Fire Department Cautions People On Use Of Space Heaters
(Le Mars) — The use of space heaters is common during these cold days, but Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper wants to caution people about some potential dangers with space heaters.
The Le Mars Fire Chief says electric blankets can also be a source of fires if not monitored.
Schipper also wants to remind residents to have two ways out to escape.
Going back to discussing space heaters, Schipper says fortunately, most new space heaters are constructed to shut off if they are tipped over.
Authorities Identify Family That Was Killed From Blue Grass Fire
BLUE GRASS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have released the names of four family members killed by an early Christmas morning house fire in eastern Iowa.
The blaze erupted a little after 12:30 a.m. Monday in Blue Grass.
The Scott County Sheriff’s Office identified three of them as 71-year- olds Larry Loose Sr. and Rose Loose and their 36-year-old son, Steven Loose.
They were pronounced dead at the scene. A second son, 35-year-old Michael Loose, escaped from the house and later was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The State Fire Marshal Division is still investigating the cause of the blaze.
Blue Grass is a community of about 1,500 residents 150 miles (240 kilometers) east of Des Moines.
Iowa Has Largest Number of Fire Related Fatalities Since 1993
(Des Moines) — More people have died in fire-related incidents in Iowa this year than any year since 1993. Ron Humphrey, a special agent with the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s office, says the tentative fire fatality count for 2017 has climbed to 53.
Two fires within the last week in eastern Iowa’s Scott County killed nine people, including four children. Two more people were killed in a school bus fire near the western Iowa town of Oakland on December 12.
The fire in Davenport on December 21 killed a 23-year-old woman and her four children; ages 5, 4, 2, and 9 months. Investigators said their mobile home did not have a working smoke detector. According to Humphrey, more than half of
Iowa’s fatal fires involve homes where a working smoke detector could’ve potentially saved lives.
The 53 (tentative) fire-related fatalities in Iowa this year compares to 47 last year and 31 in 2015. This year’s unconfirmed total is more than double the 26 fire deaths in 2013.
Vandals Destroy Honey Bee Business
(Sioux City) — Vandals destroyed a private honey making business in Sioux City, killing more than a half a million bees. Justin and Tori Englehardt operate Wild Hill Honey, and when they went to their bee hives on Thursday morning to clear away the snow, they noticed all the hives were overturned and destroyed.
The vandals also ransacked their beekeeping shed where supplies were kept.
Englehardt estimates the vandalism caused between $50,000 to $60,000 of damage.
The Englehardts had sold their honey products at various local farmer’s markets, as well as at Palmer’s Old Tyme Candy Shoppe, and Pierce Street Coffee Works.
Englehardt says the damage will end his honey making business for the coming year.
Families May Be Notified Of Children’s Health Insurance Program May End
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa is preparing to notify families in early February that federal money could run out for a health insurance program that covers roughly 60,000 low-income children in the state.
The Iowa Department of Human Services is also exploring options in case funding ends for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known in the state as hawk-i. DHS could recommend freezing enrollment, switching kids to Medicaid or ending hawk-i entirely.
Ending the program would force families of about 44,000 children to seek other coverage or let them go uninsured.
Department spokesman Matt Highland says DHS is still reviewing how newly approved short-term federal funding affects hawk-i’s finances. Notification to families could be delayed to March.
Highland says the department hopes Congress will approve long-term program funding next year, making contingency plans obsolete.
Iowa Sets New Record For Ethanol Production
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Ethanol plants in Iowa have produced a record amount of the gasoline additive this year, narrowly topping last year’s record.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol trade group, says Iowa’s 43 ethanol plants turned out 4.2 billion gallons of ethanol this year surpassing the 4.1 billion gallons produced in 2016.
The association’s executive director, Monte Shaw said in a statement Thursday that the record is largely due to several plant expansions, increased demand of exports and rising sales of higher blends of fuel like E15, which is 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline.
Shaw says the industry will continue to push in 2018 to get more gas stations to install E15 pumps.
Iowa, the nation’s top corn grower, also leads the nation in corn-based ethanol production.