Home News Tuesday Afternoon News, March 1st

Tuesday Afternoon News, March 1st


Fire And Rescue Department Respond To Grass Fire

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Fire and Rescue responded to a grass fire on Highway 60 approximately 6 and a half miles northeast of Le Mars.  The fire was reported at about 1:30 p.m. alongside the northbound lanes of traffic between the highway and the railroad.  Fire Chief Dave Schipper says a cargo trailer that was being towed behind a pickup truck came unhitched which caused the fire.

Schipper says due to the extremely dry conditions the fire had spread quickly.

Plymouth County’s burn ban went into effect at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, March 1st.  Schipper says the ban forbids any brush pile burning, or controlled burns on grass areas, but people are still able to enjoy their backyard barbecue on their grill.

Only a handful of counties in Iowa has issued burn bans, but Schipper believes more counties will be added to the list if the dry conditions persist.

Schipper says the only way for the burn ban to be lifted is if Plymouth County receives sufficient amounts of moisture either with rain or snow, or a combination of both forms of precipitation.




City Finance Director Awarded Chamber “Employee Of The Month” Honors

(Le Mars) — The city’s financial director was the latest person to be recognized as the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce’s “Employee of the Month.”  Jacob Widman was given the honor just prior to the start of the city council meeting.  Widman was nominated by city administrator, Jason Vacura.  The nomination reads: ” Jacob Widman is currently the City of LeMars Finance and HR Director. He has not only excelled in both jobs duties asked of him by the job description but has willingly gone above and beyond when needed. He even took on the title and duties of City Clerk when Bev Langel retired after 41 years of service.


Since Jacob’s hiring in December 2019, he has had to grasp the nuances of City budgeting. Jacob was asked to do this in a short time and staff and Council members have all been highly impressed with his abilities. Much, if not all, of the budget preparation falls on his shoulders and he has shown that he is more than capable of bearing that weight.

Jacob also had to take over HR and insurance duties when he came to the City. Both areas were unfamiliar to him in the beginning. He has not only grasped them with confidence, but SURPRISE, he has excelled!

The City of LeMars is fortunate to have this very smart and talented person on staff, who always displays a nice and positive attitude toward fellow employees. Jacob is someone who does not complain about workloads, maybe to his wife Amber, but we have not heard any complaints from him. He is very pleasant to work with and is friendly, kind and generous.

Jacob has become a significant member of the administrative team for the City of LeMars.”  On Monday, the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce recognized Libby Peters with Life Skills Training Center as the February “Employee of the Month.”

(photo contributed).




Grassley And Ernst Give Back-to-Back Senate Floor Speeches – Critical of President Biden And Administration

(Washington) — Fresh off their tour to northwest Iowa including stops at Plymouth County, Iowa U-S Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both Republicans, spoke back-to-back on the Senate floor Tuesday morning criticizing President Biden and his policies prior to this evening’s “State of the Union” address.  Grassley says Biden has failed on his promises to bring unity within the nation.  While in Le Mars just a week ago, Grassley heard about the high costs of prescription medications.  He relayed that message on the Senate floor, and called for more bi-partisan cooperative work.

Grassley repeated the same message he delivered in Le Mars during Tuesday’s floor speech.  Grassley spoke of how the Democrats ignored their own economic advisor, and went ahead with additional spending, not showing any interest in the possible consequences of higher inflation.

Like Grassley, Senator Joni Ernst shared the message to her colleagues on the Senate floor that she had delivered in Plymouth County.  Ernst says under the Biden administration, nearly everything is up.

Ernst says the United States needs to once again utilize its own natural resources and to build up our energy supplies, and no longer become dependent upon foreign nations for our energy needs.

Ernst says President Biden doesn’t even recognize the problems facing Americans.

Ernst says every time President Biden proposes a new spending program during this evening’s “State of the Union” address, she wants to remind Americans that it will mean that their taxes will be going up in order to pay for the new programs. Both Grassley and Ernst say they are both looking forward to Iowa Governor Kim Reynold’s Republican Response to the President’s “State of the Union” address.




Bill to End Exit Exams for Teachers Passes House

(Des Moines, IA) – Democrats and Republicans don’t see eye-to-eye on several things, but the two parties both agree that it’s time for teacher exit exams to go. On Monday, the Iowa House unanimously passed a bill to dump the exit exam college graduates have to pass in order to get a teaching license. Representative Sue Cahill (KAY-hill), a Democrat, is a teacher in Marshalltown. At the start of this school year, she was unexpectedly assigned to be substitute teacher for nine weeks after a rookie teacher learned she hadn’t passed her proficiency test. Cahill says students aren’t judged on one piece of data and teachers shouldn’t be either. The bill now goes to the Senate.




Gov. Reynolds to Deliver GOP Response to Biden’s State of the Union Address

(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says it’s astounding that — in less than a decade — two Republican women from Iowa have been chosen to deliver the G-O-P’s response to a Democratic president’s State of the Union address. Ernst spoke in 2015 after President Obama’s speech to Congress. Tonight, Governor Kim Reynolds is scheduled to deliver the Republican rebuttal to President Biden’s State of the Union address. Ernst says Governor Reynolds has “an incredible story to tell” and that she can do a direct comparison to how well Iowa has performed, compared to Biden’s “disastrous time thus far in office.” Ernst had been a senator for just days when she gave the televised address shortly after Republicans took majority control of both the House and Senate in 2015.




Russian Vodka No Longer for Sale in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA) – Effective immediately, vodka made in Russia is no longer available in Iowa. Governor Kim Reynolds has ordered the state agency that controls wholesale liquor sales to remove Russian-made vodka from the for-sale list. Russian vodka brands banned under the governor’s order include Russian Standard, Hammer and Sickle, and Green Mark. Reynolds says the move was made to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they “defend their freedom against Putin’s tyranny.” Iowa is one of 17 states that control the sale of alcohol at the wholesale level. Reynolds is also calling for ending Iowa’s “Sister State” relationship with the Stavropol (STAV-roh-pole) region in Russia.




Late April Blizzard Possible in Iowa, Farmer’s Almanac Says

(Dublin, NH) — As we start the month of March, many Iowans are looking ahead to spring. Despite this week’s unseasonably warm weather, a prediction from the Farmers’ Almanac indicates winter will be holding on a little longer. Managing editor Sandi Duncan says we shouldn’t expect to be sporting shorts and t-shirts anytime soon, but overall it doesn’t look too extreme. But Duncan says to keep those boots and snow shovels handy as there is the possibility of a blizzard late in April, adding that “Mother Nature might throw us all a curve ball.” The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting that once spring-like temperatures do settle in, it’s likely to be slightly warmer than normal here in the Midwest.