Thursday News, June 13
Ice Cream Days Heads Into Day 2
(Le Mars) -- It's day two for the Le Mars Ice Cream Days and Chamber president Brad Pick says one of the highlights for the 27th annual celebration is the Primebank ice cream social. It's the 45th time Primebank will host the ice cream social. Pick highlight's Thursday's schedule.
Last evening, more than 100 classic cars convened to the Bob's Drive Inn parking lot to showcase the style and power of the cars from the maltshop era. Cars of all makes and models from the 30's on up to the 70's were on display and were not only from Iowa, but several cars arrived from neighboring states of South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Music from the era highlighted the step back into time when poodle skirts and leather jackets were the common wardrobe. Pick reminds people to take advantage of the displays at the Le Mars Art Center as well as the Plymouth County Historical Museum that will be showcased throughout the entire ice cream days.
Akron and Kingsley Fire Departments Respond To Alarms
(Akron) -- The Akron Fire Department responded to a vehicle accident last evening at about 9:45 p.m. That accident occurred at the intersection of County road K-18 south and Highway 12. No other information regarding the accident is known at this time. Meanwhile, the Kingsley Fire Department responded to an alarm at the Kingsley Nursing and Rehab Center. That alarm was sounded at 6:10 a.m. this morning. Kingsley Fire Chief Scott Bohle explains the situation.
Kingsley fire officials were on the scene for approximately 20 minutes.
Le Mars Community Schools Review Insurance Coverage
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District now has over $58 million dollars worth of property that is insured. School officials recently discussed their insurance coverage during their regular monthly meeting held on Monday. Rob Bixemann of Bixemann Insurance Company briefed the local school board informing them their insurance premiums would increase, primarily due to the addition of facilities, including the new gymnasium and adjoining classrooms.
The school district will see an increase of nearly $10,000 in the annual premium going from $33,470 for the school year 2012-2013 to the new rate of $43,462 for the upcoming school year.
The local insurance agent explained that part of the increase is due to several schools throughout Iowa having reported claims due to storms within the past few years.
Bixemann cited Maple Valley at Mapleton and Council Bluffs as two examples. Maple Valley's school suffered damage from a tornado and Council Bluffs had suffered severe hail damage. One area the Le Mars Community School District saw an improvement was with worker's compensation coverage.
Tornadoes Hit Eastern Iowa
BELMOND, Iowa (AP) - Weather officials say multiple tornadoes have touched ground in northern Iowa, causing damage to homes and businesses.
The National Weather Service says spotters reported Wednesday at least two tornadoes on the ground alongside one another near Hampton in Franklin County.
Another tornado was reported near Belmond in nearby Wright County. Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management says there are several reports of damage to homes and businesses.
Homeland spokeswoman Stephanie Bond says there are no reports of injuries or deaths.
An unusually massive line of storms Wednesday packing hail, lightning and tree-toppling winds is expected to affect states from Iowa to Maryland.
Restaurant Suffers Damage From Tornado
BELMOND, Iowa (AP) - The owner of a restaurant in northern Iowa says a tornado has "demolished" part of his business.
Duwayne Abel, owner of Cattleman's Steaks and Provisions in Belmond, says a tornado swooped in Wednesday through his business' parking lot. He says the south side of the building is "pretty much demolished."
Abel says no one was in the restaurant when the tornado hit. He says his wife and an employee were able to get away and seek shelter in a basement.
The National Weather Service says emergency officials have reported damage in Belmond, but the extent of it is unclear.
Assessment Teams To Examine Damage
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Storm assessment teams will be heading out to Wright and Franklin counties to assess the power of tornadoes that damaged homes and businesses.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Lee says no reports of injuries from Wednesday's storms have reached his office in Des Moines. Lee says the tornado reports haven't been confirmed yet, but several photos clearly show funnel clouds.
The storms also caused damage to the east in Bremer and Dubuque counties.
Lee says damaging golf ball-size hail was reported around 7:50 p.m. about a mile west of Readlyn and in Dubuque a little after 8:20 p.m. A 60 mph wind gust was reported in Dubuque County.
Alliant Energy says more than 300 customers remain without power in northern and eastern Iowa, down from more than 2,700 Wednesday night.
Memorial Service Scheduled For Today For Missing 15 Year Old Girl
BOXHOLM, Iowa (AP) - A memorial service has been scheduled for a 15-year-old Iowa girl who was kidnapped and remained missing for more than two weeks before her body was discovered in a river.
A public service for Kathlynn Shepard is set for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Southeast Webster-Grand Middle School gymnasium in Boxholm. She was a ninth grade student at the school district about 60 miles north of Des Moines.
Authorities say Kathlynn and a younger friend were coerced into a pickup on May 20 in Dayton by registered sex offender Michael Klunder. He hanged himself after the younger girl escaped. It remained unclear for more than two weeks what had happened to Kathlynn.
Her body was found June 7 in the Des Moines River near Boone.
Branstad Signs Property Tax Reform Bill Into Law
HIAWATHA, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law designed to cut property taxes for Iowa businesses.
Branstad held a bill-signing event Wednesday afternoon at Hawkeye Ready-Mix, a concrete supplier with plants in several eastern Iowa locations. He says the law will "make it easier for Iowa businesses to invest in growth."
The measure Branstad signed represents a compromise between Senate Democrats and House Republicans. It will reduce taxable assessments for commercial properties and offer tax credits geared
at small businesses.
The measure also limits the amount that residential and agricultural property values can increase and offers some income tax breaks.
Some local government officials are predicting the new law will cause them to lose tax revenues. But Branstad says they should get enough money.
Judge Moves BPI Lawsuit Against ABC News Back To Union County
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A federal judge has moved a South Dakota beef processing company's lawsuit against ABC News for defamation back to state court.
Beef Products Incorporated sued ABC News for defamation over its coverage of a meat product that critics dub "pink slime." The company is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.
ABC argued that two of the companies listed in the lawsuit, BPI Technology Incorporated and Freezing Machines Incorporated, are not true parties and the case should be thrown out.
But BPI argued that all three companies have a stake in making the product called lean, finely textured beef.
Judge Karen Schreier on Wednesday ordered the case back to the circuit court in Union County.
Pella To Receive $1 Million Grant For Sports Park
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state has awarded a $1 million grant for a sports park in Pella.
The Vision Iowa Board approved the grant Wednesday at a meeting in Des Moines.
The money will go toward a $7.6 million project that includes four Little League fields, a Babe Ruth field and five multi-purpose fields on 105 acres. A concession stand, batting cages, playground
and picnic area also are planned.
The state grant is contingent on organizers completing fundraising within 30 days.