Home News Wednesday News, June 1

Wednesday News, June 1

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JUDICIAL NOMINEES

Seven people, including a Hinton resident, have filed applications for an upcoming vacancy in Iowa Judicial District 3B. The vacancy was created when Judge Jeffrey L. Poulson announced his retirement on July 7 of this year. The District includes six counties: Plymouth, Sioux, Woodbury, Ida, Crawford, and Monona.
Rosanne Plante is the lone applicant from Plymouth County. Also applying is Thomas Kunstle of Orange City, the current Sioux County Attorney. Other applicants include Kristine Timmins of Lawton, Robert Tiefenthaler of Sgtr Bluff, and Andrea Buckley, Billy Oyadare, and Sharese Whitesell, all of Sioux City. The District 3B nominating commission will met Friday, June 10, to interview the candidates. The commission will vote that day to determine two applicants whose names will be submitted to Governor Kim Reynolds for her consideration.

 

CATTLEMEN’S FORUM

Northwest Iowa cattle producers held a discussion on market reforms with two of their Congressmen last night in Cherokee.

Commodity trader Brad Kooima of Sioux Center was at the meeting of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. He said their discussion with US Senator Chuck Grassley and US Representative Randy Feenstra focused on when legislation will move forward.

Grassley is co-sponsor of a Senate bill that would bring more clarity to price discovery and formula contracts in the marketplace. But it;’s proving difficult to bring the bill out of committee.

Kooima says two recent incidents illustrate the frustration faced by cattle producers concerning pricing in the marketplace.

These House and Senate bills fight captive supply, the means by which cattle producers say packers manipulate price.

Rep. Feenstra says the House version of the bill is opposed by groups which support the status quo.

Cattle producers are growing frustrated over a distorted marketplace.

Kooima, of Kooima, Kooima and Varilek Trading, says cattlefeeders aren’t looking for a handout from the government, they want a fair chance to compete.

Grassley and Feenstra are members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, respectively.

 

RECORD LAND SALE

Late last week, a 100 acre farm estate sold for a Plymouth County record 25-thousand dollars per acre.

The Auctioneer, Bruce Brock, says the Rolling Estate is one of the best producing farms in the county.

Brock did a lot of homework before the auction to help determine a realistic value on the property.

Neighbors interest in the property is one of the factors which drove the record price.

Brock says farmland values have been increasing recently .

Brock expects land values to increase into the future. One of the factors there is the potential for global food shortages in the near term.

Another factor driving values higher is population growth.

Brock says the Plymouth County price was the fourth-highest in the state. With high demand for farmland, Brock expects prices to increase into the future.0

 

SUPERVISORS – DRAINAGE DITCH

The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors yesterday took action to end a dispute over work done in a drainage ditch in the southwest part of the county.

Back in January, the county received a bill for the county’s share of work done by a landowner, Kirk Banks, on a drainage ditch, including reinstallation of a culvert, along 240th Street, west of Iowa Highway 12, near the Big Sioux River.

A letter from the Natural Resource Conservation Service indicated that the culvert was installed lower than the previous one.  County Engineer Tom Rohe was concerned the lowered culvert would cause silting, which could damage a nearby wetland. NRCS said it wouldn’t be worth the cost and effort to reinstall the culvert, and that it probably wouldn’t have great impact on creation of the wetland.

The Supervisors passed a motion in which the county agrees to pay its share of the bill, some 12-hundred dollars.  But the county engineer and conservation officer will inform Banks that he may no longer trespass onto the county property to conduct any work on the drainage ditch.  This follows a court order issued in 2016 over the same property.

 

DISASTER PROCLAMATION


Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation for six counties in response to recent severe weather. These include Lyon and Ida counties.  The governor’s proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to, and recover from, the effects of recent severe weather in the counties.
 The proclamation also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program, for the six counties. The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and temporary housing expenses.

 

GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION

U-S Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he’s hopeful to hear of efforts to reach compromise on gun control legislation, especially if it includes his bill. Republican Senator John Cornyn (CORN-in) of Texas and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut are scheduled to meet this week to establish a “framework” to find common ground on a response to recent mass shootings. Grassley says he heard President Biden’s address Sunday, where he promised to do something about gun violence.

Under his bill called the Eagles Act, Grassley says trained professionals would be tasked with working to identify and manage threats at the high school level before they occur. The bill would direct experts in child psychology to work closely with a federal threat assessment center to develop evidence-based techniques to identify potential threats.

While some bills before Congress have long names that are summarized with an acronym, Grassley says the Eagles Act is different.

Seventeen people were killed at the Parkland school, with 17 more injured. A 19-year-old former student was charged in the Valentine’s Day 2018 killings, which surpassed the Columbine High School massacre that killed 15, including the perpetrators, in Colorado in 1999. A week ago, an 18-year-old fatally shot 19 students and two teachers, wounding 17 others, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

 

MISSOURI RIVER SEARCH

The search for a missing woman on the Missouri River is now a criminal investigation. K-E-T-V reports that authorities believe alcohol use played a role in the Sunday night sinking of the boat in the Missouri River near Monadmin, Iowa. The city’s fire chief says the boat has been recovered, but the unidentified 20-year-old woman is still missing. Authorities do NOT believe she survived.

 

GAMING FATIGUE

The Republican leader in the Iowa Senate says there is gaming fatigue in the state Capitol and that’s why a temporary moratorium on new casino licenses was quickly passed last week.

That’s Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, who notes there was zero push back during Senate debate of the moratorium.

There are 19 state-licensed casinos operating in Iowa today. The moratorium on new licenses would last until July of 2024 — if the governor signs the bill into law. In August of 2019, sports betting became legal and Whitver says that was a factor.

And legislators this year tabled the casinos request to allow wagering on video game competions, often called E-sports.

Whitver made his comments during last weekend’s “Iowa Press on Iowa P-B-S. On Monday, dozens of local investors and Cedar Rapids officials said they intend to apply fo a casino license as soon as state law allows. The plans for a 250 million dollar casino and entertainment complex in downtown Cedar Rapids include flood control measures.

 

IOWA SPELLER

A 13-year-old from eastern Iowa has made it through the first three rounds of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Edith Dawson just finished Eighth grade in Mount Vernon. She correctly spelled the word for the Korean alphabet in the opening round of the National Spelling Bee. In the second round, she was asked to give another word that means hackneyed. She correctly answered: “Trite.” In the third round, Dawson spelled Tutelary (TOOT-uh-lure-ee) and she will be among the spellers in today’s Quarterfinals.