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Monday News, June 7th


Le Mars Community School Board To Hold Meeting

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education will convene for its monthly meeting this evening at the Education Service Center beginning at 6:00 p.m. Each of the principals will submit their end-of-the-year reports. The school board will hear a report from High School Spanish instructors, Jill Bomgaars and Jenna Bowmaster-Schoenewe as they will provide the school board information for their consideration for new high school Spanish textbooks. Rob Bixenman will appear before the board of education to present insurance renewal information for the 2021-2022 school year. School superintendent, Dr. Steve Webner will present the 2021-2022 Certified Staff Handbook to the board for their approval. Dr. Webner will also provide an update on open enrollment applications that have been approved. The school board will be given information on two separate conferences to be hosted by the Iowa Association of School Boards, the first is a fiscal management conference, and the second, focuses on identifying legislative priorities. In terms of action items, the school board will consider approval of an additional special education teacher position at the secondary level. The school board will act on two submitted resignations: Alex Struck wishes to resign from his position as a Middle
School-English/Language Arts instructor, as well as his position as a Middle School CIA, 8th grade assistant football coach, and high school boys head tennis coach. The other resignation involves Megan Ahrens as a Middle School teacher associate. The school board is expected to approve the contracts for
nine individuals. The school board will also consider recommendations from Eva Velasco, the Food Services Director, for the milk and bread contracts for the upcoming school year.




RAGBRAI Committee Announces Entertainment Line Up

(Le Mars) — On Friday evening more than a couple hundred people gathered at the Uptown Events Center and Iowa BBQ to listen to some music and enjoy good food, but perhaps more importantly, they were there for the unveiling of the entertainment that has been lined up for when RAGBRAI visits Le Mars. Mitch Christoffel and Mike Wells are both on the executive committee for Le Mars RAGBRAI. Wells says there is going to be a variety of entertainment all day long during RAGBRAI’s visit.

Wells says when Le Mars hosts the cross-state bicycle ride, our community will become a destination, regardless whether or not you are riding a bicycle. He says there will be several food vendors along Central Avenue which will add to the fun. Christoffel tells of the variety of musical acts that will perform
either at the Olson Cultural Events Center, or at the stage located at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds camping site.

Some of the musical acts include a tribute to Madonna and Lady Gaga, as well as a tribute to Tom Petty with Free Fallin, and an AC/DC tribute band that goes by the name Shoot to Thrill. The headliner band is from Los Angeles, California which is an 80’s and 90’s musical group called Flashback Heart Attack. Wells tells us what we can expect with that musical group.

Christoffel says volunteers are still needed to assist with the major event, and Le Mars RAGBRAI merchandise can be purchased at Get Branded 360.

RAGBRAI will begin its cross-state journey from Le Mars. An estimated 20,000 plus people are expected to come to the Ice Cream Capital of the World on Saturday, July 24th.




June Is Dairy Month – Perry Creek Dairy To Hold Open House

(Le Mars) — June is designated as Dairy Month and no where else is the economic value of dairy products more evident than in Le Mars and throughout northwest Iowa. With Wells Enterprises, the maker of several ice cream labels, including the signature brand of Blue Bunny, and DFA which stands for Dairy Farms of America, a milk processor which markets milk under the brand
label of Kemp’s, formerly Dean Foods with Land O Lakes milk and other dairy products, you can easily see Le Mars’ local economy heavily depends on the dairy industry. With several thousand people employed at Wells and at DFA, it is easy to see why each dairy cow is responsible for contributing nearly
$23,500 to the local economy. When you widen the scope to include all of northwest Iowa and look at AgroPur in Hull, the makers of cheese, as well as AMPI in Sanborn who markets milk, cheese, and butter, and consider Sioux County ranks first in the state with the number of dairy cows and dairy farms, you can see the importance of the dairy industry. Each year the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance, which is made of both dairy producers and dairy processors host an open house allowing the public to see up close the operations of an active dairy farm. This year, Perry Creek Dairy Farm located west of Le Mars will be hosting the open house to acknowledge the importance of June Dairy
Month. Perry Creek Dairy Farm is owned by Alan Feuerhelm family with sons Brad and Scott. Together with their other diary farm, Plymouth Dairy, more than 6,000 cows are milked three times a day. Scott Thoms serves as the Herdsman for both dairy farms. Thoms says the milk produced from Plymouth Dairy is transported to Wells Enterprises, and the milk produced at Perry
Creek Dairy is designated to AgroPur at Hull. Thoms says Perry Creek Dairy, which was finished in 2019, offers an unique style of milking.

Thoms says Perry Creek Dairy will first host the Chamber coffee event from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, then the open house will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thoms explains what will happen during the dairy farm open house.

Thoms says Lt. Governor Adam Gregg is scheduled to visit the dairy farm located in western Plymouth County on Wednesday afternoon.

Thoms says the dairy month open house will provide a free meal to all visitors.

Perry Creek Dairy farm is located approximately eight miles west of Le Mars.
Visitors can travel on Highway 3 until county road K-22 then turn south for two miles. Perry Creek Dairy farm is on the west side of the county road K-22.




Heyl Trucking Firm Purchases Holiday Express Truck Firm

(Estherville) — Heyl Truck Lines is buying Holiday Express, a trucking company based in Eshterville. Heyl Truck Lines is based in Akron. Its president, Bruce Koele, says both companies are family-owned.

The Holiday Express terminal in Estherville will be rebranded as a Heyl terminal.

Holiday Express, founded in 1969, has specialized in operating refrigerated trucks that carry food to 48 states. Heyl Truck Lines was founded in 1949 and currently has a fleet of over 400 trucks. Heyl also focuses on temperature controlled commodities, but it ships dry goods as well. Heyl’s purchase of Holiday Express will be final on June 14th.




Man Charged With Killing Iowa State Patrol Sergeant May Have Instigated Confrontation

(Iowa City, IA) — A police report indicates it’s possible the man charged with killing an Iowa State Patrol sergeant in April may have instigated the confrontation. Grundy Center reserve police officer Cody Niehaus says he recognized Michael Lang when he sped past him, believed that Lang was angry with him, and was trying to entice him to conduct a traffic stop. Niehaus had
cited Lang for trespassing a few days before. The officer says he hesitated but decided to try to stop Lang. The incident started on Grundy Center’s Main Street April 9th and ended with a standoff and a shooting that left Sergeant Jim Smith dead.




Judge Rejects Motion For Mistrial In First-Degree Murder Conviction Of Rivera

(Davenport, IA) — An Iowa judge has rejected a motion for a mistrial in the first-degree murder conviction of Cristhian Bahena Rivera. The motion was filed after defense attorneys found out that a witness for the prosecution had watched the live-stream coverage of the trial. Bahena River was found guilty last week of the murder of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts. The
judge responded that neither side had requested a sequestration order and it was determined that no prejudice resulted from the witness viewing the broadcast.




Fisherman Dies On Rathbun Lake

(Moravia, IA) — When emergency responders arrived at Rathbun Lake Friday they found boaters administering C-P-R to a 79-year-old man. Witnesses say they say the man fishing from a boat, then a few minutes later they spotted him floating in the water. The apparent accident happened at about 1:45 p-m
at the Island View Boat Ramp in Appanoose County. The man died before he could be taken to a hospital. His name hasn’t been released. The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.




Dubuque Man Sentenced To 8 Years In Prison For Possessing Gun

(Dubuque, IA) — As a convicted felon, 30-year-old Derrick Damon Timmons of Dubuque wasn’t allowed to possess a firearm legally. He has been sentenced to eight years in prison for his involvement in a shootout with another man on New Year’s Day 2020. Timmons was originally charged with attempted murder and intimidation with a dangerous weapon. While Dubuque police were investigating a report of shots being fired that day, Darrin Heard showed up at a local hospital with a gunshot wound. Witnesses say Timmons opened fire after someone shot at him – and that’s when Heard was wounded.