Monday Afternoon News, March 31
Hillshire Brands To Keep Workers After Fire
STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) — Hillshire Brands has decided to keep paying hundreds of its plant workers although the company's turkey plant in northwest Iowa remains closed for fire repairs. The March 22 fire in Storm Lake caused a section of roof to cave in, but no injuries have been reported. The fire cause is being investigated.Hillshire's group human resources manager Tim Steffen says it will take at least three months to rebuild that portion of the plan. He says the company also will improve the design of the production floor. The company says it will use as many of its workers as possible to help clean up the site.
Weekend Fire Leaves Congested Traffic In Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Several normally busy streets in downtown Des Moines remain closed following a massive weekend fire at a former department store. Police were blocking traffic Monday on two-block sections of Locust and Walnut streets around the former Younkers building, causing some traffic delays as motorists were detoured around blocks in the heart of the city's downtown. Street closures are expected to continue for at least several days. Firefighters were called to the 115-year-old building early Saturday and could do little more than contain an intense blaze that destroyed the structure. Investigators haven't determined the cause of the fire. The building has been vacant since 2005. A developer was in the midst of a $36 million project to convert the building into apartments.
Florida Man Returns To Iowa For Murder Charge
SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Florida man suspected killing a northwest Iowa man in 2009 has been returned to face a murder charge. Authorities say 54-year-old John Green arrived Friday night and is being held without bond in Sac County Jail. He's scheduled for a hearing next Monday. It's unclear whether he has a lawyer. He was arrested Tuesday at a dog track in Orange Park, Fla. Green is accused of killing 58-year-old Mark Koster, of Sac City. Police say Green briefly lived with Koster in 2009. Relatives say they last saw Koster that year. Koster was reported missing in 2010. His skeletal remains were found buried in the basement of his Sac city home in 2012.