Home News Wednesday News, May 4

Wednesday News, May 4

523

SUMMER THEATRE

There are plenty of opportunities in theater this summer in Le Mars. Angela Drake reports.

 

ROE V WADE

U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) said he was encouraged by a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court which indicates the court may overturn Roe Vs Wade during their current term. The draft was leaked by the website Politico. Rep. Feenstra says he’s “incredibly encouraged” that the court “appears to finally recognize the injustice” that Roe vs Wade has caused. He’s also concerned that the court’s confidential deliberations have been leaked.

 

IOWA ROE V WADE

In 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that Iowa women have a fundamental right to an abortion under the state constitution. It means that ruling would have to be overturned before any Iowa law could be enacted to restrict access to abortion. That’s exactly what Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has asked the Iowa Supreme Court to do in 2022. Reynolds has appointed a majority of the justices on the Iowa Supreme Court. The Iowa court is due to soon rule whether a law can take effect that would ban abortions in Iowa after the sixth week of a pregnancy. Critics say that’s effectively a ban on all abortions, as few women know or have confirmed by week six that they’re pregnant. In a tweet late Tuesday morning, Governor Reynolds said the mission remains as clear as it has ever been — to defend the most important freedom there is: the right to life. Reynolds is among 11 Republican governors who filed a brief calling on the court to overturn Roe v Wade.

Reynolds says states should decide abortion policy and extend legal protection to the unborn.

Reynolds made her comments during a speech a month ago an Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition event. The Republican Party of Iowa released a written statement, saying the party is committed to defending the unborn. Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn says the majority of Iowans believe abortion should be legal and Iowans will have a chance this fall to elect candidates who will write the protection of Roe into law at the state and federal level. Sarah Stoesz is the C-E-O of Planned Parenthood of North Central States.

 

If the leaked draft of an opinion to overturn Roe v Wade is close to what’s issued by the Supreme Court next month, Stoesz says it will lead to a hodge podge of state laws on abortion — and state bans will only affect women in those states who can’t afford to travel to a state where abortion remains legal.

Stoesz says elections matter and Planned Parenthood is prepared for the political fight ahead.

LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing later this month on an amendment to the county budget for fiscal year 2021-22. The amendment would add revenue from District Court Jail fees to the General Fund, totaling 13-thousand dollars. The funds would be disbursed through General Assistance and Administration. The public hearing on the budget amendment will take place during the regular Board of Supervisors meeting on May 24. The Board of Supervisors also approved completing a survey for the U.S. Department of Agriculture concerning a proposed tower site in Craig for Southern Sioux County Rural Water System. They have applied for a U.S.D.A. Rural Development loan for the project.

The Le Mars City Council Tuesday approved a letter of support for a grant application from Sioux City for a Siouxland Regional Trail Connection Project. The city will become a co-applicant, along with Sergeant Bluff, for the grant. Part of the Regional Trail Project will apply to the PlyWood Trail, which will extend from Le Mars to Sioux City. Destination Iowa has 40 million dollars available to applicants for expansion of recreation trails in Iowa. They favor a regional approach when considering applicants.

The Orange City Council Monday put on hold the submission of a grant application for a new, inclusive park. This is because the council is also working with the city of Sioux Center, and Sioux County Trails Council on a project to extend a recreation trail from Sioux Center to Orange City. Both projects seek funding from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The inclusive park would include amenities adapted to persons with disabilities.

The Orange City council Monday moved ahead with their plan to expand their water supply. After a public hearing, the council awarded a contract to Vander Pol Excavating to extend a water pipeline to a new well southwest of the city. The low bid was 4.5 million dollars, well below the engineers’ project estimate of 5.2 million dollars.

PUBLIC RECORDS

A state law that goes into effect July 1st sets new parameters for what government agencies and officials may charge for access to public records. Senator Waylon Brown of Osage says the bill sets a reasonable standard of what the custodians of public records are to charge for copies.

Representative Mary Mascher (MASH-er) of Iowa City says it’s a consumer protection law.

And Mascher says for people who believe they’d been overcharged for copies of public records, the law sets up an appeal process. Representative Megan Jones of Sioux Rapids says the law strikes a balance between state and local governments and the requesters of public records, but it’s also an important check on some corporations that go on data mining expeditions through public records.

The Iowa Braodcasters Association and the Iowa Newspaper Association registered in favor of the proposal. The bill passed the Senate unanimously in February and cleared the House on a 93-to-zero vote in March. The governor approved it this week.

 

REAL ID

The Iowa Department of Transportation is reminding people they have exactly one year from Tuesday to get a REAL I-D. After that federal law will require all passengers flying out of airports to have a REAL I-D-compliant driver’s license, state-issued I-D – or something like a passport or military I-D – to board a commercial plane. If your license is REAL I-D-compliant it will have a star in the upper-right corner surrounded by a gold circle. To get a REAL I-D you will have to visit any Iowa driver’s license or I-D issuing location in person. You will have to bring documents proving your identity, social security number, two proofs of Iowa residency – and proof of a legal name change, if necessary.

MOUNTAIN LION

A trail camera has captured an image of a mountain lion in northeast Dallas County. The photo was taken Sunday by the same camera that caught multiple shots of a mountain lion last February. W-H-O / T-V reports it hasn’t been confirmed that the latest pictures are of the same animal. A scientist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says several reports have been received this winter from people in Webster County. Several others have been sighted in central Iowa over the last few years. The D-N-R plans to monitor the mountain lion from afar and leave it alone.