Grassley Holds Town Hall Meeting At Floyd Valley Healthcare
(Le Mars) — More than 40 people attended a town hall meeting with U-S Senator Chuck Grassley held this morning at Floyd Valley Healthcare. The Republican Senator answered questions dealing with trade with China and the
proposed additional tariffs, gun control following the latest mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, and the federal death penalty. Grassley was also asked about the waivers the Environmental Protection Agency has given oil companies to not blend ethanol as part of the Renewable Fuels Standard.
Grassley also addressed questions relating to healthcare and specifically, Medicare. Grassley, who has spent more than 36 years in the U-S Senate, was also asked the question if term limits should be imposed on all elected officials. Following the town hall meeting, Grassley spoke with KLEM news and says the real problem with the nation’s mass shootings may lie with
mental health. He was asked what, if anything, Congress can do to help curtail the shootings.
Beginning September 1st, President Trump has proposed implementing an additional ten percent tariffs on all Chinese goods. Grassley says he is not necessarily in favor of additional tariffs. However, he says no other president before Trump has directly dealt with the Chinese unfair trade practices. Grassley says the imposed additional tariffs will hurt the U-S consumer.
Grassley says China and the United States makes up a large portion of the world’s economy, and he says a trade deal would not only help Americans and the Chinese, but it would benefit the entire world economy.
America’s agriculture depends heavily on China purchasing U-S agricultural products, and yet with the tariffs, the Chinese have retaliated by imposing its own tariff on U-S agricultural commodities and goods. Farmers, by in large, have supported Trump, and Grassley tells what he is hearing from farmers caught in the middle of the trade dispute with China.
Grassley says he hopes a trade agreement with China will occur soon, but he doesn’t have any idea as to when an agreement will be reached. Grassley’s Le Mars town hall meeting is part of his annual Iowa 99-county tour.
Supervisors Approve REAP Grant Request For Plywood Recreational Trail
(Le Mars) — By a vote of 3 to 2, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved the request made by McClure Engineering on behalf of the Plywood Recreational Trail Association to pursue obtaining a grant through the R.E.A.P. Foundation of up to $100,000 to go towards the engineering fees and construction of the proposed Plywood Recreational Trail that would connect Le Mars to Sioux City, and along the way would join Merrill and Hinton as part of the trail. Although the vote was passed to approve the grant request, many of the county supervisors still shared their disapproval with the overall project, saying they are concerned about the cost to maintain the trail.
City Council Sets August 22nd As Date For Public Hearing On Fireworks.
(Le Mars) — During Tuesday’s Le Mars city council meeting, city leaders briefly discussed a proposed change to the fireworks ordinance. The city council has established August 22nd as the date for a public hearing. What is being proposed, and approved by the city’s Public Safety Committee, is to shorten the dates for discharging fireworks. Currently, Le Mars follows the state law, which states that fireworks can be purchased and discharged between June 1st through July 8th. The proposal would change it to have fireworks be discharged only on July 3rd through July 5th, and again between December 31st through January 3rd. State law allows fireworks to be discharged between December 10th and January 3rd. In other action, the city council approved funding the Main Street Facade Program by allocating up to $50,000 for the project. However, on a related topic, the city council decided to table a request of $37,500 for a Main Street Challenge Grant. The council requested additional information by Le Mars Main Street Director, Mary Reynolds.
Kirchoff Announces He Will Seek Re-election For City Mayor
(Le Mars) — At the end of the city council meeting held Tuesday, Mayor Dick Kirchoff made the announcement to the city council that he will pursue re-election of the mayor position.
Discrimination Trial May Cost The State More Than $4 Million
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The attorney for a former Iowa official who sued the state for discrimination and won is seeking $4.1 million for fees and costs.
Roxanne Conlin represented Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey in a case that took seven years to get to trial.
A jury last month awarded Godfrey $1.5 million after finding former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and a staffer discriminated against Godfrey in 2011 because he’s gay and retaliated against him by cutting his pay.
Conlin and a team of eight attorneys and several legal assistants
worked on the case, which went to the Iowa Supreme Court twice.
Branstad’s lawyers haven’t submitted a bill for all fees yet but
costs have neared $2 million and are expected to climb as they seek to have the verdict overturned and the case either dismissed or retried.
Iowa taxpayers will pay the judgment and attorney costs once a judge approves the totals.
Waterloo City Council Approves Plan For A Theme Park
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) – The Waterloo City Council has taken a step toward development of a $100 million theme park on the south side of the city.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the council granted a
rezoning request Monday for what will become Lost Island Theme Park on nearly 160 acres (64.8 hectares) adjacent to Lost Island Water Park. Theme park plans call for roller coasters and thrill rides.
Gary Bertch’s family opened the water park in 2001, and he says he hopes to begin grading this fall and open the theme park in summer 2022. He says the project is still pending approval of a development agreement with the city.
Noel Anderson is Waterloo’s director of planning and community
development, and he’s said the project would be a major boost to the local tourism economy.
Judge Sends Man To Prison After Fleeing From A Hit And Run Incident
DRAKESVILLE, Iowa (AP) – A judge has imprisoned a man who fled after his pickup truck struck and killed a 9-year-old boy and injured his 12-year-old brother in southeast Iowa.
Davis County District Court records say 42-year-old Terry Petary, of Drakesville, was sentenced Monday to 25 years. He’d pleaded guilty in June to four felony charges: vehicular homicide, causing serious injury by vehicle, failure to stop at the accident scene and possession of methamphetamine.
The Iowa State Patrol says Petary’s pickup struck the boys a little before 10 p.m. June 24 last year as they walked on a rural road west of Drakesville. The patrol identified the dead boy as 9-year-old Merlin Beechy and his brother as 12-year-old Nathan Beechy, of rural Drakesville.
Northeast Iowa Man Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography Possession
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A northeast Iowa man has pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography.
Prosecutors say 31-year-old Derek Clemens, of Evansdale, entered the plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. He admitted that, between March 2018 and October 2018, he knowingly received child pornography.
Clemens faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment. His sentencing hearing hasn’t been scheduled.