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Saturday News, January 25

Roll Over Accident Send Two To Hospital

(Le Mars) -- Two people were transported to Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars following a one vehicle roll-over accident that occured at about 2:45 p.m. Friday.  The accident happened on Lynx Avenue near 250th Street, about five miles south of Le Mars.  The Plymouth County Sheriff's Department is investigating the accident, but it appears the Hummer vehicle over compensated after hitting loose gravel.  The passenger side tires were in the east shoulder, then the driver yanked the vehicle back onto the roadway and entered the west ditch causing it to roll over on its top.  The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department along with the Le Mars Ambulance responded to the accident scene.  The two injured people were the driver, 36 year old Molly Bixemann of Le Mars, and a 14 year old female also of Le Mars.


School Board To Hold Informational Retreat

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education has scheduled an informational business retreat for Monday.  Board directors and administration officials will examine Le Mars Community's Career and Technical Education program, early literacy, teacher leadership, and technology integration.  The retreat is will be held at the Education Service Center and is scheduled for four hours and will begin at 4:00 p.m.


Propane In Short Supply - Prices Soar

(Le Mars) -- Propane users are finding the product to be in short supply, and as a result, prices are sky-rocketing, jumping up $2 a gallon in three days.  Hank Jessen owns Johnson Propane of Battle Creek, Iowa.  He says last Friday (January 17) the price was at $1.89 per gallon.  Today, he is selling propane at $3.99 a gallon, and expects the price to continue to climb, until the current situation stabilizes.  Jessen says there are numerous reasons for the shortage of propane, dating back to the fall when farmers needed propane to dry their grain.

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Jessen says some propane suppliers are asking for cash up front on delivery of propane.  Jessen says another factor is the limiting of propane to reach its destinations due to regulations, which in many cases have now been waived.

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The propane dealer says within the next few weeks, there could be instances of livestock producers and homeowners who will not be able to acquire enough propane for their heating purposes.  He says it may depend upon their supplier and the allocation of propane

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Because of the shortage of propane, Jessen says he has been receiving phone calls from people outside his normal marketing area.  But he says he is first offering service to his long-term customers.

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Jessen says he has not yet encountered any problems with obtaining propane for his customers.  Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley has asked the Federal Trade Commission for more oversight of the propane market "to prevent possible anti-competitive behavior or illegal manipulation."


National Guard To Close Centerville Armory

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa National Guard is closing an armory in the southern Iowa city of Centerville.
     The Guard announced in a news release Friday night that officials had decided to immediately close the armory after studying its force and infrastructure needs. The 21,000 square foot Centerville armory was built in 1992.
     The 50-member Company A, 224th Engineer Battalion had been assigned to the armory. It has been moved to Fairfield.
     The Iowa National Guard has been making changes since 2000 in an effort to close outdated armories, consolidate units and improve facilities. The Guard also has closed armories in Atlantic, Chariton, Clarinda, Eagle Grove, Glenwood, Hampton, Jefferson, Mapleton, Newton, Sioux Center and Villisca.
     Armories usually are offered to local communities.


Authorities Identify Dead Inmate At Truck Wash

 SULLY, Iowa (AP) - Officials have released the name of an Iowa inmate who died while working at a truck wash business.
     Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta says 26-year-old Willie Mercer was pronounced dead Tuesday at Sully Truck Wash in Sully.  Officials have not determined his cause of death.
     Two other employees were found unconscious near Mercer inside a tank trailer. They were hospitalized.
     One of the two hospitalized employees was a another inmate. Thirty-six-year-old Justin Hurdel was discharged Thursday from University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Additional information about the third employee is not available.
     Scaletta said in a news release Friday that Mercer and Hurdel were two of four inmates from a minimum security facility in Newton working for the business at the time.


Marshalltown Woman Charged With Child Endangerment

 MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - A Marshalltown woman has been accused of letting her two children live within close reach to dangerous items like knives, syringes and dog feces.
     The Marshalltown Police Department says officers were recently sent to the home of 22-year-old Shelby L. Peak to conduct a search warrant on a separate case of alleged stolen property. Capt. Mike Hanken says officers found daggers, glass methamphetamine pipes with residue and other dangerous items within reach of a 1-year-old and 3-year-old.
     Peak was arrested and the children were placed in protective custody.  Peak was charged Wednesday with two counts of child endangerment. She also faces a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.
     Peak has been appointed a public defender, but court records do not list her attorney's name.


Authorities Release Additional Information About Fire That Claimed Five Lives

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are piecing together what happened at a northeast Iowa house where five bodies have been recovered after a fire. 
     The fire in Arlington early Friday left just a charred pile of smoking metal and siding. Ron Humphrey with the fire marshal's office says there's not much evidence left to determine the cause. 
     The victims are believed to be three adults and two children. Humphrey says autopsies will determine if any foul play was involved.
     He says the house was owned by a man who rented out part of it to others.
     Arlington is in Fayette County, about 125 miles northeast of Des Moines.


Insurance Symposium To Attrack Global Leaders

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Keynote speakers at a global insurance symposium scheduled for May in Des Moines will include high ranking insurance officials from Japan and India.
     Gov. Terry Branstad says Japan's Vice Commissioner Masamichi Kono and the chairman of India's Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, T.S. Vijayan will lead the speakers at the event.
     Also included will be retired U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, who is now the CEO of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 
     The symposium, to focus on the changing regulations in the international insurance marketplace, is scheduled for May 20 through May 22.  
     The privately-funded symposium is the result of collaborative work between the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart.


Iowa And Minnesota Team Up Together For Lottery

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota and Iowa state lotteries have unveiled a new two-state game in which players win by matching all of the numbers - or none of them.
     All or Nothing players will choose 12 numbers from a pool of 24. A $1 ticket gives players a shot at a top prize of $100,000.
     Minnesota State Lottery Director Ed van Petten says the two-state effort is a novel concept. He says the bigger population base makes the game work better.
     His Iowa counterpart, Terry Rich, says it's a game for people who never match anything in lottery drawings.
     All or nothing debuts Tuesday. There will be two drawings every day. One hitch is that the top prize will be divided if more than seven tickets win in any one drawing. 








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