Legislature Discusses Property Tax Reform Which Would Change Mental Health Funding
(Des Moines) — Mental health funding is getting a lot of attention at the state capitol building. One one side is the Senate who is wanting to have legislation passed that will reform property taxes, and take away the money and the power from the counties and regional mental health system and place it in the hands of the state. The other side is the State House of Representatives who are not as quick to adopt such a system, saying the Senate hasn’t figured out all the necessary details as to how the state would effectively manage a state-wide mental health care program. Currently, county property taxes that are collected funds mental health services. State Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars says the Senate is being too quick to rush into a new program without knowing all the consequences.
Jeneary says the budget for the Health and Human Services account for nearly two billion dollars, or nearly one-quarter of the entire state’s budget.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds informed KLEM news on Friday that she favors the Senate Bill which would transfer the control of mental health services to the state level.
Reynolds says she envisions a partnership between the state and the regional system, along with the counties.
House Speaker Pat Grassley says a Senate plan to have the state pay all costs and take over management of the mental health system from regional and county officials needs more work. Grassley says they need to have to look at services , saying, “the inequity that may exist with services across the state, some regions offering more than others.” Legislation passed in 2014 maintained county property taxes as the primary funding source for the mental health system, but created 14 regions in the state that counties joined to pool resources.
Grassley said not all 14 regions provide the same level of service and the Senate G-O-P’s plan doesn’t provide enough details about how the state would manage the system, only how it would pay for it. Governor Reynolds says she disagrees.
The governor continued to elaborate on her point for state control of mental health services.
Cross-Fit To Host “Festivus” Competition On Saturday
(Le Mars) — A physical fitness competition referred to as “Festivus” is scheduled to happen on Saturday. The event will take place at the Cross-Fit facility located on Prospect Street on the south side of Le Mars. Justin Daale is a co-owner of the Cross Fit exercise complex, and is also one of the organizers for Saturday’s event.
Daale says the competition consists of basic movements associated with Cross Fit.
Daale says food vendors will be on site. He says the competition will begin at 9:00 a.m. but is expected to last throughout the day. He says much of the competition will be broken down to 15-minute segments.
The Crossfit “Festivus” organizer says some of the teams will be local while others will be from the region from such places as Des Moines, Omaha, and Sioux Falls.
Daale says Cross-fit is flexible so everyone from all ages can find a type of exercise program that will accommodate their age, ability, and level of endurance.
Law Enforcement To Increase Patrol Saturday To Watch For Speeders On Plymouth County Roads
(Le Mars) — Local law enforcement agencies will be increasing their patrol efforts on Plymouth County roads this Saturday. Its all part of the “Speed Enforcement Project” as being funded through the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau. Unfortunately, Plymouth County has been identified as having a high number of traffic accidents causing severe injuries or fatalities. During the past five years there have been 22 fatalities reported in Plymouth County. Last year alone, there were nine traffic fatalities. Iowa State Patrol trooper Justin Sackett says in many of the accidents high speeds were a major reason for the accidents.
The Iowa State Patrol trooper says the step up enforcement will take place on all the roads running through Plymouth County.
Sackett says motorists are not just going a few miles per hour over the posted speed limits, but rather many are driving at excessive speeds.
Sackett says the law enforcement has picked several different times during the year to increase the patrol efforts. He says history has shown to be more in need to have high visibility type enforcement. It is the goal of the program that being out in the public’s eye working traffic will help remind motorists of the many dangers on the road so that they make better choices when driving.
Lieutenant Governor Gregg, Dallas Clark Getting COVID Shots in Sioux City
(Sioux City, IA) — Former Iowa Hawkeye and retired N-F-L star Dallas Clark is joining Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg in Sioux City this (Friday) afternoon to get Covid-19 shots at a pop-up vaccination clinic. Forty-one-year-old Clark was the top tight end in the country in his final season as a Hawkeye and later won a Super Bowl with the Colts. Clark and Lieutenant Governor Gregg are getting their shots in public as part of an effort to encourage more Iowans to get vaccinated. The clinic is being held at the Expo Center in Sioux City between 12 and 2 p-m today.
Carbon Monoxide Blamed For Death of Kossuth County Teen at Hog Site
(Swea City, IA) — Accidental carbon monoxide poisoning is blamed for the death of a teen at a hog facility in Kossuth County. Emergency personnel found 17-year-old Victoria Marie Parra Lerdo of Rockwell City unresponsive at a hog building near Swea City Monday night. An autopsy conducted by the state
Medical Examiner’s Office determined Parra Lerdo died after being overcome by carbon monoxide fumes. Investigators say she was using a power washer in a poorly ventilated in a small area of the building.
Marshalltown Police Investigate Stabbings of Man and Woman
(Marshalltown, IA) — Police in Marshalltown are investigating a stabbing that left two people wounded. Officers found a man and woman with stab wounds to the chest Thursday afternoon. They took a man into custody with minor injuries who said he stabbed one of them. The victims were taken to the hospital in stable condition. Investigators say all three people know each
other. No names have been released.
Walleye Weekend Returns to Iowa Great Lakes in May
(Arnolds Park, IA) — The University of Okoboji Marathon is canceled this summer – but Walleye Weekend will go on the first weekend in May. The Iowa Great Lakes Chamber of Commerce is taking registrations for the May 1st and 2nd fishing contest and other activities. The grand prize for catching a tagged walleye is 39-thousand dollars. Other categories include the heaviest
fish and heaviest stringers of fish. The tagged fish contest extends through August for anglers who don’t catch one during Walleye Weekend. The event was canceled last year during the COVID pandemic.