SPECIAL BALLOT ISSUES
Election day, Tuesday, November 7, will bring special ballot measures to voters in several northwest Iowa communities:
In the Hinton school district, a 16 million dollar renovation plan for the elementary and high school is up for approval. Voters will decide four different ballot issues related to the project.
The Kingsley-Pierson School District proposes a Physical Plant and Equipment levy to make school improvements. The levy would be .67 cents per thousand property valuation, and would fund equipment or building needs.
West Sioux schools voters will have another vote on a 15.5 million dollars bond issue for improvements to elementary schools in Hawarden and Ireton. This measure failed twice before at the polls.
Rock Valley School District voters will also try for the third time to pass a 25 million dollars bond issue. They propose the construction of a new high school at the site of the current one.
West Lyon voters will consider a 19.8 million dollars bond issue for improvements at their school facilities. Grades K through 12 are at one location in rural Lyon County.
All of these measures must pass by a 60% majority.
IOWA D.O.T. READY FOR WINTER
The calendar says we’re in the middle of autumn but it’s now wintertime, at least according to the Iowa Department of Transportation. Craig Bargfrede, the D-O-T’s winter operations administrator, says they’ve been planning for the cold weather driving season for months, and they are prepped for winter every year by October 15th, which was this past Sunday.
D-O-T staffers are staying in good practice and Bargfrede says they’re ready for that first snowfall.
While October 15th may seem a bit early for winter conditions to set it, Bargfrede says the D-O-T never wants to be caught unprepared.
The D-O-T is looking for more snowplow operators, especially if you’re C-D-L certified. Call your nearest D-O-T garage for more information, or visit Iowa D-O-T-dot-gov-slash-careers.
RAMASWAMY SAYS DON’T BLACKLIST STUDENTS
Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy says some college student groups have made atrocious statements in support of Hamas terrorists who attacked Israel this month, but the answer isn’t to blacklist students. Ramaswamy says companies have a right to decide not to hire those students, but, as a free speech advocate, he says he believes it would be more productive to have a conversation with those students.
Ramaswamy, a critic of cancel culture, has spent more time campaigning in Iowa than his primary Republican rivals. One of his leading proposals is a proposed constitutional amendment to raise the voting age to 25 — with exceptions for young adults who enter the military, work as a first responder or take the test immigrants take to become citizens. Ramaswamy says if that policy had been in force in 2003 — when he turned 18 — he may have become “far more engaged” in politics.
The Le Mars City Council Tuesday passed a motion which sets a public hearing to amend the city ordinance. The hearing will take comment on a change in the residency requirement for police officers serving Le Mars.
Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte says his department seeks to attract more candidates for police officers.
They also face more competition for potential recruits.
Vande Vegte says a change in the ordinance would give potential police officers more options for residency.
Currently, officers must live within 10 miles, or 15 minutes, of the Le Mars Police headquarters. The amended ordinance would require a 35 mile residency radius from the police station. The public hearing will be during the November 7 council meeting.
INDUSTRIAL PARK PROJECT
A Pender, Nebraska firm was awarded the contract for construction of the 2023 Southview Industrial Park Project. Penro Construction submitted the low bid and alternate of 1.87 million dollars. The engineer’s estimate for the work is 2.2 million. Nine firms submitted bids for the project. The work involves installation of water and sewer utilities. It also includes paving 34th Street SW and 22nd Avenue SW. The project will be paid for through tue use of tax increment finance proceeds. The project is to be completed by July 1 of next year. City Development Director Mark Gaul says the plan will create one-half to one acre lots for light industrial or commercial development.
A pre-trial conference will take place next month in the case of a man charged in a fatal accident in Plymouth County earlier this year. 32 year old David Jack Diaz of Sioux City was charged with vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. He was driving at a high rate of speed on US 75, when he rearended another car near the intersection of 75 and Plymouth County road C70. A passenger in the back seat of the car, Joswa Ermiohne of Sioux City, died of injuries suffered in the accident. Diaz’ trial is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14, in Plymouth County District Court.
IOWA’S FOUR CONGRESSMEN BACK JORDAN FOR SPEAKER
All four Iowans serving in the U.S. House backed Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan for House Speaker in Tuesday’s first round of voting. Fourth district U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra of Hull and third district Congressman Zack Nunn of Bondurant voted for Jordan. A few Washington, D.C. publications had listed first district Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks as undecided heading into the public vote for speaker. Miller-Meeks reportedly expressed concern and frustration during yesterday’s private House G-O-P meeting about Jordan’s pressure campaign to win votes, but Miller-Meek voted for Jordan during during the first round of voting on the House floor. Second district Congresswoman Ashley Hinson released a statement just before her vote for Jordan, saying the country needs Republicans to come together, govern and defeat the Biden agenda.
ERNST TRAVELLING OFFICE HOURS
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s office will be holding traveling office hours in every county throughout the state during October and November. A representative will at the Primghar City Hall in O’Brien County tomorrow, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm; at the Kingsley Community Center in Plymouth County Tuesday, October 24, from 1 to 2 p.m.; at the Cherokee Economic Development Corporation in Cherokee County Tuesday, October 24, from 11 am to 12 pm; and at the Correctionville City Hall in Woodbury County Thursday, October 26, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Representatives from the Senator’s office will be available to assist Iowans with problems or questions about issues involving Social Security, veterans’ benefits, military affairs, passports, immigration issues, and other federal programs.
IOWA ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT UPGRADE
Production at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant near Burlington has ramped up due to the war in Ukraine and the facility may be key in getting munitions to Israel as well. The plant manufactures artillery shells and production has recently doubled. According to The Des Moines Register, Iowa Army Ammunition Plant is scheduled to get more than a billion dollars in upgrades over the next two years. The U-S military aims by 2025 to have 100-thousand artillery shells manufactured each month at the southeast Iowa plant and another in Pennsylvania. An Army spokesman told The Register more people will be hired to work at the plant as construction and production progress.