Governor Reynolds Sets December 12th For Special Election
(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds has announced December 12th as the special election date for the State Senate District 3. The special election is being called as a result of the resignation of Republican State Senator Bill Anderson. Anderson
will pursue a position as the Cherokee Economic Development Director.
State Senate District 3 encompasses most of Plymouth County and the northern sections of Woodbury County, including a portion of the Morningside neighborhood located within Sioux City. Le Mars former school superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt
has indicated he will run for the position on the Democratic party ticket. It is not known yet who will run from the Republican party.
Le Mars Police Investigate Suspicious Activity
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Police Department was contacted by a female victim on Wednesday (November 1st) at about 4:20 p.m. in reference to some suspicious activity. The victim reports a small black car with tinted windows pulled up to her in the 200 block of 10th Street S.W. at approximately 3:30 p.m. The driver who is suspected to be a male unrolled the window to the vehicle slightly and asked her several times if she wanted a ride. The female victim ran away from the area. The Le Mars Police Department is asking for the public’s help with any information regarding the incident.
Fire and Rescue Department Releases October Report
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has released its monthly report for the month of October. The fire and rescue department responded to a total of 51 calls, of which ten were fires, four rescues, six investigations, 26 requests for services, and five mutual aid calls, twice to assist Merrill, twice
to help Oyens, and once to assist Hinton. During the month of October, which is recognized as Fire Prevention Month, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department spoke to 403 students about fire safety, and distributed over 1700 pieces of fire prevention materials delivered to students from pre-school to 6th grade.
The informational handouts were paid for through private donations.
IPERS Retirement System Hacked
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials say pension payments have been stolen from more than 100 Iowa public employee retirees’ accounts.
The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System said Wednesday that 103 accounts were compromised in mid-October. The system serves workers for state and local governments and school districts and sends out checks to 115,000
System spokeswoman Judy Akre says criminals obtained stolen Social Security numbers and birthdates and used the information to register for online account access. Then they diverted the payments to different financial institutions. She says the system learned of the crime Tuesday.
Akre says the system has reissued the payments to the correct financial institutions so the retirees will not lose money. The retirees are being asked to check with their financial institutions to ensure the October payments were properly credited.
Sioux City Man Pleads Guilty To Drugs and Child Pornography
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City man has pleaded guilty to possessing both illegal drugs and child pornography in federal court.
The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Iowa says 23-year-old Jose Ramon Ortega-Ramirez entered the plea Wednesday in Sioux City’s federal court and was subsequently convicted of one count of possession of cocaine with
intent to distribute and one count of child porn possession.
Police say they intercepted a package from Mexico containing nearly 291 grams (10.26 ounces) of cocaine addressed to Ortega-Ramirez’s apartment. Police executed a controlled delivery, then searched Ortega-Ramirez’s home and found
the package. He also admitted to having images of a nude minor.
He faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced at later date.
Midwest Business Survey Shows Improvement For Economy
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A monthly survey of business leaders suggests economic conditions continue to improve for nine Midwest and Plains states. A report released Wednesday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index rose to 58.8 in October from 58.2 in September. The August figure was 57.5. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he
says national and regional indices indicate the manufacturing sector is expanding at a very healthy pace. The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth in that factor. A score below that suggests decline. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,
North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Texas Senator Cruz Continues To Hold Up Northey Nomination
(Des Moines) — Texas Senator Ted Cruz says he’ll continue to block a senate confirmation vote on Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey’s job in the U.S.D.A. Cruz told D-C reporters that he’s waiting for the Trump Administration to organize a meeting with oil-state senators who have concerns about the federal mandate on biofuel production. Governor Kim Reynolds says Northey’s job as U-S-D-A undersecretary for farm production and conservation has nothing to do with implementing the Renewable Fuels Standard.
Reynolds does not plan to lobby Cruz directly. The governor says she’ll rely on Cruz’s peers — Republican U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst — to pressure Cruz to relent.
Cruz won the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. Just before Iowa Republicans cast their votes in that presidential contest, Cruz argued federal ethanol policy helps lobbyists and “keeps Iowa dependent on Washington” because every year Iowans have to go beg the E-P-A not to reduce the production mandate for ethanol and biodiesel.
Ron Corbett — the Republican who’s challenging Governor Kim Reynolds — is urging Iowans to call in and complain about the roadblock preventing Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey from taking a new job.
Corbett, who is the mayor of Cedar Rapids, has recorded a phone message that’s being sent by an automated system to thousands of Iowans. Corbett recites the office phone number for Texas Senator Ted Cruz — who is blocking a senate vote on Northey’s nomination.
Cruz and eight other senators from states with oil refineries want to air their concerns about the federal production mandates for ethanol and biodiesel. Last month 30 Midwestern senators, including Iowa’s Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, successfully pressured the E-P-A’s administrator to back off a plan that may
have reduced the biofuel production mandate.
October Proved To Be A Wet Month
(Des Moines) — Iowa’s weather in the just completed month of October will be remembered for being extremely wet. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker (HILL-eh-kur) says the statewide average rainfall for the month was 5.34 inches.
The bulk of the rain fell over the first half of the month, which delayed the harvest of corn and soybeans for most Iowa farmers.
Every corner of the state received above normal rainfall in
October except for one city in east-central Iowa. Maquoketa had a slightly below average precipitation total for the month.
The statewide average temperature for October was 54
degrees, about three degrees above normal. It was unusually warm over the first two-thirds of the month and there were 11 days where at least one location in
the state reached at least 80 degrees.
The coldest temperature recorded in the state last month was 14 degrees on October 28th in Little Sioux and October 31st in Sheldon.