Friday News, May 30
Branstad Makes Campaign Stop In Le Mars
(Le Mars) -- Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, and Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry took the opportunity to eat some ice cream Thursday afternoon as the campaign trail brought them to Le Mars and the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor. Branstad, is seeking a sixth term as Iowa governor, but first must win the primary election on Tuesday. Today, (Friday) Governor Branstad says he will sign into law the medical marijuana bill allowing for the cannabis oil to be used for epilepsy patients. Branstad admits the topic is controversial, and could be a topic of discussion from constituents on the campaign trail.
Branstad says he consulted with the governors of Utah and Alabama who have passed similar legislation, to learn more about the consequences of the bill.
Two states, Colorado and Washington, have adopted measures allowing for the legalization of recreational marijuana usage. Branstad says those states have "a mess".
After being governor for 16 years, Branstad heard from even his own supporters that it may be time to step aside and allow someone else the opportunity to lead the state. Twelve years away from the governor's mansion and the capitol building, Branstad says people asked him to again run for governor. Now, four years later as the Iowa governor, Branstad says he is not hearing anyone say he should step aside. Branstad says he has been able to accomplish many goals, but the job is not done.
Branstad says he is excited about the campaign and is confident about his chances against the primary rival Tom Hoefling, but he also says he doesn't take anything for granted.
Akron Man Arrested For Possession Of Marijuana
(Le Mars) -- A 22 year old Akron man was arrested Monday for the possession of a controled substance. Dylan Searls was picked up by Plymouth County Sheriff's authorities for the possession of marijuana for the first offense, a serious misdemeanor. Searls was stopped for equipment violations in Akron. He was taken to the Plymouth County jail with a bond set at $1000.
Lubben To Retire From Sheriff's Office
(Le Mars) -- After serving Plymouth County as a deputy in the sheriff's department for 25 years, Jim Lubben will be retiring on Saturday. He says the changes in technology with collision investigations will be what he will remember about his time with the sheriff's office.
Lubben says he will remember many of the tragic accidents he investigated long after leaving the sheriff's office.
The deputy says he hopes to find some part-time employment to keep him busy during retirement. As for the innovations in computer technology, he says that was the difficult aspect of his job.
The Le Mars native pursued law enforcement while living in Sioux Falls, and has devoted 41 years of his life to law enforcement.
The deputy says he will miss most the interaction with the people, but will not miss the shift rotations. He says the older you get, the worst it is to adjust to a different sleep cycle.
Senate Candidates Square Off In Final Debate Before Primary Election
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Businessman Mark Jacobs focused Thursday on proposals for jobs, energy and education instead of jabs at front-runner state Sen. Joni Ernst in the final debate of the 2014 GOP U.S. Senate primary.
Jacobs didn't repeat the criticisms he's stuffed into mailboxes and aired in ads. Instead, he touted "concrete plans to create jobs and opportunities."
The two leading candidates played it safe, while lesser-known and trailing candidates such as college professor Sam Clovis, former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker and Ames businessman Mark Schaben were more frank during the 90-minute televised debate.
None but Whitaker named a single would-be 2016 Republican presidential candidate they liked. Whitaker supports Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Whitaker also misidentified Common Core, optional math and reading guidelines written by states, as "national curriculum."
Jefferson Seeking To Have Casino
JEFFERSON, Iowa (AP) - A plan to build a $40 million casino in the Green County city of Jefferson drew hundreds of people to a public hearing before the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
About 500 people attended the five-hour hearing Thursday, and most of the 70 speakers favored the proposal. They pointed to the estimated 325 jobs the casino would bring to the western Iowa community.
The commission is expected to vote on the plan June 12th in Burlington.
If approved, the proposed casino would authorize a gambling license for Grow Greene County Gaming Corporation, a nonprofit organization that would contract with Wild Rose Entertainment. Plans call for a casino resort with restaurants, a conference center and a hotel in Jefferson, a city of about 4,200 people.
Construction Workers Arrested For Identity Theft
WEVER, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in southeast Iowa have arrested 12 workers at the construction site of a fertilizer plant on suspicion of identity fraud.
The Lee County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say officers arrested the employees Thursday afternoon as they traveled on buses to a safety meeting for the Iowa Fertilizer Company.
Sheriff Jim Sholl says the 12 individuals on the buses did not have proper documentation. Additional information was not available. Authorities say the arrests were made following an anonymous tip.
Records show the Iowa Fertilizer Company is a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries. It is building a $1.8 billion fertilizer plant near Wever that's expected to be completed in 2015. A message for Orascom was not immediately returned Thursday night.
Woman Drives Car Into Des Moines Pond
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a woman was receiving a driving lesson before she accidentally drove her vehicle into a Des Moines pond.
Crews from the Des Moines Fire Department responded Thursday to a pond at Water Works Park and found a white minivan partially submerged in the water.
The driver and a passenger were able to escape without injury. Officials say the passenger was teaching the driver how to drive when the incident occurred.
A barrier was placed around the vehicle. Officials determined no chemicals or oil was leaking into the water.
Newton Doctor Sentenced
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former Newton doctor has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for carelessly prescribing controlled substances to addicted patients.
Lafayette Twyner Junior received the sentence Thursday. He was also ordered to three years of home confinement after he finished his prison sentence.
The 65-year-old Twyner pleaded guilty in February to felony charges of health care fraud and illegally distributing a prescription drug resulting in death. A plea deal dropped more than 100 other charges.
Twyner's clinic was raided in 2011 after authorities investigated claims that he was prescribing large quantities pf painkillers without taking basic precautions. Since then, he has surrendered his federal drug-prescribing permit and his state medical license.
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