116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The overnight rain will dance close to freezing as Friday greets you. According to the National Weather Service there will be a 70 percent chance of rain Friday morning as a continuation of what fell overnight. The high on Friday will only be 37 degrees, just high enough hopefully to avoid freezing. On Friday night it will be cloudy, with a low of around 34 degrees. The wind will also calm to 5 mph Friday evening.
A blaze at a Marengo biofuel plant continued to burn into the night Thursday following two explosions earlier that day that left several people injured.
Five people were transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, according to a city of Marengo news release. An unknown number of people also were taken by personal vehicles to UIHC and Compass Memorial Healthcare in Marengo.
UIHC said in a statement Thursday afternoon that the hospital “has received multiple patients following today’s explosion in Marengo and anticipates others may be en route.”
Iowa County Sheriff Rob Rotter said there were no confirmed fatalities.
According to Rotter, two late morning explosions ripped through the plant at 810 E. South St. The initial fire call was received at about 11:20 a.m. A second explosion took place about 45 minutes later. Rotter believes the explosions most likely were caused by solvents or fuel, or a combination of the two. He noted there had been a previous fire involving fuel tanks at the same facility earlier this fall.
“This was a much larger version of that,” he said of Thursday’s fire. “Right now, they’re just containing it.”
Meanwhile a Cedar Rapids residential fire was also devastating to property, but thankfully did not cause similar bodily harm.
The Cedar Rapids Fire Department took on a fire in southwest Cedar Rapids Thursday afternoon that caused extensive damage to a building that housed retail, office space and a church.
No injuries were reported from the fire in the building at 3300 Southgate Court SW. The fire was called in at 1:50 p.m., and by 3:30 p.m. it was mostly put out, with crews still fighting small flare ups in pockets of the building, according to Cedar Rapids Public Safety Communications Specialist Mike Battien.
Wind speed and direction prevented firefighters from getting inside the building during the fire -- instead, they used aerial trucks and crews on the ground. A later search of the building found no occupants, according to a news release.
The building was damaged extensively, if not catastrophically, Battien said.
The news release states that the building housed retail and business office space, as well as a church.
A planned “Field of Dreams” television series that was slated to film in Iowa has declined a $6 million state tourism grant, saying the series will not be made next year.
NBCUniversal, which was developing the series based on the hit 1989 movie, declined the funds in an email to the state agency that runs the grant program. The email was first reported Thursday by the Des Moines Register.
“Our plans have changed and we will not be making the TV Series ‘Field of Dreams’ in the coming year,” Morgan Sackett wrote in an Oct. 24 email to the Iowa Economic Development Authority. “We greatly appreciate your help getting the grant and are disappointed not to be filming in Iowa.”
Sackett did not respond to a message seeking comment on the series’ future.