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Thursday Afternoon News, November 15

Jandreau Trial - Day 2

(Le Mars) -- Day two of the Matthew Jandreau trial had the state call upon its star witness, the testimony of that of an 11 year old female juvenile.  Jandreau is accused of assaulting the young female, with the intent of sexual abuse.  The young girl told the court that on March 2nd, she was home from school as she was feeling ill. She said her grandpa, that being Walter Hesselink was at breakfast.  Earlier testimony indicated Hesselink saw the defendant at the J & J Cafe Truck Stop and noted the defendant was "acting strange."  The female juvenile said she was watching television, then decided to play games on her computer when she heard someone "banging or pounding" on the front door to the house.  She testified saying she first thought it may be her grandfather or mother returning to the home and thought they may have forgotten their keys.  She said when she looked at the door, the front door then flew opened.  She said a man walked inside the home, and she identified that intruder as being the defendant, Matthew Jandreau.  The eleven year old then told of her terrifying experience.  The eleven year old testified saying the man was carrying a purse.  She said she asked if he needed any help?  She said he responded by saying "No."  She again asked if he needed the hospital or the police, saying she thought he had medical issues.  Again, Jandreau responded by saying "no."  The female juvenile then went for the cordless phone near the computer desk and started dialing 9-1-1.  She said Jandreau knocked the phone out from her hands, and then approached her.  The eleven year old said she was scared and kept screaming as loud as she could.  She said in court testimony that she wasn't certain if she had actually dialed all the numbers to the police emergency.  She then said she was shoved by the defendant, causing her to fall backwards and hitting her head on a flower pot.  She said she continued to scream, and the defendant began hitting her with his fists on her face and other parts of her body.  The eleven year old then said the defendant took off her pajama bottoms and underwear and he attempted to put first in a dishwasher, and later attempted to place her in a broom closet.  Each time the young girl said she was able to kick the door shut preventing her from being placed in either the dish washer or the broom closet.  The young girl then said the defendant threw her down the stairs and held her in a headlock.  She said the defendant continued to hit her and told her to remain quiet.  She said she had heard footsteps upstairs and thought it to be "more bad people."  She said she screamed even louder, than a few seconds later she saw officers with flashlights.  Still frighten after the episode, she said that Fire Chief Dave Schipper showed her the police cars to calm her down.  The young female testified as a result of the episode she suffered a separated shoulder and many bruises, scratches and contusions.  Other witnesses today included Le Mars Police office Dan Plueger and retired Le Mars Police Captain Dennis Folkema.  The trial will continue on Friday morning at 9:00 a.m.

Le Mars Downtown Gets Designation For National Historic Registry

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Mainstreet Coordinator Mary Reynolds has informed KLEM news that the city of Le Mars and the downtown district has been accepted as part of the National registry for Historic Preservation.  We'll learn more on Friday.

Council Bluffs Casino Will Move To A Hotel

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - Gambling will shift from the Missouri River to a Council Bluffs hotel under a plan approved by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
The Des Moines Register reports ( ) the commission backed the plan Thursday at a meeting in Johnston.
The new casino will move from a riverboat to the first floor of Harrah's Hotel, replacing a convention center. It will have 600 slot machines and 20 casino tables.
The boat will be put up for sale.
KCCI-TV reports ( ) the commission also approved an $8.5 million expansion at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in the Des Moines suburb of Altoona.


Iowa Soldier Remembered at Shenandoah

SHENANDOAH, Iowa (AP) - A U.S. Army soldier from Shenandoah who was killed in Afghanistan is being remembered for his infectious smile and his dream of being a soldier.
Nineteen-year-old Pfc. Brandon Buttry died Nov. 5 while serving in the Kandahar province.
Hundreds of flags lined the streets of Shenandoah for his funeral on Thursday while the community honored Buttry and supported his family.
Buttry was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. He was deployed to Afghanistan in August. He was one of Don and Pam Buttry's 14 children.
Among the mourners were Darian Slater and Ashley Hummel, students in nearby Sidney. One of their teacher's is Buttry's older brother. The girls say it's important to show the family they care
and "honor the sacrifice" that Brandon made.

Serial Arsonist Sentenced to 20 Years

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A serial arsonist who set fire to homes and buildings in northeastern Iowa has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
A federal judge Thursday also ordered 40-year-old Shawn Gant to pay $418,000 in restitution to victims of three fires he started.
Gant was convicted of setting fires to two rental homes in 2009, including one in Fayette where his ex-girlfriend and child lived.  He was also convicted of setting fire to his Oelwein apartment in
2010, which spread because of wind and destroyed his building and the one next door. A firefighter suffered minor injuries fighting that blaze.
Gant was earlier convicted of arson in 2002, and prosecutors say he is linked to more than a dozen other fires in cars, apartments and homes dating back to the 1990s.

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