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Monday News, June 13

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HEAT ADVISORY

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Plymouth County and a broad area of Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota from 1 to 9 pm this afternoon and evening.  Expect high heat and high humidity during that period.  Le Mars’ forecast is for a high of 100 degrees.

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose fitting clothing when possible.

 

JUDICIAL NOMINEES
The names of two nominees were placed before Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, to fill a vacancy on the bench in Judicial District 3B. A Judicial Nominating Commission Friday chose Attorney Andrea R. Buckley of Sioux City and Attorney Robert Tiefenthaler of Sergeant Bluff as nominees. Governor Reynolds will choose one of the two to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of District Judge Jeffrey L Poulson. The Commission considered seven nominees last Friday, including Rosanne L Plante of Hinton, and Thomas Kunstle of Orange City. Governor Reynolds has 30 days to appoint one of the nominees to be a district judge. Judicial District 3B consists of Plymouth, Woodbury, Sioux, Ida, Crawford, and Monona Counties.

 

LE MARS HAZMAT DRILL
There will be an emergency drill in Le Mars Wednesday evening, involving Le Mars Fire-Rescue and Wells Enterprises. They will hold a joint response to a simulated ammonia leak at Wells South Ice Cream Plant. The drill will take place Wednesday evening from 6-30 to 8-30 pm. This is a hazmat training exercise. Fire trucks and rescue vehicles will respond to the site, and they will use a smoke machine to simulate the ammonia leak. The public, and employees at the plant will not be in danger. There will be NO evacuation of the area during the drill.

 

GOP ELECTION FOCUS
The three Republicans currently serving in the U.S. House are offering a General Election message focused on President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Congressman Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, addressed delegates at the Iowa Republican Party’s state convention on Saturday.

Ryan Melton of Nevada is the Democratic Party’s nominee in the fourth congressional district. Congresswoman Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Marion, is running for re-election in the new second district. Hinson mentioned Pelosi four times in her convention speech.

Hinson faces Democrat Liz Mathis (MATH-iss) of Hiawatha in the November election. Republican Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa says the atmosphere is ripe for a red tsunami for Republicans in November.

Democrat Christina Bohannan of Iowa City is running against Miller-Meeks in Iowa’s new first congressional district. Miller-Meeks, Hinson and Feenstra did not mention the Democrats who’re running against them. Iowa Democrats hold their state convention Saturday.

 

DRUG ARRESTS
A traffic stop in rural Plymouth County resulted in two arrests for drug violations. Early Wednesday morning, a Plymouth County Sheriffs Deputy stopped a vehicle on a gravel road northwest of Seney. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Christopher Michael Traver, age 20 of Paullina, Iowa. The passenger was identified as Austin David Traver, age 29 of Paullina, Iowa. Both were found to be in possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and a methamphetamine pipe. The two were were transported to the Plymouth County Jail and booked on said charges without incident. Le Mars Police assisted the Sheriffs Department.

 

TEEN SEXUAL ASSAULT ARREST

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Sioux Center teen on sexual assault charges.  Darren Nicholson, 18, was taken into custody Saturday morning. The arrest stemmed from an investigation that began earlier this year following a report of a sexual assault. Upon further investigation, deputies discovered that Nicholson had intermittent sexual contact with a female child-victim since 2017. Nicholson was charged with second degree sexual assault and third degree sexual assault.

 

MARCH FOR OUR LIVES

Marches were held in several Iowa cities this weekend, protesting gun control policy solutions.  The group March for our Lives Iowa organized the effort. One of the group’s leaders says they’re trying to generate opposition to a pro-gun constitutional amendment that will appear on the November ballot.  The protesters say the amendment would make gun violence prevention efforts essentially impossible.  Marches took place Saturday in several cities, including Sioux City and Storm Lake.

 

 IOUX CITY SHOOTING

Sioux City Police investigated a fatal shooting late last week. Sergeant Jeremy McClure says the call came in about 9 p-m Thursday. They arrived at the address and found a man who had been shot.

Thirty-two-year-old Katrina Lashay Barnes is charged with second-degree murder, possession of marijuana, and possession with intent to deliver fentanyl.   McClure says Barnes and the man knew each other.

McClure says the women failed to call police for 12 minutes after the shooting and then tried to conceal evidence. They charged the other woman, 25-year-old  Jordyn Easton with being an accessory after the fact. Barnes is being held in the Woodbury County Jail on a 150-thousand dollar bond. Easton is being held on a 61-hundred dollar bond.

 

HIGH FERTILIZER PRICES

U-S Senator Joni Ernst last weekend talked with farmers about high fertilizer prices.  Ernst was told in some instances the prices for fertilizer have increased by 300-percent over the last year.  The Iowa Republican sent a letter to U-S Trade Representative Katherine Tai last week urging affordable and accessible inputs for American farmers and agriculture producers.  Senator Chuck Grassley co-signed the letter.  Ernst and state agriculture officials were part of the roundtable discussion at a meeting in Cedar Rapids.

 

INFLATION AND PORK PRODUCERS

Up in southwest Minnesota, pork producers are dealing with higher fuel and transportation costs.  National Pork Producers Council president Terry Wolters of Pipestone, says inflation is impacting profitability “without question.”  Wolters say the futures market isn’t allowing pork producers an opportunity to offset inflated operating costs.  He says many producers were doing pretty good in the early part of this year, “but after that, not so much.”  He is also concerned about food insecurity and shortages on the horizon.

 

NEBRASKA’S FIRST CASINO

Omaha’s first casino is another step closer to reality. WarHorse Gaming became the first casino operator in Nebraska to get a provisional gaming license.  WarHorse says it will now be able to obtain the appropriate financing, enter into vendor contracts, and begin employee recruitment.  A WarHorse casino is set to open in Lincoln later this year while its Omaha casino should open next year.