Boyden, Iowa — Authorities are now saying the fire on Friday and the explosion on Monday at the same location near Boyden — were unrelated. Both happened at 3768 360th Street, seven miles southwest of Boyden.
Boyden Fire Chief Galen Blankers says that the fire that was reported on Friday, January 16, in the 7 PM hour, started in the center of the section that was destroyed, and was caused by an undetermined ignition source. This fire has been ruled accidental and remains under investigation.
Meanwhile, the explosion and fire that was reported on Monday, January 19, in the 2 PM hour, was determined to be a methane explosion with an undetermined ignition source. That explosion and fire were also found to be accidental and the incident remains under investigation.
Sheldon, Iowa — Confusion over recycling schedules, not enough room in the containers and uncertainty about what to recycle…..according to Sheldon City Manager Scott Wynja, these were the main complaints he saw in the recycling survey forms turned in by Sheldon residents. Much of the council discussion was centered on how to get schedule information out to the public. Both of the Sheldon garbage haulers said it was really easy. “If your garbage pickup day is Monday, your recycling pickup days are the first and third Thursdays of the Month. If your garbage pickup day is Tuesday, your recycling pickup days are the second and fourth Thursdays of the Month. There are no pickups on the fifth Thursday which occurs about every three months. But the council members wanted more information presented on the media, plus the city website and possibly a calendar inserted with the water bills. And people who still have questions should call their hauler. Some of the survey respondents complained that they should not have to pay for recycling, but it was explained that the haulers do not charge for hauling recycled items.
Many complaints were also voiced about the big container in the City Parking Lot. The container fills up fast, but cannot be emptied until a date specified by the landfill. The City Manager stated that the container is there as a convenience, but curbside recycling should still be primary.
Some residents also asked why there is still a fuel surcharge on their garbage bill after gas prices have gone down. It was explained that the surcharge is based on the fuel price on the fifteenth of the preceding month and the price of diesel fuel was either $2.69 or $2.89 on December 15th, which makes the surcharge 50 cents. If it would have been $2.49 or lower there would be no surcharge.
The council also voted to make a change on the 34th Avenue Median between Taco Johns and Mc Donalds. Public Works DirectorTodd Uhl told the council that this rock-filled sector was high maintenance and he suggested several alternatives. The Council decided to replace the rock with colored concrete at a cost of about $9,500.00.
Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Farmers Union is asking the Iowa Department of Agriculture to require 48-hour advance notice to neighboring farms before pesticides are applied to row crops.
In addition the group wants enhanced penalties for pesticide applicators who are identified more than once as the source of pesticide drift. Iowa Farmers Union president Jana Linderman of Cedar Rapids says pesticide drift can destroy organic fruits and vegetables and bee hives, plus it’s a danger to farmers who’ve planted crops like food-grade soybeans.
Linderman cites research by the Practical Farmers of Iowa that found that between 2008 and 2012, less than 20 percent of pesticide applicators were fined after state investigators confirmed cases of pesticide drift had affected specialty crops. The average fine was seven-hundred-16 dollars ($716).
Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says over-spray does happen, but it’s not common.
He says there are roughly 400,000 fields in Iowa and most of them get sprayed multiple times in a growing season. He says the Department of Agriculture only gets a handful of complaints every year — most of them accidents — where conditions change or applicators are in too much of a hurry. Northey says issues do occur, and that’s why commercial and private pesticide applicator training courses are required.
The Iowa Farmers Union filed a petition with the Iowa Department of Agriculture in December, asking that the agency adopt new rules for pesticide applicators. The agency has 60 days to respond. In addition to its request of the Iowa Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Farmers Union is asking legislators to pass a bill requiring commercial pesticide applicators to obtain more liability insurance.
Rock Valley, Iowa — A Rock Valley teen was taken to the hospital after an accident near Rock Valley on Monday, January 19th.
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 5:40 PM, 15-year-old Joel Baartman of Rock Valley was driving a 2003 Buick Century eastbound on Highway 18, two miles east of Rock Valley. Fifty-four-year-old Kelly Miller of Urbandale was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Impala westbound on Highway 18.
The report says Baartman crossed the centerline and struck the Miller Chevy. Both vehicles then entered the north ditch where Baartman’s vehicle rolled.
The Rock Valley Ambulance transported Baartman to Hegg Memorial Hospital in Rock Valley.
The Buick and Chevy sustained approximately $8,000 in damages, each.
Baartman was charged with driving on the wrong side of highway.
The Rock Valley Fire Department and the Rock Valley Ambulance crew assisted the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheldon, Iowa — Three people from Worthington were taken to hospitals after an accident near Sheldon.
The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 6:30 AM on Monday, January 19, 2015, 33 -year-old Abraham Ramos was driving a 2007 Chrysler southbound on Highway 60, about a mile north of Sheldon.
According to the report, Ramos said that the roads got very slick. He says that he was following a semi tractor, which slowed down. Ramos says he attempted to slow down also, but lost control on the ice. The minivan entered the median and rolled. A rear passenger was thrown from the vehicle. The vehicle came to rest on the northbound lanes of Highway 60.
The Sheldon Community Ambulance Team took two passengers – 37-year-old Savina Ramos, and 23-year-old Alex Ramirez-Sandoval — to Sanford Sheldon. SCAT transported another passenger, 59-year-old Pedro Magana to Mercy Hospital in Sioux City. They report his injuries were quite serious.
Ramos’ Chrysler sustained $4500 in damages.
He was charged with driving without a license and no proof of insurance.
The Sheldon Fire Company, SCAT, and Sheldon EMA assisted at the scene.
Sibley, Iowa — A Minnesota company that makes gun accessories and ammunition is relocating to northwest Iowa. Capital Armament Company is moving from Mendota Heights, a suburb on the southern side of the Twin Cities, to Sibley. Mike Earll, the director of the Osceola County Economic Development Commission, says the company started moving its operations into a rented facility in Sibley on January 5th.
(as said) “They’re taking some time to get things set up and ready to go and then their hope is to actually be back in production the first part of February or even, if things go well, then end of January here yet,” Earll says.
This fall, the company will move from the temporary space and into a new, eight-thousand-square-foot facility in the Osceola County Industrial Park. Capital Armament makes “specialized ammunition” with “smokeless gunpowder,” according to Earll.
(as said) “What they do is they provide this high-quality ammunition for professional shooting contests as well as for law enforcement personnel and that type of thing,” Earll says.
Six people, including the company’s three owners, will work at the rental facility when it gets up and running within the next few weeks. Within three years, the firm’s owners hope to employ about three dozen people at the facility in Sibley.
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