Friday News, August 7
American Enterprise Group Says Renovation Is Complete
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Insurance holding company American Enterprise Group says the $30 million renovation to its corporate headquarters in Des Moines is finished.
The 8-story building has been nominated for international architectural significance and is in the final stage of being added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The renovation included new air handling and safety systems, sensors that turn off lights when rooms are unused and high-efficiency LED lights. Custom furniture original to the building in 1965 has been restored, refinished and reinstalled. A 400-piece contemporary art collection also is back in place.
CEO Tom Swank the more efficient work space will enable the company, which employs 330 workers in Des Moines, to add 146 jobs by 2017.
A public open house is planned for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Army Corps Of Engineers Close Saylorville Lake Beaches
JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says two beaches at Saylorville Lake are closed due to a blue-green algae bloom that could be harmful to people and pets.
Routine water quality monitoring performed at the lake identified high levels of a compound produced by blue-green algae under certain environmental conditions that can cause illness through direct skin contact, by ingesting the water or by breathing airborne water droplets.
The compound called microcystin can cause skin reactions, gastrointestinal pain, breathing problems or liver damage.
Public health officials recommend no swimming, wading or boating in areas where the water is covered with scum, is bright green or blue in color, or smells bad.
The corps oversees the lake 11 miles northwest of Des Moines and announced the beach closings on Thursday.
Girl Drowns In Eastern Iowa Lake
SOLON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a girl has drowned while swimming at Lake Macbride beach in Eastern Iowa.
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says the girl, believed to be around 6 to 8 years old, was taken to the University of Iowa hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Her name was not immediately released.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports a group of teens swimming at the beach pulled the unresponsive girl from the water after one of them felt something underwater.
Emergency responders and Air Care were called to the beach at about 2:15 p.m. The girl was not breathing and CPR was performed until the helicopter arrived.
Lake Macbride, part of a 2,000-acre state park, is about 16 miles north of Iowa City near Coralville Lake.
DNR Investigates Fish Kill
LANESBORO, Iowa (AP) - State environmental officials say they are investigating a fish kill in a creek in Western Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said in a statement released Thursday they continue to try to determine what killed thousands of minnows, sunfish, and bullheads in a 1 1/4-mile section of Purgatory Creek in Carroll County.
The fish appeared to have been dead several days when a DNR officer responded to a call Sunday.
Field tests showed normal oxygen levels and no ammonia in the stream. There were no unusual odors or visual signs of contamination.
DNR collected water samples for tests. Results won't be known for several weeks.
Three Youths Killed In Accident
NEW SHARON, Iowa (AP) - Three youths have been killed in a car collision with a truck in southern Iowa.
The accident occurred about 12:55 p.m. Thursday near New Sharon in Mahaska County. The Iowa State Patrol says the car driven by 16-year-old Jamie Singletary collided at a rural intersection of gravel roads with a rock truck driven by Shawn Schippers.
Singletary and two passengers were killed. They were identified as 13-year-old Carson and 10-year-old Christian Singletary. It's unclear whether the three were siblings or otherwise related. All three lived in New Sharon.
The patrol says the 41-year-old Schippers wasn't injured.
Winnebago Industries CEO Retires
FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) - Recreational vehicle manufacturer Winnebago Industries says company president and CEO Randy Potts is retiring and former chief executive Robert Olson will return to lead the company until the position is filled with a permanent replacement.
A company statement says Potts' retirement is effective Thursday. The company says his departure comes after discussions and it was collectively agreed that "this is the appropriate time for new leadership."
A 32-year employee of the company based in Forest City, Iowa, Potts became president and CEO in 2011.
The 64-year-old Olson retired in 2012 after 43 years with the company. He left the board last year.
Third quarter profit posted in June was up slightly from a year ago. Sales of motor homes rose 7.4 percent while towable RV sales rose 16 percent.
Funeral Held For Airman
OSAGE, Iowa (AP) - Friends, family and more than 100 airmen have paid their respects to a 20-year-old Iowa Air National Guard member who drowned while stationed for duty in Guam.
A funeral was held Thursday in Osage for Senior Airman Drew Bellairs. Burial is scheduled for Friday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.
The 2013 Osage High School graduate was a member of the Guard's 185th Air Refueling Wing. He drowned on July 25 while swimming at Marbo Cave on the eastern shore of Guam. He was temporarily assigned to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam at the time of his death.
Friends say the mechanic always had a smile. Fellow airman Shawn O'Tool says Bellairs never frowned and says he never saw Bellairs complain.