Early voting begins today (Wednesday) in Iowa for this year’s General Election. Iowans may vote in-person at their county auditor’s office or the election office in their county. This is also the first day county auditors can mail an absentee ballot to a voter who requested one. In order to be counted, your county auditor must RECEIVE that ballot by 8 p.m. on November 8th. Secretary of State Paul Pate says don’t depend on overnight delivery by the U.S. Postal Service.
Drop boxes must be inside or directly outside the county auditor’s office. Iowans can track the progress of their absentee ballot online. The address is voter-ready-dot-Iowa-dot-gov (www.voterready.Iowa.gov).
The most common mistake voters make on a mail-in ballot is they forget to sign and date the envelope.
Next Monday, October 24th, is the last day you may ask your county auditor to mail an absentee ballot to a voter.
Early voting has been underway in the neighboring states of Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota and more than a dozen other states. By Tuesday morning, 153-thousand Iowans had submitted a request for an absentee ballot and Pate is repeating that reminder about a new deadline for absentee ballots.
Voters do not have to mail absentee ballots. They may be hand-delivered to their county auditor’s office. A voter’s relatives or guardian may assist in returning an absentee ballot. Under a new state law, anyone else could be charged with a crime if they collect or deliver an absentee ballot from a voter with whom they have no legal or family relationship.
The Plymouth County Road Department says two railroad crossings in Plymouth County will be closed early next week. The crossings in downtown Remsen, on county road L12, and at K64 in Oyens will be closed on October 24 to replace both crossings. They will reopen on Wednesday, October 26.
IOWA LAKES STOCKING
The Iowa D-N-R’S fall trout stocking gets underway Wednesday (October 19). Fisheries supervisor,
Mike Steuck says they’ll stock 18 lakes and ponds across the state.
The stocking was started to allow everyone a chance to catch trout close to where they live so they don’t have to drive to northeast Iowa’s trout streams. Steuck says the fish that are stocked are easy to catch.
He says you don’t need any special gear to catch these trout — but you do need fishing license and a trout stamp. Steuck says the stocking has proved popular.
The drought has brought water levels down in some areas, but Steuck says they are more concerned about water temperatures when stocking the trout.
They used to use some brook trout that they brought in from outside, but he says they are now only stocking rainbow trout. He says they are trying to grow the native brook trout populations in South Pine Creek in Winnesheik County.
Steuck says that’s the approach they took with the native brown trout that are in northeast Iowa. Find more information about trout fishing regulations, check the DNR webpage at iowadnr.gov and click on the trout fishing tab.
2022 Fall Community Trout Stocking Schedule
Oct. 24, Bacon Creek, Sioux City, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 5, Scharnberg Pond, Spencer, 12:30 p.m.
Someone who bought a Powerball ticket at a convenience story in Danbury, Iowa, has won a lottery prize of one million dollars.
The winning ticket was purchased at KCK’s Food and Fuel on Iowa Highway 175 in Danbury and came within one number of having at least a share of the $485 million jackpot.
The Danbury ticket matched the first fie numbers, but missed the Powerball to win the million dollar prize.
No one matched all six numbers to win the jackpot, so the big prize climbs to an estimated $508 million annuity for Wednesday.
KCK’s Food and Fuel will receive a $1-thousand bonus from the Iowa Lottery for selling the million dollar ticket.
The fourth Citizens Academy began last night. Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte says this is a four week course put on by Le Mars Police and the Plymouth County Sheriffs Department.
The group is looking forward to the instruction over the next month.
There was an introductory session last night, including tours of the Police Department and Sheriffs Department.
SCHOOL STAFF GUNS
The Cherokee Community School Board has voted to let select staff members carry firearms on school grounds. The school board’s president says the policy is a response to active shooter situations around the country. Superintendent Kim Lingenfelter says staff approached school officials, saying they want to carry. Then school officials talked with law enforcement, including the school resource officer. Those approved to carry a weapon in Cherokee schools will have to undergo training and the Cherokee Police Department will determine which staff members qualify. The Spirit Lake school district passed a similar measure in August. Its plan involves ten anonymous staff members who carry concealed guns on school grounds, but none of them are teachers.
Harvest season is underway in Iowa with drought conditions ranging from severe to extreme — and forecasts show those conditions will likely continue well into winter. Meteorologist Dennis Todey (TOD-ee), director of the U-S-D-A’s Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, says there are a few benefits to the dry weather, like how the tractors aren’t getting mired in mud and there’s nothing to slow them down. Todey says there are a number of harvest time hazards for farmers and passing motorists due to the dry conditions, as the dust being kicked up by the farm machinery can be blinding. Many locations in Iowa are now showing six-to-eight-inch precipitation deficits for the year.
Republican Chuck Grassley says he’s not concerned by a new poll that shows his bid for an eighth U.S. Senate term may be his toughest race since 1980. A Des Moines Register/Mediacom “Iowa Poll” released this weekend shows nearly two-thirds of voters surveyed about Grassley’s race against Democrat Mike Franken have concerns about Grassley’s age. That includes more than a third of the Republicans who said they’ll vote for the 89 year old, despite their concerns about his age. Grassley says if people think he can’t do the job, they should follow his daily routine of getting up at 4 a.m., running two miles and working at least a 12 hour day. Grassley says his four decades in the senate gives him great influence, but Iowans may not fully understand the reality of the senate seniority system in determining what gets done. Grassley will be the longest serving senator in January if he’s re-elected.