Friday afternoon news, August 24
West Nile Virus In Plymouth County
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Health Department is reporting that it has confirmed five cases of West Nile virus in the state and is investigating several more cases.
The agency on Friday announced confirmed cases in Grundy, Linn, Lyon, Page and Plymouth counties. All those sickened by the virus have recovered.
In Nebraska, officials say 20 human cases have been confirmed, with no deaths reported.
The cases in Iowa and Nebraska come amid one of the largest national outbreaks of West Nile. More than 1,100 illnesses have been reported across the country.
Iowa health officials say state figures are typical for this time of year, but they urge people to use mosquito repellent when they are outdoors to protect against the virus.
Fire Destroys House in Harcourt
HARCOURT, Iowa (AP) - Three people have been treated for minor injuries after a fire that heavily damaged a house in the central Iowa town of Harcourt.
Harcourt Fire Chief Matt Nahnsen says the fire was reported a little before 5:30 a.m. Thursday and that the front of the house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. The fire began on
the front porch, and an electrical outlet is suspected.
Sam Dorman says he owns the house, and that his son, grandson and his son's girlfriend were treated at Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge but were discharged Thursday afternoon.
Dorman says he and his family were awakened by smoke detectors and that his wife, Kathy, saw 15-foot-high flames on the front porch.
Iowa City Buys Flooded Homes
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa City has bought the final property in a flood buyout program that began in 2009 and expects to complete demolitions this fall.
The city made its final purchase in July.
The city has bought 93 homes in the Parkview Terrace area through a program prompted by the 2008 floods that hit much of eastern Iowa.
The federal and state government will pay the roughly $22 million cost of buying and demolishing the Iowa City homes and paying to relocate owners.
In Cedar Rapids, the city has acquired more than 1,300 properties.
Iowa City plans to extend a trail through the area and create another access to City Park.