The formal opening of the new armory occurred last night with a grand ball under the auspices of Co. M. The attendance was very large taxing even the capacity of this great auditorium.
The building is of brick with full basement and is 85x100 feet. The armory drill room is 55x85 and there is not a single obstruction to it, the roof being supported by iron trusses. The floor is laid in hard maple, and makes an ideal dancing floor as well as a drill floor.
There is a gallery around the room comfortably seating 350 people. In front are smoking and reading rooms, locker rooms, etc. The basement contains toilette rooms, shower baths and heavy storage rooms. The basement is designed to be converted into a gymnasium, bowling alley, etc. It is splendidly adapted for these purposes.
The building is heated by the city plant and will always be kept comfortable and the reading and smoking rooms always open to the members of the company.
The cost of the structure was $10,000 and the stock is divided into shares of $500 each. Citizens of the town took sixteen of these shares while Co. M. as an organization took four shares.
Last evening the armory was beautifully decorated with flags, bunting and pictures, presenting an appearance which must have made the decorators, all members of Co. M. feel proud.
The Grand March at 8:45 was led by Mayor Molyneux and Mrs. Guy Gillett followed by a very long line of our people and out-of-town guests, and Co. M. will clean up a very neat sum in this initial entertainment.
The armory ought to prove a popular place for dancing, basketball and other athletic sports and will doubtless be generously used for these purposes, thus adding to the income to maintain it. The state will pay $800 per year for rental and this fund will go to pay interest on the capital stock so that the up-keep of the armory must largely come from these funds.
Nellie, the 15-month-old daughter of Otto and Joesphson, a wealthy farmer near here, died early this afternoon as the result of having drank a cup of kerosene in the absence of her mother this morning.
Mrs. Josephson left her child in the kitchen while she went up stairs late this morning. A cup of kerosene, which she had been using for cleaning clothes was left on a chair. The baby in some manner secured the cut of kerosene and drank it. The coughing of the baby attracted the mother's attention, who came down stairs. A doctor from town was summoned and gave the child antidotes, but they proved of no avail and the little one died in the arms of its mother this afternoon. No funeral arrangements have been made as yet.
As county and highway commission road workers began to make some headway in the gigantic task of opening county roads, the first train Cherokee has seen since Friday steamed into the Cherokee yards from the east Tuesday morning. It was a double-header.
As the work of train and road crews allowed some traffic to get through, temperatures continued to lurk below zero. The mercury failed to get above zero during Monday, a high of 4 below being recorded. Low for the day was 18 below. Official low mark at 7 o'clock Tuesday morning was 20 below.
State highway commission officials said that No. 5 west was open to Marcus corner. A snowplow was working there Tuesday morning and planned to meet another plow working from the opposite direction, about four miles the other side of Remsen. Officials believed that the road would be open by nightfall.
On the east No. 5 was open as far as Storm Lake and by taking No. 71 and 191 together, it is possible to reach the Lincoln highway to the south.
59 Partly Open
Highway 59 was open to Correctionville and by taking No. 141 through Smithland it is possible for motorists to reach Sioux City.
Highway No. 59 was said to be open to Larrabee and a plow was working its way to Larrabee from O'Brien county.
If the plows get back in time Tuesday afternoon an effort to open the road to Holstein will be made.
County Engineer Wilfred Homer said at noon that old No. 5 was open eight miles west and north four miles to Cleghorn.
Cherokee county road B is open from Larrabee east to the county lines. Part of road E south from B is open and the rest will be opened by nightfall.
Road M Open
County road M is open from No. 5 south to Schlisselville.
Immaculate Conception high school, closed Monday because of a shortage of coal, will be reopened Wednesday.
Proprietors of the Midway Service Station one mile south of Marcus were presented with quintuplets during the storm. The mother, who apparently was little concerned about the weather, was left alone in the station during the two day blizzard which forced the proprietors to seek warmer quarters. The little fellows whine continually for food and from all appearances will someday be rat terriers just like their mother, according to Nitschke, an attendant at the station.
There are also the humorous angles to the snow storm. One farmer in town Tuesday declared that he had been unjustly treated. Monday he saw two snow plows coming down the road toward his place and his family commenced cooking a chicken dinner for the men who were battling drifts. About a quarter of a mile down the road the snow plows turned up another road and did not go by his place. At the time, one must admit, it was rather tragic for both parties.
This newspaper was in error when it reported that highway commissioners opened the way for Mrs. Wester to get to the hospital Saturday night. Count Engineer Wilfred Hosmer and crew were the good Samaritans in this instance, assisted by farmers.
Many city streets have been opened to traffic, but it continues to be a really tough job for Street Commissioner Jim Graves crew. They are doing most of the work with shovels, outside of the business district. One block on Hill street, alone, required a day's shoveling. Many automobiles are still stranded, either on the streets, in driveways or in private garages, waiting for someone to dig them out.
Speaker for the annual meeting of the Little Sioux Rod & Gun Club here Wednesday night, February 15 will be Dr. Arnold O. Haugen of Iowa State University.
The event will start with a 7 o'clock dinner next Wednesday evening at VFW Hall.
Dr. Haugen is professor of entomology and wildlife for the Iowa Cooperative Wildlife Research unit at Iowa State. He's the author of more than 60 publications in his field. Tops among his current research interests are studies of production of deer in Iowa.
The speaker's hobbies include field and target archery, bowhunting and photography.
A native of Decorah and a graduate of Decorah High School, he attended Luther College, the University of Michigan and Washington State College, receiving the B.S. degree from the latter in 1936. He was awarded M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan.
He joined the ISU staff in 1957. Prior to that he served as game area manager for the Michigan Department of Conservation from 1940-1942; as biologist in charge of the Swan Creek Wildlife Experiment Station at Allegan, Mich., from 1942 to 1945; as game extension specialist at Michigan State College from 1947 to 1949; as biologist in charge of the Cusino Wildlife Experiment Station at Shingleton, Mich., in 1949; and as leader of the Alabama Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit and Professor of zoology at Auburn from 1949 to 1957.
He has been awarded the Compton Medal of Honor from the National Field Archery Association of which group he has served both as president and vice-president. He also has been given the Distinguished Service Award of Theta Xi Fraternity and the honor award of the Teela-Wookert Archery Camp.
Dr. Haugen's topic will be "Conservation and the Public." Movies also will be shown on boating safety and new club officers elected.
A blast believed to have been caused by dynamite blew a hole in the roof of Speelmon's Steak House early Sunday morning.
Authorities said they had no clues on who was responsible for the 2:43 a.m. blast.
It was believed dynamite thrown or placed on the roof of the steak house brought about the explosion. The modern-built dining location was closed at the time.
Owner Dorf Speelmon said he and Deputy Sheriff Verland Anderson were standing near the doorway to the east room at the time of the blast.
Neither apparently was injured.
A three and a half-foot square hole was blown in the roof of the east dining room.
The explosion rocked the steak house and nearby areas. The Cherokee County Sheriff's office and city police were called to the scene.
Sheriff Carl Schleef said today that a prolonged investigation of the incident is being continued by the sheriff's office.
More than 100 people from several northwest Iowa counties gathered in Spencer Monday to tell state legislators what they think about the skyrocketing cost of liability insurance.
Those in attendance agreed something should be done, but they had varying solutions to the problem.
A coalition of various organizations across the state has asked legislators to implement a law to either control the insurance industry or limit the amount of monetary awards granted by juries.
Doctors, lawyers, engineers, city council members and elected representatives of counties were on hand for nearly two hours to offer solutions to the problem.
Lawyers were about the only group that didn't want to see legislation limiting the amounts of jury awards or the costs of liability insurance this year. They suggested a study of the problem and possible solutions for a year.
That study would take too much time, said Dr. Judy Chow, Spencer.
"If studied (for a year) this crisis will go yet unchecked for another year," Chow said. "This has been studied over and over again, almost to the point of death."
Cherokee County Auditor Bev Anderson conducted a study of area counties and what it is costing them for insurance.
Taxpayers are paying for the increased insurance costs through the higher premiums, as well as through higher deductibles on policies.
In her county, Anderson said, property insurance was up 37 percent; general liability increased 15 percent; errors and omissions increased 85 percent; automobile coverage went up 35 percent; and umbrella coverage increased 449 percent.
Cherokee County is still attempting to obtain coverage for law enforcement, Anderson said.
The only coverage which went down was workers' compensation insurance, which decreased .001 percent.
"Everyone is having the same problem across the state of Iowa...and this is affecting the taxpayers," Anderson said.
Gil Bremicker, Cherokee city administrator, said his city is getting less coverage and being charged more. In the past, Cherokee's umbrella insurance coverage covered losses up to $5 million. Now the city only has coverage to $2 million.
"We would appreciate whatever steps you can take to keep a handle on insurance premiums," Bremicker said.
Everyone who seeks medical attention pays for the higher insurance costs through increased charges, Chow said.
Dr. George Fieselmann, Spencer, agreed.
"This has increased our insurance rates to almost unbelievable levels," Fieselmann said.
The costs of obstetrics insurance has increased so much that Fieselmann estimated he has to tack on an extra $200 to $300 for each delivery he performs to pay for the insurance.
Dr. James McCabe, of Storm Lake, said some physicians have stopped practicing obstetrics because of their insurance costs.
McCabe recommended setting a limit on the contingency fees of lawyers, prohibiting punitive awards and name expert witnesses when the lawsuit is filed. He also asked the legislators to consider giving physicians the right to countersue.
He said many of the cases brought against doctors have been found to be non-meritorious.
In Spencer, Fieslemann said, eight of the town's 12 physicians have been sued in the last five years. All those cases were settled out of court, he said, because it would cost too much money to try them.
But doctors aren't the only ones affected by the high costs of insurance. Cities, counties, schools, child care centers, business owners, engineers and even foster care groups are finding it harder--if not impossible--to secure insurance coverage.
In O'Brien County, the volunteer ambulance crews and first responder teams are having trouble.
"Some of these groups are thinking maybe they will have to give it up," said James DeBoom, of O'Brien County EMS.
Adoptive parents are also concerned.
"As of this moment, nowhere in this country have I been able to find liability insurance," Phyllis Nielsen, Everly, told the legislators.
School budgets are tight, said Jerry Peterson, Sheldon. "The Sheldon schools had to pay 27 percent more for insurance this year and are facing a projected 39 percent increase for next year. The school could use that money to hire a full-time teacher," he said.
"I'm concerned about the responsibility of having to take from education to pay for overhead," Peterson said.
More time is needed to study the problem, according to Joel Freer, a Spencer attorney.
"What I ask is that you study the issue," Greer said. "There are safeguards in the judicial system. The judge has the right to alter high awards."
Increases in insurance rates have always coincided with a decrease in interest rates, Greer said. Limiting jury awards won't solve the problem, he said.
"Iowa judges are...not out overspending your money," Greer said. "What ever happened to the trust in the jury system?"
Corwin Ritchie, a Storm Lake attorney and Buena Vista county attorney, said there is a crisis in the insurance industry.
"The one thing that no one here has addressed is why is (this) happening?" Ritchie asked. "It's not in the lawyer's pockets."
Don Hemphill, a Spencer attorney and also the Spencer city attorney, cautioned that legislators not to be hasty in their decision.
"Be very careful of the reforms you are going to propose," Hemphill said. "Consider only the items insurance companies can assure you will lower rates."
The Spencer hearing was one of 15 statewide. Legislators will take the information gathered here back to Des Moines to share with other lawmakers.