Monday Afternoon News, January 5
Plymouth County Road Crews Ready For Heavy Snowfall
(Le Mars) -- Light snow is falling in Northwest Iowa. The entire region, including Plymouth County, is under a Winter Storm Warning with all roads snow covered. The weather forcast for Le Mars and Plymouth County is calling for a possibility of five to six inches of snow by late this evening. Tom Rohe is the county engineer and oversees more than 1300 miles of roads in Plymouth county. He says his department is ready if we should get the heavy snow.
Rohe says priority is first given to the 365 miles of paved roads.
The county engineer says crews will be applying a combination of sand and liquid calcium-choride on the slick roadways.
Rohe says under normal snow conditions, his crews can clean the entire county within a few hours.
No Traffic Accidents Reported Due To Weather Conditions
(Sioux City) -- As of Monday over the noon hour, there have not been any traffic accidents reported as a result of the weather conditions, but Iowa State Patrol trooper, John Farley says you should still drive with caution.
Trooper Farley says motorists may notice some ice, particularly on bridges, overpasses, and even at intersections.
Sioux City Man Dies From Traffic Accident
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 43-year-old Sioux City man has been killed after falling partway out of his pickup.
The accident occurred about 1 a.m. Saturday. The Iowa State Patrol says Davon Kieler was driving alone when he fell out of the driver's side door and lost control of the truck. The patrol says the door crushed Kieler when his truck sideswiped a parked vehicle.
The patrol says alcohol was a factor in the accident. Kieler was not wearing a seat restraint.
Snow Storm To Hit Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A winter storm system moving through the Midwest is expected to bring snow and cold temperatures to parts of Nebraska and Iowa.
The National Weather Service says the system will affect northeast Nebraska and western, central and northern Iowa on Monday. The system is expected to pass through Nebraska by Monday afternoon. Parts of Iowa will be affected through early Tuesday.
Officials say an inch of snow could fall in Nebraska. Between 6 and 8 inches of snow is forecast in Iowa, and higher amounts could fall in north central Iowa.
Meteorologist Kurt Kotenberg says the heaviest snowfall in Iowa is expected Monday afternoon and evening, which may affect commuters leaving work. Bitter cold temperatures will hit parts of Nebraska and Iowa on Wednesday.
Democrats Say Economic Bills Will Be Top Priority
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's top Democratic lawmaker says he'll focus on ways to help Iowa businesses and workers in 2015, though he said increasing the state's minimum wage will be a challenge in the divided Legislature.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, of Council Bluffs, said Monday that two priorities for Democrats will be strengthening the preference for Iowa companies seeking state contracts and ensuring that employers are not stealing wages from Iowa workers.
Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, of Hiawatha, said Republicans are open to proposals on these topics. He said the GOP wants to look at cutting income taxes.
Gronstal said Democrats support raising the state minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour. But he said they may not succeed in the Legislature, where Democrats control the Senate and Republicans the House.
Workforce Judge To Retire
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An administrative law judge says he's retiring early, months after testifying about a hostile work environment in Iowa Workforce Development.
Marlon Mormann, of the unemployment appeals bureau, submitted his retirement Monday. He's worked at the agency since 1990.
The 58-year-old says he's disappointed after enduring "the worst year of my career" but that it was time to leave an uncomfortable situation.
Mormann testified to a legislative panel in August about how judges faced pressure and excessive caseloads under Director Teresa Wahlert. He says judges became burnt out, affecting their rulings.
Mormann objected to Wahlert's decision to eliminate a chief judge position who managed the bureau and assume that responsibility herself. Mormann says being supervised by a non-lawyer and political appointee raised ethical issues.
An agency spokeswoman didn't immediately return messages.
Hoover Library To Raise Admission Fee
WEST BRANCH, Iowa (AP) - The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is raising the cost of admission for the first time in nearly a decade.
The library has increased ticket prices for adults between the ages of 16 and 61 from $6 to $10. The price for senior citizens increased from $3 to $5. Admission for children between the ages of 6 and 15 is now $3, when it used to be free.
Active and retired military personnel with ID and college students with ID must pay $5 to enter. Children under 5 and school groups will still have free admission.
The last time admission was raised was in 2006. An archivist says the new ticket fees bring the institution into the price range of other presidential libraries.