Home News Tuesday News, July 21st

Tuesday News, July 21st


Supervisors To Discuss Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hold their weekly meeting at the County Courthouse Board Room beginning at 9:30 a.m. The county governing board is expected to appoint Mariah Miller as a Perry Township trustee to replace Larry Vondrak. The county supervisors are also expected
to appoint Dan Plueger to the Veteran Affairs Commission to fill the vacancy for Curt Moodie. Architect, Dale McKinney will review with the supervisors the plans for the proposed remodeling of the county courtroom. We will hear more about that in a few moments. Plymouth County Emergency Management
Agency Director, Duane Walhof will meet with the county supervisors to review and possibly approve the Plymouth County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. County Engineer, Tom Rohe will also be present at the county board meeting to offer an update to various county road construction projects.



Supervisors To Discuss Courtroom Renovation Plan

(Le Mars) — Part of the agenda for the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for Tuesday will be to meet with the architect drawing up plans for the courtroom renovation project. Supervisor Gary Horton of Akron along with Supervisor John Meis together have been reviewing the on-going plans and communicating with the architect. Horton says it has been several decades since the last time any renovations have occurred inside the courtroom. He talks about the proposed changes.

Horton says the proposed plan will also address the lighting, as well as the ceiling tiles.

Horton says the supervisors will call for bids on the proposed renovation project, and wasn’t certain as to the cost estimates. The county supervisor says the county will be presented a couple of different options for review before a final plan and estimate would be known. Horton says the timetable for the renovation project is still yet to be determined, partly because of
the COVID-19 virus has pushed back the cases to be heard inside the courtroom.

Horton says the staff that work inside the courthouse, including judges, were the people that made the suggestion to the supervisors for the upgrade.




City Council Scheduled To Discuss Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan

(Le Mars) — During the scheduled Le Mars City Council meeting to begin today at 12:00 noon, the council is expected to appoint Pam Hutchins of Red’s Printing to the Le Mars Historical Preservation Commission, Hutchins will fill the vacancy and remaining term of Steve Collins. The council is also
expected to appoint Mary Reynolds to supervise the Le Mars Main Street organization. The city council is expected to approve the Plymouth County Multi-jursidiction Mitigation Plan. As for another action item, the council will discuss a Main Street Challenge Grant Application amounting to $37,500
for the Vander Meer Bakery building owned by Nathan Kass. City
administration officials are urging the council to consider approving the grant application says the program has been historically beneficial to downtown property owners, as well as for the rejuvenation of the overall downtown appearance.



Plymouth County Emergency Management Director Discusses Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan

(Le Mars) — Both the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors and the Le Mars City Council are expected to approve the Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan during their separate meetings scheduled for today.  Duane Walhof serves as the Plymouth County Emergency Services Director and oversees the plan to be submitted for approval to both the county board of supervisors and the city council.  Walhof explains the program, and why it is required in order to collect FEMA funding after a local disaster.




Coralville City Council Member Resigns After BLM Comments Are Challenged

(Coralville, IA) — A Coralville City Council Member has resigned following his recent statements calling Black Lives Matter protesters “criminals”. Tom Gill announced his resignation Monday — he had been on the council for 29 years. His decision comes less than a week after he made statements during a
council meeting about Black Lives Matter activists. Fellow council member called the comments racist and Coralville’s mayor said Gill’s views are not reflective of the city. The resignation comes as Coralville is in the process of what the mayor has called a “comprehensive review of racial inequities” in the community.




Iowa DNR Investigates Manure Release Near Albert City

(Albert City) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is
investigating a manure release from an above-ground storage tank at an operation near Albert City. The failure of a valve on that tank was discovered Sunday afternoon. D-N-R staff members found the manure had pooled near the tank and run into a nearby waterway. Dead fish, manure and elevated
ammonia levels were found along four miles of a tributary of the North Raccoon River. State agents are working with the Ehlers Farm on the cleanup, then determine an appropriate enforcement action.



Chicago Man Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison For Illegal Possession Of A Firearm

(Cedar Rapids, IA) — A Chicago man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for the illegal possession of a firearm. Thirty-seven-year- old Jeareau O’Bryant was involved in a bar fight in Dubuque in September 2016. Video surveillance showed O’Bryant crouching between two cars after the fight, then standing up and shooting several times at another person from
the bar. The court determined he was trying to kill that person. O’Bryant had pleaded guilty last September to possession of a firearm while subject to the terms of a protective order.




Social Worker Sues Over Mental Health Treatment In Polk County Jail

(Des Moines, IA) — A social worker is suing Polk County and the company that provides mental health care services at the jail in Des Moines.
Michaela Jens says she was hired in February and fired in May because she spoke out about conditions in the jail. Jens says inmates struggling with mental health issues are treated poorly in the Polk County Jail. She says they have limited access to things like showers and personal sanitary materials. Jens also raised concerns about the way the jail is handling inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19.




Hospital Visitor Bans Going Back In Place For Des Moines Area

(Des Moines, IA) — Hospitals in Iowa’s largest metro area will again restrict visitors on Tuesday. Polk County Health Department spokesperson, Nola Aigner Davis says the county has not seen an increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations. But it has been averaging between 120 and 130 new confirmed cases daily, and she says they want to protect the most
vulnerable populations. Hospital visitor restrictions were put in place statewide in March, and then eased in June as cases at the time were dropping.





Council Bluffs Man Sentenced To Prison On Child Porn Charge

(Council Bluffs, IA) — A Council Bluffs man will spend time in prison for possessing child pornography.
The U-S Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa says 19-year-old Tate Pilger was sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to pay 15-hundred dollars in restitution for possessing child pornography. The charges against Pilger came after a report by Facebook that Pilger has uploaded child porn
via Facebook Messenger. Police got a search warrant and officers seized his computer and a forensic analysis revealed Pilger possessed numerous images and videos of child pornography.




Free Counseling Available To Deal With Pandemic Concerns

(Undated) — Many people in the state who are having problems with the effects of the pandemic are taking advantage of free remote counseling made available through the state. Spokesperson Teresa Zilk says counselors can help you build coping skills as coronavirus-related disruptions continue.
Zilk says so many people have been impacted in terms of no longer having employment and the anxiety has continued to increase. Any Iowan can seek free confidential counseling at the website: Covid Recovery Iowa-dot-org, or by calling 844-775-WARM.




ACT Offering Tests At The Three State Universities

(Iowa City, IA) — The Board of Regents announced that Iowa high school students who have just graduated, or will be seniors this fall can take the A-C-T college entrance exam on the campuses of the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. The exam will also be
given at the Pappajohn Education Center in Des Moines and the Western Iowa Regents Resource Centers in Sioux City and Council Bluffs. The tests will begin in August. The scores from those A-C-T exams can only be used by the three universities.