Thursday News, September 20
Le Mars Fire Department Conducts Vehicle and Train Rescue Training
(Le Mars) -- A car hits a train causing alarm to the community. Does the scenario sound somewhat familiar? With so many vehicle and train accidents within the community during the past few weeks and with the latest occurring in Hinton on Monday evening, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department conducted a training session held at the Well's Enterprises sugar receiving facility on Wednesday evening. Le Mars Fire chief, David Schipper says it was a good training exercise. In addition to the fire department, Wells' Enterprises and their employees, Union Pacific, Plymouth County Emergency Management, and the Le Mars Police Department all participated in the training session. Schipper says because of the recent train and vehicle accidents, the training session was relevant. Schipper offers an account of the drill.
Union Pacific Rail Company was participating in the drill and had a flat bed trailer equipped with various valves to indicate to the fire officials what type of valves and levers would be found on a rail tanker car, depending upon what the tanker was hauling.
The Le Mars Fire Chief says the training session was productive, but they did notice areas for improvement, especially with communications.
Hinton Fire Department Respond To Truck Fire
(Hinton) -- The Hinton Fire Department responded to a semi truck that caught on fire Wednesday afternoon. The call was received at about 4:00 p.m. The truck was located about two miles south of Hinton on U-S Highway 75. Traffic on Highway 75 was backed up. Fire officials were on the scene for a little more than an hour.
City Officials Encourage Commercial Businesses To Recycle
(Le Mars) -- The City of Le Mars is doing a good job of recycling. Assistant city Administrator, Bill Cole told the city council on Tuesday that Le Mars residents have recycled more than a million pounds of plastics, glass, and paper so far this year.
Cole says the city is now ready to encourage commercial recycling.
Cole says the commercial recycling program will follow the same schedule as the residential recycling. Van's Sanitation will collect the commercial recycling material. Cole says if the business uses another solid waste collector other than Van's, that business must show to the city they are recycling.
Bomgaars Buys Shopper's Supply Stores
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Bomgaars has bought all five Shoppers Supply stores in Iowa.
The deal takes effect Oct. 1. Terms were not disclosed. The locations are in Fort Dodge, Webster City, Eagle Grove, Humboldt and Des Moines.
Sioux City-based Bomgaars sells home and farm merchandise and now will have 66 stores in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming.
Bomgaars senior vice president Dave Meyer says the five stores will keep the Shoppers Supply name through the holiday season.
Shoppers Supply President Jim Schmidt says Bomgaars will retain most of the store workers.
Schmidt says Shoppers Supply's corporate future is in Arizona, where it has a store in Apache
Junction and an opportunity to expand.
Tulip Festival Queen Court Selected
(Orange City) -- The 2013 Tulip Festival is still several months away, but five women were selected yesterday to represent the dutch heritage on the Queen's Court. The five vying for the title of Tulip Festival Queen include: Larkin De Haan, daughter of Derrick and Pam De Hann; Jessica Giannantonio, the daughter of Patrick and Susan Giannantonio; McKenzie Mulder, who is the daughter of Scott and Jill Mulder; Autumn Pluim, the daughter of Dale and Jill Pluim; and Samantha Wielenga, the daughter of Brad and Julie Wielenga. The five high school girls will participate in a Queen's Tea and Pageant on November 19th to select the new Tulip Queen. The Queen and her court will serve as representatives of Orange City's Tulip Festival scheduled for May 16, 17, and 18, 2013.
Farmers In All Iowa Counties Now Qualify For Drought Assistance
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers in 22 additional Iowa counties now may qualify for low interest emergency loans from the federal government as a result of this summer's drought. With the latest
designation announced Wednesday, farmers in all Iowa counties now could qualify for drought-related emergency assistance.
Six counties added by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as primary natural disaster areas include Clarke, Emmet, Madison, Taylor, Union, and Warren. In addition farmers in 16 contiguous
counties may qualify for the loans and other assistance.
Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses.
The emergency loan interest rate had earlier been reduced to 2.25 percent from 3.75 percent by the Department of Agriculture.
MidAmerican Warns Customers Of Phone Scam
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - MidAmerican Energy Company is warning its customers of a phone scam that seem to be aimed at Hispanics in Iowa.
The utility company says in a news release that customers with Hispanic names have received calls from someone posing as a MidAmerican customer service employee who says the person's account
is past due. The caller says that unless the customer immediately provides credit card information, the utility service will be disconnected.
MidAmerican says customers shouldn't provide credit card numbers or personal information to an unsolicited caller.
Those who receive such calls should hang up and call MidAmerican's customer service line at 888-427-5632. They also can call police.
Des Moines-based MidAmerican provides electricity and natural gas to more than 700,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.
Wind Energy Policies Affecting Career Choices
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Uncertain wind energy policy not only is costing workers jobs but could affect the career choices of students who have been encouraged to pursue work in the industry.
Just this week Siemens Energy announced it would lay off more than 600 workers in three states including Iowa. The company says one reason is expiration of wind energy tax credits, which Congress
has failed to renew.
Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids has seen a significant increase in students seeking wind energy job training in recent years.
Instructor David Bennett says some are laid off from other jobs and others are returning soldiers.
For now, service technicians are still needed with about 3,500 jobs open with starting ranging from $26 to $36 dollars an hour.