Home News Friday News, November 12th

Friday News, November 12th


School Board Elects Angela Catton As President

(Le Mars) — The new Le Mars Community Board of Education met last evening, and elected new officers.  Angela Catton has been elected to serve as the school district’s president of the school board, while Jane Arnold was elected to serve as the vice president of the school board.

Angela Catton                     Jane Arnold

Aaron Tolzin and Lorraine DeJong attended their first school board meeting following last week’s election, and Makenzie Lang returned to the school board now serving a different district.  Jill Feuerhelm was re-elected to serve on the Le Mars Community Board of Education.  During last evening’s school board meeting, school administration officials reviewed the annual progress report with the new board.  Curriculum Director Rachel Leavitt informed the school board that Le Mars Community students had, across the board,  performed above the state average for the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress testing.

Leavitt says the school district has set a goal for students to be listed as 80 percent proficient in all categories of Reading, Math, and Science.  Although, the some grades did achieve the goal of 80 percent proficient in some categories, many grades fell slightly short of the goal.  Leavitt says this past school year was challenging for teachers, as many students were participating in on-line courses, as opposed to being in the classroom.  Le Mars students are prepared for college level courses, as  the ACT entrance exam reflects.  Based on the composite scores from a five-year average, Le Mars high school seniors scored 22.2.  The state average was listed at 21.6, and the national average was at 20.7.  Since the 2008-2009 school year, 71 percent of Le Mars students have obtained a score of 20 or higher, which is an indicator of success in college.  School superintendent Dr. Steven Webner informed the school board that the school’s finances are in good shape and holding steady.  President Angela Catton commented about the school’s finances saying when she first was elected to the school board, the members at that time had legitimate concerns about the school’s financial position.  Dr. Webner presented plaques to the out-going school board members Todd Lancaster, Scott Kommes, and David Miller.  Webner thanked each director for their commitment and service to the Le Mars Community School District.




Plymouth County Fair Board Re-elects Directors And Officers

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County 4-H and Agricultural Society, or perhaps better known as the Plymouth County Fair held its annual meeting last evening, and re-elected the nine board members whose terms were expiring.  The directors include: Terry Reuter, Tom Lehner, Keith Koerselman, Ben Vondrak, Ryan Schroeder, Tom Bainbridge, Rich Benson, Michael Beitelspacher, and Jim Jauer. During the regular meeting of the fairboard, the directors re-elected Loren Schnepf as president, John Ahlers was elected as vice president, with Michael Bietelspacher elected as treasurer, and Gail Schoenrock was elected to again serve as the fair board’s secretary.

Pictured: (left to right) John Ahlers, vice president; Gail Schoenrock, secretary; Michael Beitelspacher, treasurer; and Loren Schnepf, president.




Clark Elementary Student Wins American Legion Essay Contest

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars American Legion Wasmer Post #241 handed out certificates to the area’s fifth graders that participated in an essay contest.  The fifth graders were asked to write: “What the American flag means to me.”  From Clark Elementary school the top three placing winners included: 3rd place was awarded to Brooklyn Bock, 2nd place honors were given to Quentin Ranschau, and 1st place from Clark elementary was presented to Chase Larson.  Franklin elementary top three winners were: 3rd place – Ava Mielke, 2nd place was Carter Morris, and 1st place was awarded to Jordan Kopperud.  Kluckholn’s essay winners included: 3rd place was Cameron Pauling, 2nd place was awarded to Quinten Howell, and 1st place honors were given to Jonah Roberts.  Taking the over-all first place honors, and who will move on to compete in the District level was Chase Larson of Clark Elementary.  At an afternoon assembly program held at Clark Elementary school honoring veterans, Chase Larson read his winning essay to his fellow school mates.

Gehlen Catholic fifth graders did not participate in the essay contest this year.




Clark Elementary Veterans Program

(Le Mars) — Students from Clark Elementary were greeted by two active Iowa National Guard soldiers during Thursday’s special assembly program honoring veterans.  Hannah Albert and Mya Kibby, both originally from Le Mars, were wearing their camouflage colored uniforms and gave “high five” hand slaps to the students as they entered the gymnasium for the program.  The two special guests sat in front during the program.  During the program, students listened to their fellow school mate Chase Larson recite his winning essay about “What the American flag means to me.”  School Guidance Counselor, Kari Kopperud, emceed the program.  Students viewed a slide presentation showing various individuals that either are currently, or sometime in the past, served in the military. Each of the photos of the featured military members had some type of connection to either the students or faculty and staff to Clark Elementary school.

At the conclusion of the program, students were encouraged to bring juice boxes, candy, and snack bars to be donated for the Siouxland Supports Soldiers program that begins on Friday and will continue through next week.




Former City Council Member Ordered To Pay $4M Fine

(Sioux City, IA)  —  A former member of the city council in Sioux City has been ordered to pay a four million dollar fine for committing what a federal prosecutor calls “environmental crimes.” Forty-seven-year-old Aaron Rochester of Sioux City ran businesses that promised to recycle electronic components. In 2018, the State of Iowa filed a lawsuit against Rochester, accusing him of illegally storing 12 million pounds of hazardous waste in Sioux City and another four-and-a-half million pounds of waste at sites in Nebraska. It was mainly the leaded glass from televisions and computer monitors, according to court records. A Special Agent for the E-P-A says Rochester’s disregard for the laws governing how to properly handle hazardous waste posed a significant risk to nearby communities. In March of this year, Rochester pleaded guilty in federal court.




Iowa Military Hero Among Many Honored On Veterans Day

(South Sioux City, NE)  —  One of the ceremonies on Veterans Day honored Iowa military hero  George “Bud” Day of Sioux City, and his wife Doris.  The event was a ribbon-cutting at the Interpretive Center at the Siouxland Freedom Park in South Sioux City. Brigadier General Day received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service after being shot down over Vietnam and put in a prison camp. He was tortured, escaped, and was caught and tortured again. His daughter Sandra wore his flight jacket to the ceremony and says she didn’t realize for a time what her dad had gone through.  “Probably my biggest revelation was when I actually sat down and read his book. Then it really hit home about what he went through and how bad it was,” she says.




Man Convicted Of Rigging Lottery Computers Wants Sentence Reversed, New Trial

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Man convicted of rigging lottery computers wants his sentence reversed and a new trial.  Eddie Tipton is serving 25 years in the Clarinda Correctional Facility.  He’s suing the state of Iowa.  A hearing is set for next Monday where the idea of setting a new trial date will be considered.  Tipton worked for an Iowa organization that provided random number drawing computers to several states.  He was convicted of installing a code on those computers that let him predict the winning numbers.  Tipton says he is innocent and was placed under duress to obtain his guilty plea.