Sunday News, March 16
Museum Offers New Wildlife In Exhibit
(LeMars)-- The Plymouth County Historical Meseum is welcoming three new additions to their collection. At their upcoming "Welcome to Spring" party schedueled for Saturday March 29, a black bear, racoon and great horned owl will make their debut. All were once native to the area. Dawn Snyder, educational program director at the Dorthy Pecaut Nature Center, will be the fetured speaker. Paul Williams of Hinton, the museum's unofficial naturalist, will be speaking about American Indian Artifacts that he donated. The American Indian Exhibit is located in the Loess Hills Hallway. The program is aimed at children but all ages are welcome.
Semi Truck And Trailer Involved In Accident
(Orange City)-- Sioux county authorities are investigating a one vehicle accident involving a semi truck and grain trailer. The accident occured Friday morning at about 6:30 near 390th Street and Garfield Ave. Willard VandeHoef, 64, of Alton, was travling westbound on 390th when his truck left the roadway for unknown reasons and hit a culvert. VandeHoef was taken to the Sioux Center Hospital and later air liffted to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. The truck sustained an estimated $20,000 in damages. Assisting the sheriff's officiers were the Sioux Center Fire Department and Ambulance, Sioux Center Police, Iowa DNR and Iowa DOT.
Ho Chunk Wants To Intervene In Casino Lawsuit
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The economic development division of a Native American tribe in Nebraska is seeking to intervene in the legal fight over a Sioux City casino.
Ho-Chunk Inc., the Winnebago Tribe's economic development arm, filed requests Friday to intervene in a lawsuit by owners of the Argosy riverboat casino in Sioux City. Argosy parent company, Penn National Gaming Co., is challenging the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission's decision last year to award a casino license to the owners of the Hard Rock Casino, currently being built in downtown Sioux City.
The Hard Rock proposal beat out bids from Penn National and Ho-Chunk.
Ho-Chunk says if a court finds the commission's decision to back Hard Rock was flawed, it deserves "a seat at the table."
Protesters Opposes Military Drones
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Protesters have gathered at the Iowa Air National Guard Base in Des Moines to decry the use of drones in war.
The Saturday morning rally was organized by the Midwest Veterans for Peace and Catholic Workers. Organizers, including former Des Moines priest Frank Cordaro, described the rally as a civil disobedience action and expected some participants to be arrested.
The protesters are rallying against the use of unmanned drones to carry out military strikes.
Critics have charged that drone strikes cause widespread civilian deaths and are conducted with inadequate oversight. Defense analysts say drones are the future of warfare.
Legislature Acts On Military Sex Abuse Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers aren't waiting for Congress to toughen laws against sexual assaults in the military. They have begun their own effort to hold the state National Guard accountable for such abuses.
The U.S. Senate recently approved legislation to better protect victims, and the trial of an Army general in North Carolina has been widely covered.
But state Senator Steve Sodders says it's not just a national problem. He proposed legislation to improve the handling of sexual assault cases by the Iowa National Guard.
The state's House Veterans Affairs Committee passed the bill Thursday to ensure victims are aware of their right to report sexual assaults.
A former guard member who told the Associated Press she was assaulted said the legislation would be a step forward but may not be enough.
Iowa City Schools May Cut 35 Teacher Positions
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa City Community School District plans to eliminate 35 teacher positions and at least one administrator position for the upcoming school year as it looks to cut spending.
Superintendent Stephen Murley tells the Iowa City Press-Citizen that the district intends to reduce staff positions by not filling open spots after teachers and staff retire, and that 47 teachers already have announced plans to do so after this school year. He said additional staff resignations are expected before June.
However, he says, it's still possible the district may need to lay off some teachers to meet budget constraints.
Currently, the district employs about 970 teachers among its 2,000 employees overall.
Cedar Rapids Prepares For Ice Jam
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Cedar Rapids is preparing for the possibility of ice jams and flooding on local waterways as the weather begins to warm and thick ice begins to melt.
Key personnel from departments throughout the City met Friday to coordinate efforts and prepare to address any issues related to ice jams.
Ice jams occur when the weather warms up and the ice in the river begins to melt and break into pieces that float down the river. As large chunks of ice float downstream, they can pile up near narrow passages or obstructions such as bridges, forming an ice dam. Water that backs up behind ice dams can cause flooding upstream.
The Cedar River has had ice jams which caused road closures for five of the last 11 years.
Siblings Shot In Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police are investigating the shooting of teen siblings outside their home in a central Des Moines neighborhood.
The Des Moines Register reports that the brother and sister were shot Thursday night. The teens, ages 15 and 18, were taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and released Friday.
Police say the teens were at home with their mother when a cousin arrived to pick up the 15-year-old. Police say someone in a car following the cousin fired several shots into the air and sped off.
Police say the siblings and their mother then went outside, and the mother began to argue with her neighbors, who complained that the King-Irving neighborhood hadn't had problems with shootings until the family moved in.
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