Monday Afternoon News, April 28
Updated Information On Hinton Motorcycle Accident
(Hinton) -- Emergency rescue units were called to Hinton for a motorcycle accident that happened at about 4:25 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the intersection of Highway 75 and Orbit Drive. Mark MacFarlane, 45 years of age from Jefferson, South Dakota was driving a 2011 Harley Davidson motorcycle north bound on Highway 75. For unknown reasons the motorcycle entered the median, rolled several times, coming to rest with MacFarlane separated from the motorcycle. MacFarlane was the sole occupant and was taken to Mercy Medical with what appeared to be life threatening injuries, involving a broken neck. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but officials believe the strong winds that were blowing up to speeds of 40 mph may have been a contributing factor. Authorities believe alcohol may also been a contributing factor for the accident. MacFarlane was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Hinton Police, and Hinton Fire and Ambulance.
Gehlen Ball Raises $231,000 To Be Used In Classrooms
(Le Mars) -- This year's Gehlen Catholic Ball, the festive fundraiser, was able to generate $231,679. Lisa Niebuhr, Public Relations and Development Director with Gehlen says the amount of money raised this year was $455 more than last year. Niebuhr says the money is important for Gehlen's educational program, and she says the money is invested in each classroom.
Niebhur says 50 percent of the students that attend Gehlen receive some type of financial aid assistance.
The Gehlen official says many donations and gifts come from the Le Mars and Plymouth County region, but a large portion also is contributed by Gehlen alumni living outside the immediate area.
Niebuhr confesses that if it were not for the annual fundraising ball, it would be difficult for Gehlen Catholic students and their families to achieve the desired christian-based education.
Facebook To Build Second Data Center In Altoona
ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) - Facebook is announcing plans to build a second giant data center in Altoona before the first center is completed.
The company announced Monday it would present site plans for the second phase of its $1 billion data center project to the Altoona Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday. If the panel approves, the plans will go to the City Council on May 5.
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company expects completion of the first 476,000-square-foot building this winter.
The new building is expected to be about the same size as the first center. A third building also is planned in the future.
The state has awarded $18 million in state tax credits for the project, and Altoona will forgo property taxes for 20 years.
Four Iowa Cities To Have Certified Development Sites
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Four Iowa cities have had economic development sites certified under a new state program designed to have land project-ready for industrial development.
Gov. Terry Branstad says the first four Iowa Certified Site Program properties are in Dexter, Fort Dodge, Iowa Falls, and Van Meter.
The program run by the Iowa Economic Development Authority is an effort to address the lack of project-ready industrial sites. IEDA Director Debi Durham says the state has lost projects because sites weren't ready for immediate development.
The department has spent about $244,000 to hire a consultant to help complete air permits, archaeological sampling, and ensure no wetlands are present. The certification process took two years to complete
Site certification is a growing trend. Branstad says certification allows Iowa to better compete for large-scale projects.
Severe Weather And Tornadoes Claim Lives In Southern Iowa
OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in southeastern Iowa say one person is dead and others are injured after powerful storms swept through the state.
Keokuk County emergency management coordinator Larry Smith says one person died Sunday when strong winds caused an outbuilding to collapse in a rural area near Kinross. He says the victim's identity is being withheld pending notification of relatives.
Smith says one other person was critically injured when a barn blew over near Martinsburg.
Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller says at least four people were injured when they were struck by flying debris at a home auction on the city's south side. He says the storm came abruptly and they weren't able to take cover.
Miller says the extent of their injuries isn't clear, but that some were hospitalized.
Former Branstad Aid Calls For Governor To Clean Up The Administration
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is brushing aside the contention of a former top aide that he has issues with governing and needs to fix some problems in the executive branch.
Doug Gross, who was Branstad's chief of staff 25 years ago said Friday in a taping for the Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press" program that Branstad has a "governance" problem with some department heads not serving his best interests.
Branstad has fired the director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services over secret settlement agreements and his appointee to Iowa Workforce Development is under investigation for allegations of asserting too much political influence over unemployment decisions.
Branstad says Gross is "out of touch" with his administration since he's been gone for more than two decades.
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