Monday News, October 7
Tornado Hits Plymouth County
(Le Mars) -- The sound of chainsaws could be heard at the Sam and Jen Pratt home Saturday morning after Friday evening when a tornado had hit their homestead at about 6:45 p.m. The Pratt's reside at the intersection of County Roads C-38 and K-22, about ten miles west of Le Mars. The family was home at the time during the tornado strike. Sam says he was watching the storm approach his home.
Jen, his wife, was inside the house with their children when the storm hit.
Jen Pratt describes the destruction following the tornado.
Jen Pratt says the shed was storing the family's boat, tractor, and a car. She says she was amazed those items remained in place, undisturbed, but the shed was totally destroyed. Fortunately, for the Pratt's the tornado did not hit their house, having missed it by only a few feet. Sam tells where he found his shed after the storm.
Across the road Scott Fuerhelm, (Fire-helm) had a grain bin collapse and another grain bin damaged, along with an auger that had been toppled.
Hinton Students Help Teacher With Tornado Clean Up
ROCK BRANCH, Iowa (AP) - Friends and students of a retired teacher have begun helping him recover from tornado damage at his home in northwest Iowa.
Nine tornadoes struck northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa on Friday, injuring at least 15 people.
On Sunday, two buses carried about 50 students, staff members and parents from Hinton High School to the rural Rock Branch home of Wayne Stadler and his wife, Debbie. One of the twisters had ripped off the roof of their home and destroyed their barn and several sheds.
The Stadlers weren't injured.
Wayne Stadler had taught at the high school for 32 years. The damage was almost overwhelming, but the hard work by his friends and former students gave him a good start on the cleanup.
Students Learn To Stay Away From Drugs With Martial Arts Demonstration
(Le Mars) -- More than 300 students of fourth, fifth and sixth grades from the Le Mars Community and Le Mars Gehlen Catholic schools were given a martial arts demonstration during a Friday afternoon assembly. It was part of the Le Mars Optimist Club "Just say no" to drugs and alcohol campaign. Each of the students received a free T-shirt depicting boxing gloves with the slogan "Just Say No - Knock Out Drugs and Alcohol". This year's t-shirt was designed by Gehlen student Sydney Livermore. Micheal White, owner of the White Tiger Martial Arts organization was the featured speaker. White told the enthusiastic crowd of students to think "strong mind...strong body...and strong spirit, all with the underlying message that a student must be self-disciplined to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
White says he entered martial arts after being beaten up by bullies at school.
The students witnessed White, and three of his colleagues, use martial arts to break through
wooden boards, and concrete blocks. White demonstrated the use of focus, concentration, and
balance when he stood on top of two dozen eggs without breaking them, while demonstrating
other martial arts moves.
Midwest Governors Try To Stay Away From Blame Of Government Shutdown
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - State lawmakers and governors are trying to distance themselves from
the federal government shutdown in case angry voters decide to hold politicians everywhere
The state officials in Michigan, Iowa, Missouri and other states are pointing out how they completed budgets and resolved partisan differences without paralyzing state government. Republican lawmakers were especially outspoken in the Midwest, where the party depends on the support of moderate independent voters.
After the government shutdowns during Bill Clinton's presidency, many voters blamed
Republicans and punished the party in the next election.
The shutdown began last week after tea party congressmen tried to block funds for President Obama's new health care program.
Governors Rick Snyder in Michigan, Terry Branstad in Iowa and Jay Nixon in Missouri say they resolve conflicts without such tactics.
Government Shutdown Affecting Farmers
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The shutdown of the federal government is delaying crucial information farmers use to plant and market crops and postponing the payouts of subsidies to the nation's growers.
That is adding to the uncertainty among producers who depend on both the marketplace and government money.
Among the casualties of the shutdown are the reports put out by the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farmers use to help them price crops and livestock and decide what crops to grow and when to sell them.
Not only has the agency stopped putting out new reports, but all websites with past information have been taken down.
The Agriculture Department also closed its farm services offices. Now growers can't apply for loans or sign up acreages for programs. Farm subsidy checks are also not going out.
Transportation Officials To Take Up Traffic Camera Issue
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa transportation officials will take on the controversial issue of automated traffic cameras this week with proposed new rules designed to give them control over whether speed and red light cameras are placed on highways and interstates they oversee.
Iowa is the only state allowing automated cameras to be permanently installed on state-run highways.
The Iowa Department of Transportation on Tuesday will present proposed rules to a legislative committee at the Capitol. The rules require cities and counties to prove there's a critical safety issue at a specific location before cameras would be allowed.
Republican Senator Brad Zaun says the rules are fine, but he'll introduce a bill again this year to ban traffic cameras. Senate Democrats largely believe cities and counties should decide for themselves and oppose a ban.
Fort Dodge Student Stabbed During Homecoming Event
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa high school homecoming dance was interrupted this weekend
when a 17-year-old boy was stabbed in the back.
The Fort Dodge Messenger reports police responded to the incident just before 11 p.m. Saturday and turned Ford Dodge High School's dance into a crime scene.
The boy who was injured was flown to Des Moines for treatment, but his injuries weren't considered life threatening.
Several witnesses helped police identify a 17-year-old suspect who had fled the dance before officers arrived. That boy was arrested quickly and taken to a juvenile detention facility.
Police did not immediately release either the name of the suspect or the victim because of their ages.
Mother And Son Arrested In Iowa For Nebraska Homicide
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) - A mother and son sought in connection with a Nebraska homicide have been arrested in central Iowa, suspected of robbery.
41-year-old Shelley Casterline and 23-year-old Andrew Casterline are accused of mugging a woman in a Newton parking lot on Saturday. Both are from Guide Rock, Neb.
Jasper County Jail records said Monday that both are in custody. Online court records in both states don't list the names of their attorneys.
The Iowa State Patrol says the pair are being sought by Webster County, Neb., authorities. Nebraska online court records don't list any homicide charges against the two.
Million Dollar Powerball Ticket Sold In Sheldon
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Powerball ticket worth $1 million has been sold at a gas station in northwest Iowa.
The Iowa lottery says the winning ticket from Saturday's drawing was purchased at a Casey's convenience store in Sheldon, Iowa.
The ticket matched the first five numbers but missed the Powerball number. It was one of five tickets nationwide to win $1 million in Saturday's drawing.
No one won Saturday's $88 million jackpot, so the prize will increase to roughly $108 million for Wednesday's drawing.