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Friday News, July 5

Hinton Fire Department Responds To Two Grass Fires

(Le Mars) --  The Hinton Fire Department had to have its holiday interrupted twice yesterday as it responded to two different grass fires.  The first grass fire was reported at about 5:00 p.m.  The fire was reported at 26797 West Harvest Lane.  The second alarm came in at about 11:00 p.m.  That fire was located at 22807 County Road C-80.  In both cases, fire officials were on the scene for nearly a half an hour.


Search Crews Look For Man After Boat Capsized

(Storm Lake) -- Search crews are looking for a 28 year old man from Hawarden after his boat capsized yesterday afternoon at Storm Lake.  The capsized boat had two occupants that had been fishing at the time of the incident.  One of the occupants was rescued by another boat that was in the immediate area.  The missing boater was not wearing a life vest at the time he slipped beneath the water. Search operations are being conducted by the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Storm Lake Fire Department, Storm Lake Police Department, and the Buena Vista County Regional Medical Center Paramedics.  Others assisting with the search efforts include: Plymouth County Search and Dive Rescue, Carroll County Search and Dive Rescue, and the Denison Search and Dive Rescue.  As of midnight, search efforts were discontinued due to high winds on the lake.  Recovery operations will resume this morning.  The name of the victim is being withheld until notification of family members.


Des Moines Vacant Warehouse Catches Fire

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a Des Moines warehouse that caught fire was packed with housing debris, and may contain asbestos and other hazardous materials.
Firefighters arrived at the vacant warehouse shortly before 5 p.m. on Thursday. Firefighters wore respirators inside the building.
District Chief Joe Giudicessi says the cause of the fire was unknown. The building has been vacant for several years and has no gas or electric services.


Man Dies From Go-Cart Accident

LAKE DELTON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin police say an Iowa man who hit his head after losing control of his go-cart has died.
The accident happened Wednesday about 5:15 p.m. at Alligator Alley Adventures Go-Kart Track in Lake Delton.
Authorities say the 45-year-old lost control of his vehicle and struck a wooden post along the track. Witnesses say there were no other go-carts near him at the time of the crash.
A medical helicopter was called in. But a doctor declared him dead at the scene about 45 minutes after the accident.
The man and his family were visiting Lake Delton from the DeWitt area. His name has not been released.


Wellman Residents Need Bottle Water

WELLMAN, Iowa (AP) - Residents of a small town just south of Iowa City have been advised to drink bottled water until repairs can be made on a broken water line.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a line burst Thursday in Wellman.
The water is now bypassing the reverse osmosis system used to reduce nitrates. The department says repairs are being made and that the water has to be tested to make sure it's safe.
Officials say that nitrates in drinking water are particularly concerning for infants less than six months old. They also note that boiling the water won't reduce nitrates and isn't a safe alternative to bottled water.


Two Businessmen Fighting Federal Fraud Charges

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two businessmen are disputing an indictment alleging they fraudulently qualified for federal contracts meant for disabled veterans' businesses in order to win $23.4 million in construction work in Nebraska and Iowa.
Ram Hingorani and Ronald Waugh pleaded not guilty this week during appearances in federal court in Des Moines to a 32-count indictment that includes charges of fraud and money laundering.
Hingorani's business, Midwest Paving, and another that both men operated, Midwest Contracting, are also charged.
The indictment alleges the men conspired to use Midwest Contracting to win 45 contracts from the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense under the government's program designed to help
small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans. The work was done for the VA in Des Moines and Omaha and at Offutt Air Force Base.

Grinnell Doctor Agrees To Stop Treating Patients

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa doctor has agreed to stop treating a version of Lyme disease that many physicians suspect doesn't exist.
Dr. Jeffrey Piccirillo of Grinnell will also pay a $10,000 fine as part of a settlement with the Iowa Board of Medicine.
Piccirillo has gained attention for using powerful antibiotics to treat patients who believed they had "chronic Lyme disease." Patients often attribute their aches and fatigue to the tick-borne bacterial infection, even though standard tests don't detect it in their bodies.
The board said Piccirillo diagnosed and treated people for Lyme disease without proper evidence that they were infected, and used treatments not recognized by national authorities. He also was
accused of engaged in an improper sexual relationship with a female patient.


Appeals Judge Retires

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Larry Eisenhauer, chief judge of the Iowa Court of Appeals, has announced his plans to retire.
Eisenhauer will retire effective Sept. 30.
The 66-year-old Eisenhauer has spent 28 years as an Iowa judge and was named chief judge of the appeals court last year.
Eisenhauer, of Ankeny, was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2001. The Kansas native served two years in the U.S. Army before graduating from Drake University Law School in 1974. He practiced
law privately before serving as an associate juvenile judge between 1985 and 1993, when he was elected Polk County District Court judge.
The governor will appoint a replacement from a list of three candidates submitted by the State Judicial Nominating Commission.


Iowa's Wooded Acres Decline

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's forest service says that tree cover in Iowa is declining for the first time in nearly 40 years.
2013 marks the first time since 1974 that Iowa lost more woodland acres than it has gained.
Wooded space has dropped by roughly 40,000 acres in Iowa.
Officials say the decline is likely because of increased agricultural and urban land usage.
Iowa had an estimated 6.8 million wooded acres before being settled. Just three percent of the state is currently covered by woodlands.




Thursday News, July 4

Le Mars Set For Independence Day Celebration

(Le Mars) -- While our nation turns 237 years old today, Le Mars is set to celebrate the
Independence Day with style and numerous festivities.  Starting at 11:00 a.m. will be the traditional parade, although with a different route.  Judy Bowman with the "Friends of the Fourth" explains this year's route will go north on Central Avenue.

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Bowman says the parade is for anyone and everyone, especially children.  Children of all ages are encouraged to dress up in a patriotic theme and participate in the parade. She says there will be judging of the children entries with cash prizes.

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Following the parade, everyone is welcome to attend a free 4th of July picnic meal that will take place at the Old Central Gym at the Plymouth County Historical Museum. Later, a free watermelon feed also occurs at the museum.

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The Fourth of July festivities also include patriotic music from the Le Mars Municipal Band which begins at 8:00 p.m. at the Foster Park.  At dusk, the sky show will take place at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.  Be sure to tune your radios to  KLEM this evening as you watch the fireworks show.


Fire Officials Warn Of The Dangers Of Fireworks

(Le Mars) -- Fireworks are commonly associated with the 4th of July. Iowa is among only four states in the US to ban fireworks. The reason, according to State Fire Marshall, Ray Reynolds,is in 1931 a sparkler was responsible for burning two and half blocks of downtown Spencer.

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Not surprising, Reynolds, says more fires occur around Independence Day.

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Reynolds explains which fireworks are legal.

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The fire official offers these safety tips.

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Highway Patrol To Have More Officers On Highways During Holiday Weekend

(Des Moines) -- The Iowa State Patrol is stepping up patrol efforts for the holiday weekend. Extra officers will be patrolling Iowa's roadways throughout the week.  They will be looking for seat belt and speeding violations, along with impaired and distracted drivers, according to a statement from the Iowa Department of Public Safety.


Circuit Judge Named For BPI Lawsuit Against ABC News

(Elk Point,SD) -- A South Dakota circuit court judge has been appointed to oversee a defamation lawsuit over ABC News' coverage of a meat product.  Beef Products, Incorporated filed the lawsuit which was moved from federal court to state court.  First Circuit Judge Cheryle Gering will oversee the lawsuit.  Dakota Dunes-based BPI claims the TV network damaged the company by misleading consumers into believing that its signature product - lean, finely textured beef is unhealthy and unsafe.  BPI is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.  ABC has said it intends to ask the circuit court to dismiss the case.


Iowa Has Seven Cases Of Cyclospora

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa health officials are monitoring a spike in cases of an intestinal infection caused by a parasite.
The state Department of Public Health announced Wednesday seven cases of cyclospora infection in five counties in the past two weeks. The department says there have only been 10 cases reported
in the state in the previous 20 years.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/19ZluEM ) cases have been reported in Benton, Des Moines, Fayette, Linn and Webster counties. The infection can cause severe diarrhea that lasts an
average of 57 days.
Officials say consuming tainted food or water can cause the infection, and previous outbreaks have been traced to fresh produce. Consumers are being urged to carefully wash their produce.


Insurance Commissioner Says State Will Have Little Impact Due To Delay Of Healthcare Programs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's insurance commissioner says the state will likely feel little impact from the announcement that a key part of President Obama's health care law will be delayed.
The Obama administration announced Tuesday that they would delay by a year the requirement that medium and large companies provide coverage for their workers or face fines.
Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart says Wednesday that most Iowans working for those types of companies already get insurance.
The state continues to get ready to expand low-income health coverage and offer an online health exchange, where customers will be able to shop for coverage and qualify for subsidies and benefits. Iowa will partner with the federal government for the exchange, with enrollment starting October 1st and coverage on January 1st.


Police Look For Suspect In Council Bluffs

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Police in western Iowa are asking the public's help in finding a man they say hit an officer with a stolen car and is facing charges that include attempted murder.
The Council Bluffs Nonpareil (http://bit.ly/12IBlgT ) says Andrew Brown was being chased by the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Department on June 25 in a vehicle allegedly stolen from Omaha.
Council Bluffs police officers attempted to disable Brown's vehicle with stop sticks. But officials say Brown directed the vehicle toward several officers before striking one.
The officer was flipped in the air and against a utility pole before landing in a ditch. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries and released.
Brown then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.


Johnston Man To Face Trial For Son Bringing Gun To School

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Johnston man whose 8-year-old son brought a loaded gun to school will face trial in August.
Online court records show that Louis Friestad is charged with four counts of neglect and one count of making a gun or ammunition available to a person under 21.
The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/12nLsJl ) says that Friestad's second-grade son reportedly took the firearm to Johnston's Lawson Elementary on May 7.
Students saw the gun and alerted a teacher. Staffers then took the weapon from Friestad's son.
Officials say they didn't believe the boy intended to use the gun, but he was suspended from school.
Friestad was charged on May 8 and was released from jail on bond.


State Land Available For Haying and Grazing

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials are opening up state land for haying and grazing to help farmers impacted by severe weather conditions.
The state Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that available land is primarily the upland grassland areas, although there will be some availability for "flash grazing" in northeast Iowa and other land not being leased to farmers.
Officials say haying and grazing can start after July 15th, when the primary nesting season for upland birds has been completed.
Farmers are encouraged to set up temporary electric fencing and watering tanks because most state lands do not have proper fencing for cattle.




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