The Plymouth County Sheriff and County Recorder made quarterly reports to the Board of Supervisors this morning. County Sheriff Jeff Te Brink said they collected 20-thousand dollars in fees from October through December.The county Comunications center received 1457 E911 calls and 1322 Sheriffs Office complaints.Fro the year, there were 5763 E911 calls, and 5827 Sheriffs Office complaints. Sheriff Te Brink said that figure was down 800 compared to the previous year. He says there were fewer juvenile complaints in the past year.
The county Jail reported a total of 109-thousand dollars in revenue in the last quarter of 2022 – over 90% of it in fees for holding inmates for the US Marshals Service. He also noted that the number of jailers is back to full strength in the past quarter.
County Recorder Jolynn Goodchild reported that total revenues for the last quarter was 206-thousand dollars. 141-thousand went to the state of Iowa, while the county kept 64-thousand. Title transfers fees totaled 93-thousand dollars, of which Plymouth County received 22-thousand. There were some 1150 official documents transacted by the Recorders Office. Most of them – 430 – were ATV or off road vehicle registrations. There were also 396 vital records processed.
The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have set a public hearing for Feb. 7, at which time they will consider action to vacate a portion of Talbot Road. This is a grade B road located near the Woodbury County line, just north of Stone State Park. The road has become a short cut for motorists seeking access to Iowa Highway 12 to the west. The road is undergoing deterioration due to the traffic. If approved, a portion of Talbot Road will be blocked to motor vehicle traffic. Also on Feb 7, the county compensation board will meet at the Plymouth County Courthouse to finalize their salary recommendations for county election officials. Earlier, the board reported to the Board of Supervisors that they recommend an 8 to 9 % salary increase for county elected officials. That was also the starting point of discussion before the board late this morning on the county’s 2023-124 fiscal year budget.
LE MARS SCHOOL PERSONNEL
The Le Mars Community School District Board last night accepted retirements and resignations from staff, effective at the end of the school year.
Bruce Ludwig will retire after 26 years in the school district. He is the District’s Media and Technology Director.
Cliff Collins will retire after 34 years in teaching. He is the grades 6 through 12 instructional Math Coach, and is an assistant track coach.
Cari Herbst is resigning her third grade teaching position.
Kennedy Candor is resigning from her position as Covid interventionist.
Gabe Davis will resign as assistant boys basketball coach.
Joan Koth, a Title I teacher who has been in the district for 25 years, will retire.
The Board also hired Mark Walz to replace Bruce Ludwig as Director of Technology, effective next year. Walz has been working in Ludwig’s department for several years.
Iowa 4th District Congressman Randy Feenstra is taking the Biden Adminisration to taskover how they have investigated cases of classified documents differently in the possession of former President Donald Trump and Biden’s son Hunter:
Feenstra says now that Republicans control the House, they will press for answers about how former President Trump was investigated and raided by federal agencies, while Republican concerns about Hunter Biden were ignored:
The Hull Republican on Monday joined fellow House GOP members in voting for the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act, which would repeal the IRS enforcement funding in the Democrats Inflation Reduction Act, and prevent the Biden Administration from hiring 87-thousand new IRS agents:
The bill will likely not make it to the floor in the Democratic controlled US Senate.
TAYLOR – SCHOOL REFORM
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will deliver the annual “Condition of the State” address to the legislature this evening. During remarks at a G-O-P fundraiser, Reynolds told Republican lawmakers she’ll outline “big ideas” tonight.
School Choice – the Senate voted with the Gov on this for the past two years. Last year’s bill was limited to parents of students in federally determined low-performing school districts (GLR and WS). Taylor wants to take a broader approach, as suggested by the Governor.
Passing such legislation would not mean funds are taken away from public schools
Democrats argue that half of Iowa school districts do not have private wschools. Taylor says ihn some cases, by allowing Educational Savings Accounts, more private schools will emerge..
The Iowa House Minority Leader says it’s time for cooperation and bipartisanship in the state Legislature. Jennifer Konfirst addressed the legislature, reflecting on what she’s seen over 30 years since first working as a legislative intern. She says “One of the things I hope we’re able to bring back this session is a spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship. After all, that’s what the people sent us here to do. ” With 39 new members of the 100 person Iowa House, Konfirst hopes lawmakers set politics aside and put our Iowa values into action for people. She says a majority of Iowans overwhelmingly want the legislature to: lower their costs, invest in public schools, legalize marijuana, and protect reproductive freedom. She says Iowans are tired and exhausted by politics as usual. We should do things differently and work together to get things done.
DIEKEN, CARLSON SWORN IN
Monday, Rep. Zach Dieken, a Republican from rural Granville, was sworn in to the Iowa House of Representatives on the first day of the 90th General Assembly. Also sworn in was 13th District State Representative Ken Carlson, a Republican from Onawa. His district covers four counties, including the southern half of Plymouth County. The swearing in ceremony was shortly followed by opening remarks by Speaker of the House Pat Grassley, outlining some of the priorities of the Legislature for the 2023 session.
Both Dieken and Carlson are serving their first terms in the Iowa House of Representatives.
IOWA ETHANOL PRODUCTION
In 2022, Iowa ethanol production increased to a record-breaking 4.5 billion gallons, up from the previous record of 4.4 billion gallons in 2021. Observers credit fuel demand returning to pre-pandemic levels, Iowa ethanol plant efficiencies, and the ample local corn supply as factors in the upward trend. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw feels optimistic about increasing ethanol production in 2023 as well. The attractive price of E15 and E85 drove sales during the 2022 gas price spike. IRFA expects ethanol demand to grow each year as access to E15 improves.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will deliver the annual “Condition of the State” address to the legislature this evening. Lawmakers expect Reynolds to unveil a new, more expansive plan to give parents state money to cover private school expenses. Senate G-O-P Leader Jack Whitver has made clear Republicans in the Senate will back a “school choice” plan in 2023. Democrats have opposed the governor’s private school plans in each of the past two years and Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls says they will again in 2023.
State Senator Jeff Taylor of Sioux Center says Property tax reform will be a priority issue this year, but he’s not sure what form that will take
Senator Taylor says in light of the Supreme Court decision striking down Roe Vs. Wade, Senate Republicans will consider legislation further regulating abortions.
GRASSLEY SWORN IN
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley was at the Iowa Capitol Monday for the opening day of the state legislature, so he could administer the oath of office to his grandson, who is House Speaker. Chuck Grassley served 16 years in the IOWA House before his election to congress. State Representative Pat Grassley is entering his 17th year in the Iowa legislature. The 89-year-old Grassley says when he left the Iowa House in 1974, he wasn’t sure his campaign for a seat in the U.S. House would be successful. He faced four opponents in a G-O-P Primary. He also had a tumor removed from his left leg and bone from his hip was grafted onto his lower leg. Grassley spent much of the 1974 General Election campaign on crutches.
U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra of Hull voted for, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed, the Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act. This legislation would officially repeal the IRS enforcement funding in the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act and prevent the Biden Administration from hiring an army of 87,000 new IRS agents. The Government Accountability Office says more than 90% of audits target American families who make less than $400,000 per year.
SIOUX CITY LIBRARY
The Sioux City Public Library is one of 15 in the nation to receive federal funding to help schools and libraries address the gap for those who currently lack necessary internet access, or the devices needed to connect online. Library director Helen Rigdon says Sioux city’s library has received more than one million dollars in funding from the emergency connectivity fund.
The library is using the funding to launch the “Internet forAll” initiative, a program that provides 19-hundred internet-enabled devices connected on t-mobile’s nationwide network available for checkout through the Sioux City Public Library. Residents have already started checking out the devices from the library. Rigdon says there is a time limit for their use.
Chris Kuchta is with the Connections Area Agency on Aging, which hopes to have check out devices to use for their older adult technology series.
All Sioux city residents with a public library card in good standing are eligible to check out an internet-enabled device from the library while supplies last.
The F-D-A is granting what’s called accelerated approval for a new drug that shows promise in slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Lauren Livingston, spokeswoman for the Iowa Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, says the drug Lecanemab isn’t a cure, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. During clinical trials, Livingston says it slowed the cognitive decline of those in the trial by nearly 30-percent over 18 months. Among the downsides, the drug caused serious side effects in some patients. Plus, under current regulations, Livingston says the drug wouldn’t be covered under Medicare unless the patient is taking part in a clinical trial, and there are no such trials underway in Iowa. The annual out-of-pocket cost of taking the drug is estimated just under 30-thousand dollars. More than 66-thousand Iowans are living with Alzheimer’s.