The Annual Meeting of the Plymouth County 4-H and Agricultural Society is tonight at the lower level of the Le Mars Convention Center. The meeting begins at 7.
The annual meeting includes the election of board members. There are 11 directors whose terms expire at tonight’s meeting. The agenda includes election of new Fair Board Members, a recap of 2023 and a discussion on plans for the 2024 Plymouth County Fair.
Following the annual meeting, the monthly meeting of board members will take place. The agenda includes election of officers for the next year, a discussion on entertainment for next year’s fair, and a Fair Conference update.
Membership to the Plymouth County 4-H and Agricultural Society is open to any county resident that pays a one-time membership fee of 5 dollars.
COUNTY SUPERVISOR TIED TO WIFE”S FRAUD CASE
Court documents filed in the trial of the wife of a Woodbury County Supervisor accused of voter fraud show he will be named as an “unindicted co-conspirator.” Kim Taylor pleaded not guilty to 52 counts of voter fraud after prosecutors say she filled out and cast absentee ballots in her husband Jeremy Taylor’s unsuccessful run for Congress and a supervisor’s race in 2020. Federal prosecutors are expected to call around 20 witnesses when the trial starts Monday. The witnesses include the current sheriff and a former supervisor who would testify that Jeremy Taylor told them he had a “lock” on a substantial number of votes from the Vietnamese community. His wife Kim is Vietnamese.
ELECTION HOLES FILLED
Some of the holes in the Plymouth County election ballots are being filled by write-in candidates. There were no candidates listed on ballots for mayors in Remsen, Merrill and Akron. Unofficial elections results show Craig Bartolozzi won a write-in vote in Remsen, Bruce Norgaard, who is the current mayor of Merrill, won via write-in ballots, and so did Alex Pick in Akron. A Westfield city council seat had no candidate, but write-in ballots favored Aranda Stai. Two seats on the Akron-Westfield school district were filled by a write-in campaign. Incumbents Corey Tucker in District 4 and Kayleen Hawkins in District 5 initially had to withdraw because their candidacy documents were misfiled. There remain two seats to fill on the Hinton city council, as no candidates filed for those positions. Four people received write-in votes, but there are no declared winners there.
DANGEROUS ROADS IN IOWA
New yellow-and-white warning signs are now posted on six segments of roadways across Iowa, stretches that are among the most dangerous in the state. The Iowa Department of Transportation is launching a pilot program, naming those six segments “Safety Corridors,” where motorists need to be particularly careful, and where law enforcement will step up patrols. D-O-T maintenance engineer Ben Hucker says they’ve done a careful study of thousands of miles of roads statewide using a specialized computer program.
Other states have seen success by marking accident-prone roads as Safety Corridors, and Iowa is giving it a try for the first time this fall.
Traffic fatalities in Iowa this year are more than 13-percent higher than the average number of fatalities over the last five years, and Hucker says one key to reducing deaths and major crashes is to bring awareness to the problem. He’s hoping drivers take note of the signs and respond.
Traffic deaths had been on the decline in Iowa and nationwide throughout the 2000s and 2010s.
A total of 312 people have died on Iowa’s roads so far this year, a rise from 286 on this date a year ago. The six Safety Corridors in Iowa are:
U.S. 20 from Lawton to Moville in Woodbury County
U.S. 6 from East of Council Bluffs to US 59 in Pottawattamie County
I-80 from County Road F-48 to Newton in Jasper County
Iowa 5 from Iowa 92 to the Monroe County line in Marion County
U.S. 218 from Mt. Pleasant to County Road J-20 (near Salem) in Henry County
Iowa 2 from Donnellson to U.S. 61 in Lee County
Hucker says the six ranked in the top one-percent statewide for all crashes and severe crashes. They also had a higher number of single-vehicle, run-off-the-road crashes and rear-end crashes at intersections, with speeding and distraction as the major causes.
HOLOCAUST RAILS BUSY
The Holocaust Rails exhibit at the Sioux City Railroad Museum has become a busy place for student tours. Lou Ann Linblade help create the exhibit that is a replica of the cattle cars that the Nazis used to transport European Jews to concentration camps.
The exhibit opened in the fall of 2022 and Linblade says they offer a special lesson plan to teachers based on the exhibit displays.
The exhibit was created as part of “Tolerance Week” and includes photos of Holocaust camp prisoners and video displays, along with numerous items donated by concentration camp survivors and their families.
REBUTTAL TESTIMONY THIS WEEK AT IUB HEARING
The Iowa Utilities Board hearing on Summit Carbon Solutions proposed pipeline has resumed this week. A schedule on the board’s website indicates that tomorrow (Thursday), the company will start offering its rebuttal to dozens of landowners who’ve testified they do not want the pipeline on their property. Ethanol plants have signed up to connect to Summit’s proposed pipeline, expecting to market carbon neutral ethanol as a result. Groups like the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association and the Iowa Corn Growers say capturing carbon from ethanol plants is key to the industry’s long term survival. Last month, Navigator cancelled its carbon pipeline project. The company cited unpredictable regulatory processes in states along the proposed pipeline route.
REYNOLDS UNFAZED BY TRUMP COMMENTS
Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s skeptical of polls which suggest former President Donald Trump has a significant lead among likely Iowa Caucus goers — and she says Ron DeSantis has the best shot at winning the presidency in 2024. Reynolds spoke with Radio Iowa Wednesday, expanding on the reasons she endorsed DeSantis this week and shrugging off Trump’s criticism of the move. Reynolds says her family was a little bit apprehensive because they knew Trump would sling some arrows her way. Reynolds says Trump was “the right person” for Republicans eight years ago, but would be a risk for Republicans if he’s the party’s 2024 presidential nominee. Reynolds and DeSantis have pursued very similar policy agendas as governors, like reopening schools in the fall during the pandemic’s first year and signing so-called “fetal heartbeat” bills that ban most abortions.
TRAPPING SEASON IS UNDERWAY
The trapping season is in its first full week across Iowa. D-N-R Furbearer Biologist, Vince Evelsizer, says the animal populations are doing well and it’s good to be outdoors doing some trapping. The drought could have an impact if you are trapping beavers, muskrats, mink, and otters, as some of their favorite places may have low water levels or even be dry. Evelsizer says the fur market is not very strong right now, so it’s a good time to take your focus off of worrying about what fur prices are and have fun. Evelsizer suggests you take a beginner out and get them interested in trapping. The D-N-R saw 15-thousand-300 furharvester licenses purchased in 2022 and Evelsizer says that number has been fairly stable over the past seven years. The Iowa Trapper’s Association and the D-N-R are offering a ‘learn to furharvest’ workshop for beginners this fall on November 18th in St. Charles.