Ankeny Parent Of Two Elementary Students Speaks At Governor’s News Conference About Need For “In-person” Classes
(Des Moines) — Governor Reynolds invited a mom with two sons of elementary school age, a third grader and a Kindergartner from Ankeny to address the media during the Wednesday news conference. Sara Barthole discussed the problems and concerns of parents that have school children who are not attending “in person” classes. Barthole says Ankeny has bounced back and
forth from a hybrid to a virtual system to in person classes.
Barthole commented that she and her husband are not always in a position where they can offer assistance to their sons’ education while they are at home.
The Ankeny parent says elementary students need to have the attention that can be delivered from a teacher from in-person classes.
Barthole says schools play an important role within our communities that goes beyond the education process.
Barthole reiterated her stance for the need to have students attend school in person, and not be constantly subjected to virtual learning.
During her Wednesday news conference, Governor Reynolds was urging all Iowa schools to strongly consider holding in person classes for students.
Le Mars Community Schools Following Governor’s Recommendations With In-Person Classes
(Le Mars) — One school district that is doing exactly what Governor Reynolds has advocated is the Le Mars Community School District. Le Mars Community has been fortunate to be able to hold classes within the school buildings and
has not needed to convert to either a hybrid system, or all on-line virtual class setting. Dr. Steve Webner is the superintendent for Le Mars Community, and says ever since the school board advocated a mandatory masks or face coverings to be used by students, staff, and administration, the school has had few problems.
Webner says Le Mars Community has been able to successfully mitigate and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
Webner says the mandatory mask mandate has certainly helped with controlling the spread of the coronavirus.
Webner says when the school needed to close last March, he knows the students’ proficiency comprehension was compromised.
The school superintendent says the school was fortunate not to see a spike in COVID-19 cases following the Thanksgiving holiday break, and he is hopeful the COVID-19 rate holds stable following the upcoming Christmas break.
Governor Reynolds says approximately 85 percent of the state’s schools have an “in-person” class setting.
Kemps To Donate Milk Products To Food Banks
(Le Mars) — Local milk processor, Kemps, with a plant based in Le Mars, is donating milk products to local food banks. Kemps is partnering with Hy-Vee to help food pantries in western Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. This month, and into January, Kemps is donating 500-thousand shelf-stable “Giving Cow” milk cartons. An additional 66-thousand of the packs will be going to
Food Bank of the Heartland, which will distribute to food pantries and shelves across 77 counties in Nebraska, and 16 counties in western Iowa, including the food pantries in Le Mars and Sioux City.
The “Giving Cow” packs not only come in a cute, cow-designed package, but the best part is that these single serve, 8-ounce pack of ultra -high temperature pasteurized milk have a shelf life of up to 12 months, while typically fresh milk only has a shelf life of 20 days. Officials with Kemps says according to Feeding America, 80 percent of food banks are serving more people than they were this time last year, with many people visiting food banks for the first time.
Feeding America also projects a six to eight million shortfall in the next 12 months as food banks struggle to keep up the demand.
Dairy Industry Contributes To Local Economy
(Undated) — A comprehensive review of Iowa’s dairy industry details its importance to the state and regional economies. Northwest Iowa Extension dairy specialist Fred Hall says the report, which is done every five years, shows the state’s dairy industry is having a significant impact and it’s continuing to gain momentum. He says it represents about 15-thousand-600 jobs
and the impact of each single dairy cow in the state to the community is about 25-thousand-500 dollars. Hall says there are also spin-off benefits from all dairy products that contribute heavily to each Iowa community where there’s a dairy farm. The report shows dairy revenue is expected to continue to rise by more than one percent to close to 40 BILLION dollars.
Vilsack Nominated To Be Ag Secretary
(Washington, DC) — The speculation has turned into reality as presumed president-elect Joe Biden has nominated former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack to be the next U-S Agriculture Secretary. Vilsack held the federal post for eight years in the Obama administration. Vilsack, a Democrat, garnered support from Iowa Republican U-S Senator Chuck Grassley, and various ag
groups in Iowa have also said they support the nomination. Vilsack served two terms as Iowa’s governor, and currently is the C-E-O of the U-S Dairy Export Council. Both the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Soybean Association’s presidents have issued statements showing support of Vilsack being named the
U-S Agriculture Secretary.
U-I Hospitals C-E-O Says Iowa Dodged Thanksgiving COVID Spike
(Iowa City, IA) — University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics C-E-O Suresh Gunasekaran (sir-RESH goo-nuh-SAY-krin) says Iowa avoided the feared post-Thanksgiving increase in coronavirus cases. “I think it would be safe to say that we have dodged a big spike — the runaway event that we thought for Thanksgiving doesn’t seem to be happening in Johnson County or statewide,” he says. He says cases are on a plateau and have not yet declined enough — so he continues to be concerned. Gunasekaran says he does feel a little bit more positive than he did last month — but says everyone needs to continue with
the precautions. He says there’s going to be an opportunity for a potential spike if people don’t stick to the guidelines during the Christmas holiday.
Reward Offered In Shooting Of Bald Eagle
(Dows) — The Wright County Conservation Board’s Facebook page is reporting a reward of two-thousand dollars will be offered to anyone who has information int the shooting of a bald eagle The bald eagle was found last weekend. under a bridge along the Iowa River between Rowan and Dows adjacent to the Groom Wildlife Area. X-rays showed two holes in the head of the eagle
that indicates the eagle was shot. Anyone with information on the shooting of the eagle is asked to call the Iowa D-N-R Tip hotline at 1-800-532-2020 or to the nearest law enforcement agency.
Former Credit Union Employee Charged With Embezzlement
(Denison) — A second former employee of a Denison credit union has been charged with embezzlement.
The former manager of Consumer Credit Union, Janine Keim of Denison, was indicted on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City of embezzlement by a credit union employee and making false statements. Keim is accused of working with former head teller at the Denison institution, Brenda Jensen, also of Denison, to misallocate funds from 2012 to 2018. Jensen pleaded guilty in October in federal court to embezzlement and awaits sentencing. Keim’s arraignment hearing has been scheduled for December 16th in Federal Court in Sioux City.