(AKRON) Akron fire fighters filled sand bags as flooding continues along the Big Sioux River.
The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls today (Monday) upgraded the flooding forecast from major to record severity. The Big Sioux River is forecast to crest at 23.5 feet above flood stage by Tuesday. At that level, the higher levees on the Iowa side of the river are in danger of being overtopped, Highway 50 near Westfield will be flooded and the bridge east of Jefferson, South Dakota will be overtopped.
Gary Horton of the city of Akron says the sand bag work with assistance from fire fighters was a precautionary note to be prepared. Horton says dikes are being monitored.
Plymouth County Emergency Management Director Gary Junge emphasizes driver should NOT travel through water covered roads due to the possibilities of washouts.
In Sioux County, The Iowa Department of Transportation reports Highway 10 is closed in both directions at Hawarden because of flooding.
Nature Conservancy bison herd grows to 55
(Westfield) The herd on the largest contiguous tract of native prairie left in Iowa is growing.
Scott Moats of the Nature Conservancy says 12 calves were born this year bringing the bison herd at Broken Kettle Grasslands Preserve, near Westfield, to 55.
The environmental impact of bison instead of cattle on the native prairie is the focus of the Nature Conservancy bison project begun when the animals arrived two years ago this fall.
Moats describes what visitors to the 500-acre fenced in bison area can expect from the herd.
Visitors are welcome.
According to Moats, the area is also known for a rare rattlesnake.
Theft investigation leads to arrest
(REMSEN) A Remsen woman is free on bond after an investigation by Remsen Police and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s office.
Remsen Police contacted the sheriff’s office Wednesday after receiving a report of a theft from a Remsen business, Majeres Foodtown.
After an interview of a suspect about the theft of money from the business, 21-year-old Kelsey Rae Weiler was arrested on a felony charge of theft in the second degree. Weiler is free on bond.
Grassley leads Conlin in Senate race
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines Register poll shows Republican incumbent Charles Grassley with a big lead over Democratic challenger Roxanne Conlin in the U.S. Senate race in Iowa.
The copyright Iowa Poll in Monday’s newspaper shows 61 percent of likely voters would support Grassley, while 30 percent would select Conlin. Three percent would choose Libertarian John Heiderscheit, and 6 percent aren’t sure.
The telephone poll was conducted Sept. 19-22 by Selzer Co. Inc. of Des Moines of 803 adults. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Man accused of slaying in southern Iowa
BLOOMFIELD, Iowa (AP) Authorities have charged a Davis County man with first-degree murder and burglary charges in the shooting death of a man in rural Bloomfield.
Sheriff Dave Davis told The Des Moines Register that Larry Steen is accused of killing Randy Saner last Friday. Davis says someone reported the shooting at about 2:30 a.m. at a house about six miles southwest of Bloomfield.
Officials say Steen was arrested about 2.5 hours later about 20 miles away in Missouri. He was asleep in a truck in a cemetery.
Steen did not fight extradition to Iowa and is being held in the Davis County jail on $500,000 bond. Sheriff’s officials on Monday had no information on whether Steen had an attorney.
6 injured in house explosion in southern Iowa
CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) Police say six people, including five firefighters, have been injured in a house explosion in Centerville in southern Iowa.
Police Chief Tom Demry says emergency crews were called Sunday morning after an electrical transformer blew. He says the house then caught on fire.
Demry says while firefighters were fighting the fire, the house exploded.
According to KCCI-TV, which first reported the explosion, the homeowner was out on a daily walk when the fire started.
Demry says four Centerville firefighters, a firefighter from Mystic and another person who was helping were injured in the blast. He says none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.
Demry says the blast may have been caused by natural gas.
More Iowa schools considering merging districts
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa could see a wave of school mergers as more districts look for financial security.
According to The Des Moines Register, voters in a dozen shrinking rural districts have agreed to merge into six next year. Others are considering the idea.
State incentive money for mergers disappears in 2014.
The number of districts will drop to 353 next year. That’s down from 458 in 1965, when the Legislature passed a law requiring all areas of the state to become part of a school district with a high school.
Unlike the battles over school mergers in the past, the latest mergers have had high voter approval rates in most cases. Some school leaders credit gradual courtships. Others say reality has set in across Iowa, with its stagnant rural population.
Davenport police officer injured in brawl
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) Authorities say three men were arrested after a brawl in downtown Davenport that ended with a fleeing car crashing into a police cruiser, injuring an officer.
WHBF-TV reports three men got into a fight early Saturday at a bar called Skatterkats. The men allegedly started hitting cars and breaking widows with a bat, rocks and bricks.
Police say when officers arrived, the men tried to flee, but hit the police car. The officer suffered minor injuries.
Dameon Bramon, of Davenport, Jermaine Jones, of Rock Island, and Joel Jones, of Chicago, are charged with assault and criminal mischief.
Scott County jail officials say Bramon was released on bond, but Jermaine Jones and Joel Jones remained in jail on Monday. Officials had no information on whether the men had an attorney.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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