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Monday Afternoon News, January 14

Victims Identified In Perry Creek Accident

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police have released the identities of the victims from that early Sunday morning auto accident that careened into Perry Creek, leaving three dead and two injured.  Those that died from the accident are: 21 year old Torey Wickey of Sioux City, 23 year old Dominique Nok of Sioux city, and 24 year old Matthew Dean also of Sioux City. 

Injured included Anthony Carr, 23 years old of Sioux City and 22 year old Alexander Brown of South Sioux City. The accident occurred shortly after 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning when a vehicle ran through a stop sign, then drove through a residence yard into the Perry Creek and came to rest on its roof partially submerged in Perry Creek.  Sioux City Police believe alcohol was involved in the accident, and the accident is still under investigation.

State Legislature Back In Session

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislature has convened for a session focused on education reform and commercial property tax cuts.
On Monday morning, lawmakers in Des Moines opened the 85th session.
Earlier in the day, Gov. Terry Branstad unveiled a $187 million plan to change Iowa's K-12 education system.
The proposal calls for increasing minimum pay for entry level teachers from $28,000 to $35,000 annually. Aspiring teachers also could be offered tuition assistance.
Lawmakers this session also will take up Branstad's plans to reduce commercial property taxes.
Unlike recent sessions, the state now has a nearly $1 billion budget surplus, making it easier for lawmakers to fund programs.


Civil Rights Director Receives Bonus Pay

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has given a $5,000 bonus to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission director, commending her for firing problem employees and reducing its case backlog.
The bonus announced Monday for Beth Townsend signals Branstad isn't backing off his controversial practice of granting bonuses to agency leaders that he believes deserve them.
The state's largest union, AFSCME, argues that bonuses shouldn't be allowed because the Legislature sets salary caps for those jobs.  AFSCME officials say the practice is unseemly at a time when
Branstad is seeking to cut health care benefits for thousands of
But spokesman Tim Albrecht says Branstad will continue using bonuses in "the rarest of circumstances" to reward high-performers. He says Townsend has "corrected years' worth of inefficiencies and hostility" and dramatically improved the commission's service.


Man Wanted For Child Endangerment Case Has Been Found and Arrested

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa man sought in a child endangerment case has been found and arrested.
Authorities say 25-year-old Michael Blair, of Swisher, is in Wapello County Jail and is being held on $200,000 bail. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.
Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner says Blair was discovered in an attic around 1 a.m. Saturday in Ely, which sits south-southeast of Cedar Rapids. Gardner wouldn't elaborate on what led officers to
Blair's hiding place.
Police say Blair is suspected of child endangerment involving a seriously injured 2-month-old who was taken to an Ottumwa hospital on Dec. 7.


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