Wednesday News, July 1
Semi Truck Rolls Over On Highway 75 Near Merrill
(Le Mars) -- A semi truck and flatbed trailer rolled over on its side early this morning on Highway 75 striking a utility street lamp pole and knocking out power for the town of Merrill. The accident occurred at about 4:00 a.m. this morning. The semi truck and flatbed trailer was heading southbound on Highway 75 and was just entering the town of Merrill when apparently the truck lost control and went off the highway, and rolling on its side. The truck was hauling concrete slabs. Emergency crews are finishing up with the scene. The accident reduced southbound traffic to one lane heading into Merrill. It is not known whether the truck driver sustained any injuries as a result of that accident. The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department and the Merrill Fire Department responded to that accident.
Retired Fire Fighter Collecting Shirts To Call Attention To Cancer
(Le Mars) -- A retired Le Mars fire fighter is collecting t-shirts from other fire departments across the country in an effort to call attention to his battle with cancer. Doug Harms retired from the Le Mars Fire Department last year due to health issues relating to his heart. Since that time, he has also been diagnosed as having cancer in his neck and throat. Harms' girlfriend had the idea to send a message on Facebook social media asking for the t-shirts as a way to help boost his morale.
Harms says he is receiving other items in addition to the t-shirts.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A tip from the public on the potential whereabouts of a longtime Iowa fugitive has led to his arrest in Mexico.
The U.S. Marshals Service says authorities in Mexico arrested Mitchell Meyer on Monday.
Authorities say Meyer was facing two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in 1999 when he was scheduled to appear for trial in Sioux City. He was released on bond but never appeared.
A deputy marshal revisited the case in 2014 and offered information to local media. It was featured on a "Most Wanted" posting that brought in tips. One indicated Meyer was in Mexico.
Meyer has been sent to the U.S. and is being held in Texas before he can be returned to Iowa. Court records do not indicate if he has an attorney.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett sentenced Tony Wasmund to four years of probation Tuesday after the government said he provided "substantial assistance" in the salmonella case. Bennett imposed no restitution or fine on Wasmund, of Willmar, Minnesota.
Wasmund worked for egg tycoon Jack DeCoster, whose Iowa operations caused the outbreak that prompted the recall of 550 million eggs and sickened thousands.
Under a plea deal, Wasmund pleaded guilty in 2012 to his role in bribing a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector to allow sales of eggs that didn't meet federal standards. He cooperated in an investigation that led to convictions of DeCoster and his son Peter.
The commodity market analyst believes because of these factors, with the increase demand for corn, and fewer corn acres to harvest, there could be some upward potential to the corn market, and farmers may see higher prices for their corn.
One new law would allow grocery stores and liquor stores with the proper permit to sell craft beer in refillable containers, known as "growlers." Another would likely allow sledding in more public parks next winter by protecting cities from liability if people are injured.
Some key legislation did not have a July 1 start date. A bill to raise the state fuel tax already took effect.
Gov. Terry Branstad still must act on several key pieces of the state budget, including a one-time funding bill for K-12 education. He has until Monday to decide if he will approve budget bills.
Gov. Terry Branstad issued the proclamation Tuesday. It allows the state to help residents impacted by a tornado that hit parts of Wapello County on June 20.
The proclamation also helps residents affected by other severe weather and flooding in Iowa in late June. It includes Adair, Allamakee, Appanoose, Butler, Clayton, Dallas, Des Moines, Guthrie, Henry, Howard, Lee, Lucas, Marion, Mitchell, Polk, Warren and Winneshiek counties.
An assistance program will be available to residents in 10 of those counties. That offers grants of up to $5,000 to certain households for clothing, food and temporary housing.
Branstad announced Tuesday that he had appointed Ryan Wise as director of the department, replacing Brad Buck who is becoming superintendent of the Cedar Rapids schools.
Wise, who will begin his new job Wednesday, has been the agency's deputy director since September 2013. He led implementation of Iowa's Teacher Leadership and Compensation System, which is designed to give higher pay and leadership opportunities to effective teachers.
Among his other duties, Wise also has been a liaison between the department and Iowa State Board of Education.
The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Iowa Senate.
Organizers of the Iowa State Fair are pairing the event's famous butter cow sculpture with another butter piece celebrating the Monopoly board game.
Officials say the accompanying piece, will this summer celebrate the game's 80th anniversary.
Sarah Pratt designs the butter cow each year as well as a second piece. She is expected to feature some famous Monopoly pieces alongside the game's main character, Rich Uncle Pennybags.
Monopoly was first commercially sold in the 1930s. The property trading game has been printed in more than 37 languages.
The Iowa Star Fair is scheduled Aug. 13-23 in Des Moines.