Home News Thursday News, January 6th

Thursday News, January 6th


Fire And Rescue Department Respond To Semi Truck And Side Dump Trailer Roll-over Accident

(Le Mars) — Strong winds may be partially responsible for a semi truck that had rolled over on its side.  Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to the accident involving a semi truck with side dump trailer that had rolled over.  The side dump trailer was filled with silage.  The accident happened at about 10:40 a.m. Wednesday morning and was located near the intersection of County roads K-22 and C-38.  Assistant Fire and Rescue Chief, Mike Wise says there were no injuries involved with the accident, and the accident only involved the semi truck and trailer.




City Water Department And Public Facilities Department Offer Annual Reports

(Le Mars) — During the city council meeting held Tuesday, city council members heard annual reports from the city water department, public facilities, and from the city streets department.  Rich Sudgtele serves as the superintendent for the city water department.  He reported to the city council that during the year 2021, one-billion,121-million, and 139 thousand gallons of water were pumped from six wells to serve the city’s industrial, business, and residential needs.  The average daily amount of water pumped was listed at 3-million 47-thousand gallons, which was an increase of 65,500 gallons per day from the 2020 daily average water consumption.  As you would imagine, the highest amount of water pumped occurred during the summer months.  June was the highest with 129-million,86-thousand gallons of water being pumped.  January of 2021 had the least amount of water usage with 63-million, 429-thousand gallons. Sudgtele informed the council the city water department repaired eight different water main breaks, oversees 768 fire hydrants.


As for the city public facilities, Superintendent Brad Eppling informed the city council that his staff installed security cameras at the Olson Cultural Events Center, Foster Park, West Floyd Park, Public Works Building, O’Toole Park at the shelter house and skate park, and at the Municipal Park Shelter House in order to cut down on the number of graffiti incidents.  Eppling reported the security cameras have helped identify graffiti offenders on city property.   Eppling says the Public Facilities Department made repairs, to, or sealed more than 150 picnic tables.  Eppling informed the city council that Cleveland Park restrooms were constructed during the autumn, and will open in the spring.  The Public Facilities staff extended the dock lengths at the Municipal Park and pond.  They made repairs to the outdoor swimming pool, and repainted the outdoor pool before it was open to the public in the spring.  Eppling says his staff seeded the new dog park, and installed equipment at the dog park.    In the annual report, Eppling says his staff installed the Christmas decorations at Olson Cultural Events Center, Downtown, and at Foster Park.  He says the staff mowed city property, upgraded landscapes at various parks and city property, and prepped the city parks and downtown areas for both the annual Ice Cream Days celebration, as well as for the RAGBRAI event.




Exhibitors At Dakota Farm Show Say Attendees Are Optimistic

(Vermillion) — During the last few years, farmers had witnessed a sluggish economy.  However, this past year many commodities were at profitable levels, giving farmers a renewed sense of optimism.  Exhibitors at the Dakota Farm Show going on now at Vermillion say they have noticed a difference in farmer attitudes.  Katie Crawford is with T and T Sales and Service at Hinton.

T and T Sales and Service sells power washers, cleaners, and radiant heaters.  Crawford tells of the products the attendees of the farm show have shown the most interest.

Crawford says when the temperature drops, there is always interest in their heaters.

Vance Lundell of Lundell Plastics from Odebolt, Iowa, agrees with Crawford.  He says the attendance and attitude at the Dakota Farm Show is better.

Lundell markets hard plastic auger flights that help protect the grain from cracking or splitting during grain handling movement.

Although Lundell says the supply chain has slowed down, he says 2021 was a good year for his business, and he expects 2022 will have similar results.

Today, Thursday is the final day for the Dakota Farm Show held at the Dakota Dome at Vermillion.




Iowa Congresswoman Says Attack On US Capitol Shows Need For Free, Fair Elections

(Washington, DC)  —  Congresswoman Cindy Axne says the attack on the U-S Capitol a year ago highlights the need to ensure free and fair elections.  The Iowa Democrat says Senate passage of a voting rights bill “is the key priority right now.” Axne says she’s very concerned by a recent Washington Post survey indicating a third of Americans believe violence against the government is sometimes justified. 

Republican Senator Joni Ernst says her view on the attack hasn’t changed. She says January 6th was a “very dark day in American history” and those who broke the law on that day should be held accountable.

Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson of Marion issued a written statement on the one-year anniversary, calling the violence that day horrific and thanking Capitol Police for their bravery. Hinson says those who broke the law on January 6th should be prosecuted and held accountable.




Iowa Racing And Gaming Commission Study Focuses On Market Impact Of New Casino

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Gambling market studies conducted for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission show the potential impact on the market for a new casino in Cedar Rapids and casino gambling in Nebraska.  Racing and Gaming Administrator Brian Ohorilko says the information will help determine if there should be a casino there after a license was denied in the last attempt.  Ohorilko questions what has changed since 2017.  One of the two studies shows not much has changed and a Cedar Rapids casino would take revenue from Waterloo, Dubuque, and Riverside.  The other study projects that loss to existing casinos of 61 million dollars.  The commission will get a full review of the studies at their meeting next week.




John Deere To Build Autonomous Tractor At Waterloo Plant

(Waterloo, IA)  —  A day after rolling out its high-tech autonomous tractor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, John Deere has announced the vehicle will be built in Waterloo.  Deere’s largest production complex employs about five thousand workers at its Waterloo Works facility in northeastern Iowa.  Driverless tractors are aimed at helping farmers who face growing labor shortages.  The company says farmers need technologies to help them do more with less.  Many current tractor models already have auto-steer systems that use G-P-S to guide them during planting, tilling, and other fieldwork.  John Deere hasn’t said when production of the driverless tractors will start.




Iowa Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Drug Charges

(Cedar Rapids, IA)  —  An Iowa man faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to drug charges.  Fifty-seven-year-old Jon Stidham of McClelland admitted he sold controlled substances online without requiring a valid prescription and without holding state or federal licenses.  His business called Kennel Supply sold more than 300 thousand doses of the drugs online over a three-year period.  Stidham will be sentenced by U-S District Court Judge C-J Williams after a presentence report is completed.  His plea deal includes an agreement to forfeit more than a half-million dollars in illegal profits.




COVID-19 Deaths Top 8000 in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA)  —  The Iowa Department of Public Health’s website shows more than eight-thousand Iowans have died of Covid complications.  The state’s first Covid death was reported on March 20th, 2020.  The I-D-P-H site indicates 161 death certificates reviewed in the past week show Covid as the cause of death.  Some deaths occurred weeks ago.  That has pushed the death toll in Iowa to eight-thousand-19.  There’s been an increase in hospitalizations since last week.  There are 792 patients in Iowa hospitals Wednesday who tested positive for Covid.  That is 81 more than last Wednesday.




Iowa House GOP Bill Would Ban Hiring or Firing Due to COVID Vaccination Status

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A group of Iowa House Republicans is proposing legislation that would bar businesses in the state from hiring and firing anyone based on their vaccination status.  The bill would prohibit companies from asking if an employee has been vaccinated and it would be illegal for businesses to keep records of an employee’s vaccination status.  G-O-P Representative Jon Jacobsen of Council Bluffs says the bill would be simple to implement and protects Iowans from what he described as the “tyrannical reach of the federal government.”  Representative Mark Cisneros of Muscatine says Covid mandates have created hardships for many Iowans and there’s no need to wait for court rulings because the Iowa legislature has the power to take action.




Former Republican State Lawmaker Hanusa Running For State Auditor

(Des Moines, IA)  —  A former state legislator from western Iowa is launching a campaign for state auditor.  Republican Mary Ann Hanusa of Council Bluffs aims to challenge Democrat Rob Sand’s bid for a second term as state auditor.  Hanusa served in the Iowa House for ten years but did not seek reelection in 2020.  Hanusa considered a run for the U-S House in 2022 against Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne, but Hanusa’s home is not in the new 3rd District.  She also ran for Iowa secretary of state in 2006.




Furnace Goes Out at Fort Dodge Animal Rescue Facility

(Fort Dodge, IA)  —  An animal rescue facility in Fort Dodge is looking at a big furnace repair bill as wind chill factors dip nearly 30-below zero.  Allix Black with the Almost Home Animal Shelter says the heat in the dog area was working for a short time on Saturday, then conked out.  Black says they had a few very cold nights and luckily Tuesday was nice outside, but the next couple days are going to be really cold again.  She is hoping a tech can get it fixed Wednesday.  Black says they’re using electric heaters in the short term to keep the animals warm.  Donations are welcomed at the Almost Home website.