Thursday News, June 27
City Of Le Mars, Van's Sanitation, Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency, And Pheasants Forever To Be Honored Today At Governor's Environmental Excellence Award Ceremony
(Des Moines) -- Governor Branstad will honor twenty Iowa businesses and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the environment during today's "Governor's Iowa Environmental Excellence Award ceremony. The awards are the premier environmental honors in Iowa, recognizing leadership and innovation in the protection of Iowa’s natural resources. A delegation from Le Mars and Plymouth County are traveling to Des Moines and will be recognized during the ceremony. The Plymouth County Pheasants Forever chapter will be honored for its work involving water quality. Meanwhile, special recognition in waste management will go to the city of Le Mars, Van's Sanitation and Recycling and the Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency. Emily Bainter, information specialist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the awards are recognizing the best efforts in the state for environmental stewardship.
Bainter explains how the local Pheasants Forever chapter helped with the water quality for the town of Remsen by planting native grasses.
The DNR official says the prairie grass around the wells has contributed to yet another benefit.
The city of Le Mars is known for being the "Ice Cream Capital of the World" but city officials through recent recycling efforts are hoping for another title...
Bainter offers a glimpse of today's award ceremony program.
Wastewater Spills Into Big Spirit Lake
ORLEANS, Iowa (AP) - Officials say more than 20,000 gallons of untreated wastewater has accidentally been discharged into a part of Big Spirit Lake in northern Iowa.
The Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District inspected an overflowing manhole Wednesday morning near Orleans on the southeast side of the lake. It was then discovered that untreated wastewater had
discharged to a storm sewer, flowing into the lake about 1,400 feet northeast of the Orleans beach.
The state Department of Natural Resources says a pipeline below the manhole had collapsed. The district stopped the discharge and is working to repair the pipeline.
State officials are taking water samples Wednesday and telling residents to stay away from the area.
Fire Fighters Battle House Fire In Orange City
(Orange City) -- The Orange City Fire Department, with assistance from the Alton Fire Department, responded to a house fire early Wednesday morning. The fire occurred at 508 Providence Avenue SE in Orange City. Upon arrival, the roof of the house and garage were engulfed in flames. All members of the residence were safely out of the house when emergency personnel arrived. An Alton firefighter sustained minor injuries at the scene and was treated and released from the Orange City hospital. The house and its contents sustained an estimated $300,000 in damages. Fire officials were on the scene for nearly three and half hours.
Two Semi Trucks Collide In Lyon County - One Fatality
(Rock Rapids) -- A collision between two semi trucks that occurred Monday afternoon in Lyon County at the intersection of County Road A-52 and Highway 75 claimed the life of an Ashton man. 56 year-old Steven McKee was driving a Freightliner semi truck and trailer heading east when authorities say he failed to stop at the intersection. The McKee vehicle crashed broadside into a Peterbuilt semi truck driven by 57 year-old Danny Rude of Sioux City. McKee was pronounced dead at the scene. Rude was transported by ambulance to the hospital in Rock Rapids. The accident is being investigated by the Lyon County Sheriff's Department.
State Supreme Court To Hear Again Fired Dental Assistant Case
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A dental assistant fired because her boss thought she was too attractive has won a rare reconsideration by the Iowa Supreme Court.
Chief Justice Mark Cady has signed an order resubmitting the lawsuit filed by Melissa Nelson for reconsideration by the court. A new decision could come as early as Friday
Justices have granted just five petitions to rehear a case over the past decade.
Nelson sued after she was fired by her boss, James Knight, in 2010 and told it was because she was an irresistible attraction.
The seven-man court ruled her firing might have been unfair but wasn't illegal.
Nelson petitioned the court to withdraw its December ruling, which she called a "significant blow to gender equality."
Former Reliant Energy C-E-O Considers Senate Run
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican businessman Mark Jacobs says he's exploring a run for U.S. Senate in 2014.
Jacobs, the former CEO of the Texas-based Reliant Energy, says Wednesday he is forming an exploratory committee to review running for the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.
An Iowa native, the 51-year-old Jacobs moved his family to Iowa last year and founded an education nonprofit. Jacobs says he expects to make a decision about running in several months and will not fundraise during the exploratory period.
Other Republican candidates include former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, Sioux City talk show host Sam Clovis and David Young, a former aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley. State Sen. Joni Ernst is also
weighing a run.
Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, of Waterloo, is his party's only candidate.
Soybean Association Launches Program To Help Farmers Contend With Resistant Weeds
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Soybean Association has launched an informational campaign to help farmers deal with weeds that are becoming resistant to the farm chemicals commonly used to
Iowa State University agronomist Mike Owens says herbicide-resistant weeds are present in 20 to 30 percent of Iowa soybean fields, about 2 to 3 million acres and the area is likely to grow.
He says most farmers are just a year or two away from a serious weed control problem as each generation of seed becomes more resistant to weed killers used most often.
Strategies include rotating chemicals used from year to year, controlling weeds in waterways, edges and ditches, and increasing crop rotation to break weed cycles.
Des Moines Woman Pleads Guilty To Hit-and-Run
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines woman has pleaded guilty to a hit-and-run crash that killed a man in March.
26-year-old Kristine Annette Gordon pleaded guilty Wednesday to leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, involuntary manslaughter and driving while barred.
The charges stem from a March 16 incident in which Gordon hit 58-year-old Clayton Evan Payne as he was crossing a street in Des Moines. He died at a hospital.
Her lawyer, Peter Berger, says at first she thought she'd hit a dog. However, she was talking on a cellphone with her brother, who was driving close behind her when the accident occurred, and he
told her she'd hit a person.
She stopped but panicked and left.
Gordon will be sentenced Aug. 7.