Fire Claims Garage, Two Vehicles, Boat

Hull, Iowa — A garage, a boat, and two vehicles were destroyed in a fire on Thursday, April 23, 2015 in Hull.
Hull Fire Water Truck
According to Hull Fire Chief Greg Van Roekel, about 7:05 AM, the Hull Fire Department was called to the report of a structure fully engulfed in flames at 1021 Division Street.

The chief says the fire department saw a fully engulfed garage as they approached the scene. He says they fought the fire with water and were able to save the other property, but the garage and its contents were a total loss.

Van Roekel says that no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by the Sioux Center Fire Department and Hull Ambulance crew.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Chief Van Roekel says they used about 5000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene an hour and a half.

Appeals Court Affirms Conviction

Des Moines, Iowa — A Sioux County man’s conviction has been affirmed by the Iowa Court of Appeals.
According to court records, 34-year-old Gary Ernest Moore was convicted in Sioux County District Court of third offense OWI as an Habitual Offender. Moore appealed his conviction and sentence, saying that the admission of fingerprint records violated his rights under the Confrontation Clause of the US and Iowa constitutions, and that his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to challenge the testimony of a fingerprint expert at trial. The fingerprint evidence needed to be included in the sentencing evidence because Moore declined to stipulate to his identity, requiring the State to present evidence he was the same person convicted of all the prior crimes. The expert’s opinion was that the fingerprints matched and that he was indeed the same person convicted of the prior crimes. Moore contended that the evidence was “testimonial,” which would have required the court to give Moore the opportunity to cross-examine the declarant. The appeals court said that the Confrontation Clause doesn’t apply in a sentencing hearing anyway, and even if it did, the evidence was not “testimonial” in nature.

Moore was found guilty after a jury trial in Sioux County in March, 2014. He was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. The appeals court affirmed the conviction and the sentence.

Sutherland Woman Wins Big In Lottery

Sutherland, Iowa — A northwest Iowa woman has won a $10,000 lottery prize.
Lottery JenniferMcClaren
According to the Iowa Lottery, Jennifer McClaren of Sutherland claimed the first of 16 prizes of $10,000 available in the Iowa Lottery’s new “Golden Casino” instant-scratch game.

McClaren claimed her prize Monday, April 20th at the lottery’s regional office in Storm Lake. She purchased her winning ticket at Car-Go Express, on Southern Street in Sutherland, say lottery officials.

They say Golden Casino is a $10 scratch game. Players match like numbers to win prizes. If the player matches one of the “Your Numbers” to any of the “Winning Numbers,” they win the prize shown for that play spot. If they match both of the “Your Numbers” in a play spot to any of the “Winning Numbers,” they win double the prize shown for that play spot. If they reveal the “money bag” symbol in any play spot, they win $40 automatically. The overall odds of winning a prize in the game are 1 in 2.96, according to lottery officials.

Seven top prizes of $100,000 are still up for grabs in Golden Casino, as well as 14 prizes of $10,000, 117 prizes of $1,000 and thousands of prizes between $100 and $500.

According to information from the Iowa Lottery, since its start in 1985, its players have won more than $3.4 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.6 billion for the state programs that benefit all Iowans.

Today, they say lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for veterans, help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund, and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.

House Destroyed In Fire

Inwood, Iowa — A rural Inwood woman is without her house after a fire on Tuesday, April 21, 2015.
FD fire lightbar
According to Inwood Fire Chief Mike Knobloch, about 9:50 PM, the Inwood Fire Department was called to the report of house fire at the home of Angie Kuecker at 2223 Cleveland Avenue, a mile northeast of Inwood.

The chief says the fire department saw that the house was fully engulfed as they approached the scene. He says they saw that all the windows were already out. Knobloch says they tore down walls to get to the fire, as they decided it was not safe to enter the home because they didn’t know if they could trust the floors. He says they went into defensive mode at that point and they were able to save the other buildings on the place.

Knobloch reports that there were no injuries to people, pets, or livestock.

The fire department asked for the help of the Larchwood Fire Department for extra manpower and water.

Knobloch says the cause of the fire is undetermined but could be related to a space heater.

Chief Knobloch reports that the house was totally destroyed.

He says they used eight to ten thousand gallons water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene three hours.

Warmer Weather Could Stop Bird Flu Outbreaks

Des Moines, Iowa — State and national officials held a conference call on Tuesday, April 21st with reporters to answer questions surrounding the latest bird flu out break in northwest Iowa.
Officials first clarified that the facility in Osceola County has a capacity of five-point-three million egg-laying hens, but there are were three-point-eight million hens there when the disease was discovered. It is still the largest outbreak discovered in the U-S thus far. U-S-D-A chief veterinary officer, John Clifford, says the large number of birds at the Osceola County facility raised concerns.

(as he says)”A lot of people ask the question ‘well what can we do about it?’ Well, one of the things that we’re doing, we are trying to determine the pathway of introduction into these houses,” Clifford says. “My guess is — and right now there is no solid evidence as such — my guess is there are multiple pathways of entry and it doesn’t mean that people are using poor biosecurity.”

The disease is believe to be carried by wild waterfowl. Clifford says other states like Minnesota have seen more cases than Iowa thus far because they have more lakes and more wild migratory birds. He says other states have also had some colder weather.

(as he says)”And hopefully through the summer we would expect to stop seeing these cases because of the heat. This virus does not like the heat much at all, it prefers cooler temperatures in weather,” Clifford says. He says we could see more cases of the virus as the waterfowl move again in the fall and spring.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey was asked about the economic impact. He says it has varied since the first outbreaks were reported in other states in January.

(as he says) “In some cases we’ve lost some markets, some export markets. In that case maybe we see a negative impact to prices — we actually see lower prices because there are less place for these egg products and poultry products to move,” Northey says. “In other cases we now are starting to see some significant reductions in the supply, so we are kind of counterbalancing, so it depends on how this plays out on what the impact might be.”

But Northey says while millions of birds have died in Iowa and other states, the impact has not been major in terms of prices.

(as he says)”Right now it does not appear that the loss of supply in either turkey products or egg products is significant at this time to show a significant impact on prices,” Northey says.

The first outbreak in Iowa was in a turkey facility in Buena Vista County. The 37-thousand turkeys there were destroyed and Northey says state and local officials are helping the Osceola County facility euthanized the birds there. Northey says the cases appear to be isolated at this point.

(as he says)”We do not believe this is spreading in a way that is likely to create other problems on other farms. We believe this is coming from wild birds to these farms. That does not mean we might not see a significant number of new cases,” according to Northey.

But he says this could also be the last case found in Iowa too. Northey says these two facilities are a small part of the large egg and turkey industry in the state.

(as he says)”As of today, eggs are still rolling out of most of our facilities. These are good, healthy eggs,” Northey says. “Consumers need to feel very comfortable eating Iowa eggs, eating Iowa turkey and eating Iowa chicken meat as well.”

Doctor Clifford with the U-S-D-A says the eggs from the facility in Osceola are cracked and pasteurized for use in egg products, so that would have killed any of the virus in those eggs. And the chickens are not being released into the market, so they do not pose any threat either.

Story from Radio Iowa

Other information presented during the conference call:

  • The birds are euthanized using either a foam or carbon dioxide gas.
  • Usually the bird carcasses are composted.
  • The experts don’t think the virus is going from farm-to-farm. It is believed to come from wild birds.
  • Officials are accepting samples for testing from farms that send them in, but officials are not actively monitoring any facility.

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Two Taken To Hospital After Crash

Maurice, Iowa – Two people were taken to a hospital after an accident at the “Million Dollar Corner,” near Maurice.
Sioux Center Ambulance
The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 1:20 PM on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, 83-year-old Alma Noe of Hawarden was driving a Ford westbound on Highway 10, at the “Million Dollar Corner,” about four miles south of Sioux Center. Twenty-seven year-old John Van Peursem of Maurice was southbound on Highway 75 in a 1993 Cadillac.

The report says that Noe and Van Peursem were approaching the intersection. A third vehicle driven by Paul Smit of Alton, was eastbound on Highway 10, and was stopped at the stop sign. The trooper’s report says Noe failed to yield the right-of-way from the stop sign and pulled out in front of Van Peursem. Noe’s and Van Peursem’s vehicles collided and were pushed into the Smit vehicle stopped at the stop sign.

The Sioux Center Ambulance took Noe to Orange City Health System. The Maurice First Responders took a passenger in the Van Peursem vehicle – Preston Van Peursem — to the Orange City Health System hospital.