AMBER ALERT SUSPECT ARRESTED IN PLYMOUTH COUNTY
Area law enforcement arrested 34-year-old Brandon Duong in a field near Remsen at 8:03 p.m. Tuesday.
Duong surrendered after a standoff of about two and a half hours.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety says Duong took his seven-year-old biological son, Bryson Duong, from Greene Elementary School in Jefferson, Iowa.
A court order restricting Brandon Duong from having custody had been issued last December.
A state trooper spotted Duong’s 2015 black Toyota Tacoma on U.S. Highway 20 near Correctionville around 4:50 p.m. and a pursuit began that reached speeds over 100 miles an hour.
The suspect’s vehicle went off the road just before 5:30 p.m. near 160th and Sunset, a rural intersection northeast of Remsen in Plymouth County.
He was armed with a rifle and fled into a nearby field with the boy.
Law enforcement proceeded to surround the area and brought in two armored vehicles.
Duong eventually laid his rifle down and surrendered.
He and the boy were transported to a Sioux City hospital with what were believed to be minor injuries.
Brandon Duong has been charged with one count of kidnapping in the first degree and will be transferred to the Greene County Jail.
The Jefferson Police Department and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation will continue their investigation.
NEW ZONING ADMINISTRATOR/SANITARIAN
There’s a new Zoning Administrator/Sanitarian in Plymouth County. Steve Chapman introduced himself to the Board of Supervisors Tuesday. Chapman is from Ames, and has worked in the Iowa Departmentr of Transportation, mainly in the right of way department. Chapman says there’s a steep learning curve to the department, because of the complexity of the code. Supervisors encouraged Chapman to seek help from the zoning administrators in the surrounding counties, and from his predecessor, Alan Lucken.
The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors heard information on collective bargaining with the secondary road bargaining unit. The bargaining unit initially proposed a 7% wage increase or all employees, and a 50-center per hour pay raise for all employees except mechanics. The Supervisors’ initial proposal was a 3.5% raise. The bargaining unit offered a counterproposal of a 6% increase. The Supervisors will meet next week to consider their counter-offer to the bargaining unit.
SUPERVISORS DISCUSS BUDGETS
The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution which names the county auditor to serve as the Supervisors’ Budget Director. The Auditor has served in that capacity for years, but this is the first time they considered such an agreement. The agreement also includes a stipend of 4218 dollars to compensate the work of Budget Director.
In a separate action, the Supervisors also set pay increases for county elected officials at 3.75%. Non-elected, non-salaried employees would receive the same increase. One exception is the county IT Director, who will receive a 5% raise. The County Compensation Board had earlier recommended a 4% raise.
Plymouth County precinct election officials will get a pay raise under a resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors this morning. At the request of the county Auditor, the Supervisors approved a 50-cent per hour pay raise for Precinct Election Officials, to 12 dollars per hour, plus mileage. Compensation for the Chair and Co-Chair was increased from 20 to 25 dollars per election, and pay for Precinct Election Runners was kept at a rate of 20 dollars per hour, plus mileage. .
ISU CROP MANAGEMENT
The final Crop Advantage Series for northwest Iowa producers took place Tuesday at the Le Mars Convention Center. ISU Extension Agronomist Gentry Sorenson says a number of agronomy-related topics were discussed.
Drought impacts are also on the minds of producers.
The snowstorm of two weeks ago offer some hope of soil recharge this spring.
Breakout sessions addressed specific topics that are helpful to farmers.
YOUNGER TEENS DRIVE TO AND FROM SCHOOL AND WORK
Iowa law lets teenagers start driving themselves to and from school or to work on a farm when they’re 14-and-a-half. A bill ready for debate in a senate committee would let teens drive themselves to any kind of job if they’re at least 14 and a half years old. Republican Senator Adrian Dickey of Packwood says the proposal comes out of a study that also recommends suspending drivers’ licenses for minors who get traffic tickets or cause accidents. Chaney Yeast, a lobbyist for Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, says research shows there’s a difference in the capability of teen drivers and letting even younger teens drive to and from work creates a greater risk. The bill would set a new limit for driving to school — or work — of 25 miles or 50 miles round trip. It also says a minor would have to be done driving with an hour after school activities or when their workday ends.
BOUNCING INTO A POTHOLE COULD QUICKLY RING UP A BIG REPAIR BILL
With the freeze-thaw cycle underway, many Iowa roads are pockmarked by potholes and avoiding them is almost impossible for motorists. Triple-A-Iowa spokesman Brian Ortner says if you haven’t done any basic preventive maintenance on your car lately, you might want to check your tires for pressure and tread depth, as well as your suspension and alignment. Suddenly swerving to miss a pothole might cause a collision, so Ortner suggests you scan the pavement for a problem and maneuver to avoid it — before you’re on top of it. Replacing a wheel and tire combination can run several hundred dollars, and suspension damage, like to shocks, struts or tie rods, could quickly bounce into the one-thousand dollar range.