Home News Tuesday News, February 5th

Tuesday News, February 5th


Semi Truck and Trailer Collides With Chevy Blazer

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department along with the Le Mars Ambulance Service responded to an accident involving a semi-truck and trailer and a Chevy Blazer. The collision happened Monday afternoon at about 2:09 p.m. at the intersection of County Road C-30 and Nature Avenue, or about three miles east of town. The semi truck and trailer was was full
of hogs weighing approximately 80 – 100 pounds. The trailer did not receive much damage, but the truck had major damage to the front end. According to the Plymouth County Sheriff’s traffic report, the semi truck and trailer being driven by 28 year old Peter Matthews of Paulina, Iowa, was heading north on Nature Avenue and failed to stop for the stop sign. The semi truck
and trailer than collided with the Chevy Blazer driven by 73 year old, Paul Gustafson of Remsen. Gustafson says he was unable to stop and avoid hitting the truck and trailer. The Chevy Blazer also sustained major front-end damage from the collision. Gustafson, the driver of the Chevy Blazer, was
transported to the Floyd Valley Healthcare by the Le Mars Ambulance for what was described as having minor injuries. The accident is being investigated by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.



Supervisors Will Not Meet On Tuesday

(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will not be meeting this week due to a lack of agenda items. The county governing board will gather next Tuesday at the County courthouse boardroom.



City Council To Discuss Financial Report

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Council will convene at the city council chambers at noon today. Their agenda includes action items covering the FYE 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. A representative from Williams and Company will attend the meeting to discuss the report. The city council will decide whether to begin the renovation and expansion of the Community Wellness Center. The Community Wellness Center is one of nine identified Community Betterment Projects. The Wellness Center also received a Vision Iowa grant to help off-set expenses. The council is expected to approve the start of the project. The city council will hold its second reading of the
National Electric Code.



Sioux Center Voters To Decide On School Bond Issue

(Sioux Center) — Sioux Center voters within the Sioux Center school district will decide today to adopt a $24.9 million dollar bond measure.
School superintendent Gary McEldowney says the bond issue is to construct a fourth building. He says the existing school facilities are not able to keep up with the growing student enrollment.

McEldowney talks about the plans to expand the school facilities.

The Sioux Center school superintendent says he is “cautiously optimistic” of the chances the bond issue will pass. He says the school board initially delayed the time for voters to cast their ballots on the expansion in order to promote the project.

McEldowney says the size of the structure would encompass 182,000 square feet.



Iowa State Conducts Economic Study On Effects Of Trade Tariffs

(Le Mars) — Iowa State University recently completed an economic research study of the effects of the on-going tariffs placed on American trade. Dr. Chad Hart, an Iowa State University Agricultural Economist says the impacts
of the trade tariffs certainly have hurt agriculture, but he says the entire state’s economy has been negatively affected.

Hart says Iowa’s soybean and pork industries suffered the largest hits, but he adds other commodities, such as the beef industry and the corn industry also suffered since the entire trade industry had slowed down. Hart says prices are still lower as a result of the trade tariffs. However, he says many commodity prices have started to rebound slightly since when the trade tariffs were initially announced.

The agricultural economist says both the U-S and China are still seeing growth in our economies, although it has slowed down considerably. He says what we need to watch is the global economy, and how the trade tariffs are affecting other nations.

Hart says he expects to see commodity prices continue to show slight improvement through the spring months.



State House Bill Introduced To Change The Method Used To Select Judges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A bill that would dramatically change the way Iowa selects judges for the Iowa Supreme Court and the district court level has been introduced in the Iowa House.
The bill would end appointments by attorneys to judicial nominating commissions and gives the power solely to the governor and legislative leaders.
The bill immediately drew criticism Monday from Democrats, who argue Republicans support the change because they are unhappy with court decisions on gay marriage and abortion. Democrats say such a change would favor political appointees and donors.
Republican leaders say the current system gives a small group of
lawyers too much power.
The proposal allows the governor to continue to appoint half the
commissioners to the panel but instead of lawyers, Republican and Democratic legislative leaders would appoint the other half.
Under the current political divide, Republicans would appoint 12 out of 16 state commissioners and Democrats would appoint four.
A spokesman for Gov. Kim Reynolds says she supports the bill.



State Settles With Employees Who Endured Sexual Harassment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The state of Iowa will pay $4.15 million to two executive branch employees who were sexually harassed for years by an agency director who had been a longtime friend of Gov. Kim Reynolds.
The money will go to former Iowa Finance Authority business
development director Beth Mahaffey and its current communications director, Ashley Jared.
The state appeal board voted 2-1 to approve the deals Monday
afternoon. State Auditor Rob Sand dissented, saying Jamison and not taxpayers should be required to pay.
Both women came forward last year to the governor’s office to detail the sexual harassment and hostile work environment they endured under Iowa Finance Authority executive director Dave Jamison.
The state will pay $2.35 million in cash and monthly annuities to
Mahaffey, 53, who left state employment and moved last year after complaining about Jamison’s behavior. Another $1.8 million will go to Iowa Finance Authority communications director Ashley Jared, 35.



Ankeny Police Officer Cleared After Shooting Episode

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) – Police in the Des Moines suburb of Ankeny say a grand jury has declined to indict an officer who killed a Missouri man after he pointed a gun at the officer.
Police announced Monday that the Polk County grand jury met last week and after reviewing evidence decided not to indict officer Todd Webb.
Webb responded to a reported robbery at a Hy-Vee gas station on Sept. 15 and located a suspect nearby. Police say the suspect, Christopher Lee Leonard, of Springfield, Missouri, pointed a handgun at the officer, who then shot and killed Leonard.