PLYMOUTH COUNTY SUPERVISORS
The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors this morning approved the annual report of their tax increment financing districts, for the fiscal year ending in June. The revenues generated in the districts totaled 505-thousand dollars in the fiscal year. The district had some 1.5 million dollars in debt at the end of the year. The debts were for borrowing from the fund for several bridge and road projects in the county, and for a couple of rebates for businesses within the district. The account is on track to settle its debts by the time it expires in the 29-30 fiscal year.
The board also approved an information technology services agreement with Sioux Rivers Mental Health. The other five counties making up Sioux Rivers will also sign on to the agreement. This is a one year, renewable Memorandum of Understanding.
The Supervisors also passed a Proclamation setting September 16th as National POW/MIA awareness day.
Iowans who want to vote by mail in the general election this fall can submit their applications for an absentee ballot starting today (Tuesday). The applications are available at voter-ready-dot-iowa-dot-gov or at your county auditor’s office. Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald says unlike in 2020, officials won’t be sending the application forms to voters in the mail.
County auditors can begin mailing ballots to those who request them on October 19th, which is still several weeks away, but Fitzgerald is encouraging voters to submit their requests early.
Fitzgerald says Iowans who want to vote this year should double-check their voter registration and make a plan to vote.
The Iowa Crop Progress Report as of Sunday showed the state very short of moisture, while corn and soybeans are 3 to 5 days behind normal development.
The USDA Ag Statistics Service says over half of topsoil was considered short to very short on moisture. This includesNorthwest Iowa. Subsoil moisutre was 53% short to very short, and 45% adequate statewide.
Corn condition was rated 66% good to excellent, and soybeans were 63% good to excellent. Both crops were three to five days behind normal development.
IOWA GUARD RECRUITMENT
The Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard says their current numbers are strong — but they are facing the challenges that every other organization is facing when it come to filling their needs. Major General Ben Corell says they will fall a little short of the recruiting mark he set.
Corell says “it’s not a crisis today — but it is something that we are concerned about,” He says they need around one-thousand new recruits every year to fill the openings caused by attrition.
General Corell says his recruiting team is competing more now with all the other businesses looking for men and women.
Corell says more businesses have turned to one of the key incentives the Iowa Guard has used for years.
There’s been some criticism about younger kids just out of high school not being interested in serving. Corell says that always seems to be a something that’s said about young people — including when her graduated high school in the 70s.
And he says there are times when they are called to federal duty in the U-S or overseas. Corell says he still sees the Iowa and Midwest values of service that he was raised with in the eyes of new recruits.
A new report from the state auditor’s office indicates Iowa State University officials have struggled with computer software purchased in 2017 to manage I-S-U’s financial reports. State Auditor Rob Sand says as a result, I-S-U was nine months late in submitting data from the state fiscal year that ended in mid-2020. Due to the long delay, the report from the state auditor’s office on I-S-U’s operations in the budgeting year that ended two years ago was just issued last Friday. In a written statement included in the state auditor’s report, Iowa State University management acknowledged deficiencies in processing financial transactions and a lack of appropriate training for university staff using the Workday system. I-S-U officials say they’ve developed an in-depth plan to cover staff responsibilities and meet deadlines.
Three people were injured Monday morning in a one vehicle rollover accident in northern Sioux County. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office were notified of the accident around 7-45 am, five miles northeast of Rock Valley. A car driven by 15 year old Carlee Lange of Doon was southbound on Garfield Avenue, when she lost control of the vehicle. It entered the ditch and rolled. Lange and two passengers were transported to Hegg Medical Center for treatment of injuries. Lange was cited for failure to maintain control of the vehicle.
HAWARDEN MAN SENTENCED
The Sioux County Attorney says a Hawarden man was sentenced Monday to prison for inappropriate actions with a child. Robert Schiefen, 63, was brought to the Hawarden Police Department by a family member on May 17. Schiefen admitted to his involvement with a minor victim. This was confirmed by a police investigation. Authorities later learned that the suspect had previously been found guilty of Indecent Contact with a Child and Willful Injury in 1999, but had been released from the state sex offender registry. In a plea agreement, Schiefen agreed to plead guilty to Lascivious Acts with a Child. He will be sent to prison for a period not to exceed five years. After release, he will be on the Sex Offender Registry for life, and will be on parole with the Iowa Department of Corrections for ten years.
WORK RELEASE ESCAPEE
Davonte Derrick Moore, convicted of Robbery 2nd Degree in Woodbury County, failed to report back to the Sioux City Residential Treatment Facility as required Friday. Moore is a 27-year-old black male, height 5’6″, and weighs 240 pounds. He was admitted to the work release facility on June 3. Persons with information on Moore’s whereabouts should contact local police.
IOWA RECIDIVISM DROPS
The numbers suggest Iowa prison programs that prepare inmates for freedom may be having an effect. Iowa Department of Corrections director Beth Skinner says recidivism has dropped in each of the last two fiscal years. That means Iowa ranks among the top 10 states in the nation when it comes to reducing the number of inmates who return to prison. Skinner’s comments were made in an interview on Iowa P-B-S. More than 600-thousand people are released from state prisons every year in the U-S. Within three years, more than half are behind bars again.
There was very little measurable rain across northwest Iowa last week, but enough to pull part of the area back from the extreme to the severe drought category. Plymouth County continues to be ground zero for extreme drought, but surrounding counties got a little relief. There’s also another reason for our prolonged dryness this summer. There’s a monsoon going on in the southwestern U.S. Meteorologist Doug Kluck, climate services director with the National Weather Service, says heavy rains in the south are pulling moisture away from the midwest and the northern plains. There is some good news, though. Kluck says long-term weather patterns have been moving more precipitation into the central parts of the country.