Thursday Afternoon News, May 5
Dean Foods Present $5,000 To Le Mars Fire And Rescue Department
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department received a check totaling $5,000 from Dean Foods today to go towards the purchase of additional hazard material equipment suits and air tanks. Five years ago, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue became Dean Foods Hazard Materials first response team. At that time, Dean Foods presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to help establish a Hazard Materials unit for the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department. Another check of $5,000 was given to the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department a year ago to help the fire brigade obtain equipment needed for confined space rescues. Dean Foods dissolved their own response groups but agreed to continue to fund the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department to handle such types of emergency calls for their company, as well as for the entire community. The local milk processing company gave the local fire and rescue department the donations to help equip the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department with Hazard Materials gear. Mayor Dick Kirchoff was on hand for today's check presentation and thanked the representatives from Dean Foods for their contribution and support.
Pat Henrich serves as the safety director for the Dean Foods plant located in Le Mars. He says it is in the best interests of Dean's to support the local fire and rescue department.
The Dean Foods representatives said they hope to conduct another simulated emergency training session for their employees sometime later this summer or early autumn, which will again be requesting the services of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.
Standing left to right: Loren Johnson and Pat Henrich of Dean Foods present a check to Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper. Mayor Dick Kirchoff and Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department's Assistant Chief Mike Wise were on hand for the presentation.
Anderson Comments About State Legislature's Failure To Pass A Water Quality Bill
(Le Mars) -- The Iowa legislature concluded its general session last Friday. Many people believe the state law makers dropped the ball with forming a suitable water quality initiative. Republican State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson says the major problem was trying to find a source of funds to finance water quality improvement programs.
Anderson says he tends to favor the House Republican proposal to help with the state's water quality issue, but he also is against seeing any increase of taxes.
The republican state senator says he doesn't want to jeopardize any existing funding sources that are meant for established programs, adding that it is not fair to take money away from other state programs to finance water quality initiatives.
Fallen Law Enforcement Officers To Be Remembered During Ceremony
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Four fallen Iowa officers, including two who were killed in a head-on crash in March, will be added to the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety announced a ceremony will be held 10 a.m. Friday at the Oran Pape State Office Building in Des Moines to honor the officers who dedicated their lives to protecting Iowa communities.
The ceremony will recognize Des Moines Officers Susan Farrell and Carlos Puente-Morales, who were killed in a March 26 crash while transporting a prisoner from Council Bluffs to Des Moines. Ames Police Sgt. Howard Snider, who died in 2012, and Iowa Parole Board Field Agent Albert Paul, who died in 1938, will also be added to the memorial.
Gov. Terry Branstad and other state leaders are expected to attend.
Woodbury County has scheduled May 16th at noon at the Law Enforcement Memorial located at the 600 block of Douglas Street as the time they will honor their fallen law enforcement heroes. A total of eleven officers have died in the line of duty from Woodbury County. Plymouth County has had one sheriff's deputy die while on duty. Back in November of 1919, Sheriff's deputy William Maxwell, who was the son of then-Sheriff Hugh Maxwell, was shot and killed by escapees from the Plymouth County Jail, and going back to November of 1888, a night watchman in Le Mars, by the name of Samuel Hamilton tried to break up a crowd that was noisy and disruptive. Soon, a scuffle ensued, followed by a shot, killing the night watchman, Samuel Hamilton.
King Backs Up Grassley On Decision Not To Hold Supreme Court Nominee Hearings
(Le Mars) -- Many people have criticized U-S Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa for not conducting a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Grassley serves as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, Iowa 4th District Republican Congressman Steve King says he stands behind Senator Grassley's decision to wait until after the election before any hearings are conducted on Supreme Court nominees.
Speaking in Le Mars, King says to go forward and to confirm a President Obama nominee would be a sacifice to the constitution. He says Senator Grassley is being consistent with his oath as a Senator.
King says he has always liked Senator Grassley, and agrees with him on most issues, but King adds, the more he works with Grassley, the more he respects the elder Iowa Senator's decisions.
Fire Kills 20,000 Chickens
FORT ATKINSON, Iowa (AP) - Nearly 20,000 chickens have died in a fire at a northeast Iowa farm.
Fire officials say they responded Wednesday afternoon to a fire at S & C Organic Farms, northwest of Fort Atkinson.
Fire Chief Ron Franzen says firefighters were on the scene for almost five hours. The blaze destroyed the wood-framed building that housed 19,900 chickens, all of which died.
No people were hurt, and other buildings on the farm were not damaged.
The cause of the fire has not been determined as officials continue to investigate.
Johnson County To Grow Produce For Local Food Banks
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa group has started planting produce on a 2-acre plot of land in hopes of growing about 20,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables this summer for local food pantries.
Four organizers have already planted the first seeds of the Grow: Johnson County initiative, an effort that aims to bring fresh food to some of the county's most needy people.
The project's leaders hope to recruit volunteers to help plant and care for the crops, which will include melons, peppers, sweet corn, among other produce.
County leaders picked Grow: Johnson County's proposal from several other models to make use of the 160-year-old farm, which originally housed low-income and mentally ill people. Organizers will rent the land for just $1 a year.