Home News Monday Afternoon News, February 14th

Monday Afternoon News, February 14th


Bridge Inspector Determines Bridge Is Safe To Re-open Following Fire

(Le Mars) — Le Mars city officials met with a bridge inspector Monday morning to get a better look at the damage that occurred Saturday evening when firefighters responded to a fire beneath the bridge that crosses the Floyd River at the southern edge of town. The fire beneath the bridge between 24th Street southwest, and Exit 116 of Highway 75 was reported at about 10:11 p.m. The fire was an accidental fire that started due to a homeless individual who had been residing beneath the bridge and was wanting to cook and to stay warm.  City Administrator Jason Vacura tells of the bridge inspector’s findings.




Merrill Fire Chief Comments About Friday Evening Fire That Destroyed A Garage And Its Contents

(Merrill) — Firefighters from Merrill, Hinton, and Le Mars responded to a garage fire that was reported Friday evening at about 11:00 p.m.  The fire was reported on Key Avenue in the rural area of Merrill.  Merrill Fire Chief Jacob Conley says the garage structure was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived at the scene. Conley says the residents were home at the time of the fire, and reported the fire.

Unfortunately, the garage, and most of its contents, including two vehicles were destroyed.  The residents were able to save one vehicle from the fire. Conley says firefighters were able to save the home and they were successful in stopping the blaze from spreading to nearby fuel tanks. Conley says Hinton and Le Mars were at the scene for a couple of hours, but the Merrill Fire Department remained at the scene for more than three hours.




Livestock Producers Still Concerned About Nuisance Law Suits And Trespassers Who Want To Videotape Farming Operations

(Le Mars) — Livestock producers wanting to expand their operations and facilities should be concerned with various environmental rules and regulations, that according to a Des Moines lawyer that specializes in rural environmental law.  Eldon McAfee is with the Brick-Gentry law firm, but also is a consultant with the state’s livestock and poultry organizations.  McAfee was a speaker during the recent Iowa Pork Congress held in Des Moines.  McAfee was asked if there are as many nuisance law suits filed now as there were perhaps 20 years ago when Iowa’s livestock industries saw a change in the manner of operations, and many got larger.

McAfee says just because there haven’t been any nuisance lawsuits filed within the last year, doesn’t mean livestock producers should rest on their laurels.  McAfee says livestock producers need to constantly be aware of how their livestock operations affect others.

A concern among livestock producers is when people from the public, trespass on a livestock operation with the goal of secretly videotaping the operations and facilities. McAfee says the legislature has tried to pass bills that address the specific situation. However, many times those bills have been challenged in Iowa courts.

McAfee says Idaho, which has a similar law, is the only state that has had its ruling upheld on the employment segment.  He says if a person lied on their employment application, the livestock producer was within his rights to dismiss an employee who had ulterior motives.  McAfee says a case involving the mentioned scenario was recently dismissed at the Wright County, Iowa District Court.

Many people were perhaps surprised by the Wright County District judge decision to dismiss the case, and wondered what was the reason for the case dismissal.

The attorney believes the issue may again appear before the Iowa legislature, and he thinks lawmakers will try to refine the language to make the bill stronger and not as likely to be subject to court challenges.






Eastern Iowa Flood Chances Near to Below Normal

(Davenport, IA) — The chance of spring flooding in eastern Iowa is “near normal to below normal,” according to the first flood outlook from the National Weather Service in Davenport. Rich Kinney, the warning coordination meteorologist, says, though, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. While the local snowpack is mostly melted, the snowpack in Minnesota hasn’t, and it’s storing an above-average amount of water. Kinney says they’re also looking at additional snowfall and potential heavy rains this spring. Another factor — the ground is only frozen a few inches deep, which will allow melting snow and spring rain to be absorbed, instead of running off into local rivers.




Top Officer on USS Sioux City Relieved of Duty

(Jacksonville, FL) – There’s been a shake-up onboard a U-S Navy Combat Ship named for Iowa’s fourth-largest city. The officer in charge of the U-S-S Sioux City’s gold crew has been relieved of command. Siouxland News, citing a written statement from the Navy, says Commander Bradford Tonder was relieved of his duties based on a “loss of confidence in his ability to perform his duties.” No specifics were provided on what led to that loss of confidence. The U-S-S Sioux City is the first-ever American naval vessel named for the northwestern Iowa city.




Iowa Treasurer Says State May Have Cash for You

(Des Moines, IA) — Inflation is making the dollar not go as far as it used to and that is a good reason for you to be sure you haven’t left any money or property unclaimed. State Treasurer, Michael Fitzgerald, says his office is holding 460 million dollars in assets that belong to others, mostly individuals. But he adds that some of it belong to businesses and to the estates of those no longer living. Last year the state treasurer’s office received 49 million dollars in unclaimed assets. Fitzgerald says their goal is to return every penny, but it comes in so fast they can’t do it. To see if you have unclaimed money or property visit GREAT-IOWA-TREASURE-HUNT-DOT-GOV.