Home News Saturday News, January 1st

Saturday News, January 1st


Iowa Traffic Fatalities Set New Record In 2021

(Ames, IA)  —  The number of deaths on Iowa roadways is at a five-year high in 2021.  The Iowa D-O-T reports 348 people have died in traffic crashes this year.  That is the most fatalities since 2016.  There were also over 52-thousand car crashes across the state so far this year, up more than five-thousand from 2020. In Plymouth County during this past year of 2021, there were four fatality accidents.  In 2020, according to the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office, Plymouth County had nine fatal traffic accidents.




Sioux County Sheriff’s Office Investigates Truck Accident

(Orange City) — On Wednesday, December 29, at 9:53 a.m., the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office investigated a commercial motor vehicle accident that occurred on Highway 75, three and one-half miles northwest of Hull, IA.

Jerry Hall, age 51, from Springfield, NE, was driving a 2021 Kenworth straight truck southbound on Highway 75. Eric Van Meeteren, age 32, of Hull, was driving a 2007 Peterbilt semi-tractor pulling a trailer southbound on Highway 75 behind Hall. Hall slowed his truck down while passing under the BNSF Railway overpass and Van Meeteren struck Hall.  

Hall and a passenger reported minor injuries and sought medical attention on their own.   

The Kenworth sustained approximately $10,000 in damage; the Peterbilt sustained approximately $40,000 in damage.  

Van Meeteren was cited for following too close.  

The sheriff’s office was assisted by Hull Ambulance, Hull Fire Department and Iowa Department of Transportation Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement.  




State Lawmakers Discuss Reducing Property Taxes For Upcoming Session

(Des Moines) –The Republican who’s leading development of a tax reduction plan in the Iowa Senate says the focus is on cutting INCOME taxes. Senator Dan Dawson of Council Bluffs says reducing PROPERTY taxes is more complicated.

Dawson is chairman of the Iowa Senate’s Ways and Means Committee. The last major property tax reduction in Iowa was the 2013 law that reduced commercial property taxes by 10 percent.

The tax plan that took effect this summer gets rid of the property tax levy that has supported Iowa’s mental health system and the state is to cover all those costs in the future. Representative Lee Hein, a Republican from Monticello, is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Hein says Iowa should consider adopting a law, like one in Utah, that requires citizens be notified of the intent to raise property taxes and invited to a public hearing to voice concerns.

Representative Dave Jacoby is the top-ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee. He says the starting block on property tax reform should be relief for homeowners.

Jacoby is from Coralville. Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque, the top Democrat on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, says the property tax system is perplexing.

The legislators made their comments during a forum sponsored by the Iowa Taxpayers Association. The 2022 Iowa Legislative session begins January 10th.





New Year’s Resolutions Are Difficult To Keep

(Des Moines) — If you’ll be making a New Year’s resolution, you may need to genuinely focus on making the change in order to keep the pledge. Alison Phillips, a psychology professor at Iowa State University, says our approach to making resolutions usually sets us up for failure.

Phillips, who studies behavior change and habit formation, says to focus on how to make changes that will lead to creating a better version of yourself.

Zero in on things you can become good at and that you see yourself doing and take pride in, she says, as those are the kinds of things people won’t give up on.

If better physical fitness is your target, Phillips says it’s important to aim for specific goals that focus on behavior and not on certain outcomes, like a number on the scale.

Everyone fails, she says, so plan ahead and rehearse how you will cope when you run into barriers. Also, social support is important, so in addition to having a workout buddy, make sure your family is on board, too, and will encourage you as you create new, positive habits.




ISU Horticulturalists Suggests To Recycle Christmas Trees

(Ames) –– Some Iowa families have a tradition of taking down the Christmas tree on this last day of the year in order to start the new year out fresh tomorrow. Horticulturist and extension educator John Fech says don’t just toss the tree to the curb, but find a way to repurpose it.

If you’re crafty, trim the branches to make a fragrant sachet, wreath or garland to enjoy in the weeks ahead. You could also cut up pieces of the evergreen to toss in a nearby lake or pond to provide a habitat for fish. Fech says mulching is another option.

Another idea is to return the tree to the great outdoors for wildlife to use as shelter.

If mulching the entire tree is too much work, just using the needles can be an effective mulch on perennial plants, in your garden and to keep weeds in check.