Home News Tuesday News, May 10

Tuesday News, May 10



A fire early this morning did extensive damage to a downtown Alton business.  Alton, Orange City and Granville fire departments were called to the Yard Bar and Grille early this morning to fight a structure fire that broke out around 3:45 this morning.  Sioux County Radio reports two people were injured.  One was a firefighter who quickly recovered. The other was an EMT who received minor injury.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors today took action on appointments and resolutions. Dr Steven Webner was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Plymouth County Board of Health. Among the resolutions approved was one setting salaries for deputies in various county departments. The salary scales were set at a percentage of the elected officer’s salary, anywhere from 67% to 85%. There were also longevity increments set for some of the deputies, as part of the resolution approved by the Supervisors. Appropriations and budget transfer resolutions were approved for county departments.

County Engineer Tom Rohe brought several items before the Supervisors. The Board approved a permit for NIPCO to extend transmission line from their substation on the west side of Hinton, to connect to a transmission line west on County Road C60. There was also discussion of Premier Communications plans to extend fiber cable in areas near Le Mars. And details of a project to widen K49 south of Le Mars was discussed by the Board. This is a joint project between Plymouth County and the city of Le Mars, to take place in the next fiscal year.



The Le Mars Community School District Board renewed a couple of instruction agreements with a couple of schools. An annual contract with Western Iowa Tech Community College was approved. This covers courses taught at WITCC, online, or by distance delivery. It also covers certain courses taught at the participant’s location or at Western Iowa Tech. The other contract, for Title I services at Gehlen Catholic Schools, was approved. This service is now provided through a third party organization.
The Board also agreed to publish notice of a public hearing on approval of a budget amendment. The district will spend an additional 350-thousand dollars on instructional support, and 200-thousand dollars on food service equipment. Both items are reimbursed through federal covid funds, but the budget thresholds for those items need to be increased through the amendment. The hearing will be held on the 25th of May, at noon. An alternate date is May 24th.



It’s more expensive to fill our gas tanks in Iowa than ever before. Prices reached a record high in the state this morning, topping a previous record that had stood since the recession 14 years ago. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, places the blame on the Democrat in the White House.

Triple-A-Iowa says the statewide average for gas is now $4.08 a gallon, beating the record of $4.02 that had stood since July of 2008. Grassley and his fellow Republicans blame Biden.

Grassley also faults the Biden Administration for suspending federal funding for U.S. oil company projects in other countries.

Grassley says the U-S should return to relying on its own stores of fossil fuels as well as biofuels, not imports, which he says have taken the country from being energy independent to energy dependent. Democrats who are competing for the chance to run against Grassley say fuel prices are rising across the globe due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Abby Finkenauer, Mike Franken and Glenn Hurst all support President Biden’s recent move to allow E-15 sales nationwide this summer, a move Biden says can help reduce gas prices. Finkenauer has called for a federal gas tax holiday. Triple-A says the national average for gas is $4.37 a gallon, while California has the most expensive average at $5.84. In Iowa, the state’s cheapest gas can be found in Davenport at $4.01, while the most expensive gas is in Dubuque at $4.15. The motor club says diesel fuel hit a record high in Iowa on Monday at $5.31 a gallon.



The U-S-D-A crop report says weather limited farmers to just about two good days in the field last week. Only five more percent of the corn crop got in the ground for a total now of 14 percent statewide. That pace is two weeks behind both last year and the five-year average. Soybean planting moved from four to seven percent. That is 12 days behind the bean planting pace for last year and 11 days behind the five-year average.



Temperatures have shot up into the 80s and 90s today across Iowa. National Weather Service meteorologist, Roger Vachalek  says the temperature isn’t the only thing making it warm.

We’ve already seen a lot of ups and downs in temperatures this year — but Vachalek says the next one won’t be as extreme.

There’s good news for those itching to get their gardens planted.

The high temperatures have been accompanied by heavy winds — but that will change.

He says most of the temperatures were high, but not record-setting.



The Department of Education continues working to implement recommendations from the state Dyslexia Board which became law.  The Department’s Brad Niebling (NEE-bling) gave an update to the Board of Education at their meeting last week and says they’ve been putting together guidance for schools.

Niebling is the head of the Bureau of Learner Strategies and Supports.  He says they will meet again this week with the dyslexia board to work on the timing and structure for getting the guidance out to schools so it is ready heading in the next school year.

He says the Ed Department will continue working with districts as they move forward.

Niebling says the hope is the guidance and process will be in place heading into the next school year. He says that alone is ot going to be what it takes to get results.

Niebling says they also have started a membership campaign to fill the remaining vacancies on the Dyslexia Board — which are a speech language pathologist or psychologist, and a representative of the Institute of Higher Education.



U-S Senator Chuck Grassley is among the leaders of a bipartisan push for more funding to address the bird flu outbreak.  The Iowa Republican has signed a letter pointing out that highly pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in 32 states and has killed more than 36-million birds.  The letter to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee says the development has serious implications for U-S poultry producers, rural communities, and the agricultural economy.



The Nebraska primary election is this week. Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to choose candidates to move on to the general election, including candidates for governor, U.S. House, and many local offices. Polls will be open Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.



A Minnesota man was sentenced to seven years behind bars in a reckless and deadly drunk-driving crash. Prosecutors say James Blue was drunk and driving nearly 100 miles-per-hour at Lake Minnetonka last summer when he sped around a curve and crashed into a wooded area. Former Sioux Falls Stampede hockey player Mack Motzko and Sam Schuneman were killed. Prosecutors say Blue’s blood-alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.