County Supervisors Reject Bid For Residential Care Facility
(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors tried selling the Residential Care Facility during an auction that was held Tuesday afternoon at the Courthouse Annex Building. Auctioneer Bruce Brock opened the bidding process asking for an initial bid of $500,000 of which nobody responded.
Brock then lowered the bid to $250,000 and again no response. Brock then dropped the asking price to $100,000. Rex Knapp, acting as a board member for Pride Group, then offered a bid of $110,000 for the 4.6 acre complex that includes the 43-bed care facility, grounds, and maintenance sheds. Brock kept asking for other bids, and still no one else placed another bid. Brock
decided to take a few minutes break to allow sometime for those present at the live auction, as well as the 16 viewers watching the auction on-line, to consider their options. Following the few minutes of recess, the auction started again, but still with no other bids submitted. Brock indicated if wouldn’t get a second bid of at least $115,000 he would conclude the auction
and allow the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors the opportunity as sellers to decide if they wanted to accept the only offer of $110,000 or reject the bid, and hope to receive additional interest in the property at a later date.
Supervisor Craig Anderson made the motion to reject the offer of $110,000 and John Meis seconded Anderson’s motion. The supervisors then held a vote with all five supervisors voting in favor of the motion, and rejecting the sole bid for the county-owned Residential Care Facility located at 1240 Lincoln Street N.E. on the east edge of Le Mars.
A Bill Would Ask That 75 Percent Of Dental And Medical Students Be Residents Of Iowa
(Des Moines) — A bill that would limit the number of out-of-state students admitted to the medical and dental schools at the University of Iowa has cleared initial review in the Iowa House. At least 75 percent of the students accepted would have to be residents of Iowa or graduates of an Iowa college or university if the bill becomes law. Republican Representative Tom Jeneary
of Le Mars graduated from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1985.
Republican legislators say the state needs more doctors and dentists, especially in rural Iowa and the bill could help. Dr. Gerard Clancey, senior associated dean of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, is encouraging legislators to look at the big picture.
According to a lobbyist for the University of Iowa, 70 percent of current students in the College of Medicine are Iowa residents. The bill under consideration would require the university to submit a report to the legislature each year showing how many graduates of the medical and dental schools live in Iowa in that first year after earning their degrees.
Le Mars FFA To Hold “Hunger Is A Factor – Fill The Tractor” Food Campaign
(Le Mars) — Food assistance has been at a record high during the era of the pandemic, and food banks and food pantries are constantly in need of additional food items to meet the demands of their clientele. The Le Mars Community FFA is doing its part to call attention of the need for food by holding its annual “Hunger is a Factor, Fill the Tractor” campaign. On Friday, February 12th a tractor will be placed at the door of the new competition gymnasium, near the bulldog statue. Mia Haage serves as the vice president of the Le Mars FFA chapter and tells us more about the “Hunger is a Factor – Fill The Tractor” campaign.
Haage says due to the pandemic and the limitation of spectators during the fall sports season, the FFA chapter decided to hold the event now during basketball season and a lead-in to the National FFA Week which is February 21st-27th. Haage says in addition to the donation of food, the local FFA chapter is also encouraging people to contribute toiletries. Haage says this marks the third year for the “Hunger is a factor – fill the tractor” campaign, with each being successful. She talks about the goal that has been
set for this year’s campaign.
Haage says soups, pasta, and canned goods are always welcomed. She says donations can also be dropped off at the Ag Building located just to the northwest of the high school. Haage says for National FFA Week, several members will drive their tractors to school. She says the FFA chapter will also be hosting an “Ag In The Classroom” event.
The Le Mars Community FFA vice president says the chapter continues to grow vegetables in its hydroponics laboratory.
Haage says the vegetables are grown with water only and no soil. Plant nutrients are fed through the watering system. As Haage mentioned, the produce is harvested and the school food services uses the fresh produce at its salad bar. During National FFA Week, Le Mars Community High School will be hosting the sub-district FFA speech contest, consisting of eleven area
Iowa Health Officials Report Upticks in COVID-19 Cases and Deaths
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting an increase in COVID-19 deaths and daily cases. Thirty-five more Iowans died of coronavirus complications after just two deaths were confirmed Monday. There are 713 new positive COVID tests Tuesday following 261 confirmed
cases yesterday. A total of 325-thousand-379 cases and five-thousand-145 deaths have been confirmed since the pandemic began. The number of patients hospitalized with COVID rose nine to 327. Sixty-seven of those patients are in intensive case and 29 are on ventilators.
House Bill Would Limit Monthly Insulin Co-payments to $100
(Des Moines, IA) — A bill passed by the Iowa House would limit the co-payments for insulin to 100 dollars for a one-month’s supply. Patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes take insulin to control their blood sugar, but the cost of the drug has skyrocketed. Representative Liz Bennett of Cedar Rapids
says that has caused patients to take less insulin than prescribed — or not buy it at all. Bennett said, “insulin is indeed a life-saving medication and no one should go broke simply just to try to preserve their life by using insulin.” A dozen states have established co-payment limits on insulin. A similar bill cleared the House last year, but did not pass the Iowa Senate.
U-S Senator Chuck Grassley released a report early this year blasting the pharmaceutical industry for insulin price hikes.
Iowa Senators Grassley, Ernst Demand C-D-C Transparency
(Washington D-C) — U-S Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are asking for COVID vaccine allocation details from the Biden Administration. The Iowa Republicans are asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release its formula for giving vaccines to states. Iowa lags behind other states in vaccines delivered. Grassley and Ernst say the C-D-C is not being transparent.
Sioux City Murder Suspect Apprehended in Alabama
(Sioux City, IA) — Sioux City police say a man wanted in a November shooting death is under arrest in Alabama. Thirty-six-year-old Roderick Banks was taken into custody Monday in Prichard, Alabama on a first-degree murder charge. Banks is accused of fatally shooting Solomon Blackbird. He was found with a gunshot wound and died in the hospital. Investigators
believe the murder was drug-related. Banks fled to Alabama after the shooting and is awaiting extradition to northwest Iowa.
Efforts To Halt All CAFOs Not Given Much Chance In Legislature
(Des Moines, IA) — Several groups are working with Democrats to put a stop to the development of concentrated animal feeding operations in Iowa. They say the large production facilities pollute the air and water, impact the quality of life, and devalue nearby land. Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley says the legislation has no chance to make it to the floor for a vote. An
eastern Iowa farmer says new methods and technologies make the big operations less harmful, adding the industry has changed from 30-to-40 years ago.
Missouri Man Held On Attempted Murder Charges
(Pella, IA) — Authorities in Mahaska County are holding a Missouri man on attempted murder charges. Deputies responded Monday night to a 9-1-1 call in Pella. When they arrived they found a woman suffering from stab wounds to the head and chest. The woman’s name hasn’t been released. She was listed
in stable condition Tuesday. Investigators say they took 29-year-old Jonathan McAtee of St. Louis into custody after tracking him to an Ottumwa hotel room. He’s being held in the Mahaska County Jail.
Iowa Court Sentences Wisconsin Man To 25 Years In Prison For Sex Crime
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — An Federal Court in Iowa has sentenced a Wisconsin man to 25 years in prison for a sex crime. Caleb Durr had entered a guilty plea to one count of sexual exploitation of a child. He was sentenced Monday in Cedar Rapids. Federal prosecutors said the 20-year-old Durr used a cell phone to take sexually explicit pictures of an eight-year-old girl in Dubuque
in 2019. He was also accused of having sexual contact with another girl who was younger than 10. He originally faced four felony charges, but three were dropped last August as part of a plea agreement.