The first significant snowfall of the year has led to a steady stream of accidents around Plymouth County.
Earlier today, Plymouth County Chief Deputy Rick Singer said accidents started to occur as road conditions deteriorated before sunup.
Road conditions are uneven today.
Some injuries in the accidents today, but not serious injuries.
There was one chain-reaction accident earlier today.
Now they wait for road conditions to improve.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 6 pm for western Iowa, including Plymouth County. Cold weather will continue in the wake of this storm through tomorrow, then temperatures will improve into Thursday.
The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors today approved contracts for two road construction projects.
One is on C60 through Hinton. Cedar Valley Corporation was the lowest of four bidders at 2.338 million dollars. The county portion is 2.247 million and the city of Hinton will cover 90-thousand. The bid was over the project estimate of 2.17 million dollars. The Supervisors approved the bid.
Also, the board approved a contract for road construction on 200th Street, from C-38 north 1.1 mile inside the Le Mars city limits. Godbersen-Smith Construction of Ida Grove had the low bid of 2.482 million dollars. Plymouth County’s share is 1.4 million, and the city of Le Mars 1.06 million. The estimate for the county portion of the project is 1.244 million.
The Board of Supervisors also authorized action on a change in the county’s road maintenance ordinance to downgrade a portion of 310th Street in Perry Township to class C status. Some 14-hundred feet of the road will be declassified. First reading of the amended ordinance will take place at a future Supervisors meeting.
The Spirit Lake Community School Board has unanimously voted to let up to 10 staff members who aren’t teachers carry a concealed gun on school grounds. District officials say if there’s an active shooter in Spirit Lake schools, this plan will provide an immediate response until local law enforcement officials arrive. Superintendent David Smith says those chosen to carry a gun will have to undergo extensive marksmanship and tactical training. Spirit Lake Police Chief Shane Brevik (BREH-vick) recently released a letter, stating he was opposed to the policy. The superintendent says that was a surprise to him.
The school board received more than 200 public comments about the policy. The police chief is among those who submitted a letter, saying there’s merit to a safety plan, but arming civilians to deal with intruders provides a false sense of security and might interfere with law enforcement response. Superintendent Smith, in remarks to the school board, called the letter a sabotage job.
More than a dozen Spirit Lake staff members have already begun training with local firearm instructors. In the school district’s survey, 47 district employees publicly said they supported the new safety plan, while one said they opposed it.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been called for most of western Iowa, including Plymouth County today until 6 pm.
The snow began early this morning. Jeff Chapman, National Weather Service Meteorologist in Sioux Falls, says the snow will create a messy morning commute, with a bit of ice mixed in with the snow.
By late morning into the afternoon, there will be snow and blowing snow. The snow will taper off into the late afternoon.
Temperatures Tuesday will be turning colder early.
Temperatures will stay cold in the wake of the system
Weather conditions should improve after the storm system exits the area.
Up to four inches of snow are forecast for Plymouth County, up to five inches for SIoux County.
Find the latest road conditions by calling 5-1-1 or at the Iowa D-O-T’s travel information website 5-1-1-i-a-dot-org.
TEACHER OF THE YEAR
An Altoona, Iowa second grade teacher has been named Iowa’s Teacher of the Year by Governor Kim Reynolds. Two northwest Iowa teachers were finalists.
Krystal Colbert, who has been teaching for 16 years, serves in the Southeast Polk Community School DIstrict, was honored for the impact she has made on her students.
Among the finalists for this year’s award were Levi Letsche, an Orange City resident, who is a high school mathematics teacher in the Sheldon Community School District. Another finalist is Lori Brandt, a special education teacher in the Sioux Center Community School District.
The Iowa Air National Guard’s K-C 135 aircraft from the 185th air refueling wing have returned to their home base in Sioux City. The giant flying fuel stations operated at bases in Topeka, Kansas and Sioux Falls, South Dakota after runway construction got underway at the airport in April. Lieutenant Colonel Ben Young is a K-C 135 pilot who is happy to be back home in Iowa:
The construction project closed the longer of two available runways used by the K-C 135 aircraft so parts of them could be refurbished.
They did the flyover for Friday’s Iowa/Nebraska football game and now get back to a regular schedule.
Young says have the jets back at their home allows everyone involved to enjoy more time with their families.
It’s “Giving Tuesday”, and if you plan to make a donation to your favorite charity, you need to make doubly sure where the donation is going. Ashlee Kieler (KEE-ler), a spokeswoman for the Iowa Attorney General’s office, says one excellent place to confirm that a charity is legitimate is the Better Business Bureau’s “wise giving” website, give-dot-org. She also suggests you Google the name of the charity and then put words behind it like ‘review’ or ‘scam’ and see what other people are talking about. Don’t let yourself be forced into making a quick decision, as Kieler says a crook may claim a matching donation won’t apply if your donation isn’t made right away. And if you get an unsolicited call, don’t trust the Caller I-D.
The Logan-Magnolia school district is among 12 statewide to receive federal funding to purchase electric school buses. Superintendent Tom Ridder says they will buy five E-V buses to replace half of the district’s entire fleet to save on fuel. The longest bus route in the western Iowa district is 100 miles – which he says E-V buses will easily cover with charges in between runs. He says the buses will sound different –but are brand new buses that will have seat belts in them. Ridder says federal rebates will likely cover the full cost of purchasing the buses, but the district must pay to install chargers. The program was funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year. More than 11 million dollars was awarded to Iowa schools to purchase a total of 30 E-V buses. West Sioux School District in Sioux County will receive funding for two E-V buses.