Home News Friday News, June 10

Friday News, June 10


The Judicial District 3b Nominating Commission is choosing a new judge today. The commission is meeting this morning to interview candidates for a vacancy on the bench, following the retirement of Judge Jeffry L Poulson on July 7. There are seven candidates, including Rosanne L Plante of Hinton, Kristine Timmins of Lawton, Robert Tiefenthaler of Sgt Bluff, Thomas Kinstle of Orange City, and three Sioux City candidates – Andrea Buckley, Billy Oyadare, and Sharese Whitesell. The Commission is holding deliberations and voting late this morning. The commission will choose two applicants. Their names will be submitted to Governor Kim Reynolds, who will choose between the two as Poulson’s replacement.


The Plymouth County Fair Board is dealing with some maintenance items at the fairgrounds. Board Chairman Loren Schnepf says painting and parking are their focus. Painting projects approved by the board last night include the fair office, and painting some of the steel roofs which have faded over time. The roofs of the poultry barn and commercial buildings need attention. Some structural repairs need to be made before painting can take place, so some of these painting projects will take place after the Plymouth County Fair.
The Fair Board also are in discussions over a potential parking lot project. Schnepf says they are considering paving a parking lot west of the Century Hall, which is used year round as an events center. It’s also a storm shelter. The grass parking lot can be a hazard in inclement weather. The board wants to grade and pave a portion of the area, but the scope of the project, and its costs, have not yet been defined.
The fair board also discussed nominations to the Plymouth County Fair Hall of Fame. Honorees will be announced during the fair in August.


The Le Mars City council will try again, after they did not move forward on a proposed vacant building ordinance. The council this week considered first reading of the new ordinance, but many questions arose from building owners and city councilmen. The ordinance would require owners of vacant buildings to get a permit, so as to allow inspections of those buildings.  The questions raised Tuesday at a public hearing on the ordinance ranged from definitions of a vacant building, to the cost of inspections, to authority to access vacant buildings. There was also the consideration that the current building ordinance could be tweaked to cover these issues. Similar questions arose in the council discussion following the hearing. A motion to approve the ordinance failed for lack of a second. City staff will address these concerns as they consider what form such an ordinance would take.



The Sioux Center City council will hold a public hearing on economic incentives for a relocating business.
City Administrator Scott Wynja says New Tec, a manufacturer of scissor lifts, is shifting its operations to Sioux Center.

It’s anticipated that the company will retain or even expand its workforce at its new location in Sioux Center.

Wynja says the city is offering incentives to the firm.

A public hearing on the plans and incentives will take place during the next city council meeting.



A two vehicle crash near Oyens injured a passenger in one of the vehicles.  The Plymouth County Sheriffs Department says a vehicle driven by Michael Hindermann of Remsen rear-ended a small pickup at the intersection of Iowa Highway 3 and K64 around noon Thursday.  The Hindermann vehicle which rear-ended the pickup flipped on impact, and rolled onto the driver’s side, coming to rest in the roadway.  A passenger in the vehicle received non-life-threatening injuries, and was transported to Floyd Valley Hospital for treatment.  The Hindermann vehicle was totaled.  The driver of the pickup, Garrett Liss, was not injured.  Oyens Fire Department and Le Mars Fire Rescue responded to the alert.  The Sheriffs Department says charges are pending in the case.



A nursing home employee has been charged with theft in Sioux County.  The Sheriffs Department investigated a reported theft at the Pleasant Acres Care Center in Hull.  Deputies found that 32 year old Cecelia Sanchez-Dominguez of Chaska, Minnesota, stole a gaming console from a resident of the care center.  The suspect was employed there as a certified nursing assistant.  Sanchez-Dominguez was arrested and taken to the Sioux County Jail, where she was charged with theft.



The Sioux Center city council approved of a couple of land transactions for future development.  City manager Scott Wynja says one of the moves involves a trade of properties that the city uses to make future land deals.

The other is the sale of a parcel of property near the Event Center to Sioux Center Land Development.

Both transactions required a public hearing before the council before they could be voted upon.  The council approved both transactions.



Iowa’s delegation in the U.S. House has voted along party lines on new gun regulations, like raising the age to buy A-R-15 style rifles from 18 to 21.

The three Iowa Republicans in the U.S. House voted no.

Congresswoman Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Marion, says the bill Democrats proposed was unconstitutional.

Hinson says congress should instead bolster school safety, law enforcement training and mental health resources.

Congressman Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, also supports the G-O-P proposal to add security to schools and increase access to mental health treatment. Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a Republican from Ottumwa, is co-sponsoring a bill to let schools use federal pandemic relief funds on security measures.

Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne of West Des Moines says it is common sense, comprehensive legislation that will help curb the gun violence epidemic. The bill passed with the support of all House Democrats and five Republicans.




Next week the Omaha City Council will consider hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives to build a new street car system through the city.  The incentives are part of a redevelopment agreement between the city and the Omaha Streetcar Authority.  The agreement would include 354-million dollars in tax increment financing to build the street car system.  The city council will hold a hearing on the development next Tuesday and vote on it the following week.