Friday News, May 9
Plymouth County Historical Museum Celebrates 50 years
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Historical Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary last evening during its annual meeting and banquet. Six people reflected back on the five decades of the Plymouth County Museum... many talking about the changes that occured from having the museum near the airport to the acquisition of the old Central high school building. After obtaining the former Le Mars Community school, there were many costly projects needed to be completed, including installing a new roof, the deconstruction of racket ball courts, seats installed in the gym area, installing an elevator, sanding of floors, painting of walls, and general construction work to have the former school being able to accomodate the museums artifacts and displays. Wayne Marty told the gathering the museum's success can be contributed to the generosity of individuals, as well as the whole community. But Marty also contributes the success of the museum to chance timing. He says the museum board approved fixing the leaking roof at an expense of $16,000 even though the museum had only half the money. Marty says the city of Le Mars was willing to offer a development grant, but only if the museum could raise some money in 30 days. Marty says it actually took 45 days, but the museum was able to raise the needed funding.
A slide show was presented that illustrated the many changes and growth of the museum through the fifty years. Several volunteers were honored for their time and committment of assisting at the museum.
Sioux City Man Charged For Death Of 2 Year Old Son
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man has been charged with neglect related to the death of his 2-month-old son.
Court papers filed Wednesday show 26-year-old Michael Williams was charged with neglect of a dependent person. A message left for Williams' attorney was not immediately returned Thursday.
Williams was arrested April 29 after bringing his dead son to UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's hospital in Sioux City. Court documents at the time of the arrest show Williams admitted to leaving his son unattended for long periods of time in his apartment. Investigators wrote the apartment was in poor condition.
Police say the boy's autopsy results have not yet been received. Williams would face a 10-year prison sentence if convicted as charged. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 14.
Branstad To Honor Fallen Law Enforcement Officers
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad and other state officials will mark National Police Week by honoring four law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.
Branstad will join others for the ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday at the Peace Officer Memorial outside the Oran Pape State Office Building. The event will be moved to the Capitol rotunda in case of rain.
The ceremony will honor Rockwell City police officer Jamie D. Buenting, who died Sept. 13, 2013; Alton police Town Marshall Joseph Kashmetter, who died March 27, 1911; Farmington police City Marshall Robert C. Coulter, who died Dec. 21, 1902; and Farmington police City Marshall Reuben Fenstenmaker, who died Jan. 1, 1868.
Branstad Says It Is "Likely" He Will Sign Medical Marijuana Bill
WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he'll "very likely" sign a bill allowing the use of cannabis oil to treat severe epilepsy.
Branstad was asked Thursday morning at a town hall meeting in Webster City about whether he would sign a bill allowing the medical use of oil derived from the cannabis plant as a last-resort treatment for seizures caused by a chronic form of epilepsy.
Tiffany Hoffmann told Branstad her daughter has daily seizures and might benefit from the oil.
Branstad responded that he doesn't have the bill and reserves judgment until reading the final measure. But he added, "I think it's very likely that we will and I really hope that it does make a difference for your daughter and the other kids."
Greyhound Dog Breeders Wait In Limbo
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Greyhound breeders, casino operators and others are awaiting word on whether Governor Terry Branstad will sign a bill approved by the Legislature that would end racing in Council Bluffs and limit the sport in Dubuque.
Earlier this week, Branstad was noncommittal about signing the legislation. He must make a decision by June 1st.
The uncertainty has been difficult for breeders such as Melissa Schmidt of Bellevue. She wonders what will happen to her dogs and her business.
The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the bill, which requires casinos in Council Bluffs and Dubuque to pay $72 million. Half the money would go toward a fund for breeders, trainers and shelters. The rest would finance continued racing in Dubuque by the Iowa Greyhound Association.
State Employees Mistakenly On "Blacklist" To Be Removed
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's executive branch has removed some former workers who were mistakenly included on a list of individuals who shouldn't be rehired.
Department of Administrative Services spokesman Caleb Hunter said Thursday that letters have been sent informing an unspecified number of people that they're no longer ineligible for state employment.
The letters come after The Associated Press last month obtained a list of 975 ex-employees who were barred from employment due to prior firings or resignations.
Union officials complained the list included several mistakes, including current state employees and others who shouldn't have been included.
Civil rights attorneys have filed a proposed class-action lawsuit claiming the so-called blacklist was illegal and unconstitutional.
Hunter says the department plans to release "as much information" as possible about the mistakes after a legal review.
Secretary Of State Reports Finding 117 Cases Of Illegal Voting
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz says his two-year investigation into voter fraud has found 117 cases of illegal voting out of 238 cases investigated.
In releasing the final report Thursday on an investigation that cost $250,000, Schultz says 17 cases remain under investigation.
In all, charges have been brought against 27 people. Six were found guilty, one was found not guilty by a jury, and four cases were dismissed. One person was given a deferred prosecution and 15 still remain in the court system.
Critics say Schultz has spent too much time and money only to find few confirmed cases of actual fraud.
Schultz defends it, saying he found people voting who shouldn't have been.
Schultz, a Republican, is leaving office to run for Iowa's 3rd Congressional District seat.
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