IDOT To Open U-S Highway 75 Southbound Lanes Between Merrill and Le Mars
(Le Mars) — People traveling to Sioux City on Highway 75 will notice the southbound lanes are once again open for travel. The Iowa Department of Transportation has announced they will open the lanes between County road C-38 and Merrill. The stretch of three miles of highway was reconstructed during the
summer months. Motorists will face two-way traffic in the new constructed lanes while work is done on the northbound lanes. In about three weeks, the Iowa Department of Transportation will open all four lanes to traffic. The work is part of the reconstruction of the four-lane Highway 75 from Sioux City to county road C-38.
Governor Reynolds To Visit Craig To Celebrate Broadband To Rural Areas
(Orange City) – Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg will be participating in an event to celebrate N.E.T. Broadband’s continued deployment
of broadband wireless Internet service in rural northwest Iowa. The event will be held on Friday morning, October 6, at 8:00 a.m. at the Farmers Cooperative Company of Craig, Iowa.
N.E.T. Broadband is a partnership that was created by Evertek and North West REC to connect rural areas with broadband services and technologies. N.E.T. has recently expanded its service area to include Craig and other northwest Iowa
rural areas. Lyle Korver, CEO of North West REC explains the partnership with Evertek.
Known primarily for the distribution of electrical power to rural areas, Korver says North West REC is interested in the distribution of broadband internet services to its rural customers. He says the areas being served continues to
expand and grow.
Korver says it is key to our farmers being able to utilize the latest technologies; to provide work from home opportunities and to keep more of our young people in rural northwest Iowa.”
The Rural Electric Cooperative official says services that N.E.T. provides tie in well with Governor Reynolds’ “Connect Every Iowan” initiative to increase the
access, adoption and use of broadband technology. He explains what will occur next Friday morning at Craig.
That event is scheduled to begin at 8:00 a.m. on October 6.
NIPCO Presents American Red Cross With $1000 Donation
(Le Mars) — During the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce coffee held Wednesday morning at the NIPCO headquarters southwest of town, NIPCO Chief Executive Officer Matt Washburn presented Tammy Lee of the Siouxland Chapter of American Red Cross with a check amounting to $1,000. Washburn informed the gathering after a tornado had hit the town of Mapleton, he noticed power utility crews and volunteers of the American Red Cross were the people rushing into a disaster area, while everyone else is trying to flee the area. He thought at that time, it only made sense for NIPCO to partner with the American Red Cross.
Washburn made reference to the three devastating hurricanes that have hit Texas, Florida, Georgia, and now Puerto Rico, and how Iowa Rural Electric Cooperatives sent crews and trucks to Georgia to assist with the restoration of power.
Tammy Lee told the group that relief efforts are still on-going for the southern states. Lee asked the people “How do you make a difference?” She says everyone can make a difference by donating monetary funds, by donating blood, or by donating their time as a volunteer. Lee says nearly 5200 volunteers are still deployed at the hurricane areas. The American Red Cross official says additional help is still needed to continue the relief efforts as the initial group of volunteers conclude their deployment time period.
Lee also mentioned that while our attention may be devoted to the hurricane victims, we also can’t forget about the many ways volunteers are needed, here at home.
Following the check presentation, KLEM news spoke with Lee and asked if because of the many multiple disasters that have occurred in a short period of time, is the American Red Cross running thin on their resources?
Lee says people need to remember that donations and volunteers will both still be needed long after the news media moves on to another story. Lee says people interested in donating their time, money, or blood should contact the American Red Cross in Sioux City.
Fire and Rescue Department To Hold Annual Pancake Breakfast
(Le Mars) — October is known as fire prevention month, and Sunday, October 1st, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department will host its annual pancake and sausage breakfast between 8:00 until 12:00 noon to be held at Fire Station number 1 located on 1st Street southwest, across from the Eagle’s Club. Fire Chief Dave Schipper…
Schipper says the event always falls on the first Sunday of October. It has been a fire department tradition for nearly 40 years.
State Auditor To Investigate City Of Armstrong Finances
ARMSTRONG, Iowa (AP) – The State Auditor’s office says it’s conducted a special investigation into the finances of the northern Iowa city of Armstrong, finding a slew of mishandled deposits and disbursements.
The auditor’s report released Wednesday says the issue began as a standard audit of the city’s finances for the 2016 fiscal year. But a special investigation was initiated after auditors found they could not access records.
The investigation found more than $88,000 of estimated utility collections that were unbilled or not properly deposited, and a little more than $11,000 of improper disbursements, for a total of about $100,000.
State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the city’s computer system had crashed, making some records impossible to find.
The auditor’s office made several recommendations to the city to tighten its financial controls, including backing up financial information.
Secretary of State Missing From Meetings
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Secretary of State Paul Pate has shown up in person to less than half of the meetings of a key committee that helps run Iowa’s executive branch. Minutes reviewed by The Associated Press show Pate has missed 20 of 76 meetings of the Executive Council since January 2015 and phoned in to 21 more.
He’s been at the Capitol for 35, an in-person attendance record far worse than colleagues. The five-member committee approves emergency spending, pays outside lawyers, and governs insurance plans for employees. Pate’s spokesman said he’s missed meetings for reasons such as helping get care for his ailing and now-deceased mother, doctors’ appointments and
conferences. He noted that electronic participation is allowed under Iowa code. Democrat Jim Mowrer, who’s running against Pate, said Pate’s too often failing to show up.
Court Of Appeals Re-instates Lawsuit Filed By State Agriculture Department Employee
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Court of Appeals has reinstated a lawsuit filed by a state regulator who alleged he was fired for investigating a gas station chain’s pricing practices. The court ruled Wednesday that Michael Manahl “deserves a chance” to have jurors decide whether he was fired for investigating Dubuque-based Molo Petroleum. The court said “fair inferences exist” that Manahl’s boss at the Iowa Department of Agriculture wasn’t happy with his consumer fraud inquiry into Molo, which operates Big 10 Mart Convenience Stores. Manahl was hired in 2012 as the department’s weights and measures bureau
chief. He was fired when his six-month probationary period expired. Manahl objected to Molo’s practice of selling the same octane fuel at different prices. Molo denied wrongdoing, complaining to Manahl’s bosses he was unfairly hurting its reputation. State lawyers say Manahl was fired for performance.
New Plant To Convert Corn Stover Into Animal Feed
OSAGE, Iowa (AP) – A northern Iowa city has been selected for construction of a $20 million demonstration plant for an animal feed made from corn plant parts. Stover Ventures LLS has announced that construction will begin in the second quarter of next year on a 10-acre parcel in Osage. Production is expected
to begin in early 2019. Officials say the plant is expected to employ about 15 people. Stover Ventures was formed in 2015 by Ag Ventures Alliance Cooperative, of Mason City, and Cellulose Sciences International, of Madison, Wisconsin. The plant will produce cattle feed made from corn stover – the stalks, leaves, husks and tassels that remain in cornfields after the harvest.