Tuesday Afternoon News, September 23
House Fire At Craig (Updated)
(Craig) -- Ireton, Sioux Center, Maurice, and the Le Mars Fire Departments all responded to a house fire reported early this morning at Craig. The alarm was sounded at about 5:45 a.m. this morning. Ireton Fire Chief Rich Steckelberg says upon arrival, flames were seen coming from the kitchen area of the two-story home.
Steckelberg says it is too early to determine the cause of the fire, but he believes the blaze may have started in the kitchen of the home. Fire fighters were on the scene for more than three and a half hours. Steckelberg says everyone in the household were able to escape the flames, and there were no injuries associated with the fire. The Ireton fire chief says the state fire marshal's office has been notified to investigate the cause of the fire. He doesn't know the amount of dollar damage done to the home, but he believes the home has been totaled.
Cherokee County Authorities Investigate Fatal Auto Accident
(Cherokee) -- The Cherokee County Sheriff's office is invesigating a fatal auto accident that happened on Monday evening at about 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 59 and State highway 31. Apparently, a pickup driven by Fred Lukins of Holstein was traveling northbound on Highway 59. Lukins attempted to turn west bound on to Highway 31 when his vehicle was broadsided by a north bound dump truck driven by Timothy Rardin of Lake View. Lukins and his passenger were tansported to the Cherokee Regional Medical Center where Lukins died as a result of his injuries. Lukins' passenger and Rardin suffered incapacitating injuries. The accident is still under investigation. Assisting at the scene was the Iowa State Patrol.
Fatal Farm Accident In Buena Vista County
(Storm Lake) -- A 16 year old Storm Lake boy is the victim of a fatal farm accident that happened late Monday afternoon near Truesdale. Buena Vista County authorities say the boy, identified as Conner Weiland, was attempting to clear a piece of farm machinery that had been plugged while harvesting corn. Wieland lost his footing and became entangeled in the harvesting machinery. Upon arrival at the scene, Buena Vista County emergency responders from the Buena Vista Sheriff's office, Rembrandt Fire Department, and the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center paramedics found the victim dead at the scene. An investigation into this accident is continuing by the Buena Vista County Sheriff's office and the Buena Vista County Medical Examiner's office.
This Week Is "National Farm Safety And Health Week"
(Le Mars) -- The fatal farm accident in Buena Vista County should serve as a reminder to all people working on farms to be extra cautious during this harvest season. This week is National Farm Safety and Health Week, and Iowa State University Extension Farm Safety Specialist Chuck Schwab says statistically, agriculture ranks as the most dangerous occupation.
Schwab says the most common types of farm-related accidents involve: machinery entanglements, roadway collisions, grain suffocation, electrocution, and even roll-overs involving either tractors, and/or all terrain vehicles. But the farm safety specialist says slips and falls account for many farm-related accidents each year.
All this week, KLEM news will focus on different aspects of farm safety during the noon news update.
Argosy Casino Still At Dock
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Owners of the closed Argosy riverboat casino on the Missouri River said high water may delay the structure's removal from the Sioux City waterfront.
The Argosy riverboat casino closed in July after the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission ordered it to cease operations, saying it wasn't partnered with a state-licensed local nonprofit group as required by Iowa law. Its parent company, Penn National Gaming, fought the order, but the state's supreme court ruled that it needed to close.
Mayor Bob Scott said Monday at a city council meeting that the casino's owners say they're prepared to pay the city if high waters prevent it from meeting the Sept. 28 removal deadline. "The rivers are way up, so the boat won't go under the bridges," Scott said.
If the waters don't recede, the owners are required to pay $7,500 in rent each month for its berth at Larsen Park Road.
City officials will have to decide what will take its place on the riverfront once it's gone.
Councilwoman Rhonda Capron said she'd like to see a walking trail, while some residents have suggested a fishing pier at the site. She said the final decision would be based on what the community supports.
"Some of these people are really coming up with some original ideas," she said. "I'm looking for more input from our people, because we only get one shot to do this and it's going to be there for a long time."
Iowa D-O-T To Hire More Snowplow Workers
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Transportation officials say they plan to hire hundreds of more temporary workers to operate snow plows around Iowa this winter.
The state Department of Transportation say they're hiring nearly 600 snow plow operators for a period that runs between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. That's a jump from the hiring of about 300 to 400 workers last winter.
The department posted openings recently on its website for jobs in cities across the state.
The additional hires are aimed at helping workers who put in overtime hours to combat last winter's severe weather, the station reported.
Employment will run from Oct. 15 through April 15.
New Jersey Governor Christie To Visit Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is set to visit Iowa next month to appear at a fundraiser for Gov. Terry Branstad.
The campaign for Branstad, who is running for his sixth non-consecutive term, announced Tuesday that Christie will attend Branstad's annual birthday fundraiser on Oct. 25 in Clive.
Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a role that provides him with the opportunity to raise money and campaign for GOP candidates. He made a July visit to Iowa, sparking speculation about his presidential aspirations.
During Christie's last trip to the kickoff voting state, he raised money for Republican candidates. He appears to have survived the lane-closing scandal that rocked his administration, though an investigation continues.
Recent polls have shown Branstad with a substantial lead against his Democratic opponent Jack Hatch.