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Wednesday Afternoon News, May 14

Casey's General Store Employees Arrested For Theft

(Le Mars) -- Two former employees of the Le Mars Casey's convenience store have been arrested by the Le Mars Police Department following an investigation of theft.  31 year old Brandi Franke and 40 year old Marvin Franke both of Le Mars turned themselves in to authorities.  Brandi Franke is charged with theft in the third degree which is an aggravated misdemeanor. Marvin Franke is charged with theft in the second degree which is a class D felony. The incident dates back to October of 2013 when the Le Mars Police Department received a complaint from Casey's General Store in regards to employees that were stealing from the store.  The investigation is continuing with more arrests are probable. 


Fatal Traffic Accident Happens On Highway 20 ByPass 

(Sioux City) --  One person is dead following a two vehicle collision on the Highway 20 bypass near the Target Department Store Wednesday morning.  Sioux City Police are asking motorists to avoid the bypass area between Morningside Avenue and Sunnybrook until at least noon today.  Authorities say the accident happened just before 8:00 a.m., when one vehicle apparently crossed from the westbound lane and collided head on with an oncoming vehicle in the eastbound lanes.    Traffic is being detoured away from the eastbound lanes, and police say those lanes will be closed for at least a few more hours.  


Sioux City Man Pleads Not Guilty to Death Of 2-Month Old Son 

(Sioux City) --  A trial date has been set for a Sioux City man charged with neglect in the death of his two month old son.
        26-year-old Michael Williams entered a written plea of not guilty in Woodbury County District Court to one count of neglect of a dependent person.
         Judge James Scott set trial in the case for July 8th at 9:30am.
         Williams was arrested April 29th after bringing his dead son to St. Luke's UnityPoint Health hospital in Sioux City.
         The boy's autopsy results have not been released.
         Court documents at the time of Williams' arrest say he admitted to leaving his son unattended for long periods of time in his apartment.

Woodbury County Board of Supervisors Approve New Courthouse Security Program

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Woodbury County supervisors have approved a plan to hire unarmed former law enforcement personnel to oversee metal detectors at the county courthouse.
     The metal detectors are part of a $250,000 security upgrade at the building, which houses county offices and courtrooms.
     Sheriff Dave Drew said the board's 4-1 vote on Tuesday reflected the personal politics shown in previous clashes over personnel. Some board members disagreed with Drew, saying the plan would cost less than Drew's proposal. Drew wanted four Sheriff's Office staffers to oversee the detectors.
     A study by county auditor and recorder Pat Gill says Drew's plan would have cost more than $205,000 a year. A separate analysis by county finance director Dennis Butler found the plan approved Tuesday would cost less than $134,500 a year.


Appeals Court Orders New Trial For Police Officer Accused Of Setting Fire To Office

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An appeals court is ordering a new trial for a former northern Iowa officer serving a prison sentence for allegedly setting fire to his police station and stealing a colleague's assault rifle.
     The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that confessions made by former Forest City officer Thaddeus Ellenbecker can't be used because investigators hadn't read his rights.
     Ellenbecker was shot by a Division of Criminal Investigation agent during an October 2011 struggle at his apartment complex after he walked out of an investigative interview. He confessed to those crimes to officers while he was in the hospital, but later maintained his innocence at trial.
     The court says Ellenbecker was in police custody during the struggle and at the hospital, and therefore should have been read his Miranda rights.


Lottery Executives Resign

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say two vice presidents stopped working for the state-run Iowa Lottery on the same day.
     The two are Molly Juffernbruch, who'd been general legal counsel, and Jack Schroeder, who'd been in charge of operations and systems.
     Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said Wednesday that the two were no longer employed by the lottery, effective last Thursday. Neubauer did not answer questions about the circumstances of their departures.
     She said both had worked for the lottery since 2010 and were being paid more than $109,000. Neubauer says both will be replaced. Lottery President Terry Rich told The Des Moines Register that neither received a settlement from the state.
     A public phone listing for Schroeder couldn't be found. Juffernbruch didn't immediately return a call Wednesday from The Associated Press.





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