Home News Wednesday Afternoon News, February 23rd

Wednesday Afternoon News, February 23rd


Grassley Comments About Russian Invasion To Ukraine And Cattle Marketing Bill

(Le Mars) — U-S Senator Chuck Grassley was in Le Mars on Tuesday visiting with the Le Mars Kiwanis Club. Following his visit with the Kiwanis members, he then spoke with the media.  The Republican senator was asked if President Biden is doing enough to stop the Russian invasion into the Ukraine, and whether the United States should get involved with our military?

Senator Grassley was also asked about the status of his cattle marketing bill. Grassley has been pushing for more transparency with the four major meat processing companies with their prices paid to cattle producers.  The bill has not yet been passed in the U-S Senate, but Grassley remains optimistic.




Le Mars Community Board Of Education Presents Initial Bargaining Unit Proposal To Le Mars Education Association

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community Board of Education presented its initial position for collective bargaining to the Le Mars Education Association on Tuesday.  The school board is proposing a $1200 increase in the base pay, which translates to a 3.03 percent raise with the base pay at $40,815.  This proposal will increase the cost of base wage salary to the district by $510,940 for school year 2022-2023.  The Le Mars Education Association was asking for an increase of $1600 in the base pay, or a salary raise of 4.04 percent.



Kluckholn Special Education Instructor Honored

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Community School District awarded its “Employee of the Month” honors Wednesday morning to a Kluckholn Special Education instructor.  Madison Whited was presented the honor during a small ceremony.  She has been with the Le Mars Community Schools for a little more than a year.  Cari Herbst nominated Madison Whited, and the nomination reads in part:  “Madison is always positive and happy to help everyone.  She has gone above and beyond to help with students who are not on her roster.  She is helping while a person is on maternity leave.  Madison has rearranged her schedule to fit IEP students for this time.  She has been there for a student who just needs to talk with someone.  Madison has been a great resource to go to when there are questions about how to best help students.  She has definitely made this year easier with all her help, regardless of her workload.  Madison is a great addition to Kluckholn Elementary.  Whited says she enjoys the students and looks forward to every day working with the students.

Our congratulations go to Madison Whited for being named the Le Mars Community School District’s “Employee of the Month.”




Orange City Area Health System Honored As Top 100 Rural Hospital

Orange City Area Health System has been recognized as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital nationwide in 2022. Compiled by The Chartis Center for Rural Health, this annual recognition program honors outstanding performance among the nation’s rural hospitals based on the results of the Chartis Rural Hospital Performance INDEX™.

 “This recognition is truly representative of a team effort at Orange City Area Health System,” commented Marty Guthmiller, Chief Executive Officer. “From patient satisfaction, to quality, to financial standing, OCAHS clearly stands out nationally.”

Over the course of the last 12 years, the INDEX has established itself as the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Leveraging publicly available data, the INDEX is trusted by rural hospitals, health systems with rural footprints, hospital associations and state offices of rural health across the country to measure and monitor performance across a variety of areas impacting hospital operations and finance.

“Despite unprecedented adversity, rural providers continue to display resiliency and a steadfast commitment to their communities,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “Honoring the Top 100 is one of the highpoints of our year. We are delighted to recognize the exceptional performance and innovation of this year’s recipients, particularly in light of the extraordinary challenges facing America’s rural health safety net.”

Floyd Valley Healthcare of Le Mars also received the same recognition.




Woodbury County Attorney Clears Deputies And Sergeant Bluff Police Office In Fatal Shooting

(Sioux City) — The Woodbury County attorney has identified the county deputies involved in a January 12th shooting that claimed the life of a man in Sergeant Bluff.  Patrick Jennings says Deputy Eric Fay was justified when he fired his gun at Michael Meredith at a Sergeant Bluff trailer court.  Fay, along with Deputy Devin Groenhagen and Sergeant Bluff police officer Jereme Muller had responded to a disturbance at a trailer where a man and woman were shouting.  Jennings says Meredith suddenly charged at them with a four pronged tire iron as they approached.

Groenhagen had backed away and fired his taser while Fay, under direct attack, fired his gun.  The audio is from the body camera of Sergeant Bluff police officer Muller

Jennings says an autopsy showed Meredith died from a single shot to the chest.  The taser strike did not contribute to his death.

The officers then immediately provided medical aid to Meredith.  Jennings ruled based on evidence from an investigation by the Iowa D-C-I and body camera footage from the three officers that Fay was in fear of his life and was justified in using deadly force to defend himself.




Former Cyclones Star Running for Congress in Minnesota

(Undated) — Former Iowa State basketball star Royce White is running for a congressional seat in Minnesota. White, a Republican, launched his campaign with an online video, in which he says he’s running “because our leaders have sold us out.” White played in the 2011-2012 season for the Cyclones and led the team in scoring. He was the 16th selection in the N-B-A draft but did not play his rookie year due to a dispute with the Houston Rockets over mental health protocols. If he wins the G-O-P nomination he would then likely face incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.





FFA Membership in Iowa Grows Despite Pandemic

(Ankeny, IA) — The isolation of the pandemic torpedoed many types of gatherings and clubs, but the Future Farmers of America is bucking the trend. The organization dedicated to first-hand learning about the world of agriculture is seeing membership in Iowa rise. Scott Johnson, executive director of the Iowa F-F-A Association, says Iowa was recently recognized as one of only six states that saw member numbers go up during 2021. He credits past state officers and leaders within the F-F-A for keeping ag education relevant to students during a difficult time. Johnson says they’re trending towards a ten percent increase in growth over last year.




“Suspicious” Fire Destroys Vacant Building

(Marshalltown, IA) — Police in central Iowa’s Marshalltown police want the public’s help in finding out what caused a vacant building to burn down. That building and the one next door were scheduled to be demolished — both were heavily damaged by a tornado in 2018. K-C-C-I T-V says police are calling the downtown fire “suspicious,” as there have also been numerous smaller fires all over town in recent years. Anyone with information can contact Crimestoppers at their website, Marshall-county-c-s-dot-com. There’s a 500-dollar reward for any tip that results in an arrest.




Gas Prices in Iowa 19 Cents Higher than Last Month

(Undated) – Gas prices continue to rise in Iowa, in large part because of inflation and Russia’s looming threat to invade Ukraine. According to Triple-A Iowa, the average price for regular gas is three dollars-33 cents a gallon — that’s 19 cents a gallon higher than it was last month at three dollars-14 cents. One year ago, a gallon of gas cost two-63 a gallon. The highest price for regular gas in Iowa is three-50 a gallon in Chickasaw County, while the lowest price is three-22 a gallon in Henry County.