Home News Monday News, April 25

Monday News, April 25



One person was killed in an apartment fire early Monday morning in Sheldon. Tom Traughber reports:



A fire Saturday afternoon destroyed a farmstead 2 miles east of Remsen.
Todd Tentinger with Remsen Fire Department said they received a call of a fire at the Jim and Rosie Staab farm around 1 pm. By the time firemen arrived, the blaze had already spread through the roof of the home.
Tentinger says the fire’s cause was electrical in nature, starting in the northwest part of the house.
There was a total loss of structures – the house, two garages and an outbuilding. The fire caught in the farm’s grove, and firemen were able to keep the fire from spreading into the adjacent field, and away from a stack of corn stalk bales in the path of the fire.
Crews from Remsen, Marcus, Oyens, Granville, Hospers and Alton responded. It took five to six hours to bring the fire under control.



It was a long, difficult, and at times dangerous day for firefighters in Plymouth County Saturday.  LeMars Fire-Rescue Chief Dave Schipper said the first was reported north of LeMars near US Highway 75.

That one jumped US 75 and 130th Street.

One farmstead south of Le Mars was destroyed, and one was partially damaged.  A firetruck was engulfed in flames there, but the two firemen manning the equipment were able to escape without serious harm.

After the US 75 and 130th fire was controlled, Schipper wanted to divert more fire crews to battle the Lake Ave. fire.

Schipper said the Lake Ave fire turned dangerous,

The winds were dangerously strong

It took most of the day and night to bring the Lake Ave fire under control

Fire crews needed thousands of gallons of water to fight the field fires.

The Lake Ave fire produced extensive devastation.

Schipper is thankful for the community’s support of and participation in fighting the field fires.

Thankfully, while there was extensive damage, there was no loss of life.


In both cases, the field fires originated in smoldering burn piles that were whipped into flames by strong winds.  Schipper estimated the winds generated by the fires at up to 100 miles per hour. Peak wind gusts were up to 60 miles per hour at the Le Mars Municipal Airport, and up to 63 miles per hour at the Sioux County Regional Airport near Maurice.  Two field fires were reported Saturday between Ireton and Hawarden.



Former Vice President Mike Pence says he wants Iowans to have a future “grounded in conservative principles.” Pence made his third to Iowa since the 2020 election. On Saturday, he spoke at Iowa G-O-P district conventions in Carroll and Independence, then Saturday night he was the headliner for a Story County G-O-P fundraiser in Ames. Pence delivered the same critiques of the Biden Administration at each stop, blaming the rise in gas prices on Biden’s “war on energy.” He said “President Biden has done more damage to America in 15 months than any president in my lifetime.” Pence joins a line of Republicans who’ve made trips to Iowa, signaling they may compete for the G-O-P’s 2024 presidential nomination.



An all-terrain vehicle accident Friday night  injured a Sioux Center man.  38 year old Preston Kroese was driving the ATV in a field when he lost control and the vehicle rolled. Kroese had to be extricated from the wreckage, and was taken to Sioux Center Health for treatment of injuries.  The Sheriffs Department says alcohol may have been a factor in the crash, and it remains under investigation. The accident occurred around 7-30 pm on 9th St Southwest, a quarter-mile west of Sioux Center.



 While we’re more than a month into spring already, weather and soil conditions have been far from ideal for Iowa farmers to do much in the way of spring planting. Angie Rieck-Hinz , a field agronomist with the Iowa State University Extension in north central Iowa, says a few farmers have started the process, but not many.


Temperatures in the past week rollercoastered from the 20s to the 70s, and just a weekend ago, parts of Iowa got more than four inches of snow. The spring season officially arrived back on March 20th so Rieck-Hinz says it’s no surprise farmers are getting itchy to fire up the tractors.



Recent rains have helped to recharge soil moisture levels in parts of the state that were slipping into drought conditions a year ago.



Rieck-Hinz says farmers need to wait for good conditions before putting corn into the ground so it has a good chance of getting -out- of the ground, adding, even emergence leads to a more consistent yield.



The leader of a group of Iowa mobile home residents advocating for fair housing practices says the mobile homes bill that’s awaiting the governor’s signature won’t help them. Candi Evans of North Liberty is co-chair of the Iowa Manufactured Home Residents’ Network. She says the bill didn’t address any of the group’s priorities, which included a “balance of power” between landlords and residents. Republican lawmakers say they wanted to do more — but this bill is a step forward in protecting Iowans who live in mobile homes.



Governor Kim Reynolds has joined 25 other Republican governors in forming what they call a “Border Strike Force” to deal with crime at the U-S border with Mexico. The governors of Arizona and Texas announced the group’s creation Tuesday. It means law enforcement in those states are to share information about criminal investigations of illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and human trafficking if there are suspicions the activity is connected to Mexico. In a written statement, Reynolds said governors can’t stand idle while President Biden does nothing to stop the crisis at our border, which she says is destroying our country. Progress Iowa, a liberal advocacy group, says the announcement is a stunt to stoke fear about all immigrants and distract from lagging job growth the state.



A new group is working to include a question on the Sioux Falls November ballot that would keep any proposed slaughterhouses outside the city limits.  The effort is aimed at a plan proposed by Nebraska-based pork processor Wholestone Farms to build a 500 million dollar plant near I-229 and East Benson Road.  Citizens for a Sustainable Sioux Falls officials say the project is a “step backwards” and express concerns over the odor, water quality, and affordable housing in relationship to the proposed plant.  The chair of Wholstone’s board says the company has been transparent about the offer and intends to be a good neighbor.