Friday Afternoon News, August 14
Farm Credit Services Presents Grant To Le Mars Fire And Rescue Department
(Le Mars) -- Farm Credit Services presented a $2,000 check to the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department this morning, as part of the "Working Here" grant. Cody Griffin, Financial Loan Officer, with Farm Credit Services, explains why the agricultural lender is interested in providing grants to area fire departments.
Recently, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department received some equipment allowing for grain bin or other confined space rescues. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the grant money from Farm Credit Services will be used to purchase special type of air masks filters for when fire or rescue personnel need to perform a rescue inside a grain bin.
Schipper says fire and rescue personnel will be able to wear the air filter mask and perform a grain bin rescue, without having to equip themselves with an air tank.
Schipper says the fire and rescue department has purchased eight of the special air masks filters.
The Le Mars Fire Chief says the fire department has had to perform three grain bin rescues in recent years. Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department is one of 55 organizations to receive a "Working Here" fund grant. Farm Credit Services has awarded a total of $91,460 during the latest grant cycle.
Pictured from left: Assistant Fire Chief Mike Wise, Cody Griffin of Farm Credit Services, Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff, Susan Green of Farm Credit Services, and Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department Chief, Dave Schipper
Fire Departments Combine Efforts To Train Together
(Le Mars) -- Speaking about the fire and rescue department, you may recall the Le Mars, Merrill, and Hinton fire departments held a joint training session Wednesday evening at the Plymouth Energy ethanol facility. The three local fire departments, along with Plymouth County Disaster Services, Burlington Northern-Sante Fe railroad, and the ethanol producer coordinated a drill involving a tanker rail car filled with crude oil. The situation was to simulate if the tanker rail car were to have a leak, and catch on fire. Schipper says the training seminar was a good exercise.
(sot) Schipper train1
Schipper says nearly everyone was impressed with the massive size of the rail car.
(sot) Schipper train2
Each of the three fire departments were able to simulate the training excersise using foam, which according to Schipper doesn't happen too often.
(sot) Schipper train3
That training seminar lasted for nearly three hours.
Majority Of Council Bluffs Rental Properties Have Violations
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Officials say most of the Council Bluffs rental units inspected during the first week of a new city program had violations.
Steve Carmichael is the city's chief building official, says that he was surprised by the inspections results, because landlords had months to prepare.
Carmichael says that of the 82 single-family units inspected, 92 percent had violations. Most of them were electrical violations.
The policy of city employees inspecting rental units began Aug. 3, replacing the longtime self-inspection program.
Mayor Matt Walsh says he thinks the landlords "are working with the city, and we appreciate that very much."
Church Camp Counselor Accused Of Sexual Assault
INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - A 20-year-old counselor at a church youth camp in southern Iowa has been accused of sexually assaulting a colleague.
Warren County sheriff's deputies have arrested Asa Bruss, of Cedar Falls, and were holding him Friday in the county jail. He faces four counts of sexual abuse. Online court records don't list the name of an attorney who could be contacted to comment on Bruss' behalf.
An 18-year-old counselor at Wesley Woods Camp and Retreat Center in Indianola told deputies that Bruss had sexually abused her at the camp last month.
The camp is run by the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church. A conference spokesman, Arthur McClanahan, says camp counselors go through a rigorous background check and that parents should feel safe in sending their children to the camp.
Jeb Bush Visits Iowa State Fair With Grassley And Ernst
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Jeb Bush is touring the Iowa State Fair with the state's two Republican senators and says he's fully committed to competing in Iowa's presidential caucuses.
Recent polls show the former Florida governor struggling in Iowa but Bush says many voters are still looking at the field.
The son and brother of U.S. presidents walked the parade grounds Friday with Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa.
Grassley and Ernst haven't endorsed a candidate but their appearances showed Bush's potential strengths in the party.
Bush says his father, former President George H.W. Bush, was an "asterisk" at this stage of the 1980 race. Asked if he was "all-in" in Iowa, Bush agreed and said he was "competitive."
Bush says "you've got to show respect for Iowans. They're discerning voters."
School Superintendent Appeals Suspension
TREYNOR, Iowa (AP) - A schools superintendent has appealed the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners' decision to suspend his state license for 30 days.
The attorney for Kevin Elwood says the appeal was filed Wednesday in Polk County District Court and that Elwood may continue in his Treynor district post during the appeal process.
On Aug. 7 the board suspended Elwood's license, saying he should not have let his son work unsupervised as a custodian for the district after the son was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct. Elwood was accused of two violations of Iowa code, including failing to make reasonable efforts to protect the health and safety of students.
Fort Dodge School Found To Have Structural Problems
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Classes for about 350 elementary students in Fort Dodge will be held this fall elsewhere due to structural concerns recently discovered at the school.
Duncombe Elementary's students will start the school year at the former Fair Oaks Middle School building.
Issues with the school's structure were discovered during summer remodeling efforts. The school district's superintendent says they weren't a result of neglect, but rather due to the building being at least 100 years old.
The middle school closed in 2013 and was sold to Foutch Bros. LLC of Kansas City, Missouri.
The company told district officials the former school could be used for elementary students at no cost for a minimum of two years.
Body Recovered In River
CLARINDA, Iowa (AP) - Officials say the body of a 23-year-old man has been recovered from the West Nodaway River in southwestern Iowa.
A 911 caller told Page County authorities around 9:15 p.m. Thursday about a person struggling in the river near the East Washington Street bridge on the east side of Clarinda. Clarinda firefighters were dispatched and eventually were joined by other rescue teams. People in an airboat sent by the Council Bluffs Fire Department searched downstream.
Authorities say the body was found around 2:15 a.m. Friday south of the bridge. The man was identified as Trent Hayden, of Clarinda.
Egg Producer Seeks Permit In Maine
TURNER, Maine (AP) - A farm executive who pleaded the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination in front of a congressional committee investigating the salmonella outbreak is the same person who signed a new lease on Maine's largest egg farm.
The Sun Journal reports that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is considering a request from a Land o'Lakes subsidiary to transfer active permits to Hillandale Farms, the farm family involved with Jack DeCoster in an Iowa salmonella outbreak that sickened 1,900 people in 2010.
Hillandale signed a lease to operate the farms on July 8. But the newspaper reported that properties continue to be owned by DeCoster's corporate entities.
Only the Turner operation with 2 million egg-laying hens is currently in operation. Hillandale will notify the DEP if restarts operations in Leeds and Winthrop.
Iowa Couple Found Guilty Of Sex Trafficking
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Two Iowa residents will spend decades in prison for forcing a young woman into prostitution and torturing her.
Aldair Hodza was sentenced to 41 years and eight months Friday in federal court in Richmond. Laura Sorensen was sentenced to 40 years.
The Clive, Iowa, residents held a 20-year-old woman captive on a trip to Virginia and forced her to have sex with men who answered online ads. They burned the woman with lit cigarettes and other heated objects, drove nails into her feet and poured bleach into her wounds.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors are recommending prison terms of 35 years - 11 more than the top end of the sentencing guideline range. But U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson said that wasn't enough, citing the "unprecedented depravity" in the case.