Iowa Remains Last Holdout On Bakken Pipeline

Dallas, TX — Officials with the Dakota Access Pipeline are working to secure the needed easements in preparation for construction of the 11-hundred-plus-mile crude oil pipeline — part of which is planned to cut through portions of Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien counties.

file photo
file photo

State leaders in North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois have signed on, but Dakota Access is still waiting on Iowa to give its formal okay. Vicki Granado, spokeswoman for Dakota Access, says it’s all still pending in Iowa.

She says the hearings in Iowa have helped clear up a lot of misconceptions about the pipeline.

Granado says after the pipeline is built, the land returns to its former purpose.

That’s because the company will need access to the pipeline for routine operation and maintenance. During construction, Granado says Dakota Access will pay substantial state sales taxes to all four states, in addition to property taxes once the pipeline is in service. She says the company will employ up to 4,000 construction workers per state to build the 1,168 miles of 30-inch pipeline.

Dakota Access has signed voluntary easement agreements with landowners representing more than 85 percent of the properties along the four-state route. Currently, 89 percent of the properties in North Dakota, 92 percent in South Dakota, 78 percent in Iowa and 87 percent in Illinois have been signed. Project representatives will continue easement negotiations with landowners during the coming months.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a $3.78 billion infrastructure project that will transport approximately 450,000 barrels per day, with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels per day, of domestically produced light sweet crude oil from the Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, where shippers will be able to access multiple markets including Midwest, East Coast and Gulf Coast regions.

Two Sentenced To Prison On Felony Marijuana Charges

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Two men have been sentenced to five-year prison terms after they agreed to plead guilty to felony drug charges.
Jail Door2
Lyon County Attorney Shayne Mayer’s office says 30-year-old Adam Anthony Anderson and 34-year-old William Millard Cochran were sentenced last week for Manufacturing, Conspiracy to Manufacture, or Aiding and Abetting Another in Manufacturing Marijuana, a Class D Felony. Anderson and Cochran were both sentenced to prison sentences not to exceed five (5) years with credit for over sixty days spent at the Lyon County Jail. They must must also pay surcharges, fees, and court costs, however the statutory fines and statutory surcharges were suspended.

The Court also found Anderson violated the terms and conditions of his probation and his probation was revoked.

Driving Issues May Be Discussed In Legislature

Des Moines, Iowa — According to Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull, there are some transportation issues that may be discussed this session in the Iowa legislature.
steering wheel_sxc
Feenstra says that it has been noted that traffic violators cannot always come up with the full amount of a fine and this creates other issues. He says the DOT finds that people will write bad checks or drive without paying the fine which, if they are caught, could mean the State would bar them from having a driver’s license, which could spiral into the loss of a job. The DOT is proposing that fines could be paid in monthly installments so people can manage the fine amount and not go down this path that leads to more problems. Feenstra says he likes the idea.

Feenstra says another one of the issues is increasing the weight limit for trucks. Currently, he says the maximum weight allowed on a tandem axle under permit is 40,000 pounds. He says that across the country, only Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma have a 40,000 pound maximum. Most states allow 46,000 with a few states between 43 and 45 thousand. Iowa Motor Truck Association, Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association, and the Iowa AGC approached the Iowa DOT and noted how Iowa’s lower tandem axle weight was making the cost of doing business in Iowa less competitive compared to other states. After an analysis of the State’s system, the DOT feels that the roads can safely support a maximum of two tandem axles up to a permitted weight of 46,000 pounds, one axle each on the truck and the trailer. The senator says this will resolve the issue for the majority of freight carriers, especially those hauling construction equipment and machinery from manufacturing plants in Iowa. The Legislature will need to approve the idea.

Also, Iowa has not yet addressed how a 3-wheel car / cycle will be licensed. Feenstra says this means a vehicle with two wheels in front and one in back. The DOT has proposed to license them as cars. The legislature will probably take on this issue as well.

In addition, right now only the DOT can give CDL skills testing. The Senator says this has created a significant back log for truckers and has also required them to travel hours to get to a testing location. The DOT is recommending that the State create 3rd Party Skills testers like the community colleges to take some of this burden off of the DOT. Feenstra says he supports the idea.

Voter Registration Up Locally, Statewide

Primghar, Iowa — Voter registration is up both statewide and locally, leading to the assumption that interest in Monday night’s caucuses is up.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate has unveiled voter registration numbers and trends prior to the Iowa Caucus to help you understand and analyze the latest voter registration trends.

Here is the breakdown of the latest state voter registration totals, by party:

January 27

Democrats: 586,211
Republicans: 615,066
No Party: 726,999
Other: 7,597
Total: 1.935,873

Both the Republican and Democratic parties saw significant increases in voter registration from the previous month’s totals. Here are the numbers from the beginning of January:

January 4

Democrats: 584,111
Republicans: 612,112
No Party: 726,819
Other: 7,555
Totals: 1,930,597

Increases by Party from January 4-January 27

Democrats: +2,100
Republicans: +2,954
No Party: +180
Other: +42
Total: +5,276

Pate says that these numbers clearly show that Iowans are paying attention to the Iowa Caucuses and are eager to participate on Monday. He says he encourages all eligible Iowans to go to their local precinct caucuses and make their voices heard.

All of the monthly voter registration totals are available on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website at this link. Click on ‘February’ under ‘2016’ for the latest information:

In terms of voters changing party affiliation, here are the statewide totals from January 1-January 27. “No Party” is the same as independent. “Other” means third parties like Libertarian, Green, etc..

Party Changes
Dem to Rep: 924
Dem to No Party: 888
Dem to Other: 24

Rep to Dem: 640
Rep to No Party: 766
Rep to Other: 34

No Party to Dem: 1,960
No Party to Rep: 2,205

Other to Dem: 70
Other to Rep: 63

The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Transportation, launched a new electronic voter registration system on January 1, 2016. As of Thursday morning, January 26, 5,324 Iowans had successfully utilized the system to register to vote or update their voter registration information.

From these numbers, 746 were brand new registrations. The others were updating their registration information.

O’Brien County Auditor Barb Rohwer says she has had many more questions and voter registration requests this year in the days leading up to the caucus than in any previous year in her memory. She says that in the final few days before the caucuses, when people asked to register to vote, she started giving them the registration forms and telling them to fill them out and take them to the caucus to register there. She says it takes a few days for the changes to take effect going through the auditor’s office, but with registration at the caucus site, it works as if the change were instantaneous.

In order to caucus, you must be registered as a member of the party whose caucus you plan to attend. If you are not registered as a a member of that party, you can register at the caucus, but caucus organizers ask that you arrive early to fill out a voter registration form.

Any person who is eligible to vote in the State of Iowa and will be at least 18 years old on Election Day, November 8, 2016, may participate in the Iowa Caucuses on February 1, 2016.

Beck, Robertson To Stump For Cruz In Sioux Center

Sioux Center, Iowa — Sioux Center is apparently the place to find out about Republican Presidential candidates in the final few days before the Iowa Caucuses.
Republican elephant
Earlier, we told you that Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will speak at 6:45 p.m. this evening at Dordt College. Tickets for Bush’s Sioux Center rally are free, and are available at

We also told you that Dr. Ben Carson will hold a rally in the Campus Center at Dordt at 3:00 PM on Saturday afternoon.

Senator Ted Cruz himself will not be in Sioux Center, but television personalities Glenn Beck and Phil Robertson will appear at a rally in Sioux Center Saturday at 4:30 PM, supporting Senator Cruz. Beck recently made his first-ever candidate endorsement, supporting Cruz, at a rally on January 23rd in Ankeny. The event will be held at the Terrace View Event Center in southern Sioux Center.

Daffodil Cancer Society Fundraiser Continues

Sheldon, Iowa — A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life — Daffodil Sales — are going on in O’Brien County.
One of the first flowers of Spring, the daffodil is the symbol of hope. O’Brien County Daffodil orders are being taken from now through February 18th. To place your order, you can call call Cindy Runger at 324-4833; Loretta Vander Linden at 324-2273. You can also order at Hair Headquarters, His and Her Hair, Impressions, or stop at the Sheldon Public Library.

Daffodils will be available for pickup on Tuesday, March 8th at Cook’s Cafe from 1 to 4:30 PM.

In O’Brien County, daffodils are available as a bunch for $10, a bunch and a vase for $15, or a 4-inch potted dainty for $8. Proceeds from the sale of the daffodils go toward the O’Brien County American Cancer Society Relay For Life, which has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 14th, 2016.

In Sioux County, American Cancer Society Spokesperson Teresa Vande Pol says daffodil sales are being organized now and details will be released soon. Their Relay for Life has been scheduled for June 10th, 2016 at the Sioux Center track.

In Osceola County, Bobby Snow says daffodil sales are also being organized. Their Relay for Life has been scheduled for August 5th.

In Lyon County, Ronda Arends says they have decided not to do daffodil sales this year. Their Relay for Life has been scheduled for Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at the Forster Community Center.