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Monday News, September 7th

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Lt. Governor Adam Gregg Visits Le Mars Apartment Complex

(Le Mars) — Iowa’s Lt. Governor Adam Gregg made a brief stop in Le Mars on Friday afternoon. The Lt. Governor visited with Adam Brown regarding his apartment complex located on Horton Drive between Walmart and the Le Mars Municipal Airport. Brown had acquired a state incentive tax break when first constructing the apartment complex. Brown explains the purpose behind the visit.

Brown says one of his tenants was kind enough to allow the Lt. Governor an opportunity to view one of the apartment units.

Brown explains how he was able to acquire the state-funded tax incentives that allowed him the financing to construct the apartment complex.

Brown says Lt. Governor Gregg was interested in knowing the economic impact the tax incentive program had on the immediate area.

The three apartment complexes hold 100 units, which Brown says are all full. In addition to the apartment buildings near the airport, Brown also owns the Midtown Apartments, formerly the Abby long-term care facility, which has been converted to hold 26 units, and they too are full. Brown says he was impressed with meeting Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, saying he is a native of northwest Iowa, who is interested in seeing where the state’s money is going back into the communities.

 

 

 

Le Mars Police K-9 Performs Well At Certification Trials

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Police Department’s K-9 unit recently performed well at the certification trials, taking home first place in the suspect search and tracking division. Ace, is nearly two years old and is a cross between a Belgium Malinois and a German Shepard. His handler is Officer Bob Rohlmiller, who says he has been working with Ace every day since he was just nine weeks old. Rohlmiller explains the different categories which the Le Mars K-9 dog is now certified.

Rohlmiller says more than 30 dogs competed in the certification trials. Rohlmiller says he was interested in working with police dogs ever since he was young and his parents raise German Shepards.

Officer Rolhmiller tells of a couple crime scene scenarios in which Ace would be called to duty.

In a few weeks Rohlmiller and his dog Ace will be attending a two-day conference to also become certified in drug detection.

Rolhmiller constantly trains Ace to perform a series of drills which involves running through an obstacle course set up at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.

In addition to the obstacle course, people may have also noticed a series of four-feet cube-shaped boxes just to the east of the roundbarn. Rohlmiller says they too serve as an integral part of the training of the police canine.

Officer Rohlmiller says he and Ace have been called upon to demonstrate their skills in front of school children at school assemblies and at civic service organizations.

 

 

 

AARP Official Says Residents In Long-Term Care Facilities Are In Danger Of Contracting COVID-19

(Des Moines) — Fewer than one-percent of Iowans live in nursing homes, but the state director of A-A-R-P Iowa says 50-percent of all coronavirus-related deaths in the state are in residents of long-term care facilities. Brad Anderson says Iowans living in nursing homes are in “grave danger” with more than 540 dead from the virus statewide this year, and he says many measures to protect those residents are still not in place.

The organization is calling on the governor to enact new rules like requiring regular testing for COVID-19 and providing easier access to personal protective gear. Also:

In addition, AARP wants regulations that would require virtual visitation in long-term care facilities, to put a bandaid on the challenges of social isolation.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan AARP is also calling for the creation of a state task force to address the crisis in nursing homes. Anderson notes, there’s all kinds of discussion about Iowa schools during the pandemic, and rightly so.

Anderson says the enacting of common-sense policies will save lives.

 

 

 

Pork Producers Says Pork Industry Is Vital To State’s Economy

(Des Moines) — A study from the Iowa Pork Producers Association shows the hog industry contributes significantly to Iowa’s economy, in addition to keeping many small towns alive. Association president Mike Paustian, of Walcott, says they wanted to show policymakers how important pork production is to everyone’s bottom line in the state.

With more than 54-hundred pig farms statewide, the study shows pork industry sectors generated nearly 41-billion dollars in sales, with production accounting for 34-percent of the total, or almost 14-billion in sales from pork operations.

Paustian says the study shows Iowa’s pork industry created over 147-thousand jobs.

Paustian says the analysis indicates a new pig barn sources about 35-percent of inputs locally. That’s because a new barn’s construction requires purchases including steel, concrete and equipment. There are almost 25-million hogs in Iowa, which accounts for about 32-percent of the entire U-S hog inventory.
See the full report:
https://www.iowapork.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/200615-2020_Iowa-Pork-Industry-Report_State_FINAL.pdf

 

 

 

DNR Investigates Fatal Hunting Accident Near New Albin

(New Albin, IA) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating a fatal hunting accident near New Albin. Officers found a 46-year-old man from St. Paul, Minnesota dead Saturday around 5:00 p-m at the Fish Farm Mounds Wildlife Area. The man was believed to be squirrel hunting prior to his death. The name of the man is being withheld pending family notification. No other details have been released.

 

 

 

Legislative Panel Rejects Conflict Of Interest Complaint

(Des Moines, IA) — A legislative panel has unanimously rejected a complaint that accused an Oskaloosa farmer of having a conflict of interest on an ag-related bill that is now state law. Republican Senator Ken Rozenboom worked on the legislation and publicly urged other senators to support the bill that has boosted penalties for trespassing at a farm, packing plant, or other “food operation.” Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Food and Water Watch filed an ethics complaint and accused Rozenboom of retaliation and of setting up new protections for his family’s operation. Senator Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque who’s a member of the panel, opposed the bill. But Jochum says she concluded Rozenboom’s actions did not violate Senate Ethics rules because the bill applies to all farming operations, not just Rozenboom’s.

 

 

 

State Patrol Focuses On Speeders During Labor Day Holiday Period

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa State Patrol is holding a special enforcement effort that runs through this Labor Day. Trooper John Farley says There’s a continued focus on bringing down the number of drivers who are clocked at excessive speeds. He says they have many examples of people who are driving 25 miles-and-hour over the limit to those who are exceeding 100 miles-an-hour on the roadways. Farley says those types of drivers have increased by 47 percent last year and this year the increase is around 85 percent. He says speed is one thing that can be controlled and keep accidents from happening.

 

 

 

One Month Later Derecho Cleanup Far From Finished

(Cedar Rapids, IA) — Thursday marks one month since the derecho tore across Iowa and left thousands of downed trees in its wake. Cedar Rapids City Engineer Nate Kampman says they have made progress in picking up tree piles but still have more than 70-percent of the city to do. He says they’ve been working seven-days-a-week, 12-hours-a-day, and have collected more than 35-thousand truckloads of debris. Kampman says they used snowplows early on to help push downed trees out of the streets, and now are using their winter snowplow routes to track tree pick up.