Firefighters Battle Grain Bin Fire
(Le Mars) — Firefighters were at the scene yesterday of a grain bin that had caught on fire. The fire was reported at the 220th Block of Nature Avenue at about 11:13 a.m. Smoke could be seen coming from the grain bin’s ventilation system. Fire Chief Dave Schipper believes the fire started beneath the stored grain from a sweep auger shaft that got hot. The farmer and firefighters removed corn from the bin on to grain trucks and grain wagons in hopes to salvage as much of the good corn as possible. Firefighters had to cut three holes near the bottom of the bin, under the ventilation floor in order to get a hose inside and begin extinguishing the fire. The grain bin holds approximately 15,000 bushels and was nearly full of corn when the farmer noticed the fire. It is not known as to how much
corn was damaged as a result of the fire.
Le Mars Could See Lower Homeowner Insurance Rates After City Passes Fire Protection Inspection
(Le Mars) — Le Mars homeowners may see their insurance rates go lower, or at least retain some stability as a result of the city’s passing a fire protection inspection. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper offered a report to the city council on Tuesday. Schipper says the Insurance Service Organization, or ISO has a community rating scale from 1 to 10 with one being the best and ten being the worst. Schipper says a few years ago, Le
Mars was able to be placed within the top four percent of similar sized communities and received a rating of a three. Schipper informed the city council the inspection took place Tuesday morning with the local fire department, city water department, and the county’s communications center.
Schipper is hopeful with the many improvements to the city’s infrastructure, Le Mars may be able to earn a better rating.
The report is expected to be released in April.
City Council Approves Tax Rebate For Proposed Apartment Complex
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council approved a tax rebate program for a proposed apartment complex to be built by Adam Brown. Brown had requested a three-year tax rebate of city taxes paid to begin after the city’s urban revitalization seven-year plan. Brown had received a similar plan for a previous apartment complex. The estimated total tax rebate would be
$58,143. City Administrator, Jason Vacura informed the council that year eight of the agreement would be in the year 2027. Councilman Clark Goodchild opposed the measure and wondered why the city needed to act on the proposal at this particular time.
Brown has not yet started on the proposed project.
King Anticipates Trade Agreement Will Be Passed
(Le Mars) — Farmers, and others are anxiously awaiting for Congress to pass the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. Since the agreement was presented to Congress back in July, they have moved it to the back of the line in terms of priority actions. Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King says the focus
of the House Democrats right now is the impeachment proceedings against President Trump, and everything else has been pushed aside. King stopped by the KLEM offices Monday afternoon. Despite the delays, he is still convinced that an agreement with our two best trading partners will happen.
The 4th District Iowa Congressman says this agreement is even better than the terms under the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.
King says he has called on his Iowa Democrat colleages to place some pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to request the trade agreement bill be brought up for an immediate vote.
King says the U-S Mexico Canadian agreement may be the mechanism needed to push the Democrats to do more than be concerned about impeachment proceedings.
The Republican Congress member is hopeful the trade agreement can be acted upon before Christmas.
Grassley Says He Wants To Protect The Identity Of The Whistle-blower
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Sen. Chuck Grassley doesn’t agree with calls from President Donald Trump and other Republicans to reveal the identity of the whistleblower who first reported concerns about Trump’s dealings with the Ukrainian president.
Grassley, who wrote significant portions of federal whistleblower
laws, says they ensure anonymity for whistleblowers and should be followed.
Grassley told reporters in a call Wednesday that it’s important not to reveal the identity of intelligence agency whistleblowers because it could endanger them.
He says the whistleblower is less important now that documents have been released of the call that led the U.S. House to begin an impeachment inquiry into whether Trump sought favors from the Ukrainian president that would help Trump’s re-election campaign.
Trump and Sen. Rand Paul called on reporters to release the
whistleblower’s identity this week.
Grassley says he doesn’t advocate journalists violating professional ethics.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials say a late harvest, wet corn and the fall chill have combined to multiply demand for propane in Iowa and other states.
Iowa ag secretary Mike Naig told The Des Moines Register that the demand has “created a supply pinch” as farmers rush to bring in their crops.
And he says nearly every bushel of corn needs to be dried.
Record flooding and heavy spring rains delayed planting.
Federal ag officials say only 43% of Iowa’s corn crop has been
brought in and the harvest is 11 days behind the typical figure at this time of year. In neighboring Nebraska, Monday’s U.S. Department of Agriculture report shows 60% of the state’s corn has been harvested, compared with 69% for the five-year average.
Lynne Schuller is executive director of the Nebraska Propane Gas
Association, and she says the shortage is more of a transport problem in meeting the propane demanded by farmers, grain elevators and rural residents.
Eastern Iowa Man Accused Of Theft From ATM’s
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A man accused of using bogus cards to steal money from ATMs in the Cedar Rapids area has taken a plea deal.
The Gazette reports that 21-year-old Romica Martuica, who is from Romania, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court. The charges: illegal transactions with an access device and aggravated identity theft. He originally was charged with 10 related counts.
His sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
A court document shows that Martuica and another man used more than 50 magnetic strip cards on Feb. 16 to steal nearly $8,700.
Authorities say the magnetic cards contained the account numbers of different victims.