CHRISTMAS IN HOMETOWN LE MARS
Preparations are almost complete for the 4th Annual Christmas in Le Mars, to take place Saturday. Many of the activities take place at the Olson Cultural Events Center Downtown. Some of the all-day activities include a scavenger hunt, Elves Story time at the public library, Cookie decorating at the Uptown Event Center, a PandaPixpHoto Booth, Kids crafts, Bingo at the Wells Visitors Center and Ice Cream Parlor, games, pony rides and a petting zoo. New this year is public ice skating to take place in the public parking lot next to Bamboo Village. That takes place through late afternoon. Christmas in Le Mars is the city’s start to the Christmas season.
SIOUX COUNTY BIRD FLU
Federal and state agriculture agencies have confirmed a positive case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or bird flu, in Sioux County. The affected site is a flock of commercial layer chickens. This is the 16th bird flu outbreak in Iowa this year. Governor Kim Reynolds has announced the signing of a disaster proclamation for Sioux County that is effective immediately through December 23rd. The proclamation allows state resources from Iowa Homeland Security, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and other agencies to assist with tracking and monitoring, rapid detection, containment, disposal, and disinfection. The recent bird flu detections in birds do not present an immediate public health concern, and it remains safe to eat poultry products.
FLOYD VALLEY MODEL RAILROAD CLUB
The Floyd Valley Model Railroad club is hosting their Christmas Open House this Saturday from 1 to 5 at the Plymouth County Historical Museum. There will be a raffle giveaway, snacks and refreshments, and club members will be running the model trains for guests. Club President John Schneider gives details on the raffle.
Schneider says the open house will be a great introduction to the hobby of model railroading.
The club has open house on a limited basis through the year. The Club was formed in 2012 and features a layout that is based on Plymouth County railroading. Updates are continued to be made every year, and each member of the club has a special area of expertise they work in.
IOWA AG SECRETARY BACK FROM TRADE MISSION
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig (NEGG) says there are opportunities for Iowa as the United Kingdom negotiates a free trade agreement with the United States. Naig, who was on a trade mission to the U-K last week, met with the country’s top ag official in London. The United Kingdom left the European Union in early 2020, three and a half years after voters in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland narrowly approved leaving the trading block. Naig sees an opportunity to boost pork and beef exports to the U-K, as well as ag equipment. Naig also says high-tech start-ups over there could partner with Iowa State University or invest here to test out their precision agriculture on a larger scale.
SCREEN TIME COULD CAUSE ISSUES FOR KIDS
The parent company of Facebook and Instagram is being sued under the premise social media platforms are addictive and harmful to kids’ mental health, and a childhood family therapist at Gundersen Health System says Iowa parents should watch for warning signs. Jeff Reiland says there’s no proven link between screen time and a child’s depression and anxiety, but he sees an alarming trend with social media that’s on a par with video games. He says it may be getting in the way of them going to school, getting their homework done, participating in sports, doing the things at home they do as part of the family. That could cause them to become more isolated. While addiction to social media isn’t formally recognized as a diagnosis, Reiland believes social media does have an addictive component to it and that it can be harmful.