Home News Monday News, March 22nd

Monday News, March 22nd


Panel Predicts Increase In State Tax Revenue

(Des Moines, IA) — A state panel predicts tax revenue for the State of Iowa will continue to grow at a steady clip. State budget director, Michael Bousselot, says the steadiness and persistence of Iowa’s economy means a little less rocky of that path going forward than what other states might face.
The projections suggest total tax receipts for the state will be three-point-eight percent higher in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1st. The following year, the panel estimates tax collections will grow by four-and-a-half percent. Governor Kim Reynolds says it means legislators can eliminate tax revenue benchmarks and let a series of state income tax cuts take effect more quickly. Republican State Senator Jim Carlin of Sioux City believes the legislature should act quickly to remove any of the pre-existing triggers, and begin looking at immediate tax cuts.




Carlin Discusses Plan To Run For U-S Senate Seat

(Merrill) — Saturday, was the first opportunity KLEM news had to visit with State Senator Jim Carlin since he announced his intentions of running for the U-S Senate seat that is currently being held by fellow Republican Chuck Grassley. Carlin was asked if he wants to challenge Grassley, or if he thought perhaps Grassley would not seek another term, and therefore he, Carlin, could get a jump on any other candidates considering of running for the U-S Senate seat?

Carlin is perhaps better known in northwest Iowa, and even more so in Sioux City, so what is his strategy to have his name become familiar in central and eastern Iowa at cities such as Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Dubuque and Davenport?

Last week the Des Moines Register newspaper, along with Mediacom cable television conducted an Iowa poll asking the question as to whether or not Grassley should run again for an eighth term in the U-S Senate? The results of that survey indicated even a majority of Republicans believed Grassley should retire, and allow another person to pursue the race for Senate. The main reason given was because of Grassley’s age. Grassley is currently 87 years old. If the the Senator runs again and wins, he would be 94 at the conclusion of the next term. Carlin believes the results of the opinion poll spells good news for his campaign for the U-S Senate seat.

Carlin says if there is a primary race between himself and Senator Chuck Grassley, he expects it to be a costly campaign.

Senator Grassley has said he would make a formal announcement relating to his decision sometime during the autumn of this year.




Firefighters Respond To Grass-Field Fire Saturday Afternoon

(Le Mars) — Strong winds on Saturday were responsible for a field fire that was reported at about 3:20 p.m. near county road C-44 and Lynx Avenue, about four miles south of Le Mars. The fire was originally a controlled burn pile that was started on Thursday. However, the south winds that were gusting up to 35 mph Saturday afternoon, rekindled the embers, and quickly spread across a corn stubble field. Many of the firefighters were at the Willow Creek Golf Club setting up chairs, tables, and displays for their annual banquet scheduled for Saturday evening when the alarm came in. Fire Chief Dave Schipper says he was able to see the smoke when he was leaving town heading towards the fire, and realized immediately he would need additional help.

Schipper says firefighters were able to contain and extinguish the flames within an hour. He talks about the benefits of having the pickup truck grass and field wildfire rigs to help stop the spread of the fire.

Schipper estimates nearly 15 acres were burnt before firefighters were able to contain the spread of the blaze. Schipper says besides the community fire departments, local farmers also provided assistance with tractors and tillage disks.




Firefighters Respond To Down Powerline

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to a dropped powerline Sunday morning at approximately 11:00 a.m. It is thought the strong weekend winds aided in having the electrical power line fall. The incident occurred in the alley behind 610 4th Street southwest.




Fire And Rescue Department Holds Annual Banquet And Awards Program

(Le Mars) — Saturday evening, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department held its annual banquet and awards program. Total Motors had a surprise as they presented a check to the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department along with the Le Mars Ambulance for the amount of $10,000. Scott Taylor and Dave Hill of Total Motors were both at the banquet and gave the enlarged check to Fire Chief Dave Schipper and Director of Ambulance Services, Mike Wise. Beginning in July, the two departments will merge together. During the banquet, Jeff Mulder was awarded the Firefighter of the Year honors, Special community service awards were given to Mike Anthony of Anthony’s Heating and Plumbing Company, and to the Le Mars Daily Sentinel. Special recognition was also given to former Captain Mark Hentges who had retired from the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department in early 2020. Hentges had been a member of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department for more than 30 years.

Firefighter of the Year – Jeff Mulder

Award of Appreciation For Support Of The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department: Anthony Plumbing and Heating, Mike Anthony; and Le Mars Daily Sentinel, Monte Jost – publisher, Kim Fickett – editor, and Beverly Van Buskirk – reporter.  Greg and Pam Wells also received the honor but were unable to attend the banquet.

Honored Retired Firefighter – Mark Hentges




Plymouth County Pork Producers Hold Annual Banquet Saturday Evening

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Pork Producers Association held its annual banquet Saturday evening inside Century Hall at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds. The crowning of the pork royalty took place with three young girls sharing the title of “Little Miss Pigtails.” They included: Hadley Ellensohn, the daughter of Todd and Lori Ellensohn; Lakin Schultze, the daughter of Mindi and Mitch Schultze; and Savanh Hitchler, the daughter of Jim
and Kara Hitchler.

The crowning of the Plymouth County Pork Queen also occurred, with Lillian Harpenau (far right) named as the 2021 Queen and Morgan Lee (far left) selected as the Pork Princess. Due to the pandemic and the fact that most activities were cancelled this past year, pork officials decided to allow Kiley Allen, the 2020 Plymouth County Pork Queen (center) to continue serving as a queen for this year.

The pork producers honored both Ben Johnson and Sterling Meyer for their outstanding job of promoting pork. Ben Johnson was awarded the state honor of the “Hog Wild Award” during the Iowa Pork Congress, and Sterling Meyer was honored as the District “Bell Ringer” Award. Meyer talks about the honor.

Among her responsibilities are to help coordinate the “Little Miss Pigtails” contest, as well as the county pork queen contest. Meyer talks about some of the other pork promotions, including promoting pork during a Sioux City Musketeers Hockey game.

Nearly everyone around Plymouth County are familiar with the famous “pork chop and a glove” served by the Plymouth County pork producers at the Plymouth County Fair, and this year will also include the RAGBRAI bicycle ride.
Meyer says it is important to always promote pork as an entree item.

The Iowa Pork Producers Association’s District Bell Ringer recipient says she at times encounters consumers with questions about pork, and she sometimes needs to dispel some common myths associated with cooking of pork.





Class-Action Suits Filed Against Universities Over Tuition Costs During Pandemic

(Waverly, IA) — Two class-action lawsuits have been filed against Wartburg College and Mount Mercy University over the cost of tuition during the coronavirus pandemic. Sydney Warner filed the suit in Bremer County District Court against Wartburg, saying the value of the remote learning provided during the pandemic was less than the value of the on-campus experience promised by the college. The same law firm is handling a similar lawsuit in Linn County District Court against Mount Mercy. If the suits are successful, other students enrolled in the colleges could get some of their tuition money refunded.




Man Wanted In Ames Murder Arrested In Des Moines

(Ames, IA) — Des Moines Police arrested a man sought in a February 20th murder of an Ames woman in an apartment. Thirty-three-year-old Richard Fleck — also known as Rashaud Sims — was arrested on a first-degree murder warrant in the death of 37-year-old Ranea Bell. Bell was found dead when police conducted a welfare check. Ames police booked Fleck into the Story County Jail. They are still seeking information on the murder and asked anyone with information to call the Ames Police Department at 515-239-5133 or the anonymous tip line 515- 239-5533.




It’s Poison Prevention Week

(Sioux City, IA) — This is “Poison Prevention Week” and a spokesperson with the Iowa Poison Control Center in Sioux City says it’s a good time to look under our kitchen sinks and storage areas when it comes to cleaners, medicine, and materials that may fall into younger hands. Tammy Noble says the center has been busy during this pandemic period with things you might expect — like calls about hand sanitizer. There has also been an increase in calls about bleach as people use it to sanitize things as people aren’t always aware of how to do that safely. The center’s Facebook and Twitter sites will have special activities throughout the week aimed at young people.
[The phone for the Iowa Poison Control Center is 1-800-222-1222 and the website is iowapoison.org.]