Home News Tuesday News, May 19th

Tuesday News, May 19th


Supervisors To Discuss Litigation Settlement

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have a short agenda for today’s scheduled meeting. They are expected to approve a vocational rehabilitation rental contract. Otherwise, the county governing board will be in closed session to discuss strategy with counsel in matters of litigation. Once they finish with discussion with legal counsel, the supervisors will review and possibly approve a settlement agreement. The county board of supervisors will meet with County Engineer Tom Rohe who will
review pickup quotes.



City Council To Discuss Urban Renewal Area

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Council will hold a meeting today through conference call. The council will begin with a public hearing regarding an amendment to the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget. As for action items, the city council will discuss the 2020 Industrial Park grading project. The council will also discuss the Urban Renewal Plan Amendment for the Le Mars Highway 75
Bypass Urban Renewal Area, and the city council will develop an agreement with the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation, including an annual appropriation tax increment payments.



Road To Be Closed For Bridge Replacement

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department have announced another road closing. This time it is Marble Avenue from county road C-70 going south to the Plymouth County – Woodbury County line. That roadway will be closed beginning today and is expected to remain closed until August 21st.
Work crews will be replacing a bridge at that location.



Cattle Producers Facing Some Tough Financial Times

(Le Mars) — May is recognized as “Beef Month,” and with Memorial Day approaching, we normally think of it as the start to the outdoor grilling season. However, cattle producers are feeling depressed and disappointed this year, and it has much to do with the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Craig Anderson feeds cattle near Merrill. He says the virus outbreak has disrupted the food chain system, causing cattle to be held at the feedlot longer, instead of being transported to meat processing facilities. He says it is a
supply and demand situation.

Anderson describes the working conditions at a meat processing facility, and why the coronavirus is likely to affect so many employees.

Anderson says cattle are being held at the feedlots longer and are getting heavier, and are not as desirable to the meat processor, and consequently costing producers money. First, with the added feed, and second, with the discounted bid price. Cattle producers, like himself, are losing money with
every head of cattle sold to the packing industry. He says cattle had been trading at around a dollar per pound.

The Plymouth County cattle producer says with the restaurant industry also having to shut down, or running now at only 50 percent capacity, it also has hurt the cattle producer’s financial bottom line.

Anderson estimates the cattle industry is running between 30 and 40 days behind in having cattle marketed on a current basis. He says during that time, cattle may gain around three to four pounds a day, which will add around another 100 to 150 pounds to their market weight. President Trump has ordered an investigation into the meat processing industry because of the
wide profit margin between what the producer is paid, and what the consumer is ultimately paying. Anderson says the reduction of competition within the meat processing industry, has led to suspicions of collusion within the packers.

Anderson says Congress is trying to re-establish an open trade, and make sure independent cattle producers have a real market place, instead of a bunch of formulas with different packers. He says packers are wanting to operate as efficiently as they can. Anderson says he is hopeful the COVID-19 virus will begin to disappear, and that Memorial Day and the summer grilling will help the demand for beef, and stabilize the marketplace.



Reynolds Announces New COVID-19 Dashboard

(Des Moines) — Iowa is beginning its eleventh week of having the COVID-19 virus, and during Monday’s daily briefing, Governor Kim Reynolds announced a new “real-time” version of tracking the virus which will go on-line beginning Tuesday.

Reynolds says the case counts will be updated in real time, and therefore the state will no longer provide the number of daily case counts.

Reynolds says there will be some modifying of the numbers as to when they are reported to the labs.



Pedati Confirms Iowa Has Two Cases Of PMIS

(Des Moines) — Parents across the nation are deeply concerned about a condition found on children that appears to be a side effect of the COVID-19 virus.  Referred to as Pediatric Multi Symptom Inflammatory Syndrome, or PMIS, it is beginning to appear on Iowa children, according to Dr. Caitlin Pedati, with the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Pedati explains how the inflammation seems to be connected to the COVID-19 virus.

The State epidemiologist is ordering all medical personnel to report any cases of the PMIS.

Pedati urged children to keep up the routine of constantly washing hands as a way to help stop the spread of the virus.



US Army Corps Of Engineers Opening Facilities Near Mississippi River Locks & Dams

(Guttenberg, IA) — The U-S Army Corps of Engineers is opening things up so the public can view operations on the Mississippi River up-close again. The facilities were shut down April 6th to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Restrooms at the locks and dams will still be closed. The area affected is between Lock and Dam 2 near Hastings, Minnesota and Lock and Dam 10 at Guttenberg. St. Paul District locks and dams chief Jim Rand is encouraging everyone to practice safe social distancing and doing what they can to protect themselves during the pandemic.



Iowa Safety Regulators Accused Of Taking Too Long To Respond To Complaint

(Iowa City, IA) — Critics say the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration took too long to respond to a complaint, leading a coronavirus outbreak at a pork plant to grow rapidly. Employees at the Tyson Foods processing plant in Perry filed the formal complaint April 11th, saying the virus was being spread as they worked “elbow to elbow.” They told the state
safety regulators social distancing wasn’t taking place in any production areas or in the cafeteria. The agency closed the case without inspecting the plant April 28th. The Iowa Department of Public Health announced May 5th that 730 workers at the plant – 58 percent – had tested positive for coronavirus.



Des Moines Settles With Family Suing Over Excessive Force & Racial Bias

(Des Moines, IA) — The Des Moines City Council has approved a 75-thousand-dollar settlement with a family over a claim of excessive force and racial bias. The family of Khy’la Williams alleged she was hit with pepper spray and thrown to the ground by Des Moines Police Sergeant Greg Wessels in February 2018. She suffered bruised ribs, bruised wrists and an abrasion
near her eye. The teen and her younger sister had been at a bus stop waiting for a ride home from school. Instead, they spent the night in a juvenile detention center. Police were trying to break up an unruly crowd at the time.