Monday News, December 23
Le Mars School Board Will Meet This Evening
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education is scheduled to convene this evening. The board will discuss the fact the Le Mars Education Association will be presenting their initial bargaining proposal for the 2014-2015 master contract on January 6, 2014. The local school board will also begin the process of evaluating the performance of School superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt.
Holiday Travel Could Be Treacherous In Southern Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Travel conditions are likely to remain hazardous in Iowa through Monday morning as strong winds create snow drifts and glazed roads.
The state Transportation Department says wind gusts up to 30 mph were expected to continue through Sunday evening. That was expected to create problems after 4 to 8 inches of snow fell across most of Iowa overnight.
Roads crews are working to clear highways across the state, but the wind may blow snow back onto the road or create a thin layer of ice.
The latest road conditions are available online at 511IA DOT org or by calling 511 when in Iowa.
Latham Won't Seek Re-election
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Representative Tom Latham's announcement that he won't run for re-election in 2014 comes as Congress is wrapping up one of its most contentious years in recent history. But the longtime Iowa lawmaker says his decision to retire is personal, not political.
Latham says that he and his wife made the decision together, calling it the right time to go.
Latham's announcement took many people by surprise. The 65-year-old Republican from Clive will have spent 20 years in Congress and is Iowa's senior U.S. House member.
Latham acknowledged that Washington has changed since he took office in 1995. He questioned the heightened media scrutiny for elected officials and says the rise of wealthy independent political action committees has changed the tone in Washington.
Council Bluffs Girls Dies After Partying
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A family is grieving after a 15-year-old girl was found dead in the back of a car at a western Iowa shopping center this weekend.
One of the girl's friends called paramedics around 10 a.m. Saturday, but Mireya Mata-Alvarez had already died.
Council Bluffs Police Sergeant Chad Meyers says Mireya had been out with two girls and five boys most of the night. Meyers says it appears the juveniles had been drinking alcohol and possibly using marijuana.
No arrests were made, but the Pottawattamie County Attorney will review the case to determine whether to charge any of the people who were with Mireya.
Officials at Lewis Central High School say Mireya had dropped out.
Co-worker Diana Montelongo says Mireya was an outgoing girl who did not seem to party often.
Iowa Law Enforcement Acadamies Don't Have Stun Gun Training
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's law enforcement academy doesn't provide any training on when or how to use stun guns.
There also is no specific guidance provided in state or national laws.
More than 265 Iowa law enforcement agencies use the devices, which have been cited in eight lawsuits filed against Iowa policing agencies.
The newspaper says each Iowa law enforcement agency sets its own policy for use of stun guns.
Sen. Robert Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, says "it seems pretty clear that this is something our enforcement academies should be addressing."
Des Moines Police Officer Facing Sanctions
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines police officer is facing sanctions after department officials determined that he acted improperly when he shot out a van tire during an October pursuit.
Sergeant Jason Halifax says that Sergeant Greg Wessels' actions violated the department's policy on using deadly force.
Wessels was one of several officers who helped apprehend a 31-year-old man who was accused of choking his girlfriend and attacking her with a hammer.
Department rules only allow officers to fire their guns when they feell their lives or someone else's life is in danger or when officers believe they are facing serious injury.
Wessels remains on duty. His commanders will decide what punishment to impose.
Two Hunting Accidents Reported Over Weekend
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two deer hunters have been injured during the last weekend of shotgun season.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said Sunday in a news statement that a Madrid man was shot in his elbow by a hunter who was shooting at a deer in Dallas County on Saturday. Fifty-year-old Michael Otto was treated at a Des Moines hospital.
A Charles City man also was shot on Saturday near Floyd. Twenty-one-year-old Holden Hillegas was shot in his upper back by another hunter in his party and was treated at a Charles City hospital.
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