Home News Saturday News, January 8th

Saturday News, January 8th


Iowa Legislators Return To Work On Monday

(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 townhall 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.




LifeServe Looking For Blood Donors

(Le Mars) — The need for blood is constant, and LifeServe Blood Services of Sioux City is looking for blood donations.  Martin Diede is the team leader for LifeServe. 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.




Le Mars Community Wellness Center 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.




Le Mars YMCA and Floyd Valley Healthcare Partner on Heart Health

(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 talks more about the program.

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.




Relief From Bitter Cold Coming This Weekend in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA)  —  There’s some relief coming from the bitter cold weather as wind chill advisories have expired in Iowa.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Fowle says the cold winds are moving out and the coldest air of the season that impacted us is gradually going to move off to the east.  He says we are expecting a little milder temperatures for this upcoming weekend.  Fowle says temperatures are going to be a roller coaster. Seasonal averages in the 20s and 30s are expected Saturday and then temps will tumble a little bit late next week in the single digits and teens.  The recent run of single-digit temperatures with subzero wind chills seemed a lot worse after a December that saw some days in the 60s and 70s.




Republican Leaders Deny Media Access to Iowa Senate Floor

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Senate Republican leaders are denying media access to the floor of the Iowa Senate chamber where reporters have had workspace for more than a century.  Last year as a pandemic precaution, access to the House and Senate floors was limited to elected members of the legislature and a select number of staff.  For the 2022 session, which starts Monday, House G-O-P leaders are allowing reporters and photographers who cover the legislature back into areas called “press benches” on the House floor.  Senate Republican leaders are not.  A spokesman for Senate Republicans says the media “plays an important role in the function of our republic,” but he says the “proliferation of non-traditional media” and First Amendment concerns make it difficult for the Senate to define “media access.”  Iowa Broadcast News Association leaders issued a statement, calling on the Senate to reconsider their decision.  The Iowa Capitol Press Association, in a statement , said having “real-time, in-person access” to legislators helps reporters serve as the “eyes and ears of the public” and provide important information about legislative activities.




COVID Hospitalizations Increasing in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA)  —  The number of Iowa hospital patients who’ve tested positive for COVID is up 12 percent since Wednesday.  The Iowa Department of Public Health’s website shows nearly 900 COVID hospital patients in the state and 19 percent of them are in intensive care.  Eight out of 10 COVID patients in the I-C-U are not vaccinated.  Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids keeps track of the positivity rate among all its patients on a rolling, seven day average.  It’s up to 32 percent today (Friday).  About 56 percent of Iowans are fully vaccinated.  The more contagious omicron variant of the virus is now the dominant variant in Iowa according to the C-D-C.




State of Iowa Files Lawsuit Against Sioux City Over Wastewater

(Sioux City, IA)  —  The State of Iowa is suing Sioux City alleging that it misled state officials by manipulating test results and discharging polluted water into the Missouri River.  The lawsuit filed today( Friday) claims Sioux City’s wastewater treatment facility would properly disinfect wastewater only on days when samples for E. coli contamination were taken and submitted to the Iowa D-N-R.  The suit says the city wanted to increase its treatment capacity without having to make a significant capital investment.  Attorney General Tom Miller said, “the city potentially endangered human lives and wildlife by violating water-quality rules and perpetrating a fraud to conceal its employees’ actions.”  The state asks the court to assess a civil penalty of up to five-thousand dollars for each day of violation and issue a permanent injunction preventing the city from further violations of state law and its treatment permit.




Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Empathizes With Governor Candidate’s Decision To Withdraw From Race

(Des Moines) — The chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party says he empathizes with Ras Smith’s decision to end his campaign for governor this week. Smith and Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn are both members of the Black Caucus in the Iowa House.

Ross Wilburn

Wilburn ran in the 2018 Democratic Primary for governor, finishing with about two percent of the vote in a five-way race.  Smith, who dropped out of the 2022 race for governor this week, said there were barriers he could not overcome. Smith has said he felt disrespected by donors who’ve given big checks to Democratic candidates in previous years, but would not respond to his calls. The party’s chairman says he hasn’t had a chance to speak with Smith about those concerns.

Ras Smith

Deidre De Jear (DEED-ruh duh-JEER) — an unsuccessful 2018 candidate for secretary of state — is a Democratic candidate for governor in 2022.