Archive for  April 28th 2018

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JOHNSTON, Iowa  —  For Lindsey Jo Andrews and her husband Jordan, opening up Heartland Soles Running and Walking Store in Johnston nearly two years ago was a dream come true.

“Being a local shop in a state that values farming, shopping local, and mom and pop shops,” said Lindsey.

It’s not just a local business; Heartland Soles is one of the state’s only stores to use a process called gait analysis to analyze customers’ fitting.

“They get to see, ‘okay, this is how I was running, now I’m in this new shoe that is good for me and I can see, yes, it has everything working more efficiently.'”

Lindsey’s love of running stems from her Kansas City-area roots, but her passion to create this one of a kind experience and grow a family in Iowa with her high school sweetheart was paced by one 10,000-meter race at the Drake Relays.

“It’s just powerful. It is just an amazing experience,” Lindsey said.

As a competitor for Columbia College, an NAIA school in Missouri, Lindsey, a six-time All American, says her experience in 2015 was unforgettable.

“The drumline was playing and I actually went in ranked first,” she said.

That, combined with a weekend-long exploration of Des Moines with Jordan after her race, left them with no doubt about where they would live after graduation, despite having no family ties in Iowa.

“We kind of fell in love with the Beaverdale neighborhood, and that is were we live now,” said Lindsey.

The cheers she heard as an athlete that day inside Drake Stadium still refuse to quiet down.

“A lot of times I just run up and go look at the Blue Oval. Just look at it and it gives you that feeling of competition and power,” she said.

Inside Heartland Soles are tickets from the relays dating back to 1979. It is a tradition Lindsey is proud to be part of, and also one she hopes to one day share with her seven-month-old daughter Layla.

Lindsey said, “When she is in high school, I will be getting in the age where I could do the Masters 800. Hopefully she will enjoy it herself, too, and it would be really fun to get to both compete on the Blue Oval.”

Lindsey and Jordan recently opened up another Heartland Soles location in the Iowa City area in March.

MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa  —  High winds combined with warm temperatures caused dangerous fire conditions on Friday, which led to a grass fire in Mitchellville that took firefighters hours to put out.

The fire came dangerously close to some nearby homes as dozens of firefighters from several departments worked to get the upper hand on the flames.

“Any time you get a fire in a field this time of year, when all the ditches are dry, the fields are dry, you get a fire going, then you get a wind like this going on, it could be pretty bad,” said Lt. Rich Blaylock, Public Information Officer with the  Polk County Sheriff’s Office. “It can go from road to road and just keep on going.”

“The wind is a big challenge, dry conditions definitely doesn’t help,” said Mike Twohey, Mitchellville Fire Chief. “With these winds, an ember could fly somewhere.”

Several departments came together shortly before 1:30 on Friday afternoon to get control of the grass fire in the 9600 block of NE 62nd Avenue.

“We had, as you can see, high winds, and fire can travel very fast,” said Chief Twohey. “It went across the road and a couple residents that we had to protect. So everybody did a very good job today. There was several departments from the east side of Polk County here today. They did a great job getting everything knocked down, put out.”

And it’s not just putting out the fire that authorities had to worry about.

“With us having to block the road, you know, our ultimate is keeping the firefighters safe so they’re able to work on the field fire,” said Derrick Spoerry, Mitchellville Police Chief. “So we have to control the intersections, control the roadways. So it’s one we can’t leave open, because if we leave a roadway open and someone’s driving through, paying attention to the fire and strikes someone, that’s on us.”

The highly coordinated effort puts a strain on resources.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time I’m the only officer working, so for me the resources are very limited,” said Chief Spoerry. “Today we had four officers that we had to shut down the whole area due to the smoke blowing across the road and everything else, so it puts a lot of strain on my department, being short-staffed and even Polk County having to divert a deputy out here to help us control traffic.”

Officials do not know what caused the fire.