Fire

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A massive fire last night killed more than 400,000 chickens at a poultry plant outside of Bloomfield, Nebraska.

Michael Foods operates the facility that produces eggs.  No employees got hurt but the fire destroyed a barn.

The National Weather service says the flames were so intense their weather satellite detected the heat more than 22,000 miles above the Earth.

Bloomfield is about 75 miles northwest of Sioux City in Knox County.

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Early findings show that the bridge that was burning yesterday under I-29 in Sioux City has sustained more than the black soot marks.  Iowa Department of Transporation authorities say it's too early to speculate on the degree of damage the culvert bridge sustained after the encampment blaze, which is under investigation. 

The low-hanging Interstate 29 bridge near the Wesley Parkway overpass was only a year old when it was scorched by flames from a burning homeless encampment yesterday afternoon.   

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was in Sioux City today signing a bill into that extends the 1 cent sales tax.  The statewide sales tax for school infrastructure improvements set to expire in 10 years has been extended through 2051.

Sioux City Community School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman (GAUS-min) attended the signing ceremony downtown and said the sales tax has helped the school district in the past and it will also be helpful in the future. He says the money will help the district renovate or replace some elementary schools. 

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Planned Parenthood is asking an Iowa judge to put a law on hold that bars the organization from participating in two federally-funded sex education programs.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Ogden says the law shouldn’t be blocked because Planned Parenthood won’t be “irreparably harmed.” He says under the law, they could still provide sex education outside of the federal programs.

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Crews have contained a large fire at a Hastings fertilizer plant.

The fire was reported about 11:30 p.m. Thursday at the CPI Dry Fertilizer Plant and was contained just before 4 a.m. Friday.

The blaze forced authorities to close U.S. Highway 6, but the road was reopened early Friday. A news release from the Adams County Emergency Management office says railroad tracks just north of the plant also were closed for a time during the fire, but have reopened.

Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region [Public domain]

Sunday, October 15, we went to church. The wind was then blowing wildly, but this became worse further along in the day. When we got out of church, we saw smoke in the distance, because the prairie was on fire. 

 

It is November, 1871, and Harmen Jan te Selle, a homesteader from Lancaster County, Nebraska, is writing home to the old country from a sod house amid grasslands he his family back home could never have imagined, an immense, roiling sea of grass.

What happened in the lumber town of Hinckley, Minnesota, on September 1, 1894, was beyond horror.  Four hundred white men, women, and children died, as well as countless Ojibwa in the pine forests all around.  It's probably impossible to know how many human beings died in total, since more than a few transient logging camp workers from as far away as Nebraska were simply never accounted for.