Authorities Advise To Stay Off The Roads During The Blizzard
(Sioux City) — Blizzard conditions are getting worse and travel is not recommended on any of the highways and roadways of northwest Iowa, according to Iowa State Patrol trooper John Farley. Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo echoes the sentiment.
Both officials report roads are becoming slick and visibility is in some places is down to zero. Farley says the strong winds that are blowing the snow are making for difficult driving conditions. Tow bands have been issued for Plymouth, Woodbury, Ida, Sioux, O’Brien and Cherokee counties. Highways 75, 60, 3, 12, 20, 18, and 59 are either partially or all covered with snow, icy bridges, blowing snow, and drifting snow. The Iowa Department of Transportation does have snow plows on the roads attempting to clear the snow, however, with the strong winds, it does make it difficult to keep the roads clear.
Authorities Say Be Prepared For Being Stranded
(Le Mars) — Law enforcement officials say now is the time we need to be prepared for the winter storm. Iowa State Patrol trooper John Farley says to know the weather conditions not only where you may begin your travels, but also your destination.
Farley says to make certain you have a charged cell phone with you, especially if you should get stranded.
The Iowa State Patrol trooper says to take special attention to signs, landmarks, and mile markers so emergency personnel can find you and get to you as quickly as possible. Farley says to have a survivor’s kit with you in your vehicle, and if you do get stranded to remain in your vehicle.
Farley says what may prove to be the greatest challenge while driving today will be the strong winds.
Authorities Identify Fatal Accident Victim
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County authorities have been able to identify the victim of the fatal vehicle accident from Friday evening near Westfield. The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office says the victim has been identified as 43-year old Jeremy A. Parker of Macy, Nebraska. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and Le Mars Police Department continue to investigate the accident.
Grassley Uncertain About Trump’s Call For $2000 Stimulus Checks
(Washington, DC) — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley doubts Congress will be able to comply with President Donald Trump’s suggestion to significantly boost the amount in those stimulus checks. The COVID relief bill called for 600-dollar payments, but Trump says that’s “ridiculously low” and said the checks should be for two-thousand. Grassley said, “I don’t think it is feasible because we are in a situation where we’re giving money to some
people who haven’t lost their jobs. ” The Iowa Republican believes any larger checks should target those in need. Trump threatened not to sign the 908-billion-dollar the relief package and called it a “disgrace.” Grassley says he hopes the president will sign the bill or let it go into law without his signature. Congresswoman Cindy Axne says she’s ready to work with the
president and Congress to increase the stimulus checks.
Governor Reynolds Not Ready to Tap Budget Reserves
(Des Moines, IA ) — The start of the 2021 Iowa legislative session is less than three weeks away, but Governor Kim Reynolds says it may be far longer before officials sort out how much more the state will get in federal pandemic relief — and whether some of the billion-dollar state surplus and cash reserve will be tapped. Reynolds said,”we’re not through Covid-19 and
so we have to continue to monitor it very carefully and continue to see what the impact is to revenues.” The bill that cleared Congress this week will send Iowa millions to distribute Covid vaccines, pay for more testing, and perform other local public health functions. It also gives states another year to spend money from the CARES Act that passed last spring. Reynolds
says this will allow us to put Iowa’s remaining balance of about 47-million dollars to work in programs that will continue to make a positive difference for Iowans.”
Authorities Investigating Homicide in Lake Park
(Lake Park, IA) — Authorities in northwest Iowa are investigating a homicide in Lake Park. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says officers found a woman dead in a home around 11:30 Tuesday morning. No other details have been released. Dickinson County Assessors Office’s records show
the home is owned by Sylvia Holland. Anyone with information about the homicide is asked to contact the Lake Park Police Department or Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office.
Study Shows Pandemic Hitting Low-Income Iowa Families Hard
(Des Moines, IA) — A study from the United Ways of Iowa shows how the pandemic is impacting the state’s households and finds low-income families are suffering disproportionately in trying to pay for essentials. Director Deann Cook says the report finds more than half of Iowa households are reporting a loss of income or increased expenses due to COVID-19. Cook says
18 percent of Iowans couldn’t cover one month’s bills before the pandemic and that number is now over 30 percent. Cook says families with household incomes below 50-thousand dollars reported significantly higher concerns about paying for food, utilities, and rent.