Home News KLEM News for Saturday, October 22

KLEM News for Saturday, October 22

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SCHOOL CARRY

The police chief in Cherokee says there’s a lot of work to do before local school employees would be allowed to carry concealed weapons on school grounds — and Police Chief Nate James suggests there’s no guarantee any employee will get the go-ahead.

The Cherokee School Board endorsed the concept this week and school officials said they’d been consulting with the police chief. The police chief says policy and procedures will be paramount.

James was a policeman in Cherokee for eight years before being named Chief of Police in April of 2015.

 

BANK ROBBERY

Authorities are investigating a bank robbery in Onawa, Iowa, Friday morning.  The incident happened around 10 am at Bank  First, located at 902 10th Street.

The Monona County Sheriff says an individual entered the bank and brandished a weapon.  There’s no description of the suspect or type of weapon used.

The West Monona Community Schools were placed on lockdown, with the school district releasing a statement on Facebook that the lockdown was because of the bank robbery.  The lockdown was lifted around noon.

Monona County is being assisted by the FBI and the Woodbury and Ida County Sheriffs Departments in the investigation.

GOSS-ECONOMY

The Siouxland Initiative held its annual meeting Friday at the South Sioux City Marriott Riverfront.

Ernie Goss, Economics Chair at Creighton University, keynoted the luncheon on our current economic state in America.

Goss gave his views about what’s ahead, starting with interest rates.

He says the 30-year mortgage rate will also go higher, and said short term bonds were a good investment right now, but didn’t recommend long term bonds beyond two years.

Goss aslso encouraged everyone to buy local, that helping local small business is a great way to build your local economy.

Outgoing TSI chairman Mike Wells gave a report on the past two years while the new chairman, Lance Morgan, made remarks about the community becoming more of a blue collar town that should embrace its diversity..

 

RURAL ECONOMY

The rural economy continues to slide.  The October Rural Mainstreet Index, a survey of bankers in 10 states, including Iowa, fell below growth neutral for the fifth consecutive month.  The reading was 44.2, from 46.3 in September.  Any number below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

Survey results indicate farm equipment sales dropped for the second time in three months.

The economic confidence level fell to its lowest level in 18 months.  One in four bankers surveyed say the rural economy is in recession.  Three of four bankers expect a recession to begin in 2023.

Iowa’s index was 45.6 in October, down from 48 in September.

 

CLEAN WATER ACT

Tuesday marked 50 years since passage of the federal Clean Water Act, a landmark environmental law which created the first national standards for water quality. It stemmed from public outcry over widespread pollution from cities and industry. University of Iowa law professor Shannon Roesler (RAY-sler) says there have been legal battles over the scope of the law ever since. Earlier this month, the U-S Supreme Court heard arguments in a case challenging protections for wetlands.

Roesler says Iowa’s current water quality problems are tied to the original structure of the Clean Water Act. When it was passed in 1972, some cities and industrial plants were releasing raw sewage and untreated waste into lakes and rivers. Professor David Cwiertny (SWERT-nee), at the U-I’s Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, says that kind of pollution is now largely under control. Instead, one of the main challenges for Iowa water is agricultural runoff, which was left out of the Clean Water Act.

Fertilizer runoff from farm fields is exempt under the law, and has become a major contributor to nutrient pollution in Iowa lakes and rivers. Cwiertny says legal battles over the reach of the Clean Water Act started as soon as it was passed.

 

PHEASANT SEASON

Iowa hunters will be searching the countryside for pheasants starting next weekend. Nate Carr, a D-N-R conservation officer in Hamilton and Hardin counties, says all factors point to a good season ahead, based on the August roadside surveys. Carr expects a repeat of last year during which about 63-thousand hunters killed some 370-thousand birds, one of the largest harvests in a decade. Hunters need a hunting license and habitat fee, while shooting hours this year start at 8 AM and end at 4:30 PM. The daily limit is three pheasants. The season runs October 29th through January 10th.