Wednesday News, January 21
American Red Cross Honors Four People For Saving A Life
(Le Mars) -- Last July, Mark Ruba, an employee of Wells Enterprises was stricken with a heart attack as he was about to start work. Three employees of Wells Enterprises and a Le Mars Police officer, all responded and performed C-P-R in a lifesaving effort. At an awards ceremony held in Le Mars on Tuesday, the American Red Cross honored the four people with a Certificate of Merit, the highest award given by the American Red Cross, which bears the signature of President Obama. Randy Bock was also presented the medal of Lifesaving Award of Merit. Bock had taken C-P-R training from the Red Cross. He says it was simply instinct to start administrating C-P-R on his fellow colleague.
Every two years Bock is re-certified for C-P-R training. He says he is thankful for remembering the proper procedure.
Dan Plueger of the Le Mars Police Department was also recognized for his quick response and lifesaving assistance. Plueger used an automated external difibrillator to help revive Ruba.
The heart attack victim, Mark Ruba was present at the Red Cross awards ceremony and offered his appreciation to those who saved his life.
Wells employees Dennis Sexton and Don Allaway were also recognized by the American Red Cross for their efforts in helping save the life of Mark Ruba.
Woodbury County House Fire Declared As Arson
(Sioux City) -- The Woodbury County Sheriff's office is reporting that a fire at a vacant house is now being considered as arson. Fire officials from Anthon, Oto, Danbury, and the Healy Werks responded to a house fire Tuesday afternoon at about 2:10 p.m. The house is located at 4019 290th street in rural Woodbury County. A caller stated smoke was coming from the structure with no visible flames. The state fire marshal was contacted to investigate the cause of the fire.
Akron Fire Department Responds To Hay Bale Fire
(Akron) -- The Akron Fire Department responded to a fire Tuesday morning. Fire fighters were called at about 8:15 a.m. to county road C-16 and Fir Avenue. A semi truck and trailer hauling 12 large round hay bales had caught on fire. Akron Fire Chief Shane Coyle says a wheel bearing in the trailer's wheel had gotten hot and ignited the blaze. In an effort to save the truck and trailer, fire officials pushed the round bales of hay into a roadside ditch and extinguished the flames. Fire officials were on the scene for approximately an hour and a half. The Le Mars Fire Department offered mutual aid by sending a tanker truck to the scene.
Le Mars Fire Department Submits Annual Report
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department submitted its annual report to the Le Mars City Council on Tuesday. The local fire and rescue crew responded to a total of 413 calls in 2014, which over shadows the 360 calls from the previous year. Breaking down the numbers, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to 335 calls within the city limits, and 58 rural calls and 20 times the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department offered mutual aid. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the fire department was called to 13 structure fires, 9 vehicle fires, 37 rescue calls, and 17 grass fires. During the past five years, the total number of calls has been on the increase, with 2014 nearly doubling the number of calls from 2010.
City Parks Department Offers Annual Report
(Le Mars) -- City Parks Department Superintendent, Brad Eppling, delivered the parks department annual report on Tuesday. Eppling told the city council that considering the two floods and the early spring heavy rains, the city parks had a fair year. Eppling reported the city's seasonal help was able to work 40 weeks instead of 29 as was the case in 2013. The Park's Department hired three additional seasonal employees to operate equipment, which allowed the full time employees the opportunity to perform other maintenance. Eppling offered a list of accomplishments for the past year. Among those accomplishments include: grading the golf course to drain water back to Willow Creek instead of holding water when it floods, remodeling jobs at the library, fire station #2 and the police station. The parks department constructed new park signs using recycled materials. The parks department also widened the concrete camper entrance at the municipal park making it easier for campers to enter and exit the campgrounds without hitting the bridge.
Ernst Delivers Response To State Of The Union Address
WASHINGTON (AP) - Freshman Republican Sen. Joni Ernst says the newly empowered GOP-led Congress heard the voters' message in November and will work to change the direction in Washington.
Ernst delivered the GOP response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday evening.
The Iowa senator says Republicans will make Washington focus on Americans' concerns. She is criticizing Obama's health care law as a failed policy.
She says there are issues where the White House and Congress can work together, such as trade and simplifying the tax code.
Smoking Ban Bill For Casinos Introduced In State Legislature
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill has been introduced in the Iowa Legislature that would force casinos to comply with the state's smoking ban.
Casino floors in Iowa are now exempt from following a 2008 law that prohibits smoking in public places. A bill sponsored by Sen. Herman Quirmbach, of Ames, would eliminate that exemption.
Quirmbach said Tuesday there is broad public support for such a change. Democratic Rep. Lisa Heddens, of Ames, says she plans to introduce a similar bill with bipartisan support.
Rep. Guy Vander Linden, a Republican from Oskaloosa, says the bill may have some support, but it will face strong opposition from the casino industry.
A spokesman for Republican Gov. Terry Branstad says the governor favors such a measure and would sign it into law.
Iowans Now Allowed To Register To Vote On-line
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa commission has approved a rule that will allow people with a state driver's license or photo ID to register online to vote.
The Iowa Voter Registration Commission unanimously agreed Tuesday to allow a system that will let qualified voters register on a website. Information from the state Department of Transportation would be imported into voter registration forms that would automatically be forwarded to the state's voter database.
Voters currently fill out a paper application form to register. That system would remain available.
Voter rights groups have said the new system should provide equal access to people without a state driver's license or state-issued ID.
The committee's decision does not require legislative action. The Transportation Department is not expected to have the system ready until early 2016.
Regents Accept Resignation Of Sally Mason
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The board overseeing Iowa's public universities has accepted the resignation of University of Iowa President Sally Mason, who says she'll retire July 31.
The Iowa Board of Regents, meeting Tuesday, also approved Mason's request to remain as a tenured faculty member after her retirement and to be given president emeritus status.
As a tenured faculty member, Mason can earn 60 percent of her current salary for a year. The emeritus title allows her to remain active in fundraising until a new president is named.
The board also approved a motion to hire a search firm, select a search committee and set a timetable to search for a new president.
Board members praised Mason's 8-year tenure as president particularly her fundraising acumen and ability to rebuild campus after 2008 flooding.
Des Moines Police Charge Two With Child Endangerment
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police have arrested two people on charges of child endangerment after finding an 8-month-old girl in an apartment closet near a rifle and ammunition.
Authorities say 27-year-old Philip Barber and 22-year-old Kelsey Kenworthy were arrested Tuesday. Police reports say the two also showed signs of drug use.
Reports say officers initially responded to a report of screaming and crashing sounds coming from the home. Upon entering, reports say police searched the bedroom to find exposed, used syringes and the girl in a car seat in a closet next to a loaded semi-automatic rifle.
Police contacted family services, which then transported the girl to Broadlawns Medical Center for evaluation.
Barber and Kenworthy were placed on $2,000 bond each. Calls to attorneys went unanswered.