(LeMars) — The Merrill and Hinton Fire Departments were called to a fire on Christmas Eve day. The fire started as a garbage fire but quickly spread as a grass fire. The Merrill Fire Department responded to the fire at about 1:00 Saturday afternoon. Shortly after arriving at the fire located at 20168 250th Street, they had requested assistance from the Hinton Fire Department. The fire departments were on the scene for about an hour.
(Orange City) — Two people were arrested on Christmas Eve afternoon by the Sioux County Sheriff’s office for drug violations following a traffic stop. The incident occured on Highway 75, just south of Sioux Center. Arrested were 21 year old Amber Wichers of Sioux Center. She was wanted for a Plymouth County arrest warrant. She was later charged with an OWI for the second offense, which is an aggravated misdemeanor and possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor.
Also arrested was 20 year old Randy Kirsch of South Sioux City Nebraska. He was a passenger in the car and was arrested for furnishing a controlled substance into a detention facility, a class D felony, possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.
(Orange City) — On Christmas Day at about 11:00 a.m. the Sioux County Sheriff’s office arrested 21 year old Erica Olivarez-Gomez of Sioux Center for introducing a controlled substance to a detention facility, a class D felony. Olivarez-Gomez had been arrested earlier in the day by a Sioux Center Police Officer pursuant to an arrest warrant. Upon further investigation by the sheriff’s office, a controlled substance was found among Olivarez-Gomez’ posessions.
(LeMars) — Just as a reminder, many businesses are observing today as part of the Christmas holiday, so that means no mail, no trading of stocks and commodities, the banks will be closed, and locally, the LeMars City Hall, LeMars Chamber of Commerce, the LeMars Public Library will all be closed today.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Public Health has received reports of eight medium to large outbreaks of probable norovirus in at least five counties.
Symptoms of norovirus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. The illness usually begins 24 to 48 hours after exposure and lasts one to two days.
The IDPH says three groups of people became ill after eating at a restaurant where several food handlers had also been sick. Outbreaks were also associated with events like holiday parties and holiday potlucks.
Medical director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says if a person has had any stomach illness, he or she should not prepare food of any kind for others until 48 hours have passed since his or her recovery.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The director of the Iowa Department of Education says he’s willing to be patient with his plan to overhaul the state’s public school system.
Governor Terry Branstad chose 40-year-old Jason Glass largely because of his background in education reform, and since coming to Iowa he has been leading the push for dramatic changes to the state’s public schools.
Glass proposed a 15-page package of proposals that would shake up the school system.
Although Branstad has temporarily shelved a proposed tiered system of teacher pay, Glass noted that other aspects of his reform plan will move forward. That includes efforts to improve teacher education and recruitment efforts and refine teacher and student evaluation programs.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Some people, advocacy groups and Iowa school districts have been seeking innovative ways to battle bullying of students.
A website being launched this month, https://ReportBullyingIowa.com, will take reports from students and parents and forward the reports to school districts.
The website is run by the Eychaner Foundation, a Des Moines nonprofit group that says it wants to promote tolerance and nondiscrimination.
Iowa law requires school districts to report bullying cases to the Iowa Department of Education. But last year, more than half of Iowa school districts didn’t report any bullying.
Foundation executive director Michael Bowser says there are many reasons for why reports aren’t being made, but he says the website could make it easier to report bullying.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Several cities in Nebraska and Iowa made Farmers Insurance’s lists of the safer and most secure places to live in the country.
The insurer ranked cities of different sizes based on crime rates, natural disaster risks, environmental hazards, car accidents, unemployment, housing depreciation and other factors.
In the category for cities with at least 500,000 residents, the Omaha-Council Bluffs, Iowa, metro area ranked eighth, and Des Moines, Iowa, ranked 19th.
Among cities with between 150,000 and 500,000 residents, Lincoln ranked eighth.
Among smaller cities with fewer than 150,000 people, Iowa City, Iowa, ranked 19th and Sioux City, Iowa, came in 20th.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – The number of pedestrians hit by a car
is on the rise in Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Transportation says there have been 23 pedestrian deaths statewide since January. That’s up from 19 deaths in 2010.
Department spokeswoman Dena Gray-Fisher says pedestrians and drivers need to be more aware, no matter how they’re using the roads.