Friday News, November 28
Black Friday Begins
(Le Mars) -- Today is known as Black Friday, a day when bargains are to be found and retail businesses open their doors early for the start of the Christmas shopping rush. Some larger big box retail stores, such as Sears, Kohl's, and Best Buy to name a few, had an early start to Black Friday, as they opened their doors on Thanksgiving hoping to take advantage of the shopping frenzy. Nationally, holiday sales are forecast to grow 4.1 percent over last year, the highest increase since 2011.
Fire Department Called To Check Carbon Monoxide Levels In Home
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called at about 1:12 a.m. this morning to check a carbon monoxide level at the home located at 234 2nd Avenue southeast. No word as to whether the home had dangerous high levels of carbon monoxide.
Museum To Unveil "Museum Manger" And Prepares For Christmas Open House
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Historical Museum will unveil its Museum Manger display beginning this afternoon. The "Museum Manger" features hundreds of nativity scenes in the old Study Hall. The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Ron Burkard, who started the nativity display in 2010, prior to his death in 2011. The Plymouth County Historical Museum is preparing for its Christmas Open House which is scheduled for Sunday, December 7th. In addition to the "Museum Manger" display, the museum will show its new wildlife displayed in the Loess Hills Hall. Lois Pausch of Le Mars has donated the wildlife, which belonged to her late husband, Harry Pausch. The gifts include: a pintail duck, a wood duck, a mallard drake and hen, and a ringneck duck, a partridge in brush, a silver fox taken near Oyens, and an opossum from a north farm in Oyens. Tying in with the Pearl Harbor Day, Garry Pape of Le Mars will be autographing his new book, "The Bats: the History of Iowa's Air National Guard 174th Squadron - From Fighter to Tanker. Music will also be featured at the museum during the open house with piano students of Inez Hoogeveen of Le Mars will play between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Sioux City Looking At Establishing A Downtown Grocery Store
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A downtown business advocacy group is exploring the idea of establishing a specialty grocery store in downtown Sioux City.
The store would be called Trader Sioux and feature local merchandise and fresh food. The store also could showcase products sold at the Sioux City Farmers Market, which is held twice weekly during the spring, summer and fall near the Tyson Events Center.
The group, Downtown Partners, hasn't announced a budget or a timetable. Chris Bogenrief leads the Downtown Partners committee organizing the project, and he says the project "is an economic initiative, so we want to make sure we spur as much spinoff development as we can."
Oil Pipeline Meetings For Northwest Iowa To Begin On Monday
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa (AP) - Landowners that would be impacted by a proposed oil pipeline through Iowa will be able to get more information at some upcoming public meetings
The Texas-based company seeking to build the $3.8 billion pipeline will start holding informal public meetings on Monday in Northwest Iowa.
Meetings are also scheduled in the other areas the pipeline would touch. A spokesman for the Iowa Utility Board said the company must hold the meetings before seeking a permit.
Energy Transfer Partners, of Dallas, wants to build the 1,100-mile underground pipeline across Iowa and three other states. The pipeline would carry crude oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, where it could be redirected. The meetings are scheduled at 1:00 p.m. at the Inwood Community Center, at Inwood on December 1st. Sioux Center's Terrace View Event Center will hold a meeting at 6:00 p.m. On December 2nd, an informational meeting is scheduled for the Sheldon Community Services Center beginning at 9:00 a.m. Cherokee Community Center will hold a meeting on December 2nd at 3:00 p.m. Buena Vista Universitiy will host an oil pipeline informational meeting on December 3rd at 9:00 a.m.
Council Bluffs May Implement Rental Inspections
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Council Bluffs is considering whether to begin regular city inspections of rental housing, but the idea has drawn fire from some landlords.
The current policy requires self-inspections by the property owners.
Mayor Matt Walsh says Council Bluffs is the only city in Iowa with a population of 15,000 or more that doesn't have professional inspectors.
The proposal would increase the city registration fee to $35 per unit every two years from $15. The plan would be to inspect every rental unit in the city at least once every three years.
Local landlord Carla Limmer told the newspaper that there's no need for the change and that landlords "maintain things on a safe level."
A public hearing on the issue is scheduled for Dec. 15.
High School Soccer Coach Pulls Gun On Officers
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a high school coach in Iowa City was arrested after trying to pull a handgun when he was stopped on suspicion of drunken driving.
Thirty-one-year-old Edgar Arceo faces weapons and drunken driving charges. A public phone listing for Arceo couldn't be found. It's unclear whether he has an attorney.
Police say Arceo's vehicle was pulled over late Wednesday night in Iowa City. Police say that when officers approached and talked to him he reached into his pocket and began pulling out a pistol. Police say an officer stopped him and took away the loaded weapon.
The website for Iowa City High School lists Arceo as the girls soccer coach and director of the student advisory center.
Dog Saves Owner's Life From House Fire
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man survived a house fire Thanksgiving morning and likely owes his life to his helpful dog.
A Cedar Falls man was asleep when a fire broke out in his home early Thursday. Cedar Falls Fire Chief John Schilling said the fire consumed the entire home, which did not have any working smoke detectors.
The owner's dog woke the sleeping owner and both escaped to safety.
The fire is still under investigation. Schilling said having working smoke detectors in the home should be as "essential as having running water."
Two People Arrested After High Speed Chase From Stealing A Snowmobile
GRIMES, Iowa (AP) - Two people were in custody after leading Polk County law enforcement officials on a high-speed chase early Thursday.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office reports that they arrested two people early Thursday. Chaiya Cavan and Samantha Dickerson are charged with theft, possession of stolen property and related charges.
In a news release, officials said that on Thursday, just after midnight, they noticed a truck pull up behind a store in Grimes that sells motorcycles, scooters and other vehicles. Then they saw Cavan put a snowmobile into an attached trailer. When police tried to stop the truck, it sped away.
The couple crashed the vehicle and fled on foot before they were apprehended. Police confirmed that the snowmobile was stolen.
Seven Vehicle Accident In Kossuth County
SEXTON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say people only minor injuries were reported after a seven-vehicle pileup in northern Iowa's Kossuth County.
The accident was reported Wednesday on U.S. Highway 18 near Sexton.
The Iowa State Patrol says an eastbound semitrailer hit the back of a car that slowed for a snowplow. The car was pushed into a truck, and then other vehicles crashed. The semitrailer driver was cited later for failing to ensure he had adequate room to stop.
Kossuth County Deputy Sheriff Chuck Robinson says two semitrailers, a delivery truck, a pickup and three cars were involved in the pileup.
Anonymous Donor Pays Off Lay-a-way Bill
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An anonymous benefactor paid off a Walmart layaway balance for an Iowa City woman this week.
Someone paid the $54 that April Cardenas owed to the Iowa City Walmart Supercenter. Cardenas, a 50-year-old home daycare provider, learned of the anonymous gift Monday.
Cardenas received a note that said "Happy Holidays" and was signed "Positive for Poppy." She said the generosity lifted her spirits.
Walmart spokeswoman Erin Hofmann said the woman who gave the gift wanted to stay anonymous. She said workers at the Iowa City store think this woman may have made similar gifts in the past.
Vilsack Reports More Employed People Using SNAP Benefits
(Washington) -- Most people were perhaps able to enjoy a feast from the Thanksgiving meal, but About 13-percent of all Iowans now put food on the table each day with the help of SNAP benefits. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. The latest Farm Bill is providing some 200-million dollars in grants that will be used to help those receiving SNAP benefits to find jobs -- or better paying jobs. U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the face of the SNAP program has changed in the last 40 years.
Almost 421-thousand Iowans receive monthly SNAP benefits, about 13-percent of the state's population. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, says the majority of those receiving SNAP benefits work but are under-employed or under-paid.
Vilsack says the grant money will be used to provide education and training, rehabilitative services for individuals in need and target hard to serve areas.
Several of the pilot programs, he says, will be tested in what are considered hard-to-serve areas, including rural parts of Iowa.