2021 Remsen Bell-Enterprise Year in Review: May-August

Thursday, January 13, 2022


On Wednesday, April 19, middle school students at MMCRU were in for a surprise during an assembly where KTIV news anchor, Al Jones, made the announcement through a Zoom meeting that MMCRU Middle School was one of three winners of KTIV Channel 4’s “Making a Difference” Contest.

The Little League Parade for all the youth teams in the Remsen Youth & Recreation Summer Leagues was held on Sunday, May 2, starting at 5:00 p.m. After the parade, Remsen Lions Club members served hot dogs, chips, and drinks for all the players. The food was donated by Remsen Youth & Recreation, Remsen Lions Club, and Remsen Chamber of Commerce.

MMCRU Royals held their Prom on Saturday, April 24, with the theme “A Night Under the Stars”. There was a Main Street Cruise at 5:30 p.m. in Marcus before the Grand March at the MMCRU High School Gymnasium in Marcus, starting at 7 p.m. Prom King and Queen were Terry Lundeen and Molly Reuter.

American Bank celebrated May Beef Month and showed their appreciation to their customers by hosting a drive through Beef Grill Out on Monday, May 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Delicious to-go meals included hamburgers, chips, cookies and drinks.

After serving Remsen St. Mary’s Schools for 45 years, Cathy Rupp has decided now is the time to retire. Rupp has spent all 45 years of her teaching career at Remsen St. Mary’s. She explained, “I started teaching at St. Mary's in 1976 and spent all 45 years here. I spent 20 years in second grade, eight years in fifth grade, and the last 17 years in fourth grade.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds continues to encourage Iowans to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. “More than 1.1 million Iowans are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, protecting themselves from the impact of the virus and helping our state recover and again return to normal,” she said at her Wednesday (May 5) press conference. Iowa ranks fifth in the nation with 86 percent of vaccine doses received by the state being administered to residents. More than 46 percent of those eligible for a vaccine are fully vaccinated, ranking Iowa 13th in the nation among states, and more than 57 percent of those eligible, age 18 and up, have had a least one dose.

MMCRU High School Secretary Caryn Barry made the decision to retire at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

MMCRU High School will hold their commencement exercises on Sun., May 23, 2021, at 2:00 p.m., in the MMCRU High School Gymnasium in Marcus. The 2021 graduating class includes: Rachael Joanne Beelner, Jaylen Alexis Bork, Isabelle Jean Bush, David Lee Etter, Caitlyn Frances Evans, Tayler Ray Florine, Tyler James Frederes, Paige Marie Gergen, Bayle Jo Glassmaker, Kristina Nicole Goth, Jonathan Willis Haaven, Adam James Harms, Michael James Harvey, Rebecca Christine Jochims, Brynn Jolie Jones, Braeden Michael Kamphoff, Paige Jolene Krug, Terrence Thomas Lundeen, Larissa Lynn Miller, William Joseph Montgomery, Orion J. Olson, Elizabeth Ann Pedersen, Audra Jo Penning, Cade William Pepper, Molly Ann Lee Reuter, Victoria Rojas, Brennan James Rolfes, Victoria Paige Ross, Tyler Kyle Rueter, Caden Lane Sand, Clayton Michael Shea, Anthony Ívan Solís Cordero, Zachary Jon Specht, Miller Ashton Staab, Blacey Elaine Stodden, Yvonne Justine Swygert, Danielle Desiree Toel, Lucas Dameke Van Der Schaaf, Abigayle Kimberlynn Van Maanen, and Blaine Edward Wicks.

Remsen St. Mary’s will hold their commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 23, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. in the Gib Schroeder Memorial Gym. St. Mary’s class of 2021 includes: Kailey Lorine Arens, Abigail Rose Begnoche, Stephen Lawrence Brazil, Jacob Arlan Britt, Damen Michael Brownmiller, Ana Marie Conover, Alexis Jo Delperdang, Tori Marie Galles, Xavier Ronald Galles, Jacob Allen Gerrietts, Blaine Robert Harpenau, Dawson Lee Harpenau, Brittany Ann Johnson, Jeremy James Koenck, Carly Elizabeth Ortmann, Emily Rose Russell, Kimberly Marie Sauer, Sydney Marie Schroeder, and Levi Gerald Waldschmitt.

In honor of the upcoming 100 Years of RSM Baseba1l Celebration, Henry Ortmann, Rick Roder, Lenny Brazil, and Dean Harpenau shared some memories about their history with RSM Baseball.

RSM junior and seniors held their “Into the Woods” themed Prom on Saturday, April 24. The Grand March was held at 5:15 p.m. at the Avalon Ballroom in Remsen. The meal was catered by Home Plate Catering.

After waiting a whole year due to COVID-19, the City of Remsen was finally able to host a Chamber Coffee celebrating Mike Sparr’s retirement on Tuesday, May 11. Guests enjoyed donuts, coffee, and juice at the Council Chambers from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Iowa State Bank celebrated Beef Month by serving beef hot dogs, baked beans, chips, cookies, and a beverage to hungry guests on Monday, May 17, 2021, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Most orders were carry-outs but some sat at the tables in front of the bank to have their meal.

After 30 years of picking up and dropping off students along several routes over the years, MMCRU School Bus Driver Clark Rainboth decided now was the time to retire.

MMCRU's 2021 Co-Valedictorians & Co-Salutatorians: Kristina Nicole Goth, Valedictorian, is the daughter of Jeff and Ann Goth. She has a cumulative GPA of a 4.0. Cade William Pepper, Valedictorian, is the son of Josh and Erica Pepper. He has a cumulative GPA of a 4.0. Miller Ashton Staab, Salutatorian, is the son of Chris and Christine Staab. He has a cumulative GPA of a 3.889. Caitlyn Frances Evans, Salutatorian, is the daughter of Curtis Evans and Laurie McManaman. She has a cumulative GPA of a 3.889.

Remsen St. Mary’s Class of 2021 Valedictorian & Salutatorian: Carly Ortmann, daughter of Bill and Brenda Ortmann, is the Valedictorian for the class of 2021, 3.93 GPA. Daughter of Darrin and Heather Johnson, Brittany Johnson is Remsen St. Mary’s High School Class of 2021 Salutatorian, 3.91 GPA.

The Remsen EMTs held their Chamber Coffee on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, from 8:00-10:30 a.m. serving an assortment of rolls, coffee and water.

Schools in Plymouth County have made changes to mask protocols following a new directive from the Iowa Department of Public Health. On Friday, May 14, Kelly Garcia, director, Iowa Departments of Public Health and Human Services, sent a letter to school superintendents, child care providers and local public health departments regarding updated COVID-19 guidance. For schools in Plymouth County and across Iowa, it means students and teachers were finally meet face-to-face with no masks for the remainder of the school year.


Clark and Vickie Rainboth of Marcus, celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on March 6, 2021. Clark Rainboth and Vickie Peterson were married March 6, 1971, at Marcus United Methodist Church.


A girl, Ophelia Mikkel TeBrink, born on March 19, 2021, to Levi and Alexis TeBrink of Le Mars.

A boy, Archie James Orcutt, born on March 11, 2021, to Christopher and Susie Orcutt of Savage, Minn.

A boy, Callum Michael Clay, born on April 2, 2021, to Devin and Amy (Wiederholt) Clay of Hartford, S.D.


Earl Louis Wiebke, 94, died at 11:55 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in Independence, Missouri, at a VA Medical Foster Home.

Bernard William Jungers, age 85, of Hospers, passed away Saturday, May 22, 2021, at his home in Hospers surrounded by his family.

Dennis R. Frederick, age 71, of Remsen, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 24, 2021, at Heartland Care Center in Marcus.

Roger R. Wilson, age 88, of Remsen, passed away on Monday, May 24, 2021.


Wherever Jason Carroll of Remsen goes, his service dog Delta is at his side, observing everything that is going on around them. His black lab, Delta, came to Carroll through Partners for Patriots, a non-profit organization which provides service dogs for veterans, at no cost to the veteran. Carroll encourages golfers and others to attend the George Semple Memorial Golf Classic June 4 at Willow Creek Golf Course in Le Mars, which will benefit the Partners for Patriots organization.

A Remsen nurse was one of five recently honored at the third annual “Nurses, the Heart of Health Care” event, at the Marriott Riverfront in South Sioux City on May 5. Jennifer Kuiken, BSN, RN, is the director of nursing at Happy Siesta Health Care Center in Remsen. She has worked at Happy Siesta for 25 years, with the last five as director of nursing.

A celebration to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first group of Luxembourg settlers into Sioux County in the Alton area, including Remsen and Le Mars, will be held June 5.

After a year's absence due to COVID-19, the Annual Memorial Day Program was held on Monday, May 31, 2021, by the Veterans Memorial in the Remsen Cemeteries. This 10 a.m. program was sponsored by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. The 2021 Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program featured the addition of 19 flags. Family members and friends carried the flags of deceased veterans as the veteran’s name were called during the program. Flags dedicated this year included the following veterans: Dick Bachmann, Dennis M. Britt, Dan Colling, Dwayne Douvia, Ronald Fiedler, Dale Joseph Galles, James Raynmond Harpenau, Joseph M. Kass, Wayne Maass, Robert Meyer, James Moritz, David Niggeling, Paul Pick, Ron Pottebaum, Ronald Schilmoeller, Gilbert “Gib” Schroeder, Bernard “Shorty” Thiel, Roger Wilson, and Dennis Frederick.

Remsen St. Mary’s celebrated their 100th anniversary of baseball last weekend, May 29 and 30, bringing together generations of Hawks alumni, family and friends to honor former players and reminisce on the program’s century of storied success. The celebration culminated in an alumni exhibition game at Marv Thelen field on Sunday, May 30. Participating in the game included: Team 1 - Skyler Waldschmitt, Cody Colling, Tyler Delperdang, Elliott Conover, Eric Ricker, Matt Arens, Brody Ricke, Dean Harpenau, Jeff Phillips, Ross Arens, Lenny Brazil, JOe Loutsch, Jared Heidesch, Neil Loutsch, Doug Schoreder, Scott Pick, Craig Gralapp, Greg Weiler, Brady Homan, Travis Marx, David Utesch, Todd Tentinger, and Dustin Poeckes. Team 2 - Brady Harpenau, Mark Harpenau, Matt Wesselmann, David Grady, Tim Smid, Colton Clark, Reggie Arens, Jim Wesselmann, Jeff Schorg, Chris Loutsch, Steve Phillips, Andy Majeres, Zach Schroeder, Garrett Schroeder, Carter Kuchel, Todd Pick, Ken Gengler, Brady Pottebaum, Nick Weiler, Brett Galles, Ryan Hajek, Ben Klein, and Kyle Schmillen.

Local farmer Steve Bunkers recently directed a $2,500 Bayer Fund America’s Farmers Grow Communities donation to Remsen Ambulance Service.

According to the City of Remsen, Iowa Facebook page, posted on June 8, “Due to the current dry conditions, we are asking our residents to begin to be conservative in their water use. We are asking residents who wish to water their lawns to do so on an odd/even schedule. If you have an odd house number, you may water your lawn on odd calendar dates, etc. We also ask that you water your lawns during the evening hours. We are hoping that if everyone cooperates with these modifications, we will not have to implement a full blown water ban. Thank you.”

The first program of the Remsen Public Library’s "Reading Colors Your World" 2021 Summer Reading Program was Duke Otherwise on Wednesday, June 9. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Duke Otherwise performed with his guitar and tap shoes, singing silly and imaginative songs while interacting with the audience.

Remsen St. Mary’s celebrated their 100 Years of Baseball Celebration on May 29 and 30.

Many activities took place during the weekend including an alumni baseball game, a scholarship award, raffle, auction, and a memorabilia display. The winners of the Peter Joseph Homan Sr. Baseball Memorial Scholarship Fund were Blaine Harpenau and Levi Waldschmitt. Sarah Garvin, Director of School Advancement at Remsen St. Mary’s Schools and Parish, was pleased with how the event turned out, “What a celebration! I would like to thank aLL of you that volunteered your time to make this historic event so special! YOU know who you are, it couldn't have happened without you! It was cold, but that didn't stop you! Several came ready to play and celebrate! That shows the true love and dedication to Remsen St. Mary's Schools and our baseball program! Thank you to all that gave an extra donation to help support the RSM Baseball Team and their future goals. A special thank you to Total Motors for their $1000 Sponsorship, American Bank for the use of their grill, The Remsen Community Action Club for keeping our beverages cold, and the City of Remsen for their endless support! We raised just under $6000! Thank you!”

The Remsen Heritage Museum was open June 5 and 6, during Lux Fest to showcase a John E. Greenen Art Exhibit. Greenen (1877-1951) was a Luxembourg-born artist who reflected his Luxembourg heritage in his art.

A new BINGO promotion is taking place now through June 25. Sponsored by the Remsen Chamber of Commerce, BINGO is a fun new way to get people out and about to stop by and support Chamber Businesses and have a chance at winning some prizes.

After being cancelled last year due to COVID-19, Remsen’s Annual Kids Days, sponsored by the Remsen Chamber of Commerce, will be held on Fri., June 18, and Sat., June 19, 2021. Kids and adults enjoyed the carnival rides and games and different kinds of food. A Magic Show by Jonathan May took place on June 19 with free balloon animals afterward for the kids.

Six educators and staff members working in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Sioux City will be honored at the August 21 virtual Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Schools – “A Toast to 25 Years”. Four educators will receive the Excellence in Education Award and two others will receive the Good Shepherd Award as part of this year’s virtual dinner. The Excellence in Education Award winners are Mary Kay Augustine, Sioux City Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools; Patti Bollin, Le Mars Gehlen Catholic School; Amanda Schwarz, Emmetsburg Catholic School; and Courtney Hamilton, Pocahontas Catholic School. The Good Shepherd Award winners include Tim Fitzpatrick, Carroll Kuemper Catholic Schools; and Kris Schiltz, Remsen St. Mary School.

A new antique store in Remsen provides lots of historical, hard-to-find, one-of-a-kind items. Dale Gorder, with some help from wife, Gracie, opened First American Pickers, 163 South Washington St., in the beginning of June. They specialize in antiques, jewelry, and buying gold and silver.

The Remsen team took down their neighbors to the east to claim the WesTel Cup over Marcus on June 12. The two teams were within a point after the scramble ball portion of the event with the Remsen group holding a slim lead. Remsen extended the lead to 12-8 in the alternate shot format to finish up on the Remsen Golf Course. After moving to the Marcus Golf Course in the afternoon, the home team surged in front to take a one point lead in the best score format. Finishing off with scramble best ball, Remsen emerged victorious by a 21.5-18.5 margin.


Paul Jaminet, age 66, of Remsen, passed away Tuesday, June 1, 2021, in Remsen.

Timothy R. Kelley, age 66, of Remsen, passed away Saturday, June 5, 2021, at Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Nancy Josephine McMahon, “Grandma Nancy”, of Omaha, Neb., was a dedicated and loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She left this world on June 4, 2021, at the age of 68.


On Saturday, June 12, 2021, a Send-Off for Father Bill McCarthy took place after the 4 p.m. Mass with a BBQ on the church grounds. According to the Remsen St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church Facebook page, a June 12 post stated, “Thanks again to Father Bill for everything you have done for our parish the last 15 years. May God continue to bless you. Thanks to those that prepared this gathering for Fr. Bill!” Father Bill will begin a new chapter in his spiritual journey on July 7, as he will serve Ida Grove, Danbury, and Mapleton.

Already performing once for Remsen youngsters during Kids Days on June 19, Comedy Magician Jonathan May came back to perform a different magic show for the children for the Third Summer Reading Program at the Remsen Public Library on Wednesday, June 23.

MMCRU - Remsen Kindergarten Graduation for the 2020-2021 school year took place on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Kindergarten students with their teacher, Mrs. Mindy Ruhland, and paraprofessional, Kim Haaven, are pictured above and include: Front row, from left: Daira Bazan Medina, Nora Frederick, Zaya Boetel, Gael Hurtado, Molly Jungers, Savannah Stephenson, Ayden Walsh, and Leyton Wynia. Middle row, from left: Pyper Pick, Axl Pick, Allie Price, Matthew Schiltz, Kori Shay, Braylee Frericks, and Wesley Welp. Back row, from left: Aiden Ahlers, Cohen Ahlers, Cadyn Bartels, Maci Grage, Emersyn Swanson, Daphne Pinkerton, Desirae Pinkerton, and Elaina Poppema. Top left: Kim Haaven (paraprofessional). Top right: Mindy Ruhland (Kindergarten teacher).

The Remsen Chamber of Commerce BINGO Card Promotion took place from June 7-June 25. The prize winners from the promotion were Melany Roling, Jamie Ahlers, Judy Gravenish, RaNae Homan, and Terri Slota. They each won $25.00 in Chamber Bucks. Congratulations!

RSM and MMCRU second graders received their First Holy Communion on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Remsen St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Students pictured above include, Front row, from left: Keaton Sheehan, Quinn Homan, Lillian Klein, Maelin Galles, Izabel Felts, Jaxon Schuttpelz, and Levi Hoffman. Middle row, from left: Carter Money, Aliyannah Wolf, Kara Peterson, Presley Daum, London Loutsch, and Kenten Galles. Back row students, from left: Blaine Ortmann, Mason Klein, Braya Homan, Savanah Sheehan, McKinley Gergen, Bennett Poeckes, and Zander Donovan. Back row teachers, from left: Janell Wimmer and Connie Peterson.

According to the City of Remsen, Iowa Facebook page, posted on July 2, “One of the City’s water wells has gone down. Due to this, the City is issuing a water ban that will be strictly enforced. Residents cannot water their lawns or use water for recreational purposes (washing cars, filling pools, etc.) during this time. If residents ignore this ban, there is a possibility we will not be able to keep up with the water demand and be without water altogether. We ask that you limit the amount of water you use for necessities (laundry, dishes, showers) while we work on getting it back up and running. When we have updates we will put them out. We understand that this is a inconvenience and apologize. Thank you for your cooperation.”

Christ Lutheran Church in Remsen is hosting their first Saturday Contemporary Service on July 10, 2021, at 4 p.m. This service will take place in the sanctuary at the church, located at 503 S. Washington St. According to the result of a survey that the church conducted, they saw an increased interest in it and decided to start this contemporary service along with a creative liturgy that is not the same as their Sunday Service. This service is open to anyone interested in attending.

For the last Summer Reading Program of 2021 at the Remsen Public Library, Ginny Mitchell and Josh Woolfolk of the Iowa State University Insect Zoo introduced the children to the wonders of the Insect Zoo’s arthropods. Many different arthropods including hissing cockroaches, tarantulas, scorpions, giant centipedes, millipedes, walking sticks, praying mantids, etc., made an appearance for the children to enjoy. This interactive and informal display had children line up and take turns walking around viewing all the different insects and arthropods. Some displays invited them to touch the insects, while others were view only.

Seth Varner and Austin Schneider followed a route coming south from Sergeant Bluff and traveling north to visit towns scattered across the northwest corner of the state before ending their run in Sioux City. The two University of Nebraska - Omaha students are on a quest to visit the state’s 939 incorporated towns. The duo sits by the Remsen “Neat and Hard to Beat” sign as part of their visit to Remsen. Two college students from Nebraska are on a mission this summer to visit all 939 incorporated towns in Iowa. Seth Varner and Austin Schneider, are sophomores currently enrolled at the University of Nebraska - Omaha and hail from Wahoo, Nebraska. During the summer of 2020, the two set out to visit all 531 incorporated towns in the state of Nebraska and accomplished that goal. This summer’s challenge is bigger as they decided to add Iowa to their list.

The streets of Oyens were lined with people who came out to see the Loutsch Family Fourth of July Tractor Parade, which started at noon on Sunday, July 4. Many different colors, makes, and models of tractors and farm equipment wound their way around the streets of Oyens for all to enjoy.

Some local children decided they wanted to help raise funds for a new ambulance by running a lemonade stand.

According to Jeri Hofland of Jeri A. Photography, "The kids from Angela Sanow’s daycare decided to do a lemonade stand to raise money for the local EMS crew to go toward the purchase of a new ambulance. Angela's husband, JT Sanow, is a member of the local EMS and fire department and the kids look up to him and what he does, so they were excited to raise money for the cause. The daycare families donated supplies and baked goods." On Monday, June 14, 2021, the lemonade stand was set up outside of Jeri A. Photography and sold lemonade, water, and an assortment of baked goods. “Thanks to the donations from the people who stopped by, they raised a total of $601.00. We presented the EMTs our official check at their meeting on July 6, where the children got to say hello and police chief, Scott Allen, handed out police badges to the kids. The EMS crew was very appreciative of the hard work, support, and smiles the kids brought."

The Tri-State Cruisers Car Show took place in downtown Remsen on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, starting at 5 p.m.

On June 27, 2021, Jay Goodvin, Chief Explorer with The Iowa Gallivant, visited many different sites in Remsen as part of his 2021 Western Iowa T-Bone Trail project. Jay explained what his website and project is about, "The Iowa Gallivant is my website and we focus on traveling with a lot of restaurants and great food. We specialize in small towns. We came to Remsen for the Western Iowa T-Bone Trail project. We’re trying to get to all 36 western Iowa counties and highlight great things to see and do with an awesome steak supper as a headliner."

Sunny weather was enjoyed by patrons as they travelled downtown Remsen to visit different vendors during the First Annual Remsen Market Days on Saturday, July 17, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

First American Pickers also held their Grand Opening that day.

With the City of Remsen, Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Inc., and volunteers working together, a space with natural play materials at Sunrise Park will help children of all ages stay active and have fun.

Brock Hofland was sworn in as a new full-time police officer in Remsen at the City Council Meeting on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. Brock was hired as a police officer for the city of Remsen on July 1, 2021. and was officially sworn in by Mayor Joel Fisch on July 14, 2021.

On Sunday morning, July 25, RAGBRAI bicyclists traveled through Remsen on Highway 3 from Le Mars, then turned south on Hwy 140 and east on C-38 to continue their way for the first leg of the ride of the 48th Annual Event. Downtown businesses and vendors offered breakfast items for the bikers to enjoy. The flags were also put up on Washington St.


Dolores Marie Zimmer, age 80, of Early, died June 20, 2021, at her home surrounded by her family.

Timothy Clemens Schmit, loving husband and dedicated father, passed away at the age of 53, on September 3, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas. Services were held Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas.

Barbara Jeanne (Robin) Jeneary, age 96, moved on to her next great adventure on July 6, 2021.

Gerald William Barber, age 93, of Remsen, passed away Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center in Sioux City.

Francis Leroy Schuetz, age 74, of Milford, and formerly of Remsen, passed away March 2, 2014, at the Milford Nursing Center from metastatic bone cancer.


JoAnn (Jo) Tentinger, Business Manager for Remsen St. Mary’s Parish and Schools, officially retired on July 30, 2021.

The Remsen Knights of Columbus Msgr. Schemmel Council 3405 refreshed the Pro-life signs leading into Remsen. The east sign got redone, and the west sign got redone and moved because of the St. Mary’s Cemetery Expansion. Helping Grand Knight Tony Loutsch getting signs up were Gary Harpenau and Dean Loutsch. Jodi Bohnenkamp painted the signs, thank you Jodi.

School officials in Plymouth County are preparing to welcome all students back to the classrooms this fall. With the Delta variant of COVID-19 on the rise, many are wondering what schools will be doing in regards to mask mandates and other protocols for the 2021-22 school year. It was in late July when the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended all students older than 2 years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use). In their recommendation, the AAP also strongly advocated that all policy considerations for school plans start with the goal of keeping students safe and physically present in school, and that all eligible individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Almost a week after the AAP made their recommendation, the CDC and Biden Administration reversed their guidance, stating everyone - whether they have been vaccinated or not - should return to wearing masks indoors. Upon the announcement, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a statement on the new COVID-19 guidance. “The Biden Administration’s new COVID-19 guidance telling fully vaccinated Iowans to now wear masks is not only counterproductive to our vaccination efforts, but also not grounded in reality or common sense. I’m concerned that this guidance will be used as a vehicle to mandate masks in states and schools across the country, something I do not support. “The vaccine remains our strongest tool to combat COVID-19, which is why we are going to continue to encourage everyone to get the vaccine. “I am proud that we recently put new laws in place that will protect Iowans against unnecessary government mandates in our schools and local governments. As I have throughout this pandemic, I trust Iowans to do the right thing.” As of July 27, local districts had not held any discussions regarding COVID protocols for the new school year with their boards and staff.

The 2021 Plymouth County Fair Royalty court was named Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in the Pioneer Village. Representing the fair throughout the next year are, from left, Prince Cael Moffatt, Prince; Mr. Personality Sam Bowen; Prince Jacob Spencer; Queen and Miss Congeniality MaKenna Henrich; King Caden Schram; Princess Jacey Theisen and Princess Regan Peters.

The Remsen Chamber of Commerce held their 23rd Annual Golf Tournament on Wed., August 4, 2021, with a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start at the Remsen Golf Course. Twenty-four teams participated in the four-person best ball golf outing.

Several businesses, organizations, and volunteers came together on a beautiful Tuesday night, August, 3, 2021, from 5-8 p.m., to celebrate National Night Out. This event was hosted by the Remsen Police Dept., Remsen EMS, Remsen Fire Dept., and Remsen Chamber and was held in downtown Remsen. A wide assortment of activities and games were available for children and adults to take part in, with some businesses opening their doors offering special deals. Community members also got to view some vehicles and equipment from local law enforcement and talk to local law enforcement. The Remsen EMS held a Dunk Tank Fundraiser, raising money for a new ambulance. The fundraiser raised $1,470.00 for the new ambulance.

A Le Mars man has been ordained to the permanent diaconate in the Sioux City Diocese and will serve his parish of St. Mary’s in Remsen. Doug Heeren was one of eight new deacons ordained in a special service June 5 at the Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City with Bishop Walker Nickless officiating.

The City of Remsen is reminding residents that a water ban is still in effect. According to a August 4 post on the City of Remsen, Iowa Facebook page, “Update on the well situation: We have obtained a construction permit to dig the new well. Our well digger is finishing up a project he had to start while waiting for the DNR to approve our application. He will begin as soon as he can, we are hoping for Monday (August 9). The watering ban is still in place and will be until the new well is completed and online. We appreciate your cooperation!” When asked 'how long it will take once they start-digging', a post by the City of Remsen responded, “We anticipate it taking 14-16 days. And that is if everything goes as planned.”

The gym at Remsen St. Mary's Schools is ready for the new school year. Thanks again to the Larry and Mary Ellen Ruden family for purchasing the gym for our 2021-2022 school year! It will be called the Mary Ellen Ruden - Family Of Faith Gym!

The Remsen EMTs are pleased to announce that Corteva Agriscience and Pioneer donated $5,000.00 toward the purchase of a new ambulance, as part of their company sponsorship program.

Homan Ag helped secure the grant through Corteva Agriscience and Pioneer and presented the donation to the Remsen EMTs on Monday, August 16, 2021.

The Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn-Remsen-Union Community School District welcomes ten new teachers for the 2021-2022 school year. The new school year begins on Monday, August 23, 2021. Ms. Breeana De Vos will be teaching Vocal Music for grades fifth through twelfth at MMCRU. Ms. Tessa Hansen will be teaching TK through fourth grade Music at both MMCRU - Remsen and Marcus Elementary. The new Middle School and High School Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher will be Mrs. Amanda Olson. Teaching High School Special Education with MMCRU High School is Mr. Benjamin O’Ram. Mrs. Alex Roberts will be teaching English 9 and 10 at the high school in Marcus. Mrs. Dawn Roberts will be a third grade teacher at MMCRU - Marcus Elementary. Mr. Jake Sande will be the seventh/eighth grade Reading Teacher. He will also be the Middle School Girls' Basketball Coach. Teaching seventh and eighth grade English at MMCRU Middle School in Remsen will be Miss Sydney Seuntjens. Mrs. Rachael Tuttle will teach Transitional Kindergarten at MMCRU – Remsen Elementary. Miss Mariah Wurth will be teaching fifth/sixth English at MMCRU in Remsen.

Le Mars area auctioneer Bruce Brock was one of two people inducted into the Plymouth County Fair Hall of Fame for 2021. The presentation followed the induction of Le Mars Toy Store owner Albert Schulz.

The decision to sit in the front row for the Plymouth County Fair auction on Sunday, Aug. 1, turned out to be a short walk for Albert Schulz when it was announced he was a recipient of the 2021 Plymouth County Fair Hall of Fame award.

It was a beautiful day under the big tent for this year’s event as Remsen St. Mary’s held their 36th Annual Parish Auction on Sunday, August 8, 2021. Many volunteers and committee members worked hard to make sure the St. Mary's Parish Auction ran smoothly and was a lot of fun for the public to enjoy.

The 44th annual Remsen Demolition Derby took place on Saturday night, August 21. The event, sponsored by the Remsen Community Action Club (RCAC), was held at the Remsen Derby Arena. RCAC welcomed four different classes to this year’s derby: Bolt & Chain Compact Singles, 80's/Old Iron Stock Mix, Limited Weld, and Two-Man Bolt & Chain Compact Teams. This year, there were a total of 57 cars participating. Children ages four to nine also got a chance to participate in the Power Wheels Derby.

Three Remsen area brothers, Mark, William and Jerome Loutsch, were honored with the Iowa Farm Environmental Leadership Award during a ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 18, at the Iowa State Fair. Mark Loutsch attended the ceremony to represent the family. The award acknowledges farmers who take voluntary actions to improve and protect the environment and the state’s natural resources while serving as leaders in their farming communities. The winners were chosen by a committee representing conservation and agricultural groups.

he Faith communities of Remsen-Marcus-Oyens have welcomed a new priest to lead them. The Rev. Timothy Pick, a Le Mars native, officiated his first masses the weekend of July 10 and 11. The faith community includes St. Mary’s Parish, Remsen and Holy Name Parish in Marcus, along with the the former St. Catherine’s Church in Oyens.

Remsen St. Mary's adds eight new teachers to its staff for the 2021-2022 school year. The new year begins on Monday, August 23, 2021. Serving as Remsen St. Mary’s three-year-old Preschool Teacher will be Miss Emilee Book. Ms. Gracie Gentle joins the team at Remsen St. Mary's as a Preschool Teacher's Aide. Mrs. Barbara Grady will be teaching third grade at Remsen St. Mary’s for the first semester. Miss Hannah Harpenau will be teaching third grade at Remsen St. Mary’s for the second semester. Serving as the new Business Manager for RSM Schools is Mrs. Beth Homan. Mrs. Kristen Matgen will be the TK through first grade aide at Remsen St. Mary’s Elementary. Teaching fourth grade at the St. Mary’s Elementary School will be Ms. Ashley Mohning. She will also be the assistant volleyball coach. Mrs. Jessica Pottebaum will be teaching TK at Remsen St. Mary’s this year.

The 72nd Annual Nielsen Family Reunion was held Sunday, July 11, 2021, at Beck Park in Remsen. Fifty-nine relatives and friends gathered to celebrate their heritage as descendants of Nis and Herlig Nielsen who immigrated with four daughters from Denmark in 1883. Hosts for the 2021 reunion were the families of Tom and Twylla Miller and Vaugn and Carolyn Kloster.


A girl, Isabella Angelina Groepper, born on April 17, 2021, to Ryan and Kristin Groepper of Cincinnati, Ohio.


Andy Frederick, age 29, of Le Mars, passed away unexpectedly Monday, July 26, 2021, at his residence in Le Mars.

Marcos Trejo Jr., age 55, of Remsen, passed away unexpectedly Sunday, July 25, 2021, at his home in Remsen.

Phyllis Wolf, 93, of Remsen, passed away Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at Happy Siesta Care Center in Remsen.

Norma E. Schemmel, age 81, of Storm Lake, formerly of Remsen, died August 19, 2021, at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake.

(Continued in the January 20, 2022 issue of the Remsen Bell-Enterprise)