Shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday the fire alarm was sounded for the Second Ward. The scene of the fire was the Young building on East Main street, occupied by F. J. Brockway & Co. department store. The fire was discovered by Night Policeman James Payton who turned in an alarm and the fire boys were soon at work. All the doors and windows were securely fastened and the store had to be broken into to gain entrance. The fire originated in the cashier's desk which was completely destroyed and the fire spread from this up the stairs to the balcony and from this to the stairway leading to the upper story, these being badly burned. There was plain evidence that the store had been set on fire, dippers which had contained kerosene were found near the cashier's desk, the stairways leading to the upper story had evidently been saturated with kerosene and this fluid scattered over the floors. Over all the interior there is a coating of black, greasy smoke which always accompanies burning kerosene and the heat was greater than would be the case from burning wood alone. Every window in the building was broken, including the large plate glass front, which is fully thirty feet from where the fire originated.
Who set the fire? That is a question which everybody is asking, but which may never be more satisfactorily answered than the same questions propounded after the Weart & Lysaght lumber yard fire, and the atrocious attempt to burn the George Wilson residence.
While the exterior of the building is not badly damaged, the fire loss on building will be considerable, the plastering is so badly cracked that it is feared that it may have to be removed, while the thick, greasy kerosene smoke has probably ruined a good portion of the woodwork and fixtures. It is hard to estimate such a loss, but many place it as high as $1,500 on building and fixtures. These were insured in the German American and Queen Insurance Companies, represented by McCalla & McCulla.
The stock is badly damaged, the higher priced dress goods and suits beyond salvage, but this loss is also hard to estimate which is placed by various guessers at from $2,000 to $8,000. This was covered by insurance in companies represented by the J. S. Green agency. At the time of the fire Mr. Brockway was absent from the city, he and his wife having gone to Sioux City on the afternoon train. He was wired of the fire and came back by automobile. The insurance adjusters are expected here this week and their investigation may throw some light on this mysterious conflagration.
Probability that Cherokee county will participate in a new program for Iowa 4-H club members dealing with conservation of natural resources and wild life was expressed Friday by Clarence G. Turner, county Farm Bureau agent.
The new program was announced recently by Paul C. Taff of Ames, assistant director of the extension service of Iowa State college, who is in charge of boys' and girls' club work.
"This is not a new project," Turner said. "It is a new activity and will be entirely optional to members of the clubs."
Studies of birds, plant life, animals, soil erosion, reforestation and similar problems will be included in the program. Game protection, erosion control demonstrations, tree planting projects and similar work will be included for members.
State fish and game commission, farm journals, the state conservation board, and the state planning board are cooperating in the new program. Federal Cartridge corporation of Minneapolis has contributed $500 toward awards and expenses.
Awards will be made to state and county winners. The activity will be handled much as are the health and musical programs, supplementing the regular projects.
Boy and girl who make the best individual records in the state will be rewarded with trips to the national club congress at Chicago. Single person doing the most outstanding work will be sent to a 4-H conservation camp next fall with all expenses paid. Awards of $50 will be pro-rated among the five highest ranking counties in the state based on judges' comparative scores of the work done.
Patrol Sgt. Walt Ranard was fined $500 and given a year's suspended jail sentence by District Judge R. G. Rodman here this morning.
Ranard had been arraigned in JP court and waived preliminary hearing. Justice of the Peace Rollin K. Stonebrook placed the patrolman in the custody of his attorney, M. A. Miller. Ranard than appeared before Judge Rodman.
An Iowa highway patrolman who had been on the force for 13 years was under arrest here Saturday on a charge of receiving stolen property.
Herrick said Ranard was accused of buying a 1958 Chevrolet that had been stolen in Nebraska and taking title to it with identification plates that had been on another car of the same make and year.
The patrol chief said Ranard took title to a Chevrolet that had been junked by a dealer at Moville and transferred its serial number and the door number plated to the stolen car.
Herrick said the patrol sergeant's arrest followed a two weeks investigation by himself and State Agent Richard Carmichael.
He said the case developed from a tip that he had received. Ranard was charges in a county attorney's information.
Major Elevator Fire at Everly
About 58,000 bushels of grain were burned in a fire which destroyed the Hunting Elevator here Sunday.
The elevator, a wooden structure enclosed with sheet metal, was built about two years ago. It towered more than 100 feet in the air.
Assistant Manager John Droll estimated the loss of the building at $72,000, and set the loss of corn, oats and beans at $58,000.
Owner James Hunting of Austin, Minn., said the building and the grain were fully covered by insurance.
Cause of the fire was not known. The blaze was discovered about noon by two boys.
Firemen from Everly, Spencer, Royal, Hartley, and Lake Park prevented the blaze form spreading, but they were unable to save the elevator.
The fire started in an adjoining office, then roared up the middle of the elevator.
Officials said two trucks and several other pieces of equipment were destroyed. Office records were saves.
Burning embers from the fire were blown across this northwest Iowa town by high winds which fanned the blaze.
Firemen and volunteers were stationed on roofs of houses and businesses to prevent them from catching fire.
Some nearby buildings caught fire but the blazes were put out before serious damage was done.
After considerable discussion, the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors Monday rejected a funding request for the Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.
Carol Fowler, a representative of the council, appeared before the supervisors seeking $3,000 funding.
Supervisors recommended Cherokee County cases served by the Council through the Plains Area Mental Health be documented, and the county could pay on a per day basis for actual treatment for the remainder of 1985. Fowler will work with Lynn Herrick of Plains Area Mental Health and he will report back to the Board.
Fowler said that 65 percent of the cases the council handled are from Woodbury County, but Cherokee County was the second highest county last year with 12-13 cases.
Fowler first made the request for $3,000 at a Feb. 20 meeting of the board.
The county has the services of the Mental Health Institute and Plains Area Mental Health facilities and supervisors questioned the feasibility of paying for use of another service.
In other action, the Board continued to discuss the Courts and County Fair Labor Standards Act based on a recent U.S. Supreme Court's Ruling regarding overtime pay.
If the ruling applies to the county, the Board will have to restructure labor negotiation contracts primarily with secondary roads. Instead of paying time and half, the Board might have to contract jobs, county officials said.
The Board will await a written notice from County Attorney John Wibe on the issue.
In other business:
Renewal of the September 1983 contract with Glen Hankins, Nevada, for locating gravel in the county was discussed.
The Board received a final release from further claims from Lori Roberts Simon and Larry Simon in a $2,000 settlement for improper dismissal from employment from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department. Roberts had originally asked for $6,000 from the County.
Put the Mill Creek bridge project on temporary hold pending a meeting with Duane Anderson, former director of Sanford Museum, who will be in town this weekend. The interest of the Northwest Iowa Archaeology Society in the project has yet to be determined.