Wednesday News, September 26
Le Mars Fire and Police Departments Investigate Arson
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a small fire on late Tuesday afternoon located near the Nohava Construction building at the 200 block of 2nd Avenue SW for a report of smoke and fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found a small fire burning in some debris on the ground. The fire had also spread to a nearby fence that separated the Nohava property and the alley to the west of the property. Fire officials were able to extinguish the fire fairly quickly. An investigation into the cause of the fire was conducted by the Le Mars Fire and Rescue chief and the Le Mars Police Department. It was determined that the fire was intentionally set and the area of origin was determined to be some trees, wood, and furniture that were set on fire near the fence. Damage was limited to some of the fence and damage is estimated at $200. The Le Mars Police Department and the Le Mars Fire Department interviewed two juvenile males, who admitted to setting the fire. The investigation is continuing.
CSADV Worried About Budget Cuts
(Le Mars) -- Officials with the Council for Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence are worried as to what will happen with victims as a result of funding cuts to the program. Margaret Sanders and Cathy Van Maanen met Tuesday with the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors. Sanders, the executive director with CSADV informed the supervisors that the state has now gone to six different regions with region one serving 20 counties within northwest Iowa. Sanders believes victims will now have fewer options.
Sanders says Region One, or northwest Iowa will try to serve the needs of the victims by dividing up between urban needs and rural needs, with Plymouth County falling into the urban needs area. Sanders says her agency has already felt the sting of budget cuts with employee lay-offs and more may be anticipated.
Board chairman, Jim Henrich, summed up the thoughts of each board member, by saying "twenty counties is too large of an area for a quick response."
Woman Steps In Front Of Train
NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) - Authorities have identified a 42-year-old woman killed by a freight train near the South Dakota-Iowa border.
Police say 42-year-old Janelle Sorenson of South Sioux City, Neb., intentionally stepped in front of the train around 5:30 p.m. Monday.
KTIV television reports that the call came in from the Triple Crown Casino in North Sioux City, S.D., where several people standing outside said they saw it happen.
One witness told KTIV she saw a person walk in front of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train as it crossed the train bridge. She says the train wasn't moving very fast, and tried to stop right away.
Iowa Counties Report Unemployment Numbers
(Des Moines) -- Iowa's unemployment rate is at 5.5 percent, but several counties in Northwest Iowa show figures that are lower than the state average. Plymouth county's unemployment rate is at 4.0 percent. Sioux county has an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, and Lyon county's unemployment is marked at 2.7 percent. The Iowa Workforce Development just released the individual county numbers, and they are as of August of this year. The largest unemployment was noted in southeastern Iowa, where Lee County shows an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, Appanoose at 7.7 percent, and Wapello county has a rate of 7.6 percent. North central Iowa around the Fort Dodge area consisting of both Webster and Hamilton counties shows an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. Most of Iowa's urban areas have an unemployment rate of around five percent. Woodbury County is at 5.2 percent, Polk county is listed at 5.5 percent, Linn and Blackhawk counties show 5.7 percent unemployment, and Scott county is at 6.5 percent.
U of I Fraternity Closes After Allegation of Sexual Abuse
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Police are investigating a reported sexual assault of a woman at a University of Iowa fraternity that's being closed after allegations of hazing.
Iowa City Police Lt. Doug Hart told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that an assault at the Sigma Alpha
Epsilon's chapter house was reported on Sept. 11. No charges have been filed and no arrests have been reported.
The national Sigma Alpha headquarters said Monday the Iowa chapter was being closed for hazing and failing to comply with fraternity standards and policies.
The university administration says it is investigating the hazing allegations and supports the action taken by Sigma Alpha's national leadership.
Around 90 members of the UI chapter have been expelled from the fraternity. They have 10 days to move out of the frat house.
Midwest Governors Convene in Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Midwest Governors Association will meet in Des Moines and mark the organization's 50th anniversary.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, the association's chairman, will be joined by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for the Wednesday meeting at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates
in Des Moines.
The meeting is focused on increasing collaboration between the states and showcasing the region to different areas of the United States and other countries.
The association includes governors from nine Midwestern states.
Voters Submitting Petitions To Determine Where Polling Will Take Place
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Both presidential campaigns are trying to score partisan advantage by using an unusual Iowa law that gives their supporters a major say in determining where ballots can be
cast before the election.
Iowa's law allows anyone who gets the signatures of 100 county voters to choose a specific voting place in that county.
Before early voting begins Thursday, volunteers for both campaigns turned in a batch of petitions last week calling for voting at locations most convenient to their voters.
For instance, President Barack Obama's campaign and Democrats are petitioning for sites on college campuses, in Latino neighborhoods and in African-American pockets of larger cities.
Republicans are seeking sites at evangelical churches on the outskirts of Des Moines and in conservative areas such as Sioux County.