LE MARS SCHOOL POLICIES
The Le Mars Community School Board has passed the first reading of a new policy on student discipline. This policy, called Discipline of Students Who Make Threats of Violence or Cause Incidents of Violence was passed by the Iowa Legislature, and must be put in place by each school district. Superintendant Dr Steven Webner says district administrators and teachers have created their own levels of action under this policy. They include informing parents of action, investigation of such and incident, and appropriate resolution and course of action. The policy also includes a legislature-mandated requirement that any mental health treatment or counseling of violators would be subject to parental approval. The policy requires two readings before it is passed by the school board.
The Le Mars Community School Board this week also gave second reading and approval to a new policy on pay deductions. This policy establishes rules concerning an employee’s leave of absence during the school day. Pay deductions or leave without pay could be imposed for violation of accountability rules in the policy.
The Board approved a resolution recognizing a deficit in fiscal ’23 spending for instruction of Limited English Proficient Students. The resolution directs the administration to sibmit a request fo additional spending authority for that purpose. The deficit is nearly 30-thousand dollars.
The Board also passed a motion to reschedule their November Board meeting. The regular meeting would be Monday, November 13, but that would be a day before the canvass of board elections. The meeting has been rescheduled to Tuesday, November 21.
DRY WEATHER ALLOWS FAST HARVEST
The amount of soybeans harvested statewide more than doubled last week, and corn wasn’t far behind. Dry weather saw farmers bump the bean harvest up from 24 to 52 percent in the latest U-S-D-A report. That’s one week ahead of the five-year average. The corn harvest hit 30 percent complete — up from 16 percent last week. The corn harvest is now five days ahead of last year and six days ahead of the five-year average.
HOUSE RESOLUTION ON ISRAEL – HAMAS CONFLICT
The U.S. House has passed a resolution re-affirming The United States’ support for Israel, and condemning the actions of Hamas terrorists against that nation. U.S Representative Randy Feenstra was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution. He says the attacks “represent the most despicable form of evil, and they must be swiftly eradicated”. Eleven Americans were among over a thousand who died in Hamas attacks against Israeli communities near the Gaza border. Hundreds of Israelis died, including women, children, and the elderly. Dozens were taken hostage by the terrorists.
NEW COMMS FOR ROAD DEPARTMENT
The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to purchase a new communications system for the county’s Secondary Roads Department. County Engineer Tom Rohe and Shawn Olson presented the proposal to provide 70 mobile radios and two base units, from Alpha Wireless of Mankato, Minnesota. The cost of the new units are 158-thousand dollars.
NATIONAL K9 TRIALS
More honors for a K-9 team including an officer and deputy from Plymouth County. Le Mars Police on their Facebook page say they competed at the National K9 Trials in Alabama last week. Two officers – Bob Rohmiller of Le Mars Police, and Kyle Petersen from the Plymouth County Sheriffs Office – were part of a team that included Officer Eric Mieneke from the Sheldon Police Department; Officer Jordan Kerry from the Rock Valley Police Department; and Officer William Perez from the Des Moines Police Department. They placed fourth overall at the event, which drew 80 teams from around the U.S.
ISU TO DESIGN LARGE TORNADO SIMULATOR
Iowa State University has landed a four-year, 14-million dollar grant to design a national testing facility that will simulate tornadoes and other windstorms, like the powerful derecho (dah-RAY-cho) that carved a path of destruction across the state in 2020. Professor Partha Sarkar (PAR-thuh sar-KAR), interim chair of I-S-U’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, is heading up the project.
The grant will support replacing I-S-U’s current Tornado/Microbust Simulator which is nearly 20 years old. It was also designed by Sarkar. That simulator is housed in Howe Hall on the Ames campus and it’s used to research straight-line and rotating winds, aerodynamic testing, flow visualization and more.
The new, larger simulator will be a one-twentieth scale model of the full-scale facility. It would have the capacity to generate 225 mile per hour winds, comparable to a rare E-F-5 tornado. The current simulator can create winds roughly on a par with an E-F-1 tornado at 80 miles an hour.
If the full-size facility is built, it would allow testing a full-scale house or larger scale models of buildings with large footprints, like retail buildings, shopping malls and hospitals. The grant is from the U.S. National Science Foundation.
IOWA AG OPPOSES MASSACHUSETTS HOG LAW
Iowa’s Attorney General is leading a 13 state coalition opposing a new Massachusetts law that puts restrictions on the sale of pork based on how the animals are raised. Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson reports.
A statement from Attorney General Brenna Bird’s office says the Massachusetts law goes even further than a similar California law. Shipments of non-compliant pork into the state would be banned even pork meets all Iowa and federal safety and quality standards. A-G Bird’s statement says these strict new mandates will create extreme costs and regulations to compete in the industry, forcing many family hog farms to close shop.