Home News Friday News, March 19th

Friday News, March 19th


Plymouth County To Receive In Excess Of $4.8 Million Dollars From Latest COVID Relief Bill

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County is about to get a windfall of money allocated by the federal government through the latest $1.9 Trillion Dollar COVID-19 Relief Bill that was passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden.
The amount due to the county is in excess of $4.8 million dollars. However, as Plymouth County Board of Supervisors chairman Don Kass explains, there are limited ways the county can utilize the funds. Kass says the money needs to go towards specific COVID-19 directed purposes.

Kass says the county did not encounter any additional expenditures associated with the pandemic.
The county board chairman says there was a time for nearly six weeks in which the county courthouse and county offices were closed because of the COVID-19 virus, but employees were still getting paid during the shut-down.

The county supervisors chairman believes it is a mistake on behalf of the Democratic controlled Congress and the Biden Administration to allocate the enormous amounts of money to counties, that simply don’t need it, and with limited ways to utilize the funds. The question was asked of Kass what will the county do with the $4.8 million dollars?

Kass says the whole process is de-valuating the U-S currency.

Plymouth County is due to receive the COVID relief funds within 30 days.




Police Department Submits Annual Report

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte appeared before the Le Mars City Council on Tuesday to submit the police department’s annual report.
Vande Vegte says COVID-19 had an impact on the department’s duties. Vande Vegte informed the council they patrol between 76 and 80 miles of city streets on a daily basis, which translates to an average of 410 miles each day. Vande Vegte says the department is in its second year of having a school resource officer within the schools, and calls the program a success.
Following Vande Vegte’s report, Mayor Dick Kirchoff mentioned that he and council member Mike Donlin attended a Kiwanis meeting in which Le Mars Community School Superintendent Dr. Steve Webner was the featured speaker.
Kirchoff says Dr. Webner had good comments about the school resource officer program.

Mayor Kirchoff then praised Vande Vegte and his officers since Le Mars was recently named as the “Second Safest City” in Iowa. The police chief responded by saying it is a nice honor for the community, but he also acknowledged other city departments, as well as the city’s residents and shared the credit.

Chief Vande Vegte says property related crimes were lower in 2020, but crimes against persons were higher.

Vande Vegte highlighted some of the trends from 2020, as well as discussed some statistics.

Vande Vegte informed the council the department’s goals for 2021 is to make more contacts with the citizens of Le Mars. He specifically said they want to stop in every business in town, to make a connection and to inquire as to how everything is going. The police chief says due to COVID-19 they had to
drop a few programs. Vande Vegte says they hope to start up the Citizens Academy again, as well as have the “Coffee with a Cop” program.




Nursing Home COVID Outbreaks Down to Zero

(Wapello, IA) — The state website with coronavirus data now shows there are no Covid outbreaks in Iowa nursing homes. The Vista Wood Care Center in Wapello County was the last facility on the list, and has now been removed.
State officials say a nursing home is cleared from being labeled with Covid outbreak status if the facility goes 28 days without a new positive case among residents and staff. This (Thursday) morning, the state website showed 22-hundred-23 long-term care residents have died of Covid during the pandemic. State officials say they do not have a list of how many of Iowa’s
436 nursing homes had Covid outbreaks.




Lawmakers Work On Tax Benefits For Emergency Responders

(Des Moines, IA) — A bill under consideration in the Iowa Senate calls for a big increase in the state income tax credit for volunteer firefighters, E-M-Ts, and reserve law enforcement. The tax credit for volunteers who serve as firefighters, emergency medical personnel, or reserve police officers would
increase from 100 dollars to one thousand. Iowa Firefighters Association Cyndi Peterson says it’s more about catching up than it is a big increase.
Peterson says there’s little — if any — type of reimbursement for the volunteers who respond to fires and medical emergencies in their communities, particularly in rural areas. By one estimate, up to 20-thousand Iowans are currently serving as volunteer firefighters.




State Panel Meets To Estimate Iowa Tax Revenue

(Des Moines, IA) — A state panel meets today (Friday) to set official estimates of state tax revenue for the next 15 months. A good outlook could lead to the Iowa House taking up the Senate’s plan to accelerate state income tax cuts. But House Speaker Pat Grassley says a 2018 law includes a benchmark that state tax collections grow by at least four percent before the tax cuts are triggered to kick in. Governor Kim Reynolds supports removing that tax revenue measurement, so a series of promised income tax cuts automatically take effect in 2023. Grassley says that will be considered.





State Of Iowa Will Match IRS Delay Of Tax-Filing Deadline

(Des Moines, IA) — If you are still working to get all your 2020 tax information together — you now have more time. I-R-S spokesman Christopher Miller says the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will now be automatically extended from April 15th to May 17th. The tax deadline was moved last year from April to July because of the issues surrounding the pandemic. Miller says some of those same issues led to the second straight movement of deadline day. He says even with the new deadline the I-R-S is urging people to, first of all, electronic file, and then do it as soon as they can.




Emmetsburg Holds 61st St. Patty’s Day Celebration

(Emmetsburg, IA) — It’s not on St. Patrick’s Day — but the 61st celebration of the Irish is underway today (Friday) in Emmetsburg through Sunday. Stephanie Meehan with the St. Patrick’s Association of Emmetsburg says today’s (Friday) schedule offers several options. The big day is tomorrow (Saturday), with a host of activities for leprechauns young and old including the parade. Meehan says COVID-19 guidelines will be followed at all activities.