Will the Ottumwa high school band be making a trip to Normandy, France for the 75th anniversary of D-Day? The answer right now – no one knows. Parents and students hoping for some direction came away disappointed after the school board decided they needed more information at a meeting this past Monday. Band director Troy Gerleman did not attend the meeting due to a scheduling conflict, board members were told, and the board would not act without questioning the band director. Many questions remain at this point, including total cost, if teacher chaperones will be paid by the school district, and how fundraising would be handled.
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley reaffirmed his support for biofuels in Iowa during a visit to Newton this past Tuesday. An EPA proposal to roll back minimum volumes for biomass based diesel has producers in Iowa concerned, and Grassley pledged his support, promising to hold President Donald Trump to his campaign promise to support renewable energy in Iowa. Grassley visited REG, Newton’s biomass-based diesel plant – in 2016, REG purchased 770 million pounds of feedstock from Iowa vendors, which it claims added $216 million to the state’s economy.