Home News Wednesday News, August 8th

Wednesday News, August 8th


Plymouth County Looking At Joining Northwest Iowa Care Connections Regional Mental Health Organization

(Le Mars) — The issue of mental health services was discussed at Tuesday’s Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meeting. Since Woodbury County has indicated they intend to leave Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region, that leaves Plymouth and Sioux Counties with some options to consider. State law dictates that at least three counties need to comprise a regional mental health organization. Don Kass, the chairman of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors, says the mental health region to the north of Sioux and Plymouth Counties has extended an invitation urging Sioux and Plymouth Counties to join the Northwest Iowa Care Connections. Kass says of all the options available to Plymouth County to consider, he says joining the Northwest Iowa Care Connections may be the best option.

Kass says the other options available to Plymouth County would be to join the Rolling Hills Mental Health Region which consists of several counties that are east of Plymouth County. Another option would be to wait on the Director of the Iowa Health and Human Services assign Plymouth County to a region. Kass says the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors wanted to be pro-active with their situation. Kass says it is the hope of the Plymouth County supervisors to stay connected with Sioux County.

Kass explains why Plymouth County prefers to join the region to the north, Northwest Iowa Care Connections, as opposed to the region to the east, Rolling Hills.

There still remains a possibility that a third county may join Plymouth and Sioux to keep the Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health organization operating. If Plymouth and Sioux were to join the Northwest Iowa Care Connections Regional Mental Health it wouldn’t be effective until July 1st of 2019.



Supervisors Discuss Having All Terrain Vehicles On Rural Roads

(Le Mars) — Legalizing All Terrain Vehicles and Ultra Terrain side-by-side Vehicles to use rural county roads was discussed Tuesday morning during the Plymouth County Board of Supervisor meeting. The issue was first brought to the County Supervisors’ attention two weeks ago. At that time, the county governing board decided to table the issue, in order to allow for additional research to be conducted. Safety has been the main concern expressed by the supervisors as to why they oppose the idea of the ATV’s and UTV’s to have access to rural roads. The supervisors asked Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo to make some inquiries with other counties that do allow ATV’s and UTV’s on rural county roads. Van Otterloo says he spoke with the sheriffs of eight Iowa counties within northwest Iowa and was surprised by his findings.

Van Otterloo says Dickinson County allows for ATV’s and UTV’s on rural roads, but he says there situation is rather unique.

In addition to asking if there were an increase of accidents involving the ATV’s and UTV’s, Sheriff Van Otterloo also asked if there were an increase of filed complaints? Again, Van Otterloo says he was surprised by the findings.

Van Otterloo says the complaints that were expressed came from small communities.

Sheriff Van Otterloo says ATV’s and UTV’s, under some circumstances are allowed on rural roads. But they need to be used for agricultural purposes.

Van Otterloo says one-third of Iowa counties currently allow the use of ATV’s and UTV’s on rural roads. The counties in northwest and north central Iowa that allow All Terrain Vehicles on rural roads include: Calhoun, Clay, Emmet, O’Brien, Dickinson, Kossuth, Sac, and Sioux Counties. Plymouth County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to maintain the current code regarding ATV’s and UTV’s usage in Plymouth County, which doesn’t allow for recreational use on rural roads. Some supervisors expressed concern about the vehicles being used for recreational purposes on the roads. The dissenting vote was cast by Supervisor Mark Loutsch.



Le Mars City Council Says No To Requested 10-year Tax Exemption

(Le Mars) — During the Le Mars City Council meeting held Tuesday, council members rejected a request for a ten-year 100 percent tax exempt status for a developer. Midwest Real Estate, LLC anticipates beginning construction on a 38-unit apartment building at the Le Mars Business Park, near the municipal airport. Although the city council said no to the proposed ten-year plan, they did suggest to Adam Brown to re-examine and refine his proposal. Council members indicated they would support a seven-year tax exempt status program, which has been previously approved for other developers. In other action, city council members approved a plan to convert the former offices of city attorney Joe Flannery into a new Senior Center. Le Mars Senior Citizens have been without a permanent location since fire caused extensive damage to the Senior Center located near the Floyd Valley Apartment complex. An insurance payment amounting to near $41,000 would be used to help renovate the office space for the new center.



Sioux City Police Apprehend Burglars Of Radio Transmission Tower

(Sioux City) — Sioux City Police say they have identified the suspects who broke into Powell Broadcasting’s KSCJ transmitter building located on the north end of Leeds on July 31st.
Police say the suspects do not present a threat to the public.
The male suspects were carrying weapons that may have been airsoft or paintball type guns.
The suspects caused several hundred dollars damage to the transmitter building.
Sioux City Police say tips from the public who saw video and pictures of the break-in on social media led to the identification of the suspects.
Charges are pending in the incident.



Body Found At Woodbury County’s Synders Bend Lake

(Sioux City) — Woodbury County authorities have recovered the body of a missing canoeist on Snyders Bend Lake.
The county sheriff’s office received a call of an empty canoe floating on the lake Monday evening.
Searchers recovered the body of the missing person in the lake around noon Tuesday.
The male victim’s body was transported to Unity Point Hospital.
His name has not been released pending notification of next of kin.



Federal Government Wants New Courthouse In Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The federal government has decided it wants to build a new courthouse in Des Moines on the former riverfront site of a YMCA.
The General Services Administration said Tuesday in a news release that the planned $137 million courthouse will “complement the character and context of the surrounding structures and amenities, interact with the Principal Riverwalk in a way that facilitates pedestrian activities and outdoor recreation, and include publicly accessible space.”
The government will have to acquire the site from Hubbell Realty Co., which released plans Monday for a luxury condominium development there. The city had wanted to reserve the land for private development.
Officials say courthouse construction is scheduled to start in fall 2019, and the building would open the following year.



Outspoken Critic Of Privatized Medicare Program Dismissed From Board

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An outspoken critic of Iowa’s Medicaid privatization process says he has been removed as a chairman of a state council that monitors the state’s shift to private management of its $5 billion Medicaid program.
The Des Moines Register reports David Hudson said Tuesday that Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has dropped him from the Medical Assistance Advisory Council for apparently pushing back too hard against the privatization scheme. He says he felt a duty to speak up when he saw the companies the state hired to run the program cut crucial services to his son and other Iowans with disabilities.
A spokeswoman for Reynolds declined comment on Hudson’s contention that he was pushed out for being outspoken. Reynolds on Tuesday announced four new appointees. They did not include Hudson.
Hudson was appointed by Reynolds’ predecessor Gov. Terry Branstad two years ago.



Reward For Missing University of Iowa Student Increases To $300,000

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A spokesman for a central Iowa nonprofit says the reward fund for a missing University of Iowa student has grown to more than $300,000 and is likely to continue climbing.
Greg Willey, spokesman for Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa, says the Mollie Tibbetts reward fund has reached $301,363, which is a record for the organization that was incorporated in 1982.
Willey says donations have come from more than 180 individuals and businesses from across the country.
The fund has been established to help return Tibbetts to her family. The 20-year-old woman went missing on July 18 from her hometown of Brooklyn, about 70 miles (112.7 kilometers) east of Des Moines.
Officers from the FBI, state and local law enforcement agencies are working to find her.
She was last seen jogging on the city streets in the town of 1,400.



Man Dies After Boat Capsizes In Southeast Iowa

EDDYVILLE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a man died after a boat capsized on the Des Moines River in southern Iowa.
Rescuers were sent to a spot on the southern end of Mahaska County around 7 p.m. Sunday to check a report about a capsized boat and people in the water. The Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office says 46-year-old Martin Almond was found unconscious in the river and that he was declared dead later at a hospital. He lived in Oskaloosa.
The Ottumwa Courier reports that a woman seen floating down the river from where the boat capsized was rescued near Eddyville.