ASSISTANT COUNTY ATTORNEY
The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors today approved the hiring of an Assistant County Attorney. Sharese Whitesell of Sioux City has served in the Woodbury County Public Defender’s office. She has also assisted cases in Plymouth, Lyon, Sioux, Woodbury, and Monona Counties. Whitesell recently was one of seven candidates applying for an opening on the court in Judicial District 3B, which includes six northwest Iowa counties.
A project to dredge the conservation pond at Hillview Park near Hinton will take place this summer. The Board of Supervisors today adjusted the contract by an additional 50-thousand dollars to cover increased fuel costs. A Minnesota firm, R-Way Pumping Incorporated, last year proposed a dredging project at the pond worth some 290-thousand dollars. The project was delayed because of slow environmental certification. Since then, fuel prices shot up, so the Freeport, Minnesota company added 50-thousand dollars to their bid. The Supervisors accepted the additional cost. The project will take 40 days, and can start no later than the end of September, but it probably will start before then. The dredging will clear sediment that has accumulated in the pond, and clear up the water body.
AIR GUARD TRAINING
A group of clinicians from Sioux City’s Air National Guard 185th refueling wing has been training together at the Air National Guard Combat Readiness Training Center in Savannah, Georgia this past week. First lieutenant Amber Franco says it’s the first time since 2019 that the large group from the 185th medical group has been able to get together to knock out a good portion of their annual training requirements.
The pandemic, along with worldwide deployments and financial constraints has kept the Iowa Air National Guard clinicians from training together as a group for more than three years. The training in Georgia provided a variety of scenarios.
During the past few years, 185th clinicians have volunteered for various duties like helping at state covid-19 testing centers. Others have recently deployed to the middle-east. The 185th members also helped with resettlement efforts after the U-S pullout from Afghanistan earlier this year.
An all-electric, zero-emission motorhome built by Winnebago Industries recently completed a journey of more than 13-hundred miles, the first known trip over a thousand miles by such a vehicle. The “e-R-V” was introduced in January as a fully functional, all-electric concept vehicle. Winnebago C-E-O Michael Happe says the trip shows electrification is an evolving chapter in the company’s legacy. The road trip lasted 13-hundred-80 miles over a span of 26 hours, with the average charge time at just over an hour and a total charging cost for the trip of 275 dollars. Happe says the company will take what it learned from developing the e-R-V and use that with its Grand Design and Newmar recreational vehicle brands, as well as Chris-Craft and Barletta boats.
The latest round of grants from the Iowa Economic Development Authority includes funding for the Siouxland Regional Trails System. A total of 16.5 million dollars was awarded to four projects. One of them is 7 million dollars to five trail projects in the Sioux City area, including 18.5 mile PlyWood Trail, linking Le Mars, Sioux City, and Sgt Bluff. The combined projects will provide over 100 miles of trail projects in the area. Besides the PlyWood Trail, the grant includes work on the Cone Mountain Bike Park, and the Loess Hills Scenic Trail. The total funding is distributed through Destination Iowa. The funds come through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
Le Mars hardware store owner Scott Pageler is preparing a sales pitch which could enhance his business. Pageler is working on an idea to create a mobile flooring business. His idea has been submitted to a Main Street Iowa program called Open 4 Business. His business idea is being contested with others around the state, and so far, Scott has been awarded an 8-thousand dollars grant.
Pageler says the mobile flooring idea is catching on with the judges.
Pageler has qualified for the final round of competition, in which he and four other businesses will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in Pella, on August 1.
Pageler credits the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce with helping him enter his idea, and preparing his presentations.
There’s a Work Fair planned in Le Mars tomorrow afternoon. Local businesses have immediate openings, and they will be recruiting and interviewing job-seekers from noon to 3 pm Tuesday at the Le Mars Convention Center. The companies involved cover a wide range of jobs, and are ready to hire. Notices for the job fair urge candidates to bring your resumes, and be ready for job offers.
The names of three nominees have been forwarded to Governor Kim Reynolds for an opening on the Iowa Supreme Court, as she prepares to make her fifth appointment to the state’s highest court. Justice Brent Appel is stepping down July 13th when he reaches the court’s mandatory retirement age of 72. The Judicial Nominating Commission is recommending two judges and a trial lawyer to replace Appel — Appeals Court Judge David May of Polk City, District Court Judge Alan Heavens of Garnavillo, and trial attorney William Miller of Des Moines. The governor has 30 days to review the nominees and make her choice — or Reynolds can reject this group and ask the nominating commission to submit a new slate. She did that last year for an opening at the district court level after questions were raised about how a district court judge steered the nominating commission..One of those interviewed yesterday, but not chosen by the nominating panel was 3rd Judicial District Chief Judge Patrick Tott of Sioux City.
SIOUX COUNTY ACCIDENT
A Sioux Center man was injured Sunday in a one-vehicle accident. The Sioux County Sheriffs Department says 60 year old Randy Nuzum was driving a pickup east on 360th Street, two miles east of Hudson, S.D., when lost control of the vehicle, went into a ditch and struck a power pole. Nuzum had to be extricated from the vehicle, and was flown directly from the scene of the accident to Avera McKennen Hospital in Sioux Falls. The accident occurred around 3 pm Sunday. It remains under investigation.
SIOUX COUNTY ARREST
Sunday evening, the Sioux County Sheriffs Department arrested a George, Iowa woman. The arrest stems from an incident that occurred on May 25 at the Sheldon Motel. 34 year old Karitat Lewi was placed under arrest at 7 pm Sunday. Lewi is accused of entering a motel room and assaulting a victim. Before leaving the property, Lewi also vandalized with victim’s vehicle. Lewi was charged with assault and criminal mischief in the case.
GRANT TO TV SHOW
Governor Kim Reynolds has awarded Universal Television six-million dollars for the “Field of Dreams” television series that starts filming in Iowa in a few months. In April, Reynolds announced she’d use 100 million dollars in federal pandemic relief to boost tourism and quality of life projects in Iowa. The “Field of Dreams” series will be filmed in Iowa, at sites in Polk, Boone, Mahaska, and Clinton Counties, according to a news release from the governor’s office. Once finished, it’s scheduled to be televised on the streaming network Peacock.
Nebraska voters are heading to the polls today to elect a new congressman. A special election is taking place today in the Nebraska First Congressional District. Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks and Republican Mike Flood are trying to replace Jeff Fortenberry, who resigned after he was convicted earlier this year of lying to the FBI during an investigation in an illegal campaign donation from a foreign source.