Friday Afternoon News, April 19
Two Wells' Enterprises Employees Honored By American Red Cross
(Sioux City) -- Two employees of Well's Enterprises were honored by the American Red Cross during a "Heroes of the Heartland" award ceremony held Thursday evening. Fritz Gaul and Jodi Ohm, both of Le Mars, both were able to use quick action and lifesaving procedures to save the lives of fellow employees. Kara Kelly, Regional Communications Coordinator with the American Red Cross explains the "Heroes of the Heartland" program.
Both Gaul and Ohm were nominated by their employer Wells Enterprises.
Gaul recognized the symptoms of a heart attack and used his CPR training. Ohm used an AED device along with CPR to help save a co-worker's life. Ohm has been an EMT for more than 20 years and has saved many lives, but this was the first time her talents were used at work. Afterwards, Ohm spoke to other employees who witnessed the incident to make certain they were emotionally stable.
Gehlen Prepares For Annual Fund Raising Ball
(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic will celebrate 26 years of the Gehlen Ball Saturday evening with this year having the theme of Safari Sensation. Ann Bunkers serves as the co-chair of the event and says the Le Mars Convention Center is being transformed into a Safari.
Bunkers says the Gehlen Ball serves as a major fund raising event for the local Catholic school, and it has generated nearly three million dollars during the last 25 years. There are many items being featured this year to help raise revenue.
The evening's event begins with the serving of the meal at 6:15 p.m. followed by the auction and afterwards music and dancing will be featured on both levels of the Convention Center.
Hinton Fire Department Responds To Tractor Fire
(Hinton) -- The Hinton Fire Department responded to a tractor that caught on fire Friday morning. The call was at 33501 Hickory Avenue. Fire officials were on the scene for approximately a half an hour.
State Settles Lawsuit With Hog Farm
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state has settled a lawsuit filed by
a Texas hog farm that claimed a law prohibiting meat processors
from owning livestock is unconstitutional.
Texas Farm, based in Perryton, Texas, filed a lawsuit April 4 in
federal court in Des Moines naming Attorney General Tom Miller.
Miller's office says he signed an agreement Friday to settle the
lawsuit. The state promises not to enforce the law if Texas Farm
guarantees certain rights to Iowa farmers producing the livestock.
Farmers must be allowed to join a producer's association and can
file complaints to authorities about improper actions by the
The agreement is similar to others Miller has signed with
meatpackers in recent years, including Smithfield Foods and
Texas Farm is owned by Osaka, Japan-based Nippon Meat Packers
Iowa DNR Comments On Wastewater In Creeks
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Department of Natural Resources says
workers have temporarily repaired a valve that failed, causing
hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater to flow
into an eastern Iowa creek near Eldridge.
The DNR says Friday in a news release that the release of
wastewater had stopped. Earlier, between 300,000 and 400,000
gallons of untreated wastewater was being released daily by the
Park View Water and Sanitary District.
The wastewater entered Glynns Creek, which flows about two miles
through Scott County Park before emptying into McDonald Creek. It
finally enters the Wapsipinicon River.
The DNR recommends people keep children and pets away from
Glynns and McDonald creeks until Saturday.
Iowa Rivers At Flood Stage
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Many rivers in Iowa remain at flood
stage but no catastrophes have been reported to state emergency
In some communities residents are finding water in basements,
cities are dealing with overworked sewers, and roads are closed.
Several Mississippi River cities are seeing some flooding
including Dubuque, Burlington, Keokuk, and Muscatine. The river is
expected to fall below flood stage in Dubuque on Saturday and
recede below flood stage in others by Monday.
Many Iowa rivers will recede below flood stage over the weekend
but in some cases it won't occur until early next week.
Iowa Emergency Management officials say they have no reports of
catastrophic flooding. Some communities are expected to seek a
governor's proclamation that would allow them to seek aid for
residents with flooded basements.
Students Have Increased Debt
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A report shows increased debt for
students graduating from the University of Iowa and Iowa State
University but less debt among graduates of the University of
The Des Moines Register reports Friday (http://dmreg.co/12sLn9O
) the Iowa Board of Regents report indicates University of Iowa
graduating students saw the largest debt increase for the 2011-2012
school year. Average debt rose more than 3 percent, with Iowa
residents at $25,415 in debt and non-residents at $28,218.
Iowa State graduating students had the highest average debt
among the three universities, with $28,940 for residents and
$29,573 for non-residents. Debt for in-state students dropped
slightly but increased overall less than 1 percent.
At UNI, average debt among both resident and non-resident
students dropped to about $23,500, for a decline of about 8
Police Investigating Car In Lake
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A dive team is investigating a vehicle
found submerged in Gray's Lake, a popular park near downtown Des
Someone reported the vehicle in the lake a little after 9 a.m.
Friday, and a dive team was suiting up about 90 minutes later.
Des Moines Fire Department Capt. Steve Brown told KCCI-TV
(http://bit.ly/11ooqCn ) the vehicle is believed to be a truck that
was stolen Thursday night at the site of a fire north of downtown.
Iowa Unemployment Rate Drops
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Workforce Development says the
state's unemployment rate for March dropped slightly to 4.9
percent, but the number of people working in nonfarm jobs also
The state agency reported Friday that the seasonally adjusted
rate was down from 5 percent in February and had declined from 5.4
percent a year ago.
Although the number of unemployed people dropped from 82,300 in
February to 80,700, the nonfarm employment figure also dropped by
Iowa's numbers are substantially below the national rate, which
stood at 7.6 percent in March.