Saturday News, April 18
Sioux City Teenager Dies After Smoking Synthetic Drugs
(Sioux City) -- A Sioux City teenager is dead and three others were hospitalized after police say they became ill while smoking a synthetic drug Thursday night near War Eagle Park on the city's westside. Detective Jeremy McClure of the Sioux City Police Department says emergency responders were called to the park entrance after receiving a 9-1-1 call about a sick person.
Branstad To Visit Plymouth County
(Des Moines) -- Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has announced he will be in Plymouth County next Wednesday, April 22nd to officially proclaim Soil and Water Conservation Week. Branstad will make the proclaimation on the Bob Puetz Farm located at 16175 Marble Avenue, Le Mars. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will make a northwest Iowa swing during the week of Tuesday, April 21st to Thursday, April 23rd. In addition to visiting the Plymouth County farm, Branstad and Reynolds are scheduled to visit the Quad County Corn Processing Ethanol facility near Galva. They will hold a Teacher Leadership Conference in Rock Valley, and tour several manufacturing facilities within northwest Iowa, as well as hold a Home Base Iowa announcement at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux City.
ICON Ag And Turf Helping With Local Backpack Programs
(Le Mars) -- A local farm equipment dealer is doing its part to combat child hunger in northwest Iowa. ICON Ag and Turf is donating money to the Le Mars BackPack program. ICON Ag and Turf General Manager, Adam Timmerman says the employees of ICON were deeply and emotionally touched by a presentation by Brenda Nohava, the founder of the Le Mars BackPack program.
Timmerman says ICON employees have the opportunity to donate to the program. He says the company is doing a similar charitable contribution as they did a few years back when they initiated a donation program to fight breast cancer.
Timmerman says The employee-driven monetary fundraiser will continue through April and May. He says several ICON employees are also volunteering their time to help pack the bags to be sent home with local children. Has ICON Ag and Turf established a monetary goal for the backpack program?
Each of the five ICON Ag and Turf locations are participating in the program with donations directed to local backpack programs close to each dealership. Timmerman summarizes why the farm equipment company chose to help with a hunger program.
Economic Development Board Approves Investment Incentives
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa board has approved nearly $16 million in investments in three companies across the state.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority announced the grants Friday for projects in Sioux City, West Des Moines and Knoxville. The board also approved an additional $19.8 million in tax refunds for Google Inc.'s Council Bluffs data center, bringing its total tax incentives to more than $36 million.
Curly's Foods, a Sioux City processed meats producer, has been awarded tax breaks for an expansion project expected to create 30 jobs.
Software developer FunnelWise is slated to receive $150,000 in direct financial assistance for a move to Des Moines, creating 14 jobs and retaining six others.
Knoxville's Weiler gets $600,000 and tax benefits to expand manufacturing at its heavy road equipment plant for 106 new jobs.
Officials Worry Bird Flu May Affect Layers In Iowa Egg Industry
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The discovery of bird flu on an Iowa turkey farm has raised serious concerns that the poultry-killing virus could find its way into chicken barns in the nation's top egg-producing state and decimate flocks.
Iowa is home to roughly 50 million chickens that lay nearly one in every five eggs consumed in the U.S.
The highly contagious H5N2 virus has not been detected in any Iowa chicken barns, but it was confirmed Tuesday on a northwest Iowa turkey farm.
Iowa Poultry Association executive Randy Olson says farmers are on heightened alert, focusing on biosecurity measures to keep the virus away from chickens.
Procedures previously implemented to guard against salmonella help keep bird flu out, such as bird-proofed chicken houses to keep wild birds out and strict clothing-sanitation protocols.
Ex Lawmaker Says He Did Not Sexually Abuse Wife
GARNER, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa lawmaker says he didn't have sex with his wife on the night he's accused of sexually abusing her.
Henry Rayhons testified in his own defense Friday in his third-degree sexual abuse trial. Prosecutors allege Rayhons had sex with his wife in May at a Garner nursing home after being told she was no longer mentally capable of consenting due to dementia caused by Alzheimer's disease.
Donna Lou Rayhons died in August.
Rayhons testified that he and his wife held hands, prayed, hugged and kissed when he visited her May 23. He says any sounds Donna Lou Rayhons' former roommate heard were just him situating her in her bed.
Earlier testimony revealed her roommate couldn't be sure whether the noises she heard that day were sexual in nature.