Dordt University Political Science Professor Talks About Early Voting
(Le Mars) — A record number of voters across the nation, and including here in Iowa, are choosing to either have an absentee ballot, or are voting early.
Several reasons may account for this action. Political Science Professor Jeff Taylor of Dordt University says voters may want to vote early due to the COVID-19 virus, or it may be because of potential weather problems, or it may be because of they prefer the convenience.
Although people from all political parties are voting early, Taylor says traditionally, it is the Democrats that like to vote before Election Day, and Republicans enjoy casting their vote at the polling precincts on Election Day.
Opinion polls show a near dead-even tie between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Taylor was asked if it may be likely that we won’t know who won the election on the evening of Election Day, and if we may have another scenario much like the election between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
Taylor says some states allow for ballots to be entered and counted after Election Day, which also could delay the final outcome involving the presidential race.
Hole In The Wall Hunting Resort Ready For Pheasant Hunters
(Akron) — This weekend marks the opening of pheasant hunting season in Iowa, and a hunting preserve and lodge in northwest Iowa is expecting to see a good number of hunters. The “Hole in the Wall” is located in Plymouth County near
Akron, and according to Joe Cain, the manager of the private hunting facility he says COVID-19 may have an impact on the number of corporate hunting parties, but reservations by individuals and family members have picked up this year.
(photo courtesy of Don Poggensee Photography)
The Hole in the Wall hunting facility covers more than 1500 acres of grassland and cropland with waterways to provide for ideal hunting conditions. Cain says he raises pheasants and releases them in the private hunting preserve. He says the pheasant population numbers are good at the Hole in the Wall, and should provide a lot of fun for hunters.
Cain says the weekend snow cover should not deter hunters from hunting, and in fact, he says it adds to even more excitement when tracking the birds.
The hunting preserve official says the early harvest should make for excellent hunting conditions.
Cain says The Hole In The Wall follows the same rules and regulations as are implemented through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
The private hunting official says he has noticed a bit more interest from younger generations now becoming interested in pheasant hunting.
Randy Olson Named October Employee Of The Month
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce awarded its latest recipient of the “Employee of the Month” to an employee of Gus Pech Manufacturing Company. The honor was presented to Randy Olson during a small ceremony held Wednesday morning. Randy Olson was nominated by Chris and Gregg Collins. Randy Olson began working at Gus Pech in 1975 through the Trades and Industry Program as a welder and assembler at Le Mars Community Schools. He worked for Gus Pech until leaving for the Navy in October of 1976. After four years in the Navy, Randy returned to Le Mars and again started working at Gus Pech in October 28th of 1980. Wednesday, marked Randy’s 40th year as a Gus Pech employee, making him one of the longest tenured employees.
The nomination says Randy is a very valuable employee and has worn many hats within the company. He started as a welder/assembler, but then moved up to department head and eventually shop supervisor and production foreman. Randy also helps in the engineering and designs of rigs and walk-in projects. He is the go-to man for special projects and shines in completing these projects for local and worldwide customers. Randy Olson has always maintained a positive and professional attitude, no matter if the situation is good or bad. He gets along great with his co-workers and our customers. Our congratulations go to Randy Olson with Gus Pech Manufacturing for being named as the “October Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.”
Dordt University To Drop In-Person Classes In November
(Sioux Center) — Dordt University in Sioux Center has changed its plans for the fall semester. Face-to-face, in-person classes will end Tuesday, November 24th. Classes will resume online Monday, November 30, with finals taking place
online between December 8 and December 11. Dordt University’s president says leaving campus and traveling over Thanksgiving break increases the likelihood that students and employees will come in contact with COVID-19 and, with only two weeks left in the semester, returning to campus also increases the risk
students will need to isolate during one of the busiest, most stressful time in their semester. He says this is the safest course of action for the students and the community’s well-being. The first day of classes for the spring semester will be Thursday, January 14, then in late January, Dordt University officials will announce their plans to spring break and Easter.
Commencement will be held Friday, May 7.
Hospitalizations From COVID-19 Continue To Rise
(Des Moines) — The state’s coronavirus tracking website shows nearly 600 COVID patients are being treated in Iowa hospitals, a patient count that’s 31 percent higher than when hospitalizations spiked the spring.
The State of Iowa has set a record 11 times this month for COVID hospitalizations. Tuesday night’s 596 patient count is the highest it’s been this month and 34 percent higher than it was on October 1st. The state’s website lists another 18-hundred cases of Covid have been confirmed by recent test results and there are outbreaks at 71 Iowa nursing homes. The state
website indicates two-thousand-78 nursing home residents currently have the virus. Theresa Greenfield, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, has hit pause on campaign events for today (Tuesday) after learning her campaign staff came into contact with a person who’s tested positive for COVID-19. A campaign spokesman says Greenfield is regularly tested, will be tested again and will return to the campaign trail when it’s safe to do so.
Greenfield Puts Senate Campaign On Hold Due to Possible Staff COVID Contact
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — Democratic U-S Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield is putting her campaign on hold after some of her staff came in contact with someone infected with COVID-19. Greenfield says she gets tested regularly and recently tested negative, but will get tested again. The campaign said
in a statement, “while masks and social distancing measures are required at all of our in-person events, our campaign is temporarily pausing our R-V tour, including today’s events, at the advice of medical professionals in order to take appropriate precautions to ensure we protect the health and
safety of Iowans and our team.” Greenfield is in a tight race with incumbent G-O-P Senator Joni Ernst.
President Trump Wins 2020 Iowa Youth Straw Poll
(Des Moines, IA) — President Donald Trump is the winner of the 2020 Iowa Youth Straw Poll. Students in more than 250 school districts across the state cast online ballots Tuesday. President Trump received nearly 57-percent support, Democratic nominee Joe Biden had close to 31 percent and rapper Kanye West got about nine percent of the votes. Iowa students also
predicted that Trump would beat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says the straw poll provides a hands-on educational experience for the students.
Iowa Public Sector Workers Vote to Keep Union Representation
(Des Moines, IA) — Nearly 30-thousand public sector workers in Iowa have voted this month to have a union represent them in contract talks. A state law passed in 2017 requires unions for state workers, teachers, and other public sector employees to win re-certification votes every two years. Iowa State Education Association president Mike Beranek said, “this year we had
100 percent of the local association that were up for re-certification to vote to maintain their contracts.” The Iowa Public Employment Relations Board’s website shows 266 bargaining units voted to re-certify with a variety of unions. Fifteen units voted against retaining union representation in contract talks. According to the Iowa Federation of Labor, nearly 99 percent
of all those who participated in this month’s re-certification elections voted “yes” for union representation.
73-Year-Old Man Accused of Dealing Meth in Cerro Gordo County
(Mason City, IA) — A 73-year-old man is accused of dealing methamphetamine in Cerro Gordo County. Authorities searched the Mason City home of Rolland Pope and found 49 grams of meth. At least six baggies of pre-packaged meth and a scale were also seized. Pope is facing felony drug charges and is
jailed on 50-thousand dollars bond.