Home News Friday News, January 4th

Friday News, January 4th


Housing Construction In Le Mars Remained Stable In 2018

(Le Mars) — Housing construction remained stable last year in Le Mars. City Code Enforcement Officer, Greg Schmid delivered the annual code enforcement and building department report to the city council on Wednesday. Smidt says the total number of building permits had increased over 2017’s permits.

Smidt says the number of single family housing developments remained the same as last year.

The collected fees from the single family housing units increased
approximately three thousand dollars from a year ago going from $22,000 to $25,600 in 2018. Construction costs was listed at 4 and a half million dollars. Smidt says there may be some confusion with the Multiple Family Housing category.

The Code Enforcement and Building Officer says there wasn’t as much commercial construction done in Le Mars during 2018, as there has been in previous years.

Smidt reports there were only two commercial construction projects during 2018.



Chamber Agriculture Committee Announces Date For Ag Business Dinner

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee has announced the date for the Ag Business Dinner. The Chamber will sponsor the 25th annual event during the evening of March 21st with the social hour to start at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner to begin at 6:30 p.m. The event will be
held at the Le Mars Convention Center. The event is being held in the evening this year in honor of the 25th anniversary. Plymouth County Farm Bureau will provide appetizers. Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Vice President of the Agriculture Division, Jordan Sitzmann will serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies. The presentation of the Ag Division Scholarship Recipient and the “Outstanding Service to Agriculture awards will be presented during the evening’s festivities. The featured key-note speaker
will be Scott Siepker. Siepker is an actor, writer, producer and filmmaker.
Siepker is best known for his work as the “Iowa Nice Guy.” He is a versatile, veteran actor of stage and screen, drama and comedy. Tickets are on sale for $15. To get your tickets, or for more information, contact Sue Butcher at the Chamber of Commerce office or call (712) 546-8821.



Dakota Farm Show Enters Second Day

(Vermillion) — Today marks the second day of the 36th annual Dakota Farm Show being held in Vermillion at the Dakotadome. More than 600 booths representing more than 300 exhibitors are showing the latest and greatest farm equipment, seed, and even financial services. John Riles Jr. serves as the Dakota Farm Show’s marketing manager. He says despite the low farm
economy, he believes farmers are interested in upgrading their equipment.

Educational seminars are being offered again today. The farm show hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today, and from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Dakota Farm Show has free parking and free admission.



Legislature Needs To Make Rules Regarding Hemp Production

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa legislators must create rules to regulate hemp production in the state now that Congress has legalized the crop and farmers are eager to start planting.
Hemp comes from the same plant as marijuana but doesn’t contain THC, the compound that causes a high. Hemp is used in clothing, textiles, building materials, paper and food.
Congress approved hemp production in the 2018 farm bill. The Des Moines Register reports that the Iowa attorney general and state agriculture officials will meet this month to discuss state regulations for hemp.
One issue lawmakers may consider is if hemp should be allowed to make cannabidiol. Advocates say CBD can treat anxiety, epilepsy and depression.
While hemp-derived CBD is allowed federally, Iowa’s medical
marijuana law doesn’t allow CBD to be processed from industrial hemp.



Six People Injured Following Fort Dodge Apartment Fire

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say six people were treated for injuries after a fire at their apartment building in Fort Dodge.
Firefighters dispatched just before 7 a.m. Thursday saw flames
coming sixth-floor windows on the north and east sides of the Biltwell Apartments building. Fire officials say the blaze was caused by an unattended candle in a bedroom.
Five occupants were treated at the scene, and a woman who lived in the apartment where the fire occurred was taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. Her name hasn’t been released.



Governor Reynolds Announces Staff Hires

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has hired former Iowa Department of Transportation director Paul Trombino III as her chief operations officer to provide leadership of state government agencies.
Trombino was Iowa DOT director for Reynolds’ predecessor Terry
Branstad from 2011 to 2016 and briefly considered serving as President Donald Trump’s nominee to run the Federal Highway Administration in 2017 before withdrawing his name two months after he was nominated citing family reasons.
Reynolds said Thursday that Pat Garrett is her new communications director after serving a similar role in the campaign and former campaign field director Nick Boeyink is the governor’s director of boards and commissions.
Nate Ristow, a former staffer for former Wisconsin Gov. Scott
Walker, is Reynolds’ policy adviser on public safety issues.
Katherine Shaheen is executive assistant to Reynolds.
Reynolds earlier named campaign consultant Sara Craig Gongol her new chief of staff. Kassidy Krause will serve as Gongol’s assistant.



Iowa Saw More Traffic Accidents But Fewer Fatalities In 2018

(Des Moines) — Fewer people were killed in traffic crashes in Iowa last year, but Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Nathan Ludwig  says it’s not necessarily because people are being more careful when they get behind the wheel.

Traffic accidents have increased in Iowa in recent years, while fatalities have dropped. Ludwig credits several factors.

Statistics from the Iowa Department of Transportation show 318
people were killed in traffic accidents in 2018, down from 330 the previous year. Iowa nearly improved on a low fatality count posted five years ago. In 2013, there were 317 traffic deaths – the fewest since 1944 when there were 310. According to Ludwig, troopers are catching more motorists on interstates who are clocked in the triple digits – traveling at speeds of
100 miles per hour or more.




For Profit College Settles With States Attorney General

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Chicago-area for-profit college has agreed to reform its recruiting and enrollment practices and forego collecting about $493 million in student debt owed by 179,529 students.
Career Education Corp., of Schaumburg, Illinois, agreed to a
settlement with attorneys general from 48 states and the District of Columbia to close an investigation that began in 2014.
New York reached an earlier agreement. California is considering
joining the settlement.
The average student debt relief will be about $2,750.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says $1.4 million owed by 715 Iowa students who took online courses will not be collected.
Miller says the agreement will end what he termed deceptive
practices, including misrepresenting total cost and transferability of credits.
The company denies allegations of wrongdoing and says it will work “to demonstrate the quality of our institutions and our commitment to students.”