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Friday News, December 6

Daycare Provider Charged With Murder

(Orange City) -- Murder in the first degree and child endangerment resulting in a death.  Those are charges filed against 33 year old Rochelle Sapp of Orange City for the death of three year old Autumn Elgersma also of Orange City.  Sapp provided day care service for the three year old when on October 29th, an incident occured at her home resulting in the hospitalization of little Autumn.  The child was initially taken to the Orange City hospital then transferred to a Sioux Falls hospital where she died three days later.  Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAlister spoke to the media during a news conference held Thursday about the new charges against Sapp.


Monona County Auditor Asked To Resign

 ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - The Monona County attorney is seeking the removal from office of the county auditor, who faces drug charges.
     County Supervisor Tim Jessen said Thursday that the County Board asked County Attorney Michael Jensen to file the petition against Brooke Kuhlmann. 
     Jessen says the reasons for her removal include Kuhlmann's absences from work since her arrest. A hearing on the matter is set for Dec. 20.
     Kuhlmann has pleaded not guilty to two drug misdemeanors: possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Iowa Department of Public Safety says Kuhlmann scheduled a methamphetamine buy and pickup from an undercover Iowa State Patrol officer in late July. 
     Kuhlmann was elected auditor in 2008 and re-elected in 2012.


Branstad Requests Flags To Be Lowered For Pearl Harbor Rememberance

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa be flown at half-staff from 5 p.m. Friday, December 6, 2013 – 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 in honor of Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day weekend.
Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex, and upon all public buildings, grounds, and facilities throughout the state. Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.


Iowa Department Of Agriculture Approves Grant For Sioux County Water Quality Study

DES MOINES –Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that eight watershed demonstration projects have been selected to receive $4.1 million in funding through the Iowa water quality initiative over the next three years.  In addition to the state funds, the eight projects will provide over $8 million in matching funds to support water quality improvement efforts.  One of those watershed projects involves the West Branch of the Floyd River Water Quality Initiative located in Sioux County.

The project has been awarded a grant award amounting to : $360,000

Total project: $608,000

Project leaders: Sioux SWCD

Partners: Farmers Coop Society, Dordt College Agriculture Stewardship Center, Iowa State University Extension, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service

Details: The West Branch of the Floyd River Water Quality Initiative will showcase nutrient reduction practices with a special emphasis upon accelerating the adoption across a broad cross-section of the agricultural community.  The project engages both public and private agricultural entities to foster adoption of a variety of conservation practices.  This watershed boasts the largest concentration of livestock production in the state.  The practices outlined will help address livestock related concerns by comparing conventional practices to implemented conservation practices to increase awareness and foster adoption.


Additional Testimony Heard For Fagg Discrimination Case

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A fired prosecutor's former boss testified that the assistant U.S. attorney changed dramatically in the months before she lost her job.
      Larry Kudej testified Thursday that Martha Fagg "changed in front of our eyes" in the six months before she was fired by former U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose, who is now a federal judge.
     Fagg has filed a lawsuit accusing Rose of discriminating against her because of her mental and physical conditions. She also alleged Rose discriminated against older employees.
      The 60-year-old Kudej supervised Fagg for 10 years before Rose replaced him with 35-year-old Teresa Baumann.
     Kudej says Fagg could be a challenge to supervise but was a good lawyer.
     Rose completed testimony Thursday, saying Fagg lied, was disrespectful and yelled at supervisors.


State Attorney General Asks Lawyer Not To Represent Client Due To Conflict Of Interest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge has ruled a black woman suing the state for discrimination may be represented by a Des Moines civil rights attorney.
     The Iowa Attorney General's office had filed a motion to disqualify Tom Newkirk from representing Tereasa Jefferson, claiming he could be a witness.
     Polk County District Court Judge Brad McCall Thursday ruled Newkirk would not be disqualified and may represent Jefferson in the trial which began Wednesday.
     The case stems from a class-action lawsuit that claimed thousands of blacks were denied state jobs due to a pattern of discrimination at Iowa Workforce Development. A judge ruled the class-action plaintiffs failed to prove discrimination, but the decision is on appeal to Iowa Supreme Court.
     Four individuals are trying cases separately. Jefferson's case is the second to go to trial.


Iowa State University Professor Honored

 AMES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa State University assistant professor studying cooperative economics has been presented with an endowed professorship at the university.
      Keri Jacobs was presented the Iowa Institute for Cooperatives Endowed Economics Professorship at the organization's annual meeting Nov. 26. The institute is a trade group for member-owned cooperatives that provide services including electricity in rural areas, credit unions, and grain marketing for farmers. The organization has provided $1 million to help fund the professorship.
     Jacobs says it's incredible that cooperatives would work together to ensure ongoing research and education into the cooperative business model.
     Jacobs has an undergraduate degree in economics and business administration and earned a doctorate in economics from North Carolina State University in 2010, the same year she joined Iowa State.






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