Thursday Afternoon News, June 12
Iowa Gaming And Racing Commission Approves Jefferson Casino
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has voted 3-2 to grant a license for a $40 million casino development that would be located in rural central Iowa.
Supporters of the Jefferson casino burst into applause during a meeting in Burlington when commission chairman Jeff Lamberti cast the deciding vote in favor of the license.
Lamberti said it was a "very, very difficult decision."
It's the first license granted for a new casino by the commission since 2010. The commission in April rejected a plan for a Cedar Rapids casino, citing market saturation.
Wild Rose Entertainment plans to build a resort that would include slot machines, table games, an events center and a 71-room hotel.
Prairie Meadows casino in Altoona lobbied against the plan, warning that it would hurt its operation.
Rains From Storms Lift Iowa From Drought
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Storms last week brought with them some peril in the form of wind and large hail but they also delivered enough rain to significantly relieve drought conditions in Iowa and Nebraska.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows Iowa's remaining drought is mostly confined to the northwest and southeast corners of the state. About 40 percent of the state has some drought down from nearly 56 percent a week earlier.
In Nebraska, the drought area has been reduced to 63 percent of the state from nearly 70 percent the week before. Extreme drought was removed from central Nebraska.
About 30 percent of the 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico have moderate drought or worse, compared with 31 percent a week earlier.
Red Oak School To Hold Hearings On Principal's Dismissal
RED OAK, Iowa (AP) - Two hearings are planned related to a southwest Iowa school district's plan to fire a high school principal.
The effort to fire Red Oak High School Principal Jedd Sherman will be the subject of a hearing before the Iowa Public Information Board next week and a Montgomery County courtroom next month.
Sherman argues the district voted to terminate his contract without hearing from him and that the matter was kept secret although he wanted an open hearing.
He earlier claimed the district wanted to fire him because he reported two cases of student bullying, and he wanted to remodel a restroom to comply with federal disability requirements.
Red Oak Superintendent Terry Schmidt says the district is eager to present its case in court.
Police Officer Helps Deliver Baby
OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) - A police officer arrived just in time to help an Oskaloosa woman deliver her baby.
Amanda and Daniel Birch called 911 about 2:40 a.m. Friday after deciding that what she was feeling wasn't false labor.
Officer Garrett Matson was the first to arrive - and just in time.
Matson says he gave Amanda Birch some encouragement, "and then I got to catch the baby as it came out." He soon gave the baby to her mother.
Matson says he was relieved when the baby started crying, "and then I was really relieved when the paramedics arrived, because they had more medical equipment than I had."
Little Opal Anne Birch weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces.
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