Saturday News, June 1
(Le Mars) -- The month of May may go down in history as being a "weird month of weather".
You may recall on May 1st, Le Mars had received three inches of snow, then nearly two weeks
later on May 14th, Le Mars had set a record for the hottest temperature at 102 degrees.
Then also consider this week's abundant rainfall followed by the flash flooding. All
together, it has been an unusual May. Harry Hilaker serves as the state of Iowa
climatologist and he tries to make sense of the weather patterns.
Right in the middle of the month we experienced a one-day heat wave. Hillaker says, that
too was unusual for the Month of May. Le Mars set a record with a temperature of 102.
Sioux City recorded a temperature of 106, and Estherville had a high of 104 degrees,
The climatologist says despite last year's drought, April and May of 2013 will go on record
as being the wettest spring ever.
The climatologist says the year is forming a weather pattern similar to 1947.
So, what type of weather pattern can we expect to see for June of 2013?
Train Truck Crash Hospitalizes One
(Le Mars) -- The crash of a Burlington Northern - Santa Fe train and a pickup truck on
Friday morning sent one person to the hospital. 43 year old Carrie Pfeil of Akron
was driving a 2010 Dodge pickup heading east-bound, crossing the tracks about two miles
southwest of Le Mars on 200th Street when she collided with the south-bound train shortly
after 8:00 a.m. The train was hauling tanker cars filled with crude oil. The train hit
the truck, spinning it around shattering the truck's engine, and in the process pushing it
off the crossing. The truck is listed as a total loss. There was no leakage of oil from
the train. There was no oil leaking from any of the tanker rail cars, and rail officials
determined the train was fit for transport. The driver was extricated by Le Mars Fire and
Rescue Department and was transported to, Floyd Valley hospital, then airlifted to Mercy
Medical Center in Sioux City. Pfeil was conscious at the time of the rescue, but had
suffered injuries, although thought to be non life-threatening. The Iowa Highway Patrol is
continuing its investigation.
Fertilizer Manufacturer Plans $1.7 Billion Expansion
SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (AP) - State regulators have given initial
approval for a major expansion at a western Iowa fertilizer
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has issued draft air
quality permits for the $1.7 billion expansion planned by CF
Industries south of Sergeant Bluff.
The final decision on the permits will be made after a 30-day public
A public hearing is scheduled for June 24 in Sioux City.
The company applied for 28 state air permits for the
construction of an ammonia plant and a urea plant, both to be
fueled by natural gas.
The DNR has concluded the emissions from the plants will not
violate national air quality standards.
Equipment will emit sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide and other
gases within allowed limit.
Soybean Planting Behind, May Affect Harvest
ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's wettest May on record has delayed
soybean planting, which is likely to affect this fall's harvest.
As of this week only 40 percent of the state's soybean crop had
been planted. By this time last year, 95 percent was in the ground.
The five-year average is 83 percent.
Iowa Soybean Association Director of Marketing Grant Kimberley
says most of the crop likely will be in the ground by mid-June but
that will cut the amount of beans harvested per acre.
Soybean yields on average decline by a quarter of a bushel to
nearly a bushel per day the seed isn't in the ground after May 15.
Modern seed varieties have been known to catch up quickly and a
decent harvest could result if conditions are good from now on.
Catholic Schools Bishops Dinner Speaker Announced
Sioux City, Iowa--The Catholic School Foundation of the Diocese of Sioux City has announced
Father Jonathan Morris will be the featured speaker at the 2013 Bishop’s Dinner for
Catholic Schools in October.
As a news analyst for the Fox News and Fox Business Channels, Father Jonathan Morris offers
coverage of the ethical, social and religious news stories of the day. As a Roman Catholic
priest with pastoral experience developed from serving around the world, he brings not only
a journalist’s eye to issues but also a pastor’s heart in relating how that issue will
affect the audience.
Father Jonathan was featured extensively on Fox News during Pope Benedict’s resignation and
Pope Francis’ subsequent election. His presentation at the Bishop’s Dinner will focus on
the important role of Catholic schools within families and communities.
The Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Schools serves as the single largest fundraiser for all 16
Catholic school systems throughout the Diocese of Sioux City. More than 6200 students
attended Catholic schools in northwest Iowa during the 2012 – 13 school year. Last year’s
event raised more than $125,000 and drew a crowd of more than 600 attendees.
This year’s dinner is scheduled for Sunday, October 13th at the Sioux City Convention
Center. Tickets will go on sale on Monday, August 26th and can be purchased through the
diocesan website www.scdiocese.org
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Medicine says more
physicians are seeking to work in Iowa.
The board says in its annual report released Friday that it
issued 815 new licenses in 2012. That's up from 776 in in 2011 and
709 in 2010.
The report shows there are 6,700 physicians practicing in Iowa
and 691 physicians in the state's residency training programs.
At the end of 2012, the board administered 11,134 active
physician licenses, which includes doctors who work in Iowa but
have a primary practice in another state.
The board says the increase in license applicants means more
physicians are establishing practices in Iowa and more
non-residents are working on temporary assignments in the state.
Some also are using telecommunication from outside Iowa for
specialties such as radiology and pathology.
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) - A brawl involving 15 inmates at the state
prison in Newton has prompted a lockdown of the facility.
Iowa Department of Corrections officials say a fight broke out
in the recreation yard at about 10 a.m. Friday.
Tear gas was used to separate inmates and those involved have
been segregated from other prisoners.
Some of the prison guards were exposed to the tear gas and one
had a few arm scrapes but otherwise staff was not injured. No
serious inmate injuries have been reported
Movement of inmates is now restricted to cells except for meals
and medical appointments.
All visits at the medium security facility were cancelled Friday
but will resume Saturday.
Prison spokesman Fred Scaletta says prison officials are
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike
Gronstal says he's considering a bid for governor.
Gronstal made the comment Friday during a taping of the public
television program, "Iowa Press." The Council Bluffs Democrat
says that with the legislative session over, he is "seriously"
considering running for governor in 2014.
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad has not announced if he will seek
re-election, but he is widely expected to do so. No other Democrats
have formally entered the race, though Sen. Jack Hatch, a Des
Moines Democrat, says he is seriously looking at running.
Gronstal says he expects to make a decision by the end of the
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines businessman has filed a
lawsuit against the Iowa Public Radio board, alleging members held
an improper private meeting.
The Des Moines Register reports Michael Gartner - a former Board
of Regents member who owns the Iowa Cubs baseball team - filed the
suit in Polk County District Court this week. Gartner argues the
board violated state public meeting rules when it met privately in
That meeting came before the board fired the former chief
executive in February.
Gartner's suit seeks a declaration that Iowa Public Radio is
subject to state open-meetings laws. He also wants a judge to
review minutes from the December meeting and release the material
to the public as requested.
The board didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.