Friday News, May 6
Fire Department Responds To Two Calls Simultaneously
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to two calls that came in almost simultaneously this afternoon. Shortly before 2:00 p.m. the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called to extinguish a grass ditch fire located at 238 Iris Avenue. Within a few seconds of the first call, the fire department was called to 25132 Nature Avenue for a call involving a tractor pulling a tillage disc that had caught a guide wire attached to an utility pole. As a result, the pole snapped and fell to the ground, pulling with it the electrical wires that supply power to the farmstead. Duane De Raand says he saw arching and sparks flying after the utility line fell to the ground. Not wanting to be electrocuted, DeRaand remained in his tractor and called for assistance until help had arrived. Along with the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department, crews from Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative also responded to the scene to install two utility poles and to restore power to the farm. There were no injuries associated with the incident. Fire personnel used an infra-red imaging camera to determine if there was any smoldering happening within the house where the power lines had been pulled away. As for the grass ditch fire on Iris Avenue, fire fighters were able to contain, control, and extinguish that fire within a few minutes. The Merrill Fire Department also responded to the grass ditch fire.
Dean Foods Donates $5000 To Le Mars Fire And Rescue Department
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department received a check totaling $5,000 from Dean Foods yesterday to go towards the purchase of additional hazard material equipment suits and air tanks. Five years ago, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue became Dean Foods Hazard Materials first response team. At that time, Dean Foods presented a check in the amount of $10,000 to help establish a Hazard Materials unit for the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department. Another check of $5,000 was given to the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department a year ago to help the fire brigade obtain equipment needed for confined space rescues. Dean Foods dissolved their own response groups but agreed to continue to fund the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department to handle such types of emergency calls for their company, as well as for the entire community. The local milk processing company gave the local fire and rescue department the donations to help equip the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department with Hazard Materials gear. Mayor Dick Kirchoff was on hand for today's check presentation and thanked the representatives from Dean's Foods for their contribution and support.
Pat Henrich serves as the safety director for the Dean Foods plant located in Le Mars. He says it is in the best interests of Dean's to support the local fire and rescue department.
The Dean Foods representatives said they hope to conduct another simulated emergency training session for their employees sometime later this summer or early autumn, which will again be requesting the services of the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.
Peace Officer Memorial To Hold Ceremonies
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Four fallen Iowa officers, including two who were killed in a head-on crash in March, will be added to the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety announced a ceremony will be held 10 a.m. today at the Oran Pape State Office Building in Des Moines to honor the officers who dedicated their lives to protecting Iowa communities.
The ceremony will recognize Des Moines Officers Susan Farrell and Carlos Puente-Morales, who were killed in a March 26 crash while transporting a prisoner from Council Bluffs to Des Moines. Ames Police Sgt. Howard Snider, who died in 2012, and Iowa Parole Board Field Agent Albert Paul, who died in 1938, will also be added to the memorial.
Gov. Terry Branstad and other state leaders are expected to attend. Woodbury County has scheduled May 16th at noon at the Law Enforcement Memorial located at the 600 block of Douglas Street as the time they will honor their fallen law enforcement heroes. A total of eleven officers have died in the line of duty from Woodbury County. Plymouth County has had one sheriff's deputy die while on duty. Back in November of 1919, Sheriff's deputy William Maxwell, who was the son of then-Sheriff Hugh Maxwell, was shot and killed by escapees from the Plymouth County Jail, and going back to November of 1888, a night watchman in Le Mars, by the name of Samuel Hamilton tried to break up a crowd that was noisy and disruptive. Soon, a scuffle ensued, followed by a shot, killing the night watchman Samuel Hamilton.
King Backs Grassley's Decision Regarding Supreme Court Nominee
(Le Mars) -- Many people have criticized U-S Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa for not conducting a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Grassley serves as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, Iowa 4th District Republican Congressman Steve King says he stands behind Senator Grassley's decision to wait until after the election before any hearings are conducted on Supreme Court nominees.
Speaking in Le Mars, King says to go forward and to confirm a President Obama nominee would be a sacrifice to the constitution. He says Senator Grassley is being consistent with his oath as a Senator.
King says he has always liked Senator Grassley, and agrees with him on most issues, but King adds, the more he works with Grassley, the more he respects the elder Iowa Senator's decisions.
Army Corps Of Engineers Reduce The Flow On Missouri River
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The amount of water being released from dams along the Missouri River has been cut to help reduce the risk of flooding downstream after recent heavy rains.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reduced the amount of water released from Gavins Point dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border to 14,000 cubic feet per second from 21,000.
Water management chief Jody Farhat the change should reduce the risk of flooding downstream of the dams in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. But it won't eliminate the chance of flooding.
Flooding can still occur if heavy rains fall in areas where streams and the Missouri River are already at elevated levels.
The Corps will increase releases from the dams after river levels begin to fall.
Des Moines Woman Has Sentence Commuted By President Obama
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines woman, sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2007 for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine has had her sentence cut shorter by President Barack Obama.
Tomma Jean Kent is among the 58 federal prison inmates receiving presidential commutations on Thursday.
Her sentence now expires on May 5, 2018. Originally she was to remain in prison until January 2024.
Kent, who is now 49, entered a plea agreement with prosecutors in 2007 and a judge ordered the mandatory minimum 20 years.
Obama says it doesn't make sense to require nonviolent drug offenders to serve 20 years or more in prison. He says he's commuted sentences for 306 people, more than the previous six presidents combined.
Kent is an inmate at a minimum security prison camp in Bryan, Texas