Thursday Afternoon News, April 24
Le Mars Woman Pleads Not Guilty To Vehicular Homicide In Hit-And-Run Accident
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Le Mars woman has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a deadly 2012 hit-and-run in Sioux City. Forty-three-year-old Victoria Moreno made the written pleas yesterday to vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Twenty-two-year-old Lance Knudsen was struck and killed in Sioux City in September 2012.
Youth On Mainstreet Program To Be Organized
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Mainstreet ogranization is establishing a new program to inspire Le Mars youth to be better informed leaders committed to utilizing their talents, diversity and creativity for the betterment of our community. It's called Youth On Mainstreet Program, and it will consist of six students from Le Mars Community School District, and six students from Gehlen Catholic School. Richard Ziettlow serves as one of the co-cordinators for the new program. He discusses the goals for the program.
Ziettlow says its important to educate, inform, and empower the students about downtown Le Mars, the business community and its history.
Ziettlow says each year's group will be expected to complete one tangible project in the downtown that will enhance the community.
The historic preservationist says speakers are already lined up to visit with the students, and to offer tours of downtown buildings. In addition to the Le Mars Mainstreet organization, the Le Mars Historic Preservation Commission is also a sponsor. The program will run during the school year between the months of September through May.
County Road C-16 To Have Road Maintenance Performed
(Le Mars) -- Road crews are scheduled to conduct maintenance work on County Road C-16 beginning next week, and according to Tom Rohe, Plymouth County engineer, the work will consist of sealing cracks and joints found in the roadway in order to prolong the life of the road.
Rohe says the procedure may have to be performed every five to eight years before funding is available to place an overlay of asphalt or new pavement on the roadway.
The county engineer says the procedure will cost the county between $3600 to $5200 per mile based upon the number of cracks and joints that need sealing. Rohe explains which county roads are slated for the maintenance this year.
Rohe says the maintenance procedure should be completed within a week and traffic will still be able to travel on C-16 while work is being done.
Woodbury County Township Clerk Accused Of Stealing Money
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former clerk accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a Woodbury County township has been charged with theft.
64-year-old Peggy Powell, of Hornick, faces two felony theft counts. Court documents say she stole more than $60,000 from Grange Township between 2006 and 2013. The thefts came to light after a state audit.
Auditors discovered that among the improper disbursements of township funds was more than $35,000 in ATM withdrawals and fees, some of which came from ATMs at casinos in Iowa and one in Nebraska.
A public phone listing for Powell couldn't be found. Her attorney didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Thursday.
Deputy Secretary Of State Given A Salary But Records Show No Work
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Records show a top aide to Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz conducted virtually no state business through email during his final seven months of employment.
The emails released Thursday by the Secretary of State's Office raise questions about what Schultz chief deputy Jim Gibbons was doing to justify his $126,000 salary from June 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2012.
Schultz said this week that he decided to eliminate Gibbons' job in May 2012, and allowed him to work from home in June. Gibbons sent no emails that month.
Schultz says he ordered Gibbons back to the office daily to serve "as a resource" from July until December - unless he found another job first.
Gibbons' final email was sent in October to a private accountant to discuss "an opportunity."
GOP Senate Candidates To Debate On Iowa Public Television
JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - All five Republican seeking Iowa's U.S. Senate nomination will debate at Iowa Public Television's studios in suburban Des Moines.
College professor Sam Clovis of Sioux City, state Sen. Joni Ernst of Red Oak, retired business executive Mark Jacobs of West Des Moines, businessman Scott Schaben of Urbandale and former U.S. attorney Matt Whitaker of Clive are expected to participate in the 90-minute live broadcast, beginning at 7 p.m.
It's the first statewide televised debate for the candidates, who are vying to win 35 percent of the vote in the June 3 primary. If no candidate meets the threshold, a party convention will decide the nomination.
The Republican nominee will face U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley of Waterloo, the only Democrat seeking the seat held by retiring five-term Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.
Iowa Greyhound Racing May End
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill ending greyhound racing in Council Bluffs but allowing dog owners to operate a track in Dubuque has advanced to a full Senate committee.
Casinos in Council Bluffs and Dubuque, which spent $10 million subsidizing dog racing last year, say the industry is dying. The casinos have worked to end racing for years.
Under the bill, Mystique Casino in Dubuque would pay $7 million and Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs casino would pay $65 million into a fund.
Half of it would be used as a retirement fund for breeders and owners who stop racing. The other half would help the Iowa Greyhound Association lease the track in Dubuque.
Racing in Council Bluffs would end on Dec. 31, 2015.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider the bill Thursday afternoon.
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