COMPENSATION BOARD PROPOSAL
The Plymouth County Compensation Board presented salary recommendations to the Board of Supervisors this morning. Pam Floyd, representing the Compensation Board, said they approved a recommendation of four percent pay raises for county elected officials, except for a three percent increase for the Board of Supervisors. They also recommended an additional 45-hundred dollars to the county Auditor, for work on elections this year and next. The recommendation was taken for information, and will be referred to by the Supervisors as they form next year’s county budget.
LE MARS CITY COUNCIL
The Le Mars City Council adopted four amendments to the city code this afternoon. All four were approved to first reading by the council at their previous session. Today, each one passed to second reading, then the council waived third readings and adopted the four amendments. Two rezone the Erdmanville area, and the city Industrial Park Fourth Addition. Another creates a new urban reveal area and urban renewal plan for the Business 75 corridor through Le Mars. A fourth changes election boundaries within the city limits.
Before the city council meeting, new public safety officers were sworn in. Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper introduced a new hire. He is Keith Weuve, who is a New Hire Firefighter/Paramedic. The oath of office was also given to Ethan Mitchell, whose classification was expanded to Battalion Chief/Fire Marshal.
Le Mars Police also welcome a new officer. Matt Arns is a new officer on the force, joining in late August. He ha s applied to the state Police Academy. Matt became the 15th members of the Le Mars Police Department. Chief Kevin Vande Vegte says there is one more opening on the police force, and applications for that post are open to the end of the month.
Mayor Rob Bixenman gave the Oath of Office to Weuve, Mitchell and Arns.
IOWA STATE PATROL TO PRESS FOR ‘HANDS-FREE’ DRIVING LAW
Sergeant Alex Dinkla, the spokesman for the Iowa State Patrol, says there’s been a huge increase in traffic fatalities in Iowa this year.
Dinkla says an initial review appears to show an increase in fatal accidents involving vehicles that are drifting out of their lane.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 27 states have laws that make it illegal for motorists to handle a cell phone while driving.
State troopers say it’s difficult to enforce the Iowa law that bans texting while driving because it is still legal for someone to have a cell phone in their hand while driving. Last year the Iowa Senate overwhelmingly voted to require hands-free or voice activated technology for making calls while driving in Iowa, but the bill stalled in the House. Nearly 330 million people in the United States have a cell phone and a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures suggests at any given moment 800-thousand vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held phone.
Le Mars Police say there’s an e-mail scam circulating. The scam implies that “The City of Le Mars” is requesting personal or account information in order for the recipient to receive stimulus funds. People are urged to delete this e-mail and not respond to them, as this is a scam.
RED CARPET FUNDRAISER PLANNED FOR NEXT YEAR
The debut of a new event center and one-of-a-kind car museum will serve as the venue for a “red carpet fundraiser” celebrating fifty years of the Le Mars Arts Center. The “Garage at 800” located at 800 Prospect Street Southwest in Le Mars will be the location for “That’s Amore’’ on February 10th.
Those in attendance will enjoy a night of authentic Italian food, drinks, and dancing to the vocal stylings of Vince Amore’ from Chicago. The event will also feature a live and silent auction.
The “Garage at 800,” owned by Mike and Cheryl Wells, features vintage signs, a collection of classic automobiles, and a re-creation of downtown Le Mars in the fifties by a visual muralist, including a Chevy dealership, a Standard gas station, the Royal Theatre, and more.
Mike & Cheryl Wells are long-time supporters of the arts in Le Mars and are excited to host the event to raise funds for the Le Mars Arts Center. The Arts Center provides a vital cultural and artistic outlet for the community and has been a hub for creativity and inspiration for many years.
FEENSTRA BACKS PARA-EMT ACT
U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra is backing a bill which would set up a grant program to help rural communities attract, train and retain emergency medical technicians and paramedics. This requires at least 20 percent of approved grants be used in rural communities. It would also require a survey of the state of EMT services nationwide and in rural communities. Rep. Feenstra is a former EMT. He volunteered with the Hull Ambulance Service for 15 years. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, the United States will face a shortage of 42,000 emergency medical personnel by 2030.
ANNUAL LIFESAVING AWARDS CEREMONY AT IOWA
Capitol Governor Kim Reynolds has recognized two men who rescued people from fires in Guttenberg and Cylinder with the Governor’s annual Lifesaving Awards. Last December, Caleb Crocker — an employee at a group home in Guttenberg for Iowans with disabilities — went back into the burning facility five times to guide and even carry some residents to safety. Andrew Kreig of Cylinder, a farm hand in rural Palo Alto County, broke through a locked door and rescued an elderly person who’d collapsed inside a burning home on November 28th of last year. Another annual award — recognizing peace officers and fire fighters for heroic acts — goes to the Shelby County Sheriff and three deputies. The officers rescued a suicidal man who had barricaded himself in a home in Elkhorn, screwed the doors shut from the inside and set the house on fire.
IOWA EXPERT ADDRESSES POISON POINSETTIA MYTH
There’s a long-standing rumor about the red-and-green flowers traditionally associated with Christmas being deadly if eaten. Nurse Tammy Noble, at the Iowa Poison Control Center, says it’s an urban legend about poinsettias that is not true. One study found that a child would have to eat as many as 500 poinsettia leaves to become poisoned, but aside from that, Noble says the leaves taste terrible so no one would likely ever eat a lethal dose of them. Other plants that may appear in your house during the year-end holidays could pose a more significant threat. Noble says to take care with holly berries and mistletoe as they -can- be poisonous. If you have a question or concern, call the Sioux City-based Iowa Poison Control Center anytime at 1-800-222-1222.