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Friday News, October 25

Fire and Rescue Units Respond To Grain Bin Accident

(Le Mars) -- Fire and rescue units from Le Mars and Merrill worked for nearly two hours
yesterday afternoon on a harvest-related grain bin accident.  The call came in at about 1:30
p.m. and rescue squads responded to 20516 County Road K-22 for a subject that was caught in
an auger inside a grain bin that had nearly 12 feet of corn piled around the subject.  Upon
arrival, firefighters started to apply shoring materials around the victim.  The Merrill
Fire and Rescue responded with a grain chute rescue system for additional shoring was also
used.  The subject's left foot was caught in the center floor auger in the bin. 
Firefighters cut holes in the side of the bin walls to relieve the pressure of the corn that
was collapsing on the victim, and to provide needed ventilation for the victim and rescue
workers.  Once the pressure of the corn was relieved, grain chutes and plywood were used to
stabilize the corn around the victim.  The corn was removed from around the victim with a
portable grain vacuum, and shovels.  Access was finally gained to the auger and entrapment
location.  Firefighters used extrication rams, reciprocating saws and pry bars to free the
victim.  The victim was placed on a backboard and removed from the bin.  The victim was
conscious and in good spirits throughout the rescue, and was being treated by Le Mars
Ambulance and Mercy helicopter medics during the extrication.  The patient was air lifted
from the scene via Mercy air care and transported to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City. 
Assisting at the scene were the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, Merrill Fire and Rescue,
Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, Northwest REC, and neighboring farmers.


Truck Hits Utility Pole Causes Power Outage

(Le Mars) -- Last evening at around 9:30 p.m. you may have noticed a loss of power for a
short moment, if you live near the downtown region of Le Mars.  The reason for the lights to
go out temporarily, was a shuttle truck had hit a guide wire and utility pole near the Wells
north plant, causing an electrical transformer to short out.  MidAmerican crews were called
to replace a transformer, and to reconnect some of the power lines.  Power was fully restored to the area within a hour.  There were no injuries to the truck driver.


Remsen To Host 40th Annual Oktoberfest

(Remsen) -- Saturday, you will hear a lot of oom..pa..pa.. and other polka music coming from
Remsen, as the community celebrates its 40th annual Oktoberfest.  Its a chance for the
community to acknowledge its German and Luxembourg heritage.  Oktoberfest will start at 9:00
a.m. with a craft show at the Remsen-Union high school.  At 1:00 p.m. will be the tapping of
the golden keg at the Remsen St. Mary's high school gym.  1:30 p.m. will be the judging of
the Little Luxembourg Prince and Princess competition, and at 5:00 p.m. will be the
announcement of the new Oktoberfest queen.  The traditional Luxembourg family-style dinner
featuring treipen, bratwurst, headcheese, German Potato Salad, German Kraut, as well as an
American menu featuring roast beef, chicken, mashed potatoes, dressing, and cole slaw will
begin at 3:00 p.m. and will continue until 8:00 p.m.  The beer garden will be operating from
1:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.  Throughout the day, Bruce Bradley and Jim Strehlke will play the
traditional sounds of polka music.  Tickets for the dinner are $12.


Police Look For Imposter Wanted For Abduction

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in Sioux City are investigating reports of a man who
allegedly posed as a law enforcement officer and fondled a girl.
Sioux City police say a man approached two girls as they were leaving a neighborhood
store on Sunday. The girls say the man displayed a police badge and identified himself as an
Police say the man told the girls that they were suspects in a store theft. He then allegedly reached out and fondled one of the girls before they ran away.
Investigators are treating the incident as an attempted abduction. They believe there
may be more victims because of the nature of the case.


Steve King To Host "Defenders Of Freedom" Rally

(Le Mars) -- Iowa 4th District Congressman Steve King will be in Plymouth County on Saturday, and with him will be Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  It's part of the annual Defenders of Freedom event.  King and Cruz will begin their morning with a pheasant hunt, then at 11:00 a.m. the right-wing conservatives will hold a luncheon and political rally at the Le Mars Convention Center.  Both King and Cruz are scheduled to speak at the event.  The pheasant hunt is sold out, however, tickets for the luncheon are still available.  If you have an interest in attending the Republican rally event, you need to call (712) 664-5097 and make reservations.


Republicans Split Over Party Leadership

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Veteran Iowa Republicans are quietly working to wrest control of
the state GOP from libertarian and Christian conservative factions they blame for alienating
longtime donors. Led by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, these Republicans tell the Associated
Press they want to grow the party by seeking pragmatic solutions over ideological purity.
The Iowa GOP has experienced significant infighting since a supporter of then
presidential candidate Ron Paul won the state party chairmanship following the 2012
election. But Chairman A.J. Spiker says the rancor reflects the divide between tea party
conservatives and the Republican establishment across the nation and is not unique to Iowa.

Branstad Says He Would Like To Freeze Tuition Rates

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad isn't making promises yet, but he says he'd love to freeze tuition rates for resident undergraduates at Iowa's public universities for a second straight year.
Branstad told the Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday that he will have to look at state
revenue estimates in December, and weigh other funding requests as he puts together a budget
for next year.
But he says he'd like to be able to support enough funding to allow the state's three
public universities to freeze tuition. He says it would be the first time since 1975 for a back-to-back tuition freeze.
The regents are planning to freeze tuition if the governor and lawmakers approve a 4 percent increase in funding. Board President Bruce Rastetter says he believes the plan will succeed.

Branstad Suspends Propane Hauling Hours

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad is suspending the specific hours that drivers can transport propane in Iowa.
Branstad announced the emergency declaration Thursday. It goes into effect Friday and ends November 7th.
The declaration says Iowa residents have extremely low supplies of propane because of a late harvest and high demand for petroleum products throughout the Midwest.
The declaration adds that adequate supplies of propane are necessary for normal agricultural harvesting and residential heating, particularly in rural areas.
The suspension does not mean that fatigued or ill drivers should transport propane. Drivers needing rest should be given certain hours before they return to service.






Thursday Afternoon News, October 24

Rescue Units Respond To Grain Bin Accident

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars and Merrill Fire and Rescue units were called to a harvest related accident at about 1:30 Thursday afternoon.  The accident occurred nearly ten miles southwest of Le Mars at a farm just north of the County Road K-22 and C-38.  The accident involved a 40 year old man from Merrill who had gotten his foot and lower extremity entangled in an auger inside a grain bin. Fire fighters had cut several holes in the grain bin to allow some of the grain to empty out, in order to have better access to the victim.  Rescue units worked for two hours before they were able to extricate the subject from the grain bin.  The male victim was alive and in good spirits as he was removed on a backboard from the grain bin.  Mercy Air Care was called to the scene and transported him to the Mercy Medical Center in Sioux city.  Authorities are not releasing the name of the victim at this time. Assisting at the scene was the Le Mars Ambulance, Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, and Northwest REC.


Wells Celebrates 100 Years

(Le Mars) -- 100 years ago today, a gentleman, by the name of Fred H. Wells, started up a
dairy operation in Le Mars, Iowa.  He had a horse, a delivery wagon, a few cans and jars and
was distributing milk to local customers from a dairy farmer for the agreed upon price of
$250.  Around 1925, that upstart company started to produce ice cream.  Today, the company
is known by the name of Wells Enterprises with its signature product,  Blue Bunny ice cream.
Wells is the nation's largest family owned and managed ice cream producer.  The numbers,
according to the Wells website: the company employs more than 2500 people, and operates
three production facilities, (two in Le Mars and a third at St. George, Utah).  The company
makes more than 70 flavors of ice cream with its products distributed nationwide. Wells
produces over 120 million gallons of ice cream annually.  The name: "Blue Bunny" was created
by a Sioux City man in 1935 who had won a contest.  He noticed how much his son enjoyed blue
bunnies in a department store window at Easter Time.  Happy 100th Birthday, Wells Blue


Sioux City Workers Try To Save Historical Cemetery From Soil Erosion

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City workers are hauling in dirt to historic Floyd Cemetery to fill in a gully and make sure erosion doesn't expose any graves.
City officials say the ongoing project involves bringing in soil and extending drainage tubes. The work should eventually slow runoff and erosion.
Some gravestones near the gully in question have exposed concrete bases and tilted headstones. Kelly Bach, city parks maintenance field supervisor, says none of the gravestones were in immediate danger of being exposed or sliding away.
Just a handful of burials take place each year at Floyd Cemetery, which is considered the city's oldest graveyard. The land was donated to Sioux City in 1866.
Historians say concerns about erosion at the cemetery have been ongoing for years.

Skeletal Remains Is Wanted Criminal

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Skeletal remains found along an interstate bridge in western Iowa have been identified as a Nebraska man accused of fleeing arrest nearly two years.
The state Division of Criminal Investigation announced Thursday that remains discovered on Oct. 11 belong to 21-year-old Chance Fletcher, of Omaha. They were positively identified through dental records.
Fletcher was last seen alive during a police pursuit on Dec. 15, 2011. He is accused of leading a police chase in a stolen vehicle. Local police say Fletcher wrecked the car near the I-480 bridge and escaped on foot. Authorities were later unable to find him.
Omaha Police's missing persons unit coordinated the area search on Oct. 11. Fletcher's remains were discovered in a drainage ditch.


Business Owners Can Apply For Property Tax Credit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa business owners can begin applying for a new property tax credit that was part of a tax reform package approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor earlier this year.
The property tax credit applies to certain commercial, industrial, and railroad properties.
The Legislative Services Agency has estimated that the maximum first year credit amount will be about $523.
Lawmakers set aside $50 million to pay for the first year of credits.
Applications for credit against 2013 property tax assessments must be received by the county or city assessor by Jan. 15.
Applications may be obtained from the Iowa Department of Revenue.




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