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Wednesday News, August 15

Nine Fire Departments Battle Turkey Barn Fire

(Storm Lake) -- Nine fire departments from around Buena Vista County were called shortly after 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday to fight a fire at a large turkey barn.  The fire was at rural Newell.  Fire figthters were on the scene for more than seven hours.  The structure was heavily damaged and the estimated loss is believed to be close to $750,000.  There were no turkeys in the barn at the time.  Buena Vista Regional Medical Center Paramedics were called to the scene as a precaution, and fortunately there were no injuries reported. The Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office an the Newell Fire Department are investigating the cause of the the fire.  It appears the fire was accidental in nature, but the investigation is continuing into what actually caused the building to start on fire.  Responding to that fire were fire departments from Newell...Storm Lake... AlbertCity... Rembrandt... Alta... Fonda ...Varina...Early and Nemaha.


Hinton and Merrill Fire Departments Fight Field Fire

(Hinton) -- Both the Hinton and the Merrill Fire Departments responded to a field fire located at 30827 County Road K-22 Tuesday afternoon.  The fire started as a brush fire, but quickly got out of control igniting a field.  The call was received at about 2:00 p.m.  Fire officials were on the scene for nearly an hour and a half.


Plymouth County Burn Ban Still Exists

(Le Mars) -- Despite some recent rains, Plymouth County Fire Officials want to remind people that Plymouth County and surrounding counties are still under a burn ban.  In recent days, nearly all of the Plymouth County fire departments have had to respond to brush fires that got out of control igniting dry fields.  Rain is in the forecast for this evening, but fire officials say it is still much too dry to lift the burn ban.  People who choose to ingnore the burn ban could face fines and penalties.


Scoop The Loop Scheduled For This Evening

(Le Mars) -- Several classic cars and motorcycles will be cruising down Central Avenue this evening as Le Mars hosts the annual "Scoop the Loop."  The event is scheduled to begin at 6:30 and end up at the Olson Cultural Events Center in downtown Le Mars.  There will be food and music at the event as the band "jammers" will be playing the hits from yesteryear until 8:30 p.m.


Albus Selected Chamber's Employee of the Month

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has selected its "August Employee of the Month."  This time around the honor goes to Terri Albus.  Terri is the office manager of the JRE Property Pros.  According to the submitted nomination, Terri is the glue that holds us all together.  She wears many hats, and wears them well.  She is the smiling face that greets our clients, the mailman, agents and customers.  Terri maintains the office files, the ever-changing weekly ads and online information and she does it all accurately and efficiently.  Somehow she knows where all the agents and brokers are each day, who is showing homes, who is at class and when they will be back.  She is the "Go to" person.  Congratulations to Terri Albus of JRE Property Pros for being honored as the August Employee of the Month.


Sheriff's Employee Association Meet With Supervisors

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's Employee Association, represented by Communications Center Supervisor Kirk Hatting and Sergarent Rick Singer met before the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning to discuss terms for a new three-year contract.  

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The Sheriff's Employee Association is asking for a 6 percent raise in pay for the duration of the contract.  Hatting says the supervisors appeared to be understanding of the issue.

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One issue that was discussed was the payment of overtime and incentive pay given during the time of severe weather warnings.

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The supervisors and sheriff's employee association will meet again within the next few weeks to reach an agreement.


Arkansas Man Convicted For Cocaine Distribution

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 33-year-old Arkansas man has admitted distributing crack cocaine in northwest Iowa.
     Federal prosecutors say Jamaron Bingham, of Osceola, Ark., was convicted Monday in federal court in Sioux City. He admitted conspiring to sell crack cocaine in the Sioux City area from November 2010 through August 2011.
     Bingham told investigators that he usually drove to Arkansas every two weeks to pick up 2 to 4 ounces of crack and return to distribute it for sale.
     His sentencing date has not been set. Bingham faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison. He has a previous conviction for selling cocaine.


Bicyclers Hit By Motorcycle

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say three bicyclists are recovering after being injured in a collision with a motorcycle near Rock Rapids on northwest Iowa.
     The accident happened Monday night when five teenage girls were riding bicycles on a Lyon County road. A motorcyclist traveling in the same direction came upon the girls, but couldn't stop in time.
     The sheriff's office says the driver laid the motorcycle down on the highway to avoid a direct hit. The motorcyclist and the motorcycle then hit three of the girls.
     The girls, all from Rock Rapids, were taken to a local hospital. Two were transferred to a hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to be treated for serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
     The motorcyclist, also of Rock Rapids, suffered minor injuries.


Branstad To Tour Iowa Talking Education   

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he will hold 14 meetings across Iowa to hear what people think about how the state should change its kindergarten through high school education
     Branstad will be joined by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds for the meetings, which the governor says will help him prepare his election reform proposal for the 2013 legislative session.
     Branstad pushed for an ambitious education agenda in the 2012 Legislature, but most of his proposals failed to pass. Those failed plans included tougher requirements for teachers and new tests for students.
     The meetings begin Tuesday in Pocahontas and continue until a Sept. 13 gathering in Council Bluffs.


Iowa Children: Happier, Healthier, and Safer

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A new study finds that Iowa children feel healthier, happier and safer than children do nationally.
     The Iowa Child and Family Household Health Survey was released Tuesday by the University of Iowa's Public Policy Center, which conducts the study every five years.
     The survey found 97 percent of children in Iowa have health insurance, compared to 91 percent nationally. Nine in 10 Iowa kids rate themselves in good or excellent health, and few have problems
getting care when they need it.
     The vast majority of children reported feeling safe in communities and schools.
     Researcher Peter Damiano says in a statement that Iowa's children "are generally quite healthy and safe" and Iowans should be proud of parents, schools and communities. But he says low-income children face disparities that could be addressed.




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