Tuesday News, April 30
Fertilizer Truck Overturns In Accident
(Le Mars) -- A semi truck and trailer loaded with 24,000 pounds of urea dry fertilizer overturned in an accident Monday evening at about 8:30 p.m. The truck is owned by the Hull Co-op of Hull, Iowa. It was attempting to make a right-hand turn when it turned too short and tipped over in the ditch, spilling its contents. The accident happened at the intersection of Marble Avenue and County road C-12, about five miles north of Le Mars. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue unit responded to the accident. Due to the fact it was dry fertilizer, the Sioux City Hazzard Material team was consulted, as was the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. An industrial vacuum was used to help clean up the spilled fertilizer. There were no injuries associated with the accident, but rescue crews did work for more than four hours cleaning up the fertilizer. No information has been released as to the name of the driver of the truck. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, Iowa Highway Patrol, and the Iowa Department of Transportation, Motor carrier Enforcement were all at the scene.
Fire Departments Respond To Corn Stalk Bales On Fire
(Sioux Center) -- Three different fire departments were called to the Sioux Feeds mill located on Highway 75 just two miles south of Sioux Center late Monday afternoon where baled corn stalks had caught on fire. Sioux Center, Ireton, and Maurice fire departments all responded to the scene. At least 20 different round baled corn stalks were lost due to the fire. Fire officials were trying to pull apart the round bales of corn stalks in order to extinguish the fire. No word as of yet as to how the fire go started, and what the extent of property damage had occurred.
Sioux City Police On Manhunt After Officer Is Shot
(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are continuing their search for a suspect who shot an officer during a routine traffic stop Monday afternoon around 3:10 p.m. Officer Chad Sheehan of the Sioux City Police says the suspect started shooting before the officer got out of his patrol car in the area of the 1300 block of West 3rd Street.
The suspect then fled on foot into the Westside neighborhood. He is identified as 22 year old Jamal Dean of Sioux City. Dean is a known gang member described as 6'1", 230 lbs. who was wearing all black clothing. Officers conducted a house to house search through several blocks of the Everett Elementary School area, but found no trace of the suspect. That search was suspended around 8:00 p.m. and Police Sgt. Mike Manthorne says officers are now following other leads.
Sheehan says Dean is considered armed and dangerous.
The name of the officer who was shot has not been released. Police Chief Doug Young confirmed the officer sustained a head wound, but is in stable condition at a city hospital. Anyone with information as to Dean's whereabouts is asked to contact the Crimestoppers hotline at (712) 258-TIPS (8477).
Supervisors To Meet On Tuesday Morning
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet today, and on their agenda the county governing board is expected to approve the county deputies salaries, as well as, approve a transfer resolution. The Supervisors will hear from County Conservation Director, Dennis Sohl, and Plymouth County Zoning Administrator, Alan Lucken. Sohl is seeking approval of the board of a donation of funds for a restricted project. Lucken will present the county zoning board's recommendations for for approval. The supervisors will also hear from County Engineer, Tom Rohe.
U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Iowa Case
AMES, Iowa (AP) - The drug death case involving an Ames man will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/156sZaR) that Marcus Burrage was given 20 years in prison for selling heroin in April 2010 to a Nevada (nuh-VAY'-duh) man who later died.
Burrage's attorney, Angela Campbell, says in the appeal that the trial judge improperly instructed the jury about what was necessary to prove Burrage guilty of causing the death of Joshua Banka. A
state medical examiner says Banka died of a mixed drug intoxication that included heroin.
The appeal documents say the judge should have told Burrage's jury that in order for Burrage to be found guilty, prosecutors had to prove that the heroin was the sole cause of Banka's death, not
just a contributing cause.
Senate Approves Spending Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Senate has approved a spending bill that includes money for the public safety retirement fund.
In a bipartisan vote, senators agreed Monday the retirement fund would get about $9 million this fiscal year and then $5 million annually after that.
The funding is part of the so-called standings appropriations bill. The bill now moves to the House for review.
The miscellaneous spending bill includes money for almost every department in the state and for several fiscal years.
The bill is traditionally viewed as the last opportunity to move legislation during the session.
Senate Republicans failed to amend the bill to include prohibiting traffic enforcement cameras and permitting criminal background checks on motorized food vendors, such as ice cream truck drivers.
Branstad's Health Care Plan Passes House Committee
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad's health care proposal for low-income Iowa residents has received committee-level approval in the Republican-majority state House, but the
Democratic-controlled Senate still favors expanding Medicaid.
A House committee on Monday approved legislation for the "Healthy Iowa" plan in a party-line vote. The plan revamps an existing program for low-income residents and would provide
coverage to an estimated 89,000 people. It would be paid for with a mix of state and federal dollars.
Branstad opposes the Medicaid expansion permitted under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Branstad says the long-term costs are unsustainable. He also says his plan will
provide wellness incentives that will help Iowans.
Democratic lawmakers argue that a Medicaid expansion will cover more people and cost the state less.
Senate Democrats Offer Compromise On Education Policy Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Senate Democrats have offered a new compromise on education policy that would allow school districts to opt out of adopting changes.
The proposal came Monday after a week of no progress on Gov. Terry Branstad's proposed education overhaul. Senate Democrats and House Republicans have approved different versions of the plan and have not yet been able to work out a deal.
Branstad has proposed boosting teacher pay and providing leadership incentives. Democrats now say they'll agree to make those reforms optional for districts. That's something Republicans
had been seeking.
But Democratic Sen. Herman Quirmbach, of Ames, says he doesn't want to agree to Republican-proposed changes to teacher evaluations that would use student testing and other factors as part of the process.
Republicans did not immediately respond to the offer.
Farmland Values Continue To Rise
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A real estate agents group estimates high quality crop land in Iowa is worth $11,515 an acre.
The Realtors Land Institute, made up of people specializing in farm and land sales, management and appraisal, say the average value is up 9.4 percent from September 2012.
The Des Moines Register reports northwest Iowa had the most expensive land, at $13,387 an acre.
Those surveyed were asked to estimate average values as of March 2013.
The soaring prices are due largely to high prices for commodities, such as corn and soybeans, that have put farmers in position to buy land as well as low interest rates.
Mentally Handicapped Turkey Employee Case Goes To Trial
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - The owner of Henry's Turkey Service testified during a trial in federal court that he didn't strike a disabled man who worked for him.
Kenneth Henry spoke Monday during the trial in Davenport, where the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is seeking compensation for 32 former employees whom it claims were mistreated. The Goldthwaite, Texas-based company supplied the men as contract workers to West Liberty Foods in West Liberty, Iowa.
A judge has already ordered Henry's to pay the men more than $1.3 million for wage violations.
The Quad-City Times reports Henry denied striking worker Gene Berg, as prosecutors had alleged.
Earlier, Henry testified he wasn't aware of claims the workers were physically abused.
He blamed the men's poor housing condition on a supervisor.
Closing arguments are expected Tuesday.