Home News Tuesday News, May 31

Tuesday News, May 31



Plymouth County has a new Emergency Management Coordinator. Rebecca Socknat was introduced to the Board of Supervisors today. Socknat has 21 years of experience in emergency services, including 15 years of such training in the military, and 6 years working for Emergency Services in Woodbury County. Socknat replaces Duane Walhof, who is retiring from the position.



The Plymouth County Historical Museum is preparing to present a traveling exhibit which highlights the county’s contributions to troops fighting in World War II.

Museum Board member Judy Stokesbury says they have been collecting memorabilia for their travelling display.

Stokesbury and Museum administrator Judy Bowman will be the presenters. They will portray a couple of area women who served on the battlefront in World War II.

Bowman will portray a woman who died in action during the war.

The exhibition is called “World War II: On the Battlefront and on the Homefront of Plymouth County”.

Stokesbury says they will also tell stories about some Plymouth County businesses that had a role in the war effort.

Some Plymouth County firms provided food to the troops – others provided uniforms.

The Historical Museum is now booking dates for presentations in libraries, schools, and nursing homes.  Their exhibition begins in July.



Authorities in Harrison County say the search is continuing for a woman whose boat sank on the Missouri River just before midnight Sunday. Most of the people on that boat were pulled to safety but one woman is still missing. The boat went down near the Remington Boat Launch near Monadmin, Iowa. Hazardous weather forced the suspension of search and recovery efforts Monday afternoon.



The Iowa State Education Association says teacher resignations in the state are up by 15-percent this year – reflecting a national trend. An I-S-E-A spokesperson says that’s the highest turnover seen in a few years.  Coy Marquart says teachers are tired or worn out. He says along with increased stress from the pandemic and gun violence many educators feel that political issues have entered the classroom and are attacking their profession. Johnston and Waukee school districts say they are seeing more than 60 teachers resigning or retiring this summer.


A 19-year-old Sioux City woman has died in an U-T-V crash early Monday morning in rural Plymouth County.

The Iowa State Patrol says Zoey Rene Cason was driving a utility terrain vehicle down a hill on private property shortly after midnight.

Investigators say Cason braked and turned to avoid hitting a fence post and fencing, which caused the vehicle to roll.

Cason was transported by private vehicle to Unitypoint St Luke’s where she was pronounced dead.

The 2-seather vehicle was occupied by four people and no seat belts were used.

20 year old Cass Camarigg, a passenger from Sioux City, was taken to Mercyone Hospital with injuries.

Cason is the second Sioux City student to die in an A-T-V type of accident in Plymouth County in the past four days.

Cason just graduated Saturday from Sioux City East High School.

Counselors will be at East High this morning from 8 a.m. until noon for any students who wish or need to talk with them.



Mercyone in Sioux City announced the launch of its military and veterans health care program heading into the Memorial Day holiday. Mercy’s Jessica Hanson says the initiative is designed to improve the care given to to military service members, veterans and their families.

She says the training is a key part of the initiative.

Hanson says the hospital’s patient admission process has been updated so military members are identified upon arrival and care is provided with a more in-depth understanding of their needs.

There are more than 180-thousand veterans living in Iowa. That number does not include those currently serving their country through the guard or reserves.



A new state law places new restrictions on food delivery apps like Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash. The companies must have an agreement with a restaurant, bar or diner before their drivers can deliver food and beverages from that business. Jessica Dunker, president and C-E-O of the Iowa Restaurant Association, says that will hopefully stop what the restaurant industry calls pirating, in which a delivery service takes a restaurant logo and menu and adds it to their mobile app without permission. Dunker also says drivers can’t have their “pets or (their) sick children or smoke or vape in the car.” Perhaps most basic of all: the food delivery companies will face fines if drivers are caught eating some of the food they’re supposed to be delivering.



U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says a central Iowa construction project shows the potential for a building material called mass timber. It’s layers of wood, compressed and nailed or glued together, so it can bear more weight. Vilsack says mass timber can be made from the smaller trees the U.S. Forest Service plans to remove from millions of acres of federal land over the next decade.

Vilsack is referring to the Junction Development Catalyst in West Des Moines, a building for commercial and residential tenants that’s made of mass timber. The project received a nearly 250-thousand dollar federal grant and construction should be completed this fall. Vilsack has announced the federal government will release another 32 million dollars in grants to spur use of mass timber.

Mass timber is being promoted as a low-carbon alternative to construction materials like steel and concrete. One basic form of mass timber uses boards that are first dried in a kiln. The boards are then glued together, with the wood grain of each board running opposite of the board next to it, creating large slabs. An 18-story building in Norway was constructed with mass timber and opened in 2019. It houses apartments, a hotel, a restaurant and offices.



Iowa City is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its fire department with events throughout the summer. Lieutenant John Crane says there were some volunteers who fought fires way back in 1842. Things then started becoming more organized when the State Capitol was moved to Iowa City and the Old Capitol building was under construction. As the city continued to grow, the need for more permanent fire protection became evident and the Iowa City Fire Department was officially established on May 20, 1872. Volunteers still provided fire protection until 1912 when three paid firefighters were hired — including a chief. That year also saw the department buy two white fire horses from a farm in Keota named Snowball and Highball — which became a big interest in the community.