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Friday Afternoon News, February 21

Alta Residents Call For Crossing Arms At Site Of Fatal Train-Car Accident

ALTA, Iowa (AP) - Some northwest Iowa residents want more safety devices placed where two little girls were fatally injured when a train struck a car there were in with their mother and big brother. 
     Two-year-old Camille Binder and her 4-year-old sister, Chloe, died Feb. 14 at a Sioux Falls, S.D., hospital. Their brother and mother were hospitalized.
     Officials in Alta say the safety lights and alarms were working properly at the time of the crash on Feb. 13. But some residents in the community of 1,900 people say the lights and audible signal aren't enough. They want crossing arms installed, too.
     Mayor Ronald Neulieb says that he's already called the Iowa Transportation Department and says, "I'll just keep pursuing it until we get it done."
     ---

 

Soderberg Comments On "Funnel" Legislation

(Le Mars) --  Several bills that were introduced but did not receive support in order to advance for full consideration during "funnel week"  include: medical marijuana, daycare certification, abortion lawsuits, gun rights, and distillery sales.  However, State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars says three issues near and dear to Governor Branstad did make it through the initial legislative deadline, known as "funnel week".  

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The Le Mars state representative says another bill that is a priority with the Governor and the House is a military incentive bill. 

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Soderberg says he was disappointed that the "Silver Alert" bill failed to make it through the committee for full house consideration.  Soderberg says he was a sponsor of the legislation that would utilize similar action of the Amber Alert for missing or lost senior citizens.

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Northwood Returning To Normal After Evacuation

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Residents of a small northern Iowa city are returning to normal life following a fire at a local airport that sent a plume of smoke over the area.
     The evacuation Thursday for the city of Northwood, located about 130 miles north of Des Moines, lasted several hours. Many of the city's 2,000 or so residents either took cover in nearby towns or were bused to an evacuation center about six miles away.
     Residents were allowed back in around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, as snowplows cleared roads so the caravan of cars and buses could return.
     The fertilizer fire inside a building owned by Northwood Ag Products caused concern over chemicals in the air. Tests later cleared the way for residents to return before heavy snow hit the area.

 

Northey Says California Will Face Lawsuits For Agricultural Production Rules

(Le Mars) -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey believes several states will file lawsuits against California for their new rule requiring agricultural products entering the Golden state to comply with the same rules as what California has adopted.  Northey says the rule is particularly troublesome for the Iowa egg industry, because California has adopted a rule requiring larger pen sizes for chickens.

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The Iowa Agriculture Secretary says the ruling in California is discriminatory.  Northey says it won't stop with just egg production, but it will spread like a wild fire and will soon involve other aspects of agriculture.

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Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa's 4th District also recognized the dangers of California's new rules and tried to have an amendment included in the recently passed Farm Bill.  However, King's amendment failed to gain support and ultimately was dropped from the final version of the farm legislation.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has filed a lawsuit against California indicating the commerce trade is unlawful.

 

Reynolds Accepts Leadership Position With Lt. Governor's Association

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will take on a leadership role with the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association for the second year in a row.
     The appointment was announced Friday. Reynolds will serve on the 2014 Executive Committee for the Association. She has held the same position over the past year. 
     The Association says the committee focuses on supporting Republican lieutenant governors. Lieutenant governors from 12 states serve on the committee.
     The Republican Lieutenant Governors Association raises money to support Republicans running for lieutenant governor positions.

 

Fire Station Catches On Fire

  BELLEVUE, Iowa (AP) - No injuries have been reported from a fire that forced an Iowa firefighter to drive a firetruck out of a station so he could turn around and fight a fire inside the station.
      The fire erupted Thursday morning at the station in Bellevue, a city of about 2,200 people that sits along the Mississippi River. Fire crews from three other departments were called in to help with the flames, which damaged two fire engines and a rescue boat.
     Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Schroeder says that he saw the firefighter stick his head out of the firetruck as he drove it out of the station.
     The state fire marshal says the cause of the fire, which started near a trash container, has been listed as undetermined.
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