Home News Friday Afternoon News, January 7th

Friday Afternoon News, January 7th


Legislators Return To Des Moines For Start Of New General Session

(Des Moines) — Iowa lawmakers are returning to Des Moines for the start of the next legislative session.  Legislators will start the next general session on Monday, January 10th.  In a news release, Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars says he is looking forward to the next session.  Jeneary says he thinks legislators have an opportunity this year to pass meaningful legislation to lower the tax burden on Iowans, address the worker shortage which includes the childcare needs in our community and broadband service to rural areas. I hope to work on solutions to all of these issues while keeping our government smaller because I believe that a smaller government is a better one.

Jeneary continues to say in his news release, as he prepares for the legislative session this year, he looks forward to discussing these issues and others at town hall meetings during the legislative session. Jeneary encourages constituents to reach out to him with questions, comments or concerns.  His legislative email address is: tom.jeneary@legis.iowa.gov.   The state representative says, if you are in the Capitol during session, please don’t hesitate to send in a note or contact him ahead of time as he always tries to meet with my constituents when they’re in the Capitol.  Governor Kim Reynolds will deliver the Condition of the State Address Tuesday evening beginning at 6:00 p.m.




Le Mars YMCA Can Assist With New Year’s Resolutions

(Le Mars) — At the start of each new year, many people make resolutions.  Among the more popular resolutions are to lose weight and perhaps get more exercise.  The Le Mars Community Wellness Center and YMCA assists local people with achieving those resolutions.  Joyce Feuerhelm is the Membership and Marketing Manager with the local YMCA.  She says the Y generally does see an increase in membership during January.

Feurerhelm says once spring arrives, YMCA membership usually sees a slight decline as people tend to walk outside and do more outside activities.

The YMCA official says while many members enjoy exercising on their own, others prefer to work out in a group setting.

Despite being shut down for a few months due to the COVID-19 virus, Feurerhelm says membership is trending upward over past years.

Feurerhelm says the local YMCA membership is over 500 units.

Feurerhelm tells of the many and varied fitness programs that are offered at the Le Mars YMCA.

Feurerhelm says the Community Wellness Center offers programs for all ages and interests.




LifeServe Blood Services In Need Of Blood Supplies

(Le Mars) — The need for blood is constant, and LifeServe Blood Services of Sioux City is in Le Mars today (Friday) at the YMCA accepting blood donations.  Martin Diede is the team leader for LIfeServe.  He says although reservations are preferred, walk-ins will be welcomed.

Diede says this time of year following the holidays is when blood supplies are at their lowest.

The LifeServe blood official says they are always seeking the universal blood types of O positive and O negative, but he says they also are in need of A and B as well as AB types of blood.  Diede says the blood that is collected within the Siouxland area remains in the area and serves hospitals in northwest Iowa, southeast South Dakota, and northeast Nebraska.  Diede says the shelf-life for whole blood is only 46 days, and thus the reason for the constant need for a fresh supply of blood.  People may be a bit confused as to whether they can donate blood if they have been affected by the COVID-19 virus or any of the variants.  Or if they have been vaccinated against COVID, can they still donate blood?

Diede says people can also donate blood if they are on medications.  He says the main exception is if the individual is on a blood-thinner medication.

The LifeServe official says it only takes approximately 20 minutes to donate blood, and for most people it is not a painful experience.  LifeServe will return to the Le Mars YMCA to accept blood donations again in early March and again in early May.




Floyd Valley Healthcare And YMCA Partner Up To Promote Healthy Heart Awareness Day

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars YMCA and Floyd Valley Healthcare  are teaming up to celebrate National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 4th.  That is the day designated as “Healthy Heart Awareness Day.”  The YMCA invites the public to come and walk in the YMCA gym from 12 – 1 p.m. There is no cost or registration for this event. There will be educational booths and heart healthy snacks offered.  Recognition hearts will be available to honor loved ones or friends that have been affected by heart issues.  Joyce Feuerhelm shares more about the event.

Heart health awareness t-shirts are available to purchase with proceeds going to Floyd Valley Cardiac Rehabilitation.  If interested in purchasing a shirt, you may go to the Get Branded 360 website at https://www.getbranded360.com/ecommerce/fvh-january-2022-heart-health.html or call GB360 , call GB360 at 546-4911 or stop at their storefront in Le Mars by January 17th.  Healthy Heart donations are also being accepted by the Le Mars YMCA to help Floyd Valley Cardiac Rehab patients for YMCA scholarships.  Exercise after a heart event is an important step in their recovery process.  Finances after major health events can be a roadblock in following treatment plans.  Even a small donation could make a big difference for someone.





Reynolds Could Propose Additional Changes to Iowa Unemployment

(Des Moines, IA)  —  New work search requirements for laid off Iowa workers who’ve qualified for unemployment benefits go into effect Monday.  Governor Kim Reynolds is hinting she’ll propose more changes.  Iowa’s Republican governor said, “the unemployment code was written a long, long, long time ago when we were in a much different position, and today we need to incentivize work, not pay people to stay home.”  Starting January 10th, those who’ve qualified for unemployment checks will have to prove they’ve applied for at least three jobs each week in order to keep the benefits.  The state’s Workforce Development agency has hired 18 new case managers who’ll advise the newly unemployed of career training and job openings.  Reynolds says there are more job openings that people on unemployment in the state.  She will outline her legislative priorities in the annual “Condition of the State” message on Tuesday night.




Judge to Rule Soon on Lawsuit Blocking Cattle Feedlot Near Northeast Iowa Trout Stream

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A district court judge says he’ll rule soon on a lawsuit challenging a state permit for a feedlot with more than 11-thousand-600 cattle near a prized trout stream in northeast Iowa.  The Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club sued after Supreme Beef won permission to put the open feedlot near the headwaters of a stream that’s in the environmentally sensitive Driftless region.  During a virtual hearing Thursday, Assistant Iowa Attorney General David Steward represented the D-N-R and asked the judge to dismiss the suit, claiming the petition “points to no evidence that a harm has ever occurred, that there is any perceptible present or eminent harm.”  Sierra Club attorney Wally Taylor said the lawsuit seeks to prevent a major pollution event.  The lawsuit claims the D-N-R approved Supreme Beef’s application despite receiving calculations that the feedlot’s manure management plan was flawed.




Southeast Polk School Board Meeting Ends Early Because Of Bomb Threat

(Altoona, IA)  —  A bomb threat prompted the evacuation of the Southeast Polk School Board meeting.  Altoona police say someone claimed to have put bombs all around the building during Thursday night’s meeting.  Officers got school board members out of the building safely and no one was hurt. The rest of the meeting was canceled.  Investigators say they’ve identified a suspect but it’s unclear if they’re in custody.




Dubuque County Man Caught With Gun High on Meth Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

(Cedar Rapids, IA)  —  A Dubuque County man who was high on meth in a cell phone store bathroom with a loaded handgun is pleading guilty to federal charges.  The U-S Attorney’s Office says 27-year-old Austin Oberbroeckling of Farley was convicted on one count of possession of a firearm by an unlawful drug user.  Oberbroeckling admitted that in August 2019 he had a handgun with 14 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber that police found in the toilet tank.  Officers say he had red eyes, poor balance and was twitching.  Urine tests later determine there was meth and biproducts of heroin and fentanyl in his system.  Oberbroeckling was also caught with a sawed-off shotgun in his vehicle in August of 2021.