Home News Friday Afternoon News, February 18th

Friday Afternoon News, February 18th


Taylor And Jeneary Eminent Domain Bill Dies In Committee

(Des Moines) — A bill that was introduced by Republican State Senator Jeff Taylor of Sioux Center calling for the Iowa Utilities Board not to grant eminent domain rights to private companies wanting to install pipelines across Iowa to transport carbon dioxide from ethanol plants has failed to move out of the Senate Commerce Committee. Taylor explains the purpose behind the his bill.

A subcommittee held a hearing on Taylor’s bill earlier this week, and the hearing garnered a lot of attention with several farmers and landowners testifying in favor of the bill and against the pipeline companies from using eminent domain powers.

Taylor says he was disappointed the bill couldn’t garner enough support from other Republican state senators.  He tells of why the bill was pulled from the Commerce committee agenda.

Taylor says he knows a lot of people is disappointed, frustrated, and outright angry with how the bill was handled.

State House Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars had introduced a companion bill of similar language as the bill introduced by Senator Taylor.  Like the bill in the Senate, the eminent domain bill introduced in the House did not get pass the funnel deadline.

Jeneary says his and Senator Taylor’s bill could be referred to as being in a coma, but Jeneary says he has learned of additional information that may not make the bill completely dead.

Jeaneay says he has received hundreds of phone calls, and email messages from people across the state saying they are opposed to the Iowa Utilities Board granting eminent domain powers to a private company.  Jeneary says he has even heard from people that are not directly affected by the proposed pipelines, but still have concerns.

Today, Friday, February 18th is the first “funnel” deadline for the Iowa legislature, meaning any introduced legislation to be considered had to have moved through the committee level before today’s date.




School Board To Hold Special Meeting

(Le Mars) — Le Mars Community Board of Education will hold a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 22nd at 5:00 p.m. at the Education Service Center.  The school board will present their initial bargaining position proposal to the Le Mars Education Association.  Earlier this week, the teachers, through their chief negotiator, Tracey Wingert, submitted a proposal calling for a 4.04 percent increase, or an increase of $1600 in the base salary pay.  If approved, the base salary would be at $41,215.  The Le Mars Education Association is also seeking at least 200 minutes each week for preparation time.




Deere Reports A Drop In First Quarter Income

(Moline, IL) — John Deere is reporting a drop in first-quarter net income of more than 321-million from the first quarter one year ago. Worldwide net sales and revenues for Quad Cities-based Deere rose five percent in the quarter to more than nine-and-a-half billion, up from about eight billion last year. Deere chairman and C-E-O John May calls the performance impressive considering the supply chain issues and last fall’s U-A-W strike.




Governor Announces Plans For Distributing Retention Bonuses

(Des Moines, IA) — The governor’s office has released information on retention bonuses of one-thousand dollars that the governor announced in January for some workers. The Department of Education will issue payments to qualifying teachers, local law enforcement agencies can request payment through Iowa Grants Online. Certified peace officers employed by the State of Iowa will receive payment through their regular state paycheck. Qualifying Department of Corrections personnel will receive payment through their regular state paycheck, and child care workers will be able to apply through the Department of Human Services web page starting later this month.




Kite Festival Set To Fly On Clear Lake

(Clear Lake, IA) — What’s billed as the Midwest’s largest and most colorful winter kite festival is scheduled for Saturday in north-central Iowa. The “Color The Wind Kite Festival” is an exhibition of hundreds of traditional and inflatable kites, and even stunt kites doing aerial choreography to music. Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce tourism director, Libby Hohn (HON), says dozens of kiters from all over the United States and even one from England are going to participate. The 36-hundred acre lake is an ideal venue for kiting, she says, as there are no obstacles like trees or power lines. Ten-thousand spectators are expected for the one-day festival which will go on whatever the weather — as long as there’s wind Saturday from 11 a-m until 4 p-m.