Home News Wednesday News, November 17th

Wednesday News, November 17th


Stacy Bunkers Awarded The School District’s “Employee of the Month” Honors

(Le Mars) — A Franklin elementary teacher was awarded the school district’s “Employee of the Month” honors during a small ceremony held Tuesday morning.  Stacey Bunkers, a reading literacy teacher, was surprised by the honor when Janelle Bixenman and Carolyn Vance with the Le Mars Community School District Foundation and Le Mars Community School Alumni Association presented Bunkers with a plaque and certificate acknowledging her accomplishments.  Principal Neil Utesch had nominated Bunkers for the honor.  Bixenman read the nomination naming Stacy Bunkers, as the school district’s “Employee of the Month.”

Bunkers’ family members consisting of her husband, Jeremy, and eldest son Jackson, along with her mother, and in-laws were in attendance for the award presentation, and shared their congratulations.  Our congratulations go to Stacy Bunkers for being named as the Le Mars Community School District’s “Employee of the Month.”




Floyd Valley Foundation Raises More Than $60,000

(Le Mars) — The 6th Annual Floyd Valley Foundation Wine and Craft Beer tasting event held this past Saturday, November 13th at P’s Pizza House, brought in more than $60,000 to the hospital foundation.

Over $60,000 in cash sponsorship and evening proceeds was raised and will be used to support Floyd Valley Therapies with upgrades in equipment and technology.  Amy Harnack, Foundation Manager says, “We are extremely grateful for the support of P’s Pizza House, members of the community and businesses who contributed in helping to make this another outstanding event year.”

Nearly 150 attendees enjoyed select wines, craft beers and food throughout the evening as well as participated in silent and live auctions.  Staff from Floyd Valley Healthcare were honored, as well as area fire/EMS rescue, and law enforcement.  Ralph Klemme, Floyd Valley Board of Trustees Chair, was also honored with a presentation of a Quilt of Valor for his military service.

Dustin Wright, CEO of Floyd Valley Healthcare says, “It was an amazing evening to celebrate our local heroes and raise money for a great cause. Thank you to our sponsors, Ps Pizza House and everyone that came out to have a fun evening with Floyd Valley Healthcare Foundation. This even continues to surpass our expectations and we are thankful for such a giving community.” 




Reynolds Cheers Federal Court Ruling on State Taxing Authority

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Governor Kim Reynolds says a ruling from a federal judge makes it clear accepting federal pandemic relief didn’t prohibit lawmakers from cutting taxes at the state level this year and won’t stand in the way of more tax cuts in 2022.  Last March, Reynolds signed onto a lawsuit challenging a provision in the American Rescue Plan that said states could not use the pandemic relief to directly or indirectly offset tax cuts.  A federal judge in Alabama has ruled that’s a vague condition for federal funding and Congress exceeded its authority.  Reynolds says the Biden Administration was trying to punish fiscally responsible states and she says the ruling is a major victory for Iowa taxpayers.  Reynolds already approved a series of tax cuts in June.  That was three months after the Biden Administration announced there was no blanket prohibition on cutting taxes at the state level, as long as federal pandemic funds weren’t used to pay for tax cuts.




State Audit Questions Use of COVID Relief to Pay Governor’s Staff

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A review by State Auditor Rob Sand’s office questions why nearly 450-thousand dollars in salaries paid to the governor’s staff last year came out of the budget for the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  Sand says it’s not clear why the 448-thousand dollars’ worth of salary money wasn’t in the budget for the governor’s office and why Governor Reynolds had to use federal money to cover pay for her staff.  Democrat Sand says the Republican governor’s staff did not respond to requests for documentation.  A spokesman for Reynolds says the governor’s office will provide the U-S Treasury Department with documents showing the governor’s staff worked out of the state’s emergency response center for the first three months of the pandemic.  The auditor’s office reviewed how the state spent more than 12-billion dollars in federal funds last year, including two-point-three billion directly related to pandemic relief.




Police Officer, Iowa Guard Medic Charged With Sexual Abuse of 15-Year-Old

(Pleasantville, IA)  —  A 30-year-old former police officer from central Iowa is accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old.  The Pleasantville Police Department on Friday asked state agents to investigate allegations that a Pleasantville policeman had sexual contact with a 15-year-old.  On Monday, Alec Veatch was arrested at his home in Norwalk.  Veatch has been charged with third-degree sexual abuse, enticing a minor and lascivious acts with a minor.  The Iowa Department of Public Safety says state agents continue to investigate and additional charges “will be filed.”  The agency described Veatch as a former officer, but did not say whether Veatch resigned or was fired from his job in Pleasantville.  City council records indicate Veatch is a certified E-M-T and a combat medic with the Iowa National Guard.  He was hired in May to fill a full-time vacancy in the Pleasantville Police Department.




John Deere Workers Vote On Third Contract Offer

(Moline, IL)  —  More than 10-thousand union members at John Deere will vote on the company’s third contract offer tonight (Wednesday).  The company reportedly has made a small change in the second offer that was rejected affecting the incentive plan.  There’s also a little more added to the base pay.  That last offer was rejected by 55 percent of the union members voting – even though the company had said it was its “best and final offer.”  The current strike has lasted since October 14th.




Iowa Lung Cancer Survival Rates Lag Behind National Rates

(Des Moines, IA)  —  An annual report from the American Lung Association shows Iowa ranks below the national average for survival rates, early diagnosis, and surgical treatment of lung cancer. Alyssa (uh-LISS-uh) DePhillips is with the American Lung Association. She says the data also shows that among racial groups, black Iowans are the least likely to receive surgical treatment.  DePhillips says the one category Iowa ranked above the national average for is lung cancer screenings.  The report found 11 percent of Iowans who are at higher risk of developing lung cancer were screened in the past year. That’s almost double the national average. Only one out of five Iowans who are diagnosed with lung cancer are alive five years after learning they have the disease.