering with owners Timmy and Bonnie Rasmussen were the recipients of the Le Mars "Business of the Year". The husband and wife business has been providing catered meals to special events, banquets, weddings, graduations, and meetings for more than 32 years. Tim Rasmussen says they have never needed to advertise their business, as they have been able to depend on referrals. He says another secret to their business success is they have relied on only two vendors for all their food needs, saying they have high standards for food quality.
During their announcement of the award, the Rasmussen's acknowledged and thanked their many employees, for which they say it is the employees who have made their business a success. Bonnie Rasmussen says they were surprised and honored to be thought of as the Le Mars business of the year. She says having good food at an important event can mean either success or failure for the event.
Bonnie says it was a surprise to have been recognized by the Chamber of Commerce, and it means so much and it shows that people do care about the work you do.
Other honors were presented to Allie Freking as the Main Street Volunteer of the Year, and Jeff Stanley for being named as the United Way Paul Olsen Volunteer of the Year. Todd Anderson of the Le Mars Beauty College and Terry Claussen of Claussen's Menswear were recognized as "Bosses of the Quarter". Gene Friederich of Subway and Kent Pauling of Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative were unable to attend the banquet festivities.
The "Employees of the Month" from 2015 were recognized and presented a plaque. They included Mary Klein of Gehlen Catholic School, Bob Gengler with Total Sales and Service, Wesley Walding with Emily's Home Furnishings, Sharon Yockey with American Bank, Bill Rosacker with the Le Mars Ambulance Service, Richard Wilkins with Rust's Western Shed, Shannon Chaffin with The Education Station, Steve Groetken with Nor-Am Cold Storage, Jennifer Ladenthin with Kimmes Le Mars Country Store, Britt Jervik with Verizon/Wireless World, and Karla Less of Northwest Bank. Absent from the ceremonies were: Katie Casey with Cork-It!, Rod Eisma with ICON Ag and Turf, and April Leusink with the Le Mars Physical Therapy.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa roads officials are preparing for a major winter storm, but forecasters say the snow is likely to miss Monday's caucuses.
The National Weather Service says the storm isn't expected to reach western Iowa until early Tuesday, so people participating in the presidential caucuses should be able to get home.
Meteorologist Allan Curtis with the weather service tells the Des Moines Register the storm could create a mess on Tuesday.
A blizzard watch has been issued for most of Iowa and eastern Nebraska because the storm could drop over 8 inches of snow in places.
Iowa Transportation Director Paul Trombino says roads officials will meet Monday morning to plan their response.
Trombino says crews will be prepared to go out Monday if the storm arrives earlier than predicted.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - For all the hype surrounding the February 1st caucuses, only a fraction of Iowa's registered voters participate.
So over the final weekend, campaigns on both sides of the aisle were focused on turning out voters.
But the one question the polls or the crowds or the pundits can't fully answer is just how many people will show up Monday? And what will the numbers mean?
Most Republicans expect a higher turnout in 2016 than the last two caucuses, when about 120,000 showed up. Democrats doubt they will match 2008, when nearly 240,000 came out.
The higher the turnout, the better the outcomes could be for businessman Donald Trump on the Republican side and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side. Both are seeking to get nontraditional participants out.