Home News Wednesday News, June 29

Wednesday News, June 29

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COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The City of Le Mars has announced the hire of a Community Economic Development Director. He is Mark Gaul, who currently serves in the same capacity for the city of Orange City.
City Manager Jason Vacura says Gaul will help with planning, and oversight of existing and future residential, commercial, and industrial growth. The city council recently recently approved a new development plan which brings community development solely under city control. Previously, development was under the umbrella of the Chamber of Commerce and the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation. A Le Mars native, Gaul was economic development director for Orange City for the past nine years. He will begin his work in Le Mars on July 25.

 

SOLAR COMPANY COMPLAINTS

The consumer protection division of the Iowa Attorney General’s office is seeing a dramatic upturn in complaints about solar energy companies in recent months. A-G’s spokesman Lynn Hicks says people go into the endeavor hoping to lower their energy bills, but some are finding more costs and headaches with solar than they’d expected.

From 2019 through 2021, the division received 15 total complaints over the three years regarding solar energy systems. So far in 2022, the division has already received 40 complaints.

In some cases, Hicks says consumers who started the process of purchasing solar panels have spent thousands of dollars — or tens of thousands — on the systems. Solar energy can lower your carbon footprint while powering your home with clean energy, but Hicks says it’s not for everyone and before signing a contract, you absolutely need to do your homework.

While the average solar lease may save consumers money, he notes that if the homeowner changes their mind, moves, or the system experiences production issues, it can quickly become very costly. To contact the Iowa Attorney General’s consumer protection division, visit iowaattorneygeneral.gov or call 888-777-4590.

 

AG WASTE PRODUCTS
U-S Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says universities, farmers and communities with projects that could turn agricultural waste into usable products can apply for new federal grants. Vilsack uses the example of manure — separating the water from the solids. He says some parts of the country are facing “serious water shortages” and water from waste needs to be reclaimed. He then says what’s left over can be turned into “a pelletized fertilizer product” and sold. A total of 10 million dollars is set aside for this U-S-D-A pilot program. Vilsack made the announcement at a family-owned creamery in Ely that sells bottled milk, cheese curds, and ice cream made from milk produced by the family’s 150 dairy cows.


BRUNSVILLE ACCIDENT

THREE PEOPLE SUSTAINED MINOR INJURIES THIS (WEDS) MORNING WHEN A SEMI TRAILER STRUCK A JEEP IN PLYMOUTH COUNTY.

TROOPER JUSTIN SACKETT OF THE IOWA STATE PATROL SAYS THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED JUST AFTER 8 A.M.

SACKETT OC………IN THE DITCH. :19

THE SEMI DRIVER RECEIVED A TRAFFIC CITATION FOR HIS ROLE IN THE ACCIDENT.
THE FEMALE DRIVER OF THE JEEP AND TWO CHILDREN SUSTAINED MINOR INJURIES.

 

SHOTS FIRED

Sioux City Police are investigating a pair of incidents in Leeds Monday evening that started with an armed robbery and later involved an exchange of gunfire.

Sgt. Jeremy McClure says the first incident happened on Floyd Boulevard at the Select Mart where a blue Toyota Camry with Nebraska plates pulled up to another car at a gas pump:

McClure says the suspect fled in the blue Camry with a female and ended up on Cleveland Street across the county line in Plymouth County:

The suspect’s vehicle was found later in Plymouth County:

McClure says the two suspects are considered to be armed and dangerous with the male described as a light skinned black male, slender build about 6 feet tall, 170 pounds with a goatee.

Anyone with information should call the Crimestoppers hotline at 258-TIPS.

 

FETAL HEARTBEAT BILL

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and state legislative leaders have announced two legal actions following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on abortion last week.

Reynolds will urge the Iowa Supreme Court to rehear Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds and will request that the Iowa courts lift the injunction against enforcement of Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law.

While this litigation moves forward, Iowa’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks is still in effect.

Attorney General Tom Miller has stated that he will be withdrawing from representing the state in these matters.

Gov. Reynolds is retaining Alliance Defending Freedom and Iowa Attorney Alan Ostergren, president and chief counsel of the Kirkwood Institute, to represent the state at no cost to Iowa taxpayers.

 

ANIMAL NEGLECT

Three people have now been charged after several animals were removed from a Storm Lake residence last Friday. Officers captured and removed 50 cats and two dogs from the home, and they were transported to a local animal hospital for evaluation and treatment. Some of them had to be euthanized due to illness.  Sixty-one-year-old Juana Munoz, 31-year-old Veronica Lopez Munoz, and 25-year-old Mayra Lopez Munoz have all been charged with two counts of animal neglect causing injury or death, .and one count of animal neglect without serious injury.”

 

JAIL LOCKS

The electrical system controlling the lights and door locks in the cell block at the Worth County Jail in Northwood has failed. Worth County Sheriff Dan Fank has briefed the Worth County Board of Supervisors.

Fank says there have been no security issues, as he and his deputies are manually opening cell doors and flipping light switches because it’s not a position he wants jail employees to be in. If the latest computer fix is unsuccessful, the county’s board of supervisors will explore buying a new electronic security system for the county’s jailhouse, which was built in 1955.

 

SPECIAL ELECTION

Mike Flood is the winner of the special election in Nebraska’s First Congressional District.  The Republican Flood defeated Democrat Patty Pansing Brooks in yesterday’s special election.  Flood will serve the remainder of former Nebraska Congressman Jeff Fortenberry’s term, but he will face Pansing Brooks again in the November general election for the right to serve a full term in Congress.  Fortenberry was sentenced yesterday to probation for lying to the FBI about an illegal foreign campaign contribution at a California fundraiser in 2016.

 

BLACK WIDOWS

Unexpected patrons have occupied a restroom at a Page County park near Shenandoah — black widow spiders. County conservation director John Schwab says crews discovered a large cluster of the venomous spiders at Pioneer Park during regular restroom maintenance. While the black widow is common throughout the country, Schwab says 20 to 30 of them in the same building was concerning. The interior and exterior of the restroom building is being treated, and Schwab advises park patrons to steer clear of it. They hope to have the spiders removed by the end of the week.