Wednesday News, July 22
Fire Department Responds To Fire At Godfather's Pizza
(Le Mars) -- At nearly 11:00 p.m. last evening, the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to an alarm at Godfather's Pizza restaurant located on Business highway 75. Fire Chief Dave Schipper says when fire officials arrived on the scene, a smokey haze was seen inside the restaurant.
Fire fighters were on the scene for about an hour, and Schipper says the smoke traveled through the entire building through the duct work.
Schipper believes the pizza restaurant should be able to be open for business as usual for today.
EPA Officials In Le Mars Conducting Tests
(Le Mars) -- City council members heard a brief update Tuesday from Environmental Protection Agency officials who are in town conducting research on a pollutant found in the downtown area of Le Mars. The EPA officials are trying to determine if the pollutant that was located in the soil near the railroad tracks and other locations within downtown, has spread. EPA officials believe they may have identified the source.
Des Moines Group Wants To Find Long Term Solution To Nitrates In Water
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines business group says it wants to find a solution to a water quality dispute that has prompted the city's water utility to sue three counties.
Des Moines Water Works claims that drainage districts in those counties act as conduits in moving nitrates from farm fields into a river, which serves as one of two sources of drinking water for city residents.
As a result, the utility says it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to reduce nitrates to levels the federal government deems safe. The lawsuit is set to go before a federal judge next summer.
The Greater Des Moines Partnership wants to bring together business, farming, water, environmental and legislative leaders to find long-term solutions to Iowa's water-quality issues.
Most Area Crops Are Doing Well, But There Are Some Dry Areas
(Le Mars) -- The latest weekly crop condition report was issued on Monday, and it indicated that more than half of the state's corn crop has reached the silking stage, with 83 percent of the state's corn crop listed as good to excellent condition. Iowa State University Extension crops specialist Joel DeJong, says most of the area is progressing towards a good crop. However, there are some areas that have had too much moisture, and still other areas within northwest Iowa that are showing signs of being a bit dry.
Both corn and soybeans are in the middle of the pollination stage, and DeJong says in most cases there is enough moisture in the soil to sustain the crops through pollination. But he points out that in Plymouth County during a recent rainfall, the range of rainfall was from just fifteen one-hundredths of an inch in the far northwest corner to more than five inches in the east central region of the county.
DeJong says earlier in the season some corn fields were showing signs of northern corn leaf blight, but since we have had warmer temperatures that crop disease has nearly disappeared. The Iowa State University crops specialist reminds farmers to continually scout their fields.
Sex Offender Listed As Escape Inmate
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A man serving a lifetime sex offender special supervision sentence has been listed as escaped from a state work release facility in Sioux City.
The Iowa Corrections Department says 25-year-old Michael Euchner II went on the list Tuesday because he didn't return from his job.
The department says Euchner was transferred to work release on June 14 to begin his special supervision sentence following discharge of a 10-year sex abuse conviction in Ida County.
Iowa Democrats Set Up "Corn Feed" Fundraiser
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Democrats missing the Harkin Steak Fry can gather at a new progressive event next month.
Liberal group Progress Iowa told The Associated Press on Tuesday that they will host a gathering called the Corn Feed. The Aug. 30 event in downtown Des Moines will feature sweet corn and a speaking lineup with Iowa Democrats and at least one 2016 presidential hopeful.
Progress Iowa Executive Director Matt Sinovic says former Sen. Tom Harkin will attend, along with Congressman Dave Loebsack, Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Iowa House Minority Leader Mark Smith. Former Rhode Island governor and Democratic presidential hopeful Lincoln Chafee will also attend.
Harkin's annual Steak Fry fundraiser was held for the final time last fall. For decades, the event drew prominent Democrats and huge crowds.
Army Veteran Stands Guard Outside Military Recruiting Center
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An armed Army veteran says he's doing what he can to protect a military recruiting center in Des Moines.
Veteran Kim Paulsen was spending time Tuesday pacing in front of a recruiting office, located in a strip mall in east Des Moines.
Paulsen was dressed in military fatigues and carried a rifle as he walked on a sidewalk between parked cars and the recruiting center.
He says, "I feel I need to be here, doing this," because of the shooting deaths last week of four Marines and one Navy sailor at a recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Paulsen says he hopes his presence will prevent a similar attack on the Des Moines office, where military personnel are not armed.
Branstad Orders Flags To Fly At Half Staff To Honor Killed Marines And Navy Sailor
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's governor has ordered that flags be lowered to half-staff at sites throughout the state in honor of the five servicemen killed last week in Tennessee.
Gov. Terry Branstad on Tuesday called for the state-controlled flags to be lowered from Tuesday through Monday. President Barack Obama has ordered flags flown at federal buildings and grounds to be lowered to half-staff until sunset Saturday.
The action honors the four Marines and one Navy sailor killed in a shooting last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The state is encouraging individuals, businesses and local governments to take similar action to show respect for those killed.
Turkey Farm Hit By Bird Flu Ready To Re-populate Barn
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One of the first Iowa turkey farms to get bird flu is getting nearing the time at which birds can be restocked but most of the 77 farms affected are still weeks away from introduction of new flocks.
Iowa Department of Agriculture officials said Tuesday all farms have been cleared of dead chickens and turkeys but disposal of manure, compost and other waste continued at 18 farms.
All birds that died or were euthanized have been incinerated, buried or taken to landfills.
Iowa lost 34 million chickens and turkeys in the bird flu outbreak that began in mid-April. The last reported case was June 16.
One turkey farm in Calhoun County will finish a required 21-day fallow period this week and if tests remain negative may begin restocking.