Wednesday News, April 2
Le Mars Fire Department Had A Busy Month
(Le Mars) -- If you think the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has been busier than normal, you would be correct. The numbers are in for the month of March, and the local fire fighting brigade was called a total of 44 times. 16 calls were for fires, they performed five rescues, 13 officer investigations, twice the Le Mars Fire Department was called to offer mutual aid, once with Oyens to fight a hog barn fire, and also to Hinton to help with a house fire. During the month of March, there was $450,000 of damage from fires, including the Oyens hog barn and the Hinton House fire.
Two Third Graders Credited With Saving Garage On Fire
(Le Mars) -- April is looking to be a continuation of the fire calls for the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to two calls on Tuesday. First, fire officials were called to Fastener located on north Business highway 75 Tuesday morning for what turned out to be a heater in the ceiling that had gotten too hot and started a small fire and melted the plastic ventilator. Employees of Fastener reported smelling smoke at about 9:00 a.m. When fire officials arrived on the scene, they immediately saw smoke coming from the ceiling of the entryway. Fire officials were able to quickly extinguish the fire before it had an opportunity to grow. Officials were on the scene for about half an hour. Later in the afternoon at about 3:30 p.m. school children on their way home from school noticed smoke coming from a garage located on 228 1st Avenue Northwest. Fire figthers soon saw the fire started in a garbage can and had spread to an old tire, as well as dried leaves near the garage door. Upon arrival, fire fighters found the fire had spread from the tire and leaves and had spread to the frame of the garage door. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental. It was started from an improperly discarded smoking material that ignited the leaves and spread to the tire and to the garage. A cigarette was located in the debris. The two third graders, Allison Lane and Emily Peters were walking home from Clark school, saw the fire, and ran home and told an adult who called 9-1-1. Fire chief Dave Schipper is grateful for the actions of the two young girls, and credits them for the fast action of notifying the fire department and saving the garage.
Soderberg And Anderson To Hold Legislative Forums On Saturday
(Le Mars) -- The state legislature is starting to wind down from its general session, but before the final gavel is pounded indicating the conclusion of the law making process, State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars and State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson will host a series of legislative forums scheduled for Saturday. The two Republican legislators will be at the Le Mars Public Library at 10:00 a.m. The next stop will be at the Struble City Building at 11:00 a.m. The Mid-Sioux Opportunity Office in Remsen will host the legislators at noon, Following the Remsen meeting, the two legislators will go to Moville at the city fire station at 1:15 p.m. and finish their day of legislative forums at the Pierson Community Center at 2:15 p.m. Soderberg and Anderson will be discussing various issues concerning the 2014 Iowa legislative session. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the meetings and address any issues that are of concern.
Senator Wants To Stop Tax Breaks For Fertilizer Plant
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa Senate Democrat has introduced legislation intended to halt the last transfer of state tax credits to a fertilizer plant in southeastern Iowa. Sen. Joe Bolkcom, of Iowa City, proposed a bill Tuesday meant to prevent Orascom, an Egyptian multinational corporation, from requesting a final $25 million tax credit installment.
In 2012, Gov. Terry Branstad promised the company $100 million in investment tax credits, in addition to other federal, state and local incentives, in exchange for the creation of 165 permanent jobs in Iowa. Bolkcom's proposal would cap the amount of investment tax credits any corporation can receive at $75 million.
Bolkcom said in a statement that this is Iowa's last chance to avoid "needlessly" giving away more money.
Senate Republicans defended Branstad's negotiation on the floor last month.
Senate Passes Bill To Help Educate Drivers About Dangers Of Texting While Driving
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers in the Iowa Senate have taken a new route to address distracted driving across the state. The Senate voted 27-22 Tuesday in favor of an appropriation bill for Iowa's Department of Transportation. It would include $200,000 to go toward an educational campaign about the risks associated with distracted driving.
The bill now goes to the House, where legislation approved by the Senate to specifically crack down on texting while driving has stalled. Republican Sen. Mark Chelgren, of Ottumwa, proposed an amendment to the provision, saying the money shouldn't come from funds allotted to the department. He suggests the money should instead come from funds used for map creation in the state.
Sen. Matt McCoy, a Des Moines Democrat, says the department can afford to fund the campaign.
Senate Rejects Protective Order Bill Changes
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has voted against a provision to add property of emotional value to domestic abuse protective orders, instead choosing to adhere to original legislation which only allowed the inclusion of pets.
The Senate rejected a House amendment Tuesday that would give judges discretion to also include property if a victim is emotionally attached.
The version approved by the Senate included only pets, with the intent that it might encourage victims to escape abusive situations without the fear that a family pet would be harmed.
Sen. Janet Petersen, a Des Moines Democrat, says adding anything of sentimental value would make administration difficult for the courts. Republican Sen. Mark Chelgren, of Ottumwa, says the bill should be more inclusive. Lawmakers from both chambers must now convene to settle differences.