A Tornado Watch has been called for northwest Iowa, and adjacent areas of northeast Nebraska, southeast South Dakota, and southwest Minnesota, until 9 pm CDT. Late this afternoon and evening, scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop. Storms would be capable of producing hail up to 2.5 inches in diameter and wind gusts to 70 mph. Large hail and damaging winds are expected in Plymouth County and adjacent aeras. A tornado will also be possible along and north of I-90. These storms should move northeast of the area by 9 PM.
The Le Mars Public Library Board of Trustees has hired a Sioux City firm to carry out a Space Needs Assessment at the library.
FEH Design of Sioux City was chosen out of three respondents for the work ahead. This is in keeping with one of the Library’s Strategic Plan Directions: to provide more physical space and develop the capacity to serve the current and future needs of the community.
FEH will develop recommendations which address,among other things, needs for additional space, for staff, library patrons, and the broader community. The report is also to address future parking needs.
The Space Needs Assessment is to be delivered by July 1.
CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH
A new ad campaign which aims to bring awareness to children’s mental health. The campaign starts this month and will run on social media and traditional media platforms, targeting both kids and adults. The ads urge kids who are struggling to seek help. Iowa Department of Human Services Director Kelly Garcia says the state is trying to provide direction and resources to parents who may not know how to address mental health with their children. Garcia says the state is launching the campaign as it’s been seeing an increase in younger children experiencing mental health crises. You can find help and resources at YourLifeIowa.org.
A couple of months ago, there were two places where you could enjoy a meal in downtown Alton.
Now there are none.
Early Tuesday morning a fire did extensive damage to the Yard Bar and Grille. Alton Fire Chief Kevin Langel said the fire began in a porch area behind the building, and spread to the structure. Alton, Orange City, and Hospers Fire and Ambulance, and Granville Fire Department responded to the call. There was water and smoke damage to the bar area. Smoke and water damage extended to a residence next door. 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 has not been determined..
The other grille closed in April. That building was purchased by a local ministry to people in need.
Counterfeit medications are showing up in Iowa which federal authorities say are not only dangerous, they’re deadly. Mike Casele, a special agent with the U-S Drug Enforcement Administration’s Omaha office, says the fake pills are becoming all too common.
Casele says most of the pills being found in Iowa originated across the southern U-S border.
More often, Casele says, the pills they’re finding contain very hazardous ingredients.
Casele says the D-E-A is working with state and local law enforcement in an effort to slow the distribution of these illegal pills.
The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Tuesday discussed details of a project to widen K49 south of Le Mars. This is a joint project between Plymouth County and the city of Le Mars, to take place in the next fiscal year. County Engineer Tom Rohe also discussed Premier Communications’ plans to extend fiber cable in areas near Le Mars. The Board also 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.
The Supervisors passed several resolutions Tuesday. One set salaries for deputies in various county departments, ranging from 67% to 85% of the elected officers salary. Appropriations and budget transfer resolutions were approved for county departments. And the Board of Supervisors appionted Dr Steven Webner to fill a vacancy on the Plymouth County Board of Health.
GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS
U-S Senator Joni Ernst is warning of the impact on global food security from the Ukraine war. The Iowa Republican says that the impact on the world’s food supply is just now beginning to emerge. Ukraine produces a large portion of the food for Europe and Africa. It also produces more than 20-percent of the world’s corn. The war has kept Ukraine farmers out of the field and has blocked the export of crops that are still sitting in grain bins. Ernst is calling for action on the 100-million dollars in food aid approved by Congress in March. She says her bipartisan measure to reduce red tape slowing the process should be passed.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says they’re receiving reports of moderate to severe winter burn damage to some trees across the state. Forestor Tivon Feeley, says they see the damage in the arborvitae, white pine, and a little bit in Scotch and Red Pine.
He says the damaged trees are easy to spot.
Feeley says partially damaged trees may still be saved.
Feeley says the dead trees might have been saved by mulching watering and around the base of the tree halfway through the frost. But, he says the conditions were really tough to overcome.
Feeley says many of these trees have been brought into Iowa, and that is part of the issue when this happens.
Feeley says though, he has even seen some of the native conifers suffer this year too because of the unusual spring we’ve had.
Conifers are of the evergreen variety, mostly pines, firs and cypress.
State officials plan to set up a booth at the Iowa State Fair to recruit people to work in Iowa’s prison system. Iowa Department of Corrections director Beth Skinner recently hired a recruitment and retention officer for the prison system. Skinner says she’s currently focused on recruiting efforts at the high school and college levels. The agency had just over 300 vacancies at the end of April and 71 percent of them were for correctional officers. The department’s website shows the starting salary for a full-time correctional officer is at least 43-thousand dollars a year. Last week, Skinner told the Iowa Board of Corrections the agency was making progress system-wide in hiring nurses and the Newton prison, for example, had no job openings for nurses last Friday.
BEST PORK TENDERLOIN
Nominations are now being accepted for Iowa’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin for 2022. Kelsey Sutter, the spokeswoman for the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says the program is in its 20th year and you can nominate restaurants on the website iowapork.org. Sutter says they had around six-thousand nominations come through the website for over 500 restaurants in last year’s contest. Nominations are due by June 6th.