Tuesday News, January 6
Supervisors To Hear Budget Requests And Hear Sub-division Proposals
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet today at the County Courthouse board room. The county supervisors will hear from various organizations as they submit their budget requests. Shelly Thompson of Life Skills will offer an update on the services provided by Life Skills. Cathy Van Mannen and Margaret Sanders will appeal to the county supervisors for a budget request for the Council on Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence. Al Fagan is seeking approval on behalf of Plymouth Energy for an addition in Section 2 of Plymouth township. Doug Becker will also appear before the supervisors seeking approval of Big Whiskey Minor subdivision in Lincoln township. County engineer Tom Rohe will also appear before the supervisors. The supervisors will begin working on the county's budget late morning and into the afternoon hours.
City Council To Review Urban Revitalization Tax Exemption Requests
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council will convene at the city hall council chambers beginning at 12:00 noon today. On the city council agenda will be discussion to designate an official newspaper for 2015. The city council will delegate the assignments for the mayor, council, and the city staff for 2015. The council will review the urban revitalization tax exemption requests. Also on the council's agenda will be discussion of the downtown banners, and Cresent Ridge infrastructure, and a list of fees, charges and licenses for 2015. The city council will hear a report from Steve Hanson of the city's Public Works Department, and an annual report from Earl Draayer regarding the city's airport.
County Secondary Road Department Tackles Heavy Snowfall
(Le Mars) -- Yesterday's snowfall dropped at least four inches of the white fluffy stuff on Plymouth County. Now the task is to clear the roads as quickly as possible. Tom Rohe serves as the county engineer and oversees more than 1300 miles of roads in Plymouth county. He says his department was ready for 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.
Two Men Fall Through Ice At Okoboji
OKOBOJI, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say two men were hospitalized after the snowmobiles they were riding in northwest Iowa fell through ice.
Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue say they received a report Sunday afternoon of two snowmobiles that fell through ice on East Okoboji Lake.
Responders found two men in the water. One man was clinging to the edge of ice, while the other man was holding on to a piece of floating ice.
Both men were removed from the water. They were treated at the scene then taken to a hospital for minor injuries, though additional information is not available.
Christie To Attend Branstad Inauguration
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be in Iowa next week to attend Gov. Terry Branstad's inauguration.
Branstad will be sworn in for a sixth non-consecutive term on Jan. 16. Branstad spokesman Tommy Schultz said Monday that Christie would be in attendance at the event, held at a convention center in downtown Des Moines.
Christie is also attending inauguration events in Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, South Carolina and Maryland.
Christie is weighing a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He made several visits to the early voting state of Iowa during the midterm election cycle. He attended Branstad's birthday fundraiser in October.
Jindahl To Visit Iowa
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is headed back to Iowa to meet with local pastors and again look for support among Christian evangelicals for a possible White House campaign.
The stated reason for Jindal's trip on Tuesday is to talk about his appearance later this month at a prayer rally expected to draw thousands of people to Baton Rouge, and to discuss ways to mount a similar event in Iowa.
But the private meetings also come as Jindal courts religious conservatives across the country ahead of the 2016 campaign.
The trip to first-to-vote Iowa will be his fifth since June, and in recent months, Jindal has also spoken to pastors in New Hampshire, at a gathering of faith leaders in Washington, and in Oklahoma at an event promoting a Bible museum.
Iowa Democrats To Focus On Businesses And Workers
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.
Ernst To Take Oath Of Office
(Washington) -- Iowa's newest Senator, Joni Ernst, a republican from Red Oak, and Iowa's first woman elected to Congress will take the oath of office today during a capital hill ceremony.
Harkin's Papers At Drake University
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - About 800 boxes filled with papers collected by now-retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin during his days in Congress are now at Drake University, where they will be made available to the public.
The university is storing the Harkin papers in its archives on its library's second floor. The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1tLi3wi ) reports the documents include legislative bills, reports and constituent letters.
The Democrat left the Senate this month after several decades in office. Republican Joni Ernst now holds the seat.
Officials say organizing, cataloging and digitizing Harkin's papers will take several months.