Monday News, December 1
Child Playing With Lighter Starts Fire At Home
(Le Mars) -- A child playing with a lighter was responsible for a fire at 135 6th Avenune Southwest in Le Mars that was reported on Saturday morning at about 11:05 a.m. Fire officials responded to the residence and found some smoke coming from the basement. Burning material was removed from the basement to the backyard and extinguished. There was no fire damage to the home and very little smoke in the basement. Firefighters used a positive pressure ventilation fan to remove what smoke was in the basement. Fire fighters were on scene for approximately one hour. There were no injuries to the occupants or firefighters and all residents were allowed back into the home. The cause for the fire was determined to be a child playing with fire. No charges will be filed and the child admitted to the fire fighters he was playing with a lighter. Fire officials explained to the child the dangers of this type of activity.
Names Of Truck Drivers Involved In Accident Are Released
(Le Mars) -- The names of the two truck drivers involved with the accident Friday afternoon have been released. The accident occured on Highway 60 at about 12:10 p.m. approximately 6 miles northeast of Le Mars. Both drivers, 60 year old Thomas Linstrand of Le Mars and 51 year old Frank Boldt of West Bend, Wisconsin were transported to Floyd Valley Hospital, and were released Friday afternoon. The accident involved two semi trucks and trailers. The semi truck and tanker driven by Frank Boldt rear-ended the semi truck driven by Thomas Linstrand. Both trucks and trailers rolled on their side and ended in the ditch. Photos of the accident can be seen on the KLEM website.
State Representative Dwayne Alons Passes Away
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa state Rep. Dwayne Alons, who was battling renal cancer, has died.
Alons, a Republican from Hull, announced his diagnosis last month, but at that point he planned to continue serving in the state legislature.
Lori Dejong with the Oolman Funeral Home in Hull said Sunday the 68-year-old Alons died Saturday.
Alons was a retired farmer and former Iowa Air National Guard brigadier general. He had represented Iowa House District 4 since 1998.
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen said he is sad to lose Alons.
Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer said Alons did an exemplary job representing people in his district and listening to their concerns.
Governor Branstad stated in a release “As a retired Brigadier General in the Iowa National Guard and a member of the Iowa Legislature since 1998, Iowa lost a true statesman with the passing of
Representative Dwayne Alons,”
Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds says “As a former state legislator who also grew up in rural Iowa, I admired Representative Alons’ commitment to service and passion for working for rural Iowa,” said Reynolds. “You would be hard-pressed to find a better advocate for Iowa families, agriculture and rural economic development than Dwayne Alons in the Iowa Legislature.
State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars says Alons will be missed in the state legislature.
Soderberg says you always knew where Dwayne Alons stood on the issues. Being a former veteran, Soderberg says Alons was firm when dealing with bills relating to veterans.
Alons and his wife, Clarice, had four children and 13 grandchildren. In the House, he most recently served as the Chairman of the Veterans Affairs committee.
Area Farmers Fortunate Not To See Many Rail Delays
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Rail delays have been a problem for farmers throughout much of the Great Plains this year, but they've been less of an issue in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Grain elevators around Sioux City say their rail shipments of grain this year have been mostly on time, and they're cautiously optimistic about handling the big 2014 harvest over the next few months.
Don Truhe, general manager for the Southeast Farmers Elevator Coop, says his cooperative has been lucky to get all of its trains on time this year.
It helps that a significant portion of the grain grown in the region is used by feedlots or biofuel plants.
In recent reports to the Surface Transportation Board, BNSF, Union Pacific and Canadian National railroads said they are making significant progress.
Five Year Old Council Bluffs Girl Dies From Sledding Accident
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A 5-year-old Iowa girl has died two weeks after she was hit by a truck while sledding down her grandfather's driveway.
Kailey Maloney died Saturday at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. She had been treated there since her Nov. 16 injury.
Maloney was sledding down the driveway of her grandfather's property. She was hit by a Chevrolet pickup truck after she slid into the street.
Police say no charges have been filed in this incident.
Schultz Says He Has No Regrets As He Leaves Office
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - After four tumultuous years, Secretary of State Matt Schultz is preparing to leave office with no regrets.
Schultz, an attorney who previously worked at a Council Bluffs law firm, says he's excited to return to the practice of law after winning easy victory in the Nov. 4 election for Madison County attorney.
He'll take a pay cut and have a much smaller staff but says the job will keep him closer to his home in Truro and allow him to continue public service.
He leaves behind a controversial legacy voter fraud investigations and criticism of efforts to get voter ID passed.
Schultz says he truly believes ensuring that voters are eligible helps maintain trust in the voting system.
Midwest Economic Trend Drops In November
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A monthly economic survey index for nine Midwestern and Plains states has dipped again.
A survey report issued Monday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index fell in November to 51.3 from 51.8 in October. September's figure was 54.3.
After rising in June to its highest level in more than three years, the overall reading has hovered in a range pointing to much slower growth for the overall regional economy over the next three to six months.
The survey results from supply managers are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests economic growth, while a score below that suggests decline.
The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Iowa City Cab Driver Attacked
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa City police are searching for a man and a woman who they say attacked a cab driver and fled from the vehicle.
Police believe the woman used pepper spray on the cab driver's face as he turned around to collect the fare. They say the man and the woman then fled into the Pheasant Ridge Apartment complex.
The victim suffered minor injuries in the attack. It's unclear if he was taken to a hospital.
Police didn't say how much money the pair owed the driver.
Police are investigating.
Hay Stolen From Zoo
NASHUA, Iowa (AP) - The owner of an eastern Iowa zoo and farm says more than 20 tons of hay was stolen from the property over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Amanda Slessor says more than 30 hay bales weighing 1,500 pounds each were taken from the THR Zoological Farm near Nashua. She estimates about $3,000 in hay was stolen.
She says she left the gate unlocked while she was gone because she was expecting a delivery.
Slessor says she might have to sell some of the animals if she can't afford to replace the hay.
Forest City Police Get New Drug Sniffing K-9
FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa town of Forest City has bought a new police dog and plans to revive its K-9 unit early next year.
The police department plans to use $6,100 from forfeited property to pay for the German shepherd that's expected to be ready to start patrolling the area in February.
Police Chief Doug Jenson says the department happened on the opportunity to buy this dog, which is halfway through its training.
Jenson says the dog trainer who had worked for Hancock County is temporarily closing to train dogs for the Indian government.
A former Forest City K-9 officer will help complete the dog's training.