Home News Saturday News, April 30

Saturday News, April 30

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YEAR ROUND E-15

The governors of Iowa and seven other Midwestern states are asking federal regulators to approve year-round E-15 sales in their states. Governor Kim Reynolds, along with the governors of the Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Kansas signed a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency, seeking a waiver to permanently allow gasoline with 15 percent ethanol to be sold during the summer months in their states.

Clean Air Act rules prohibit the sale of E-15 from the beginning of June through the middle of September in several states. As President Biden announced at an Iowa ethanol plant earlier this month, the E-P-A is allowing E-15 to be sold nationwide this summer to lower gas prices — but it’s a one-year waiver.

 

DRUG TAKE BACK

Today is drug take back day, when Iowans can get rid of their bottles of unused prescription medications safely and anonymously.

The one-day take back events are held twice a year. The collection in October of 2021 netted more than six-thousand pounds of prescription meds statewide.

The Le Mars drop off site is at the Le Mars Police Department.

Dale Woolery, director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. He says these take back events are a responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs, while protecting the environment from improper disposal and preventing the dangerous misuse of opioid pain relievers and other prescription drugs.

Iowa ranks relatively low in rates of illicit drug use and overdose deaths, but studies show opioid-involved overdoses claimed the lives of 258 Iowans last year.  That’s up 64% over the last two years. National data show teen overdose deaths nearly doubled during that same period.

Again, you can drop of your extra or expired prescription drugs at the Le Mars Police Department.

 

PACKER CONCENTRATION

Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne says urgent action in congress is necessary to address the lack of competition in the meatpacking industry. The C-E-Os of the four companies that control 80 percent of the beef processing in America testified at a House Ag Committee hearing this week. Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, is a member of the committee.

 

Axne said. A Missouri man testified that he’d contemplated suicide because of the prices he’s getting for his cattle. That prompted Axne to recite the phone number for the national suicide hotline.

 

The president of the Montana Cattlemen’s Association told Axne concentration in the meatpacking industry has made rural America a slum.

 

SUSPECT REVEALS HIS PLEA

The 42-year-old man charged with killing an Iowa State Patrol trooper will plead self-defense.  The attorney for Michael Lang filed that notice with the Grundy County Court earlier this week.  Lang’s trial is scheduled to start May 9th.  Prosecutors have responded with a motion asking the judge to rule out testimony about Iowa’s “stand your ground” law and any self-defense claim.  Sergeant Jim Smith was shot last year as he led a law enforcement team into Lang’s home in Grundy Center.  The team was trying to take Lang into custody for assaulting another officer.

 

DE JEAR CAMPAIGN

The only Democrat in this year’s race for governor has adopted a tool former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin used in his campaigns. Harkin, for example, kicked off his 1992 presidential run in New Hampshire with a “workday” at a factory. This February, Deidre DeJear launched what she calls “Workday Wednesdays.” She says if she’s “really going to meet Iowans where they are.” This past week, DeJear served lunch, helped with P-E and read to students in a Storm Lake elementary school, and last week she worked on a greenhouse on a farm near Carlisle. She’s scheduled to speak tonight at an Iowa Democratic Party fundraiser in Des Moines.

 

EMERGENCY SIRENS

While severe weather was hitting northern Iowa earlier this month, workers in three towns had to manually activate emergency sirens.  Tests conducted last month revealed those sirens in Garner, Britt, and Crystal Lake couldn’t be started remotely and the replacement parts that had been ordered hadn’t arrived yet.  Garner Fire Chief Jim Thiele says that meant firefighters had to use step ladders to get to the boxes on the poles where the sirens could be turned on.  The new remote starters arrived after the storm and they have been installed – so no more climbing will be required.

 

The Iowa Legislature adjourned Thursday for the weekend with several things left unfinished.
Democratic Representative Steve Hansen of Sioux City says some progress was made over the past week, although the state’s budget is still not finalized:

One of those unresolved priorities is the governor’s request for vouchers to fund private school tuition for some iowa children.  The Senate has approved it, the House likely will not:

The per diem expense payments to lawmakers expired after 100 days of the session.
The legislators have had to pay for their own room and board in Des Moines for the last week and a half.

 

Farmers Coop Society and the How-to Building Center have partnered with the city of Sioux Center to provide more affordable housing in the community.
Excavation has begun on the first of two homes to be built this year.
Both homes are located in the Country View Heights north development, north of the new Sioux Center high school.
The dwellings will be over 1,400 square feet and will include a two-stall garage and an unfinished basement.
The groups also have plans for future homes in Sioux Center and other surrounding communities.

Student loans

New relief could be coming to the 43-million people with student loans. President Biden confirmed he is considering forgiving more debt and will make a decision in a couple of weeks. but he insists it won’t be 50-thousand dollars for each borrower as Democrats have been pushing for.
It’s reported Biden is more comfortable in the range of ten-thousand dollars. he already extended a freeze on loan payments to August 31st.
Many people who worked in previous years to pay off their loan debt are saying the plan would be unfair to them.

Scraposaurs

Sioux City’s Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center has opened an outdoor sculpture exhibit featuring dinosaurs and other animals.
Dale Lewis is the sculptor of the “Scraposaurs”, which are beasts made out of scrap metal, and of course, there is a T-rex:

Lewis obtains his raw materials from a variety of sources.
once he decides on a sculpture, he is able to complete his works in a timely manner:

Lewis had previously completed a sculpture for the interpretive center which has been on display for some time now:

The Scraposaurs will be on display for the next year at the center located along the Missouri River.
Lewis also has six total traveling exhibits including a “Lewis and Art” display of metal plants, insects and animals at the reiman gardens in Ames.

Weather spotters

The National Weather Service will conduct an in-person storm spotter class in sioux city on Thursday, May 5th.  The class will run 90 minutes to two hours in duration.
Pre- registration is not required for attending.  The class will take place in the Cargill Auditorium at Western Iowa Tech Community College located at 4647 Stone Avenue.