Home News Monday Afternoon News, January 17th

Monday Afternoon News, January 17th


Student Council Collecting Soup For Local Food Pantries

(Le Mars) — The freshmen students of the Le Mars Community High School student council have been collecting soup for the local food pantries. They will have a display of the collected cans at the gym lobby on Tuesday, Jan 18. They are asking the public to donate soup or money for those in need.  Brittney Britt is a sophomore student and a member of the Le Mars Community High School Student Union.  She explains the program.

Britt says the students are nearly half-way of reaching their goal of 1,500 cans of soup. Britt says they have yet to determine a date when the donations of soup and money will be delivered to the local food pantries.  She says hopefully, a majority of the student council members will be present to make the donation.

So, remember to bring along a can of soup when you attend the Le Mars High School Bulldog games on Tuesday.  Speaking about soup, the Le Mars FFA along with the Le Mars FFA Alumni association will be holding a soup supper the following week, on Tuesday, January 25th.  Soup will be served in the high school cafeteria between 5;00 and 7:00 p.m. Proceeds from the soup supper will go to help with scholarships.




House Republicans Introduce Bills To Eliminate Tax On Retirement Funds


(Des Moines) — House Republicans have introduced a bill to eliminate the state income tax on retirement income from pensions, I-R-As and 4-0-1-Ks. Republican House Speaker Pat Grassley suggests it might prompt some older Iowans to think twice about relocating or living more than half the year in another state that doesn’t tax retirement income.

Grassley made his comments this past weekend on “Iowa Press” on Iowa P-B-S. Social Security benefits are not taxed in Iowa. This House G-O-P plan — to expand that exemption to all retirement income — would go into effort for the 2022 tax year. That’s a year earlier than Republican Governor  Kim Reynolds has proposed. Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls (like “walls”) says the idea doesn’t meet the goal of targeting tax relief to low and middle income Iowans.

The governor’s staff estimates the state would collect 400 million dollars less in taxes annually if income from pensions and other retirement accounts is no longer subject to the Iowa income tax.




Study Shows Casinos Don’t Necessarily Contribute To Higher Crime Rates

(Des Moines) — Socioeconomic studies conducted for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission show some types of crimes do increase in casino communities — but overall they aren’t less safe. Spectrum Gaming Group managing director, Michael Pollock, says you have to look very closely at the crime studies.

Pollock says certain types of non-violent crimes– such as robberies and thefts — are higher in casino towns. He says that’s because there are more people and money there and opportunities for criminals.

Pollock says other positive factors offset the impact.

Pollock says their study shows similar things with other socioeconomic impacts such as divorce.

He says you also have to look at the history of an area prior to the casino being there.

Pollock says there is an increase in problem gambling with casinos, but he says there are a lot of factors involved in that issue as well. He says the problem gambling rate remains very low in Iowa and the state ranks fourth for the amount of money put into its gambling treatment program.  You can see the full report on the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission website.





Storm Lake Police Investigate Death Of 7-Year-Old Child

(Storm Lake, IA)  —  The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy on the body of a seven-year-old child who died in Storm Lake last week.  Police were called to a home Tuesday at about 11:30 p-m for a child that wasn’t breathing.  The victim died before doctors at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center could help.  The death is being investigated by the Storm Lake Police Department and the Buena Vista County Medical Examiner’s Office.  No names have been released.




Former Taco Bell Employee’s Case Reaches US Supreme Court

(Washington, DC)  —  A former Taco Bell restaurant employee says she was ordered to work off the clock so the company could avoid paying her at an overtime rate.  The case Robyn Morgan versus Sundance Incorporated is scheduled to go before the U-S Supreme Court in March.  Morgan’s case was filed as a class-action lawsuit in 2018.  She worked at the restaurant in Osceola for several months in 2015.  Her attorneys allege the restaurant owner, Sundance, cheated its employees out of overtime pay.




High Court Rules Parents Must Be Given Preference In Some Custody Cases

(Des Moines, IA)  —  The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled parents have a fundamental right to the care, custody, and control of their children.  The court ruled last week parents must be given preference in those cases where others have been caring for their kids through guardianship.  The case last Friday involved a single mother and her child’s grandparents.  The mother was 16 years old when she gave birth.  The child had lived mostly with the grandparents but the mother was seeking a full return of custody of her child.  The court agreed.




Hawkeyes Football Coach Has Contract Extended Through 2029

(Iowa City, IA)  —  The contract for Iowa Hawkeyes head football coach Kirk Ferentz has been extended through 2029.  Ferentz is already the longest-tenured college football coach in the country and he’s been leading the Hawkeyes for 23 seasons.  With 178 career wins, he is the Iowa program’s winningest coach after passing Hayden Fry in 2019.  His compensation package is worth seven million dollars a year and he and his staff will be eligible for performance bonuses.