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Wednesday Afternoon News, July 23

Hay Bale Falls On Westfield Man

(Akron) -- A Westfield man has died as a result of a large hay bale falling on him. 76 year old Barry Knapp of Westfield was struck by a hay bale that had fallen on him, Tuesday afternoon.  Family members were at the scene at the time of the accident. The Plymouth County Sheriff's office and the Plymouth County Medical Examiner have ruled the death was accidental.  Knapp was assisting stacking bales when one rolled off the pile and landed on Knapp.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.


Sioux City Rail Site Set For Archaeological Dig

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City complex that was once home to a repair and maintenance terminal for steam locomotives will be the site of an archaeological dig next month.
     The Siouxland Historical Railroad Association hopes the dig will boost efforts to have the complex placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
     The complex built in 1917 was a repair and maintenance terminal for steam locomotives, passenger cars and cabooses on the Milwaukee Railroad. It is now home to a rail museum.
     A researcher from the Office of the State Archaeologist at the University of Iowa says she expects the dig might find items such as ancient bolts, buried coal cinders and broken tools.
     The museum's steam engine is already is on the national register.


Veteran DCI Agent Appears In Court

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The veteran Iowa criminal investigator fired after reporting Gov. Terry Branstad's speeding SUV appeared in court over his wrongful dismissal lawsuit.
     Larry Hedlund was in Polk County District Court on Wednesday as a judge considered an effort from the state to have the lawsuit thrown out. 
     Hedlund, a former Division of Criminal Investigation agent from Fort Dodge, is suing his former superiors for wrongful termination. He alleges that he was removed from duty and fired in retaliation for initiating a pursuit in which a vehicle carrying Branstad was clocked traveling 84 mph but not stopped.
     Branstad has denied retaliation. Department officials say Hedlund was fired for insubordination, which he denies.
     No action was taken Wednesday on the state's motion to dismiss the case.


Mason City Mayor Won't Punish Assessor

 MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa mayor says the city assessor will not face disciplinary action after being accused of domestic assault last week.
     Police arrested Danielle "Dana" Naumann last Friday after they received a call from a man about a disturbance in a home. 
     Thirty-eight-year-old Naumann is the assessor for Mason City and faces a charge of serious domestic assault. 
     A woman who answered the phone at the city assessor's office says the office had no comment.
     Mayor Eric Bookmeyer told the Mason City Globe Gazette (http://bit.ly/1tzU1iN ) this week he consulted with the city's legal counsel about Naumann. 
     He says no action against Naumann is needed, because the incident was not work-related. 


New Mayor For Otho

  OTHO, Iowa (AP) - A former mayor has been appointed to the post in the central Iowa town of Otho (OH'-thoh).
     The Messenger (http://bit.ly/1tzFdkv ) says that on Tuesday night the City Council appointed Mark Groat to replace Joe Hayes, who resigned without public explanation on July 1. The council also named Rob Ewing to replace Gary Fox, who resigned from his council post on June 13.
     Groat served two terms as mayor of Otho, but he didn't seek the position when Hayes ran and was elected in 2013.
     Groat and Ewing will be up for re-election in the November 2015 city election.


Report Recommends Lee County To Consolidate Seats

  MONTROSE, Iowa (AP) - A citizen's advisory committee has recommended Lee County consolidate two county seats into one.
     The Hawk Eye reports the group met with the Lee County Board of Supervisors Tuesday night. They suggested the county's dual seats in Fort Madison and Keokuk be consolidated into one seat at the county jail outside of Montrose.
     A committee member says the decision stems from the group's desire for a more efficient and cost-effective county government.
     The advisory committee estimates a new courthouse would cost $8.5 million.
     The group also suggested the board consider doing away with drivers licenses since the state-run service is not required.



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