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Friday News, March 13

Fire Destroys Hog Barn

(Le Mars) -- Fire fighters from four communities responded to a hog barn that caught on fire overnight. Le Mars, Merrill, Hinton and Oyens were called at about 2:40 a.m. and still remain at the scene, at a hog barn located about six miles south of Le Mars on County road K-49.  Fortunately, there were no hogs in the facility during the fire as owner Joe Kessnich says he recently transported his hogs to market within the past week.  The structure which measures 50 feet by 160 feet is listed as a total loss.  Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the fire is thought to have started in the office area.

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Schipper says the building was already showing signs of weakness when fire fighters arrived on scene.

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Joe Kessenich says he had internal alarms that alerted him of possible troubles.

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Schipper estimates the fire was burning for perhaps 45 minutes before fire fighters were notified.  He figures more than 10,000 gallons of water was used to battle the blaze.  The fire remains under investigation and at this point in time, Schipper says he doesn't know the cause of the fire.  

 

Farmers Getting Ready To Begin Spring Field Work

(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.

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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.

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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.

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Grassley Blames Obama Administration For Ferguson Civil Unrest

(Washington) -- U-S Senator Chuck Grassley blames the Obama Administration and the Justice Department for the civil unrest and troubles found in Ferguson, Missouri.  This, after two police officers were shot Wednesday evening during a protest at the Fergusson Police headquarters. The incident is the latest in a series of protests and riots after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed African-American male following a burglary of a convenience store.  Grassley told KLEM news during his weekly news conference the federal government should have done things differently to help settle emotional racial tensions.

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Next week, the U-S Senate has scheduled to vote on the Attorney General nominee, Loretta Lynch.  Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, believes she is well qualified to be the next Attorney General, however, he says he will vote against Lynch.

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Storm Lake Teen Arrested For Making Threats

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A Storm Lake city official says a high school student is facing charges after he tried to hit another student and said he would come back to school with a gun to end an argument. 
     Public Safety Director Mark Prosser says the 16-year-old was arrested at his home and is charged with multiple felonies, including making terroristic threats and assault. 
     Officials say the teenager was restrained after attempting to assault the other student on Thursday, but later broke free. He also is suspected of hitting a teacher with a chair. 
     Officials were unsure if the suspect left the school afterward. The high school and a neighboring community college were placed on a brief lockdown as a precautionary measure.

 

House Passes Bill To Have Women View Ultrasound Before Deciding To Have Abortion

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill that would require women in Iowa to have an ultrasound before an abortion has passed in the House after several hours of debate, but it's unlikely the legislation will advance in the Senate.
     The House voted 57-39 Thursday for the bill, which would require a physician to perform an ultrasound on a woman and offer her a description and image of the ultrasound. A physician not complying with the requirement could face fines.
     The bill led to hours of debate on the House floor, including the introduction of dozens of proposed changes to the bill. Democrats repeatedly criticized the legislation, while some Republicans said it would give a woman complete information before an abortion.
     It's unlikely the Democratic-controlled Senate will approve the bill.

 

Fantasy Sports Bill Is Passed By Senate

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Senate has passed a bill that would allow a person in Iowa to win money in fantasy sports contests.
     The Senate voted 32-16 to approve the bill Thursday. It now heads to the House, where lawmakers are considering a similar bill.
     Current law allows people in Iowa to participate in fantasy sports contests, but they can't win prizes. This bill would allow winnings.
     Fantasy sports contests typically let participants build teams online that compete against other user-generated teams.
     A similar bill failed in the Senate last year. Democratic Senator Jeff Danielson, chairman of the state government committee, says the bill would align with laws in over 40 other states.
     Some lawmakers expressed concern about the out-of-state companies running fantasy sports contests and the amount of money they may collect.

 

Ames Woman Selected To Lead Council Bluffs Iowa National Guard Unit 

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A woman from Ames has been promoted to become the first woman in a management position for the Iowa Army National Guard's unit in Council Bluffs.
     The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports Lieutenant Alishia Bauman was promoted to captain last month, making her the first female primary staff officer in the history of the Council Bluffs unit. Bauman began training earlier this week at Camp Dodge, north of Des Moines.
     Major James Avrams, the officer in charge of the Council Bluffs armory, says Bauman proved she's capable of taking on the new role throughout her seven years in the Guard. He says having Bauman in a managerial role "brings a different perspective to an army infantry battalion."
     Bauman says the promotion has been both a thrill and an honor.
 
 

 

 

 

   

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.

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Schipper says the conditions oftens hampers fire fighters efforts to extinguish a grass or field fire.

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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.

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A few weeks ago, the Le Mars Fire Department responded to a grass fire which Schipper says was an interesting sight.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Listen to

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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.

Listen to

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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.


 


   

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