Tuesday Afternoon News, March 25
(Updated) -- House Fire Near Hinton Displaces Family Of Four
(Hinton) -- A house fire occurred early this morning at 29254 County Road K-22. west of Hinton. The Hinton, Merrill, and the Le Mars Fire Departments all responded to the two-story house structure fire. Hinton Fire Chief Chad Beck says the fire was detected at about 3:35 a.m.
Beck says the fire appears to have started in the garage area and quickly moved to the attic of the house.
Beck says the home is a total loss.
The Hinton Fire Chief says the American Red Cross has been notified and has contacted the family to offer assistance. Four people were at the home at the time the fire was detected, and as Chief Beck says, fortunately, all were able to escape the burning inferno.
School Board Approves Contract For New Playground And Infrastructure Finance Plan
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education approved the bid and contract to construct playground equipment at all three Le Mars Community elementary schools. The School Board made its decision last evening during their regular meeting. National Playground of Carlisle, Iowa submitted a winning bid of $364,596 to dismantle existing playground equipment, perform needed landscape to the school grounds, and construct the new playground equipment. In its bid, National Playground indicated they would use some local subcontractors for the project. The Le Mars Community School Board also approved the 2014-2015 Infrastructure Finance Plan totalling $1,775,000. Included in the plan is the purchase of two new school buses, remodeling of the concession stand at the football stadium, new energy efficient windows for Franklin elementary school, sealant for the stadium, new lighting for the Little theatre, high school lockers, carpeting and flooring, a replacement of the Franklin elementary boiler burner, and the replacement of steps and retaining wall at the Education Service Center.
Senator Says Session Will Not End Until Branstad Answers Questions About Juvenile Home
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Senate Democrat says this year's session will continue until Gov. Terry Branstad provides information about the Iowa Juvenile Home, which he closed in January.
Sen. Steve Sodders of State Center says Tuesday lawmakers sought information from Branstad more than two months ago about how the state cares for troubled girls and the administration's plans for treating delinquent juveniles.
Sodders says there's been no response.
The Democratic-led Senate passed a bill re-establishing a state-owned facility for girls, but it has since been declared dead.
In response to a lawsuit filed by Sodders and other lawmakers, a judge also ruled Branstad can't unilaterally close the home.
Branstad closed the home in Toledo following allegations children were improperly treated.
Sodders says the legislative session won't end until an agreement is reached.
Borlaug Statue Dedicated At Nation's Capitol
WASHINGTON (AP) - The scientist credited with agriculture's so-called "Green Revolution" has a permanent home in the U.S. Capitol.
Lawmakers unveiled a statue of Norman Borlaug on Tuesday in a ceremony on what would have been his 100th birthday. Borlaug died in 2009.
The Iowa native and University of Minnesota graduate is credited with saving as many as 1 billion people from hunger by creating a type of wheat that was disease-resistant and high-yielding. His work won him the 1970 Nobel Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
Borlaug's statue will serve as one of two for Iowa in the Capitol and will replace one of James Harlan, a former senator friend of Abraham Lincoln. It had been in place for more than 100 years.
FEMA Offers Settlement To Des Moines For Flood Lawsuit
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines Waterworks board is scheduled to consider a settlement offer of more than $2 million from the federal government to resolve a lawsuit over flood repair funding approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and later withdrawn.
The utility filed the lawsuit last year after FEMA withdrew $7.6 million in approved disaster funding to help repair damage along the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers caused by the 2008 flood.
FEMA approved money in 2010 but rescinded it in 2011 after the waterworks agency had already spent $2 million. FEMA concluded after a review that improvements on natural river banks do not meet funding requirements.
Waterworks CEO Bill Stowe says he recommends approval of the $2.17 million settlement offer.
The board is to meet Tuesday afternoon to consider it.