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Tuesday Afternoon News, Sept 25

Budget Cuts Hurt Local CSADV Organization

(Le Mars) -- Officials with the Council for Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence are worried as to what will happen with victims as a result of funding cuts to the program.  Margaret Sanders and Cathy Van Maanen met Tuesday with the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.  Sanders, the executive director with CSADV informed the supervisors that the state has now gone to six different regions with region one serving 20 counties within northwest Iowa.  Sanders believes victims will now have fewer options.

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Sanders says Region One, or northwest Iowa will try to serve the needs of the victims by dividing up between urban needs and rural needs, with Plymouth County falling into the urban needs area.  Sanders says her agency has already felt the sting of budget cuts with employee lay-offs and more may be anticipated.

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Board chairman, Jim Henrich, summed up the thoughts of each board member, when he said, "Twenty counties is a big area for a quick response."

School Board Learn About District's Computer Network

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board heard a report during last evening's meeting  regarding the computer and technical aspects of the school district. Bruce Ludwig told the school board that the district owns 858 computers with 28 servers, which equates to a ratio of 2.44 students per computer.  He says Le Mars is much better than the national average which is about 4.3 to 5 students per computer.  Ludwig says many of the district's computers have come second hand from Wells Enterprises, which has saved the district several thousands of dollars.  Ludwig told the board of education about a message board system using Premier Communications' Channel 76.

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He says the system is free to the school district, and only the school district has access to the channel.  He says the system provides updates on a continuous basis to the big screen television sets located throughout the schools.


Murdered Sioux City Woman Now Identified

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a 27-year-old woman who was killed when gunfire erupted during a Sioux City neighborhood dispute.
She was identified as Karla Gonzalez, who was visiting friends in the area.
Police say witnesses reported that several people were stabbed when the fight started early Saturday morning, and then gunshots rang out.
Thirty-three-year-old Fernando Jaimes-Martinez has been charged with first-degree murder. He remains in Woodbury County jail, pending bail of $1 million. Jaimes-Martinez also faces felony charges of intimidation with a dangerous weapon and of willful injury. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.
The names of the people who were stabbed have not been released.


Anderson-Erickson Workers On Strike

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - About 300 workers at Anderson Erickson Dairy in Des Moines are striking after the workers represented by the local Teamsters Union voted not to accept the company's latest
contract offer.
The Des Moines Register reports ( ) the strike began early Monday morning after workers rejected the proposal the night before.
Mike Klootwyk, the vice president of Teamsters Union Local 120, says the contract would have required workers to accept a pay freeze and to pay significantly more for health care insurance.
Several dozen picketers with "On Strike" signs are walking around the dairy's building on the city's east side.
The previous four-year contract expired in March and the last negotiating sessions were held last month.
Klootwyk says the union remains willing to talk.

Jarrod Otta, Plant Manager of Dean Foods in Le Mars says the local milk processor was asked to fill part of the void left to customers around the Des Moines area as a result of the strike.  Otta says Dean Foods had to supply milk to some schools that were under contract with Anderson-Erickson, but without milk.

University of Iowa Fraternity House To Close

(Iowa City) -- A University of Iowa fraternity is being closed following allegations of hazing.  The national headquarters says cited the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter for hazing and said it failed "to comply with our standard, guidelines, and policies."

The university administration says it is investigating the allegations and supports the action taken by Sigma Alpha's national leadership.  Around 90 members of the UI chapter have been expelled from the fraternity.  They have ten days to move out of the frat house.  The president of the UI chapter, Mike Weaver, declined to comment.

ACLU Suing Des Moines School Board

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit seeking records related to a closed Des Moines school board meeting called to discuss the resignation of the superintendent who was caught sending sexually explicit e-mails.
The ACLU's Iowa chapter filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of former board member Graham Gillette, who has been seeking an audio recording and other records related to the board's May 10 meeting.
The school board met in closed session for 80 minutes before publicly accepting the resignation of Superintendent Nancy Sebring, who had exchanged sexually explicit emails with a lover using the
district's computers.
The lawsuit says the meeting should have been open, and the records should be public. After the meeting, the board president told reporters that Sebring had resigned for personal reasons.

Iowa Could Save Money By Overhauling Benefits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report says Iowa could save nearly $116.3 million a year if it overhauled state worker benefits.
The Des Moines Register says ( ) the report by consultant Aon, released Monday, suggests that Iowa change its benefits along the lines of businesses and other states selected for comparison.
The report conclusions include a suggestion that 29,000 state employees pay higher deductibles and 20 percent of their health care premiums.
State employee union leader Danny Homan says comparison states and businesses were purposely selective and the data skewed to benefit Gov. Terry Branstad's administration just before union
contract negotiations begin.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the study is not a bargaining ploy.


Bridge To Be Dedicated To Honor Troopers

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - State legislators and police officers will gather to dedicate another bridge in honor of a trooper who died in the line of duty.
A Cedar River Bridge on Interstate 380/Highway 20 will be dedicated Wednesday to honor trooper Charles Whitney.
Whitney died June 16, 1985, when he was hit by a vehicle whose driver had fallen asleep. The 55-year-old Whitney was handing a driver a ticket when he was struck.
He had served with the Iowa State Patrol for 24 years.
The ceremony will be at the state patrol district 9 office in Cedar Falls.
The dedication is part of a statewide effort to honor the 10 troopers who died while serving the state during the patrol's 77-year history.










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