Monday News, July 13
Fire At Ireton Feed Mill
(Ireton) -- Fire fighters from six different communities were called to Ireton last evening to fight a fire in a feed mill and grain elevator. The alarm was sounded at about 9:00 p.m. Sunday evening at the Deluxe Feed Incorporated. Ireton Fire Chief Rich Steckelberg says he believes the fire may have started in the electrical room.
(sot) -- Steckelberg1
Smoke could be seen billowing from the structure. An aerial truck provided by the Sioux Center Fire Department, was used to spray water on the four-story high feed mill, and fire fighters were seen dismantling the metal walls to have better access to the fire. Fire fighters were not only battling the blaze, but also the heat and humidity. Several fire fighters were suffering from heat exhaustion, and were seen taking frequent breaks. Ireton Ambulance and Sioux Center Ambulance crew members were checking the fire fighters' vital signs. Several Ireton townspeople not only were watching the fire, but assisted the fire fighters by providing bottled water to drink, and wet towels which was placed on the fire fighters heads. Steckelberg says it is too early to determine the cause of the fire. He said the state fire marshal will arrive on Monday to help with the investigation. Fire fighters were at the scene the entire night. There were no injuries reported. Damage estimates due to the fire may run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Le Mars Community Board of Education To Meet Tonight
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board is scheduled to meet this evening at the Education Center. The school board will hear a report from Bruce Ludwig, the school's technology director. Ludwig will share with the school board the results of a survey entitled "Bright Bytes Technology Survey" administered in the spring of 2015 to students, parents, and teachers. The school board will also hear a report given by Assistant School Superintendent Steve Webner as he will submit the preliminary results of the Iowa Assessments and progress on district student achievement goals. The school board will have its second reading on policy regarding transporting students in private vehicles. The school board will also consider approving agreements with the Hinton Community School District and the Remsen-Union Community School District to provide vocational programming under a sharing agreement.
Hundreds Watch Union Township 100th Celebration
(Union) -- Hundreds of people withstood the heat Sunday afternoon and turned out to help Union township celebrate its 100th anniversary. The parade featured more than 50 entries. Many floats consisted of local families living within the area for several generations. There were antique cars, antique pick-up trucks, and several antique tractors, along with modern-day tractors showing the contrast and progress of agriculture. The Shriners "Rat Patrol" based in Sioux City was a hit with parade viewers. The group drove their go-carts in precision manner, performing criss-crossing maneuvers. Also, featured in the parade was the Class of 1962 from Union as they rode on a horse-pulled trolley. The crowd enjoyed several old fashioned games during the afternoon event, and the school building was open for people to tour and reminisce.
Algae Bloom Killing Fish
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Fish are dying in a northern Iowa pond because of low oxygen levels caused by an algae bloom.
Oxygen-deprived fish were spotted Friday at Black Pit, a 16-acre pond in Lester Milligan Park in Mason City. Dead fish were also found Saturday.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman Kevin Baskins says more fish were likely to be found Sunday as oxygen levels dropped overnight. Officials don't know if Black Pit will recover on its own or need restocking.
The same problem was blamed for thousands of dead fish on Iowa's Crystal Lake earlier this week.
Baskins says dying algae produces a substance that can be toxic to human and pets, so suspicious looking water should be avoided.
Motorcyclists Gather To Honor Killed Cousins
EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - Motorcyclists have rallied in an eastern Iowa town to honor two cousins who were abducted and killed three years ago.
The third annual "Memorial Ride and Drive for the Girls" drew supporters Saturday to mark the anniversary of the day 10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins were taken.
The Evansdale girls disappeared on July 13, 2012, sparking a massive search that ended tragically when their bodies were discovered on Dec. 5, 2012, in Bremer County.
Elizabeth's parents, Drew and Heather Collins, say they're grateful for the continued community support and ride organizers.
More than 125 cyclists and others in cars left on a 155-mile ride from Lofty's Lounge in Evansdale and ended at the National Cattle Congress grounds in Waterloo.
Regents May Increase Tuition Rates At Mid-year
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Students at Iowa's three public universities could see an unprecedented mid-year tuition hike, if the Iowa Board of Regents approves an increase for the upcoming spring semester.
Late last year, the Iowa Board of Regents approved a freeze on tuition rates for the third consecutive year. But a regents spokesman says a state funding shortfall could lead to the mid-year increase.
Spokesman Josh Lehman tells Cedar Rapids television station KCRG that the board agreed to the tuition freeze this year with the understanding that their request for a 1.75 percent increase in state funding would be approved. But only a 1.25 percent increase was appropriated.
The regents are set to discuss raising tuition for the spring semester of the 2015 to 2016 school year during an August meeting.
Des Moines Residents Expecting A Utility Payment May Have To Wait
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Utility ratepayers expecting a piece of a $40 million judgment against the city of Des Moines for years of collecting an illegal franchise fee might have to wait about two months before getting a refund claim form.
The Des Moines Register says that follows a court hearing Friday held to work out the language of the claim notices.
Lisa Kragnes sued in 2004, saying city franchise fees tacked on to utility bills were illegal. The courts agreed and ordered $40 million in refunds.
An attorney for Kragnes, Bruce Stoltze, said Friday that ratepayers will have to fill out the claim forms once they're sent. The claims will then be processed by a consulting firm.
Stoltze says getting the actual refund is "going to take a bit of time."