Friday Afternoon News, March 14
County Candidates Submit Nomination Papers For June 3rd Primary Election
(Le Mars) -- Several candidates have filed their nomination papers for the primary election scheduled for June 3rd. Jack Guenthner has announced he intends to retire from the board of supervisors, which creates an opening. So far, two candidates have submitted their papers for the position. John Meis and Harold Hadden, both republicans, are running for the District 1 supervisor position. Craig Anderson is seeking re-election for District 4 supervisor, and Don Kass is seeking re-election for the supervisor position representing district 3. Both are republicans. Shelly Sitzmann has filed her name as a republican candidate for the county treasurer position. Darin Raymond is seeking re-election for the county attorney as a republican.
Power Of The Purse Program Scheduled For Saturday
(Le Mars) -- More than 300 women are expected to attend the program "Power of the Purse", a forum and fashion show scheduled for Saturday morning at the Le Mars Convention Center, and sponsored by the Good Samaritan Society of Le Mars. Amy Harnack of the Good Samaritan Society says this is the eighth year for the woman-focused program.
Harnack details the morning events being planned.
Harnack says the proceeds generated from the fashion show will remain in Le Mars to help with the Good Samaritan Society.
Reservations for this year's event is full, but Harnack suggests you may want to place your name to reserve your spot for next year's event.
Cattle Producers To Hold Annual Meeting And Banquet
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Cattle producers will gather in Le Mars on Saturday evening for their annual meeting and banquet. Lowell Vos is the president of the county cattle organization. He says social hour is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. with the steak dinner scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Le Mars Convention Center. Vos says this year's banquet will feature Michael Oetken with Serenade Sounds as the entertainment. Vos says after several years of having high grain prices and low beef prices, producers have now seen a reversal of that trend.
Legislature Self-Imposed "Funnel Deadline" Ends Many Bills From Being Passed
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Today, marks the second self-imposed deadline for the state legislature regarding the passage of bills. Bills surviving a legislative deadline include those that would crack down on bullying in schools, allow fireworks to be sold in Iowa, and regulate the use of unmanned aerial drones.
Many other proposals will not be considered this year including a Democratic-backed bill to crack down on wage theft, a Republican effort to outlaw telemedicine abortion, and the Democrats' proposal to give schools 6 percent more funding for 2015.
Lawmakers impose deadlines twice a year to narrow the number of policy bills under consideration. The first so-called funnel deadline was in February and the second ends Friday.
Leaders from both parties say the focus now will be to find compromise on the bills that remain and continue work to complete the state budget.
Inmate Serving Prison Time For Murder May Be Paroled
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - One year after Gov. Terry Branstad made him eligible for parole, a man serving life in prison for a 1974 slaying is a step closer to earning freedom after 39 years of incarceration.
The Iowa Board of Parole has requested an interview with Rasberry Williams next month.
The board's website says such a request typically signals "a high probability that some type of releasing action may result." The board could grant his release, move him to a work-release facility, or keep him behind bars.
Williams fatally shot his neighbor outside a Waterloo pool hall after the two argued over a gambling debt in July 1974.
Branstad commuted Williams' life sentence last year to give him the opportunity to seek parole, saying his behavior behind bars had been extraordinary.
Supreme Court Rules Against DOT For Licenses Revoked Due To Prescriptions
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says transportation officials cannot suspend the licenses of drivers who have taken prescription drugs in compliance with a doctor's instructions.
The court threw out the 180-day driving suspension Friday for an Urbandale woman who drove into a mailbox after becoming distracted in 2011.
The woman had taken drugs prescribed by her doctor, who'd warned they may make her drowsy but did not preclude her from driving. Police didn't file charges, but the Iowa Department of Transportation moved to suspend her license.
DOT officials argued that she could not raise a "prescription drug-defense" in a suspension proceeding, and an administrative law judge agreed.
In a 7-0 ruling, the court says the DOT's interpretation of the law is absurd and drivers following doctors' orders can use the defense.
Hearing Scheduled To Determine Candidate's Eligibiliity
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A panel will consider next week whether an Iowa Senate candidate is eligible to hold public office after his third conviction for driving drunk.
The Iowa Secretary of State's Office said Friday the hearing on Anthony Bisignano's eligibility will be March 19.
One of Bisignano's opponents in the Democratic primary for a seat representing Des Moines filed a challenge Thursday arguing that Bisignano has lost the right to vote and hold office following his January conviction for operating while intoxicated, second-offense.
The opponent, Ned Chiodo, argues that is an infamous crime under Iowa law that results in the loss of citizenship rights.
Bisignano disagrees, citing an informal legal opinion by the Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller's Office.
An attorney general's spokesman says the office is reviewing the opinion.
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