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Local

Loebsack enjoys fish, company during stop in Newton

Congressman Dave Loebsack chats with Newton locals as he gets ready to enjoy his fish meal Friday during the annual fish fry put on by the Knights of Columbus at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Congressman Dave Loebsack chats with Newton locals as he gets ready to enjoy his fish meal Friday during the annual fish fry put on by the Knights of Columbus at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

For as long as anyone can remember, the Knights of Columbus at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church have held a fish fry during the season of Lent. The tradition continued on Friday as hundreds of people, including Congressman Dave Loebsack, enjoyed a full plate of baked or fried pollock, baked potatoes, coleslaw, a roll and dessert.

“We’ve been doing it a long time,” LaVerne Deitrich said. “We raise money for a lot of different things in the community as with the youth group’s mission trip.”

Loebsack, who is up for re-election this November, said he likes to come to these events to meet his constituents as well as for the great fish.

“It is always good to see people,” Loebsack said.

A frequent visitor to the Newton area, Loebsack recently passed a piece of legislation focused on improving the Federal Communication Commission’s mapping of cellular and broadband service in rural areas. A bi-partisan effort, Loebsack said it is more important than ever for rural areas to have quality service.

“It is a big issue,” Loebsack said. “Right now the maps are terrible. Anybody whose knows anything about Iowa and where there is coverage and where there isn’t can look at that map and break out in laughter.”

Loebsack said a FCC commissioner had a first-hand experience with the spotty coverage in the state when he visited northwest Iowa. After leaving his engagement in Sioux City, the commissioner told Loebsack he had a difficult time and dropped coverage frequently.

“This is a big deal,” Loebsack said. “I am going to keep working as hard as I can because students need it, hospitals need it, our towns need it so they can have economic development, the law enforcement needs it. There are a lot of reasons it is needed.”

While the topic has become a lot “sexier” with local elected officials, including Gov. Kim Reynolds, throwing support behind the issue, Loebsack said he has been championing better coverage since he started in Congress.

“I have been fighting for this since I have been in Congress, especially now that I am on the energy and commerce committee,” Loebsack said. “Now it is a matter of getting the FCC do to the right thing and I will stay on them about that.”

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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