LCSD BUDGET AMENDMENT
THe Le Mars Community School Board reviewed the district’s 2023-24 infrastructure plan. This is the fifth year of the district’s ten-year Facility Plan. Total expenditures next year are 2.65 million dollars. The largest share – 1.5 million, represents the final bond payment for the Le Mars Community Stadium project. Another significant part of the plan is a Facilities Study of the elementary buildings in the district. This list also includes yearly expenditures for carpet and flooring, concrete, maintenance, technology, transportation, and a reserve fund for eventual replacement of the field turf at the stadium.
CORN PLANTING PROGRESS
The weather was dry for most of last week and farmers took advantage. The corn harvest shot to 70 percent planted compared to 29 percent in the previous week. Corn planting had been one day behind the five-year average, and is now one week ahead. The U-S-D-A also reports that six percent of the planted corn has emerged — one day ahead of average. Soybean planting moved to 49 percent complete — up from 16 percent the week before — and one week ahead of the five-year average.
HONEY CREEK REPAIRS
The Iowa Legislature has approved spending six million dollars on the Honey Creek Resort in southern Iowa. The state-owned resort, which opened in 2008, has a hotel and dozens of cabins, an indoor waterpark and a golf course. Republican Representative Jacob Bossman of Sioux City says state officials who signed an agreement with another company to manage the facility agreed to finance deferred maintenance projects.
The roof and parts of the foundation of the main lodge, where the hotel and indoor water park are located, need to be fixed. Some of the hotel rooms and cabins will be updated.
Republican Representative Austin Harris is from Moulton, which is not far from the resort. He says the new management company has local ties.
Achieva Enterprises took over management of the facility last month. The company’s founders own land in Appanoose County and plan to keep Honey Creek open year round. The state-owned facility has struggled financially since it opened 15 years ago and the state has periodically tried to sell the property, which sits on the shore of Lake Rathbun.
ROCK VALLEY MAN SENTENCED
A Rock Valley man was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison Monday on sexual abuse and burglary charges. 45 year old Joe Lee Kats reached a plea bargain with prosecutors, pleading guilty to First Degree Burglary with Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse, and an amended count of Third Degree Sexual Abuse as a Habitual Offender. Kats was originally charged with Sexual Abuse and Burglary after an incident at a Rock Valley residence on January 1, 2022, That was enhanced to a Class A felony because of two previous sexual abuse convictions. The Sioux County District Court handed down a sentence Monday of a prison term not to exceed 25 year, with a mandatory minimum of three years. He was also placed on lifetime supervision, lifetime placement on the sexual offender registry, and evaluation as a sexually violent predator.
RAGBRAI IN KINGSLEY
RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary. The ride will retrace the first route, starting in Sioux City. As with that first year, the riders will pass through Plymouth County – the first stop being Kingsley. Keith Bohle, is RAGBRAI co-chair, in Kingsley.
Bohle remembers helping out when Kingsley was a stop in 2001.
Kingsley will be the first town the riders will visit after departing Sioux City. Bohle wants the riders to stop and visit
They also want to give riders a taste of Kingsley as they pass through.
Bohle says it means a lot to the community to greet the riders.
Bohle was nine years old when 130 riders rolled through Kingsley in 1973. This will be the fourth time Kingsley has greeted riders for RAGBRAI. The last time Kingsley has been a spot on the route was in 2015. 37-thousand riders came through that year.
TEACHERS’ LICENSE REQUIREMENT
The requirement that applicants for state teachers’ licenses be at least 21 years old is being eliminated. The bill getting rid of that minimum age for Iowa teachers cleared the legislature unanimously this year and the governor has signed it into law. Senator Sandy Salmon (SAM-un) of Janesville says the change is important for students who’re taking community college classes during high school.
Representative Thomas Moore of Griswold is a retired educator and coach. He says in today’s Iowa, prospective teachers who’re enrolled in community college and high school at the same time are penalized for completing college before they’re 21.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 71 percent of the people teaching in Iowa schools in 2021 had started in the profession when they were under the age of 26. No other state had a higher percentage of teachers who got their initial teaching license when they were in their early 20s.
MANDATORY RETIREMENT ELIMINATED
Iowa no longer has a mandatory retirement age for reserve police officers and volunteer fire fighters. Full and part-time police and firefighters in Iowa must retire at the age of 65. The governor has signed a bill into law that eliminates that age restriction for volunteer firefighters and trained reserve police officers who are volunteers, but can make arrests and investigate crimes. The bill passed the House on an 86-to-12 vote last month and was signed into law by the governor last week. According to the Iowa League of Cities, there are over 12-hundred active reserve police officers in the state. Data from the Iowa Department of Public Safety indicates 90 percent of firefighters in Iowa are volunteers. About a thousand quit every year due to several factors, including the retirement age.