Remsen Cleaning Up After Strong Wind Storm
(Remsen) — The sound of chain saws could be heard through the entire community of Remsen Thursday morning as residents begin to clean up the debris from the Independence Day strong wind storm that passed through the town.
Nearly every Remsen street had fallen trees. Numerous trees are down, including a forty foot tree that fell in Sarah Haverkamp’s backyard.
Fortunately for Haverkamp, the fallen tree had missed the house.
Haverkamp says she, and the rest of Remsen residents were surprised, as there wasn’t any warning about the potential for a strong wind storm.
Haverkamp says she and several other Remsen residents needed to take the day off from work in order to clean up the town.
Remsen Interim Public Works Director Chris Poeckes wouldn’t estimate how many trees were down, but says it may be a week before the town has all the fallen trees cleaned up. Poeckes offers an assessment of the damage.
The damage was primarily limited to fallen trees. Remsen city officials say they are not aware of any structural damage that occurred as a result of the strong wind storm. There was a van that had a tree fall on its roof, creating a large dent in the roof and smashing the front windshield.
Bankers Are Limiting Agriculture Loans Due To Slumping Farm Economy
(Des Moines) — A recent survey of Midwest bankers shows a “significant increase” in farm loan rejections. Creighton University professor Ernie Goss surveys the presidents and C-E-Os of rural banks in Iowa and nine other Midwest states. He found nearly 43 percent of initial farm loan applications
had been rejected as bankers react to weak farm income. The financial pinch will be compounded this fall, according to Goss, who expects the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
Goss says the overall Midwest economy is growing, but concerns about trade “skirmishes” are slowing that growth. Goss predicts farm equipment sales may soon take a hit.
Prices remain below “break-even” for a large share of grain farmers and Goss’s survey indicates there’s been a slight “slump” in checking account deposits in rural banks. Two-thirds of the bankers he surveyed indicated their bank has increased collateral requirements on farm loans. The professor’s job index in rural areas of Iowa was in negative territory for June.
Questions Are Raised Over Digital Driver’s Licenses
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa bartenders and police officers want to know more about how the state’s new digital driver’s licenses will work when they reach smartphones next year.
The Des Moines Register reports officials haven’t yet explained how bars and retailers will be able to verify the ages of customers when they want to buy alcohol.
Mark Stringer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says he wants to know more about what limits will be in place to keep officers from searching someone’s smartphone while they look at the digital license.
State Transportation Director Mark Lowe says the questions about the new licenses should be addressed before they debut around the middle of next year.
Fort Dodge Man Is Convicted Of Shooting Another Man
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – A Webster County jury has convicted a Fort Dodge man in the 2017 shooting death of another man.
The Fort Dodge Messenger reports jurors Tuesday convicted 28-year-old Levi Gibbs III of second-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Shane Wessels, of Fort Dodge.
Gibbs had been charged with first-degree murder but jurors opted for the lesser charge.
Gibbs was convicted of shooting Wessels on a street corner on Sept. 3, 2017.
Both sides agreed Gibbs shot Wessels, but the defense argued Gibbs did so amid a fight in which his sister was injured.
Sentencing was set for July 27.
Iowa City Officials To Close Amusement Park
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa City officials are closing a merry-go-round, train and other amusement rides that for 60 years have been part of childhood in the community.
The Iowa City Parks and Recreation announced Monday that the rides in Lower City Park will permanently close on Sept. 23.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that the department will be
offering free rides on weekends in August and September to commemorate the closure.
The department says the rides will be replaced by a large “adventure playground” that’s scheduled to begin construction in 2019.
Director of Parks and Recreation Juli Seydell Johnson says the rides are being closed because they need repairs and don’t comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The rides opened in 1952 and were sold to the city in 1999.