Thursday News, January 30
Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Prepares For Annual Meeting
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce annual meeting is scheduled for this coming Saturday and will be held at the upper level of the Le Mars Convention Center. Social hour begins at 6:00 p.m. with the dinner to begin at 7:00 p.m. and the program to follow. Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Neil Adler says it is not so much as a meeting as it is a celebration of the community.
Adler offers an insight as to what the evening will feature.
The Chamber executive says perhaps what is most anticipated and most enjoyed are the various videos that are shared during the evening featuring Le Mars people, in unusual circumstances.
Reservations can be made by contacting the Chamber office. Tickets sell for $40 per person. Adler asks that reservations be made before Thursday at noon.
Spalding Catholic To Hold Fund Raiser Gala
(Hospers) -- Spalding Catholic will hold its annual fund raiser gala on Saturday evening, and Development Director Dan Goebel says since it has been so frigid cold during this winter, event officials thought a change of climate would be nice, although be it indoors.
Goebel says the Spalding Catholic school in past years has been sucessful in raising funds, and they hope to do that again this year.
The Development Director says after the unification with Gehlen Catholic High School, there are many supporters from Le Mars.
The Spalding Catholic gala will be held at the Hospers Community Center beginning at 6:00 p.m.
State Senator Bertrand Recovering From Stroke
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican state Sen. Rick Bertrand is recovering from a mild stroke.
Betrand suffered the stroke on Saturday, according to a news release sent out Wednesday. The Sioux City Republican is recovering in hospital and says he is feeling much better.
The release says physicians expect Bertrand to make a full recovery and suffer no lasting effects from the stroke.
Bertrand is expected to return to work at the Capitol next week. He stepped down from his role as minority whip in the Senate in late 2013.
Increase In Gasoline Taxes Passes First Hurdle
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A proposal to raise Iowa's fuel taxes has won preliminary approval from lawmakers in the Iowa House, but it is not clear if the measure can garner wider approval in the Legislature or from the governor.
A House subcommittee backed the bill Wednesday and it will move to the full Transportation Committee. Under the proposal, fuel taxes would gradually rise by 10 cents a gallon, raising about $215 million annually for infrastructure expenses.
Rep. Joshua Byrnes, a Republican from Osage, says the state badly needs this funding to repair deteriorating bridges and roads. Similar proposals have failed to advance in past years.
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad declined to endorse or oppose the legislation. He says he wants to look at a variety of options to fund road repairs.
Boswell Appointed To Transportation Commission
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has appointed former U.S. Representative Leonard Boswell to the Iowa Department of Transportation Commission.
Branstad announced the appointment Wednesday. Boswell, a Democrat, will take over a seat vacated by former Democratic state Senator Tom Rielly, who resigned due to a professional conflict of interest.
The Iowa Senate must confirm the appointment, which would place Boswell on the board through April 30th, 2017.
Branstad said in a news release that Boswell will be an "asset to the commission." Boswell served in congress from 1997 through 2013. Before that he served in the Iowa Senate.
The seven-member Transportation Commission oversees the Department of Transportation. The members are unpaid.
County Treasurer Accused Of Stealing From County
MARENGO, Iowa (AP) - A former county treasurer in eastern Iowa has been accused of stealing more than $62,000 from the county over several years.
The Iowa County Sheriff's Office says Kimberly J. Tanke has been charged with felony first-degree theft in connection with missing funds.
A private auditing firm and Iowa County officials say the money was taken between 2006 and 2010, when Tanke served as treasurer. They gave their findings to authorities, including the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Tanke recently served on the Iowa County Board of Supervisors, but cited personal reasons for resigning on Jan. 20.
Tanke made an initial appearance in Iowa County District Court on Wednesday. She has been released pending further proceedings.
A public number is not listed for Tanke. Court records do not list an attorney.
State Supreme Court To Review Pastor Sexual Exploitation Case
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court will review a ruling that ordered a new trial for a former Iowa pastor accused of sexually preying on female parishioners.
The court said Wednesday it has agreed to review the case of Patrick Edouard, former pastor at Covenant Reform Church in Pella.
The Iowa Court of Appeals in November threw out a jury verdict that found him guilty of four counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor and one count of a pattern to sexually exploit.
The appeals court said an improper jury instruction undermined Edouard's defense in which he admitted to sexual conduct with the women but denied he was their counselor. The Iowa Attorney General's Office appealed.
If the conviction stands, Edouard faces up to five years in prison. He's free pending appeal.
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