ASSAULT VICTIM DIES
Le Mars Police say that the victim of an assault in Le Mars Friday afternoon has died. 44 year old Michael Roy Gomez of Merrill, died Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 p.m. at Avera McKennen Hospital in Sioux Falls, as a result of injuries sustained Friday afternoon, January 19, at Fieldcrest Apartments in Le Mars. Police say the investigation into his death is ongoing and additional charges against the suspect, Reese Harms, 24 of Le Mars, are pending.
FEENSTRA BEGINS AGRICULTURE TOUR
U.S. Representative Randy Feenstra has begun his second annual Agriculture Tour of the 36 counties which make up the 4th District. Yesterday, Rep. Feenstra visited the Tyson Feed Mill in Storm Lake, along with members of the Iowa Turkey Federation. He touted a bill he introduced to prevent the outbreak of disease. Today, Feenstra is launching his tour with the Harrison County Farm Bureau in Logan. He will then host a Farm Bill town hall meeting in Treynor.
CAR SEAT INSTALLATION
Le Mars Fire Rescue is sponsoring a car seat installation check on Saturday, February 3 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Le Mars Fire Station #1.
This information comes from the Le Mars Fire Rescue Facebook page.
These installations are by appointment only. Call 712-546-4023 to schedule an appointment. Appointments will be made on a first come, first served basis.
Le Mars Fire Rescue says plan on 20 minutes per car seat, bring the vehicles owner’s and car seat manuals, and bring children, when possible. Expectant parents are also welcome.
This is a free service, but donations will be accepted and appreciated.
Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Chair Don Kass got a sense of deja vu Tuesday, when he shared a letter he received from a student at an Ankeny school.
Kass, during the Board of Supervisors meeting, read a letter addressed to him from Emmitt Thomas, a fifth grade student at St Luke the Evangelist School in Ankeny. Emmitt said he was to study one of Iowa’s counties in a Social Studies class. He chose Plymouth County. The letter asked for information on Plymouth County, including its history, things to do, and businesses. Auditor Stacey Feldman replied to Thomas. She sent a packet of information which included brochures, maps, a detailed history of Plymouth County, and things to do in Plymouth County, attractions and businesses.
Kass says the letter reminds him that in 5th grade he, too, was assigned to study an Iowa county. He chose Humboldt County.
The Plymouth County Engineer reviewed the proposed secondary road budget with the county Supervisors Tuesday. Tom Rohe says he estimates a budget for fiscal 2024-25 of 18.6 million dollars. That’s 2 million more than the current budget, and mainly reflects additional spending for bridge and culvert replacement. Receipts in the next fiscal year include 3.7 million dollars in property taxes, up 3% from the current budget. Road Use Tax receipts not including farm to market road construction is estimated at 6.2 million dollars. Total expenditures are estimated at just over 18 million dollars in the next fiscal year. Construction projects, including potential bridge and culvert projects, are four million more than the current budget.
REPORT SHOWS IOWA PROPERTY TAXES ARE REGRESSIVE
State Auditor Rob Sand has released a report of all the property tax levies in Iowa and Sand says it shows the property tax is regressive.
Sand says the lowest overall levies are in northwest and north central Iowa.
Sand has released a series of maps showing the tax rates in the 4100 property tax districts in Iowa.
Sand reviewed property tax rates in 2014, 2017 and 2024. He is not making recommendations for changes in how cities, counties, school districts and other local government entities collect property taxes. Iowans who own property get a notice in August about payments that are due in September and March.
LAWMAKERS SEEK TO BLOCK MINORS’ ONLINE ACCESS TO PORN
Iowa lawmakers are exploring ways to try to prevent children from accessing pornography online. A subcommittee in the Iowa House held a hearing on one of the bills today (Tuesday). Chuck Hurley, legal counsel of The Family Leader, told lawmakers efforts to restrict minors’ access to pornography in the digital environment have not yet been successful. Governor Reynolds is making a proposal similar to a Utah law that requires age verification for access to websites with pornographic or indecent content.
BILL BARS TEACHING GENDER NEUTRAL TERMS LANGUAGE CLASSES
Teaching a gender neutral version of Spanish, French or any other language would not be allowed in Iowa schools under a bill that’s passed a subcommittee in the Iowa House. Republican Representative Bill Gustoff of Des Moines says it’s not about pronouns in the English language, but other languages have words in male and female versions. Gustoff says teachers should be rewriting languages to remove adjectives like “el” and la” or endings that make a word masculine or femininen. Gustoff says he introduced the bill because a teacher told him they would be disciplined if they did not teach a gender neutral version of a language.
SNOW WILL HELP WITH DROUGHT CONDITIONS
A state expert says the snow this month is going to be a help after months of drought. Iowa D-N-R hydrologist, Tim Hall, says there are some indications melting snow will provide some help for depleted soil moisture.
Hall the ground is often frozen in January and there isn’t any seeping into the subsoil
Hall says the snow melt will be beneficial one way or another.
Snow runoff will help bring the water levels back up in rivers, streams and lakes.
Hall says there could be some flooding if the snow melts rapidly, but he says the drought has created a lot of capacity in lakes and rivers.