20 Organizations and Communities Receive Grants Totaling $106,314
(Le Mars) — Twenty different organizations and communities ranging from bike trails and nature conservancy, to community fire and police departments, to little league, to the county’s small towns are the recipients of more than $106,000 in grants as part of the Plymouth County Foundation. The grants are derived from revenue generated through Iowa’s gaming and racing industry
through casinos. The list of those organizations that received grants include: Lucky Leprechauns of Hinton were awarded $7,000 for school supplies. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was given $4,999 for a drone equipped
with a thermal imaging camera. $6,000 will go to the Le Mars Police Department for the purchase of body cameras. The Beautification Babes of Hinton will utilize $4,500 for the purchase of American flags and park benches. Merrill Lions Club was given a total of $8,000 for the purchase of school children’s winter wear. MMCRU backpack program received $6,500. The
city of Remsen was awarded a $10,000 grant for a grocery store development program. Clark Elementary school of Le Mars Community will enhance its STEM teaching program with a $3,889 grant. Rejoice Community Church of Le Mars
will be able to equip an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) with its $1,000 grant. Kingsley Elementary school will have the opportunity to purchase computer tablets for their students with the $7,380 was was awarded.
Merrill Fire Department will be purchasing emergency vehicle lightbars with the $1,500 grant they received. Christmas lights for the city of Merrill will be purchased through the $2,700 grant. $2,500 will be used by the American Legion for building improvements. The city of Kingsley will purchase trash receptacles for $3,471. The Merrill Little League hopes to
make renovations to its ballpark facilities with the $5,000 it was awarded.
Merrill’s Public Library will use its grant of $2,000 to refresh the
children’s area. $10,000 was awarded to the Plywood Trail Association for the funding of Phase I of the proposed bicycle trail. The city of Craig will now have a community event sign after receiving a $10,000 grant. MMCRU will make improvements to their school fitness center with the $7,873 dollars
grant. Broken Kettle Nature Conservancy was awarded $2,000 for property restoration.
Randy Olson Awarded Chamber “Employee Of The Month” Honor
(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.”
Joni Ernst To Bring Political Campaign To Le Mars
(Le Mars) — Republican U-S Senator Joni Ernst is bringing her political campaign to Le Mars. The senator is seeking re-election and is in a close race against Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield. Ernst will make her appearance at the Brown’s Century Theater Friday morning beginning at 9:00 a.m. Scheduled to appear with Senator Ernst will be Iowa’s other Republican U-S Senator, Chuck Grassley, along with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and Texas U-S Senator Ted Cruz. Following their visit in Le Mars, the Joni Ernst caravan will make a stop at Sioux Center.
Record Number Of Voters Deciding To Vote Early
(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.
Highway 75 Paving Project Still On Schedule For Completion By Mid-November
(Sioux City) — Following last weekend’s snowfall, has the Highway 75 paving project between Hinton and Sioux City been pushed back? According to an Iowa Department of Transportation official, the answer is no. The paving project remains on schedule for completion in a couple of weeks. Dakin Schultz says construction crews are still proceeding on the paving project.
Schultz says the main paving project should wrap up within the next week or so.
Polling Gives Edge to US Senate Challenger
(Des Moines, IA) — The most-recent polling gives the edge to the Democrat challenging U-S Senator Joni Ernst. The Nexstar Iowa 2020 R-A-B-A Research Poll shows Theresa Greenfield leading the incumbent Republican, Joni Ernst by six points, 51-to-45 percent, less than a week before Election Day. Greenfield has the edge on Ernst among both men and women. No U-S Senator in Iowa has lost a re-election bid since Tom Harkin beat Roger Jepsen in 1984.
Record-High 596 Hospitalizations, 22 Additional COVID Deaths in Iowa
(Des Moines, IA) — The state’s coronavirus website shows 596 COVID patients are being treated in Iowa hospitals, the 11th daily record for hospitalizations this month. One-hundred-36 patients are in intensive care units and 51 are on ventilators. The Iowa Department of Public Health reported one-thousand-814 new positive tests today (Wednesday), increasing the state’s total to 119-thousand-369 cases since the pandemic began. Twenty-two more Iowans have died from virus complications which brings the death toll to one-thousand-679. Eighteen counties in Iowa now have an average positive rate above 15 percent over the past two weeks.
Hy-Vee Installing Automated Grocery Cart Cleansing System in Stores
(West Des Moines, IA) — Iowa’s largest supermarket chain claims it’s the first in the nation to install an automated grocery cart cleansing system, an effort to calm fears about COVID-19. Hy-Vee spokeswoman Dawn Buzynski says the Sterile Cart system is like a mini car wash for shopping carts. She said, “customers don’t have to do anything ,they grab their cart and it’s fully sanitized by the system, then they return the cart and employees put it through the Sterile Cart system after every use.” The system has a very small footprint — about four-by-six feet — and it cleans several carts quickly and consistently. She says it eliminates the need for store employees to manually wipe down every cart throughout the day. West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee plans to have the Sterile Cart system installed in about 200 of its stores in eight states by the end of November.
Despite Lower Revenues, Casino Workers Still Getting Bonuses
(Altoona, IA) — It’s a pleasant surprise for workers at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona. Despite revenues being off by about 40 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic, 534 employees will be getting higher-than-expected holiday bonuses. The casino closed its doors for three months during the pandemic. Its “Secret Santa” employee bonus program means most full-time workers will get a 400-dollar check and part-timers will get 200-dollars. The financial report released Wednesday showed fewer customers are coming into the Altoona casino than before coronavirus, but they are betting more money during each visit.
Des Moines Man Facing Life Sentence After Murder Conviction
(Des Moines, IA) — A Des Moines man faces a life sentence after his conviction this week on a murder charge. Thirty-one-year-old Raymond Davis was one of five people charged in the killing of 39-year-old Brent Quigley. Investigators think Quigley was killed two years ago as part of a plan to steal his drugs and money. He was found lying near the front door of his home suffering from at least 20 stab wounds. One man has already been sentenced to 100 years in prison. Two others have pleaded guilty and 22-year-old Krystal R Martin is waiting for her trial to start.
Nevada Man Charged With Child Endangerment
(Nevada, IA) — Felony child endangerment charges have been filed against a 26-year-old Nevada man. Christopher Lee Roberts Moran was caring for the two-week-old infant when it was injured so badly hospitalization was required. Investigators say Moran is responsible for causing the injuries. The case is being investigated by the Nevada Public Safety Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. The infant was taken to a local hospital, then transferred to a hospital in Des Moines. The extent of the child’s injuries and its medical condition haven’t been released.