Sunday News, March 23
Fire Destroys Storm Lake Turkey Processing Plant
(Storm Lake) -- The Storm Lake Fire Department responded to the Hillshire Brands Turkey Processing Plant on the evening of Saturday, March 22, 2014, at approximately 7:15pm, in reference to an automated fire alarm. Upon arrival of fire fighters they observed heavy black smoke and flames coming from the roof of the production area near the south side of the plant. An approximately 50’ by 50’ section of the roof burnt and collapsed into the plant.
The Storm Lake Fire Department requested assistance from three additional fire departments and over 50 fire fighters fought the fire and brought it under control in about three hours. Small spot fires continue to flare up and as of 8:00am Sunday morning crews from the Storm Lake Fire Department remain on scene overhauling the scene and putting out the small reoccurring fires. The assisting fire departments have all cleared from the scene.
Fire, smoke, and heat have extensively damaged the facility. No damage estimate is available at this time.
The Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office will be joining the Storm Lake Fire Department in investigating the cause of the fire. It’s anticipated the investigation will require several days. One Storm Lake Fire Fighter sustained an injury to his shoulder during the incident. He was treated and released at the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center.
The Storm Lake Fire Department was assisted by the Alta Fire Department, Newell Fire Department, Sioux Rapids Fire Department, Storm Lake Police Department, Buena Vista County Sheriffs Department, Buena Vista County Paramedics, and Hillshire administration and staff.
Lawmakers Discuss Human Trafficing Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - While the Obama Administration establishes national efforts to expand research and increase awareness on child sexual exploitation, lawmakers in Iowa are taking action to crack down on sex trafficking involving minors across the state.
Legislation on the topic has won unanimous support in both chambers. Most recently, a measure that Representative Greg Heartsill, a Republican from Melcher-Dallas, calls a "hybrid" of House and Senate versions overwhelmingly passed Wednesday in the House, 97-0.
Democratic lawmakers worry that changes made to the bill, like the removal of reporting requirements and a victim support fund, take away from making the victim the priority.
But Heartsill says programs and efforts have already been established to address these provisions.
Both parties have agreed to work together to nail down finer points of the legislation.
No Fishing Proposal
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has asked Des Moines officials to delay any measures to restrict fishing on the Des Moines river downtown.
The request followed plans for the city's Parks and Recreation board to vote next week on a proposal that would limit where people can fish along the river downtown.
Under the measure, fishing anywhere along the banks of the river within the city's Riverwalk would be prohibited, as would fishing from the Union Pacific Bridge and the new MLK Junior Bridge. Fishing would still be allowed on the four downtown bridges at Grand, Locust, Walnut and Court.
Department of Natural Resources officials say they want enhance fishing opportunities, not remove them.
Iowa City To Remove Dead Fish From Ponds
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials say hundreds of dead fish will need to be removed from two ponds in an Iowa City neighborhood.
The fish were recently discovered in two ponds in the Idyllwild neighborhood.
Kurt Kimmerling, president of the neighborhood's homeowners association, says he sent an email to residents on Friday to notify them of the situation.
Kimmerling says some of the dead fish weigh up to 30 pounds. They started to surface as the ice melted.
The state Department of Natural Resources has been contacted. The agency says it expects similar cases in other Iowa cities.
Teen Killed In Car Accident
GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) - A Glenwood teenager has died after losing control of his pickup in southwest Iowa.
17-year-old Tanner Porter died Thursday night after the 8:15 p.m. crash on a county road.
The Iowa State Patrol says the teen, who was wearing a seat belt, was flown to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where he died.
Investigators say Porter was southbound when he lost control of the pickup truck, veered off the road and rolled several times, hitting a power pole.
Paraplegic Tumbling Teacher
GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) - Gina Giaffoglione's lifelong love of tumbling could have ended with the car crash six years ago that left her in a wheelchair. But the 27-year-old woman has kept that love alive by teaching tumbling classes in Iowa and Nebraska.
Giaffoglione was a student at Wayne State University in Wayne, Nebraska when the speeding car she was in went out of control and rolled. Giaffoglione was thrown and left paralyzed from the waist down.
A tumbling enthusiast since grade school, Giaffoglione's first question to emergency workers at the crash scene was, "Am I ever going to tumble again?"
She returned to Wayne State, completed her human services degree and opened her own tumbling studio in Laurel, Neb., in 2007. Last year, she took over as director of Gary's Tumbling in Glenwood.