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Monday News, March 20th


Judge Dismisses Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit Against Three Iowa Counties

(Des Moines) — A federal judge has thrown out the lawsuit filed by the Des Moines Water Works against the three Iowa counties for having too much nitrates from agricultural drainage districts in the water. The lawsuit against Sac, Buena Vista, and Calhoun counties garnered a lot of attention, both across the state, and people outside the state were watching the developments with a close eye. The judge on Friday dismissed all of Des Moines Water
Works’ claims against the three northwest Iowa counties, ruling that water pollution is an issue for the Iowa legislature to address.

Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey all released statements in regards to the dismissal of the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit:



Branstad said, he is pleased to see an end to this costly litigation brought about by the Des Moines Water Works. From the very beginning, we’ve attempted to work in a collaborative way with our partners in the field and our communities to improve water quality in Iowa. That’s the Iowa way. Now, we can finally put this distraction behind us and focus on the full implementation of the nutrient reduction strategy.”

Lt. Gov. Reynolds said,

Kim Reynolds

“The dismissal of this lawsuit is very welcome news for our farmers, small businesses and communities across Iowa. We’ve believed all along that this lawsuit was not only the wrong approach, but would hinder the positive progress
we’ve made by working collaboratively in addressing water quality through the nutrient reduction strategy. We look forward to continuing our conversation with the Legislature in the weeks ahead to finalize a plan that will continue to grow our water quality efforts.”

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey issued the following statement regarding the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa dismissing the lawsuit by the Des Moines Water Works against three drainage districts in Northwest Iowa.

Northey, Bill
Northey said,
“The dismissal of this lawsuit is very welcome news. Iowa farmers, landowners, cities, businesses, homeowners and many other partners are taking on the challenge of improving water quality and we are seeing exciting results. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I truly believe that by working together, we can make big strides.
Northey continues to say:
“Since the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy was released in 2012, we have worked hard to reach out to farmers and all Iowans to encourage them to try one new thing to address water quality. We remain committed to building on the momentum
that has been established and continuing to advance our collaborative, research based approach to address this important issue.”


Sheriff Says Death Of Kingsley Woman Was Accidental

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says the death of a Kingsley woman that was missing and then found in a rural creek ravine is determined to be accidental. In an article featured in the Sioux City Journal, Van Otterloo says 57 year old Lisa Derby died of natural causes and ruled
accidental from hypothermia in the cold conditions. Derby was reported missing on February 20th. Several law enforcement agencies and volunteers searched the area. She was later found during the early morning of February 21st. Plymouth County Medical Examiner Dr. Sheila Holcom did not order an autopsy. Sheriff Van Otterloo says Derby had walked to the creek from her home. Van Otterloo has also said the case is closed.



Le Mars Fire And Rescue Department Have Active Weekend

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had an active weekend, responding to five different calls. One of the calls involved a pick up truck that had caught on fire. Fire and rescue crews were called to the vehicle fire at 3:15 AM Sunday morning March 19. The fire was located on Marble Avenue in
the 15,000 block which is near the Plymouth County Landfill. Upon arrival, firefighters found a pick up truck fully involved in the middle of a field.
The truck was owned by Brendan Anthony Of Le Mars. Damage is estimated at $60,000 with the pick up truck listed as a total loss. The cause of the fire was accidental do to the truck engine motor overheating.Firefighters used foam and water and fire extinguishers to put out the fire.

pickup truck fire

pickup truck fire2

photos contributed

About an hour and a half after the vehicle call, fire fighters were called to 135 5th Ave. SE for a gas leak in the basement of the home. Upon arrival firefighters did have natural gas in the basement of the home due to a gas line being broken on a water heater. The gas was shut off and the home was ventilated
no injuries were reported at either incident. During the weekend, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to two grass fires, both which were behind the Walmart store.


State Legislature To Still Deal With Revenue Short-fall

(Des Moines) — The Iowa legislature is entering its 11th week in general session, and Le Mars state representative, Chuck Holz anticipates the Iowa House will take up several “non-controversial” bills. Holz, a republican, says after the Revenue Estimating Commission released its report last week showing
the state is still going to have a budget short-fall, he says state legislators will probably focus on finding money for programs.

Chuck Holz

Due to the state’s short-fall in the revenue finances, will it mean the state legislature will need to cut additional money from the state’s budget? Holz says he is not certain, but he believes the state will tap into its cash reserves.

Holz explains how the state has already allocated much of what was the anticipated revenue increase.



Hospital Association Predicts 250,000 Iowans Will Be Uninsured

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A hospital association estimates a Republican-backed plan to replace the Affordable Care Act could leave up to 250,000 Iowans without health insurance.
Others speculate the change could destabilize the entire Medicaid system that serves poor and disabled people.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates 24 million Americans will lose health care coverage over the next decade under the proposal.
The Iowa Hospital Association, which represents 118 hospitals, has estimated through statistical data that between 200,000 and 250,000 Iowa residents will lose coverage.
Gov. Terry Branstad has reiterated his support for repealing the ACA, but his office and the state agency that oversees health care in Iowa says an analysis of what the overhaul would mean to the state would need to wait until Congress approves a bill.


Teacher Arrested For Possession of Marijuana

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a West Des Moines junior high teacher is facing two drug charges.
Court records say 38-year-old Katherine Seiberling is charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was arrested Thursday night after an officer pulled her over for a headlight
problem on the car Seiberling was driving.
The officer wrote in a criminal complaint that he could smell marijuana as he spoke to Seiberling and that she admitted having some pot with her. The officer says he found less than a gram of pot inside a pill bottle in the car.
School records list her as a language arts teacher at Stillwell Junior High.