One man is dead and another is seriously injured after a semi collided witha pickup near Stuart on Interstate-80 today. The accident happened justbefore 10 a-m when a pickup truck went out of control and lost control inthe eastbound lane of I-80. The truck went into eastbound traffic where itwas hit by a semi. The semi rolled over and caught fire. The pickup truckdriver was killed and the semi driver was in serious condition. The names ofthe victims have not been released.
Archives for 2000
Record low December temperatures have had a chilling effect on theMississippi River barge traffic. The U-S Army Corps of Engineers says theMississippi is frozen from the Twin Cities in Minnesota to south of the QuadCities in Iowa. The Corps has slowed barge traffic through the CentralIllinois locks from 15 to eight. Traffic may be slowed even more if the coldweather continues.
The federal government is investing $600,000 to study how to create a new type of stronger plastic from corn. Mike Stenzel, director of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, says it’s keeping in line with the effort to add value to the state’s top agricultural product.
Stenzel farms insouthwest Iowa’s Fremont County. He says the grant from the U-S Departmentof Energy will go toward research on adding corn-based polymers to plastics. Stenzel has set a goal for how much corn he’d like to eventually see pumped into the project. Stenzel envisions a type ofplastic that could be used in a variety of products — from the casings forink pens to water pipes to the shells around computer monitors. He says the new corn-based plastics would be more durable than the oil-based plastics. Stezel says the research will likely be conducted at Iowa State University.
A northern Iowa businessman with a colorful family history has died at age one hundred. Harley Ransom was the third generation of Ransoms to own a pool hall in Mason City. It was reportedly the inspiration for the pool hall featured in “The Music Man”. His grandfather opened the pool hall in 1866. Court Ransom was a Civil War veteran and had been Abe Lincoln’s bodyguard. Harley Ransom’s son, Bob, now owns the pool hall.
Two trains collided in southern Iowa yesterday, forcing Amtrak to re-route its passenger trains. The collision happened just before 2:30 in rural Lucas County, when a train carrying dozens of cars of coal slammed into another train that was also loaded with coal. The result? Three, huge locomotives derailed; one completely jumped the tracks. Two crewmembers were taken to the hospital, treated for minor cuts and bruises, then released. The tracks were damaged, and Amtrak’s Omaha to Chicago will be re-routed for awhile.
Some Michigan hockey players could find themselves facing charges in the Quad Cities. Members of the Flint Generals hockey team apparently took aim at a mural and some other targets with their pucks while warming up to play the Quad City Mallards last night at “The Mark” in Moline. Police were called in an estimated the damage at a few thousand dollars. Mallards General Manager Howard Cornfield was angry at what happened.He says it may be time to oust the Generals from the league.Cornfield says he may press charges against the offending players.The two teams play in the United Hockey League.
This is already Iowa’s snowiest December on record. Today’s expected snowfall may put us on the books as the snowiest month -ever- in Iowa, according to state climatologist Harry Hillaker.We’ve already gotten an average of 21-point-1 inches of snow statewide this month. The snowiest month ever was 22-point-2 inches in February of 1962. If the forecast is accurate, Hillaker says we’ll beat that all-time record today.The state should average about three inches today, with some areas getting only one or two inches, others getting seven or eight inches. Looking over the decades of records, Hillaker says winters that started out with heavy snowfall often had -average- snowfalls in the second half.The previous record for snowiest December was surpassed last week. It was 17-point-7 inches in December of 1961.
The Worth County Board of Supervisors has tabled an ordinance, which would establish county regulations for hog confinements. The board of supervisors rejected the ordinance on its first reading, but at its meeting Wednesday the board appointed an eleven-member committee to refine it. The ordinance would regulate air emissions, water pollution, and worker safety at hog confinements to discourage future hog confinement construction in the county. Under state law, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is given sole authority to regulate hog lots. Humboldt County’s Board of Supervisors tried to establish local rules for hog confinements, but those rules were struck down by the Iowa Supreme Court in 1998.
Forecasters say another storm could drop several inches of snow on Iowa today and tomorrow. The Iowa Department of Transportation says another heavy snow could cause them problems getting the roads cleared.Dennis Burkheimer of the D-O-T says many ditches are already overflowing with snow from past storms, leaving them little room for any new white stuff. Burkheimer says full ditches make it more likely that there’ll be drifting snow onto highways. He says they’ll do what they can to keep highways open.They have heavy-duty snowblowers, but it may take more time to get the roads open. Burkheimer says the cost to move all that snow is building too.They’ve already spent around 14-million on snow and ice removal — about one-and-a-half million more than they budgeted for this year. State officials aren’t the only ones struggling with the snow. Cedar Rapids Streets Commissioner Don Thomas says the extra strain on equipment is showing through.The City of Five Seasons is also feeling the budget impact of all the snow. He says they’ve already used more salt, sand and paid more in overtime already this year than they did all of last year.The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for northern Iowa for tonight.
An eastern Iowa city is planning to become the first in the state to use circular interchanges — or roundabouts — to smooth and speed traffic flow. While popular in Europe, no Iowa cities have built roundabouts, but Bettendorf senior planner Mark Brockway says they’re a great solution to many typical traffic troubles. Roundabouts are safer and make for a steady flow of cars. They’re also cheaper to build since stoplights aren’t needed. He says it can cost 150-thousand dollars to put up signals for an intersection like this. Brockway says people tend to resist change — that’s why no one else in Iowa has made the leap toward roundabouts. He says they work well elsewhere in the nation.Brockway expects Quad City drivers to accept the new traffic circles, which won’t be complete until 2002.