HOME BASE IOWA
A ceremony was held Wednesday in the Plymouth County Courtroom to dedicate the county’s Home Base Iowa program. Home Base Iowa is a program now extended into every northwest Iowa county, and over 70 across the state. It’s aim is to offer support to veterans who move to and live in these designated counties. Home Base Iowa involves support from county and city governments, and local businesses. One of the incentives offered in Plymouth County include grants to help veterans with moving expenses when they move into the county.
BIG CHALLENGE FINALISTS
The BIG Challenge, a grant competition for northwest Iowa entrepreneurs holds its final round tonight in Le Mars. The event is held from 5 to 7-30 this evening at the Wells Visitor Center and Ice Cream Parlor in Le Mars. It’.free and open to the public. Five businesses, including companies from Sioux City, Larchwood, Rock Valley, Rock Rapids and Onawa, will have six minutes each to present their business, followed by questions and answers from a panel of judges. The top three winners will receive cash prizes. It’s sponsored by Northwest Iowa Development, Iowa’s West Coafst Initiative, and Siouxland Economic Development Corporation.
The Le Mars Street Department has closed a portion of 2nd Street, SE. There are four storm sewer intakes there which need to be replaced. Part of the street is being reworked because it’s settling. 2nd Street will be closed between 5th and 6th Ave, at the north west end of Bolser Park.
IOWA LAND RETURNED TO TRIBE
The four U-S senators from Iowa and Nebraska are working together on a bill that would return a tract of land that was seized from the Winnebago Tribe in the 1970s. The land along the Missouri River and was taken through the power of eminent domain to become a recreational area, but those plans never materialized. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the 16-hundred acres, which are maintained by the Iowa D-N-R as a wildlife area, need to be returned — something he says should’ve been done long ago.
Grassley was scheduled to meet in his Washington D-C office today (Tuesday) with the chief of the Winnebago Tribe, which he’s done before on several occasions.
Some five decades ago, the U-S Army Corps of Engineers planned to use the land both for a recreational area and to stabilize the banks of the Missouri River, but those plans stalled and were eventually tabled. Part of the land on the Nebraska side of the Missouri was given back to the tribe, but the land on the Iowa side was not. Grassley says this should be a relatively simple transaction to return the land to the tribe, but it takes an act of Congress to make it happen.
Grassley is co-sponsoring the bill along with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst and Nebraska Senators Deb Fischer and Pete Ricketts — all Republicans.
GREAT AMERICAN SMOKEOUT
Iowans are being encouraged to put down the cigarettes today (Thursday) and take part in the 48th annual Great American Smokeout. Emily Myatt (MY-it), at the American Cancer Society, says it’s a push to get people to kick the habit.
State health officials say about 17-percent of Iowa adults smoke and 10-percent of high school students. Surveys also find about five-percent of Iowa adults use e-cigarettes, while up to 22-percent of Iowa 11th graders vape.
LEE AT NATIONAL CONVENTION
Aaron Lee of Le Mars recently took part in the annual National Future Farmers of America, or FFA, Convention, held this year in Indianapolis. Lee was part of a music group which participated in several events at the convention, and in the city.
Lee says it was a unique opportunity to participate in the convention.
The FFA Chorus was involved in several events, in and around the city.
Lee says the FFA National Chorus is a two year commitment, and this was his second year in the group.
The experience is about making friends, and making music
Several memories stand out…
Lee is a senior at Le Mars High School. He is involved in band, Chamber Choir, and Show Choir.
COOP EXPANDS GRAIN FACILITIES
The Board of Directors and Management of Farmers Coop Society have announced a plan to expand grain handling facilities in Sioux Center and Ireton. The plan will enhance grain handling speed and capacity. This will result in farmers returning to their fields faster, increasing their productivity during harvest. The construction of these projects will start this spring and will be up and running for Harvest 2024.
FCS is also going to open a new retail meat store in Sioux Center. Construction of the store will begin next spring, and is to open its doors in the fall of 2024. They will select locally grown and raised meat for processing and sale.
Farmers Coop Society has ten locations across Northwest Iowa and Southeast South Dakota.
IOWA LAND RETURNED TO TRIBE
The four U-S senators from Iowa and Nebraska are working together on a bill that would return a tract of land that was seized from the Winnebago Tribe in the 1970s. The land along the Missouri River in northwest Iowa and was taken through the power of eminent domain to become a recreational area, but those plans never materialized. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the 16-hundred acres, which are maintained by the Iowa D-N-R as a wildlife area, need to be returned. Grassley says, “We should have probably acted on this ten years ago, and I can’t give you a reason why we haven’t.” Some five decades ago, the U-S Army Corps of Engineers planned to use the land both for a rec area and to stabilize the banks of the Missouri River, but those plans stalled and were eventually abandoned.
Iowans are urged to take steps to avoid becoming fraud victims and to prevent the misuse of public funds in their own communities. As part of International Fraud Awareness Week, State Auditor Rob Sand wants residents to check that their local community puts a second set of eyes on finances. Sand says one common form of fraud is when a city or county clerk writes checks to pay themselves more or to buy personal items. He says the best prevention is having more than one person oversee financial statements. Sand says his office has uncovered 29-million dollars in fraud with public funds since he took office in 2019. Tammy Simpson, who leads the Des Moines chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, says to protect your voice, as even a short exchange over the phone can be used to replicate a person’s voice to try to gain access to their accounts.
IOWA RATES OF CANCER INCIDENCE HIGHER
A new report from the American Lung Association shows some improvement in the number of high-risk Iowans who are being screened for lung cancer, but the rate of new lung cancer cases in Iowa is higher than the national average. Kristina Hamilton of the American Lung Association of Iowa says Iowa has one of the highest rates of radon in the country — and radon is the second leading cause of cancer. The five-year survival rate for Iowans with lung cancer is nearly two percent lower than the national average. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer among men and women in the U-S — but is by far the leading cause of cancer deaths in the America.