Home News Saturday Afternoon News, February 3rd

Saturday Afternoon News, February 3rd


Lawmakers Ready To Tackle School Funding

(Des Moines) — Week four of the state legislature is now completed, and according to Chuck Holz, legislators are busy introducing bills prior to the first funnel deadline. Now that the water quality bill has passed, and was signed by Governor Kim Reynolds this past week, the Le Mars Republican says up
next on the lawmaker’s agenda is a school funding bill.

Holz says several school officials from across the state were at Des Moines this week, including Le Mars Community School Superintendent, Dr. Steve Webner, advocating their wishes for school funding.

As mentioned, the water quality bill was signed by Governor Reynolds, marking her very first bill with her signature. State Representative Chuck Holz witnessed the signing of the bill, and says he had a personal reason to be

Holz says lawmakers are also continuing to work on resolving the state’s budget woes, saying that $50 million dollars still needs to be cut.



Kass Says Jeneary Will Make A Great Representative

(Le Mars) — Retired Le Mars dentist, Dr. Tom Jeneary announced on Friday his intentions of seeking a position in the state legislature after Le Mars State Representative Chuck Holz had announced he will not be seeking re-election.  Don Kass, co-chair of the Plymouth County Republican Party believes Jeneary will make for a great representative.

Jeneary is currently serving as a board member to the State Dental Board. He was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad, and Kass says his experience as a State Dental Board member will benefit him as a state representative, despite never
having served any prior elected office.

Kass says he knows of no one else with an interest in running for the state house representative position from this district.



State Lawmaker Calls For Changes With Livestock Building Permits

(Des Moines) — Is the Iowa pork industry expanding too fast? Some people believe that it is.
There are growing concerns with the growing pork industry.
Last week, a study conducted by two former University of Iowa professors that was released indicates the state regulatory system is failing to protect the environment and public health. James Merchant and David Osterberg recommend a moratorium be issued on new construction of hog facilities. State Senator David Johnson of Ocheyden echoes the sentiment from the study.

Johnson is the only Independent party senator in the Iowa legislature. He stood before his Senate colleagues asking them to consider making changes to the current legislation for livestock building permits. Johnson says the system for approving hog building permits by the state is being badly abused, and he has
introduced 15 bills to change the system.

Senator Johnson says he’s concerned about the environment and public health with the expanding pork industry. He says there needs to more transparency with contracts between the producer and the larger company financing the pork business. Johnson says he is not anti-agriculture.

The new president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Gregg Hora of Fort Dodge says an expansion of one percent of the pork production would benefit the state’s economy. Also, Eldon McAfee, an agriculture law attorney for the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says environmental and health concerns are being
addressed by the current system. He says a moratorium would devastate the industry and Iowa’s economy.



Burlington Body

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a man whose body was found in a Burlington basement died from a fall while repairing the basement steps.
The body of 53-year-old Ricky Wixom was discovered Jan. 12. Iowa Department of Public Safety agent Richard Rahn said Friday that Wixom occasionally stayed with a friend who lived in the home.
It’s believed Wixom fell in September while working on the steps. Relatives reported him missing Oct. 10. Rahn says the resident rarely went into the old basement and didn’t notice any smell from the decomposing body, which was found by a plumber called in to check possible water problems.
An autopsy showed Wixom suffered blunt force injuries consistent with a fall. Rahn says the death has been ruled an accident.