Home News Wednesday News, December 26th

Wednesday News, December 26th


Akron Fire Department Respond To Christmas Day House Fire

(Akron) — The Akron Fire Department had their Christmas holiday interrupted by answering a call to a house fire. The fire was at a home located at 651 Reed Street. Fire Chief Shane Coyle says the fire was noticed by a volunteer firefighter who happened to be passing by the home when he thought he could
smell smoke.

As mentioned, nobody was home at the time of the fire. Coyle says firefighters were fortunate to notice the smoke when they did, and to be able to contain the fire to a small area of the home. Coyle says the damage was confined mainly to the upstairs area of the home.

The Akron Fire Chief says the homeowners will still be able to reside in the home, after repairs are made. Coyle says given it was Christmas afternoon, he feels fortunate to have a full crew to respond to the fire.

Akron firefighters needed to clear out the insulation from the home’s attic area. Coyle estimates the damage to be at $25,000 to $30,000. There were no injuries, and firefighters were on the scene for nearly two and a half hours.



Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department Responds To Four Calls On Christmas Eve

(Le Mars) — Christmas Eve proved to be a busy night for the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department as they responded to four separate calls within a matter of 45 minutes. The first call came in a few minutes before 5:00 p.m. at the All Saints Catholic Parish – St. Joseph Church located at 605 Plymouth Street Northeast. As it turned out, the call was simply the
incense that was being prepared for the Christmas Eve Mass that had triggered the smoke detectors. Shortly after returning to the station, the fire department was called to a two-vehicle accident that happened on Highway 60 about a mile northeast of Le Mars.

A total of five people were injured, but all had sustained only minor injuries. Northbound Highway 60 was shut down for about an hour while the accident scene was being investigated and crews worked to clean the debris. The Plymouth County
Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident. While responding to the accident on Highway 60, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was also called to a hog barn fire, and the fourth call was from a passerby on Highway 75 that reported they could see flames from the SmithCo Manufacturing. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper called for the Merrill and Hinton Fire Departments to assist the Le Mars Fire Department at the reported hog barn fire. As it turned out, the hog confinement barn fire was not a fire, but rather steam that could be seen coming from the facility.
The fire reported at SmithCo Manufacturing turned out to be an employee that was burning cardboard behind the facility.



Gehlen Catholic Marching Band To Perform At Alamo Bowl

(Le Mars) — Iowa State University Cyclones football team won’t be the only unit from Iowa to take the field at the AlamoBowl in San Antonio, Texas, on Friday evening. Gehlen Catholic Marching Band of Le Mars will also be on the field performing during halftime. The Gehlen Band left Le Mars Christmas night heading south for the destination of San Antonio. The Gehlen Catholic Band is under the direction of Paul Niebuhr. Niebuhr says
this marks the sixth time Gehlen has performed at a college bowl game.

Lisa Niebuhr serves as Gehlen’s Development Director. She will accompany her husband and the marching band on their tour. Lisa says the entire trip will have an educational focus.

In addition to the educational factor of the trip, Lisa says the members of the Gehlen Catholic Band will also have some religious education.

Paul says the trip is so Gehlen Catholic can compete in a marching band contest.

Paul says there will be a total of around 20 bands nationwide from various size schools participating in the Alamo Bowl festivities.
Lisa says the trip also serves the purpose of a community outreach. She says the bowls are non-profit organizations with the proceeds to go to charity organizations.

Gehlen Catholic’s marching band is getting some attention from across the state, including a card from Iowa State University Athletic Director Jamie Pollard.

The Niebuhrs say it is due to the students’ hard work and dedication that has built a tradition of excellence at the Gehlen music department allowing the band to be invited to participate in the bowl games.
Paul and Lisa Niebuhr say the 37 members of the Gehlen Catholic Marching Band will have the opportunity to sport their new marching band uniforms during the Alamo Bowl.



Airplane Crashes into Sioux Falls Neighborhood – Causing One Death

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – A single-engine airplane has crashed into a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, neighborhood, leaving at least one person dead and four homes evacuated.
The Argus Leader reports officials believe the person who died in
Tuesday evening’s crash was an occupant of the aircraft.
Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith says officials got reports of exterior damage to one home. Smith says officials plan to continue working into the night.
The exact number of people in the plane and homes wasn’t immediately clear. Grace Chinn, who lives near an affected home, says the crash “shook our whole house.”
Smith says a fire at the scene was extinguished within minutes.



Iowa Farmland Values Declined This Year

(Ames) — Iowa farmland values have dropped four of the last five years in the Iowa State University survey — but some farmland owners are still optimistic that will change in the new year.

Iowa State University has recently released its annual farmland value study.
Agricultural Economist Wendong Zhang (WEN-dong JONG) conducts the annual survey.

The optimism about the land values extends beyond this year.

Zhang takes a more guarded approach in predicting what might happen.

The limited amount of land available was the top factor cited on the price of land by those in the survey. Zhang doesn’t expect the number of sales to increase.
The majority of farmland sales — 72 percent — were to existing farmers and that included 69 percent of the sales to local farmers and only three percent were to existing relocating farmers. The Ag Economist doesn’t expect things to change much in 2019.
The majority of farmland sales, 52 percent, were from estate sales, followed by retired farmers at 23 percent. Active farmers account for 15 percent of sales, while investors accounted for eight percent.



Eastern Iowa Food Banks Are Given Donations Of Milk

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – Food pantries in eastern Iowa and western Illinois are being flooded with milk donations under a federal program to buy and distribute nearly $50 million in dairy products to compensate farmers hurt by trade tariffs.
River Bend Foodbank CEO Mike Miller tells the Quad-City Times that about 80,000 half-gallons of milk will be distributed to food pantries across the Quad-City region through March. The spike in donations comes from a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to help dairy farmers caught in the middle of President Donald Trump’s trade disputes with Mexico, China and Canada.
Tariffs have cost American dairy farmers more than $1 billion since May.
Miller says the USDA program is helpful but challenging because milk has a limited shelf life and the program lacks distribution volunteers.



Man Given 35 Years In Prison For Shooting Home Resident

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – A man charged in the fatal shooting of a man during a Davenport home robbery last year has been given 35 years in prison.
Scott County District Court records say 22-year-old Nakita Wiseman was sentenced Friday in Davenport. He’d pleaded guilty in April to burglary and robbery after prosecutors dropped murder and other charges.
Wiseman was among those charged with the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Brady Tumlinson in September 2017. Wiseman agreed to testify against others involved, including Tristin Alderman and D’marithe Culbreath, who were convicted last week of first-degree murder .



Authorities Receive Additional Tips On News Anchor Disappearance

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) – Police say tips have picked up on the 1995 disappearance of Iowa news anchor Jodi Huisentruit after she was featured on CBS’ “48 Hours” this month.
Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that police received at least two dozen calls and emails since the episode aired Dec. 15.
Brinkley didn’t comment on the information in the tips, citing the
ongoing investigation. But he told the newspaper that he hopes the exposure from the program will help spur more people to come forward with information.
Huisentruit was 27 when she went missing on her way to work June 27, 1995, at station KIMT in Mason City. Investigators have never found Huisentruit, who was declared legally dead in 2001. No one has been charged in her disappearance.