Home News Wednesday News, January 22nd

Wednesday News, January 22nd


Councilman Knapp Discusses Having A Traffic Signal At The Intersection of 18th Street SW And Highway 75

(Le Mars) — In lieu of some of recent traffic accidents that have happened at the intersection of 18th Street southwest and Highway 75, Councilman Rex Knapp during general discussion asked the council whether the city should consider installing a traffic signal at the intersection.

Knapp continued by emphasizing the area has several trucks because of our community’s industries.

Knapp suggested a traffic study be conducted at the intersection. He asked the council how much is a traffic fatality worth compared to the cost of a traffic signal device?  Knapp is predicting sometime in the future, the intersection would have a fatality accident.

Knapp then wondered if the traffic control light could be paid using Tax Increment Financing, or other known as TIF money.

Councilman Clark Goodchild identified three intersections that he says are dangerous for semi trucks because of the close proximity of the highway intersection to railroad tracks. He offered a suggestion of perhaps having a designated truck route that would avoid the area.

No action was taken on the matter since it was brought up during the general discussion. Councilman Ken Nelson suggested the matter should be directed to the Public Safety Committee.



Fire Department Submits Annual Report To City Council

(Le Mars) — The city council heard from Le Mars Fire and Rescue Chief Dave Schipper during its Tuesday meeting as Schipper delivered the annual report of the fire department. Schipper informed the council the fire and rescue
department responded to 529 calls during 2019 which represented the most calls ever during a year. Schipper told the council the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to 431 urban calls, 69 rural calls, and 29 mutual aid calls. The fire chief broke down the numbers into various categories. He said there were 20 structural fires, eight vehicle fires, 85 rescue calls, seven extrications, six grass and tree fires. 97 times the Le
Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to automatic fire alarm activation. Ten times they were cancelled while en route. The fire department was asked to investigate smoke and other odors four times. They had to respond to 25 illegal burns. The fire and rescue department provided public service, or agency assist 195 times and conducted 72 investigations.
Total loss in 2019 is calculated at $870,150. The city portion of that figure was listed at $107,550 and the rural portion was estimated at $762,600.



Grassley Comments On Trade Agreements

(Washington) — Calling it a big victory for farmers, U-S Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa says the recently passed US-Mexico-Canada agreement along with the signing of phase one of the Chinese-US trade will mean additional agricultural products will soon enter all three markets.

Grassley says the two agreements will also benefit many manufacturing and businesses. He points to the auto industry as his example as how it will be better under the terms with the US-Mexico-Canada agreement.

The Iowa Republican Senator says labor and the production of the automobiles will also be better under the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

Grassley says under the phase one signed agreement with China, the Chinese have agreed to some terms the U-S has wanted for a number of years in terms of intellectual property.

Grassley made his comments during his weekly news conference with news media. He says the two trade agreements were promises delivered by President Trump and by a Republican Senate majority.



Grassley Questioned About Whether Democratic Senators Running For President Should Serve On The Impeachment Trial?

(Washington) — The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins today in the U-S Senate. During his news conference, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa was asked if the Democratic senators that are running for
the nomination of the presidency should excuse themselves from the Senate trial? Those senators would include: Amy Klobachur of Minnesota, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Michael Bennett of Colorado. Some people even believe that Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Karmila Harris of California should also excuse themselves from the
trial. Booker and Harris have suspended their presidential campaigns.
Grassley says he understands the reasons for people asking for the Democratic Senators to be excused from the trial, but he doesn’t necessarily agree with it.



Museum To Offer Caucus Seminar

(Le Mars) — With the countdown on for Iowa’s February 3rd caucuses, the public will have a chance to learn more about the political caucus system by attending the Plymouth County Historical Museum’s January 26 program, “Lessons in Caucausing.” Dr. Jeff Taylor, a political science professor at
Dordt University in Sioux Center will be the featured speaker, explaining the caucuses, and answering questions from the audience.

In addition to being the chairman of the Dordt University Political Science Department, Taylor has also written three books on politics. Also scheduled to speak will be Don Kass, former Plymouth County Republican party chairman, and
Clayton Hodgson, a former Plymouth County Democratic party chairman, and a past District Director with the late Congressman Berkley Bedell.



Cedar Rapids Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A drug dealer who sold cocaine and guns from his downtown Cedar Rapids apartment has pleaded guilty. Federal prosecutors say Raven Burkhow entered pleas last week to several charges, including conspiracy to sell drugs, use and possession of a firearm and possession of machine guns, a sawed-off shotgun and a pipe bomb. His sentencing hasn’t yet been scheduled. Officers who searched his apartment seized 20 firearms, including the machine guns and shotgun; the pipe bomb; cocaine, silencers; and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Burkhow faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and a possible maximum of life.



BAE Systems Say They Will Keep Collins Aerospace Employees

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Officials say British-based BAE Systems will maintain a presence in the Cedar Rapids area after it completes a deal to acquire Collins Aerospace’s military GPS business. BAE announced Monday that United Technologies Corp. had agreed to sell the GPS business for $1.925 billion. The Gazette reported that a BAE spokeswoman says plans are for the GPS business’s 675 employees to stay in their Collins facilities until the deal closes. Those workers then would become employees of BAE Systems and transition to a new facility in the Cedar Rapids area. The spokeswoman says it’s not clear where and when that would occur.



Candidates Have Surrogates Hit The Campaign Trail

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Democratic White House hopefuls are deploying surrogates across the early primary states and beyond as they try to make up for their limited time on the trail. Candidates have deployed their spouses, their children and celebrities to make their case to undecided voters and help them raise money in unorthodox ways. The surrogates will become even more important this week as four senators running for president will be stuck in Washington to serve as jurors for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The proxies can help fill in the gap as the senators are sidelined from campaigning in the critical final stretch before voting.