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Friday afternoon news, June 22

Governor Branstad To Visit Northwest Iowa

(Des Moines) -- Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to be in northwest Iowa on Monday.  Branstad will start his day at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce offices in Sioux City to hold his weekly news conference.  He then will travel to Orange City for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Prairie Winds Events Center scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Then at 1:00 p.m. the governor is scheduled to tour the Plymouth Energy ethanol facility at Merrill.


Singer Honored By Optimist Club

(Le Mars) -- The Optimist Club of Le Mars honored a Plymouth County Sheriff's Deputy with the Respect for Law Award.  The honor is presented annually to a local law enforcement official.  This year, Rick Singer, was the recipient for the honors.  Singer began his law enforcement career with the Le Mars Police Department in 1997.  In the same year, Singer received his peace officers certification through the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.  Deputy Singer began his employment with the Plymouth County Sheriff's office in 2000, receiving his sergeant promotion in 2011.  Sergerant Singer is assigned to the Plymouth County - Le Mars Police Drug Task Force and serves as the coordinator of the Northwest Iowa Drug Task Force.  He is certified with the Drug Enforcement Agency in clandestine lab work to process methamphetamine labs.  The local Optimist club presents the award to law enforcement officials with distinguished and dedicated servicing advancing the respect for law objectives.  The presentation was made during the recent Optimism Family Night Picnic held Thursday evening at the West Floyd Park.  The Optimist Club works with youth educating them on the dangers of drugs and encouraging them to "just say no."


Judge Reprimanded for Drunk Driving

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has disciplined a Cedar Falls juvenile court judge for a 2010 drunken driving arrest.
     The court concluded that 48-year-old Daniel Block had violated judicial ethics rules serious enough to warrant a public reprimand.
     Block had attended an evening charity event in Webster City in November 2010 and was stopped for speeding and erratic driving. An open beer can and a glass containing whiskey was found in the car.  His blood alcohol level exceeded the state's limit.
     The court found while he was cooperative throughout and never tried to use his position to change the outcome, he violated code of conduct rules designed to protect the integrity of the court.
     The court says Block's conduct was improper and unacceptable for a judge.


Dirt Bike Fatality

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 21-year-old motorcycle rider has been fatally injured in an accident on his dirt bike in Mason City.  Police say officers were sent to the accident scene around 3 p.m. Thursday. They found Steven Huerta Jr. unconscious and not breathing. Police say resuscitation efforts failed, and Huerta was pronounced dead at the scene.  A police news release says the Mason City man wasn't wearing a helmet when he was thrown from his bike. He'd lost control of it and ran into a fence.  The accident is being investigated.


Hog Farmer Sentenced For Bank Fraud

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa hog farmer who admitted defrauding a bank out of millions of dollars has been given eight years in a federal prison.
     Prosecutors say 59-year-old David LeClere, of Coggon, had pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. He was sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.
     He must serve five years of supervised release when he leaves prison, and he was ordered to make restitution of nearly $8.3 million.
     LeClere acknowledged that in order to borrow more money he gave Farmers State Bank in Marion falsely inflated information about the number and weight of his hogs and the amount of money that packing plants owed him. He admitted illegally cashed checks more than once
using a remote deposit scanning machine he'd gotten from the bank.



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