Le Mars Man Loses Supreme Court Appeal Regarding Not Showing Up For Trial
(Des Moines) — The Iowa Supreme Court says defendants do not have to be present in some misdemeanor trials if the person is intentionally trying to delay justice. The case involved Randall Hurlbut of Le Mars who was convicted after being charged with driving while intoxicated. Hurlbut asked for a new lawyer three times and showed up to some hearings — but didn’t show up for his trial in February 2020 — telling his lawyer he couldn’t get a ride.
The Supreme Court ruling says a misdemeanor defendant who knows his trial date yet deliberately chooses without good cause, to remain absent from his trial cannot then cry foul when the court follows through with the trial. It says the defendant has rights — but the state possesses a compelling interest in the orderly disposition of justice.
Jeneary To Hold Town Hall Meetings Today At Correctionville And Moville
(Des Moines) — Republican State Representative, Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars will hold his second round of town hall meetings today. Jeneary is scheduled to be at Correctionville at the City Hall at 312 Driftwood Street starting at 10:00 a.m. He will then hold a town hall meeting at Moville starting at 12:00 noon from the Moville City Hall at 21 West Main Street. The legislative town hall meetings are open to the public. Jeneary says town hall meetings are beneficial so he knows and understands what issues are on the minds of his constituents.
Wet Nose Animal Rescue To Hold “Super Bowl Poochi Party” At Museum On Sunday
(Le Mars) — Wet-Nose Rescue will sponsor a “Super Bowl Poochi Party” from 2 to 4 p.m. this Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Plymouth County Historical Museum in Le Mars.
Free pizza donated by local pizza houses will be offered at 3 p.m.
A Valentine’s booth in the Museum’s Music Room will be the location for information about Wet-Nose, which just moved to its new shelter Dec. 1, 2021. Anyone wishing to sign up to help at the shelter will be invited to do so.
The new shelter, which is still undergoing interior construction, is located on the south edge of Le Mars, near the Le Mars Municipal Airport.
Also at Sunday’s party, a special tribute to the late Betty White, a friend of all animals, will be offered. On her 100th birthday, Jan. 17, people all across the country united to donate $5 or more to their local animal shelter. Wet-Nose Rescue is still accepting donations for the new shelter in Betty White’s honor.
During the “Super Bowl Poochi Party,” basketball will be available in “Old Central” Gym. A rescue dog named Stokes will demonstrate that dogs, too, can enjoy playing basketball. A rescue cat also is expected to attend the party. Participants will be invited to join in a free throw contest.
All five floors of the Museum will be open during the afternoon. Featured will be a new bingo game, “The Museum Rocks,” especially designed for visitors to the Museum. Prizes will be given to those who are able to find all the artifacts listed on the bingo card. The artifacts are on all five floors of the Museum, which is served by an elevator.
The Museum is located at 335 First Ave. SW in Le Mars. Entrance for the “Super Bowl Poochi Party” will be at the east door near the Weber Log Cabin.
Iowa State University Extension And Outreach To Host Manure Management Certification Meeting On Friday
(Le Mars) — Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a manure confinement management certification meeting scheduled for Friday, February 18th to be held at the Le Mars Convention Center. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Dave Stender, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Swine Specialist for northwest Iowa says Iowa law requires confinement site manure applicators to attend two hours of continuing education each year, of their three-year certification period, or take and pass the exam once every three years.
Stender says the workshop serves as initial certification for those applicators that are not currently certified, re-certification for those renewing licenses, and as a continuing education for those applicators in their second or third year of their license. Operators must be certified to handle, transport, and apply manure if the confinement livestock operation has more than 500-animal unit capacity unless the manure is applied by a commercial manure applicator. Following the morning certification meeting, Stender and Kris Kohl, an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Ag and Bio-systems engineer, will hold a luncheon workshop answering questions producers may have regarding determining the value of manure.
In addition to assisting producers with determining the value of manure, Stender says he and Kohl will address several other topics that are of concern among livestock producers.
Pre-registration is required for the manure management certification seminar. To register, or to inquire about additional information, contact the Plymouth County Extension and Outreach Services at (712) 546-7835.
Iowa Courthouse Mask Requirement Ending
(Des Moines, IA) — The Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court has issued an order ending the mask requirement in courthouses beginning Monday (Feb 14). The mask requirement was implemented as the pandemic took hold – then was dropped for a time – and then reinstated again with rising cases of the COVID Delta variant. the Iowa Department of Public Health reports COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped for the third straight week. There were 617 people in Iowa hospitals compared to nearly 800 last week. The 14-day test positivity rate has reportedly dropped from 20 percent to 16 percent.
Fairfield Teens Accused Of Killing Teacher Have Hearing Set For March 24th
(Fairfield, IA) — A March 24th hearing date has been set for two Fairfield teenagers accused of killing their Spanish teacher. Jeremy Goodale and Willard Miller, both 16 years old, are charged as adults with first-degree murder. The March 24th hearing will deal with motions asking that they be tried as juveniles. Fairfield High School Spanish teacher Nohema Graber was found dead in a city park last November. Her body was under a tarp and she had a severe head injury. No motive for the crime has ever been suggested publicly.
Federal Trial Date Set for Iowa Man On Charges From January 6th Riot
(Washington, DC) — A federal trial date has been set for an Iowa man who faces charges connected to the January 6th riot at the U-S Capitol. Doug Jensen of Des Moines was one of the hundreds of rioters who stormed the Capitol while the U-S Senate confirmed the results of the 2020 presidential election. Jensen is now scheduled to go on trial in Washington, D-C, on September 19th. He faces dozens of federal charges including civil disorder, resisting officers, and violent entry and disorderly conduct.
Group Asks Lawmakers To Cap Insulin Costs At $100/Month
(Des Moines, IA) — A group of Iowans is asking state lawmakers to pass a bill forcing insurance companies to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs to 100-dollars per month. A second bill would allow people to obtain an emergency prescription refill. The Iowa House passed the measures last year, but the state Senate never brought them up for a vote. The chair of the Senate Human Resources Committee says he’s still looking at the bills. Republican Jeff Elder of State Center says the cap would only affect people with state-regulated private insurance.
Greetings from the Statehouse,
This week at the statehouse we have been hard at work with some great bills that we are hoping to make into law. We also were visited this week by many of our constituents. Students from MOC-Floyd Valley and Kingsley Elementary presented some exciting projects and some realtors from Le Mars came up to visit as well to voice some concerns and introduce themselves. The Governor also signed a proclamation this week promoting Dental Health Month.
This week we were excited to introduce the Second Amendment Preservation Act. This bill will ensure Iowans will always have the right to self-defense. There have been numerous threats to our Second Amendment liberties to come from Washington DC, however, in Iowa, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This bill is modeled after a Missouri statute that has already survived the scrutiny of the Missouri Supreme Court. Iowans will not have to worry that the federal government will take away their second amendment rights because in this state, “Our Rights we will Maintain.”
There were also some very special visitors this week from our local schools. I was able to meet some high school students from MOC – Floyd Valley High School who are a part of the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS). This program encouraged students to explore professional fields and provide a report on how to thrive in them. Each student had a very well-prepared summary of what they learned. I am excited to see what these students will accomplish.
We were also visited by Kingsley Elementary School students. These students were set up in the Rotunda and were working on programing lights to make faces. The computer science program at Kingsley Elementary School has their students working hard to learn the field of computer programming. These students are the future of STEM, and they are already ahead the curve. Keep up the good work!
There is also good news for Iowa dentists. This week we had a signing ceremony in the Governor’s office. The Governor signed a proclamation to celebrate Dental Health Month here in Iowa. Throughout Dental Health Month, the state is making efforts to promote good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. As a retired dentist, I want to see all Iowans keep their teeth for their lifetime. Dental health is important for overall health, and I appreciate the Governor’s efforts to support this cause.
We were also visited from some realtors from Northwest Iowa. I listened to their concerns and ideas on how to make buying a home an easier process. It was great to interact with my constituents in the realty business, and I am looking forward to making home buying a better process for all Iowans.
Please do not forget that Correctionville and Moville will be visited for Townhall Meetings this week. I will be at the Correctionville City Hall located at 312 Driftwood at 10:00am. I will then make the trip to Moville City Hall located at 21 West Main Street at 12:00 pm. I hope to see you there!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.
Representative Tom Jeneary
The Taylor Times by Senator Jeff Taylor 2-11-22
Week Five at the Capitol was busy. On Wednesday, a group of social work students from Northwestern College in Orange City visited the building to talk about public policy. I spoke with Jonah Upton and Ben Akers about HF 2167, a bill that would update the definition of autism and facilitate better understanding by law enforcement. The students’ professor, Dr. Valerie Stokes, was also with them. I am a graduate of Northwestern and a professor at Dordt University, also in Sioux County.
Legislation Under Consideration
Later that day, my Free Exercise of Religion bill (SF 2170) advanced through a Local Government subcommittee, with Senators Julian Garrett and Craig Williams supporting it.
I had several full committee meetings, including Natural Resources. I am a supporter of funding for the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund (also known as IWILL). The Trust Fund was created through a constitutional amendment approved by 63% of Iowa voters in 2010 and opinion polls show continued support by the public. For a dozen years, funding has been waiting for a sales tax trigger. The Senate’s tax proposal includes this trigger, which is one reason, among many, that I like our Ways & Means bill.
At the same time, I am concerned that the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been acquiring too much farm land in our state, partly to the detriment of farmers who want grazing land for their cattle. I will support a reasonable bill to place limits on DNR land acquisition.
This week I floor managed my first bill of the 2022 session, SF 2130 (not a bill I sponsored). I look forward to speaking in favor of other bills, including some of great importance, during the coming months.
Addressing the Workforce Shortage
During her Condition of the State speech last month, Governor Reynolds highlighted her plan to address the workforce shortage in Iowa. That bill, SSB 3093, passed through subcommittee this week and is expected to be considered in the Commerce Committee next week. It’s a large bill covering several topics but the overarching goal is to help address the workforce shortage affecting nearly every sector of society.
The one-week waiting period will give Workforce Development officials a period to evaluate the application for benefits and prevent fraud. We want to make sure that public assistance funds are reserved for those who are truly in need.
SSB 3093 also moves the duration of unemployment benefits from 6 months to 4 months. Studies have shown unemployed people return to work faster as the deadline for benefits approaches. With so many parts of the economy struggling to find workers, and with some employers closing their doors because they can’t find help, it’s time to address the barriers to re-entering the workforce for some of the unemployed. It also broadens the definition of suitable work. If suitable work is offered, a person on unemployment must take that position or lose benefits.
Over the last two years, a blowout of federal spending, transfer payments, and extended benefits has eroded the meaning and value of work. Government payments replacing work has negative implications not only for the economy in general but also for individuals and families.
I serve as the vice chair of the Education Committee, and also serve on the Judiciary, Labor and Business Relations, Natural Resources and Environment, and Ways and Means committees. Additionally, I serve on the Justice System Appropriations Subcommittee.