Home News Thursday Afternoon News, December 17th

Thursday Afternoon News, December 17th


American Legion To Hold “Wreaths Across America” Ceremony

(Le Mars) — On Saturday, American Legion Posts from across the country, including the Wasmer Post #241 of Le Mars will remember fallen veterans and the separate branches of the military with a program entitled: “Wreaths Across America.” The program, according to Past Post Commander and local organizer, Wayne Schipper has been in existence for more than 25 years. In Le Mars, the American Legion have participated in the national program for the last eight years.

Schipper says the program has expanded to include more than 2100 locations throughout the United States. Schipper says the program recognizes each of the military branches, plus a few others.

The local program is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Plymouth County Veterans Park located on 3rd Avenue Southeast and 10th Street southeast.

Schipper says all of the wreaths originate from Maine and then are distributed across the nation. Schipper says in most cases, it is the local American Legion that conducts the ceremony, but others have assisted in other parts of the country.




Iowa Hospital Association Expects $433 Million in COVID-Related Losses

(Des Moines, IA) — We’re starting to see some of the monumental costs of the coronavirus on Iowa’s health care industry. A new report from the Iowa Hospital Association finds this year’s pandemic will cost the state’s medical facilities 433-million dollars in revenue. Overall, the report says Iowa’s hospitals lost more than one-point-two-billion dollars during the pandemic, but that figure was offset by federal relief. The study shows half of Iowa’s hospitals were operating in the red at the end of October. Hospitals are also seeing an 11-percent drop in outpatient visits and a 24-percent decline in inpatient surgeries, along with the operating margins falling 29 percent.




Iowa Still Has $47 Million of $1.2 Billon in CARES Act Funding

(Des Moines, IA) — The State of Iowa received one-point-two-billion dollars from the federal government to deal with pandemic-related expenses this year – and nearly 50-million of that has not been spent. Governor Kim Reynolds says she has a plan to distribute the final 47-million dollars by the end of the year, as required, but she’s hoping the pandemic relief package Congress may pass yet this week gives states extra time. The governor indicated that some of the broadband grants the state awarded earlier this year were returned because companies could not find parts and complete the projects by the end of this month. The 47-million dollars includes the 21 million Reynolds had originally intended to use on computer software for state government. She said she has a plan for how to deploy that money elsewhere, but is waiting to see if Congress gives states authority to use the money in 2021.




UI Study Finds Thousands of Iowans Drinking Potentially-Contaminated Water

(Iowa City, IA) — A report finds tens of thousands of Iowans are drinking water every year that’s potentially contaminated with unsafe levels of lead. University of Iowa civil and environmental engineering professor Michelle Scherer says one in five Iowa newborns has elevated levels of lead in their blood. Scherer and her team found that 65-thousand Iowans are potentially at risk from drinking water with lead above 15 parts per billion, the standard set by the E-P-A where action needs to be taken to fix the problem. Researchers say Iowa only requires a water fountain or faucet to be taken out of service if lead reaches 20 parts per billion. The University of Iowa Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, or CHEEC, started testing school drinking water fountains and classroom faucets for lead in spring 2019. CHEEC director David Cwiertny says lead can come from a variety of sources like drinking water fountains, pipes and plumbing.




Iowa Rock N Roll Music Association Online Auction Thursday Night

(Arnolds Park, IA) — The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association is holding an online auction on this evening (Thursday 7 p-m) to raise money for the organization. Executive director Clay Norris says memorabilia on the auction block includes a Beatles album autographed by Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, framed pictures signed by KISS and the Rolling Stones, and guitars from the Beach Boys and Corey Taylor of Iowa-based Slipnot. Most of the Iowa Rock n’ Roll Music Association’s events and concerts have been cancelled during the pandemic. You can bid on the auction items at iowarocknroll-dot-com.