Wednesday Afternoon News, July 10
Hampton Inn And Casey's General Store Coming To Orange City
(Orange City) -- The Orange City Development Corporation announced on Tuesday two significant projects designed to contribute to economic growth, residential and visitor services, and tourism for the community and northwest Iowa. The first project is the development and construction of a new $6.2 million Hampton Inn hotel adjacent to the $4 million Prairie Winds Event Center that opened last summer on Highway 10 east. The three-story, 60-room hotel will serve the needs of visitors, businesses, and tourists to the town of 6,000. Orange City Development Corporation vice president Marty Guthmiller says "a recognized hotel brand like Hampton will perfectly complement the event center.
The second announcement involved the acquisition of a 44,000 square foot site, also on Highway 10 east, by Casey's General Stores.
The Dutch Colony Inn now sits on the property. Guthmiller says the OCDC purchased the property with the portion of the site sold to Casey's for the construction of a new 4,200 square foot store.
Plymouth County Supervisors Discuss Cutting and Harvesting Roadside Grass
(Le Mars) -- The cutting and harvesting of grass alongside roads was again discussed during Tuesday's County Supervisor meeting. Stephanie Jurgens of Le Mars appeared before the supervisors informing them the current policy regarding the cutting and harvesting of roadside grass for hay purposes needs some revision.
The Supervisors discussed the idea of establishing a May 1st deadline for landowners to inform the county through the Engineer's office their intention to cut and harvest the grass ditches. The supervisors mentioned that if a landowner doesn't want the grass for hay purposes, then other neighbors can notify the county of their intention of harvesting the grass for hay. Supervisor Craig Anderson says he favors that idea.
The supervisors will address the issue again next week with the intention of making appropriate revisions to the policy.
Goodchild Submits Recorder's Quarterly Report
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild submitted a quarterly report to the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Goodchild says the county recorder's office received $172,697 during the quarter from April 1st to June 30th. More than $120,000 is turned over to the state. Goodchild offers a breakdown as to the Recorder's office transactions for the quarter.
The Plymouth County Recorder says boat registrations certainly help the county's revenue.
Sioux City Settles Age Discrimination Lawsuit
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City has agreed to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by a firefighter.
The Sioux City Council passed a resolution Monday to settle 48-year-old Brian Thiele's lawsuit for $45,000. Thiele, a Sioux City Fire Department captain who had served the department for 27
years, claimed in an April 2012 lawsuit that he was discriminated against him when a younger person was named city fire marshal.
The lawsuit claimed Fire Chief Tom Everett told Thiele the new fire marshal, then 37 years old, was young enough to pursue additional education that was desired for the post.
The case was scheduled to go to trial in October.
The city council said the settlement avoided litigation costs, but it was not an admission of wrongdoing.
Appeals Court Overturns Terrorism Threat
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals has overturned the threat of terrorism conviction of a northwest Iowa farmer saying there isn't enough evidence to show he would imminently act on his threat to "blow away" a county Farm Service Agency director.
The case involves 60-year-old Arend Deboer, a Little Rock farmer who placed an angry call to the Rock Rapids branch of the FSA in September 2011.
While the court concludes in its ruling Wednesday that his comments were intimidating, there isn't enough proof to show they were about to occur. Iowa law requires a threat to be imminent to
be considered terrorism.
The court threw out the conviction. A second charge of harassment goes back to a Lyon County judge to see if there is sufficient evidence to uphold it.
Federal Judge Orders New Trial For Prisoner
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge has taken the rare step of ordering a new trial for a state prisoner convicted in the brutal 1995 murder of a northwestern Iowa teenager.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett resurrects a case that inflamed tensions between whites and Hispanics and led to crackdowns on illegal immigration.
Guillermo Escobedo, now 38, and Cesar Herrarte were convicted in the stabbing death of 19-year-old Justin Younie at a party in Hawarden and are serving life prison sentences.
Bennett ruled last month that Escobedo should have been granted an automatic mistrial when a juror was dismissed for allegedly bragging about being racist during deliberations. He says Escobedo
will remain locked up at Clarinda Correctional Facility while state prosecutors appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Sheriff Says Farmer Justified In Shooting Dogs
ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A northwest Iowa county sheriff says a farmer was within his rights to fatally shoot three St. Bernards that were eating one of the farmer's show goats.
The incident occurred Sunday in Rock Rapids when Mike Bus discovered the dogs eating a goat in its pen. Bus got a gun and shot them, then called the authorities. Another of Bus' goats had been killed the day before by a dog or dogs.
Amy Fluit says she and her family have known the neighboring Bus family for years and that Bus knew the dogs were her family's pets.
But Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep (stoop) says Bus had a right to protect his property from the dogs. The sheriff says no arrests are contemplated.
Ernst Files Papers Seeking U-S Senate Seat
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst is entering the 2014 race for U.S. Senate.
The 43-year-old from Red Oak launched a website Wednesday to reveal her plans. The website says that Washington has failed Iowa residents, who "deserve better leadership."
Ernst serves in the Iowa National Guard. She was first elected to the state Senate in 2011 in a special election.
Other Republicans who have declared include: Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, Sioux City talk show host Sam Clovis, attorney Paul Lunde and David Young, a former aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley. Businessman Mark Jacobs is exploring a run.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley is his party's only candidate.
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