Monday News, June 23
School Board To Convene Monday Evening
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board is scheduled to meet this evening. The school board has a light agenda before them. The board of education will hear a report regarding a lighting project for the little theater. The Le Mars Community school district will examine some revisions to the elementary handbook as presented by Mr. Scott Parry, and Mr. Steve Webner, assistant superintendent will offer information regarding adoption of accounting I and II textbooks for the high school.
Sioux City Transit Faced With Aging Buses
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials in Sioux City are relying on city buses that have surpassed federal mileage standards because state and federal aid isn't sufficient to replace them.
Sioux City Transit mechanics replace engines and transmissions on the city's buses each year.
Assistant city manager Mike Collett says the constant, preventative maintenance is necessary to keep the buses in top condition.
Transit systems submit mileage readings for each of their vehicles to the Iowa Department of Transportation on July 1st of each year. The age and mileage data is compiled into a point system that determines which systems will receive money.
Once the money is gone, transit systems that didn't receive money must pay the total cost or wait until next year for another review.
Escaped Inmate Turns Himself In To Authorities
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials say a prisoner who escaped from a Sioux City work release facility has turned himself in to authorities.
Officials say 30-year-old Caleb Robert Babb surrendered at the Woodbury County Jail shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday. Babb had been placed on escape status after failing to return to the facility on Friday after working his job.
Babb, who was nine years into a 10-year sentence for second-degree robbery, had been transferred to work release on May 29th.
Young Wins Nomination For Congressional Race
(Des Moines) -- A former chief of staff for Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has won the nomination from Republican delegates to run for Congress representing Iowa's third district. David Young was able to secure the nomination after five rounds of voting. Young will seek the position being vacated by retiring Iowa Congressman Tom Latham.
Report Shows Many Nebraskans Gamble In Iowa
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A consultant for the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is warning that the state's gaming industry relies heavily on Nebraska gamblers for revenue and would lose a lot of business if its western neighbor decided to allow casinos.
Iowa has 18 state-licensed casinos scattered throughout the state, but nearly one-fourth of the industry's revenue comes from Nebraskans, who mostly visit casinos across the Missouri River.
The consultant's report says Nebraskans generated nearly $327 million in gross revenue for Iowa casinos last year. Total gross revenue for the casinos was $1.4 billion, of which 53 percent came from Iowa gamblers.
Casino supporters in Nebraska say it's unlikely the state will allow casinos soon, but the Iowa report by Union Gaming Analytics predicts it will happen eventually.
Arsonist Started Fire In Former Chuch At Fort Dodge
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an arsonist started a fire that destroyed a former church building in downtown Fort Dodge.
The fire was reported around 2 p.m. Saturday, and two exterior walls collapsed around 3:15 p.m.
The building was originally home to the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the early 1900s, until the Fort Dodge Church of Christ moved into the building in the 1950s. In 1985 a private owner bought the building and lived there. A business has been using the building.
No one was reported inside the building during the fire, but Fire Chief Kent Hulett says there's a report that a woman was inside the building before the fire was reported.
A reward of up to $15,000 is being offered for information. The arson hotline number is 800-532-1459.
Investigators Study Des Moines Industrial Warehouse Fire
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are still investigating a fire that destroyed an industrial warehouse just north of Des Moines.
The Saylor Township Fire Department returned to the scene several times Sunday morning to continue cleaning up the area.
Multiple fire departments worked at the scene until around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Three firefighters who suffered minor injuries on Saturday were released from the hospital. Two were treated for heat stress, while another was briefly hospitalized with chest pains.
Roads that were closed because of the fire have reopened.
Jon Davis, deputy director of emergency management for Polk County, says several explosions at the warehouse were likely caused by 55-ballon drums of lacquer thinner.
Authorities have not yet released a cause of the fire.
Beef Prices Are Up For Producers
(Des Moines) -- Demand for beef is up and coupled with the drought that has shut down the large cattle ranches in California and Texas, Iowa producers are in a good position to take advantage. One operation near Lone Tree in eastern Iowa's Johnson County is trying alternative methods to raise the cattle. Matt Schnieder says they've expanded their cow calf operation by putting up a hoop building about the size of two and half football fields in length and 50 feet wide. Schneider says Johnson County is one of the most populated in the state, which leaves few open spaces to hold cattle.
[ddbeef1] :14 :productive done"
He says one advantage of the hoop building is allowing the animals to better handle weather extremes..
[ddbeef2] :21 :in the pastures"
Schnieder says this facility allowed them to expand their original herd of 20 by adding 100 more for a specialty business. Iowa State University Extension Beef Specialist Patrick Wall says the setup offers an alternative to the traditional confinement or feedlot
[ddbeef3] :23 :smaller area"
Wall says they also don't have a manure pit that comes with cattle confinement buildings. Wall says a pasture is best place to raise the cattle if you can get it, but he predicts producers will do what they can to keep up with demand.
[ddbeef4] :17 :facilities expand"
Schnieder says he’s very happy with their decision to expand using the hoop building, and says the animals seem to be doing well.
[ddbeef5] :13 :and eat"
The Schneiders recently held an open house so other producers can see how the system works.
New Weed Invades Iowa Fields
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A fast-growing weed that has tormented southern farmers has been found in Iowa.
Agronomists are trying to determine whether the Palmer amaranth weed found in five counties is herbicide resistant. The weed can carry 1 million seeds and grow up to 7 feet tall.
Agronomists say even a moderate infestation can rob farmers of two-thirds of their corn and soybean yields. That in turn could hurt Iowa agribusinesses. It also means that farmers may have to use more, and potentially more toxic, chemicals to battle the aggressive weed.
Iowa State University agronomy professor Mike Owen says the weed could cause prices to rise for sodas, cereals, fuels and other goods derived from corn.
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