4 BROTHERS FIRE
A minor fire was reported this morning at a Le Mars restaurant, but it hasn’t disrupted operations there.
Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper says they received a call from an employee who came to work at 4 Brothers Bar and Grille this morning.
Chief Schipper says firemen quickly put out the fire and vented the basement.
Firemen were on the scene clearing out the smoke from the basement. 4 Brothers is open for business as usual today.
After a slow start, construction at MMCRU Schools continues.
Superintendant Dan Barkel says they had some supply issues last fall, but the contractor is catching up.
The school district broke ground on construction of a new elementary school last fall. At the same time, they are building a new community daycare….
Supt. Barkel says he’s assured the project is moving toward a timely completion.
Part of the project is relocation of some classes to make way for a major remodeling of the High School in Marcus.
The 23 million dollars construction plan includes an entirely new elementary school, and a new community daycare. The daycare was approved by a separate vote in the Marcus area, but is integral to the expansion of the school.
A Plymouth County lawmaker voted in favor of a Republican led bill to cap payouts in medical injury cases. State Representative Tom Jeneary of Le Mars says this bill covers just one category of redress in medical lawsuits.
There is no limit to economic or punitive damages. Jeneary was concerned that high payouts in medical lawsuits will be especially burdensome to rural hospitals and clinics. He also is concerned that young physicians will. Be discouraged from practicing in Iowa because of the rising costs of malpractice insurance.
LE MARS SCHOOL BOARD
The LeMars Community School Board of Directors meets in regular session this afternoon at 5 pm. The board will share their thoughts concerning a recent tour of elementary school buildings in the city. There are a number of personnel items before the board. Later, they will go into closed session to discuss the Superintendant’s performance, and to discuss collective bargaining strategy.
MORE DEER DISEASE
D-N-R state deer biologist, Jace Elliott, says testing during the recent season found more cases of chronic wasting disease.
C-W-D cases have been heavier in south-central Iowa, particularly Wayne County. There have also been concentrations in the northeast corner of Winneshiek, Fayette, Allamakee, and Clayton Counties. Elliott says there were some new counties on the C-W-D list this year.
He says they generally hold public meetings in counties once the first case of C-W-D is confirmed.
C-W-D is a disease that impacts the animal’s brain and is always fatal to deer. The Iowa D-N-R has been tracking the disease since it was first discovered in Iowa in Allamakee County in 2013.
The first spring flood outlook from the National Weather Service shows a near to below-normal risk of flooding for most of the state with an above-normal risk on the Mississippi River in far eastern Iowa. Hydrologist Jeff Zogg says they consider river levels, soil moisture, the snowpack, frost depth, and the temperature and precipitation outlooks when putting together the outlook. Zogg says this year’s outlook is typical of the recent pattern the past couple of years where things have been pretty favorable for the state — with not really any high risk of spring flooding. The second flood outlook will be released on February 23rd and Zogg says the updates take into account the forecast ahead.
The Iowa G-O-P’s chairman says there will be layer upon layer of safeguards for voting in the 2024 Iowa Republican Party’s Caucuses that will kick off the G-O-P’s presidential campaign. Jeff Kaufmann (COUGH-man) was just re-elected to another term as chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. He also led the party during the 2016 and 2020 Iowa Caucuses. The Democratic National Committee voted earlier this month to replace the Iowa Democratic Party’s Caucuses and have the South Carolina Primary kick-off voting as Democrats select a presidential nominee. Kaufmann says that puts added pressure on Iowa Republicans to get their 2024 Caucuses right, to prevent other states from trying to jump ahead of Iowa in 2028.
Arizona Republican Kari Lake is urging Iowans to ask the presidential candidates who’ll be campaigning here where they stand on election integrity. Lake says she and other likeminded Republicans are election reform advocates, not an election deniers. Lake lost her 2022 race for Arizona governor by 17-thousand votes. She’s asking the Arizona Court of Appeals to revive her lawsuit alleging illegal voting and problems with ballot printers cost her the election. Lake, an Iowa native, drew large, enthusiastic crowds at events in Bettendorf and Ankeny this weekend. Lake told reporters she’s a big supporter of Donald Trump’s campaign to return to the White House and does not plan to run for president herself.
The Iowa Natural Resources Commission the purchase of a filter system for the Spirit Lake fish hatchery in Dickinson County to improve the production of muskellunge or muskies. D-N-R fisheries supervisor, Jay Rudacille says the hatchery has been facing challenges from gas supersaturation and zebra mussels. He says the gas supersaturation in the water they use from Big Spirit Lake is a natural phenomenon and caused up to 60 percent of the small fish to die, and 26 percent of the fish had deformities 2022. The filter system will allow them alleviate the problems. Commissioners asked Rudacille about the cost for the system when only three-thousand fish are stocked in Iowa lakes. He says they do trade thousands of muskies that are not stocked for other species of fish.