The Iowa Department of Transportation is applying for a grant to fund a study of the rail crossing of U.S. Highway 75 at Merrill, in Plymouth County. Dakin Schultz is a D.O.T. planner from Sioux City.
A rail crossing as it now exists at Merrill is unusual these days.
The study will lead to a construction project there.
The study of the Rail Crossing on US 75 at Merrill is one of several places where the Iowa Department of Transportation is working with railroads on improvements.
DOT planner Dakin Schultz says they are involved in projects on Gordon Drive in SIoux City and a widening of US 75 at Hinton. The expressway has been a priority area for transportation planners.
The crossing at Merrill has created problems with traffic when making repairs and improvements.
Schultz says they also want to study the impact of such a project on the city of Merrill.
Schultz is seeking local support for a study of the Merrill crossing. This could lead to another study concerning improvements there. Schultz says DOT wants to eliminate the intersection of rail and road traffic.
It could be five years before a plan for the crossing could become reality.
NEW IOWA DAIRY INNOVATION GRANT PROGRAM
Iowa dairy farmers planning to invest in new technology or expanded processing can now apply for state grants to finance part of their projects. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig (NEGG, rhymes with “egg”) says the Dairy Innovation Grant Program is part of a broader effort to expand the amount of local food available to Iowa consumers and, in the course of doing that, provide Iowa farmers with more market opportunities. The state is awarding a million dollars in grants to expand processing at meat lockers around the state this year. Now, Naig’s agency is accepting applications for part of the 750-thousand dollars lawmakers set aside for grants to dairy farms with fewer than 50 employees. The deadline to apply for the grants is February 9th.
IOWA SEES RECORD SET IN 2023 FOR TISSUE DONORS
Officials with the Iowa Donor Network says they saw great numbers for 2023. Network spokeswoman Heather Butterfield says during the past year, 123 “donor heroes” in Iowa gifted a remarkable 350 organs for transplant. She says a record was also set last year with an “unprecedented” one-thousand-27 tissue donors, each of whom enhanced the lives of 50 to 300 people. Butterfield says they’ve seen a 40percent increase in organ donors since 2019 and a 21% increase in organs transplanted. She says it shows the incredible commitment that Iowans have to saving lives.
ERNST SAYS REYNOLDS WON’T BE DAMAGED BY DESANTIS’ CAUCUS RESULTS
U.S. SENATOR JONI ERNST SAYS SHE DOESN’T THINK THE ENDORSEMENT OF IOWA GOP CAUCUS RUNNER UP RON DESANTIS BY KIM REYNOLDS WILL HURT THE GOVERNOR’S POLITICAL FUTURE IN IOWA:
ERNST SAYS REYNOLDS HAS DONE A GREAT JOB LEADING THE STATE:
ERNST SAYS THE FACT DONALD TRUMP PREVIOUSLY SERVED AS OUR PRESIDENT HELPED GIVE HIM AN ADVANTAGE IN IOWA:
THE SENATOR SAYS SHE WAS PLEASED TO SEE THAT WELL OVER A HUNDRED THOUSAND REPUBLICANS TURNED OUT FOR THE CAUCUSES.
SHE SAYS THAT TURNOUT WAS CRITICAL TO HELP IOWA MAINTAIN ITS FIRST IN THE NATION POLITICAL STATUS.
A residential fire caused extensive damage in Boyden Tuesday night. Boyden Fire and Ambulance were called to a home at 803 Webb Street around 9 p.m. One person inside the home when the fire broke out escaped, and was taken to Orange City Area Health as a precaution. The fire rendered a total loss to the home. The structure’s value is estimated at 60-thousand dollars. Hull and Sheldon Fire Departments were called for mutual assistance. The cause of the fire is under investigation. In addition to the above fire departments, the Boyden Fire Department was assisted by Sioux County Emergency Management, American Red Cross, Iowa State Patrol and the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.
FUNERAL FOR PERRY PRINCIPAL WILL BE LIVESTREAMED ON SATURDAY
Dates are now set for residents to say goodbye to Perry High School Principal Dan Marberger. Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home says the visitation for Marburger will be held from 10 a-m to 7 p-m. on Friday in the Perry Elementary School gym. The funeral is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Saturday at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines — and the service will be livestreamed. Marburger will be buried in Perry. The 56-year-old died Sunday, ten days after the shootings at Perry High that left an 11-year-old student dead, and four students and two other staff members hurt. Hailed as a hero, Marburger was shot trying to distract the 17-year-old gunman, who took his own life. Governor Kim Reynolds has ordered flags to remain at half staff statewide in Marburger’s honor until after the funeral.
NEW INDUCTEES NAMED TO THE IOWA ROCK ‘N ROLL HALL OF FAME
The 2024 honorees who will be inducted into the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame are being announced. The hall in northwest Iowa recognizes those who have played a significant role in popular music through the years. Hall of Fame president Ralph Kluseman (CLUES-man) says the induction ceremony will be held Labor Day weekend at the hall and museum in Arnolds Park. Kluseman says they’re updating the hall’s website to include all sorts of information about the new class. This is the 27th year for the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll ceremony and he says it always draws a sizable audience. This year’s list of bands includes: Lake Patrol, Johnny Trash, The Ozone Ramblers, Jason Reed & Kerosene, Ghostship, Labyrinth, 311, Cornfed and Sage.
LAWMAKERS CONSIDER PRODUCT LIABILITY PROTECTION FOR IOWA RETAILERS
A bill to provide new product liability protection to Iowa retailers AND manufacturers has cleared its first hurdle in the House, but Republican lawmakers say it will only apply to retailers if it’s brought up for a vote in a House committee. The bill in its original form bars most lawsuits over faulty products if the product or its components cleared government safety reviews. A lobbyist for the Iowa Bar Association says there are all sorts of products that were deemed safe by federal agencies, only to later be declared dangerous or defective — and he cites the saga of Boeing’s 737 Super Max planes that have recently been grounded after a door blew off mid-flight. One of the Republicans working on the bill says he has no desire to grant immunity to manufacturers, but is interested in some liability protection for Iowa retailers — as long as they don’t do anything negligent.