Memorial Day is being commemorated throughout Plymouth County today. American Legion posts are sponsoring ceremonies to honor those who served in the armed forces, and those who died in military action. The LeMars Wasmer Legion Post is holding a ceremony this morning, featuring a roll call of nearly 15-hundred veterans, all of them represented by a flag on the courthouse lawn. The Le Mars ceremony begins at 10 am. KLEM will carry it live this morning. Legion posts in Remsen and Oyens; Brunsville, Craig, Akron, Merill, Hinton, and Kingsley all have ceremonies planned for this morning.
Governor Kim Reynolds has signed several bills outlining new policies for Iowa Schools. One bill is similar to legislation Reynolds proposed in January. It requires schools to notify parents if their child asks to use a different name or pronoun when they’re at school. It also says the identities of people who object to books in school libraries are to be kept confidential. And books with graphic sexual content are to be removed. Schools are also barred from instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in elementary grades. Another bill signed into law lets teachers file reports about classroom violence with the State Ombudsman for investigation.
An Iowa Department of Natural Resources official says boaters and anglers play a key role in preventing the spread of invasive species that harm fish and native plants in lakes and rivers. Mike Hawkins is a fisheries biologist who manages the D-N-R office in Spirit Lake.
Thoroughly cleaning boats and other items that come in contact with lake or river water is key, according to Hawkins.
If that’s not possible, a thorough power washing with hot water is recommended. The state fine is 500 dollars if you’re caught transporting invasive species from one body of water to another. State regulations say all lake or river water is to be drained from a boat before it moves off the dock or shore. That includes buckets with fishing bait.
Last year, highly invasive Eurasian watermilfoil was found growing in five lakes in Dickinson County and in Lost Island Lake in Palo Alto County. The plant can form thick mats and kill off native underwater plants that fish use as food. It’s an impediment to boating, too.
ASTRONAUT Q AND A
For the fourth time in her record-setting career, Iowa-born astronaut Peggy Whitson is now onboard the International Space Station, this time as the first female commander of a private space mission. During a question-and-answer session with Texas elementary schoolers, Whitson urged the students to challenge themselves to do things they don’t know how to do, saying, “if you fail at something, you learn something from it and you’ll be better the next time.” The 63-year-old from Beaconsfield talked with the kids about the wide array of scientific experiments they’re conducting, as well as changes she’s noticing about the orbiting station, and how easy it is to adapt to microgravity. Prior to this mission, Whitson held the record for spending a total of 665 days in space, more than any other U.S. astronaut, and she’s adding to the total on this 12-day trip. She and her three crewmates are scheduled to return home next week.