Tuesday News, January 20
Le Mars Teacher Association Submits Bargaining Proposal To School Board
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Teacher Association is asking for a $2,000 increase for their base pay according to the initial bargaining proposal submitted to the Le Mars Community School Board. Sheryl Brooks is the chief negotiator for the Le Mars Teacher Association and explains the details of the teacher's position.
The Le Mars Teacher Association offered their proposal to the school board during a special meeting held Monday afternoon. Brooks talks about the base salary increase, as well as the requested insurance coverage provided by the school district.
The school district currently pays a monthly premium of $945 each month for each full time employee, for health, accident, and major medical and dental insurance coverage. Brooks says the total package would be $855,405 which is a 6.85 percent increase in salary and benefits over last year. Brooks says the local teacher association started in November to derive at their proposal requests. The Le Mars Community Board of Education will offer its initial counter proposal on February 2nd.
American Red Cross To Honor Three Wells Employees and Le Mars Police Officer
(Le Mars) -- The American Red Cross will be honoring three Wells Blue Bunny employees and a Le Mars Police officer during an award ceremony scheduled for today at 10:30 at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream parlor. The group performed C-P-R on Mark Ruba who was in cardiac arrest. Last July, Ruba was walking up the sidewalk on his way into work at the Wells South Ice Cream Plant when he suffered a heart attack and collapsed. Co-worker Dennis Sexton was driving by and witnessed Ruba collapse. He immediately rushed across the street to help. Sexton started C-P-R efforts and continued by himself for almost a full minute before he was joined by fellow Wells employee, Randy Bock. Bock had witnessed the C-P-R effort and called for help while responding to the scene. Both employees continued C-P-R for approximately four minutes after Ruba collapsed until a third co-worker, Don Allaway, a certified EMT, arrived on the scene. Allaway took over primary care and, with the help of Bock, continued C-P-R. A minute later, Le Mars Police Officer, Dan Plueger arrived with an automated external defibrillator. Plueger applied the difibrillator pads while C-P-R was being performed. They utilized the AED and shocked Ruba three times without success, but continued C-P-R care until the ambulance arrived and transported Ruba to Floyd Valley Hospital. The American Red Cross says it was through the combined life-saving efforts of Ruba's co-workers, law enforcement, and the ambulance crews that Ruba made it to the hospital and survived. Each will be given the Certificate of Merit, the highest award given by the American Red Cross, and the Lifesaving Award of Merit.
County Supervisors To Hear Mental Health Budget Requests
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will continue working on the county budget during today's weekly meeting. The county supervisors hope to set February 24th at 10:00 a.m. as the date and time for a public hearing to review the county's fiscal year 2015-2016 budget. The supervisors are expected to set a date for the review and adoption of a resolution for the public hearing on the urban renewal plan for he 75 Bypass urban renewal area. The supervisors will hear from Sharon Nieman, Sioux Rivers Mental Health Coordinator for Plymouth County. Nieman is expected to discuss with the supervisors the mental health spending for the fiscal year budget. County engineer Tom Rohe will also appear before the supervisors to approve the hiring of a new equipment operator and to discuss the Plymouth County Secondary Road Department's budget.
City Council To Review Highway 75 Bypass Urban Renewal Area
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council will convene at the City Hall Council Chambers Tuesday at noon. The City Council is expected to take action on the Plymouth County-Le Mars Highway 75 Bypass Urban Renewal Area. The city council will also address the multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan, and the council will discuss the water system improvements consisting of the new water tower and water booster station.
Crop Advantage Seminar Scheduled For January 27th
(Le Mars) -- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will be hosting a Crop Advantage seminar, scheduled for 10:00 a.m., January 27th to be held at the Le Mars Convention Center. Crops Specialist for northwest Iowa, Joel DeJong says the seminar will concentrate on the weather and the grain marketing outlook.
The conference will continue through the afternoon hours with sessions examining the new farm bill, weeds, soil fertility, corn diseases, and other issues. DeJong says some of the sessions will be held simultaneously.
DeJong says many farmers are concerned about weeds developing resistance to popular herbicides, and those farmers are turning to tried and true measures from decades past.
Registration is $50 before Thursday, but if you wait until the day of the conference, DeJong says registration will increase to $60.
Studies Show Young People Returning To The Farm
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Agriculture officials say an increase in corn and soybean profit is bringing young Iowans and Nebraskans back to the farm.
Charles Wiiest, market president of the Nebraska-based Arbor Bank, says young people are now more likely to start their own farm or join their family's farming business. Wiiest credits this influx to improved profitability in the agriculture industry in recent years.
Corn currently can bring in up to $4 per bushel and soybeans $10 per bushel. Wiiest says these numbers show significant profit growth from when he graduated college in the late 1990s.
Wiiest says expanding career opportunities in the agriculture industry has also attracted the younger generation. He says chemists and veterinarians are among new careers in high demand.
Authorities Identify Woman Who Was Shot
CHARITON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a woman critically injured in a shooting in southern Iowa.
Police say 33-year-old Gayle Darrah was shot Friday outside of her Chariton home. She was taken to a local hospital and then transported to a Des Moines hospital, where she remains in critical condition.
Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for 45-year-old Robert Eugene Graham. He faces an attempted murder charge.
Police say the shooting appears to be an isolated incident, but Graham is still considered armed and dangerous. The case remains under investigation.