Home News Monday Afternoon News, September 24th

Monday Afternoon News, September 24th


Aurelia Is Evacuated Due To Anhydrous Ammonia Leak

(Aurelia) — The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that portions of the town Aurelia was evacuated this morning due to an anhydrous ammonia leak at the local cooperative grain elevator.  Elementary and Middle School students were moved to the high school building at Alta.   The Coffee Shop and other downtown businesses are closed due to the anhydrous ammonia leak.  Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency
officials requests that people stay away from Aurelia, until such time officials have been able to contain the anhydrous ammonia leak.



Floyd Valley Healthcare Formally Welcomes Dr. Ashley Powell

(Le Mars) — Last week, Floyd Valley Healthcare formally welcomed their latest physician, Dr. Ashley Powell. Dr. Powell grew up in Le Mars and attended Gehlen Catholic High School, and graduated in 2007. Many people may remember her as Ashley Sitzmann. She explains why she chose to return
to her hometown to be a community doctor.

Ashley’s mother is Julie Sitzmann, who until recently retired from being in charge of the Floyd Valley Healthcare Clinic.
Dr. Powell says although she will practice general medicine, her focus of concentration will be on women’s health issues, and pediatrics.

Powell says having grown up in Le Mars may make it a bit easier to build up a patient care list. She believes many patients may feel more as ease, and comfortable, since they are already familiar with her.

Floyd Valley Healthcare hosted an open house last Thursday to welcome Dr. Ashley Powell. Her husband also is employed at Floyd Valley Healthcare, and works at the hospital’s pharmacy department.



Fatal House Fire Trial To Begin

ALBIA, Iowa (AP) – A man is scheduled to start trial again Monday, a week after a mistrial was declared at his first trial on charges of murder and other crimes.
Twenty-seven-year-old Patrick Thompson has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming the May 15, 2017, fire that killed his 12-year-old stepsister, Melanie “Paige” Exline, and her 16-year-old cousin, Shakiah Cockerham, at the Guthrie Center house where they lived with their grandmother. The fire injured their uncle, William Long III, and grandmother, Shirley Exline.
The judge declared the mistrial Sept. 17 after someone loudly discussed the case with prospective jurors while the judge and lawyers were outside the courtroom.
The trial had been moved to Decatur County from Guthrie County because of pretrial publicity. The trial beginning Monday is being held in the Monroe County Courthouse in Albia.



Flooding Expected At Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Cedar Rapids officials will be considering additional flood protection measures as the Cedar River rises.
The National Weather Service says the river is expected to crest
Tuesday at 5 1/2 feet (2 meters) above flood stage.
On Friday the city completed work on protection for 4 feet (more than a meter) over flood stage. Additional measures could include earth-filled barriers and earthen berms and closing off the storm sewer system to prevent floodwater from backing into the system.
Some roads in low-lying areas already have been closed.



Des Moines Woman Pleads Guilty To Slaying A Des Moines Man

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A woman has pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the slaying of a Des Moines man.
The Des Moines Register reports that 36-year-old Crystal Purdy entered the pleas Friday to burglary and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony. Her plea deal calls for her to testify against others involved, including 46- year-old William Burton II. He’s pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the fatal shooting of Cody Channon. His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 28.
Investigators say they suspect Burton and Purdy went to Channon’s home to confront him in January, and then Burton intentionally shot Channon once in the chest. Police say Burton and Purdy told investigators the gun went off during a scuffle.



Estherville Residents Complain About Odor From Rendering Plant

ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (AP) – Residents of a northwest Iowa town say they’re being overwhelmed by the stench from a nearby rendering plant.
Emmet County zoning administrator Barb Bohm says Estherville
residents have filed more than 300 odor complaints against the Central Bi- Products plant, mostly since May. Emmet County Supervisor Jeff Quastad says the odor from the plant smells “like death, like rotting flesh.”
The county Board of Supervisors has decided to pursue fines against the plant for violating its use permit.
Dan Hildebrandt is CEO of Farmers Union Industries, of Redwood
Falls, Minnesota, which is the parent company of Central Bi-Products.
Hildebrant told Emmet County supervisors in July the plant problems were caused in part by a fire and a management change. He assured supervisors the company was working to make improvements.