Friday News, July 24
Ethanol Storage Facility To Be Constructed In Le Mars Industrial Area
(Le Mars) -- An ethanol trans-load storage facility, capable of holding up to 300,000 gallons will be constructed in the Le Mars Industrial Area. Mayor Dick Kirchoff says the facility may be in operation by late 2015. In order to have this facility, the city council made a five-year agreement with Le Mars Public Storage in order to have an easement to Lot number 4 within the Industrial park area. Kirchoff says the new project will mean good news to Le Mars.
Kirchoff says the storage and loading facility will be operated by Plymouth Energy of Merrill. The Le Mars mayor says the new facility will allow the Plymouth Energy to market ethanol through another rail service.
Kirchoff says city leaders have been meeting and planning for this new venture for the last two and a half years. He says a lot of attention was devoted to the safety of the fuel storage and trans-loading facility.
The Le Mars mayor says the new industry would not have been possible if not for the city making an earlier agreement last April with Burlington Junction Short Line Rail Road. Kirchoff says because of the city's commitment to having its own rail line, it will ultimately mean additional industries and businesses settling in Le Mars. Kirchoff says the Burlington Junction Short Line has been very busy since it started last May.
Plymouth County Fair Begins On Wednesday
(Le Mars) -- Wednesday begins the "Best Five Days of Summer" otherwise known as the Plymouth County Fair. The fair will continue through Sunday, August 2nd. Fair board president, Tony Schroeder says attendees of this year's fair will see a new building for commercial exhibits. Schroeder says the old "Hall of 76" was deemed too cost prohibitive to remodel, so the fair board decided to build a new structure.
Advance tickets to the fair will go on sale on Saturday.
Appeals Court Rules Alcohol Consumption Allowed In Parked Car
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa court says people can drink alcohol in their cars as long as they're parked on private property.
The Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday a state law banning open alcohol containers in vehicles doesn't apply to people parked in private lots or driveways.
The ruling followed the August 2013 arrest of 24-year-old Lacey Rose Brown for marijuana possession. She was arrested after Des Moines police spotted an open alcohol container in her car, which was parked in a private lot. Officers searched her car without a warrant and found marijuana.
Her lawyer sought to toss out the evidence, arguing the alcohol didn't violate the law.
A judge disagreed and Brown was convicted.
In an appeal, justices found Iowa's open-container applies only to roads.
Dubuque Woman Says She Can't Administer Cannabis Oil To Son With Epilepsy
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A Dubuque woman says she has a state cannabis card allowing her to give an oil extracted from marijuana to her son, but she's not allowed to do so in his care center.
Instead, Jennifer McFadden says she gives the oil to her 12-year-old son, who has severe epilepsy, twice a day in the facility's parking lot.
She tells the Des Moines Register that the agency which operates the center says it can't allow the oil into the facility. She says the agency told her that federal authorities still consider it a strictly controlled marijuana product.
The company that sends McFadden the oil says it has a large amount of the chemical, cannabidiol, which many families believe can reduce epileptic seizures.
Organizations Combine Efforts To Oppose Oil Pipeline
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A group of organizations from Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota are speaking out as a unified coalition against the proposed Bakken Oil Pipeline project.
The organizations include environmental groups Food and Water Watch and Shawnee Forest Sentinels and social action groups Dakota Rural Action and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.
They want each state's utility regulators to consider testimony and evidence from the other affected states and to look at the financial status of Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company behind the pipeline project. The coalition points out that the company self-insures against accidents and declares in its recent annual report it may not have adequate reserves to cover all future liabilities including known contamination.
A spokeswoman for Energy Transfer Partners did not immediately respond to messages.
Paddle Boat Catches On Fire
CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - About 100 people were evacuated safely when a fire broke out on a paddle wheel boat on Clear Lake.
The fire was reported Thursday morning, just after the Lady of the Lake cruise ship had docked.
About 100 people, including 27 from a care center, were evacuated safety to shore.
Passengers say they saw flames and smoke near the back of the boat as it docked.
The Clear Lake Fire Department says the fire was sparked by exhaust from a generator that ignited a wood column. A crew member put out the fire.
Jon Berhow, the boat's co-owner, says it's unclear when the boat will resume its regular schedule.