Corn Crib Destroyed By Fire
(Remsen) — What was described by witnesses as an orange glow against the dark sky, a fire was reported Friday evening at about 7:30 p.m. at a farm near the intersection of 150th Street and Polk Avenue, halfway between Remsen and Oyens.
Remsen Fire Chief Kevin Ortmann says they were called because an old wooden abandon corn crib had caught on fire.
Ortmann says the corn crib did not contain any grain, and the structure was a total loss. The fire had spread to a nearby old hog barn that served as a storage shed. Firefighters were not able to save the corn crib, however, the small storage shed was saved. Joining the Remsen Fire Department were the Oyens
Fire Department and a tanker unit from Le Mars. Ortmann says nearly 25 firefighters were on the scene for approximately an hour and a half. The Remsen Fire Chief says additional investigation into the origin and cause of the fire will take place on Saturday, but he says the homeowner had a burn pile that was in line with the fire. Ortmann suspects the northeast winds may have stirred some embers from the burn pile and ignited the old wooden corn crib.
There were no injuries with the fire.
Sioux City Police Look For Palmer House Robber
(Sioux City) — Sioux City Police are investigating the armed robbery of a motel in the Morningside neighborhood Friday night. Police say a male suspect armed with a handgun entered the Palmer House Motel at 3400 Gordon Drive at around 8:15 p.m. and demanded money from the clerk on duty. The bandit fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. No injuries were reported. The robber was described as a tall male wearing a black hoodie. Anyone with information about the robbery should call Crimestoppers at (712) 258-TIPS.
Man Sentenced To Life In Prison
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal judge has sentenced a central Iowa man to life in prison for hooking girls aged 12 and 15 on crack cocaine, having sex with them and later providing them to his drug dealer for sex acts in exchange for drugs.
Federal prosecutors in Des Moines described Clark Wesley Betts Jr. as a dangerous predator who should spend the rest of his life in prison.
The 41-year-old Betts, from Urbandale, was sentenced Friday. He was convicted by a jury in June on two counts of child sex trafficking.
He was ordered to pay nearly $350,000 in restitution to one girl and nearly $375,000 to the other, amounts calculated to provide them counseling and appropriate medication for the rest of their lives.
His attorneys didn’t immediately respond to a message.
New Bridge Across Mississippi River Opens
SABULA, Iowa (AP) – An $80.6 million bridge crossing the Mississippi River to link Iowa and Illinois is opening after two years of construction.
Officials from the Iowa and Illinois transportation departments joined with local leaders Friday to celebrate completion of the bridge connecting Sabula, Iowa, with Savanna, Illinois. The bridge was expected to open to traffic Friday
The bridge replaces a span that opened in 1932 as a private toll bridge. The old bridge will be dismantled in the spring.
The new bridge is 40 feet across, double the width of the old bridge, and more than 2,400 feet long.
The closest crossing of the Mississippi is 20 miles away, connecting Clinton, Iowa, and Fulton, Illinois.
Supreme Court Rules StepChildren Need To Pay Inheritance Tax
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that siblings who inherited a large share of their stepfather’s estate must pay inheritance taxes in a case that challenged the way Iowa’s tax laws treat stepchildren.
The Iowa Legislature in 2003 changed the state’s inheritance law so that children left money from a stepparent after the parents divorced couldn’t qualify for an inheritance tax exemption afforded natural or adopted children.
Paula Tyler and Mark Alcorn sued the state to recover $200,000 in taxes claiming the law violates the Iowa Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection.
They inherited the bulk of the estate of their stepfather, Donald Hitzhusen, a Rockford area farmer.
The court found that the state did not violate the constitution by revising tax laws as a way to promote close family relationships.
Medicaid Has New Leader
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s privatized Medicaid program has new leadership.
The state Department of Human Services announced Friday that Michael Randol has been appointed director of the health care program for poor and disabled people. He begins Dec. 4.
Randol served recently as Medicaid director in Kansas, which privatized its program in 2013. Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and his allies contend privatization there has controlled costs, while critics say it has reduced
coverage and transparency about the program.
Health care groups and Medicaid patients in Iowa have offered similar criticism about Iowa’s coverage since privatization in 2016, and more issues remain. Three private insurance companies currently run Iowa’s program, but one
is leaving at the end of the month amid failed contract negotiations over money.
Iowa officials say privatization is saving money, but future contract negotiations make that claim unclear.
Iowa’s Medicaid program serves more than 600,000 people.
Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Drops
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in nearly 17 years.
Iowa Workforce Development reported Friday the unemployment rate for October fell to 3 percent, down from the September rate of 3.2 percent. The unemployment rate is the lowest since January 2001.
The rate drop reflected a decline in the number of unemployed Iowans to about 51,000 in October. The number of working residents rose to 1.635 million.
The national employment rate in October was 4.1 percent.
Economic Development Authority Offers Tax Incentives To Businesses
(Des Moines) — The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today (Friday) approved financial assistance and tax benefits for five companies. T-P-I Composites of Newton announced earlier this week that it would open another
plant to produce composite bus bodies for electric buses. Iowa Economic Development Authority spokesperson, Kanan (Kon-en) Kappelman, says the state approved incentives are for that project.
The company already manufactures wind turbine blades. She says the tax benefits are for the six million dollars in investment the company plans to make for the new plant.
An eastern Iowa company received state help to buy new machines.
The upgrades will allow the company to hire more workers.
The jobs at Arconic pay 18-dollars and 30 cents an hour.
The Cedar Ridge Vineyard located in Swisher won state incentives to increase
production of whiskey and wine.
The tax benefits will amount to around 86-thousand dollars. John Deere’s Intelligent Solutions Group won state incentives to build a new home. The group produces the advanced software and hardware technology used in the ag equipment manufacturer’s machines.
The company was approved for two-point-nine million dollars in tax benefits.
They plan to invest nearly 33 million dollars in the project. The
final award was tax benefits for C-J Bio America to expand operations in Fort Dodge. The company makes lysine, which is an amino acid used in feed for pigs and poultry. The company plans to spend 46 million dollars for new production
buildings to allow the company to expand its portfolio. The project is expected to create 18 jobs with a wage of 17 dollars and 56 cents.