(LE MARS)–A budget proposal is set for public comment at the Le Mars Community School Board of Education meeting tonight.
According to information submitted to the board by Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt, the proposal reflects plans to improve the operating fund balance and prepares the school for the potential of state funding cuts. The property tax rate is proposed at $13.73 which is a 37 cent increase from the current tax rate of $13.36.
The budget reflects staff numbers trimmed by more than a dozen employees as of July first.
A combination of reduced state funds and declining enrollment led the board to reduce expenses for the coming school year. The changes adopted include closing Kissinger Elementary School in Merrill.
A key piece of the budget is a tentative settlement with the Le Mars Education Association. That agreement is to be considered by the board tonight and includes a freeze in the base that pay is set from for the coming school year. The total settlement is a two-point-three percent increase.
Other agenda items include remodeling the middle school auditorium and high school boys’ locker room and replacing the bus barn roof. Bids will be opened to replace the high school boiler.
The board meeting open to the public at the Education Service Center begins at 7:30 tonight.
NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING
You are hereby notified that the Board of Education of the LeMars Community School District will meet on April 12, 2010, 7:30 p.m. in the Education Service Center, 940 Lincoln St. SW, LeMars, Iowa. Agenda is as follows:
1. Call to Order
2. HS Boiler Replacement Hearing and Bid Opening
3. Budget Hearing and Adoption
4. Approval of Minutes (March 22, 2010 – Regular Meeting)
5. Consent Grouping (Claims and Accounts; Superintendent’s Office Fund; Lunch Fund; Elementary, Middle School & High School Activity Accounts)
6. Reports and Information (Unscheduled Audience; Building Administrator Reports; IASB ABLE Meeting; IASB Safety Group Insurance Meeting; Annual Foundation Banquet; IASB School Law Conference)
7. Action Items (Resignations; Contracts; 2010-11 Teacher Contract Settlement; Auditorium and Locker Room Renovation; Roof Replacement Specifications and Bidding Procedures; Open Enrollments; Board Policy 305.3; Microsoft Settlement)
8. Other Business
9. Unfinished Business
NEXT REGULAR MEETING, APRIL 26, 2010, 7:30 PM
LeMars Community School District
940 Lincoln St. SW
LeMars, Iowa 51031
BY: Lisa Boehm, Secretary, Board of Education
(LE MARS)–You can putt your way through the Le Mars Public Library stacks for a Library Week celebration. “Communities Thrive at the Library” is the theme for library week.
The miniature golf is Thursday from ten in the morning until four in the afternoon.
All week is a Food for Fines week. Your library fines can be eliminated if you bring in some canned goods for the Christian Needs Center. The system is one can of food equals $1 in fines.
The Le Mars Public Library hosts the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce coffee Wednesday from 9:30-10:30.
Friends of the Library will meet at four this afternoon. The Book Club will meet at 5:30 Tuesday afternoon to discuss “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.
(LE MARS)–The condition of a portion of Business Highway 75 and flood water protection are two issues in the aftermath of a severe winter weather.
That’s the view of city administrator Scott Langel who explains potholes have led the city to take a comprehensive look at the highway through Le Mars.
“If there is a big project that’s going to be on our plate because of the severity of the winter, and it’s kind of unexpected, it would be the condition of highway 75 from Highway Three south to the airport road roughly. We’re going to take a very critical look at that and we spoke about that at the council meeting. We’re going to what alternatives are available to us and which of those alternatives is the most cost effective for the condition Highway 75 is in,” Langel says.
According to the city administrator, that could be a fix of several smaller projects or it could be one big fix which is a complete milling and resurfacing the highway. But Langel adds more analysis needs to be done before that can be determined.
Another followup from winter is a resurgence of floodwater protection.
“So we’re kind of brainstorming all along the Willow Creek and the Floyd River to see if there’s any more that we need to do in order to protect ourselves from flooding,” he notes. “Now that’s the gross flooding that occurs from our major rivers and there’s also localized flooding that had occurred around town part of that is because of storm sewer systems and part of that is because of detention basins so we’re going to take a renewed look at even those systems to make sure we’re 100 percent where we want to be.”
Although a wealth of flood-related projects have been done since 2007, the city official says there’s still some critiquing that needs to be done.
(Sergeant Bluff)–Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann headlined a fundraiser for Congressman Steve King this past weekend. The two Republicans helped organize some of the recent “Tea Party” rallies in Washington, D.C. and both are calling for repeal of what they call “ObamaCare.” On Saturday night in Sergeant Bluff, Bachmann called King her “best friend in congress” and King lauded Bachmann for her political instincts.
“We’ve got to shoot from the hip sometimes,” King said. “It’s not always ready, aim, fire. Sometimes it’s just time to fire and you’d better have good instincts so that you can shoot and it might look later like you didn’t shoot from the hip but you took careful aim. That’s ’cause your instincts brought that about.” About five-hundred people paid 50-dollars per ticket to hear Bachmann and King speak.
Bachmann, who was born in Waterloo, lauded the State of Iowa and the Iowa Caucuses which are the first contest in the presidential selection process.
“Just a great state (with) the best people, the most down-home people, family people and I think that’s why the Caucuses — the political Caucuses — need to always start here in Iowa because it’s kind of the center of the nation, but it’s also the heartbeat of the nation where the real people in this country are really at, what the real people think about Washington, D.C. is thinking. Don’t you think that’s true?” Bachmann asked the crowd and she got a wave of applause. “I think Iowa gets it. I think Iowa people get it.” Bachmann got a standing ovation from the crowd when she predicted Barack Obama would be a one-term president. During an interview with Radio Iowa, Bachmann was asked whether she might run for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2012.
“I truly believe that President Obama will be a one-term president. I have no doubt. I’ve talked to Steve King many times and I’ve told Steve King, ‘Why don’t you run for president of the United States?’ I don’t know that our candidate has emerged yet for 2012,” Bachmann said. “The one thing I do know: we need a rock-solid, bold, courageous, constitutional conservative — no substitute — running for president for 2012 and I think we’ll find that candidate.” King didn’t downplay Bachmann’s “Draft King” sentiments.
“I want to serve my country in the most effective way I can and I don’t know how that is…Whatever’s in store for me I want to be as effective as I can be. I want to be as clear a voice as I can be. I know presidential candidates will come to Iowa. Actually, I’m a person that can come to Iowa without starting rumors. I just happened to think of that while you were asking the question,” King said and Bachmann, who was standing beside King, laughed. “But I know they’re going to come here and they’ll continue to come here and I want to sit down with them. I want to have those conversations. I want provide for them, as much as I can, access to Iowans – Iowa Caucus-goers — and engage in this debate and we’ll see.” King said he wants to “test” the candidates who are considering a run for the White House to find out if they’re a “rock-ribbed” conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan. (News report by Radio Iowa)
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OSAGE, Iowa (AP) A rare 1901 automobile will be on display at the Mitchell County Historical Museum later this month.
The car is called the Frazee. It is known as the first gasoline-powered automobile manufactured in Iowa and believed to be the only model in existence.
The museum will open at its new Osage location on April 23.
At the grand opening, visitors will be able to get a closer look at the automobile which was designed and built by George T. Frazee, an Osage jeweler.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A University of Iowa student has received a Truman Scholarship and an Udall Scholarship, both nationally prestigious awards.
Christopher Page is a junior from Iowa City. He’s one of 60 students nationwide receiving a 2010 Truman Scholarship. He’ll receive up to $30,000 for graduate study.
As one of 80 Udall Scholars, he’ll get up to $5,000 for study.
Page is a double major in political science and geography with a minor in Chinese.
He plans to pursue a career in food policy.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) More state employees than expected are opting for early retirement, offering greater savings but raising concerns about a smaller and less experienced workforce.
When the Legislature approved an early retirement plan last session, supporters estimated it would save the state $60 million if 1,100 employees took the offer. As of April 2, officials say 1,138 people had sought to retire early with a steady stream of additions coming in before the April 15 deadline.
After releasing those figures, the governor’s office refused to give updates.
Robert Bailey, a spokesman for Gov. Chet Culver, says it looks like the effort is on target.
Some worry, though, about the employees leaving.
Department of Human Services spokesman Roger Munns notes at least 400 employees in the agency want to retire early and it’s unclear how many will be replaced.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs says the deadline for community cultural grant applications is next month.
The matching grants are for Iowa organizations and communities that seek funding for the 2011 fiscal year.
The money is designed to help organizations and projects that provide jobs and enhance the state’s artistic, cultural and historical resources.
Examples of projects are museum exhibits, historic restoration and festivals.
The matching grants range from $1,000 to $25,000.
FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) Authorities in Jefferson County say four people were arrested this week on drugs charges as part of an ongoing investigation.
The arrests came from two separate search warrants.
Both 40-year-old Kirk Condon and 45-year-old Julie Cook were arrested in Fairfield.
They face possession of marijuana, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, among other charges.
It was immediately unclear if they had attorneys.
Also arrested were 38-year-old Gary Everett Haynes and 22-year-old Brittiney Shantell Wissler for methamphetamine charges.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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