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Friday Afternoon News, May 31

Pick up Truck Collides With BNSF Train

(Le Mars) -- The crash of a Burlington Northern - Santa Fe train and a pickup truck earlier this morning (Friday) sent one person to the hospital.  43 year old Carrie Pfeil was driving a 2010 Dodge pickup was east-bound crossing the tracks about two miles southwest of Le Mars on 200th Street when she collided with the south-bound train shortly after 8:00 a.m.  The  train was carrying tanker cars filled with crude oil.  The train hit the truck, spinning it around shattering the truck's engine, and in the process pushing it off the crossing.  The truck is listed as a total loss.  There was no leakage of oil from the train.  The driver was extricated by Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department and was transported to Floyd Valley hospital, then airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.  Pfeil was conscious at the time of the rescue, but had suffered injuries, although non life-threatening.  The Iowa Highway Patrol is continuing its investigation.


Natural Gas Leak At Hinton

(Hinton) -- A natural gas pipeline leak on Friday morning led to the evacuation of some Hinton residents.  Hinton Fire Chief Chad Beck explains the situation.

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There was no fire with the gas leak and by 10:00 a.m. the ruptured gas line had been shut off with MidAmerican officials working to repair the gas line.  Residents were allowed to return to their homes later in the morning.

 

Gartner Files Lawsuit Against Iowa Public Radio

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines businessman has filed a lawsuit against the Iowa Public Radio board, alleging members held an improper private meeting.
The Des Moines Register reports (dmreg.co/15oUfgO) Michael Gartner - a former Board of Regents member who owns the Iowa Cubs baseball team - filed the suit in Polk County District Court this week. Gartner argues the board violated state public meeting rules when it met privately in December.
That meeting came before the board fired the former chief executive in February.
Gartner's suit seeks a declaration that Iowa Public Radio is subject to state open-meetings laws. He also wants a judge to review minutes from the December meeting and release the material to the public as requested.
The board didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
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Cedar Rapids Prepares For Flooding

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett says the city is doing everything "humanly possible" to protect itself from the ongoing flooding of the Cedar River.
City officials said at a news conference Friday that they have erected temporary flood barriers, filled thousands of sandbags to protect homes and businesses, and voluntarily evacuated 10 homes in
one particularly low-lying neighborhood. They're also deploying a system of pumps and plugs to manage water levels along the river, which caused a historic flood in 2008.
City officials say more steps could be necessary depending on how much rainfall comes Friday. The river is projected to crest Saturday at 19.8 feet.
Some parks are also closed due to flooding. The fire department is moving out of a temporary firehouse used by one of its engines.


Websites Created To Help Flooding Victims

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two new websites are offering support to Iowa residents in areas hit by recent storms and flooding.
Gov. Terry Branstad and the state Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division have set up a Tumblr page with Iowa flood information. The site will gather reports from state
agencies, news outlets and residents. It can be found at www.IowaFloodCentral.tumblr.com .
U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley has also established a site that will provide information on resources for those impacted by flooding and offer assistance from Braley's staff. That site can be found at
www.braley.house.gov/flood-resources.


Boil Order For Kellogg Now Lifted

KELLOGG, Iowa (AP) - The Department of Natural Resources says a boil advisory in the small central Iowa city of Kellogg has been lifted.
The city and DNR recommended Sunday that residents boil their drinking water after city wells were flooded by heavy rainfall, potentially causing the water to be contaminated by bacteria.
Since then, water samples have shown the water is safe to drink, prompting officials to lift the advisory Friday.
Kellogg is a city of about 600 people in Jasper County.





 

   

Friday News, May 31

Le Mars Accepts Old Electronics For Recycling

(Le Mars) -- Today, the city of Le Mars is accepting discarded electronics to be recycled.  Assistant City Manager, Bill Cole says residents can bring their old electronic devices to the city hall parking lot between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

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Cole says next Tuesday, June 4th, the city will collect old abandon appliances and tires at the Public Works Building.

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The city official says the city will waive the fees normally associated with the disposal of the appliances and tires.

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The city has also designated the week of June 10th through the 15th as Spring Clean Up Week.

 

Fire Department Rescues Girl From Being Caught In Playground Equipment

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to Cleveland Park at about 12:20 Thursday afternoon to assist a young girl who was caught in some playground equipment.  The toddler girl found herself wedged in a swing designed for infants.  The girl had been caught in the swing for about 20 minutes.  Fire and Police officials ended up having to cut open the swing in order to free the little girl.  The girl did not sustain any injuries.

 

Iowa State University Extension Offers Flood Recovery Guides

(Le Mars) -- With the excess rainfall in many locations in Northwest Iowa, home owners and land owners are now facing decisions and the necessity to clean up.   Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers a Storm Recovery Guide; a publication covering topics that relate to safety and household cleanup after tornadoes, floods and other disasters.   Flood topics including salvage and clean up, mold, water safety, and rodents for example.   The 24-page guide was created by Louisiana State Ag Center and edited by Iowa State University Extension experts for use in Iowa.
The “Storm Recovery Guide” and numerous other resources are available on line.  The Storm Recovery Guide can also be obtained by contacting the Plymouth County Extension Office at 251 12th St. SE in Le Mars or contacting them at 712-546-7835.

 

May Was A "Weird Month Of Weather"

(Le Mars) -- The month of May can go down in history as being a "weird month of weather".  You may recall on May 1st, Le Mars had received three inches of snow, then nearly two weeks later on May 14th, Le Mars had set a record for the hottest temperature at 102 degrees.  Then also consider this week's abundant rainfall followed by the flash flooding.  All together, it has been an unusual May. Harry Hillaker serves as the state of Iowa climatologist and he tries to make sense of the weather patterns.

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Right in the middle of the month we experienced a one-day heat wave.  Hillaker says, that too was unusual for the Month of May.  Le Mars set a record with a temperature of 102, Sioux City recorded a temperature of 106, and Estherville had a high of 104 degrees.
The climatologist says despite last year's drought, April and May of 2013 will go on record as being the wettest spring ever.  So, with that in mind, what can we expect to see for June?

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Mosquito Infestation May Not Be Severe This Summer

(Le Mars) -- Now that the flood waters are receding and some ponding of water is occurring, does that mean we could have a heavy infestation of mosquitoes this summer?  Donald Lewis, an Iowa State University extension entomologist says maybe not.

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Lewis says what happens next will determine whether or not we will be affected by the pesky pests.

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The ISU entomologist also suggests people discard their old tires.

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Lewis says if people want to eradicate mosquitoes, unfortunately, their efforts will only be temporary.

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Woof-stock Scheduled For Saturday

(Le Mars) -- The Fifth Annual “Woof-stock” celebration at the Plymouth County Historical Museum will be held this Saturday, June 1st.  Not only does the event honor special dogs from the area, and provide fun for pets and their owners, it also gets the community involved in supporting the fun. 
Girl Scout Troop 209 will again be hosting the Doggy Dash. Senior Girl Scout Kelli Susemihl is happy to help by making sure the dogs and owners know what to do, and keep track of the times for each dog. She said there's a very "tiny" change in the way it will be run this year.

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So this year's dog categories are large, medium, small and teeny-tiny. The dash gets underway at 12:45 with a demonstration.

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Anyone may bring a dog to Woof-stock as long as the dog is leashed and homeless dogs will be available for adoption.  
The event is free and includes all kinds of fun in addition to the Doggy Dash. Glada Koerselman will offer the "Blessing of the Pets" and there will be a Poochi Promenade to show off dogs and their latest fashions. Food offerings include a water and treat bar for the pups and hotdogs and pizza for the people. 
New this year is the announcement of the doggy photo contest winner.  Entries are currently being taken and must be in by Friday at 5 to be considered.  For more information on the photo contest or any other aspect of Woof-Stock 2013, call Judy of the Plymouth County Museum at 539-0223.
Most of Saturday's "Woof-Stock" festivities will be in the Museum’s “Old Central” Gym from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and weather permitting, the traditional Poochi Parade around the Museum block will open the day.

 

Onawa Sustains Weather Related Damage

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - Stormy weather caused significant problems in the western Iowa city of Onawa, blowing down trees and damaging buildings.
Onawa Mayor Bob Skelton says that strong winds damaged many trees.
Awnings also were ripped off, windows broken, a stoplight was knocked down and three street lights were damaged.
A wind gust also caused the front of a car dealership to collapse, sending concrete blocks onto two late-model vehicles.
Knoepfler Chevrolet sales associate Garry Ellison says the gust lasted about 15 seconds.
No one was injured in the dealership.
Police say most damage was confined to a nine-block area in the northwest part of town.
National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Fobert says damage apparently was caused by a thunderstorm and not a tornado.
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Coralville Braces For Flooding

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Coralville officials say a new, sand-filled tube barrier will be protecting businesses south of Clear Creek from potential flooding.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icp-c.com/18C1QwS ) says work began Thursday on the temporary protection. The tubes will stand 4 feet tall when completed and will run about 1,500 feet
along the south of the creek. Officials weren't certain how many feet of the tubing would be needed on the north side of the creek.
Storm sewers south of U.S. Highway 6 will be plugged to prevent water from backing up.
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Johnson County Orders Evacuation For Flooding

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials in Johnson County have ordered a mandatory evacuation of two rural neighborhoods due to high waters from the Iowa River.
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office on Thursday ordered residents of Riverview Estates and the Izaak Walton League area to leave their homes. Utilities to the Riverview Estates neighborhood
have been shut off.
Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports the mandatory evacuations mean residents
have just a few hours to leave their homes before all services to the area are discontinued. People also have been encouraged to take their pets with them.
Officials say they're asking residents in low-lying areas to voluntarily evacuate.
City officials are projecting the Iowa River will top the Coralville Reservoir spillway in the next several days.

 

 

   

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