Washington, DC — Iowa’s rookie U.S. Senator is getting a prime speaking slot next week.
Republican congressional leaders have picked Iowa Senator Joni Ernst to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s “State of the Union” address next Tuesday. This is the first time Republican leaders have asked a first-year senator to speak in the prime time slot. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says Ernst understands that middle-class Americans want Congress “to get refocused on their concerns.”
Ernst released a written statement, saying Congress must “…implement real solutions as we chart a new path forward for our great nation.”
Ernst says that during this Congress, we must help grow a vibrant economy, see to it that our veterans receive promised quality care and that our military has the tools to defend our nation’s security.
She says we also need to, “ensure the federal government begins to run more effectively and efficiently.”
The televised response to the president’s annual “State of the Union” speech is carefully crafted and has lately been used by whichever party does not hold the White House as a forum to showcase its future leaders.
Senator Marco Rubio and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal have both delivered the Republican response during President Obama’s presidency and both are now considered possible presidential candidates in 2016.
Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Education Association, the union representing the teachers of the Sheldon Community School District, presented their Opening Proposal to the Sheldon Community Schools Board of Education at a meeting Wednesday night.
Teacher Jim Gude presented the proposal to the Board. The proposal calls for a 5.48% increase in salary and benefit amounts, including a $950.00 increase in the base teacher pay, from $38,950.00 to $39,900.00. In addition, the union is seeking a 10% increase in the District’s contribution to health insurance, as well as other increases. To view the union’s proposal, click here.
In other business, the Board voted to purchase a new 64 passenger Blue Bird bus at a total net cost of $80,487. The Board had received a trio of bids for the bus, with the winning bid coming from School Bus Sales. The bid accepted was the lowest of the three bids received.
The Board received an update on the progress of the District’s new website at Wednesday night’s meeting. Spears says the website is still under construction with completion and launching slated for the end of January. The District Office and buildings will be adding information to the pages related to their areas.
Washington, DC — The US House of Representatives has passed an appropriations bill that funds all border and internal security. The legislation significantly pushes back against President Obama’s Executive actions that allow millions of undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation.
Congressman Steve King who represents the fourth district, of which our Iowa listening area is a part, released a video statement shortly after voting for the bill, which is being called the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2015.
King says what he calls the amnesty issue has been an item of much discussion in the United States.
The Congressman says he helped write parts of the bill.
If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:
Storm Lake, Iowa — A northwest Iowa woman faces a ten-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to illegally obtaining prescription drugs.
In December of 2013, Storm Lake police arrested 30-year-old Kayleen Leedahl of Royal on over 50 charges in connection with allegations of possessing and attempting to sell illegal drugs. Police allege Leedahl obtained 18 different prescriptions through fraud at the Storm Lake Wal-Mart Pharmacy. Police allege Leedahl posed as a nurse from various medical practices, and using doctors’ information called in fraudulent prescriptions. She then picked up the ordered prescriptions, and police further allege that she obtained the drugs with the intent to deliver or sell them on the street.
Leedahl pled guilty in a plea agreement to three counts of felony obtaining or attempting to obtain a prescription drug by deceit. The agreement calls for ten years in prison when she’s sentenced on March 30th.
Boyden, Iowa — A California woman has been arrested on drug charges after a traffic stop near Boyden on Monday, January 12.
A little before 1 PM that day, a Sioux County deputy made a traffic stop on Kennedy Avenue, two miles north of Boyden. The deputy suspected that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.
The driver was 47-year-old Terry Tiedeman of Huntington Beach, California. She was arrested and charged with third offense operating a vehicle while intoxicated, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of a court-ordered protection order.
The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol.
Rural Sioux County, near Fairview, SD — A Larchwood woman has been arrested after an accident near Fairview, on the Iowa side of the river.
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 11:15 PM, 20-year-old Marisa Groeneweg of Larchwood was driving a 1999 Buick Century southbound on Highway 18, about six miles south of Inwood, when she lost control of the vehicle, which entered the east ditch and rolled.
Groeneweg reported minor injuries but declined further medical attention.
The Buick sustained approximately $5,000 in damages.
Upon further investigation, deputies suspected that Groeneweg was under the influence of alcohol.
Groeneweg was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and failing to maintain control of her vehicle.