Saturday News, January 3
Fire Destroys Shed
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department had an active evening last night. First, they responded to the Econolodge for a broken water line, and shortly after that call the Le Mars Fire Department was called to offer mutual aid assistance to the Merrill Fire Department for a shed that had caught on fire. The call from the Econolodge was at 9:16 p.m. Firefighters were on the scene for approximately 45 minutes. The second alarm was sounded just a half hour later at about 10:35 p.m. Fire officials responded to 25872 County road C-44 for what turned out to be a shop fire. The Le Mars Fire Department was on the scene for more than three hours. The Hinton Fire Department was also contacted to offer mutual aid in the form of a tanker to that shop fire. The Merrill Fire Department was the first to respond to the shop fire. Merrill's Fire Department was on the scene until 4:30 this morning.
State Lawmakers To Focus On Budget
(Le Mars) -- The budget will be the primary focus for state lawmakers when they return to Des Moines for the upcoming general session. State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson says the budget determines all other state issues.
Anderson says projections for state revenue will be lower due in part to the agricultural economy being down.
The Republican State Senator also hopes lawmakers will discuss transportation issues that are relevant to the state's economy.
DeSoto Bend To Open Public Roads
MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) - DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is reopening all public roads to allow ice fishing access on DeSoto Lake.
When conditions permit, DeSoto Lake is open to ice fishing from Jan. 2 through the end of February each year - the time period between the fall and spring bird migrations.
Anglers must determine for themselves whether the surface ice is thick enough for safe fishing. A general guideline is a minimum of 4 inches of clear and solid ice for foot travel and ice fishing.
If there are waterfowl using the lake in January and February, ice fishing may be barred from small areas of the lake.
DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge sits 25 miles north of Omaha, Nebraska, on U.S. Highway 30, between Missouri Valley, Iowa, and Blair, Nebraska.
Failed Bank Robbery
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police say a man who apparently tried to rob a bank was tackled by a customer and taken to a hospital.
The man entered a U.S. Bank in east Des Moines about noon Friday. He was armed with what looked like a handgun, though it may have been a BB gun or fake weapon.
Police Sgt. Jason Halifax says a bank customer tackled the man and held him in a chokehold until an officer arrived.
The 48-year-old man was unconscious when medics arrived. They took him to a hospital.
Halifax says the man will be arrested but the charge could vary depending on if he was holding an actual weapon.
Humane Society To Open New Facility In Council Bluffs
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Organizers of the Midlands Humane Society have opened a new facility in Council Bluffs.
The 11,591-square-foot building was designed with plenty of natural light. It has rooms designated for animal adoptions, animal control, and the treatment of sick animals. There also is an area that would allow for a future expansion of the building.
A board of directors has been working for eight years to open the facility in Council Bluffs.
Board chair Leslie Southard says organizers are "thrilled to be a part of helping tails find happy endings."
Trial For Filmmaker May Need To Be Delayed
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Prosecutors handling a new trial for a Nebraska filmmaker accused of fraud in a former Iowa film tax incentive program say the case should be delayed because two elderly witnesses have left the state for the winter.
64-year-old Dennis Brouse, of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, has been waiting for a second trial after the Iowa Court of Appeals overturned a felony fraud conviction in April citing confusing jury instructions.
Court documents say Brouse bought a 38-foot camper trailer from Wayne and Shirley Weese of Prole for $10,500 but claimed it cost twice that amount in an application for Iowa Film Office tax credits.
Prosecutors seek a delay of the Jan. 26 trial because the Weeses are in South Carolina for the winter.
Brouse opposes a delay.
Former Lt. Governor Neu Dies
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa lawyer who served as a state senator and as lieutenant governor for much of the 1970s has died.
Jay Woodhouse, with Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Homes in Carroll, says Arthur Neu died Friday at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines at age 81.
Neu, a Republican, was an Iowa senator from 1967 to 1972 and served as Governor Robert Ray's lieutenant governor from 1973 through 1979.
He served as mayor of Carroll, his hometown, from 1982 to 1985 and on various state boards.
Governor Terry Branstad says Iowa has lost a dedicated public servant who had a passion for his community.
Ray says in a statement we need more people like Neu in public life "because he was principled, fair, modest, and willing to listen to others."
Million Dollar Powerball Ticket Sold In Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Powerball ticket bought at a Johnston convenience store on new Year's Eve is worth $1 million.
Iowa Lottery officials say the ticket was bought at a Casey's General Store location and missed the $120 million jackpot by one number. The ticket matches the first five numbers but not the Powerball. It is one of five tickets across the country to hit the first five numbers and win $1 million prize.
The Powerball jackpot grows to $131 million for Saturday's drawing.
Lottery officials say five tickets bought in Iowa in 2014 won $1 million prizes.