Friday News, May 27
One Vehicle Accident Occurs On Highway 75
(Le Mars) -- Authorities are investigating a one-vehicle accident that happened on Highway 75 at about 6:25 a.m. this morning, south of Merrill. The Merrill Fire Department and Merrill Ambulance responded to that accident, as did the Hinton Fire Department. One victim was injured during the accident and was transported to Unity Point-St. Luke's hospital. The extent of the injuries and the name of the victim have not been released at this time.
Work To Begin On New Water Main Installation
(Le Mars) -- City officials are announcing Vander Pol Construction will be closing down the outside South bound lane between 4th St . S.W. and 2nd St. S.W. sometime Tuesday May 31st in the evening to start construction of the new water main going in on the west side of Business 75, they will also be closing down the S.W part of the intersection at 4th St S.W. and 75 to do some boring underground then within a couple days they will have the S.W. part of the intersection closed at 3rd St. and 75 . The water main replacement is to start at the intersection of 4th St S.W. and continue on all the way up to 4th St N.W. and take approximately 12 weeks, they plan on doing two blocks at a time so there will be other intersections and parts of business 75 that will be affected as they move North, Citizens are being asked to drive with caution and slow down as they drive through the construction zone. We will try to keep everyone updated to what roads will be affected as they move North.
Water At Armel Acres To Be Shut Off
(Le Mars) -- In another water related announcement from Le Mars city officials, City Water Superintendent Gayle Sitzmann has issued a notice that the water to Armel Acres will be shut off on Wednesday, June 1st beginning at 1:00 p.m. The water is expected to be off for a period of three hours. Sitzmann says anytime water is shut off there is a chance for discolored water when turned back on. Sitzmann advises residents in Armel Acres to run your hard cold water until the water clears. Residents should use an alternative water or boil the water for drinking purposes. The city water department will be testing the water for two days for bacteria.
City Code Forbids Yard Waste To Be Burned
(Le Mars) -- We have received a lot of rain this spring, which means our lawns have grown fairly quickly, and some people may be tempted to burn that yard waste in their backyard recreational fire pit. However, Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says that is against city code ordinance.
The fire chief reminds people that the city does offer a disposal site located on the west side of town near the Riverview ball parks in which yard waste may be deposited on Wednesday afternoons and Saturdays. Schipper says the fire department has responded to a few fire calls in which people were burning their yard waste.
Schipper says burning yard waste creates problems for many people, especially if that yard waste is damp and only smolders.
Four Democratic U-S Senate Candidates Debate On Public Television
(Johnston) -- The four Democrats running for U-S Senate appeared on Iowa Public T-V for an hour last night in the only statewide forum that will be televised before the June 7th Primary. They were asked about the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit challenging how farm chemical run-off is handled in three northwest Iowa counties. Former Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge says water quality "has to be addressed now" throughout the country. Judge supports increasing the state sales tax a fraction to finance "extensive" on-the-farm conservation practices here. "That's the way to go," Judge says. "...And I was very disappointed that that did not pass the Iowa Legislature this year." Former state Senator Tom Fiegen (FEE-gun) of Clarence disagrees. "The taxpayers of Iowa should not have sales tax raised to bribe the polluters," Fiegen says. Fiegen says U.S. farmers shouldn't get federal payments if their farm chemicals are polluting waterways nearby. Rob Hogg a state senator from Cedar Rapids, says Fiegen just wants to blame farmers, while Judge just wants to blame the Des Moines Water Works.
"I'm the only person in this race who has united farmers, environmentalists, business leaders and cities to work together," Hogg says
Bob Krause of Fairfield, a former state legislator, says it's time for a national solution. "Tie the Clean Water requirements that we need to the right to get federal crop insurance," Krause says. All the candidates agree the federal minimum wage should be raised and they believe the federal government should make marijuana legal for medical use in all 50 states. Hogg and Judge had an extended conversation about a 2008 bill in the state legislature that unions supported -- a bill Democratic Governor Chet Culver vetoed.
The candidate who wins this Democratic Primary will face Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley in the November election. Krause and Fiegen tried but lost bids to challenge Grassley six years ago. Hogg says voters are "desperately looking for new leaders."
And that's a reference to Judge's last appearance on a statewide ticket, back in 2010 when she as lieutenant governor sought reelection with then-Governor Chet Culver. Judge is also rejecting the idea being recruited to run by U.S. Senate leaders makes her the "establishment" choice. She pins that label on Grassley.
Sioux City Boy Injured While Riding Bicycle
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an 8-year-old boy was injured after being struck by a pickup while riding his bicycle in Sioux City.
Sgt. Judy Kellen with the Sioux City Police Department says the boy had been following his friend through an alley Thursday and did not check oncoming traffic before he rode out into the street. Kellen says the boy was hit by a Chevrolet Silverado.
The boy was taken to a hospital. Kellen says the child suffered scrapes and abrasions, but did not appear to have injuries that are considered to be life-threatening.
Kellen said that she doubts any citations will be issued.
Body Recovered From Gravel Pit Quarry
IONIA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have recovered a body from a quarry near the Little Cedar River in northern Iowa.
Crews began searching for the missing swimmer Wednesday night after they were called to Chickasaw Park, which sits about two miles west of Ionia.
A Chickasaw County Emergency Management official says a dive team discovered the body of an 18-year-old in the water around 3 p.m. Thursday. An autopsy has been scheduled. The person's identity has not been released.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources officers and a spokesman for the Chickasaw County Sheriff's Office didn't return calls Thursday from The Associated Press.
Body Found In Des Moines River
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A man's body has been recovered from the Des Moines river.
Police and firefighters responded to the river Thursday afternoon after someone walking on the Southeast 14th Street bridge in Des Moines called 911 and reported seeing a body among debris in the river.
Authorities did not provide details about the cause of death. Police say the body will be taken to the Polk County Medical Examiner's Office.
Des Moines Police Investigate Homicide
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One man has been killed in an overnight shooting in Des Moines.
Police found the man at the 4000 block of Crocker Street on city's west side after receiving calls about gunfire around 11 p.m. Thursday. Authorities are investigating the death as a homicide.
Police say they're still investigating, interviewing witnesses and processing the crime scene. Crocker Street was expected to remain closed between 40th and 41st for several hours.
The victim has not been identified.
Authorities say the shooting is the city's fourth homicide of the year.
Interstate 35 To Be Known As Monarch Highway
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Six states and the Federal Highway Administration have agreed to make the roadsides along Interstate 35 friendlier for bees and butterflies to help the insects boost their declining populations.
The 1,500-mile stretch of road between northern Minnesota and southern Texas is a path for monarch butterflies that migrate between Mexico and Canada. Both the butterflies and bees pollinate plants that produce much of the nation's food.
Officials from Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas and the federal government signed an agreement Thursday to improve the habitat and develop a branding campaign informally naming the interstate the "Monarch Highway."
Honeybee and monarch butterfly populations have been dwindling in recent years.