Sunday News, December 30
(Le Mars) A late night - early morning fire call resulted in five-thousand dollars damage to a Le Mars residence. Le Mars Fire-Rescue responded to a reported house fire just before midnight Saturday. Flames and smoke were visable on an exterior wall of a home located at 50 12th Street Southwest. Mortar of a brick chimney had disintegrated, allowing flames and embers from inside to come in direct contact with wood studs and insulation in the wall of the home. Firefighters used a ventilation saw to cut the siding of the home and extinguish the fire in the wall. Occupants of the home discovered smoke coming from the chimney mantel area in the living room of the home. Responders were on the scene for about an hour. Le Mars Fire-Rescue was assisted by Le Mars Police and MidAmerican Energy.
EXCHANGE STUDENT SHOT
Mental health exam ordered for accused Ia. shooter
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has ordered a mental health
evaluation for a man accused of shooting a foreign exchange student
in a Sioux City bar.
Sioux City television station KTIV reports that 24-year-old
Soloman Harris is charged with assault while taking part in a
felony, and reckless use of a firearm.
Harris is accused of shooting of 20-year old Natacha Butera in
Mac Behrs, a downtown Sioux City bar, on November 18th. Police say
he fired the gun while arguing with another man, but the bullet
struck Butera in the arm and chest.
The judge granted a request from Harris's attorney to see if his
client is mentally competent to stand trial.
Butera, a foreign exchange student from Rwanda, has since been
released from the hospital.
Iowa town looks for closure as girl laid to rest
EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - Residents in Evansdale mourned as the
second of two eastern Iowa two girls found dead in a wooded area
was laid to rest.
The Des Moines Register reports that mourners said their final
goodbyes Saturday at a funeral service for Lyric Cook.
Residents say Lyric's funeral will provide some peace for the
town, but real closure hinges on finding the person, or people, who
killed the girls.
The bodies of Cook and her cousin, Elizabeth Collins, were found
on December 5th, about 25 miles from where they were last seen.
Elizabeth was 8 and Lyric was 10 when they vanished while bike
riding in Evansdale on July 13th.
A memorial service for Elizabeth was held December 13th.
Friend rescues boy who falls into icy Clear Lake
CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - An 11-year-old boy plunged through ice
and into Clear Lake but was rescued by a 10-year-old friend who
inched out and pulled him from the water.
Clear Lake police say the boys, whose names weren't released,
were walking on the northern Iowa lake Friday when they approached
an aerator, which keeps part of the lake from freezing to prevent
As they neared the open water, the ice gave way and one boy
plunged into the lake, though he threw out his arms and managed to
stay above water.
Police say the other boy slid toward him and managed to pull him
back onto the ice.
The wet boy wasn't injured, but people on shore took the boys
into a warm room and wrapped the cold boy in blankets.
Iowa man accused of setting fire to stolen vehicle
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa man faces a felony
charge after authorities say he intentionally set fire to a stolen
vehicle in Cedar Rapids.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that 32-year-old Robert
Mikesell of Luzerne is charged with second-degree arson.
Police say they found the flaming vehicle stuck in the snow on a
bridge. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, and police realized
the vehicle was stolen from a location in Vinton.
Cedar Rapids police Sergeant Cristy Hamblin says Mikesell was
with the vehicle when he stopped a woman who was driving past.
Mikesell allegedly climbed into the woman's car and told her to
drive. The woman then drove Mikesell to a local grocery store and
dropped him off. Police say they found Mikesell at that grocery
store and arrested him.
Motorist charged after crashing into Iowa mall
CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man faces weapons and drunken
driving charges after he allegedly crashed his car through the
front entrance of a mall sporting goods store.
Twenty-three-year-old Joseph Albert Moreno of Iowa City was
arrested shortly after 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
Police say Moreno crashed through the front entrance of a
Scheel's All Sports store at the Coral Ridge Mall. Officers who
arrived at the scene heard what may have been a gun shot before
they found him. They arrested Moreno and located a pistol that they
think belongs to him.
Police say Moreno suffered a cut, but no other injuries were
reported. Moreno is charged with burglary, operating while
intoxicated, reckless use of a firearm and carrying a concealed
1 injured in Iowa when train crashes into car
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One person was injured and two escaped
unharmed when a car was hit by a train in downtown Des Moines.
The Des Moines Register reports that the car was northbound on
Friday night when it was hit and pushed off the tracks by an
One person in the car was taken by ambulance to a hospital with
minor arm injuries.
Police say it's not clear whether the driver slid onto the
tracks because of slushy road conditions, or didn't attempt to stop
Witnesses say the railroad crossing warning lights were flashing
when the car drove on to the tracks, according to police. The
crossing does not have safety arms.
Ed Carlson, free spirit known as 'The Waver,' dies
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Ed Carlson, a smiling free spirit who became
known as "The Waver" for waving at motorists while on foot across
the country for over 30 years, died Friday at his home in Iowa at
the age of 75.
Carlson became an institution in Reno, Nevada, which was his
home base from the 1970s to 2007 when he moved to Cedar Rapids,
Iowa, to be close to family.
Friend Betty Layton of Reno says the Burlington, Iowa native
used to wave in Reno and then hitch a ride 25 miles to the south to
Carson City, where he waved before hitching back to Reno.
Daughter Kristina Butterfield of Cedar Rapids says her father
also waved to motorists on his many walks across the U.S.
Services in Cedar Rapids and Reno are pending.
Justice center supporters, foes meet in Iowa City
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Opponents of a county jail and courthouse
project in Iowa City are meeting with the proposal's supporters,
but they still can't agree on how to proceed after voters failed to
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that critics of the
so-called justice center have participated in a series of meetings
held by supporters.
The meetings began shortly after the November election, when a
$47 million bond proposal failed at the ballot box.
Iowa City resident Aleksey Gurtovoy, who opposes the project,
says supporters are ignoring the ideas his side has proposed.
Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek says critics are raising the
same issues discussed in public meetings for years.
Officials say the county's 92-bed jail is constantly
TOBACCO STORE LICENSE
Police: Iowa tobacco store owner was unlicensed
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa store owner is facing
criminal charges after police allegedly discovered him selling
tobacco products without a license.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that 45-year-old Nasrel
Ahmed-Ibrahim is accused of selling tobacco to a 17-year-old
customer. Police say the sale was made during a December 19th
compliance check at Alsafa Market in Iowa City.
Ahmed-Ibrahim is charged with selling tobacco without a license.
Police say he does not have a valid license from the state's
Alcoholic Beverages Division.
A website for the business describes it as an African and
Mediterranean specialty store that sells "a variety of hookahs and
Iowa law prohibits anyone younger than 18 from smoking, using,
or possessing tobacco products.
Iowa group announces search for best egg recipes
URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - A group that monitors Iowa's egg industry
is looking for the best recipes that think outside the shell.
The Iowa Egg Council is kicking off its "Incredibly Good Eggs"
cooking contest. Recipes can include party foods or drinks,
breakfast entrees, main dishes, side dishes, snacks or desserts.
The recipes must be original and contain at least four eggs in
the form of whole eggs, yolks or whites.
The contest will be divided among adults, culinary arts students
and general students from sixth grade through high school. Winners
will be selected online after a preliminary judging period.
Contest entries must be received by March 1st.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)