Monday News, July 22
Fair Activities Begin Today
(Le Mars) -- The official start of the Plymouth County Fair is on Wednesday, but there will be plenty of activity happening on the grounds today and Tuesday. Beginning at 9:00 a.m. today is the fairgrounds cleanup. Reduced gate passes for 4-H and FFA members will be between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and then again between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Livestock stall assignments will start at 1:00 p.m. 4-H static exhibits will be entered between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Later this evening at 7:00 p.m. will be the 4-H and FFA Horse Show timed events at the Horse Arena.
Le Mars School Board To Meet This Evening
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will meet this evening. The school board will discuss the Iowa Association School Board's Fiscal Management Conference as well as the upcoming school board election. The school board will discuss legislative priorities for the 2014 legislative session. The local school board is expected to approve a head start transportation agreement with Mid Sioux Opportunity, as well as review and approve shared vocational program agreements with Remsen-Union, and Hinton to allow students from those schools to attend trades and industry classes and vocational agriculture.
Fire And Rescue Department Responds To Motorcycle Accident
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a motorcycle accident with
injuries early Sunday morning. The accident happened near the Bo-Dean's waffle factory at
about 1:20 a.m. early Sunday morning. No other details regarding the accident are known at
Remsen To Restrict Water Usage Beginning Today
(Remsen) -- Beginning today, the city of Remsen will implement its water restrictions. There is to be no watering of lawns between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Remsen residents will follow the odd-even watering schedule, with odd numbered homes allowed to water lawns and gardens on odd calendar days, and even numbered homes can water on even calendar days.
Merrill To Have Water Outages
(Merrill) -- Also, starting today, the residents of Merrill may experience some water outages as construction on 5th street continues. City officials say some of the side streets near 5th Street may also have some water outages in Merrill.
Sibley Explosion Injures Five
SIBLEY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are trying to determine what caused an explosion that injured five people performing electrical work at a manufacturing plant in northwest Iowa.
The Osceola County Sheriff's office says the explosion happened at the Timewell Tile plant in Sibley Saturday morning while workers were switching some power lines to a newer transformer.
Lieutenant Seth Hoffman says five men sustained burns in the accident. Some of the burns were extensive, but authorities didn't immediately release their names so their current condition wasn't
Hoffman says two of the injured workers were employed by Timewell. The other three were employed by Current Electric. Two city workers outside the plant were unhurt.
9-1-1 System Working Again
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's 911 system is working again after a problem that routed some calls to out-of-town call centers.
Problems started Friday evening and continued until Saturday.
The greatest affect was on 911 calls made from cellphones.
David Lingren, executive director of the Iowa Communications Network, says the problem stemmed from faulty equipment in the state-owned fiber-optic system. A vendor tried to install new software to fix the problem, but that worsened the situation.
A backup system also failed to activate.
After working all night, Lingren says most of the system was operating normally by Saturday morning.
Drake Officials Hoping Political Papers Will Attract People
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Drake University officials are hoping a new archive with documents from two longtime Iowa elected officials will provide another reason to lure political junkies to the state.
The private Des Moines-based university recently announced plans to house the official documents of retiring Democratic Senator Tom Harkin and many of the papers from former Republican Governor
The records will eventually go into a new archive and special collections center being constructed in the Cowles Library in the center of campus.
Drake University President David Maxwell says the new archival material will benefit students and professors at the school, where undergraduates frequently assist with faculty research projects.
Maxwell says the archives show that for students interested in politics and research, "you can do real world stuff" at Drake.
Lawyers Question Juvenile Center's Use Of Solitary Rooms
TOLEDO, Iowa (AP) - Human rights lawyers are questioning the Iowa Juvenile Home's use of solitary rooms for teen girls in foster care for months at a time.
The state-run home where as many as 57 youths with behavior issues are treated uses isolation cells and sometimes withholds classroom instruction to control behavior.
Attorney Nathan Kirstein, with Disability Rights Iowa, says the home is violating state and federal rules, but because it's run by Iowa's Department of Human Services no one inspects it.
Iowa Department of Human Services Director Charles Palmer says the use of isolation rooms is warranted at times.
But since questions were raised, the home's superintendent retired. And the new director says now the isolation rooms are used for minutes, not months, at a time.
Vilsack To Visit Iowa Today
AMES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be in Iowa to speak at the Iowa Farm Bureau's 2013 Economic Summit.
Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, will speak Monday afternoon at the event at Iowa State University in Ames.
Vilsack says in a news release that he will discuss the need for a food, farm and jobs bill.
Vilsack says President Barack Obama's administration has prioritized legislation that promotes rural development, preserves a farm safety net, maintains nutrition programs, honors international trade commitments and advances agricultural research.
Wyoming Business Lost To Fire
WYOMING, Iowa (AP) - Firefighters from several departments are battling a blaze that destroyed one business in the eastern Iowa town of Wyoming and damaged several others.
At least nine different fire departments were called in to help battle the fire on Sunday.
The fire started in the building that housed Ted's Swinging Door restaurant. That building was destroyed and several surrounding businesses were damaged, including the Wyoming Museum.
Volunteers carried artifacts out of the museum until firefighters forced them to stop because of the danger.
One firefighter was taken the hospital for treatment, but condition and his name wasn't immediately available.
Jones County Emergency Management Coordinator Brenda Leonard says no one was in the restaurant building when the fire started.
Missing Person Feared Drowned
DECORAH, Iowa (AP) - Authorities believe that someone who was reported missing on the Upper Iowa River this weekend likely drowned.
Rrescue crews were still looking for the person on Sunday. Witnesses say someone went underwater near a dam east of Decorah on Saturday.
The Winneshiek County Sheriff's office says the search resumed Sunday morning after being suspended the previous day because of darkness.
Officials have not said what the missing person was doing before disappearing.