Home News Thursday Afternoon News, January 11th

Thursday Afternoon News, January 11th


County Able To Save Money On Snow Removal

(Le Mars) — Thursday’s snow storm proved to be not as burdensome as what many people had anticipated based on early weather predictions. Le Mars ended up having about a quarter of an inch of snow, compared to initial forecasts calling
for as much as five inches. The lack of snowfall for this winter season so far, has been beneficial to the county saving some money. Plymouth County Engineer Tom Rohe says since November and December had warmer temperatures and very
little snowfall, he has been able to reduce the snow removal budget by about $100,000.

Rohe says Plymouth County has more than a thousand miles of gravel roads, and 365 miles of paved highways that would need to be cleared when a heavy snow does occur. He says it takes some time to clear those 13 hundred miles of roads.

The county engineer says his crews are always ready and prepared for the next snow storm.

He says since the weather has generally been nice for a longer period of time, work crews have been able to stay busy with other projects.

Rohe says the county has ample supplies of salt, sand, and calcium to counter any bad weather conditions that may disrupt the roadways.



Holz Reviews First Week Of General Session

(Des Moines) — Week one of the Iowa General Assembly is now completed. For the most part, the week for legislators consisted of formalities, and speeches.
State House Representative Chuck Holz of Le Mars says General Timothy Orr of the Iowa National Guard presented an address today to the lawmakers about the readiness of the state’s militia, including comments about the 185th based in Sioux City.

Earlier this week Governor Kim Reynolds delivered her “Condition of the State” address to the lawmakers. Holz says Reynolds presented an excellent “up-beat” speech.

The Le Mars republican says the Governor has an ambitious wish list for the state’s public education system. Holz admits it may be difficult for legislators to approve all the educational provisions that Reynolds mentioned.

Governor Reynolds had asked the legislators to approve a water quality measure, and Holz says he believes such a bill may get approval in both chambers.

The Le Mars state lawmaker says it may be possible to see a water quality bill emerge from both chambers, and be ready for the governor’s signature, by the end of next week.



Highrise Tower Apartments Future Is Uncertain

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Plans for an $88 million high-rise apartment tower in downtown Des Moines are uncertain after the developer announced a property swap with an insurance company.
The Des Moines Register reports that Blackbird Investments announced on Wednesday plans to sell the property of its highly anticipated high-rise project to EMC Insurance Companies. In exchange, the developer would acquire the eastern half of an aging food court and mall owned by the insurance company, known as the Kaleidoscope at the Hub.
Blackbird and EMC announced the deal in a joint press release, but did not provide further comment on property plans.
Assistant City Manager Matt Anderson says the exchange caught city officials off guard. Anderson says they’ll be meeting with Blackbird to discuss next steps in their development agreement with the city.



Southwest Iowa Man To Serve 50 Years For Killing Wife’s Friend

AVOCA, Iowa (AP) – A man convicted twice for killing a woman at his western Iowa home has been given 50 years in prison.
The Daily Nonpareil reports that 67-year-old Robert Reynolds was sentenced Wednesday in Avoca.
Reynolds was first convicted in November 2014 of first-degree murder for the April 2014 of killing 64-year-old Patricia Kinkade-Dorsey after a night of drinking at his and his wife’s Oakland home. Kinkade-Dorsey was a friend of his wife.
The Iowa Appeals Court later ordered a new trial, ruling that the trial judge erroneously changed the first trial’s location.
Reynolds has said he hallucinated while intoxicated and thought Kinkaid- Dorsey was a demon when he shot her.



Des Moines To Lose 35 Jobs With Warehouse Closing

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Cincinnati-based company says it will be closing a Des Moines stockroom over the next four months, affecting the jobs of about 35 workers.
The Des Moines Register reports that Cintas acquired the facility when it merged with G&K Services. Cintas said in a news release Thursday that the Des Moines employees are encouraged to apply for open positions at other facilities in the Des Moines market. Severance pay, continued health care coverage and job placement assistance will be offered to some employees as well.
Cintas offers uniforms, floor care and safety products, restroom supplies and other goods and services to its customers.