Saturday, October 25, 2014
   
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Interstate 29 Open Again

 

 The 16-mile stretch of interstate highway had been closed Since June 9th due to the Missouri River Flooding.  The IDOT did some significant work on the highway including removing tons of debris and hazardous material, scraping the sludge from the roadway surface and hauling it away, power washing the pavement, and making repairs.  Transportation officials say restoring traffic to this section of interstate is critical to the economic recovery of the multi-state region.

(Onawa) -- Now that the Missouri River has receeded, Iowa and Nebraska Transportation officials have had a better opportunity to examine the bridge that crosses the Missouri River and connects Onawa to Decatur.  A new test was performed this week and confirmed a scour hole is still present around the bridge piers, abutment and embankment on the east side of the Missouri River.  The scour hole must be corrected prior to opening the road and bridge.  Work on the project will be performed when conditions at the site permit.  Transportation officials say every effort is being made to restore traffic on the bridge and road this year.


(Undated) -- Traffic safety officials are boosting efforts to curb a growing number of crashes occurring on Iowa's rural roadways.  Highway safety consultant Jan Goldsmith, a retired Iowa DOT employee, says there are too many accidents on rural roads in relation to the amount of traffic on those roads.

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Goldsmith believes farmers, who've driven on gravel roads for years, understand the dangers and tend to drive more defensively.

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Now that the fall harvest is under way, there is a greater chance of having a roadway collision with farm equipment.  Iowa State University Extension Safety Specialist Chuck Schwab reminds people to remember that farm equipment moves at a much slower speed than normal traffic.

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Scwab says motorists also need to be aware of farm equipment that is making left hand turns.  He says sometimes farmers need to swing right in order to make a left hand turn to be certain all the wagons or other equipment has enough room for the left hand turn.  The safety specialist reminds farmers to check your equipment, and to make certain your slow moving vehicle sign is reflective and the amber lights are working.

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 PETERSON, Iowa (AP) - State environmental officials say a manure
spill traced to a hog confinement near Peterson in northwest Iowa
has been linked to a fish kill in a stream near Peterson in Clay
County.
     The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the spill entered
the stream Monday. The DNR found dead creek chubs, minnows,
stonerollers, white suckers and northern pike where the stream runs
through the Bertram Wildlife Area.
     The DNR traced the manure to a 4,000-head hog operation near
Peterson. The wildlife area is directly downstream of the
confinement.
     The DNR says it will continue to monitor the situation and
consider appropriate enforcement.
    

(Hinton) -- The Hinton Fire Department was dispatched to fight a grass fire yessterday afternoon.  Fire was seen in the southwestern portion of Plymouth County at 320th Street and Southridge Road.  Fire officials were able to contain and extinguish the fire within a few minutes.

(Akron) -- At nearly the same time of the Hinton grass fire, Akron's Fire Department was called to fight a corncrib fire.  The fire was at 17756 160th St. Akron Fire officials were able to put that fire out in short order.

(Des Moines) -- Speaking about rural fire departments, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has announced that it has grant money available for Iowa's rural fire departments to help purchase equipment to battle wildfires.  The grants offer funding assistance for wildfire suppression equipment, personal protective equipment an communications equipment.  The Volunteer Fire Assistance Applications are due October 15th.  The grant provides 50 percent reimbursement for a wildland fire equipment with a maximum reimbursement grant of $3,500 per department.  The Wildland Fire Report Form should be submitted as wildland fires are responded to and as prescribed.
    
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu says the department has finalized a $105 million loan guarantee for the development of one of the nation's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plants.  Chu says Friday that Poet LLC expects to produce up to 25 million gallons of ethanol a year using plant waste left in farmers' fields at the plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa. The Sioux Falls-based company estimates the project will fund about 200 construction jobs and 40 permanent jobs.

Chu says in a statement that the project is expect to generate about $14 million in new revenue to area farmers.

LAURENS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a man was injured in an explosion and fire that killed about 1,000 hogs at a confinement in northwest Iowa.  The explosion happened Thursday afternoon north of Plover.  The Pocahontas County sheriff's office says 29-year-old Carlos Castro of Laurens suffered severe burns. He was taken to a local hospital and transferred to University Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.  Hospital spokeswoman Molly Rossiter says Friday she had no information on Castro.  The sheriff's office says a fire engulfed the building. No other details were released on Friday.

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