Saturday News, February 8
Fire Investigation Results In Arrest
(Le Mars) -- The investigation of the apartment complex located at 18 4th Street Southeast that caught on fire Friday morning has led to an arrest. The Le Mars Police Department, Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department and the State Fire Marshal's office all participated with the investigation. It has been determined the cause of the fire was due to arson. Charges of burglary, arson, criminal mischief, failure to comply with a no contact provision, and possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernaila have been issued to Zachery Dean Port, age 23, of Le Mars. Port had been residing in the apartment, but was currently ordered by the court not to be on the premises. Port was detained by Le Mars Police who had located him near the scene of the fire. Port was arrested and booked into the Plymouth County jail.
Le Mars Daily Sentinel And Akron Hometowner Win Awards At INA
(Des Moines) -- The Iowa Newspaper Association held its awards ceremony on Friday and both the Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the Akron Hometowner were able to bring home several awards in various categories. The Le Mars Daily Sentinel won third place for its division of dailies for the Best News Story. The Daily Sentinel also was awarded third place for Best News Feature Story. The Akron Hometowner was given first place for the Best Use of Graphics, third place for Best Personality Feature Story, third place for Best Sports Story, second place for Best Feature Photo, and third place for the Best Ad Designer. Several other area newspapers were given awards including the Sioux City Journal, The Northwest Iowa Review at Sheldon, and the Hull Sioux County paper. The Des Moines Register won the Overall Best Newspaper award.
Branstad Goes To Supreme Court To Overturn Decision On Juvenile Home
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has asked the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn a district court order to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home.
Branstad announced his plans Friday. He is being represented by the Iowa Attorney General.
In a press release, Branstad says the children residing at the home in Toledo were not receiving the education and care they needed.
Branstad closed the home in January following allegations that teens were improperly treated and denied a proper education. Four lawmakers then sued Branstad to keep the home open.
A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the home and use funds the Legislature approved to operate it. The 21 girls who had been living at the home now live elsewhere.
New Rules Will Affect Red-Light And Speeding Cameras
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - New rules will soon go into effect that give state transportation officials control over whether speed and red light cameras are placed by cities and counties on state-supervised highways and interstates.
The Legislature's Administrative Rules Review Committee, a group of five Democrats and five Republicans, did not vote on the rules Friday. That means the regulations will go into effect February 12th.
The rules will require local agencies to show cameras are targeting "high-crash or high-risk locations." They will have to justify renewal every year.
Local officials have criticized the rules, saying the state is taking away local control.
Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Sioux City have cameras on interstates that would be regulated by the new rules. The state has no laws governing their use.
Iowa Homeland Security Personnel Helping Colorado
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Three employees of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are assisting the state of Colorado in its recovery from severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides that struck in September.
Colorado recently requested help from other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, an agreement among all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands to share resources during catastrophic events.
Iowa sent Jill Smith, Jordan Moser, and Bob Lagneaux. All have experience in the public assistance program. They arrived in Colorado in early January and have helped provide guidance for applicants on complex paperwork for projects, provided training on the public assistance program to staff of the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, and helped guide organizations through the rebuilding process.
Lawmakers Looking To Streghten Pet Abuse Laws
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Pets would be better protected and animal abuse offenders punished more severely under legislation being discussed by Iowa lawmakers.
Republican Rep. Bobby Kauffman, of Wilton, says he hopes to prevent animal abuse by increasing criminal penalties.
And Des Moines Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen says she backs a proposal to include pets in domestic abuse protective orders in hopes of compelling victims to leave dangerous situations more quickly, rather than remain out of fear that an abuser will hurt a pet. The measure also could better protect pets in such situations.
Lobbyists are also pushing for a bill in the Senate to ban the slaughter of horses, but lawmakers so far haven't introduced such a bill.
Wisconsin Infant Found In Iowa Returned To Parents
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Wisconsin infant who was abducted and left out in the cold in Iowa has been reunited with his parents and is on his way home.
Kayden Powell's mother discovered him missing early Thursday morning from his bassinet in a Town of Beloit home. Police found him tucked in a storage crate outside an Iowa gas station in frigid temperatures more than 24 hours later.
A spokeswoman for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City says Kayden is in good condition and was discharged from the hospital Friday evening.
Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Brown says the nearly week-old baby is with his parents and heading back to Wisconsin.
Kayden's aunt has been charged in his disappearance.
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