Fire Department Responds To Hog Barn Fire
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to 15282 Juniper Avenue, about two miles northeast of Brunsville, for a possible hog barn fire.
The call was made at about 3:05 p.m. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Wise called it a flash fire possibly caused by methane gas inside the building that may have ignited. Wise says the fire was accidental in nature. He believes there could be some loss of hogs, either from smoke inhalation, or from being burned. Wise
wasn’t certain as to how many hogs were affected by the fire. Wise classifies the damage to be moderate. According to a Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputy, the fire damaged the ceiling inside the building which caused some melting of the
fiberglass insulation. There was no smoke or flames visible from outside the building, but Wise says there was some smoke inside. Workers at the hog facility noticed the problem and reported it to the fire department.
Floyd Valley Honors Volunteers
(Le Mars) — Floyd Valley Healthcare honored its more than 240 volunteers who have contributed more than 21,000 hours during this past year with an appreciation luncheon and awards program held yesterday morning. Judy Hawkins serves as the president of the Floyd Valley Auxiliary and talks about the importance of the many volunteers and the hospital auxiliary.
Hawkins says for some volunteers it is nearly the equivalent of having a full-time career job.
The Floyd Valley Auxiliary president says the organization is not only important to offer assistance, but they help with fundraising efforts for the hospital, and recently assisted with the purchase of some important medical equipment.
Hawkins says the many volunteers remain busy with various projects.
Hawkins says many members of the hospital auxiliary are now making plans for the next fund-raiser, that being the annual omelet breakfast to be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
Those volunteers that were honored at Wednesday’s program included: Patti Donlin for working more than 30,000 hours. Marilyn Neyens has contributed more
than 10,000 hours at Floyd Valley. Both Ruth Kneip and Nancy Augustine have achieved the milestone of volunteering 5,000 hours. Four people were recognized for contributing at least 2,500 hours for the hospital. They included: Joyce Langel, Terri Pauling, Norma Philips and Ruth Farley. Achieving the status of donating 1,500 hours of time for Floyd Valley were Ron
Jones, Kathy Strain, and Marge Kramer. Lois Hageman, Dolores Sitzmann and Chris Knapp have reached 1,000 hours for the hospital. Three people that include Les Hemmingson, Ruth Postma, and Mary Laughton have volunteered at least 500 hours, and Lorene Rexwinkel, LaVonne Wiener, Susan Klemme, and Rhonda Tamman have contributed 250 hours at Floyd Valley Healthcare.
Iowa House Passes 20-Week Abortion Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa House has passed a bill that would ban most abortions in the state at 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The chamber voted 55-41 Wednesday for the legislation, which provides no exception for rape, incest or fatal fetal anomalies. The bill must return to the Iowa Senate for final approval, after the House amended it to require that a woman wait 72 hours before getting an abortion. Another provision requires
that a doctor offer a woman more details about an ultrasound, including hearing the heartbeat of the fetus.
Nearly 20 states have passed similar 20-week bans, which is based on the disputed premise that a fetus can feel pain at that stage.
Gov. Terry Branstad has indicated support for a ban, though a spokesman says the governor reserves judgment on the legislation.
Legislature Adopts New Budget
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Republicans with majorities in the Iowa Legislature have released a general blueprint for the next state budget that slashes overall government spending.
GOP leaders from both chambers announced a spending plan Wednesday totaling about $7.2 billion for the budget year that takes effect in July.
That’s about $14 million less than the current budget year.
David Roederer, a chief budget official for Gov. Terry Branstad, says such reduced spending is rare. It’s also unclear which areas of state government could be cut.
Lawmakers this session reduced funding and dipped into cash reserves to plug shortfalls amid declining revenue. Republicans say lawmakers must make tough decisions to responsibly balance the budget.
The governor’s office agrees with the spending plan, an indication GOP lawmakers could approve a budget and adjourn within weeks.
Fire Academy Administrator Could Get Probation
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A former Iowa fire academy administrator could avoid jail time after falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify hundreds of firefighters.
Court records show that former Fire Services Training Bureau certification manager John McPhee has agreed to plead guilty to misconduct in office at a hearing set for April 26 in Nevada, Iowa. Sentencing would be expected at a
Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of two years’ probation, restitution and 100 hours of community service. But Judge James Malloy could opt for a different sentence. The felony charge carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $7,500 fine.
McPhee was charged in January. Investigators say he falsified test scores for years, allowing up to 2,400 firefighters to earn certifications despite failing exams.