CONTINUANCE FOR FORMER POLICE CHIEF
Sentencing for a former police chief in Kingsley has been rescheduled to next month. James Dunn was to be sentenced today in Plymouth County District Court, after a plea agreement was reached. Last Friday, his attorney filed for a continuance. Judge James Andreason granted the motion, and set sentencing for January 8, 2024, in Plymouth County District Court. Dunn reached a plea agreement, where he pleaded guilty to nine charges relating to misconduct in office. He was initially charged with 19 counts of misusing law enforcement data bases, misconduct, and stalking.
FEENSTRA FAITH EVENT
Four Republican presidential candidates shared stories of their faith during an event at Dordt University in Sioux Center this weekend. Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra and his wife hosted the event, which atracted several hundred people.
Nikki Haley talked about the statewide day of prayer she initiated when she was governor of South Carolina.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis described his faith is his compass.
Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy told the crowd his Hindu faith led him to take this journey on the campaign trail.
The Feenstras also invited Texas pastor Ryan Binkley to the event and he told the crowd God spoke to him in dreams about running for president.
Feenstra, who has indicated he may endorse a candidate, praised each candidate on stage, but did not signal who might get his public backing before the January 15th Caucuses.
LE MARS COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD
The Le Mars Community School Board meets tonight. Their agenda will include information from a district facility study. The board earlier approved hiring ISG, a consulting firm, to carry out a study of school buildings, and to assess the needs there. There have been structural improvements made at the high school and middle school, and the board has toured the three elementary schools in the district. This was done before the consultant was hired to address building needs in the district. ISG’s report is on the agenda for tonight’s meeting.
MULTIPLE ACCIDENTS LAST WEEK
Le Mars officials will discuss what to do about controlling traffic in an area near Le Mars Community High School. Last week, there were three separate car accidents at two uncontrolled intersections in Le Mars, two of them at the same location. Residents in that area are becoming concerned about the number of accidents that occurred at these intersections. Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper says they plan to meet to discuss adding yield signs at one of the intersections.
LEGISLATURE WILL CONSIDER IOWA INCOME TAX ELIMINATION
Governor Kim Reynolds has said her goal is to get rid of the state income tax by the end of her current term — which would be December of 2026. A bill that cleared an Iowa Senate committee last spring suggested elimination of the state income tax could be accomplished in the next decade. Senator Dan Dawson of Council Bluffs says the Senate Republicans’ goal has always been to eliminate the income tax that’s the pathway they are going down this next session. Senate Democratic Leader Pam Jochum (YOH-come) says the focus of tax cutting should be on helping working farmilies and elderly Iowans. The 2024 Iowa legislative session begins in four weeks.
Marty Guthmiller, CEO of Orange City Health Systems. OCHS is ready to market a new senior living community. It’s called Kanaal Huis.
A formal Senior Housing study done by a consultant showed that the community needed more senior living options. Guthmiller says, the greatest need is for nursing home beds. And those can be built, but they cannot be staffed. He says this requires a different strategy.
Guthmiller says Kanaal Huis will be an important component to help reduce a housing shortage in the community.
There are also plans for construction of single family homes and duplexes at the site. These residents will have access to all the amenities at the townhome complex. An open House at Kanaal Huis will be December 19.
IOWA FOOD BANK SHATTERS ALL-TIME RECORD
Iowa’s largest food bank set another record during November, distributing two-point-15 million pounds of food, the most ever during a single month. It tops the previous record set during the height of the pandemic in October of 2020. Annette Hacker, spokeswoman for the Food Bank of Iowa, says the number of Iowans facing food insecurity continues to climb at an alarming rate. During the month, Hacker says the agency served 191-thousand individuals, with 42-percent of them children. Studies find up to 36 percent of Iowa families don’t make enough money to cover the cost of basic needs. Hacker says it’s a social injustice we can’t ignore. She says there are three things the food bank always needs: food, funds and friends.
SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS DRUG CONVICTION
The Iowa Supreme Court says a search that led to a 2020 drug charge conviction against a Texas trucker was not legal. Stephen Arrieta stopped at the Northwood weigh station on I-35 after his automatic pass device failed to work. A D-O-T officer then inspected his truck and called for a drug dog. The drug dog alerted outside the truck and Arrieta admitted to having marijuana in the cab. He appealed his conviction for possession of a controlled substance, saying the stop was illegally delayed to allow the dog to show up. The Iowa Supreme Court ruling says the officer had no reasonable suspicion to delay the stop and improperly detained Arrieta to allow the drug dog to arrive.