Home News Monday News, July 12th

Monday News, July 12th


School Board To Review DLIT Recommendations During Meeting

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education will meet this evening, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The school board will receive a report from School Superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner from the District Learning and Impact Team, or DLIT. The report offers suggestions from the DLIT team for the school
board regarding the district’s goals. The report indicates emphasis be placed on mathematics, science and reading. More assistance may be needed in the classroom to assure the students reach a proficiency goal of 80 percent. One
comment indicated student mental health needs to be more of a priority, which will lead to success in the classroom. Dr Webner and Dale Woudsta, a mechanical engineer with EDA, will provide information regarding the high school building ventilation system. Later, during the meeting when the school
board votes on action items, the board will decide whether to approve Phase 2 of the high school ventilation renovation project. As for other action items, the school board will act on the resignation request by Stephanie Buhman as the Middle School and High School nurse, effective immediately. The school
board is expected to approve at least 12 various position contracts. The board of education will appoint a member to serve as the Iowa Association of School Boards legislative action network for the 2021-22 school year. The school board will finalize their legislative priority recommendations for the
upcoming legislative session as requested by the Iowa Association of School Boards.

Le Mars Community Board of Education: (left to right) Todd Lancaster, Jill Feuerhelm, Kyle Platte, Scott Kommes, Jane Arnold, Angela Catton, and Dave Miller.



USDA To Contribute $500 Million For Start-up Meat Processing Facilities

(Council Bluffs) — The U-S-D-A will spend half a BILLION dollars to help establish smaller-scale meat processing plants to compete with the four major corporations that dominate the industry. U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the
announcement in Council Bluffs.

Vilsack says spurring development of more
meat processing facilities addresses some of the supply chain issues that cropped up as large pork, beef and poultry processing plants shut down early in the pandemic. In addition, Vilsack says smaller plants, closer to where animals are raised, give farmers more options for selling their livestock.

The 500 million will be distributed as grants, loans and technical assistance.

Vilsack is also committing 100-million dollars in U-S-D-A funds for meat processing facilities with fewer than 500 employees, to reduce the meat inspection fees. In addition, President Biden has signed an executive order calling for action on consolidation that not only limits where farmers can sell commodities, but has shrunk the number of companies selling things like seed and fertilizer.

Vilsack says the goal is to draw a bright line and define
what constitutes unfair competition in the agricultural sector.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s glad the Biden
Administration is beefing up enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act and he applauds Vilsack’s effort to make markets competitive for all Americans.
Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says while much
remains unclear, he’s optimistic about the Biden Administration’s efforts to address anti-competitive practices in agriculture.




Second-Quarter Economic Outlook Survey Optimistic

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Business Council’s second-quarter Economic Outlook Survey shows great optimism among some of the state’s largest businesses. I-B-C executive director, Joe Murphy, says it is the fourth straight survey where they have a positive trend. The report measures member expectations for sales, capital spending, and employment for the next six
months. The answers are scored on a 100-point scale and the latest overall outlook index is 67. Murphy says one key is that Iowa didn’t take the drastic measures during the pandemic that some other states took — and the state is recovering faster.




State Prisons Allow Visitors To Return For First Time In 16 Months

(Des Moines, IA) — Visitors were allowed the state’s prisons Saturday for the first time in 16 months. All in-person visits were canceled as a precaution due to COVID-19. Department of Corrections director Beth Skinner says they are going to start out by allowing just half the normal capacity for visitors — and she says they will still have online visitation available and may expand the in-person prison visitation if everything goes well. Skinner also announced during the Board of Corrections meeting that they are no longer requiring staff to wear masks.




Man Accused Of Threatening To Blow Up High School May Run For School Board

(Ankeny, IA) — Parents and teachers are asking questions about a man who is exploring a campaign for the Ankeny School Board. Nineteen-year-old Issac Holtz was accused of threatening to “shoot up” Waukee High School last March.
He admitted sending the threatening email but insisted he was the one being threatened at the time. He received a deferred judgment on one count of making a threat of terrorism. Earlier this month Holtz created a website announcing he was running for a seat on the Ankeny School Board. Parents and teachers say they are concerned he is running for that position just four
months after making the threat.