Home News Monday News, December 14th

Monday News, December 14th


Le Mars Community School Board To Meet This Evening

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education is scheduled to convene this evening for its monthly meeting. The school board will hear reports from each of the district’s principals. Curriculum Director, Rachael Leavitt will review with the school board the 2019-2020 annual progress report. The
board will discuss the upcoming board and administration retreat that has been scheduled for January 25th at the Eduction Service Center. School Superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner will provide an update on the superintendent’s goals established as part of the superintendent evaluation process.

In terms of action items, the school board will decide on the resignation requests by Courtney Gerdes as she has resigned her position as a high school teacher associate effective December 11th. Head varsity football coach, Gabe Tardive has submitted his resignation. Judy Lubben intends to resign as the school district’s Director of Food Services effective on January 31st. The
school board is expected to extend contracts to: Blake Fehringer as the middle school and high school industrial technology teacher for the 2021-2022 school year. Nicole Koopman will be given a contract as an elementary special education teacher beginning on January 4th of 2021. Andrew Kingery is expected to be approved as the new assistant baseball coach, and Toni
Schwebach will be hired as a high school teacher associate.

The school board will discuss a new policy and will complete the first of two readings for the policy Code 106 of Discrimination and Harassment. The school board will consider approving additional members to the Le Mars Community School District Foundation Board of Trustees. The board will appoint their representatives for the collective bargaining 2021-2022
contract negotiations. The school board will consider approval of a 2020-2021 early graduate that has met all graduation requirements. The school board will also decide on a new student organization request for middle school called “Bulldogs 4 Better.”




Electoral College To Meet Today To Vote For President

(Le Mars) — You may believe the presidential election is over since many media agencies, have declared former Vice President and Democratic contender Joe Biden as the winner. However, the real presidential election takes place today (Monday). That’s when the members of the electoral college will gather at their
respective state capitals to cast their votes for president. Kurt Brown of Primghar is one of six electors for the state of Iowa. Brown, who has previously served as an elector tells how he acquired the role and responsibility.

Brown says the number of electors for each state is based on the number of Congressional members, plus two more to represent the entire state. So, the more populated states such as California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania will have more electors, than the low populated states such as South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada and Alaska. Iowa has six electoral votes because we have four Congressional members and two Senators.
Brown says each political party chooses their panel of electors, with the winning candidate and the party representatives casting the important electoral votes.

Brown says it is widely believed that the electors must cast their vote based on the results of the state’s popular vote outcome. Although he does plan to vote for President Trump, he says there is no law that says he must vote for his party’s candidate.

Each time he has been selected to be an official elector, Brown says he has received hundreds of solicitations through postcards, letters, email and text messages, and telephone calls from various people, organizations, interest groups and others, trying to influence him on how he should cast his important vote.

Although some people would like to see the Constitution be changed to eliminate the Electoral College, Brown says it is very important to retain, especially for small states like Iowa.

The Iowa electors will gather in Des Moines at the state capitol building today to cast their ballots.




Frerichs Christmas Light Display Attracts Tourists From Several Miles

(Le Mars) — On the west edge of Le Mars as you drive out of town on Highway 3, there sits a large exhibit of Christmas lights and displays on the south side of the roadway. Mark and Sheri Frerichs began their elaborate Christmas lights display 35 years ago, and Mark says he isn’t certain as to how many lights he owns.

Frerichs explains how the elaborate display of Christmas lights got its start.

Much like other large Christmas display exhibits within the area, Frerichs says his display of lights has become a tourist attraction, and has brought people to Le Mars from several miles around.

Frerichs says he begins setting up his display in October.

Frerichs says the large Christmas light display will remain on exhibit through the Epiphany season. Frerichs says he usually adds additional displays to the ever expanding exhibit each year.




School Enrollment Drops For First Time In A Decade

(Des Moines, IA) –The Iowa Department of Education’s annual report for the fall shows enrollment in the 327 school districts dropped by nearly six-thousand (5,935) students from last year. The decrease is a one-point-two percent decline — and is the first drop in certified enrollment in ten years. The total number of students is 484-thousand-159. Enrollment decreased at 215 school districts representing 66 percent of all public school
districts in the state. Des Moines Public Schools had the largest decrease followed by Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Iowa City, Council Bluffs, Waterloo, Sioux City, Dubuque, Burlington and West Des Moines. A drop in enrollment costs districts money as the enrollment number is used to determine funding for schools and differs slightly from the actual headcount of students enrolled.




State Party Leaders Found Responsible For Delays In Reporting Iowa Caucuses Results

(Des Moines, IA) — A review of the breakdown in reporting results from February’s Iowa Caucuses suggests actions by the Democratic National Committee were contributing factors, but the audit found state party leaders were ultimately responsible for the delay. The audit specifically faulted the Iowa Democratic Party for failing to have an adequate call-in system as a back up to a smartphone app for reporting results. The report did recommend that the Iowa Democratic Party consider significant changes to its complicated Caucus system. The review was announced in February, completed in November, and presented to the Iowa Democratic Party’s state central committee Saturday.




35-Year-Old Urbandale Man Charged With Murder

(Urbandale, IA) — A 35-year-old Urbandale man has been charged with murder in the death of a woman. The victim’s name hasn’t been released. Officers responded to a call about a medical emergency Saturday at 6:45 p-m. They found the woman suffering from head injuries and she died before she could be taken to a hospital. Dustin Sample was taken into custody Sunday and he is being held in the Polk County Jail on first-degree murder charges. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is working with Urbandale police detectives on the case.




New Wrongful Convictions Clinic To Open In Des Moines In January

(Des Moines, IA) — A new Wrongful Convictions Clinic will open in Des Moines next month. The Iowa State Public Defender office is working with the Drake Law School on the project. Student attorneys will represent people convicted of serious felony crimes during post-conviction proceedings “to establish their actual innocence.” The new clinic is expected to work closely with the Kansas City, Missouri-based Midwest Innocence Project. A
2009 Drake Law School graduate, Erica Nichols Cook, will supervise.