Wednesday News, February 3
Blizzard Conditions Continue To Hamper Northwest Iowa
(Le Mars) -- Winter blizzard conditions continue to occur for northwest Iowa, and Plymouth County causing many schools to either be closed, or try for a late start. Because of that blowing snow, road crews are finding it difficult to keep roads open. The latest road condition report from the Iowa Department of Transportation still shows all roads in northwest Iowa are covered with snow and ice and travel is not recommended. Interstate 29 northbound from Sioux City to Sioux Falls remains closed. Highways 3, 60, 75, 20, 59, 71, 18 and 9 are all covered with snow and ice, and according to the Iowa D-O-T visibility is low with white out conditions happening throughout the area. In addition to Interstate 29 being closed, I-35 northbound near Ames and I-80 westbound near Omaha are both closed due to jackknifed semi trucks and trailers. Highway 3 between Le Mars and Akron continues to have blockage. Yesterday, a state snowplow had gotten stuck, and two Plymouth County sheriff's vehicles were also stuck in the deep snow. Late Tuesday afternoon, Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo had declared that no traffic, other than for emergencies, was to travel westbound on Highway 3. Highway 3 still remains blocked and impassable for both directions. Plymouth County Sheriff's office confirmed a tow ban is still in effect for this area, meaning tow trucks are being advised not to rescue any stranded motorist until such time visibility improves.
Two Wisconsin Men Arrested In Storm Lake On Murder Charges
STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Two Wisconsin men are facing homicide charges after police and FBI officers arrested them in Storm Lake.
23-year-old Sergio Ortiz-Raygoza and 22-year-old Eric Salazar-Mota, both of Beloit, Wisconsin, were arrested Sunday on homicide warrants in connection to the January shooting death of a 5-year-old in Beloit.
Police say the boy was shot by people targeting his father, who was driving a vehicle.
Salazar-Mota also had multiple warrants out of Wisconsin, including a federal warrant for flight to avoid prosecution.
Officers and FBI officials arrested the two suspects late Sunday. Both remained Tuesday in Buena Vista County Jail pending extradition.
Wisconsin court records show both men were charged with first-degree intentional homicide Monday. Records didn't list attorneys who could be reached for comment.
Buena Vista Authorities Warn Public Of Telephone Scams
(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office wants to warn the public of more telephone scams that have been recently reported. The Sheriff's Office received a complaint that an Alta resident had been scammed out of nearly $2,000. The caller reported that he represented a collection agency and that the man's wife owed money to the State of Iowa, and if he did not pay, a warrant would be issued for his wife's arrest. Sheriff Kory Elston wants the public to know that if anyone calls and demands a payment and threatens that a warrant will be issued for someone's arrest, it is a scam. Authorities say they have reports of people claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service and have threatened to have arrest warrants issued. Sheriff Elston says this is not the way that the State of Iowa or the IRS conducts business. Elston says if you have these types of calls please take their information and then report it to law enforcement.
Democratic Party Being Criticized For Handling Of Caucus Reporting
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Four years after the Iowa Republican Party was criticized for mishandling an extremely close caucus, Democratic Party leaders are facing scrutiny over how they ran the state's signature event.
The tight contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on Monday has highlighted the complicated process Democrats use to determine the winner and the bumpy road they take to get there.
Organizers reported overcrowded meeting rooms and delays caused by long lines of people registering to vote. Some precinct chairs initially failed to report results due to errors or technological glitches, leaving the nation waiting for a winner to be declared until Tuesday.
Clinton was named the winner Tuesday after winning by less than four "state delegate equivalents" out of 1,405, the measurement the party uses to calculate caucus-goers' preferences.
Supply Managers Show Slight Improvement To Midwest Economy
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - January results from a survey of supply managers in nine Midwest and Plains states suggest some improvement in the regional economy but not enough to generate optimism.
A report issued Monday says the Mid-American Business Conditions Index jumped to 48.3 in January from 39.5 in December - the first increase in six months.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says falling agriculture and energy commodity prices and global economic uncertainty continue "to restrain supply managers' expectations of future economic conditions."
The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests economic growth. A score below that suggests decline.
The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Cattle Producers Concerned Over Volatile Futures Trading
(Rock Valley) -- Last week cattle producers from across the nation gathered in San Diego, California for the National Cattlemens Beef Association convention and annual meeting. One of the issues that was discussed at great length was the recent action of volatility market prices in the cattle futures. Kent Pruismann, a cattle producer from Rock Valley, and a former president of the Iowa Cattlemen Association attended the San Diego conference and he says officials of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange were invited to explain to cattle producers why the markets were acting like a yo-yo.
Pruismann says once the CME officials shared data from the trading activity within the time period in question, many producers had a different opinion.
The Sioux County cattle producer says the volatile trading happened during the last three months of 2015 and with the markets moving limit up and limit down, sometimes within the same day, it created a scenario making it difficult for cattle producers to utilize futures trading as an effective risk management tool.