Le Mars City Council Seeking Comments Regarding Locations of Child Day Care Facilities
(Le Mars) — Le Mars city officials are wanting comments from the public regarding a proposed change of zoning ordinances involving the placement locations of daycare, child care, and adult care centers. City administrator Scott Langel explains.
Langel says the provisions as they stand now would be a conditional usage.
The city administrator says the city council wants to know whether the zoning rules should be left as they are, or if changes are needed regarding child care establishments.
Langel says child care facilities such as Building Blocks, Guardian Angel, and St. George Day Care Center would be impacted. He says the ruling would certainly affect any future daycare facilities. The city council will discuss the issue during its next scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 1st, and again on May 15th.
Holz Says Lawmakers Working Overtime To Resolve State Budget
(Des Moines) — The Iowa legislature put in some late hours last evening trying to resolve the differences in the proposed budgets. Chuck Holz, the state representative from Le Mars, says while the entire state budget is yet to be resolved, the Iowa House has been able to pass a few budget bills for some specific departments.
The Iowa lawmakers have gone past the self-imposed deadline, and they hope to be able to adjourn the session hopefully within the next week.
The Le Mars Republican says the differences lie between the House version and the State Senate version of the budgets.
Representative Holz indicated with the retirement of Chuck Gibb from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the new interim director has a Le Mars connection.
Reynolds Says No Investigation Necessary For Jamison Firing
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is rejecting calls to further investigate problems at an agency where the director allegedly sexually harassed female employees for years.
Reynolds said the culture at the Iowa Finance Authority was “one individual and I fired him,” referring to former director Dave Jamison. The Republican governor acknowledged others were aware of Jamison’s problematic behavior but indicated she had no plans to hold them accountable for failing to report it.
Interim IFA Director Carolann Jensen said Thursday that there are no efforts underway to investigate further.
Reynolds fired Jamison last month after two employees complained of harassment to the governor’s office. Reynolds released a complaint Thursday from one of the women alleging Jamison made unwanted sexual advances and comments.
The woman’s attorney, Paige Fiedler, said a “responsible employer” would typically investigate such complaints to determine the extent of problems. Democratic lawmakers called for an independent investigation.
Supreme Court Rules Against IDOT On Use Of Traffic Cameras
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s Department of Transportation does not currently have the authority to order cities to remove automated traffic-enforcement cameras from highways and interstates.
The state’s high court on Friday reversed a state judge’s ruling last April that found the department did have that authority.
The ruling comes on the appeal of three Iowa cities – Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Muscatine – of the judge’s ruling. Those cities had sought the judicial review in 2015 after the DOT ordered some speed cameras turned off, determining that the cameras did not make interstate highways safer.
The three cities had argued that the DOT was infringing on cities’
ability to self-govern and that it lacked statutory authority to make rules regulating speed cameras.
Search For Missing Teen Continues
LA PORT CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities intend to renew their water search for an eastern Iowa teenager who’s been missing for nearly three weeks.
Sixteen-year-old Jake Wilson, of La Porte City, was last seen around 9 p.m. April 7, going for a walk to nearby Wolf Creek. A search began less than an hour later, when he didn’t return home.
His mother, Megan Neiswonger, has said Jake has autism with a mild intellectual disorder and functions at the level of a 9-year-old.
La Porte City Police Chief Chris Brecher says trained crews from law enforcement and fire departments will be involved Saturday and Sunday, as well as heavy equipment to pull apart log jams in Wolf Creek.
He says the creek and other water bodies need to be rechecked as water levels rise and fall, changing conditions.
Runaway Inflatable Duck Escapes
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Motorists encounter all sorts of obstacles on the road, but a giant, bouncing inflatable rubber duck might be a first.
Drivers and pedestrians in a two-block stretch near Des Moines’ East Village got a glimpse of just that Thursday evening when a 20-foot inflatable duck bounded along a street.
The duck, dubbed Quacky, is owned by the Youth Emergency Shelter and Services and is part of a promotional for the 92-bed youth shelter’s annual Duck Derby fundraiser, set for May 5.
Shelter director Stephen Quirk says Quacky “went a-fowl” after one of its tethers broke in high winds. Quirk says the 11-year-old giant inflatable duck “is back in his nest” getting some repairs so it can be ready to again display for the derby.