Monday News, May 11
Winds Topple Trees In Le Mars
(Le Mars) -- Strong winds that blew in Le Mars Sunday afternoon caused several trees to topple, especially in the southeast part of town. A tree landed on a parked van at 823 4th Avenue Southeast, at 420 South Lynn a tree was uprooted and hit a garage and house. At 507 Lee Drive a tree fell on some power lines, causing a small fire, prompting the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department to respond. Another tree fell on a fence or dog kennel at 906 4th Avenue southeast. Several smaller branches were down throughout the town. Plymouth County Sheriff's Department said there were no reports of damage in rural Plymouth County.
Tornadoes Touch Down In Lake City And Pocahontas County
(Des Moines) -- Severe storms have prompted reports of tornadoes in central Iowa.
Meterologist Frank Boksa with the Des Moines office of the National Weather Service says an apparent tornado hit Lake City, in Calhoun County, on Sunday night and authorities have reported structural damage and uprooted trees.
Boksa says a school was damaged and multiple roofs were blown off houses. There were no immediate reports of fatalities or injuries.
A tornado was also reported in Pocahontas County.
Two-inch hail and wind gusts of 70 mph were reported.
Le Mars Community School Board To Meet This Evening
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education is scheduled to meet this evening. The school board will hear reports from each of the principals. The school board will also discuss Senior Awards Night scheduled for Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m. in the new high school gym. The school board will also discuss the Commencement exercises, which will be held on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. The school board is scheduled to discuss the Le Mars Community School District Foundation Chamber Coffee that will be held on Wednesday, May 20th beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Education Service Center. The school board will acknowledge school employees that will be leaving during a employee recognition coffee scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Friday, May 22nd at the High School cafeteria. During this evening's school board meeting, the board will be presented with a preliminary list of considerations regarding the request by the Remsen-Union Board of Education regarding a one-way sharing arrangement. May is recognized as School Board Recognition Month, and Superintendent of school, Dr. Todd Wendt will present board members with certificates of appreciation for their service. The school board will act upon two resignations and three contracts. The school board will also review some revisions for the 2015-2016 Student Handbook as well as discuss school fees.
Two Of Branstad's Priority Bills Remain Unpassed
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two of Governor Terry Branstad's key priorities remain unresolved as the Iowa Legislature winds down this session.
Branstad announced in January that he wanted lawmakers to update Iowa's anti-bullying law and pass legislation to expand high-speed Internet.
The Senate approved an anti-bullying bill but it remains in limbo in the House. A broadband bill passed in the House but it's still making its way through the Senate.
Time is running out to advance the bills. While lawmakers are at odds over the budget for the next fiscal year, party leaders are expected to reach compromise soon, which could quickly lead to adjournment.
Branstad prioritized both issues last year, but they failed to garner enough support. He told reporters Thursday he's still hopeful this year's bills will reach his desk.
Farmers Nearly Completed With Spring Planting
(Spencer) -- Northwest Iowa farmers are nearing completion of planting corn, and many are also finishing up with their soybean planting. Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist for Northwest Iowa, Paul Kassel says this spring has provided excellent conditions for field work.
At this time of year, many farmers are concerned about the migration of cut worms coming from the south, that tend to feed on new emerged corn. But, Kassel says that has not been a problem as of yet.
Life Skills Training Center To Hold Banquet And Awards Program
(Le Mars) -- Life Skills Training Center of Le Mars, a facility that assists mentally challenged adults, will hold its annual banquet and awards program on Monday evening. Shelly Thomson, the Marketing and Development Director says at this year's banquet, Life Skills will unveil its new website, and present awards to retiring board member, Wayne Pick, and the organization's outstanding client.
Benzene Found In Air Samples Of Woodbury County Law Enforcement Center
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - New concerns are being raised about the air quality inside a northwest Iowa jail that was built on the site of a former gas station.
Officials are looking at ways to address the concerns at the Woodbury County Law Enforcement Center.
Health officials have been monitoring conditions for years with regular tests, but a test performed in the building last fall showed elevated levels of benzene.
Officials thought the problems were solved in 2003 when an air filtration system was added, but the recent tests suggest more steps might be needed.
Matthew Graesch with the state Department of Natural Resources says officials are looking for a better long-term solution to make sure petroleum vapors won't cause problems.
Des Moines Authorities Search For Missing Boy
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities are searching the Des Moines River for a 12-year-old boy who disappeared while swimming Saturday evening.
Emergency responders were called shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday after Abou Sheriff failed to resurface.
Sheriff had been swimming with three other kids - ages 9, 11 and 12 - on the north side of the Des Moines River. He jumped in but didn't resurface.
Dan Burke with the Des Moines Fire Department says rescuers were having a hard time finding the boy because the water in the area is nearly 15-feet-deep.