Fire Destroys Sioux City Apartment Building
(Sioux City) — A fire Sunday evening caused extensive damage to a Sioux City apartment building located within the Morningside area. Firefighters found smoke and flames coming from the third story of the structure when they arrived shortly after 5:30 p.m. The residents of the apartment complex building had evacuated safely with at least one person suffering from smoke inhalation. At one point, flames were shooting 20 feet out of the top of the
structure. Firefighters were removed from the building as the fire spread and eventually the roof had collapsed.
Le Mars Community Board Of Education To Hold Retreat
(Le Mars) –Later tonight, (Monday) members of the Le Mars Community Board of Education, along with school administration officials will hold the annual school district retreat. Le Mars Community School Superintendent Dr. Steven Webner says the retreat is held once a year instead of a regular business
meeting of the school board to explore some programs offered at the school.
Webner says the retreat will also focus on the Le Mars Community pre-school program.
Webner says the school board will be given a briefing concerning the mitigation efforts the school district has implemented against the COVID-19 virus. Webner says the school board does not take any action items during the retreat, it is set up strictly for informational purposes. On another unrelated matter, Superintendent Webner reviewed the salary requests position
of both the Le Mars Educational Association as well as the counter offer by the local board of education. The faculty have submitted a request that amounts to four percent increase of a salary base. Webner says the school board, at this time have countered with a zero percent increase. Webner says
negotiations will wait until such time the state legislature passes a bill indicating the school supplemental state finance aid program.
The school board/administrator retreat will take place at the Le Mars Community Educational Center.
Jeneary And Taylor Report On Legislative Action
(Des Moines) — This past week at the State Capitol in Des Moines was when state legislators actually got started with working on bills. The first week was reserved for more ceremonial events such as the Governor’s “Condition of
the State” the Iowa Supreme Court’s Chief Justice “Condition of the Judicial Courts, and the Iowa National Guard Commander’s “Condition of the Guard” address. Republican State Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars says some time was devoted this week to establishing the rules of which would
govern the lawmakers.
Jeneary says one piece of legislation that was passed out of the House Public Safety committee and will go before the entire House for a vote is House File number 9, which would adopt the 2nd Amendment from the U-S Constitution and incorporating the amendment to the Iowa Constitution.
Jeneary says the bill has some good details, and it “definitely puts an iron wall around our absolutely fundamental right to keep and bear arms.” Jeneary says next week the focus of attention for the state legislature will be to examine all aspects of education.
The Le Mars lawmaker serves on the House Veterans Committee and will be introducing legislation this next week that he says will benefit local veterans.
Jeneary says on a personal note, he is anxious for a bill to be introduced through the Natural Resources committee dealing with a lifetime trout fishing stamp for people over the age of 65.
On the Senate side of the Capitol, newly elected State
Senator Jeff Taylor, a Republican from Sioux Center, says in his news letter Senate Joint Resolution 2, “the Protect Life Amendment” is moving forward.
Taylor is a co-sponsor of the bill. Taylor is the vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee. He says Iowa students must be given the option of attending school 100% of the time in person.
When many students do not receive in-person instruction, their academic performance suffers. According to local news reports, 37% of students in Iowa City schools had at least one failing grade this fall. That number is nearly double the number of students with at least one failing grade in previous years. If students fall too far behind academically, they will struggle to
regain the skills and knowledge they lost, and their future education and career opportunities may suffer.
Senate Study Bill 1064 addresses this problem by requiring schools to offer a 100% in-person option. This bill continues the waiver process if significant spikes of COVID-19 occur in the community or the school district is unable to adequately staff their classrooms.
Iowa Suspect In Storming Of US Capitol To Be Transferred To Washington
(Des Moines, IA) — One of two Iowa suspects in the January 6th storming of the U-S Capitol will be transferred to Washington, D-C to face charges. A federal judge in the District of Columbia halted the release of Douglas Jensen that had been ordered in Iowa last week. The Iowa magistrate had allowed Jensen to be moved to home confinement with electronic monitoring.
The government got a stay of Jensen’s release. The 41-year-old Iowa man appeared by video last week for a detention hearing from the Polk County Jail.
Iowa Democratic Party Selects New Chairman
(Des Moines, IA) –– State Representative Ross Wilburn is the first black Iowans to lead the state Democratic Party. The lawmaker from Ames was chosen from a field of four candidates by the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee. He’s a native of Davenport and earned a degree from the
University of Iowa. Wilburn also served in the Iowa Army National Guard. He is a member of the Iowa Legislature’s Black Caucus. He replaces outgoing chair Mark Smith who had announced last year he wouldn’t seek a second term.
Cedar Rapids Police Arrest 18-Year-Old Suspect For Incident In Walmart
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — Cedar Rapids police have arrested an 18-year-old suspect for an incident in a Walmart store. Officers were called to the store Saturday at 3:11 p-m about two people fighting. The first officer on the scene made contact with one of the men outside the store. While they were talking, Timothy Dwayne Christmas approached and tried to resume the
fight. The officer called for backup and Christmas re-entered the store.
When the officers went in to look for him, a store employee reported he had been punched in the face. The officers say Christmas resisted arrest and bit one of them, causing a serious injury. He was arrested on at least three charges of assault on a police officer. The suspect’s mother was also arrested when she got involved.