Home News Tuesday News, February 22nd

Tuesday News, February 22nd

Le Mars Fire And Rescue Department Has A Busy Evening

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had a busy evening responding to at least five different calls ranging from a three vehicle accident at the bridge near Merrill on Highway 75, to a controlled fire that got out of control near Oyens, and a couple of calls to Wells Enterprises overnight.  We hope to learn more about the calls from Fire and Rescue Chief Dave Schipper.




Plymouth County Board of Supervisors To Meet

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the Plymouth County Courthouse Board Room.  That meeting will get started at 9:30 a.m.  On their agenda, it is expected the county board will give their approval for the depositories resolution for IPAIT.  They will approve the district court order for renovation to the court room.  The county governing board is also expected to approve a property tax exemption resolution for empowerment structures and native prairie wetlands.  The county board will also declare the end of the state of emergency in Plymouth County due to the COVID-19 virus.  The county board of supervisors will review the budget amendment for the fiscal year of 2021-2022 and will schedule a public hearing date and time.





Reynolds Would Crack Down on Trucker Blockades in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA) — Governor Kim Reynolds says people involved in blockades and occupations like the one that’s been going on in Canada would be quickly arrested if that happened in Iowa, but Reynolds is also expressing sympathy to Canadians who are unhappy with that country’s vaccination requirements. She says the “means don’t justify the end,” but it does reflect “where people are today.” Reynolds approved a state law last year that raised the penalties for protest-related crimes. It created a new crime called “interference with public disorder control,” and people convicted of “unlawful assembly” can be sentenced to up to two years in prison. Iowa law now provides civil liability protection to drivers who accidentally hit protesters blocking roads.




Disease Hitting Iowa’s Burr Oaks

(Des Moines, IA) — The only oak species that is native in all of Iowa’s 99 counties is facing some disease issues. The D-N-R’s Tivon (Tee-vown) Feeley (Fee-lee) says they are seeing a lot of Bur Oak Blight, which is a fungus that appears on the leaf. He says Burr Oak Blight numbers have been “kind of fluctuating,” and the number of trees will decline without treatment. But treatment isn’t cheap — Feeley says it only works in small capacities like one or two yard trees, and that can’t be used to treat “a forest worth of bur oaks.” People who think their Burr Oak trees are blighted can send samples to the Iowa State University Plant Diagnostic Clinic for testing.




Hospital Patient Arrested for Making Death Threats, Assault

(Waukon, IA) — A  patient has been arrested after police in Waukon say he threatened people at a hospital and then kicked the officer trying to arrest him. K-C-R-G T-V reports the incident happened Sunday after 35-year-old Barry Martin of Waukon was taken to the hospital for treatment after being assaulted by someone. While police were interviewing the suspect, they say Martin began sending death threats to the suspect’s cellphone and began threatening others at the hospital — including the officer conducting the investigation.  Martin then kicked the officer and spit in the officer’s face, according to the report. Martin is charged with assault, first-degree harassment, public intoxication, and disorderly conduct.




Scammers Pose as Davenport Police Department

(Davenport, IA) – If you get a text from the “Davenport Police Department” asking you to buy a t-shirt, delete it. Police  say it’s a scam. K-Q-W-C T-V reports that many people received the phony offer via text Sunday morning, which claims to sell t-shirts for ten dollars off and provides a link claiming to be that of the Davenport Police Department. Police Major Jeff Bladel says neither the text nor the link is associated with the department and warns residents not to click on the link or provide any personal information.




Republicans Release State Spending Plans For Budget Year Starting July 1st

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Republicans in the Iowa Legislature have released their state spending plans for the budget year starting July 1st.  The House version calls for a spending increase of one-point-eight percent.  The Senate version proposes an increase of a little under one percent.  Senate Republican leader Jack Whitver says budget negotiations are starting much earlier than normal – alongside debates on tax policy and last week’s decision that set the level of state spending on K-through-12 schools.




Cedar Rapids High-Rise Evacuated When Fire Breaks Out

(Cedar Rapids, IA)  —  Investigators in Cedar Rapids are trying to determine what sparked a fire at a high-rise apartment building early Sunday morning.  Crews went door-to-door starting on the seventh floor and moving up as they evacuated the building.  Geneva Tower mainly houses seniors and adults with disabilities.  Officials say two residents suffered serious injuries and at least seven more people were taken to hospitals for observation.  The cleaning and repairs for the building will have to meet specific standards before people will be allowed to move back in.




Coralville Woman Arrested For Allegedly Driving Under The Influence With Kid In Car

(Coralville, IA)  —  A 27-year-old Coralville woman has been arrested for allegedly driving under the influence with a child in the back seat.  Police say Marguerite Johnson failed to stop at a stop sign and hit a tree Sunday.  Responding officers say they could smell alcohol on Johnson and she admitted she had been drinking.  A breath sample resulted in a blood alcohol content test result of point-133 – above the legal limit.  The seven-month-old child suffered a bump on the forehead.




Wakonda Club Case Argued Before Iowa Supreme Court

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a case involving the closing of a business after the COVID emergency proclamation. The insurance company declined to pay Wakonda Club in Des Moines for loss of income under its business interruption policy. The Attorney for the Selective Insurance Company, Doug Haag (like legg), says there was no damage to the building to cause the shutdown. He says the policy specifies that damages can be paid if there is damage. Wakonda attorney, James Carney, says that does not require a physical alteration to its property. He says the COVID proclamation was the cause and without it Wakonda would not have been closed.




Higher Staff Ratios for Childcare Moving Forward

(Des Moines, IA) — Republicans in the Iowa Senate have approved a regulatory change that would allow child care centers to have higher staff-to-child ratios. Republican Senator Jeff Edler of State Center says one person could oversee up to seven two-year-olds. He says they are trying to provide some help as the workforce shortages continue to challenge Iowans. Democrats opposed the move. Senator Pam Jochum (YOH-kum) of Dubuque says the bill is a recipe for disaster and could compromise the safety of children. The bill now goes to the House where members have already begun considering changing the staff-to-child ratios in Iowa childcare centers.




Iowa House Votes to Ban Trans Athletes from Girls’ Sports

(Des Moines, IA) — Fifty-five Republicans in the Iowa House have passed a bill that forbids trans athletes from participating in girls’ and women’s sports at all public and private schools and colleges in Iowa. Republican Representative Skyler Wheeler of Orange City says transgender athletes who identify as female have an unfair competitive advantage in girls’ sports. Representative Ras (like “Ross”) Smith is a Democrat from Waterloo and member of the House Black Caucus. He voted “no,” saying he knows what it’s like to be discriminated against and that he’d be “damned” if he’d participate in doing that to someone else. The Iowa Senate may debate the bill this week.




Iowa DNR to Renovate West Swan Lake

(Sioux City, IA) – Public input is being sought on plans to renovate a lake in northern Iowan. The Department of Natural Resources plans to work on West Swan Lake, a natural shallow lake created by a glacier during the Ice Age. The lands near the lake include both game management and waterfowl production areas. A public meeting for West Swan Lake is set for six p.m. on Thursday, March 10th, at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville.