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Monday News, March 3

Le Mars Fire Department Files February Report

(Le Mars) -- February was an extremely busy month for the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.  Responding to a total of 30 calls, of which there were 15 fire calls, five rescues, seven investigations, one mutual aid to Merrill, and two requests for services.  The local fire department also conducted 18 meetings and programs during the month of February. 


Car Hits House In Sioux City 

(Sioux City) -- A car that hit a house in Sioux City last evening caused a natural gas line to break forcing the evaculation of several people within the immediate area.  The accident occurred at about 5:35 p.m. when a 47 year old female driver lost traction while attempting to go up a hill in the 2600 block of Wall Street.  The car slid on the ice backwards and slid into a house.  The damaged home was located at 1223 26th Street. The car left the roadway, traveled through the yard, and struck the home.  Sioux City police and Sioux City fire departments responded to the accident scene.  Mid-American Energy was also called in to help with the gas leak.  No one was injured in the mishap, and residents were able to return to their homes later in the evening.  The driver identified as Huong Thi Nguyen was issued a citation for "failure to maintain control".


Pheasants Forever Banquet A Success, Despite Bad Weather

(Le Mars) -- Despite the bad weather on Saturday, the Plymouth County Pheasants Forever 29th annual banquet was a big success, according to chapter president, Chris Anderson.  More than 400 people attended the event, which was slightly lower than previous years.  Anderson says the auction of guns, vacation destinations, paintings, jewelry, metal sculptures, taxidermy, and other items sold brought more than $26,000.  When you combine the auction with the various raffles, the local pheasants forever chapter earned more than $35,000.  The money will be used to purchase land and to maintain existing land for pheasant habitat, youth programs, and educational programs.



Weekend Snow Blankets Iowa Followed By Deep Freeze

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Another round of snow blanketed Iowa this weekend with parts of the state receiving as much as five inches, and bitter cold temperatures have returned.
     The National Weather Service says 3 to 5 inches of snow fell Saturday across most of central Iowa and in the southeast corner of the state.
     The southwest and northeast corners of Iowa received 1 to 3 inches of snow.
     Subzero temperatures followed the storm, and forecasters are warning about dangerously cold wind chills overnight into Monday.
     The Weather Service says wind chills as cold as 40 degrees below zero are likely in northern Iowa through Monday morning. Central Iowa will see wind chills ranging from 20-to-35 degrees below zero.


Is This The Year Iowa Sends A Woman To Washington?

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With six women running in House and Senate primaries in Iowa this year, some are starting to wonder if 2014 might be the year that the state finally sends a woman to Washington.
     Women's groups have long bemoaned the fact that Iowa is one of just two states - the other being Mississippi - that has never elected a woman governor or member of Congress.
     Just why Iowa lags in electing women remains unclear. One likely factor is the state's limited number of seats and low turnover in those jobs. But this year is different, with an open Senate seat and two open House seats.
     Some more high profile candidates opted out of these races last year, but a diverse group of women are now seeking the seats.


Economic Index Shows Decline From January, But Still Growing 

  OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A monthly economic index for Iowa and eight other states has dropped slightly but still suggests growth over the next three to six months. The overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index fell to 57.4 in February from 57.7 in January. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth.


Asbestos Inspectors Overloaded

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has only two inspectors to make sure thousands of asbestos-removal projects each year are being done properly in the state.
     The lack of inspections at asbestos removal projects was highlighted by problems at a downtown Des Moines renovation project. 
     A contractor who had worked on renovations to a former Younkers department store in Des Moines complained to the state in January about improper asbestos removal. 
     An inspector visited the site but didn't find anything wrong until returning to the site later. Now the project will face more scrutiny.
     The Environmental Information Association says enforcement of asbestos laws is a concern nationwide because there are so few inspectors.


West Des Moines Wants To Hire Forester To Combat EAB

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - West Des Moines wants to hire a full-time urban forester to oversee removal of about 1,200 ash trees from city property, anticipating the spread of an insect pest that is killing ash trees by the millions.
     The supervisor will be charged with overseeing an emerald ash borer management plan. The city allocated $370,000 for the plan for fiscal year 2015, beginning July 1. The full plan is expected to span six years at a cost of roughly $1.7 million.
     Officials issued a statewide quarantine in early February that restricts moving certain woods from Iowa into nonquarantined areas of other states. Eight counties in Iowa have confirmed infestations of the emerald ash borer.


Van Meter Man Accidentally Shoots Himself While Target Shooting 

 VAN METER, Iowa (AP) - A 29-year-old Iowa man is recovering after accidentally shooting his own finger during target practice.
     The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating the incident that happened Sunday afternoon at Badger Creek State Recreation Area in Madison County.
     Authorities say Zach Sainz inadvertently let one of his fingers get in front of the 9mm handgun he was firing.
     Sainz was taken to a Des Moines hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening injury. 
     His condition wasn't immediately available Sunday evening.



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