Plymouth County Farm Bureau To Hold Food…Toy…And Children’s Clothing Drive
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Farm Bureau is launching a food…toy…and children’s clothing drive for the holiday season. Donations are being accepted at the Plymouth County Farm Bureau offices located at 28 2nd Avenue Southwest in Le Mars. Tyler Meekma is a financial services agent with Farm Bureau. He says the Plymouth County Farm Bureau Federation, along with his offices will match the donations.
Meekma says all accepted donations will be utilized and distributed in Plymouth County. He says receptacle bins will be located inside the local Farm Bureau office to collect the donations.
The Farm Bureau official tells of the greatest needs in terms of children’s clothing items.
Meekma says anyone can contribute to the collection drive, and he further explains how the matching portion of the program will work.
The donation drive for food, toys, and children’s clothing will continue up through Monday, December 21st.
Le Mars City Council Hears Report On Plymouth Energy Ethanol Plant
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council heard a report from Steve Meyer, the Chief Financial Officer representing Plymouth Energy ethanol plant based at Merrill. Meyer informed the city council the plant has been shut down since March. Meyer offered an update as to the current situation, as well as future plans for the corn-based ethanol plant. The Plymouth Energy official
says plans are to invest an estimated $16 million dollars into the existing facility in order to make it more competitive with other ethanol plants.
Meyer says officials hope to bring the ethanol plant back into production in April.
Plymouth Energy currently has a loan totaling about $3.1 million dollars with the city of Le Mars, and Le Mars serves as the location of a trans-load and storage facility in the Industrial Park. At present time, Plymouth Energy has an outstanding balance of nearly $1.5 million that is owed to the city of Le Mars.
Iowa House Of Representatives Makes Committee Assignments
(Des Moines) — The Iowa House of Representatives have begun to make committee assignments for the upcoming legislative General Session that is scheduled to begin on January 11th. 5th District House Republican member Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars has again been appointed to serve as the vice chairman
for the House Natural Resources Committee. Jeneary had served in this position during the last session.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Pat Grassley has appointed Orange City Republican, Skylar Wheeler to serve as the vice chairman of the House Education Committee. In addition, Republican representative-elect, Dennis Bush of Cleghorn has been appointed to serve as the vice chairman of the House Budget Committee. Dr. Jeneary says there are committee appointments that are still pending.
Iowa Pork Producers Association Cancels Iowa Pork Congress
(Clive, Iowa) — The January 2021 Iowa Pork Congress will look much different than the 48 previous events hosted by the Iowa Pork ProducersAssociation (IPPA). The IPPA Board of Directors decided to cancel the Iowa Pork Congress trade show, which would have been Jan. 27 and 28. The trade show and educational sessions held during the two days typically attract
4,000 to 5,000 people involved in pork production from Iowa and the Midwest.
“We are disappointed to cancel the trade show, and to postpone some other events typically held during Iowa Pork Congress,” said IPPA President Mike Paustian of Walcott. “We simply relied on our We Care Iowa core values: caring for the people in our communities and working together to solve the big issues our communities face, and today that big issue is coronavirus.”
As scheduled, IPPA will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. “We have worked closely with the Iowa Events Center staff in planning this required in-person event so that social distancing can be maintained throughout the day,” Paustian said.
The day will also include the Master Pork Producers Awards program, as well as the announcement of the 2021 Iowa Pork Youth Leadership Team. Both the awards program and announcement of the Youth Leadership Team will be seated
events held in rooms that allow social distancing. They will also be streamed online for those who chose to watch the events from their homes.
Rita Hart Seeks Another Recount in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District
(Wheatland, IA) — Democratic candidate Rita Hart will ask the U-S House of Representatives to intervene and set the rules for another recount in Iowa’s Second Congressional District. The results state officials certified Monday after a district-wide recount show Hart finished six votes behind Republican
Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Hart’s campaign says filing a challenge under state law did not allow enough time for another recount, as a five-judge panel would have had to declare a winner by next Tuesday. There are 24 counties in Iowa’s Second District and the Hart campaign maintains “many” of those counties did not review ballots that were not recognized in a machine
recount. Hart’s campaign manager says with a margin so small, it’s critical to take the next step to ensure all legally cast ballots are counted.
2964 New COVID-19 Cases in Iowa, 22 Additional Deaths
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting two-thousand-964 new positive tests for COVID-19, increasing the state’s total to 233-thousand-866 cases. Twenty-two more Iowans have died from coronavirus complications which brings the death toll to two-thousand-449. One-
thousand-162 people are hospitalized with COVID. Two-hundred-26 of those patients are in intensive care and 131 are on ventilators. Eighty-four counties have a two-week average positivity rate of at least 15 percent.
More than 142-thousand patients have recovered from the virus.
Anticipated Pandemic Cost For Des Moines: $25M
(Des Moines, IA) — Des Moines City Manager Scott Sanders says the coronavirus pandemic has caused the “greatest budget blow” in his city’s history. Iowa’s Capitol City is anticipating a loss of 25-million dollars in revenue this fiscal year as the direct result. Officials blame less shopping, parking and hotel stays in the downtown area. That will result in a sales tax revenue drop of more than 13-million. Gas tax revenue will be
off by about a million due to less driving in the metro area. Sanders says he’s not expected job or service cuts, but capital spending will be reduced.
Some streets needing improvement will have to wait. It’s not over – Des Moines is expecting another 12-million dollars in revenue losses next year.
Grassley Says Congress Should Approve Funding For Administering Vaccines
(Washington, DC) — U-S Senator Chuck Grassley says Congress needs to approve federal funding to help the states administer millions of coronavirus vaccinations. At least three versions are nearing federal regulatory approval. Grassley says he thinks it’s something that already has bipartisan support. He did blame Democrats for stalling negotiations on the funding,
although Democrats blame Republicans for the delay. The C-D-C announced guidelines for who gets the first round of vaccinations Tuesday. The states say they need more money to recruit and train workers, to appropriate storage facilities, and acquire vaccine distribution locations.
Farming Finances Showing Improvement
(Washington, DC) — The U-S Department of Agriculture is projecting balance sheets for farms could look better by the end of 2020 than they have in years. One agency economist says direct government payments are making the biggest difference. Farmers have received millions in disaster assistance
payments for COVID-19 relief. Most of the checks came through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. Others through the paycheck protection program. Direct federal payments are expected to account for nearly 40-percent of all farm income this year.
University Students Charged With Extortion
(Iowa City, IA) — The University of Iowa Department of Public Safety accuses a 20-year-old student of threatening to report she had been sexually assaulted unless the would-be victim paid her one-thousand dollars. The student, Vy Nhat Dihn, has been charged with extortion. The incident allegedly happened at Catlett Residence Hall on the campus in Iowa City last
April. Dinh is free on her own recognizance and has been ordered to have no contact with the victim. If convicted, she could get up to five years in state prison.