Home News Monday Afternoon News, May 24th

Monday Afternoon News, May 24th


School Board Schedules Special Meeting

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education have scheduled a special meeting set for 12:00 noon on Wednesday, May 26th. The school board will hold a public hearing on a budget amendment for the school year 2020-2021. It is
expected the school board will approve the budget amendment. The school board will also act on several resignations including: Elaine Van Otterloo who is retiring from her position as a teacher associate at the middle school, effective May 28th. Toni Schwebach Jurgens is resigning from her position as a teacher associate at the high school effective, May 27th. Ann Harms wishes to resign her position as a high school teacher associate at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year. Warren Bates is resigning his position as a bus driver effective May 28th. Emily Beller has resigned from her position as a teacher associate at Clark Elementary effective May 26th. Nicole Decker is
resigning from her position as a teacher associate at Clark Elementary effective May 27th. The school board is likely to approve a contract for Josh Fakkema as the assistant baseball coach. In other business, the Le Mars Community Board of Education will discuss a propose agreement between Mid-
Sioux Opportunities and the school district regarding transportation of Head Start students for the 2021-2022 school year.




Plymouth County Community Health Director Weighs In On Legislative Action To Ban Masks And Face Coverings

(Le Mars) — Last week, the Iowa Legislature passed a bill and it was quickly signed by Governor Kim Reynolds that basically allows people to not wear a face covering or masks in public places such as schools, businesses, and government offices. Tara Geddes serves as the Director of Plymouth County Community Health Services and was asked if she believed the state lawmakers and the governor perhaps acted too quickly on the measure.

With graduation ceremonies and receptions, plus the Memorial Day holiday fast approaching, is it likely we could see a resurgence of positive COVID case numbers?

Geddes says the demand for vaccinations has tapered off somewhat, although because the Pfizer vaccine is now available for people over the age of 12, she says many adolescents are getting the COVID vaccine.

The Plymouth County Community Health Services Director offers the latest trend that is occurring with Plymouth County regarding COVID cases.

Geddes says Plymouth County still has a sufficient amount of vaccine doses available, and she urges all people to get vaccinated, or to complete their vaccination process.




Iowa Agriculture Secretary Comments On Legislative Action On Ag-related Bills

(Des Moines) — The Iowa Legislature finished its work from this year’s general session late Wednesday night of last week, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig is pleased the legislature included funding for several agriculture-related projects. Naig says he had listed three priorities for the legislature with the first being a continuation of funding for various water quality initiative projects throughout the state.

Naig says the state legislature also passed bills that would appropriate additional money towards bio-security measures to ward off any potential foreign animal diseases.

The Iowa Agriculture Secretary says his third priority was to fund money towards Iowa’s food security issues.

State lawmakers passed a bill that would offer more protection against animal livestock production facilities from potential animal rights groups wanting to enter a person’s property and videotape the operations, only to be posted on social media with the idea to question production procedures. Opponents of the
bill say they will challenge the validity of the bill in court.




Man Shot And Killed In Waterloo

(Waterloo, IA) — Waterloo police are investigating the city’s third fatal shooting in a span of eight days. Police say officers were responding to a report of disorderly conduct near several downtown bars when they heard numerous shots and saw several people running from the area. A man with a gunshot wound was found on the sidewalk, and he died a short time later at a Waterloo hospital. The man has not yet been identified.




Des Moines Man Serving Life In Prison Dies

(Iowa City, IA) — A Des Moines man serving a life prison sentence for beating his girlfriend to death died Friday. The Iowa Department of Corrections says 54-year-old Christopher Michael Phipps Senior died from natural causes at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. Phipps was serving his first-degree murder sentence a the Iowa State Penitentiary. Phipps had called police in September of 2009 and said he accidentally killed his girlfriend Melissa Dean in the trailer they shared after Dean told him she was leaving him. Phipps claimed at his trial that he was intoxicated and was trying to defend himself against Dean.




Tibbetts Murder Trial Resumes Today

(Davenport, IA) — The prosecution will continue calling witnesses as the trial of the man accused of murdering University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts resumes today (Monday) in Davenport. The prosecutors called D-N-A experts and showed graphic evidence in the first three days as they try to prove Cristhian Bahena Rivera killed Tibbetts. Rivera is charged with first-degree murder. Tibbetts disappeared while out on a run in her hometown of Brooklyn in 2018.




Bottle Deposite Law Unchanged Again

(Des Moines, IA) — The bottle deposit law remains unchanged again this year after efforts to update it in the Iowa Legislature failed again. A proposal in the House would have allowed retailers, such as grocery stores and gas stations, to decline to accept empty beverage containers if there is a nearby redemption center. The Speaker of the House at one point indicated lawmakers might be able to pass something — but admitted it was tough to get all sides together. The Legislature adjourned last week without any of the bottle bill proposals getting enough support to pass.