Click It or Ticket This Memorial Day!

Click it or Ticket this Memorial Day holiday. That’s right, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging drivers to buckle up this weekend.

The states in region 7, which includes Iowa, saw an overall increase in seat belt use over the last year, but this appears to be the exception. The national seat belt use rate in 2023 was 91.9%. The other 8.1% of drivers and passengers must remember that seat belts save lives. During this high visibility event, participating law enforcement agencies will take a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations day and night.

One of the focuses of the Click It or Ticket campaign is nighttime enforcement. NHTSA data shows a higher number of unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities happen at night. Also, men are overrepresented in unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities with 54% of men (8,098 people) and 41% of women (3,201 people) dying without a seat belt in 2022.

For more information on the Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement mobilization, please visit NHTSA.gov/ClickIt.

Fairfield CSD Receives $200,000 Grant

Fairfield Community School District is thrilled to announce that their district will be receiving the Fairfield CSD SLFRF School Safety Grant!
The district has been awarded $200,000 and will use $50,000 at each building.

Mike Naig Applauds Passage of House Agriculture Committee’s New Farm Bill

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today applauded the House Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan passage of the new Farm Bill. He thanked Representatives Feenstra and Nunn, members of the Committee, as well as the entire Iowa delegation, for their work to incorporate Iowa’s priorities:

“Iowa farmers and consumers need a strong and comprehensive Farm Bill, and the House Agriculture Committee should be commended for taking a significant step toward that goal. Thanks to the influential work of Representatives Feenstra and Nunn, who serve on the committee, as well as Representatives Hinson and Miller-Meeks, many of Iowa’s priorities are included in the House Farm Bill.

Every title of the House Farm Bill matters to Iowa. We must ensure strong risk management tools like crop insurance, bolster commodity programs and fix the Prop 12 ruling. We also need to keep accelerating conservation, provide nutrition assistance and invest in rural development and trade promotion.

I appreciate the leadership of Chairman Thompson throughout the development of this significant legislation. Now it’s time for Chairwoman Stabenow to follow suit and release her committee’s version, schedule a hearing, and demonstrate that the Senate leadership is serious about getting a new Farm Bill enacted yet this year.”

Downtown Survey Project Meeting Ahead of Preserve Iowa Summit

The Historic Union Block was the site of a meeting on the downtown survey project yesterday evening. Rebecca McCarley of SPARK consulting, Cedar Rapids, presented the information currently garnered from the project.

The goal is to assess the possibility of a historic district in Mount Pleasant listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Addressing the room, McCarley spoke about the intense amount of research that has had to been done. The first phase of the project, research, saw volunteers investigate historic newspaper ads which proved to be a good sign of where a business was located, and when. Telephone directories were also investigated, but the current address format was established in 1956, meaning that the directories between 1913 and 1952 created more work. Some volunteers even had the privilege of looking at historic images, dating all the way back to 1869.

Mount Pleasant has changed a lot of the years. For example, where the post office sits now once was a YMCA, until it was destroyed by a fire. Officers for the Mount Pleasant Police Department show up to work where a historic grocery store sat before. While Mount Pleasant has changed, parts of it remain the same. Out of the 137 properties surveyed in this project, 1/3rd date back to the Civil War era in the 1850s and 60s.

There are four criteria in which a district can be placed on the NRHP. This project focuses on criteria A and C, which is a pattern of important commercial activity, and architecture.

Many volunteers put countless hours into this project, and it is looking like the report will be finalized in June this year. By this fall, a potential grant application may be sent in.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Mount Pleasant, ensure that you attend the Preserve Iowa Summit in Mount Pleasant, June 6th-8th. Head to https://culture.iowaeda.com/events/230

Suspect Barricades Himself After Attempted Murder in Fairfield on Thursday

Zachary George Gory

At approximately 12:14 P.M. on May 23, 2024, law enforcement responded to a call concerning a stabbing at 206 East Jefferson in Fairfield, Iowa.

Upon arrival, law enforcement discovered two victims who appeared to have multiple stab wounds. The victims were transported to the Jefferson County Health Center for treatment, and both have since been discharged with minor injuries.

The defendant, Zachary George Gory, age 35, remained barricaded in the residence until law enforcement forced entry. He was arrested and charged with two counts of Attempt to Commit Murder, B Felony charges, one count of Assault on a Peace Officer and one count of Interference with Official Acts, both misdemeanor charges. He was transported to the Jefferson County Health Center for evaluation and has since been taken to the Jefferson County Jail.

A criminal charge is only an accusation, and the Defendant is presumed innocent until and if found guilty in a Court of Law.

As a pending investigation, there is no further information to be released at this time.

This was a multi-agency effort, and the County Attorney’s Office wishes to thank the swift and thorough law enforcement efforts that helped to minimize injury to the those involved and protect the community at large.

Van Buren Deputy Arrests Woman on Warrant out of Missouri

On May 22,  at approximately 10:00 AM, Bree Greever (39) of Bloomfield was arrested by a Van Buren County Deputy during a traffic stop on J40 north of Milton. Greever was stopped for speeding, and not having registration plates attached to the vehicle. During the traffic stop it was discovered that Greever had an active arrest warrant issued out of Missouri. She was subsequently arrested on the warrant. A search of her person yielded a substance consistent with methamphetamine. She was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd offense, and possession of drug paraphernailia. She is currently being held in the Van Buren County Jail on $3000.00 cash or, surety bond.

Severe Weather in Our Area: 70mph Winds, Hail, Possible Tornadoes

Severe weather is once again threatening, with two rounds possible throughout the day. Mount Pleasant is now in the impact area for a severe thunderstorm warning, in which we may see 70mph winds and penny size hail. Expect considerable tree damage, and then likely damage to mobile homes, roofs, and outbuildings.

Thunderstorms are then expected to redevelop this afternoon, with damaging winds and hail the threats again.

Severe storms are possible on Sunday as well.

Join the Burlington Citizen’s Fire Academy

Have you ever wanted to be a firefighter but life got in the way? The Burlington Fire Department would like to announce the opening of the application period for the 2024 Citizen’s Fire Academy. The Citizen’s Fire Academy will be 8 weeks long and take place on Thursday evenings for 2 hours. The application period will be closed on July 19th with selection coming the following week.

The Citizens Fire Academy is built to give the citizens of Burlington, and their service area in rural Des Moines County, first-hand knowledge of what the Burlington Fire Department does daily. The sessions will be taught by Burlington firefighters. Sessions will cover everything from being one of the busiest ALS services in Southeast Iowa, to fire ground operations, to driving a fire truck down the road.

A criminal history investigation will be done on the applicant to participate in the Citizen’s Fire Academy.

If interested please click https://www.burlingtoniowa.org/2619/Citizens-Fire-Academy to fill out an application. Please complete the fillable application and submit it electronically, or print and return the application to the Fire Department at 418 Valley Street in Burlington.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Fire Chief Matt Trexel at 319-753-8390