Sunday News, February 9
Hog Barn Destroyed From Fire
(Merrill) -- A heat lamp in a rural Merrill hog barn was responsible for a fire that destroyed the building and killing several hogs. The fire was reported Saturday night at about 9:15 p.m. at 23578 County road K-22, about five miles west of Merrill. Both the Merrill Fire Department and the Le Mars Fire Department responded to the hog barn fire. Merrill Fire Chief Bill Merchant says the building was fully engulfed when fire fighters arrived on the scene. The hog building served as a farrowing unit with nearly a dozen female hogs and their piglets. Merchant says all the hogs within the building had parished.
Merchant says straw was being used as bedding for the hogs, which ignited once the heat lamp came in contact. The Merrill Fire Chief says the fire had spread to a second building that also caught on fire, but fire officials were able to save the second barn from being destroyed. Merchant says the close quarters of the farm made it difficult to get close access to the burning barn.
Merchant says the Merrill Fire Department was holding its annual stag fundraiser Saturday evening, which limited the number of fire officials able to respond to the hog barn fire.
The Merrill Fire Chief could not estimate the value of the barn and hogs that were destroyed due to the fire.
Morningside College Construction On Schedule
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Morningside College in Sioux City is on track to have construction of two new buildings and renovations to its library completed by fall as part of its $13 million Academic Village project.
Morningside President John Reynders tells the Sioux City Journal that the college "is on a roll."
The Academic Village project includes construction of a new classroom building and academic advising center, and remodeling of the Hickman-Johnson-Furrow Learning Center, which houses the college's library. The project is part of Morningside's $50 million "Vision 2020: Transformation II" campaign.
Construction is expected to be complete by October 1st.
Newell Man Arrested For Inappropriate Contact With Child
NEWELL, Iowa (AP) - A northwest Iowa man has been arrested on suspicion of inappropriate contact with a 9-year old girl.
23-year old Aaron Hazen of Newell was arrested Thursday after a monthlong investigation.
Police say Hazen had inappropriate contact with the child several times over the last year.
He is charged with two counts of lascivious acts with a child, both felonies, and two counts of indecent contact with a minor.
He is being held at the Buena Vista County Jail on $24,000 bond and could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Omaha Woman Arrested For Arson On Council Bluffs Motel
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - An Omaha, Nebraska woman has been arrested on suspicion of setting a fire at a motel in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
43-year-old Carolettia Looney was arrested after police say she lit Bible pages in a trashcan in her room Thursday night.
Police Sergeant Chad Meyers says Looney told officers she started the fire because hotel management disputed her assertion that she had prepaid enough to cover four days' lodging.
No one was injured. The small fire was discovered when a motel security guard heard a smoke alarm and knocked on Looney's door. He quickly put out the blaze, and Looney was arrested on suspicion of first-degree arson.
Looney is being held at the Pottawattamie County Jail and could not be reached for comment.
Sick Cats At Pet Adoption Center
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An illness among the cats at the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center has shut down cat adoptions and visits to the shelter's cat room.
The shelter's cat room will be closed at least until Monday. Viewing and visits to the cat room will not resume until the room reopens.
Pet owners who want to relinquish a cat or kittens, as well as residents who have found a stray they want to drop off at the animal shelter, are asked not to bring cats in until further notice.
All other pets that are available for adoption may be visited, including dogs and a turtle.
Reports Of Sexual Assault Cases On The Rise At University of Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa has seen a dramatic jump in the number of sexual assault warnings it has issued this school year.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that since August, university police have issued seven campus-wide warnings about reports of students being sexually assaulted on or near campus. That's six more than were issued during the same period a year earlier.
The most recent warning came Monday after a student reported being sexually assaulted by an acquaintance at a residence hall.
University officials believe that the increase in warnings does not represent an increase in the number of sexual assaults on and around campus, but that more women are coming forward to report assaults.
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