Home News Thursday News, August 1st

Thursday News, August 1st


Plymouth Energy Suspends Production 

(Des Moines) — A local ethanol plant has suspended production “until further notice.” Plymouth Energy in Merrill is one of at least 10 ethanol plants in the country to temporarily shut down. Three others have closed.
Monte Shaw is executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

Shaw says this supply-demand imbalance is caused by waivers federal officials are granting big oil companies — so refiners don’t have to blend as much ethanol into gasoline.

Shaw says the past 18 months have been a very rough on the industry.

The board of Plymouth Energy issued a statement, saying all existing corn contracts will be honored and they hope to resume production “in the not too distant future.” A coalition of groups representing ag and biofuels interests today (Wednesday) asked a federal court to allow a 2018 lawsuit challenging the E-P-A’s management of renewable fuels policy to proceed.
Shaw says if E-P-A policy doesn’t change over the next few months, more ethanol plant managers may consider temporarily shutting down production.

Shaw says if the E-P-A were to adhere to the rules outlined by the Renewable Fuels Standard, there would be an “immediate impact” on corn prices and ethanol production would quickly rebound.



Burlington Northern-Sante Fe Train Derails Near Hull

(Orange City) — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office received reports on Wednesday evening at about 8:30 of a train derailment that occurred on the Burlington Northern-Sante Fe railway, approximately five miles northwest of Hull. Responding personnel discovered that approximately 25 of the 83 car
train had derailed. The train cars consisted of refrigerated, tank freight and rock cars. The specific contents of the derailed cars is unknown at this time and is being assessed. There were no injuries reported. Both the Sioux County and Lyon County Sheriff’s Offices responded, as did the Hull Fire Department, Hull Ambulance, Rock Valley Fire Department, and the Lyon
County Emergency Management assisted in the absence of the Sioux County Emergency Management.

(photo courtesy of Sioux County Sheriff’s Office)



Sioux City Police Officer In Unmarked Car Shoots At Stopped Car

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Police say an officer fired at another vehicle after it struck the officer’s unmarked car during a traffic stop in Sioux City.
Station KTIV reports the officer positioned the car to block the
vehicle from fleeing Wednesday night. But the vehicle then hit the officer’s car, prompting the officer to fire.
Police say the other vehicle left the scene but was soon found and the driver taken into custody. Two passengers in the vehicle were questioned as well.
No injuries have been reported. The names of those involved haven’t been released.



Foxhoven To File Lawsuit For Wrongful Dismissal

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A lawyer for the ousted Iowa Department of Human Services director says he’ll file a legal claim alleging he was the victim of whistleblower retaliation.
Attorney Tom Duff confirmed Wednesday that he’s representing Jerry Foxhoven, who was asked to step down by Gov. Kim Reynolds last month.
Duff said that Foxhoven plans to announce Thursday that he’s filing a wrongful termination claim with the State Appeals Board, the first step toward pursuing a lawsuit against state government.
Duff says that Foxhoven objected to a request to continue to have his agency fund most of the salary of the governor’s deputy chief of staff, Paige Thorson. Duff says that Foxhoven believed the arrangement made sense when he approved it in 2018. But he said that, by June, Foxhoven believed Thorson was no longer furthering the agency’s interests.
Duff says that Foxhoven wanted a legal opinion before moving forward with the arrangement.
A spokesman for Reynolds has said that Foxhoven never raised any such concerns and that he was let go because she wanted to move in a new direction.



Two People Injured From Britt Explosion

BRITT, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say two people were injured by an explosion at a business in northern Iowa.
The blast occurred around 9:10 a.m. Wednesday at Miller & Sons Golf Cars just south of Britt. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office says the explosion was accidental and didn’t cause a fire. The cause is being investigated.
The names of the injured and the extent of their injuries haven’t
been released.



Des Moines Woman Faces Felony Charges After Beating Her Daughters

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Des Moines woman faces felony charges after police say she beat two young children so badly that one of them jumped from second story balcony to escape her.
The Des Moines Register reports that 30-year-old Rasheena Perry is charged with two felony counts of child endangerment causing bodily injury and one misdemeanor count of child endangerment after the July 11 incident.
Police say Perry threw items at and hit the girls, both under the
age of 14, while they were in a bathtub. Police say she wrapped a shower curtain around the face of one of the girls, before she escaped and jumped off the balcony. Police say they found the other girl covered in bruises, including marks on her neck where Perry had choked her.
Police also say Perry left an infant alone in an apartment.
Perry’s preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 9. An attorney was not
listed for her in court records Wednesday.



Farmer’s Body Found In Riverbank After Tractor Tipped Over

MONDAMIN, Iowa (AP) – Western Iowa authorities have recovered the body of a farmer who died after his tractor flipped over atop him when it ran off a riverbank edge into the Missouri River.
The tractor was spotted by people searching for the man Tuesday evening a little more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) northwest of Mondamin.
The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office says the farmer had been working along the riverbank since 8 a.m., getting the land ready for cattle. It’s unclear when the accident occurred.
A dive team found the body and pulled it from the water. The
sheriff’s office identified the man as 82-year-old Malvern Wallis, who lived in Mondamin.



Two People Rescued From Des Moines River

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say two people were rescued after their inflatable raft overturned on a river in downtown Des Moines.
Des Moines Fire Department spokesman Chris Clement says the raft was upended Monday night as it went over a low-head dam on the Des Moines River near the Scott Avenue Bridge.
Crews dropped rescue ropes for the man and woman. The two clung to the ropes and struggled to keep their heads above the onrushing water despite wearing life jackets. Police say rescuers shouted instructions and encouragement as they pulled mightily to maneuver the pair onto a concrete structure and safety.
The two were taken to a hospital and soon released. Authorities have not released the pair’s names.



Lottery Sets New Record

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Lottery has posted record results for fiscal 2019, which ended June 30.
Lottery officials say in a news release that sales, prizes to
players and retail commissions all set records for the year.
Preliminary figures released Wednesday show the generated a record $92.8 million in proceeds to state causes for the year. The sales record was $390.9 million, while prizes to players totaled a record $241.9 million.
Lottery sales commissions to the retail locations that sell its tickets totaled $25.4 million.
The unaudited results show that sales increased 5.4% from the
previous year.
Scratch-game sales in Iowa have set records each year since fiscal 2015 and did so again this past year: $250.6 million.