Orange City Holds Tulip Festival Extravaganza
(Orange City) — The annual Orange City Tulip Festival Extravaganza was held on Wednesday (March 15th) at Prairie Winds Event Center. The event featured a luncheon and program during which the costumes for the 2017 Tulip Festival Queen
and her Court were revealed, and the parade marshals were introduced. Members of the 2017 Tulip Court are Queen Karli Lang, daughter of Chris and Sherry Lang; Emma DeJong, daughter of Douglas and Jamie DeJong; Olivia Duesenberg, daugther of Gary and Rachel Duesenberg; Syndee Olson, daughter of Jody and Denene Nibbelink and Chad and Amanda Olson; and Noelle Sampson, daughter of Brent and Teresa Sampson. The costume this year is from the village of Hoorn which is located in the west Friesland region, in the province of North Holland. The costume is circa 1850.
An additional highlight to the Extravaganza was the introduction of this year’s parade marshals. The Tulip Festival Steering Committee is very pleased to honor the Pressman-Koster Post 329 of The American Legion as the parade marshals for the 77th annual event.
Underground Electrical Fire Causes Explosions
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say manhole covers were sent flying by explosions resulting from an underground electrical fire in Sioux City.
Firefighters were sent to the scene around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Assistant Fire Chief Dan Cougill says the fire stemmed from a system failure and that a pressure buildup caused the explosions. No injuries have been reported.
The fire knocked out power in several downtown blocks.
Judge Orders Trial For Beef Products Inc. Against ABC News
(Elk Point) — The defamation lawsuit filed by Beef Products Incorporated against ABC Broadcasting will proceed in Union County District court this summer.
That’s after a South Dakota state judge ordered ABC to face a potential multi- billion dollar lawsuit claiming it damaged BPI by referring to its lean finely textured beef in a series of reports as “pink slime.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported the decision Tuesday.
Judge Cheryle Gering of the Union County Circuit Court dismissed claims against news anchor Diane Sawyer, but said ABC and reporter Jim Avila must defend
against such claims.
BPI has claimed up to $1.9 billion of damages, which could be tripled to $5.7 billion under South Dakota’s Agricultural Food Products Disparagement Act.
A jury trial is scheduled to begin June 5th in Elk Point.
Iowa’s Infrastructure Needs Improvement
(Des Moines) — A new report finds the quality of roads, bridges and other infrastructure is deteriorating both in the state and nation, hindering opportunities to compete in the global economy. Greg DiLoreto (dee-lah-RET-oh), with the American Society of Civil Engineers, says it’s vital to ensure Iowa’s
infrastructure will be improved and restored.
To the state’s benefit, he says Iowa spent 633-million dollars on bridges in recent years, more by percentage than many other states. DiLoreto says reversing the trajectory after decades of underinvestment in infrastructure requires transformative action.
Those costs to motorists cover a host of things like vehicle repairs, wasted gasoline and time spent in traffic. Iowa earned a C-minus on the Infrastructure Report Card, while the nation was given a D-plus, the same grade as on the last report card four years ago.
Our infrastructure challenges are significant but solvable, he says, through strategic, sustained investment, bold leadership, comprehensive planning, and careful preparation for the needs of the future.
Farmers Suing Army Corps Of Engineers Over Missouri River Flooding
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is defending itself at trial against more than 300 farmers and other landowners who say the agency’s management of the Missouri River has contributed to major flooding in five states, most notably 2011 flooding that caused billions of dollars in damage.
The civil trial that began March 6 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Kansas City, Missouri involves a 2014 lawsuit alleging the Corps has de-emphasized flood control along the Missouri and put more emphasis on habitat restoration. The plaintiffs say that’s led to more flooding, including in 2011 flooding that caused billions of dollars in damage.
The U.S. government counters that authorities never promised to stop all Missouri River flooding.
A decision isn’t expected until summer, at the earliest.
Republicans Ready To Pass Worker’s Compensation Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Republicans argue a bill to revamp how workers are compensated for on-the-job injuries will fix a system that unfairly burdens businesses, but others question whether the current policy needs big changes.
The state House and Senate are considering identical bills intended to lower business costs by reducing coverage for some workers’ injuries, minimizing late fees for employers and allowing pre-existing conditions to decrease
Muscatine Republican Rep. Gary Carlson says the bill reflects complaints from some companies of increased workers’ compensation premiums.
However, the nonpartisan National Council on Compensation Insurance found that premium costs for Iowa businesses dropped in 2017 by an average of 4.7 percent. The group says when analyzing premiums, loss ratios and lost-time claims, the overall system is fair for employers.
Iowa Senate Passes Bill To Protect Livestock Operations From Nuisance Law Suits
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Senate has approved a bill that limits damages in nuisance lawsuits filed against livestock producers, arguing the operations are in the public interest.
Republican Sen. Dan Zumbach of Ryan tells The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/2ms4tLc ) the legislation is intended to protect animal agriculture, which generates $38 billion annually in economic impact and provides 160,000 jobs in Iowa.
The bill allows for an affirmative defense to be raised when an animal feeding operation is accused of being a public or private nuisance or otherwise interfering with an individual’s property or enjoyment of life.
The defense could be raised regardless of the established date of operation or expansion of an animal feeding operation. It also limits compensatory damages, as opposed to punitive damages, and specifies three categories of awards.