Saturday Afternoon News, November 28
Merrill And Le Mars Fire Departments Respond To A Fire Started By A Heater
(Merrill) -- An oil burning heater was responsible for starting a fire at a metal building located on the south side of Merrill this morning. Both the Merrill and the Le Mars Fire Departments responded to the call reported at 9:00 a.m. at 231 Highway 75 south. Merrill Fire Chief Jacob Conley says fortunately, fire fighters were able to contain and extinguish the fire fairly quickly. Conley says the heater was too close to the building's insulation which caught on fire. The Merrill fire chief says an area on the wall measuring about five feet by five feet was all that had burned. There were no injuries with the fire, and fire fighters left the scene within an hour.
Santa Claus Arrives In Le Mars
(Le Mars) -- Santa Claus arrived in Le Mars this morning, and instead of riding his sleigh being pulled by his reindeer, he came into town compliments of the Le Mars Fire Department riding in the big red fire truck. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper assisted Santa out of the fire truck, helping with his bag, but Schipper had to leave Santa behind as the Le Mars Fire Department was called to a fire in Merrill. Santa settled at the Piece of Cake where he had the opportunity to listen to the children's wishes for Christmas. A five year old red-headed girl named Sheila was the first to greet the jolly old elf. She wanted to make certain she would be first in line to tell Santa Claus what she wanted for Christmas. When Santa asked Sheila if she has been a good girl, the young, bright-eyed child paused a few moments to contemplate her answer. With some hesitancy in her voice, Sheila then informed Santa Claus that yes, she has been a good girl...most of the time. Santa placed himself on a nice, comfortable, big easy chair, and then invited Sheila on his lap and asked the girl what she would like for Christmas. Sheila's answer was short. She said she would like to have some "Lincoln Logs". Santa Claus informed the five-year old that he thought he had some "Lincoln Logs" ready at the North Pole. Before departing from Santa's lap, Sheila also told Santa Claus that she would also like to have the internet. Sheila must have thought Santa Claus was warm and wanted to make him feel comfortable, as she proceeded to take off his famous red stocking cap. Children visiting Santa Claus also had the opportunity to create their own "Christmas cookies" complete with frosting, and various types of candies to highlight the sugar cookie.
Floyd Valley Model Railroad Club To Hold Open House At Museum
(Le Mars) -- People who have an interest in railroads and particularly model railroads will want to visit the Plymouth County Historical Museum this weekend for the Floyd Valley Model Railroad open house. John Scheinder serves as the vice president of the organization. He says he first got interested in model railroads sets after his father talked about a railroad that passed by near his boyhood home.
Scheinder says there are various types and sizes of model railroads with the H-O series as the most popular. Scheinder says anyone can set up a model railroad set with a person's imagination and creativity being the only limitations, providing they have adequate space for the model railroad.
Scheinder says the model railroad in the museum's basement is set up to showcase the actual railroads that pass through Plymouth County.
Scheinder says the Hinton grain elevator, along with the ethanol facility at Merrill are featured on the display, as well as the Le Mars industrial park with Bo-Deans, IML Containers, and the Le Mars Public Storage. The model railroad open house is scheduled for both today and Sunday and will begin at 1:00 p.m. and continue through 5:00 p.m.
Democratic Senators Share Concern About Governor Branstad's Plan To Privatize Medicare
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two state lawmakers are raising concerns about Gov. Terry Branstad's plans to continue to shift Iowa's Medicaid operation to private management, after a judge recommended that the state throw out one of four contracts awarded to companies to run the program.
Administrative Law Judge Christie Scase recommended Wednesday that Iowa reverse its contract with Florida-based WellCare. Branstad spokesman Ben Hammes said the decision allows the privatization plans to move forward.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1Hv87xK ) that Democratic Sen. Amanda Ragan, of Mason City, says it is time to "take a breath." Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen, of Des Moines, also raised concerns.
Department of Human Services spokeswoman Amy Lorentzen McCoy said Friday the agency is reviewing Scase's recommendation.
Iowa's Medicaid program is set to move to private managers in January.