The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors this morning approved the purchase of a new law enforcement vehicle for the county. It’s called a Bearcat. It is an armored vehicle that is used in rapid response incidents. Le Mars Police has had such a vehicle for over 20 years, but its no longer serviceable. Plymouth County would be in charge of the Bearcat, but it would be used in support of law enforcement agencies in surrounding counties. The Bearcat is manufactured by a firm in Massachusetts, and costs some 327-thousand dollars. Sheriff Jeff Te Brink says some counties have already contributed to the cost of the vehicle, and others will follow. The Supervisors approved the purchase. It is to be ready for use in about a year. The purchase will be covered by the county’s share of state covid recovery funds.
KINGSLEY MAN SENTENCED
A Kingsley man was sentenced to over two years in federal prison for illegal firearms possession. 35 year old Levi Dimmitt pleaded guilty to the charges last December. Evidence indicates Dimmitt was a user and a distributor of Marijuana and methamphetamine, while also in possession of firearms.
Authorities executed a search warrant at his residence in Sibley on April 24 of 2021. Inside, officers located drug paraphernalia, marijuana, methamphetamine, and guns at various location throughout the home and garage. Dimmitt was sentenced last Thursday to 27 months in federal detention, and serve two years of supervised release after serving his sentence.
BALL DIAMOND PROJECT
The Le Mars Community School Board of Education will explore other options for renovating the high school ball diamonds. A public hearing brought no public comment on the plans before the board, to create a permanent press box facility at the diamonds. Construction bids were received on a couple of options for the project. While there was no estimate of costs for this work, bids for the work, including options and contingencies, came in at 183-thousand dollars. In their discussion, board members were concerned about the high cost for the project. The board rejected all the bids for the work, and directed the Superintendent to seek other construction options. One option discussed by the board is to explore having the high school construction class carry out the project,
Plymouth County has the state’s most expensive gasoline. According to Triple A Iowa, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in Plymouth, Appanoose and Page counties is 4 dollars, 66 cents per gallon. This is despite a report that says gas prices are on a slight downward trend. Triple A says the statewide average price is 4-47 a gallon, down 11 cents from last week. The cheapest gas is in Henry County in southeast Iowa, at 4-23 a gallon.
US 75 IMPROVEMENTS
The Iowa Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting on US Highway 75 improvements in Hinton. The meeting will be Thursday, July 21, at the Hinton City Hall, from 5 to 7 pm.
DOT plans a resurfacing project on the highway in 2023 and 2024, affecting northbound and southbound lanes of the highway past Hinton. The study area is from south of Grover St. to north of West Maple St.
At the meeting, Iowa DOT staff and project consultants will be present to discuss the proposed study. No formal presentation will be made.
There is also a virtual presentation of the project. I can be accessed anytime between July 21 and August 1 at www.iowadot.gov/pim – click on US 75 Planning Study Meeting #1.
A new law allowing ATVs and UTVs to travel gravel roads has taken effect in Iowa this month.
Plymouth County Sheriff Jeff Te Brink explains what’s allowed under the new law.
Te Brink says half the counties in Iowa have already passed such ordinances.
Sheriff Te Brink says the law is still intended to allow the use of these four-wheeled vehicles on county roads, but only for a specific purpose, not pleasure riding.
STATE REVENUES HIGHER
State revenues in Iowa are 12-point-three percent higher right now than they were a year ago at this time. The state’s Legislative Services Agency is predicting that the expected budget surplus will be a little higher than the original estimate of one-point-three billion dollars. The L-S-A’s Jeff Robinson, Senior, says there was “pretty good job growth” in 2021, which translated to growth in the number of people making money.
A fast-moving storm system caused scattered wind damage and knocked the power offline in several cities early Monday morning across western, central and eastern Iowa. National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Vachalek says it’s still unclear if this powerful system, moving at speeds up to 55 miles an hour, constituted yet another derecho.
The strongest winds in the storm were reported in western Iowa’s Carroll County.
Damage, mostly to trees, is also reported in communities including: Ames, Denison, Jefferson, Zearing, Grand Junction and Riverside. Last Tuesday, Iowa had its third derecho in three years, with winds that caused damage across parts of northern and eastern Iowa. It followed even-more-damaging derechos in August of 2020 and in December of 2021.