Home News Wednesday News, July 8th

Wednesday News, July 8th


Craig Holds Special Election For City Council Position

(Le Mars) — The small Plymouth County town of Craig held a special election on Tuesday for a replacement for a vacancy on the city council. Voting results show Julie Plueger winning the seat with a total of 22 votes. A total of 35 votes were cast.



New Solar Energy Project Introduced In Cherokee County

(Marcus) — A new solar energy farm has been constructed on a hog farm near Marcus, and on Tuesday, officials with the Blue Horizon Energy company of Minnesota demonstrated to dignitaries, including U-S Senator Joni Ernst and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig the importance of solar energy as the
next wave of renewable fuel sources. Ernst says she was impressed with the solar panels used to generate electricity.

The solar farm is surrounded by several wind turbines, and a corn-based ethanol plant is nearby. Ernst confirmed Iowa’s top position as a leader with renewable energy.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig calls the new solar farm located on a hog farm as another way to “harvest the sun.”

Griffin Dooling is the president of Blue Horizon Energy, a Minnesota company behind the solar energy project. Dooling explains how the solar panels will provide the energy needs for a hog farm.

Dooling says the solar farm should generate enough energy on a monthly basis to off-set the power from Mid-American Energy.

MMCRU school district has made the decision to also begin a solar energy project as school superintendent Dan Barkel explains.

Barkel says the school hopes to save money on its energy usage utility bill by using the solar panels.

Officials with the Blue Horizon Energy anticipate solar energy will become more popular within the next five to ten years.



Naig Says Iowa Crops Are Doing Well, But Rain Is Needed

(Marcus) — Although the latest crop condition report indicates Iowa’s crop are doing well, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig acknowledges that a rain is needed for some parts of the state in order for those crops to continue to do well.

There were reports of corn tasseling and silking across much of the State with an average of 5%, almost 1 week ahead of the previous year but 2 days behind the 5-year average. Corn condition rated 85% good to excellent.
Soybean blooming reached 37%, almost 2 weeks ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of average. There were scattered reports of soybeans beginning to set pods. Soybean condition rated 84% good to excellent. Oats headed progressed to 94%, 5 days ahead of last year. Oats turning color reached 36%, 4 days
ahead of last year but 2 days behind the average. Oat condition rated 85% good to excellent.



Department Of Corrections Reports First Coronavirus-Related Death Of Inmate

(Fort Dodge, IA) — The Iowa Department of Corrections is reporting the first coronavirus-related death of a prison inmate. Inmate Ray Allen Van Lengen died at the University of Iowa Hospitals Monday from what a review by the Johnson County Medical Examiner says are complications “likely related to
COVID-19” and multiple pre-existing medical conditions. Van Lengen had been taken to Iowa City from the prison in Fort Dodge after his condition got worse. The 71-year-old Van Lengen entered prison in December of 1995 to serve a 100-year sentence on four convictions of second-degree sexual abuse from
Black Hawk County. No autopsy is planned.




Iowa Puts $50M From Coronavirus Relief Fund Toward Mental Health

(Des Moines, IA) — The state of Iowa is taking 50 million dollars in federal coronavirus relief money and devoting it to mental health and substance abuse treatment. Those programs are currently funded through property tax collections. Governor Kim Reynolds says 30 million dollars from the federal CARES Act will go to support Iowa’s mental health resources.
Another 20 million will be dedicated to substance abuse programs. Reynolds says she is confident the Legislature will approve a more permanent solution for funding in the future. She calls this a priority of her administration.



Muscatine Mayor Defends Mask Mandate For City

(Muscatine, IA) — The Mayor of Muscatine is continuing to defend her mask mandate for the city, even after the governor said local governments do not have the authority to issue the orders. Mayor Diana Broderson says the Muscatine City Attorney advised her the mandate is authorized under a local emergency declaration and Iowa’s home rule provisions. The Muscatine
County Attorney agreed with the governor and Attorney General. Broderson says she’s not satisfied with that legal opinion. Muscatine city police had not started enforcing the order Tuesday, as they wait for further legal guidance.



Council Bluffs Man Arrested For Allegedly Chasing Woman With Screwdriver While Naked

(Plattsmouth, NE) — A 26-year-old Council Bluffs man is being held in a Nebraska jail for allegedly chasing a woman while holding a screwdriver last weekend. Witnesses say Jacob Rasmussen was naked Sunday morning. The woman’s husband eventually cornered the Iowa man with no injuries reported.
Cass County, Nebraska investigators say Rasmussen told them he had consumed L-S-D and has been drinking. He’s charged with making terrorist threats, burglary, public indecency, trespassing and possessing a deadly weapon while
committing a felony. Rasmussen is being held without bond.