Wildfire smoke from Alberta, Canada is leading to reduced visibility, below
one mile at times in addition to Unhealthy air quality. Limit time outdoors if sensitive to smoke. Conditions are currently expected to improve tonight into Friday. Isolated to scattered showers and storms are expected along and east
of I-29 today into tonight with the best chances east of Highway 60.
Although severe weather is not expected.
The Le Mars city council Tuesday approved two change orders to the city’s alley improvements project. The contractor had to make some unforeseen repairs on a stairway which accesses one of the buildings. Totals cost of the changes is some 39-thousand dollars.
The council approved another change order for last year’s Central Avenue paving project. This corrects the actual quantities of materials used in the project. The change order increases the cost of the materials by nearly 32-thousand dollars.
The city council also approved an increase in tonnage fees at the city landfill. The council passed a motion to approve a $5.50 minimum fee effective immediately. Resident’s monthly fees will not increase, but the rate they pay to take items to the landfill may increase.
The Cherokee County Recorders office is warning residents of a scam circulating in Iowa. A Facebook post from the Recorders office says an official looking letter is sent from “County Deeds Records”, requesting a response. This letter does not originate from any Iowa County Recorder. If you receive such a letter, no not respond, do not pay, do not call the number listed in the letter, and do not go to the website described.
MOTOR VEHICLE ENFORCEMENT
The nearly 100 officers in the Iowa D-O-T’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division will soon become part of the Iowa Highway Patrol. The switch takes effect July 1st. Governor Kim Reynolds says it makes sense to have units with similar functions under the same roof at the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Iowa State Patrol Colonel Nathan Fulk says the organizations have been partners for many years.
Tom Bruun is chief of the D-O-T’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division.
Brunn, Fulk and the state public safety commissioner will meet next week with the 365 state troopers and the 98 officers in the D-O-T’s Motor Vehicle Division to discuss how the merger will work. Bruun, who has worked in the D-O-T for nearly 34 years, says the focus for his officers will remain on commercial trucking and operating the 11 weigh stations in Iowa for semis.
Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law at the D-O-T weigh station for semis that’s along eastbound Interstate-80, just after the Van Meter exit. It was open for parts of 21 days last month — and 25-thousand commercial vehicles passed through. State troopers and D-O-T Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officers drive vehicles that are different colors and, while the style of their uniforms are similar, troopers have brown hats and shirts, while blue is the color worn by D-O-T officers. Officials haven’t announced whether those color-coded differences will remain after the merger.
LE MARS AIRPORT PROJECT
The Le Mars city council this week approved an application for state funding of airport improvements in fiscal year 2024. The project’s engineer, Bolton and Menk, prepared site work for construction of two private hangars at the airport. The application is to the Iowa Department of Transportation for state assistance in the project. The total cost is 440-thousand dollars. The application requests the DOT fund 75% of the project, or 330-thousand dollars. The city’s share would be 110-thousand dollars. The deadline to file the application is May 25.
TULIP FESTIVAL OPENS
The 82nd annual Orange City Tulip Festival begins today. Exhibits and activities begin at 9 a.m. Straatfeest begins at 1 pm, followed by the first parade of the event. KLEM will be broadcasting the parade this afternoon.
This year’s Tulip Festival Queen is Amanda Hulstein, a senior at MOC/FV High School. She describes what it will be like to ride the queen’s float for the first time this afternoon.
She has some advice on how to get the most out of your visit to the Tulip Festival
One of the tasks of Hulstein and the court is to learn something new about the Tulip Festival.
She describes her costume this year
Hulstein graduates from high school soon. She describes what’s on her horizon.
Queen Amanda and the court will be wearing costumes from Leuwarden in Freisland. The other court members are Amanda King, Katelyn Huizenga, Kinzie Van Kekerix, and Neveah Sampson.
HISTORICAL MUSEUM ANNUAL MEETING
The Plymouth County Historical Museum in Le Mars has its 58th Annual Meeting tonight. “Ruby Red Birthday Party” is the theme for the evening. The Museum observes its 40th year in its present location. A “Voices of the Past” will share memories of the last 40 years. Volunteer awards will be presented at the end of the evening.
LYON COUNTY FATAL
A two vehicle crash in Lyon County yesterday morning resulted in the death of one driver. The Iowa State Patrol says the accident occurred around 11 am in Edna, southeast of Rock Rapids. A tank truck attempting to pass a tractor pulling a sprayer clipped the sprayer, causing both the trailer and the tractor to roll over. The driver of the Tractor, 77 year old Myron Krull of Rock Rapids, died at the scene. The truck driver, Dennis Hayenga, 82, of Little Rock, was not hurt.
ROCK VALLEY FATAL
A one-vehicle crash in Rock Valley Sunday resulted in the death of a Boyden Teen. Emergency responders were called to an intersection near the Rock Valley Golf Club. Police say a vehicle driven by 18 year old Water Wynia failed to make a turn at the intersection, went off the road and struck a tree and a house. Wynia was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger received minor injury.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley fears the recent U-S Supreme Court ruling on hog confinement sizes will have “a tremendous economic impact” on Iowa’s pork producers and he hopes a legislative solution will help to ease the blow. The ruling upheld what’s known as Proposition 12, a California law that will ban the sale of pork products from sows that come from pens of a certain size.
Nearly one-third of the nation’s pork is raised in Iowa and while California only raises about one-percent, that state consumes about 15-percent of the pork that’s produced in the U-S. Grassley couldn’t yet offer specifics on any bills in the works.
Grassley says he and fellow Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst co-sponsored Marshall’s bill last year called the EATS Act, or the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression Act, which did not win passage. It would have banned state and local governments from interfering with agricultural production in other states. If that bill is reintroduced by Marshall, who’s also a Republican, Grassley is uncertain what level of support may come from the other side of the aisle.
Grassley fears the court ruling could raise pork prices while also forcing some producers to close up shop. An Iowa ag economist says we’re already seeing some of the biggest losses in the pork industry in 25 years and some farmers won’t be able to afford to implement major changes in their operations.