Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 Today's Weather Outlook - 1-20-21 - Except for some high cloudiness north, skies were clear across Iowa overnight. Early morning temperatures were near their lows, with readings from around zero northeast to the lower 20s southwest. Winds were light and variable east, and south at 5 to 15 mph west. The main weather story across the region today will mostly sunny skies, with breezy conditions and warmer temperatures. Highs should rebound nicely into the 30s north and 50s along the Missouri River. The rest of the work week looks dry as well, but with colder temperatures heading into the weekend. Lows will fall back to either size of zero across the Upper Mississippi Valley by daybreak Saturday. Precipitation and potentially some travel impacts return to the forecast this weekend however, mainly in the form of snow central and north. Light rain or a wintry mix also possible south by Sunday however. Covid-19 News
Iowa COVID-19 Update - (1-20-21) - updated 10 am - The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 1,336 new positive COVID-19 cases and 62 additional deaths Wednesday. As of 10 a.m., the health department reported 307,569 total cases, 270,556 total recoveries and 4,394 total deaths since the pandemic began. Positivity rates continue to decline in Iowa. The 14-day rate declined from 12% to 11.6% in the last 24 hours. The 7-day positivity rate increased slightly from 8.4% to 8.5%. State data shows 1,430,371 Iowans have been tested for COVID-19. The number of Iowa’s 99 counties reporting a positivity rate greater than 15% also declined to 14 from 18 a day earlier. Four counties report a rate greater than 20%, while 31 counties report a rate lower than 10%. COVID-19 hospitalizations are once again at the lowest since mid-October. There are 474 Iowans hospitalized with the virus, down from 490 the previous day. There were 85 patients admitted in the last 24 hours, up from 56 the previous day. The state reports 86 patients in intensive care and 36 patients on ventilators. The number of long-term care facilities reporting COVID-19 outbreaks declined from 72 to 71. The state reports 1,880 positive cases and 1,030 recoveries among residents and staff within those facilities. There have been 1,786 deaths reported in Iowa’s care facilities. Here are the numbers from the surrounding counties: Shelby County - 1029 cases - 900 recovered - 26 deaths Audubon County - 415 cases - 360 recovered - 8 deaths Cass County - 1,133 cases - 975 recovered - 41 deaths Crawford County - 2,309 cases - 2,042 recovered - 22 deaths Harrison County - 1,551 cases - 1,351 recovered - 62 deaths Pottawattamie County - 8,992 cases - 7,953 recovered - 112 deaths
Shelby County Provides COVID-19 Vaccine Update on Phase 1B – 1-14-21 - On January 12th, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) released guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine priority populations for Phase 1B. These guidelines are based on recommendations from the Iowa Disease Advisory Council (IDAC) and accepted by Kelly Garcia, IDPH Interim Director. As a point of clarification, the Phase 1A priority population group included healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff. To date, Shelby County has been allocated 500 COVID-19 vaccine doses and all have been given to healthcare workers. Long Term Care facilities, locally and throughout Iowa, have been receiving vaccine through the Long Term Care National Pharmacy Partnership Agreement. Iowa’s Infectious Disease Advisory Council (IDAC) has reviewed data and priority group recommendations issued by the CDC’s advisory group, the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP), to develop guidance that addresses both risk for severe illness and those who work in positions essential for societal functioning. Those listed below meet the criteria for the next phase of immunization administration, Phase 1B: • People age 75 and older • Individuals with disabilities living in home settings whom are dependent on attendant care staff and their attendant care staff. • Correctional facility staff and individuals incarcerated, including state, city or county operated facilities. • Staff of and individuals living in congregate settings including shelters, sober living homes, behavioral health treatment centers, and detention centers. College dormitories are not included in Phase 1B. • Where public health data indicates outbreaks or clusters of diseases among food, agriculture, distribution, and manufacturing workers whom work or live in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing. • PK-12 school staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers. Sub-prioritization should consider persons who work with younger and at-risk children in care, to better ensure child well-being and mitigate impact to parent workforce. • First responders including firefighters, police officers, and dependent adult abuse and child welfare social workers. • Inspectors responsible for health, life, and safety, including those in hospital and long-term care settings, child, and food production safety. • Government officials, including staff, engaged in state business at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative process. Additionally, IDPH directs that 50% of vaccine allocated to the counties will be given to the 75 and older population and 50% will be dedicated to remaining Phase 1B priority populations. Allocations from IDPH shall be based on available US Census population data proportionate to the county. Community members that meet Phase 1B criteria can call Public Health at the following phone numbers to reserve your spot:
These phone lines will be covered from January 14 through January 22nd from 8 am to 4 pm. We anticipate receiving a large number of requests during this time. Once we have vaccinated those that sign up during this initial reservation timeframe, we will open reservations back up again. Even though you may reserve your spot, vaccination will not be scheduled until vaccine supply is received. All calls will be taken by Myrtue’s Public Health Department and vaccine administration scheduled on a first come, first-served basis. Another option to reserve your vaccine is to email Public Health at email@example.com. Please include your name, date of birth, address, phone number and essential worker designation in the email. Vaccine supply is currently limited. The goal is for everyone in Shelby County to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. It is anticipated that Phase 1B will begin on or about February 1, 2021, when Phase IA is nearing completion and vaccine allocations can be used for the Phase IB priority groups as directed by IDPH. Until vaccine is widely available, it is critical that Iowans continue to practice the mitigation measures that can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
• Wearing a mask or face covering • Practice social distancing with those outside your household • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water • Stay home if you feel sick General News -
Mega Millions jackpot now $970M with Powerball up to $730M - 1-20-21 - Lottery players are getting another shot at the third-largest jackpot in U.S. history. The Mega Millions top prize has hit an estimated $970 million without a winner Tuesday. The drawing was the biggest in more than two years. The winning numbers are: 10-19-26-28-50 and a Mega Ball of 16. Powerball, the other lottery game offered in most of the U.S., isn’t far behind at $730 million for a drawing Wednesday night. It’s the first time both lottery jackpots have topped $700 million. No one has won the Mega Millions jackpot since Sept. 15. The last Powerball jackpot winner was a day later, on Sept. 16.
Shelby County Sheriff's Office reports more scams in the area - 1-20-21 - Attempted scams are being reported again. The Sheriff's Office wants to remind citizens not to give any personal information over the phone. Some citizens are reporting that the IRS and Publisher's Clearing House are calling. The IRS will not call you over the phone and ask for personal information and you are unable to win contests that you do not enter into. Please do not fall for these scams.
Minutes From Tuesday's Shelby County Supervisors meeting - 1-20-21 - The Shelby County Board of Supervisors met in a regular session at 9:00 A.M. Tuesday, January 19th, at the C.J. Therkildsen Center. Brent Scheve was on hand to present insurance options to the Board. Explanations of deductibles and other details of Shelby County coverage were discussed. The umbrella coverage for Shelby County was increased raising coverage limits for fidelity theft, computer fraud and transfer of funds coverages. Todd Valline was present to present to the Supervisors recent activities and future events in his organization. The Board also passed a motion to continue to fund the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $25,000.00 as planned in the fiscal year 2022 budget. Concerns with the Shelby County Covid Policy were then discussed, with federal requirements ending on December 31st, 2020 the county is not obligated to continue those federal requirements. All Shelby County Covid policies were limited to the date of April 1st, 2021. Brandon Burmeister, Shelby County Engineer, then asked the board to approve the low bid from Farm Service Cooperative for fuel in the coming 12 month period. Supervisor Kenkel then made a motion to approve Resolution #2021-7 – the Construction Evaluation resolution or Master Matrix. It was then presented by Shelby county GIS Coordinator the contract budgeted for fiscal year 2022 for the aerial photography to take place two times in the next 6 years. The new contract calls for higher resolution photography as well as a locked in priced for 6 years. A motion was made by Parkhurst and seconded by Kenkel to close the session in pursuant to Iowa Code 21.5(1)(c). To discuss litigation that may be pending or certain. The Board went into closed session at 9:42 AM and adjourned at 11:11 am.
Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s report - 1-20-21 - The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office, Tuesday, reported three arrests. Authorities say 45-year old Jeremy Wayne Redmond was presented with a warrant early Tuesday morning, for Contempt of Court/Violation of No Contact or Protective Order. He was already at the Pott. County Jail when the warrant was served. Monday night, 61-year old Eddie Habte Mekasha was arrested for OWI/2nd offense, after he was observed driving in the wrong direction on I-29. And, Sunday morning, 33-year old Christopher James Watson was arrested in Avoca on a warrant for Operating Under the Influence/3rd or subsequent offense.
Man charged with 5 new felonies in Iowa Trump rally shooting - AP - 1-20-21 - Prosecutors have added five felony weapons and assault counts against a white man already charged with attempted murder for shooting into a car carrying four Black girls during a rally for President Trump in Iowa. The Polk County Attorney’s Office has filed a formal charging document against 25-year-old Michael McKinney who has been jailed since his arrest hours after the Dec. 6 shooting near the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. Army veteran Michael McKinney, is shown in a Dec. 6, 2020 booking photo released by the Polk County Jail in Des Moines, Iowa. McKinney is charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a 15-year-old Black girl who was arguing with supporters of the president at a Trump rally, a case authorities have not detailed to the public. (Polk County Jail via AP) In addition to attempted murder, the document charges McKinney with intimidation with a dangerous weapon, willful injury, assault while participating in a felony, reckless use of a firearm and going armed with intent. He has said he fired in self-defense.
Carroll man files not guilty plea – KDSN – 1-20-21 - 38 year old Nickolas Downs of Carroll filed a not guilty plea to charges of domestic abuse on Thursday, January 14th. Downs was charged in December with a felony for domestic abuse, a Class D felony. Downs was arrested on December 18th by the Carroll Police Department after their investigation about an incident from December 10th. Downs is accused of striking a victim approximately 40 times, choking and holding a knife to the victim’s neck. A police affidavit reports the victim’s injuries were so severe, the victim was not immediately recognizable. Downs filed the not guilty plea and waived his right to a speedy trial. Jury proceedings are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 23rd with a pre-trial conference on March 11th. If found guilty, he faces a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and up to $5,000 in fines.
Right-wing conspiracy theorist remains in custody – 1-20-21 - A right-wing conspiracy theorist from Iowa who was among the first to break into the US Capitol on January 6th, remains in custody after a court hearing where his attorneys asked a federal magistrate judge to let him go home until his trial. 41 year old Douglas A. Jensen, appeared in court for a detention hearing by way of video from jail in Des Moines on Tuesday. An FBI agent says Jensen said in an interview two days after the riot that he went to Washington to receive big news from Donald Trump and that would include the arrests of Vic President Mike Pence and certain members of Congress. A judge says she will issue a ruling today. A second Iowa man, 35 year old Leo Kelly of Cedar Rapids, arrested for his involvement in the Capitol riot was released yesterday afternoon.
New charges proposed for excessive speed in fatal accidents – 1-20-21 – A Bill under consideration in the Iowa House creates a new charge for driving an at “excessive speed” and causing someone’s death. According to the State Patrol, there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of tickets issued to drivers caught going more than 100 mph. Last year, 69 people died in speed related crashes in Iowa. A lobbyist for the Iowa State Sheriff’s and Deputies Association says under current law, it’s difficult to appropriately charge a speeding driver involved in a fatal crash if they weren’t intoxicated or intentionally targeting someone. If this bill becomes law, a driver could be sentenced to a decade in prison if their vehicle was going 25 mph or more above the speed limit and it directly or indirectly caused the death of another person. A member of the Iowa Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers says excessive speed is grounds for a conviction on already existing charges of vehicular homicide or involuntary manslaughter. The bill, which was introduced, but never passed in the 2020 Iowa legislature, has cleared a House subcommittee.
Child injured in Red Oak crash – 1-19-21 - A 9 year old girl suffered suspected minor injuries during a crash just before 7 am Tuesday morning in Red Oak. The girl was transported by Red Oak Rescue to the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital. During the investigation of the accident, officers determined 20 year old Ashlee Young of Red Oak, was driving a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee northbound on N 4th Street and 30 year old Cassandra McVay of Red Oak, was driving a 2005 Chevy Malibu eastbound on E. Maple Street when she failed to yield at the sign and the right-of-way to Young’s vehicle. Young’s Jeep struck McVay’s Malibu in the right rear quarter panel. Police issued McVay a warning for Failure to Obey a Yield Sign. Damage from the collision amounted to $11,000. Both vehicles were declared a total loss.
Public Hearing set for Exira-EHK School Calendar – 1-20-21 - Facial coverings will continue to be worn in the Exira-EHK school district for the next two months. The district’s facial covering policy has been extended through March. Superintendent Trevor Miller says masks and social distancing have been effective. The board has also set a public hearing during their February meeting for the 2021-22 School Calendar. The February Board meeting is on the 15th. At that meeting they will further discuss a sharing agreement with IKM-Manning for a School Business Official, Human Resources, Superintendent, and Transportation. They will meet at IKM-Manning on Thursday to see what their thoughts are so they’ll be able to move forward with that in February.The February meeting will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the conference room in Elk Horn.
Audubon School Board rejects building project bids – 1-19-21 - The Audubon School Board rejected the building project bids at its meeting last night. The bids came in $4 million over the planned project cost. The project was started with a feasibility study in the fall of 2019. The price tag came in at $7.5 million dollars, but the bids came in at $11.5 million. 53% higher than the original estimate. Superintendent Eric Trager says that unfortunately it will result in a delay and that some construction will need to take place during the school year. They still want the job done, and they want it done right. They just need to find a way to move forward. The Audubon School Board approved trading-in three old Dodge Minivans for three new, locally purchased Chevy Traverse’s with the same passenger capacity. And, they approved a renewed Sharing Agreement with the Coon Rapids-Bayard School District. Those positions include Superintendent, H-R and Transportation Directors, Elementary Counselor, and Social Worker. The Audubon School Board also approved resignation – effective at the end of the school year – of Special Education Teacher Tyler Tassel. The Board thanks him for his service to the district.
Most remote learners required to return to school in Griswold – 1-19-21 On Monday evening, the Griswold School Board voted to require remote learners to return to on-site learning on or before February 15th, with some exceptions. Dave Henrichs, Superintendent of Griswold Community Schools said the district has been fortunate to have had little impact from COVID-19. Up to now, there have been four elementary students, 11 middle school/high school students and 11 staff, who have tested positive for COVID-19. All have recovered. Also, following a public hearing last night, the Board approved the 2021-22 School Calendar. It basically mirrors the current calendar with a few exceptions. The Griswold School Board also voted 7-0 NOT to terminate the contract of an employee, following a closed session.
Weapon Permits – 1-14-21 - The Shelby County Sheriff's Office will be taking new applications and renewal applications for weapons permits by mail. Please visit the State of Iowa Weapons Permit page at https://dps.iowa.gov/.../administrative.../weapons-permit to acquire the proper forms. Renewal applications can be submitted 30 days prior to the expiration of the current permit or within 30 days after the expiration of the permit. The application: 1. Must include completed application for : NEW permit to carry; RENEWAL permit to carry and ACQUIRE permit. 2. Must include copy of the certificate of completion of training (for NEW carry permits), for RENEWAL permit please include a copy of your current permit. 3. Must include a COLOR copy of photo ID/DRIVER'S LICENSE with correct Shelby County address. 4. Must include payment: cash or check $50.00 for new permit, $25.00 for renewal, $25.00 for acquire permit Mail to: Shelby County Sheriff's Office 612 Court St Harlan, Ia 51537 Any questions please call the Sheriff's Office 712-755-5026 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday-Friday Your Permit will be mailed to the applicant from the Department of Public Safety
Iowa Farm Bureau $2,500 renewable scholarship applications due February 26th - 1-14-21 As spring approaches, future high school graduates are finalizing their college plans, but it’s not too late to apply for Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s (IFBF) $2,500 scholarship, awarded to 27 eligible Iowa high school seniors and renewable for four years for a total of up to $10,000. Eligibility is reserved for current Iowa Farm Bureau members or their children in good standing with the organization. Those wishing to become members should visit www.iowafarmbureau.com. To be considered, the graduating high school senior must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average, be involved in extra-curricular activities and accepted into an accredited higher education institution, including community colleges and technical schools. To apply, students must demonstrate their leadership and community involvement and submit a typewritten essay detailing how they would use a scholarship award to support Iowa Farm Bureau’s mission of creating a vibrant future for agriculture, farm families and their communities. Applications are due to the student’s local county Farm Bureau office, postmarked on or before Feb. 26, 2021. Contact the IFBF Community Resources office at 515-225-5460 with questions. Upcoming events -
Shelby County Board of Supervisors to hold special meeting Wednesday - 1-18-21 - The Shelby County Board of Supervisors will meet in special session Wednesday morning, at 8:30, in the City of Harlan Council Chambers. Among items to be discussed in closed session will be pending litigation pursuant to Iowa Code and consider any litigation agreements.
Upcoming American Red Cross Bloodmobiles - 1-7-21 - January 20th - 11 am to 5 pm - Westphalia - St. Boniface Parish Center - appointments, call Judy at 627-4647. January 21st - Noon to 6 pm - Logan - Logan Community Center January 25th - Noon to 5:30 pm - Exira - Exira REC Center January 27th - Noon to 5:30 pm - Lewis - Lewis Community Center January 28th - Noon to 6 pm - Halbur - Halbur Community Center February 5th - 8 am to 2 pm - Myrtue Medical Center Auble Room - appointments call Ruth at 755-4316 February 6th - 7:30 am to 12:30 pm - Shelby - Shelby Community Building - appointments call Katie at 4-2-238-8044.
Special Harlan Community School Board meeting Thursday - 1-20-21 - The Harlan Community Schools Board of Education will be holding a special meeting on Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 4:50 pm in the media center. The Board will go into closed session to review or discuss records of 8 semi-finalists for the Superintendent. They will then continue in closed session to evaluate the semi-finalists.
Shelby County Business and Citizen of the year awards - The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be promoting the request for nominations for Shelby County Business and Citizen of the year. Forms must be in the Chamber office by Friday, January 29th at 5 pm. This year’s awards will be announced although a banquet will not be held. A Celebration will be planned for later in the year to celebrate the winners. For more information, call 755-2114. Faith Sound 2021 Concert Season has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Language classes available through Harlan Community Library - 1-11-21 - Start a new language in 2021 with Transparent Language available through the Harlan Community Library's website. All you need is your library card and an account to get started. Find Transparent Language on the library web page under Online Resources.
Shelby and Harrison County Community Foundations spring grant program now open – 12-15-20 - The Shelby and Harrison County Community Foundations are pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted from organizations providing charitable services in Shelby and Harrison counties. As part of this spring grant cycle, approximately $90,000 is available to support both Shelby County nonprofit organizations and Community projects. $90,000 is also available for Harrison County. The deadline to apply for funds through the online application process is February 1st, 2021. Application details, a fact sheet and a link to the application form can be found online by selecting either Shelby County or Harrison County under County listing at swiafoundations.org. Applications will only be accepted through the online system. All completed grant applications will be considered at the March board meeting, with applicants being notified of funding decisions by the end of March.
City of Carson 21st Annual Pet Clinic – 12-17-20 - Due to COVID restrictions the Pet Clinic in Carson has been changed. All residents who live inside the Carson City Limits can get free rabies vaccines and free city pet licenses January 1st thru 30, 2021. First if the pet needs an updated rabies vaccine, Carson Pet owners need to schedule a rabies vaccine appointment with the Oakland Vet Clinic at 482-6868 between now and January 30th. Pet owners must be able to provide proof to Oakland Vet Clinic that they reside within the city limits to receive the free rabies vaccine for their pet. Also Carson pet owners need to submit the pet license application form with a copy of the current rabies certificate to Carson City Hall between January 1st and 30th. City Hall will then issue a free 2021 City Pet License via mail or they may be picked up at City Hall. Pet license forms can be found on the City website, www.carsongov.com. The paperwork may be brought into City Hall during regular business hours or left in the night deposit box.
Learn to snowshoe at Hitchcock Nature Center – 12-21-20 - Learn the basics of snowshoeing with a hands on program Saturday, January 23rd at Hitchcock Nature Center. They will be offering 2 sessions of the program, at 10 am and 1 pm. The cost is $5 per person, participants must be 5 years of age or older. Your admission fee includes admission to the park and snowshoe rental. Online pre-registration is required as space is limited. Register at pottconservation.com. If you have questions call 545-3283.
The Shelby County Conservation Board and Iowa DNR will be hosting a series of outdoor cooking classes over the next few months. All classes will be done through Zoom. They will all be about breakfast foods and begin at 9 am. The class on February 6th will be on Dutch ovens. Participants are encouraged to cook along with the presenters and interact with the presenters. Ingredient lists and any prep work instructions will be sent out prior to class. Preregistration is required. Links for registration can be found on the Iowa Becoming an Outdoors Woman Facebook page or Shelby County Conservation Board Facebook Page. Everybody is welcome to attend. If you have any questions, contact Christina at 744-3403.
Healthy Relationship Education Training Will Be Virtual in February – 12-18-20 - Professionals who work with children and families can gain additional tools to help couples build healthy relationships during a virtual training in February. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering Healthy Relationship Education Training on Feb. 11, 2021, via Zoom. During the one-day program, professionals will learn how to use relationship education as a strategy to meet the safety, permanency and well-being needs of children. This program uses a research-based curriculum that is being implemented across the country to help professionals encourage the development of healthy couple relationships. Research shows that when parents have more supportive and less conflicted couple and co-parenting relationships, the entire family is better equipped to handle stressors, which helps maintain family cohesion, child safety and permanency. The all-day class consists of eight modules, which are based on the National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Model. Professionals who participate will gain an understanding of the important aspects of couple relationship education. Healthy Relationship Education Training is scheduled for Thursday, February 11, 2021, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. There is a $50 fee for the program, which includes a curriculum manual and tools. For more information or to register, go to https://bit.ly/3a4qg86 or contact Malisa Rader at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-708-0622. Iowa social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, and licensed mental health counselors should contact their licensing board to determine course approval for continuing education contact hours. ISU Extension and Outreach will offer 6.00 professional education contact hours for social workers, marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors.
Kirkman Fire Department cancels controlled burns and Palm Sunday breakfast - 1-14-21 - Kirkman Fire Chief Mike Norris has announced that the Kirkman Fire Department will not be conducting controlled burns this year. The Palm Sunday Breakfast has also been cancelled again this year.
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