Thursday News, July 11
Goodchild Submits Quarterly Recorder's Report
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild submitted a quarterly report to the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Goodchild says the county recorder's office received $172,697 during the quarter from April 1st to June 30th. More than $120,000 is turned over to the state. Goodchild offers a breakdown as to the Recorder's office transactions for the quarter.
The Plymouth County Recorder says boat registrations certainly help the county's revenue.
Supervisors Discuss Cutting And Harvesting Roadside Grass For Hay
(Le Mars) -- The cutting and harvesting of grass alongside roads was again discussed during Tuesday's County Supervisor meeting. Stephanie Jurgens of Le Mars appeared before the supervisors informing them the current policy regarding the cutting and harvesting of roadside grass for hay purposes needs some revision.
The Supervisors discussed the idea of establishing a May 1st deadline for landowners to inform the county through the Engineer's office their intention to cut and harvest the grass ditches. The supervisors mentioned that if a landowner doesn't want the grass for hay purposes, then other neighbors can notify the county of their intention of harvesting the grass for hay. Supervisor Craig Anderson says he favors that idea.
The supervisors will address the issue again next week with the intention of making appropriate revisions to the policy.
Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield To Close Sioux City Office
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's largest health insurer is closing its Sioux City office and eliminating more than 100 local jobs.
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced Wednesday that the First Administrators, or FAI, office will close in early 2014. The third-party administrator processes medical and dental claims for
self-fund customers in states like Iowa and South Dakota.
Wellmark says concerns about the new federal health insurance law led to the decision, including costs of changing information technology to meet new requirements.
Wellmark says most positions at the subsidiary will be moved to the company's headquarters in Des Moines. Employees can also receive assistance to find other jobs in Sioux City.
The announcement comes a year after FAI completed a major renovation of its Sioux City office and nearly doubled its workforce.
Ernst To Enter Senate Race
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst is entering the 2014 race for U.S. Senate.
The 43-year-old from Red Oak launched a website Wednesday to reveal her plans. The website says that Washington has failed Iowa residents, who "deserve better leadership."
Ernst serves in the Iowa National Guard. She was first elected to the state Senate in 2011 in a special election.
Other Republicans who have declared include: Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, Sioux City talk show host Sam Clovis, attorney Paul Lunde and David Young, a former aide to Sen. Chuck
Grassley. Businessman Mark Jacobs is exploring a run.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley is his party's only candidate.
O'Brien To Run For Congress, Again
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A Cedar Rapids attorney is joining the race for the Democratic nomination in Iowa's 1st Congressional District.
Dave O'Brien launched his campaign Wednesday with events in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Waterloo.
O'Brien, originally from Sioux City, unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1988 against Republican Fred Grandy.
O'Brien also was state chairman for the President Bill Clinton's Iowa campaign in 1992.
Democrats Monica Vernon, a Cedar Rapids businesswoman, and state legislator Pat Murphy, of Dubuque, also are seeking the 1st District seat. Waterloo lawmaker Anesa Kajtazovic and former
legislator Swati Dandekar, of Cedar Rapids, are considering entering the race.
Two businessmen, Steve Rathje, of Cedar Rapids, and Rod Blum, of Dubuque, are seeking the Republican nomination. Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, of Hiawatha, says he's considering running.
Veterans Home To Receive Grant
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Senator Tom Harkin and Congressman Bruce Braley say the Iowa Veterans home will receive a grant of more than $525,000.
The Democratic lawmakers announced Wednesday that the home in Marshalltown will get the grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The money will be used to update two generators and build a transportation facility.
The home received a $24 million grant last month to renovate two buildings.
The Iowa Veterans Home is the nation's third-largest such facility, with 755 beds available.
Cedar Rapids Businessman Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A disgraced Cedar Rapids businessman is expected to plead guilty to wire fraud stemming from accusations that he misappropriated nearly $1 million in investors' funds.
Jeffrey Kinseth is scheduled to appear Thursday in federal court in Cedar Rapids.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission alleged last year that Kinseth and his company, Virtual Vision, defrauded investors. In a settlement, he agreed to pay a $575,000 penalty and another
$575,000 in restitution.
A plea agreement released Wednesday show that Kinseth has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud under a deal with the U.S. Attorney's office.
The commission said that he took money from 11 investors in 2008 and 2009 promising to trade futures or foreign currency contracts, but mostly used it to pay back other investors or for personal
Grassley Says Farm Bill Should Be Split
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Senator Charles Grassley says farmers would be better served by a farm bill that separates agriculture programs from food stamps but he doubts separate measures will pass.
House Republican leaders are considering separate farm and food stamp bills to get the support of conservatives who voted against the farm bill last month.
Grassley says Iowans tell him they want farm measures separated from food stamps.
For decades rural lawmakers have added money for food stamps to the farm bill to gather urban votes for the measure.
Grassley says a combined bill costing $900 billion over 10 years makes it look like farmers are dipping into taxpayer's pockets. In reality 20 percent of the farm bill pays for agriculture programs while 80 percent supports food stamps and related programs.
USDA To Issue First Season Crop Report
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is releasing its latest estimates on the size of this year's corn and soybean crop.
The weekly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report comes out Thursday morning and is expected to reflect a smaller corn harvest because many farmers in Iowa and surrounding states
couldn't get crops planted in wet fields. Soybean planting also was delayed.
Many agriculture experts expect the USDA to reduce its estimated corn crop to below the 14 billion bushels estimated a month ago. The harvest is still expected to be a record, beating the 13.1
billion bushels harvested in 2009.
Many also will be watching closely the report on soybeans since supplies are running quite low. The report may signal how low the USDA expects supplies to dwindle.