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Saturday News, August 25

Merrill To Hold Informational Meeting On 5th Street Improvements

(Merrill) -- The city of Merrill will be holding an informational meeting on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Merrill City Hall, Kissinger Community Center to focus on the improvements for 5th Street.  The meeting will inform the public of the proposed plans and construction schedule for the utility and street reconstruction project which is being done in conjunction with the Plymouth County K-42 road project.


Bev's On The River Wants Casino

(Sioux City) -- The owners of the Hilton Garden Inn and Bev's On the River are making
suggestions that they would like to host the Sioux City downtown casino.  Jessie Miller, the
Chief Operating Officer for Midwest Franchise, which owns and operates the riverfront
restaurant and hotel says "the city has been talking about it for a while now, and we think
we have the best location for it." Miller says some potential casino operators have already
expressed interest in the site.


Pickup Trucks Collide At Intersection

(Sioux Center) -- The Sioux County Sheriff's Department is investigating an auto accident that occurred Thursday evening about three miles southeast of Sioux Center at the intersection of 420th Street and Ibex Avenue.  Thys De Hoop, age 21, of Sioux Center, IA was driving a pickup truck eastbound on 420th Street.  Christian Whitaker, age 28, of Sioux Falls, SD was also driving a pickup truck northbound on Ibex Avenue. The vehicles collided in the intersection.
De Hoop, Whitaker and a passenger in Whitaker’s vehicle, Russell Wichers, age 38, of Boyden, IA were
transported to the Sioux Center Hospital by Sioux Center Ambulance for treatment of their injuries. De Hoop and Whitaker were later flown to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD by the Sanford and Mercy Air Care helicopters. Wichers was transferred to Mercy Hospital in Sioux City, IA by the Sioux Center Ambulance.  The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sioux Center Ambulance, Sioux Center Fire Department, Sioux Center Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol.
The accident remains under investigation.

West Nile Virus Detected in Plymouth County

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Health Department is reporting that it has confirmed five cases of West Nile virus in the state and is investigating several more cases.
The agency on Friday announced confirmed cases in Grundy, Linn, Lyon, Page and Plymouth counties. All those sickened by the virus have recovered.
In Nebraska, officials say 20 human cases have been confirmed, with no deaths reported.
The cases in Iowa and Nebraska come amid one of the largest national outbreaks of West Nile. More than 1,100 illnesses have been reported across the country.
Iowa health officials say state figures are typical for this time of year, but they urge people to use mosquito repellent when they are outdoors to protect against the virus.


Police Investigate  Homicide After Stand-off

ALBURNETT, Iowa (AP) - Police have removed a man from a rural Iowa home after hours of negotiations that followed the discovery of an apparent homicide victim on a nearby road.
Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner told KGAN-TV that a body was discovered Friday morning northwest of Alburnett along the Wapsipinicon River, about 20 miles north of Cedar Rapids.
He says police received a 911 call about 9 a.m. Friday. A responding officer found the body in the middle of a rural road.
Members of a police SWAT team surrounded a house that's located deep inside a wooded area and began negotiations with someone inside.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports authorities used chemical irritants to force a man out. After a struggled, officers used a Taser to restrain him.
His name wasn't released.


Father of Missing Girl Wants Change of Venue For Trial

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - The father of one of two missing Iowa cousins is asking for his trial on drug charges to be moved.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Daniel Morrissey's attorney says his client cannot receive a fair trial in Black Hawk County.
Morrissey is the father of 10-year-old Lyric Cook, who disappeared with her 9-year-old cousin, Elizabeth Collins, while riding bikes in Evansdale on July 13th.
Morrissey and his associates have come under scrutiny from investigators because of his criminal history. He was scheduled to reach a plea bargain to meth charges the day before the girls'
disappearance, but changed his mind.
Defense attorney Kevin Schoeberl says a hearing on the change of venue request will happen later. He said Thursday his client's legal problems are unrelated to the disappearance.

Former Pastor Convicted Of Sexual Exploitation

ADEL, Iowa (AP) - A former Pella pastor has been convicted by a jury of sexually exploiting women in his congregation.
The Des Moines Register reports 42-year-old Patrick Edouard will be sentenced in October on four counts of sexual exploitation and of having a pattern, practice, or scheme to sexually exploit.
The maximum penalty is nine years in prison.
The jury, which returned its verdict on Friday, acquitted Edouard on three counts of third-degree sexual abuse.
Four women in his former congregation at Covenant Reform Church in Pella say he coerced them into having sexual relations. Documents say the incidents occurred from 2003 to 2010.
Edouard quit his job at the church after the women complained.


Church Fire Raise Questions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A fire that Des Moines police call suspicious burned for hours on Friday, causing significant damage to a church near the state Capitol.
The fire at the Lighthouse Full Gospel Baptist Church was reported at 3:24 p.m. yesterday. Smoke from the fire was visible hours later in downtown Des Moines.
KCCI-TV reported the fire caused significant damage to the church.
Des Moines police called the fire suspicious and detained a man near the church. Police say they were questioning the man.
All those in the building escaped and no injuries were reported.


Undercover Agent Shooting Justified

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa prosecutor says a state agent had a gun pointed to his head during a botched undercover drug operation, and was justified in killing the man and injuring
Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness said Friday that Division of Narcotics Enforcement agent Daniel Stepleton won't be charged in the Aug. 16 shooting that left Ivan Hardemon dead and Demarco Dudley injured.
Lyness says Stepleton and another undercover agent showed up at a trailer to purchase drugs as part of an investigation. Two men appeared from a back room with their faces covered and holding
clubs, and Hardemon pulled a handgun that he put to Stepleton's head.
During an altercation, Stepleton managed to pull his gun from his back waistband and shoot four times, striking Hardemon and Dudley.





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