Saturday news, May 24
Wasmer Post #241 Plans For Memorial Day Program
(Le Mars) -- Members of the Wasmer Post #241 of the American Legion will conduct the annual Memorial Day Avenue of Flags program at the Plymouth County Courthouse on Monday.
The first dedication of flags ceremony was held in 1965 with 91 flags. This year, more than 1200 flags will be posted in honor of those past veterans with either a Le Mars or Plymouth County connection. Tom Tanhoff is the commander of the Wasmer Post #241 and talks about this year's Memorial Day program.
The program at the Plymouth County Courthouse will begin at 10:00 a.m. Tanhoff says 23 additional flags will be dedicated this year bringing the total to over 1200 names to be honored.
Tanhoff says the ladies American Legion Auxillary will be presenting wreaths for each of the wars and conflicts involving the United States.
The Welcome will be presented by Retired Command Sergeant Major Jack Hanson. Tanhoff says Hanson, who resides in Le Mars, is a true hero.
Hanson has been awarded the Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Comendation medal, Army Achievement medal with three oak leaf clusters, Humanitarian Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and Vietnam Gallantry Cross.
Akron Fire Department Responds To Grass Fire
(Akron) -- The Akron Fire Department was called to Deer Creek Lake on Friday afternoon for a grass fire. Fire fighters responded to the alarm at about 4:15 p.m. Fire fighters were on the scene for about an hour.
Ho-Chunk Wants To Join Legal Battle Against Gaming And Racing Commission
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Ho-Chunk Inc. is trying to join a lawsuit against the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
A Polk County judge listened to arguments Friday from a lawyer for Warrior Entertainment, a partnership involving Ho-Chunk and others. The judge did not make a decision.
The attorney said Ho-Chunk was the victim of a "grossly flawed" application procedure for a state gaming license that eventually went to developers of a Hard Rock casino.
Penn National Gaming Co., owner of the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino, claims in a lawsuit that the commission had a flawed selection process for the license. It's also trying to stop the scheduled closure of the Argosy.
The commission, the Hard Rock developers and Sioux City all oppose Warrior's entry into thecase. ---
Sioux City And Five Other Cities Submit Paperwork To Justify Traffic Cameras
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Six Iowa cities have submitted reports outlining traffic camera use to state transportation officials and now await word on whether they'll be able to keep their speed and red light cameras on state-run highways and interstates.
The Iowa Department of Transportation implemented rules in February dictating where and why cameras can be installed along state roads and requiring local jurisdictions to submit reports by May 1 justifying camera placement. Steve Gent, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation's office of traffic and safety, says the department plans to review the reports in coming weeks.
The cities are Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Muscatine and Sioux City.
Gent says the review process will involve collaboration between DOT and local officials to fully understand why cities believe cameras are needed.
Branstad Signs Bills Regulating Drones And Banning E-Cigarettes To Minors
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has signed two bills to regulate the use of unmanned aerial drones and ban the sale and use of e-cigarettes for minors.
Branstad signed the bills into law Friday, along with nine others.
The drone regulation bill prohibits any state or political entity from using the devices for traffic enforcement. It also charges Iowa's Department of Public Safety, along with state and local officials, with determining whether criminal code should be modified to include drone misuse and developing guidelines for law enforcement's drone use. The group must report findings to the Legislature by the end of the year.
The e-cigarettes legislation defines the devices and bars anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing them. There previously were no restrictions on their sale in Iowa.
Jacobs Contributes $1.5 Milllion To His Campaign
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Campaign finance reports show Republican Senate candidate Mark Jacobs has recently put $1.5 million of his own money into the race, nearly doubling his investment.
The reports filed this week show the former energy executive contributed the money between April 1 and May 16.
Jacobs is seeking the GOP nomination to run against Democrat Bruce Braley in the fall general election. Jacob's cash infusion gave him a nearly 3-1 lead in cash on hand going into the last few weeks before the June 3 primary.
Jacobs is in a five-way race that includes state Sen. Joni Ernst. She raised more than $410,000 in the same period. Jacobs reported having $1.2 million in the bank as of May 14; Ernst had nearly $352,000.
Council Bluffs Doctor Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A Council Bluffs doctor accused of sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl has pleaded guilty to a federal child pornography charge.
Dennis Jones entered the plea Friday in U.S. District Court to one count of possession of child pornography. As part of a deal, the 69-year-old has agreed to permanently surrender his medical license.
Authorities say they found about 1.2 million images and 9,300 videos of child pornography during a search of Jones' home. There were also images and videos of patients that Jones allegedly took at his clinic.
Jones is charged in Pottawattamie County District Court with second-degree sexual abuse in connection to the alleged inappropriate touching of a girl outside of his pediatrics practice. He has pleaded not guilty. His trial is scheduled to begin on June 4.
Fort Dodge Bookstore Clerk Stops Would-be Robbery
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A Fort Dodge bookstore clerk pointed a gun at a would-be robber, prompting him to run away empty handed.
Jessica McDonald says she had just opened the Discount Textbooks store on Wednesday morning when a middle aged man entered. He began coughing and then covered his face with a bandanna and demanded money.
She opened the register and showed there was no money, but he pointed a can of mace at her and continued demanding money.
McDonald moved to an adjacent store safe, where a gun is kept. She grabbed the gun and pointed it at the man who then turned and ran out the door.
She followed him while yelling, "Call 911."
Police couldn't find the man and say they don't have any suspects.
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