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BRIEFLY Warehouse fire sends plume of smoke above Clear Lake


Warehouse fire sends plume of smoke above Clear Lake

CLEAR LAKE (AP) — A fire at a Clear Lake warehouse caused significant damage to the structure and sent a plume of smoke high above the northern Iowa city.

The Globe Gazette reports the fire was reported at 4:41 a.m. NTI Limited.

Fire department spokesman Billy Krefft says arriving firefighters found numerous tires aflame. Hours later, thick smoke was still pouring out of the building.

About two dozen firefighters from Clear Lake and Ventura were called to the fire.

The company sells axles, tires and wheels for trailers.

Men face felony charges after officers discover meth lab

DAVENPORT (AP) — Police have charged two men who were arrested after riding in a vehicle that contained a methamphetamine lab.

The Quad-Cities Times reports that 33-year-old Christopher Ray Hicks and 38-year-old Collin Bundy Loader have been charged with one count each of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to commit a felony.

The possession charge carries up to 25 years in prison, and the conspiracy charge carries up to five years.

Documents from the arrest Friday say officers seized a meth lab containing more than 5 grams of meth. They also took materials used to make the drug, including camp stove fuel, coffee filters and cold packs containing ammonia nitrate.

Hicks and Loader were being held on a $25,000 bond in the Scott County Jail Saturday night.

Dissolved Iowa school district to begin settling liabilities

FARRAGUT (AP) — A southwest Iowa school district that was dissolved now has to close its books, settle its liabilities and dispose of property such as desks and buildings.

The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs reports that Lane Plugge, a former Iowa City schools superintendent, is overseeing the process.

Plugge is charged with oversight as part of his role as the chief administrator of the Green Hills Area Education Agency. State law gives him the authority to approve financial and personnel decisions, taking the power away from the local school board.

The Iowa Board of Education voted to close the Farragut School District earlier this month after officials said it was operating with a negative financial balance and sub-minimal education standards.

U. Iowa leader denounces racist vandalism in campus building

IOWA CITY (AP) — The University of Iowa’s new president is condemning a racist remark that was carved into a bathroom door inside a campus building.

Bruce Harreld said Monday evening the school was trying to determine who left the message in Spence Laboratories, the building that houses the university’s department of psychological and brain sciences.

Harreld says the act “is offensive to our community and will not be tolerated,” adding that the door was immediately sanded down to remove the comment.

Interim UI public safety director David Visin says the remark was “a racial slur” that didn’t include any additional threatening language. He says he’s not releasing specifics in order to protect the integrity of an ongoing criminal investigation.

Visin says he is asking the public for help solving the crime.

Body found in Missouri River identified as Iowa woman

NEBRASKA CITY, Neb. (AP) — A woman who was found dead in the Missouri River near Nebraska City has been identified as a missing Iowa resident.

The Nebraska State Patrol said Monday that 40-year-old Jennifer Giles of Council Bluffs was identified through dental records. A trapper found her body on Nov. 23 in an area north of an Omaha Public Power District power plant in southeast Nebraska.

Family members reported Giles’ disappearance to Council Bluffs police on Oct. 28.

Authorities say autopsy results are pending. The Nebraska State Patrol is assisting Council Bluffs police with its investigation.

2 people found dead in Des Moines home

DES MOINES (AP) — Des Moines police say two people have been found dead in a house west of downtown but two children in the home weren’t injured.

Sgt. Paul Parizek tells The Des Moines Register that police received a report of a shooting just before 3 p.m. Monday.

Two unidentified adults were found dead in the home. An infant and toddler in the house weren’t harmed.

Parizek says investigators are treating the deaths as suspicious.

Santa obliges dad of sleeping boy with snoozing photo

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — When Donnie Walters took son Zeke to have his picture taken with Santa Claus, the 6-monthold boy couldn’t stay awake while they waited in line.

So Santa obliged Walters and posed asleep with the snoozing child resting on his belly.

Walters posted the photos of the sleeping pair on Facebook. The photos taken Nov. 25 at Evansville’s Eastland Mall and posted the following day have been liked 371,000 times and shared more than 195,000.

Walters tells USA Today that “everyone has been very kind.” He says most comments referred to how much the pictures have brightened people’s day.

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