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Thursday News, June 28

Fire Department Responds to Electrical Transformer Explosion

(Le Mars) -- The hot temperatures from yesterday is partially to blame for an electrical transformer that exploded last evening at about 8:00 p.m.  Le Mars Fire officials were dispatched to the area of Holton and 6th Street Southwest.   Surrounding businesses had a brief lost of power, and businesses within the area had their fire alarms sounding as a result of the brief power outage.  Mid American Energy officials assisted the fire department with the call.

ATV Accident Claims the Life of a Segerant Bluff Man

(Sioux City) -- An ATV accident claimed the life of an 81 year old man from Sergarent Bluff.  The accident happened during the early evening hours of Tuesday on a farm near Holly Springs.  Theodore Ericksen was on the ATV doing farm chores when he proceeded down an incline covered in tall weeds.  The accident occurred when the grade became too steep and the ATV rolled.  The Woodbury County Sheriff's office is investigating the accident.

BV Authorities Search River For Possible Drowning Victim

(Storm Lake) -- Buena Vista County authorities are searching the Little Sioux River near the Linn Grove dam for a possible drowning victim.  According to Sheriff Gary Launderville, Storm Lake Police received a report at about 5 p.m. from two male subjects that a friend that they had been with had gone under water and were unable to locate him.  The initial investigation indicates that the missing person was wading in the river, went under water and came back up yelling for help and then disappeared from sight.  The three people that were with this subject attempted to find him, were unable to and drove to Storm Lake to summon help.  Search efforts continued until 8:20 p.m. when efforts were halted for the night.  Recovery efforts will resume today.  The subject is a 30 year old male from Storm Lake.  The name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.  The Iowa D-N-R is assisting with that search.

Bicycle and Truck Crash in Sioux City

(Sioux City) -- The Sioux City Police are investigating an accident between a bicycle and a truck that happened at about 9:30 p.m. last evening at the intersection of 32nd Street and Summit St.  Police have learned that the bicycle was riding down the hill of 32nd Street going west.  The truck appeared to be attempting to turn left onto Summit Street when the accident occurred.  The rider of the bicycle appeared to have some injuries to his head and leg.  The extent of the injuries are unknown at this point.  The driver of the truck was uninjured.  The names have yet to be released.

Climatologist Says There Are Similarities Between Today and 1988

(Ames) -- An Iowa State University Extension Climatologist says there are some similarities between the weather patterns occurring this summer, and the weather patterns that had occurred back in 1988....the last time there was a state-wide drought.  Elwynn Taylor says there are some significant differences for eastern Iowa, but not for western Iowa.

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Taylor says although it has been dry, Le Mars is running close to normal precipitation levels.  He says the next thing to look at is the stress level on the corn as a result of the heat.  Taylor says although in 1988 it was dry there were some areas that did receive some abundant rains, somewhat similar to last week's rains that fell in Woodbury and Monona counties.

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Taylor says in 1988, the hot and dry weather started earlier than this year. 

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The I-S-U climatologist says we are at about half the stress level today as we were on this date in 1988.

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Taylor says records indicate a drought occurs on average every 20 to 25 years.

 

Anti-Gang Prevention Program Ends

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Northwest Iowa's Woodbury County has decided to end a 12-year-old anti-gang program.  The County Board voted Tuesday to eliminate the position of gang prevention specialist. The job had been filled by Leo Miller, who died May 8.  The Juvenile Detention Department hired Miller in July 2000 to coordinate gang prevention training and to work with juveniles in custody.

Mark Olsen, who runs the county Juvenile Detention Center and oversaw Miller's position, says  the  "gangs are not the problems they were in the past."  He says the Sioux City Police Department has a task force to monitor gang activity.

 

Iowa Education Officials Ask for "Freese" On No Child Left Behind

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has asked the federal government for a one-year freeze on state targets under the No Child Left Behind rules.
     The request follows a decision by the U.S. Department of Education last week to deny the state's request for a waiver from key provisions of the act.
     Iowa Education Director Jason Glass says Wednesday's request is a stop-gap measure while the state continues to seek permanent relief from the "unrealistic accountability measures"
     Under the federal law, all children are requested to be at grade level in math and reading by 2014. Schools that don't accomplish that goal face stiff penalties, including mandates to replace staff.
     Glass says he's hopeful a freeze will temporarily stop the "unrealistic targets included in the blame-and-shame policies" of the regulations.

 

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