Home News Wednesday News, June 8

Wednesday News, June 8


The Le Mars Community School Board of Education gave first reading to a new video camera policy for the district. Superintendant Dr. Steve Webner told the board that the school district is expanding the use of cameras, including placements inside schools buildings, and in school buses.
Dr Webner says this policy is intended to promote safety for students and staff. The policy includes some confidentiality requirements. Information gathered by the cameras will be considered confidential records. Access to content gathered by the cameras will be at the discretion of the Superintendant, building administrators, and/or the district transportation chair.
This policy is recommended by the Iowa Association of School Boards, and is modified for the Le Mars Community School District. A second and final reading of the ordinance will take place at the July Board meeting.

The Le Mars Community School Board of Education will hold a hearing next month on plans to build a new press facility at the district’s baseball/softball complex.
The board reviewed plans presented by Brent Koch of CMBA. Koch recommended the board take bids on two options: A single, elevated structure to be built between the two diamonds. The second option would be construction of separate press boxes, one for each ball field. Currently, a tent is being used in lieu of construction of a permanent facility.
The board unanimously approved moving forward with plans for both options. Bids will be opened on July 7. A Public hearing and possible award of contract will be held July 11, during the next Board of Education meeting.


There were no surprises in primary elections for Plymouth County elective offices Tuesday.
Supervisors John Meis of Le Mars, Board Chair Don Kass of Remsen, and Craig A Anderson of Merrill
all won their Republican primaries, running unopposed. County Treasurer Shelly Sitzman, County Recorder Jolynn Goodchild, and County Attorney Darin Raymond – all Republicans, won their primaries unopposed. No Democrats ran in the Plymouth County primary elections.


There will be two new members of the Sioux County Board of Supervisors, after primary elections Tuesday. Due to redistricting, two of the disricts would have been without representation, so elections were held in four of the five supervisor districts. All the Republican candidates were elected, running unopposed. In the new District 2, Board Chair Jerry Muilenberg of Orange City was elected. In the new District 3, which includes the city of Sioux Center, retiring Sheriff Dan Altena won the GOP primary. In District four, Carl Vande Weerd of Rock Valley won the primary, and in District 5, newcomer Craig Hoftyzer of Boyden won the GOP primary. Since Supervisor elections must balance the number of seats up for election, Altena and Hoftyzer will serve two year terms. Muilenberg and Vande Weerd will serve four year terms.
Current Supervisors Al Bloemendaal and Mark Sybesma did not seek re-election. Their terms will conclude at the end of the year.
No Democrats ran in the primaries for any county elective positions.


Governor Kim Reynolds endorsed a handful of G-O-P Primary candidates for Iowa House seats — all were running against House Republicans who opposed her state scholarships for 10-thousand students — and the governor’s picks won on Tuesday. Reynolds helped defeat the Republican chairman of the House Education Committee and the Republican who led House debate for her E-15 bill and tax cut plan.  One of those candidates defeated in the Republican primary was incumbent representative Dennis Bush of Cherokee. He placed second in a three way race in House District 5. The candidate Reynolds endorsed, Zachary Dieken of rural Granville, won the primary by over a thousand votes.

One GOP nominee will be decided at a nominating convention.
None of the five G-O-P candidates running for a House seat in the Newton area reached the 35 percent mark — the threshold required to win the party’s nomination. That means a nominating convention will be held to select the G-O-P candidate for the General Election.


Republican Senator Chuck Grassley will face retired Navy Admiral Mike Franken in the General Election. Franken won the Democratic Party’s U-S Senate nomination, finishing 12 points ahead of former Iowa Congresswomn Abby Finkenauer, the early favorite in the race.

Franken, a Soiux County native, had a 36 year career in the Navy, including a stint in leadership at the Pentagon.

Franken got 55 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s Primary. He spoke to supporters in Des Moines after the race was called.

Finkenauer finished with 40 percent of the vote. Finkenauer served one term in the U.S. House, but lost her bid for reelection in 2020. Glenn Hurst, the third candidate in the race, finished with about five percent of the vote and he has offered his full support to Franken’s bid to defeat Grassley. ate.


Iowa’s commissioner of elections says early voting in this year’s Primary Election will set a record in a non-presidential year. Secretary of State Paul Pate says more than 73-thousand Iowans voted by absentee ballot. Pate says with redistricting a lot of districts got merged and that led to more competition, along with the U-S Senate race on the Republican and Democratic sides for congressional races. Pate expects the total turnout is likely to be around 15 percent. There will be a random drawing to select one precinct in each county to be audited. Pate says that will trigger a hand count of the paper ballots in each of those precincts.



The Associated Press and other media organizations have declared Chuck Grassley the winner of the G-O-P’s nomination as he seeks an eighth term in the U.S. Senate. Grassley released a video message after the race was called.

Jim Carlin, a Republican state senator from Sioux City, had challenged Grassley in today’s primary, the first time Grassley has faced a primary opponent since winning a seat in the senate in 1980.

In an audio recording released by the Grassley campaign, the 88-year-old senator celebrated his victory, but asked Republicans to unite behind the party’s General Election ticket.

Grassley suggests the 2022 election will be a referendum on President Biden.

Grassley will face retired Navy Admiral Mike Franken. The Associated Pres and other media outlets predict the Sioux County native Franken finished ahead of former Iowa Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer and Glenn Hurst, a physician from Minden.



A 54-year-old Sioux City man has reached a plea deal on charges connected to the riot at the U-S Capitol on January Sixth of 2021. Kenneth Rader (Ray-der) has pleaded guilty to parading, demonstrating, or picketing at a capitol building. Three other counts Rader was charged with will be dropped. He’s also agreed to pay 500 dollars in restitution as his share of the nearly one-and-a-half million dollars in damage caused to the Capitol during the riot. Sentencing has been set for September Ninth at noon.



Governor Kim Reynolds says the Iowa National Guard’s adjutant general has briefed her about the Guard’s connection to last week’s shooting at an Ames church, as a man who’d been a member of the Guard since 2015 shot a woman to death who was a member of the same unit. The Story County Sheriff says Johnathan Whitlach shot 22-year-old Eden Montang (MON-tang) and another women, then shot himself to death. Montang had recently ended a relationship with Whitlach and he had been charged at the end of May with harassing her at work. Reynolds says leaders of the Guard were aware of  Whitlach’s actions.

Whitlach was seeing a mental health counselor, according to the governor.

Montang’s friend, 21-year-old Vivian Flores, was also shot to death outside Cornerstone Church in Ames. The two women were active in a youth ministry at the church.



A field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension says so far, the corn and soybean crops are coming in strong. Angie Rieck-Hinz (REEK-hines) from I-S-U Extension’s office in Clarion says a lot of corn is already at the V-4 stage and that the most advanced beans are V-2 or V-3. She says seeds planted in the last week or ten days are just coming out of the ground. Recent rains flooded some central Iowa fields, and Rieck-Hinz says wind and dust blowing cost some farmers soybeans. She says some farmers will have to replant those crops lost to flooding or the wind and dust.