Home News Tuesday News, June 30th

Tuesday News, June 30th


No Meeting For Plymouth County Board Of Supervisors This Week

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will be taking the week off as there will not be any county supervisor meeting scheduled for today.



Informational Meeting Scheduled Regarding Proposed Wind Farm

(Le Mars) — An informational meeting is being planned for Wednesday evening, July 1st regarding a proposed wind turbine farm for Plymouth County. Alan Lucken, Plymouth County’s Zoning Administrator, says due to the COVID-19 virus, the meeting will be offered on-line as a virtual meeting.

Lucken says depending upon the size of wind turbine generators the company wants to install, they could be 600 feet high with each wind turbine capable of generating up to four megawatts of electricity. Lucken says Invenergy is proposing having the wind turbines be located on the eastern side of Plymouth

The Plymouth County Zoning Administrator says Invenergy will first need to get a conditional use variance permit from the county’s Board of Adjustment, but if all permits are approved, construction of the wind turbines could get started as early as this fall.

Lucken says Invenergy has already spoken with local landowners about obtaining easements for their property.

Lucken says interested parties wanting to participate in the informational meeting can either go online to Invenergy’s website, or by calling a toll-free telephone number.

People with questions or comments about the wind turbine project being proposed for Plymouth County can speak with the project representative Matt Berler. His office is located at 158 South Washington Street in Remsen. His phone number is (312) 429-2551.



National Guard Soldier Walks Across Iowa For Mental Health Awareness

(Sioux City) — A soldier from the 185th Air National Guard in Sioux City is walking across Iowa from border to border to raise awareness about mental health. Technical Sergeant Jeff Campbell is on a 20 day, 389 mile journey that started in Clinton and will end back in Sioux City.

Campbell works as what’s called a “Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape” specialist for the 185th. He says issues concerning mental health affect everyone, plus mental health is a particular concern during these times of social distancing and isolation because of Covid019.

Campbell says mental health is a particular concern during these times of social distancing and isolation because of Covid-19. And he says it’s an issue in rural as well as urban Iowa.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 600-thousand Iowans live with some form of mental illness.



COVID-19 Cases On The Rise With Younger Generations

(Des Moines) — Deaths from COVID-19 in Iowa surpassed 700 over the weekend, while also reaching 500-thousand deaths globally. With new cases on the rise in some Iowa counties after having leveled off earlier, concerns are growing among health officials. Sam Jarvis, spokesman for the Johnson County Health
Department in Iowa City, says they’re seeing a spike in new daily cases, with the majority in people between 18 and 25 years old.

Nola Aigner (AG-ner), with the Polk County Health Department in Des Moines, says the county’s average daily case count has decreased this month. Aigner fears the trend could easily reverse if Iowans don’t take precautions, like
wearing face coverings and social distancing.

A sudden surge in cases in the Quad Cities is occurring among teenagers and young adults. Doctor Louis (LEW-ee) Katz, Medical Director of the Rock Island County Health Department in Rock Island, Illinois, says too many people are ignoring the advice they’ve heard so many times already, to wear a mask, wash your hands, keep social distancing, and stay home.

Katz says in April and May, the average age of infected people in the Quad Cities was 59, but during the last week it’s dropped to 29. Amy Thoreson (THOR-son), deputy director of the Scott County Health Department in Davenport, says 40 new cases were reported in the county last Thursday, and more possible infections are still being investigated.

State health officials say Iowans between the ages of 18 and 40 make up the largest and fastest-growing group reporting new COVID-19 infections. Dr. Katz says, “This is not the second wave. This is just the first wave getting worse as we have undertaken reopening.”



Governor Reynolds Signs 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period Into Law

(Des Moines, IA) — An Iowa woman seeking an abortion will have to attend an additional appointment at least 24 hours before terminating their pregnancy. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed the mandatory waiting period into law Monday and it takes effect tomorrow (Wednesday). Planned Parenthood
lawyers were in court Monday arguing the law should be temporarily blocked while their lawsuit continues. Lawyers for the state told the court Planned Parenthood doesn’t have legal standing to challenge the law. The judge in Johnson County has promised a quick ruling.



Tuesday Is Last Day To Apply For Coronavirus Relief Loans Through PPP

(Des Moines, IA) –– The Small Business Administration warns today (Tuesday) is the last day for small businesses in Iowa to apply for coronavirus relief loans. Almost 58 thousand Iowa businesses have been approved for loans totaling more than five billion dollars. The money can be used for rent, utilities or meeting payroll and the loans could be forgiven if the business
retains the same number of workers at the same wage levels. Congress changed some of the program rules this month to make it easier for businesses. The portion of the loans that must be used for payroll has been lowered from 75 percent to 60.



Supreme Court Refuses To Block Execution For Iowa Killer, 3 Others

(Washington, DC) — A man convicted of killing five people in Iowa, including two children, is scheduled for execution next month. The U-S Supreme Court refused to block the execution of Dustin Lee Honken and three other convicted killers in a ruling handed down Monday. All four federal inmates were convicted of killing children. Honken is set to be put to death July 17th at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. The four
executions will be the first time the federal death penalty has been used in 17 years.



Halfway Through 2020 And Des Moines Homicides Have Topped Last Year

(Des Moines, IA) — Des Moines is approaching the midway point of 2020 and the number of homicides has already topped last year. Des Moines police are investigating the death of 41-year-old Michael Thurman of Keokuk. His body was found last weekend. He’s the city’s 14th homicide victim so far this
year. The first homicide of 2020 came on the first day of the year when a 14-year-old boy was killed. January was particularly deadly, with a double-homicide followed a few weeks later by a triple-homicide. Three years ago Des Moines police investigated 28 homicides.



Sioux Rapids Police Chief Suspended For Comment Made On Social Media

(Spencer) — The Sioux Rapids City Council has decided on disciplinary action for their Chief of Police over a comment he made on social media.
Chief Tim Porter posted a comment on an image of a truck attempting to drive through a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters in Des Moines. It read: “Hit the Gas and Hang on over the speed bumps.” Porter later apologized for the post, saying it was made on the wrong post. After a closed session, the city
council decided on two weeks suspension without pay and to have the council and Porter take a sensitivity course.



Governor Reynolds Signs Legislation Bills To Become Law

(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds has taken action on a host of bills, including three that deal with marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes.

When bars and restaurants were closed this spring due to the pandemic, Governor Reynolds issued a proclamation allowing the sale of carry-out cocktails in addition to take-out food. Now, Iowa has become the first state to permanently allow bars and restaurants to sell mixed drinks to go.

The governor has also signed a bill into law that changes the state’s medical marijuana program. The new 90-day dosage maximum is four-and-a-half grams of T-H-C — the active ingredient in cannabis and physicians assistants, nurse
practitioners and podiatrists may now sign the paperwork so Iowans can legally buy cannabis products at state-licensed dispensaries. Post-traumatic stress and severe intractable autism are now on the list of conditions for which medical professionals may recommend cannabis as a treatment.

Reynolds has also signed the bill that raises the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21. It mirrors a recent federal change, lets local officials start ticketing violators and ensures Iowa doesn’t lose $3.2 million in federal funding for substance abuse programs.

Penalties for animal abuse will be increased by another bill the governor signed. She’s also approved creation of a “blue alert” similar to “amber alerts” for suspected of child kidnapping. A blue alert will go out statewide if someone in law enforcement has been seriously injured or killed and there’s a threat to the public from a suspect or suspects who haven’t been arrested.