SCHIPPER – HYDRANTS
It’s been several years since we’ve seen this much snow, and that’s creating hazards outside and inside. Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper says one problem from the snow is that fire hydrants become buried.
With so many hydrants to clear, Chief Schipper is asking for Le Mars residents to help out.
Chief Schipper says it will take about a week to inventory the hydrants, and then clear them.
PROPERTY TAX FIX
State officials are asking the legislature to correct for an error in the formula that determines some property tax rates. Each year, the Iowa Department of Revenue makes a statewide calculation that affects property tax rates and the error is connected to what’s called multi-residential property.
A 2013 law said apartment buildings, nursing homes and mobile home parks were no longer to be taxed as commercial property, but as multi-residential property. Then, a 2021 law called for taxing those multi-residential properties at the same rate as single-family homes and condominiums.
However, the law failed to adjust the statewide formula used to determine how much cities, counties and schools can collect in property taxes. The error means local governments would get less than expected from residential property taxes.
A coalition of Iowa healthcare providers, researchers, cancer survivors and others is releasing its five-year Iowa Cancer Plan. Rachel Schramm, of the Iowa Cancer Consortium, says behind heart disease, cancer is the number two cause of death in Iowa, so people need to take an active role in their health, and get regular screenings to stay healthy. Schramm says some Iowans have put off important screenings due to fear of COVID-19 exposure. She says early detection helps to ensure an early diagnosis and much greater odds of survival. One goal of the Iowa Cancer Plan is to address the unique needs of communities including providing education, funding, and support for local cancer control projects. It’s projected that 22-thousand Iowans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, while 63-hundred will die from it.
TAYLOR – EMMINENT DOMAIN
Iowa District 2 Senator Jeff Taylor of Sioux Center has introduced five bills concerning the use of eminent domain for carbon capture pipelines in the state. The first bill is similar to one he introduced last year.
The other four bills address other areas of concern about the actions of the pipeline companies.
One of those bills would place a higher standard on invoking eminent domain.
Another bill would address transparency and property rights.
Taylor says he’s not opposed to the pipelines, although he doesn’t think they are necessary.
RAGBRAI, the Register’s Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer by returning to its roots. This year the bike ride will begin in Sioux City, which was the starting point for the first RAGBRAI back in 1973. That year, around 300 riders participated. Now, thousands participate on all or part of the ride. The first day ends in Storm Lake and the second day in Carroll. This will be the 6th longest and the 6th steepest ride in its 50 year history. The ride takes place from July 22nd through the 29th, and ends in Davenport, the same city the first ride ended at.
A Sheldon woman has been charged in an insurance fraud case. 32-year old Meranda Miller is charged with one count of insurance fraud – presenting false information, which is a Class D Felony. The charge stems from an investigation that began in November of 2022. The Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau claims that Miller provided false statements to an insurer in connection with an insurance claim. She was arrested in Sheldon and booked into the O’Brien County jail. Miller is free on 5-thousand dollars bond.
IOWA DEMOCRAT CHAIR
The Iowa Democratic Party’s state central committee has elected a former state senator who lost a 2020 congressional race by six votes as its chairwoman. Rita Hart was also the party’s 2018 nominee for lieutenant governor. Hart has been the leader of Clinton County Democrats for the past year. She says county parties need more support to be effective.
Hart takes over as Iowa Republicans hold firm majorities in the state legislature and all six seats in Iowa’s federal delegation. Hart, a former teacher in two small school districts, won two state senate races in a predominantly rural district. Hart’s election came in hour four of a sometimes turbulent meeting of the Iowa Democratic Party’s state central committee. Some members tried to delay considering changes in the party’s governing structure and questioned who was allowed by party rules to vote in the race for chair. Democrats held their meeting virtually and it took more than an hour to tally the electronic ballots in the race for chair, which Hart won with 69 percent support.
SUPER BLOOD DONATION
Pro football fans in Iowa who’d like to see the Super Bowl in person in Arizona next month need to roll up their sleeves and donate blood. Josh Murray, spokesman for the American Red Cross in Iowa, says a special promotion between the agency and the N-F-L runs through the end of January — that’s next Tuesday. Murray says all blood donors will be entered for a chance to win two Super Bowl tickets as well as airfare, hotel for three nights and a 500-dollar gift card. Wintertime is the slowest time of the year for blood donors, so Murray says they’ve tried to make it as simple as possible to sign up by calling 1-800-Red Cross or by visiting RedCrossBlood-dot-org. The Super Bowl is scheduled for February 12th.