Thursday Afternoon News, March 12
Conditions Favorable For Grass Fires
(Le Mars) -- Today's weather forcast for Plymouth County and all of northwest Iowa has a "red flag" warning for fire danger. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says conditions are a bit deceiving. He says you may believe roadside ditches, and grass fields are wet due to melting snow, but in fact the vegetation is extremely dry.
Schipper says the conditions oftens hampers fire fighters efforts to extinguish a grass or field fire.
The Le Mars Fire Chief says many people like to take advantage of these warm days to burn dead trees and debris. He says when we have warm dry days with gusting winds like today is when trouble can occur.
A few weeks ago, the Le Mars Fire Department responded to a grass fire which Schipper says was an interesting sight.
Schipper cautions people if you have had a bun pile to make certain the ambers are extinguished. Too often, he says, a fire can erupt even several days later.
Frost Still In Ground, But Field Work May Start Soon
(Le Mars) -- The spring-like weather of this past week has many farmers anxious to begin field work. Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist Joel DeJong says even though we have had temperatures in the 60's and 70's, he believes there is still some frost to be found in our fields.
Despite the fact we have not had a large snowfall this winter, DeJong says soil moisture levels are, for the most part, adequate to begin spring field work.
DeJong says last fall many farmers were unable to complete their field manure applications, and he hopes this spring, conditions will allow farmers to get caught up.
Storm Lake Police Locate Homemade Bombs At Residence
STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 28-year-old man was charged with possessing explosive devices after officers who broke up a fight at a Storm Lake residence found homemade bombs.
The officers responded early Wednesday morning to a report about the fight and arrested three people on charges related to the melee. The officers report that they found bombs inside the residence and subsequently arrested Dion Caldwell.
Online court records don't list the name of a defense attorney who could be contacted for comment about the allegation against Caldwell.
Des Moines Insurance Company To Sue Over Fire
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A neighboring business to the downtown Younkers building ravaged by a massive fire last year has a filed a lawsuit against the building's owners and the companies responsible for its renovation.
In the lawsuit, EMC Insurance alleges Johnston-based Hansen Co., Madison, Wisconsin-based Alexander Co. and the owners of the 115-year-old building failed to take precautions that could have prevented the fire last March. EMC spokeswoman Jessica Zopf says heat from the flames that engulfed the structure caused about $8 million in damages to two adjacent building owned by the insurance company.
The lawsuit, which was filed in December, seeks damages and attorney fees, as well as additional damages designated for a defendant's wrongdoing.
Toddler Falls From Second Story Window
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 2-year-old boy is in stable condition after falling from a second-floor window at a Council Bluffs home.
Officers and paramedics arrived at the home around 6 p.m. Wednesday. Giovanni Marley was transported to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he is now listed in stable condition.
The Council Bluffs Police Department says investigation into the fall is ongoing, but Sgt. Chad Meyers says that there's no sign that the incident was anything other than an accident.
Boone Selected As Site for Iowa Straw Parlor
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's Republican straw poll, which has long been held in the college town of Ames, is moving.
State GOP officials announced Thursday that the event would be held in Boone at the Central Iowa Expo on Aug. 8. They said earlier this year they would take bids to host the political gathering, in an effort to better manage costs.
Four locations submitted bids and the committee that governs the party voted unanimously to go to Boone, located about 45 minutes outside Des Moines.
First held in 1979, the Iowa straw poll has grown from a county GOP fundraiser to a large event. It is considered an early test of campaign organization.
The party voted to continue the poll this year, after critics called for it to be eliminated.