Friday News, October 12
Major Grass Fire Along Highway 20
(Sgt Bluff) -- A major grass fire occurred Thursday afternoon near Highway 20 consuming more than 45 acres. Several fire departments, including the Hinton Fire Department was called to offer assistance to battle the blaze. Farmers also helped with the fire by tilling the ground to help keep the fire from spreading.
Teacher Taskforce Advocates Higher Salaries
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A $150 million school improvement proposal includes higher salaries for beginning teachers.
The recommendations by the state's Task Force on Teacher Leadership and Compensation will be the centerpiece of Gov. Terry Branstad's education proposal to legislators in 2013.
The task force report was released Thursday.
Iowa Education Department Director Jason Glass says the proposal is aimed at retaining effective teachers while making the profession more appealing to the state's "best and brightest."
The proposal's salary component for first-year teachers would take the minimum salary from $28,000 to $35,000, over the next three years.
The proposal also would require teachers to begin their careers with a residency year that would include intensive supervision and mentoring.
The task force was created last spring by the Legislature and included teachers and administrators.
Oxford Junction Woman Guilty of Fraud Against FEMA
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman has been sentenced to four months in prison after admitting that she lied to get federal disaster benefits after the historic flood of 2008.
Jessica Hines of Oxford Junction learned her sentence Thursday during a federal court hearing in Cedar Rapids. She has been told to surrender to begin serving her sentence next month.
Prosecutors say Hines admitted that she submitted a false application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in July 2008 that claimed that her home and personal property were damaged by
the flood. In reality, she didn't live at the home she claimed and was not a flood victim.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade ordered Hines to pay $7,155 in restitution to FEMA and to be on supervised release following her prison term.
Grave Marker Found In Recycling Bin
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Police are asking Iowans to help officers return a grave marker that was found in a recycling bin.
Council Bluffs Police Captain Terry LeMaster says that workers at the Council Bluffs Recycling Center found the marker last week.
The name on it is Megan Alaine Kjellberg, a 6-month-old child who died January 2nd, 1986. The inscription on it reads: "Now you have the sun and stars to play with."
LeMaster says area cemeteries and funeral directors have been checked, as well as funeral and obituary databases and reports about stolen items.
LeMaster thinks someone might have stolen the marker thinking it was solid copper. When it turned out to be only copper coated, it was tossed into a recycling bin.
Two Women Charged With Forged Prescriptions
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two northern Iowa women face multiple charges in an ongoing investigation into forged prescriptions.
Gina Splitt and Melissa Ricke, both of Algona, were arrested by Mason City police on Wednesday.
Splitt faces ten charges, including four counts of prohibited acts of forged prescriptions and insurance fraud. Ricke is charged with eight similar counts.
Online court records list no attorneys for the women. They face court hearings on October 26th.
Numerologist Dream Comes True
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - What might be a digital dream for numerologists has come true in the delivery room of a Des Moines hospital.
Laila Fitzgerald was born.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/RlH4Zw) that Laila weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces. She came into the world on Thursday, which, numerically speaking, was 10/11/12. She arrived,
militarily speaking, at 1314, which would be 1:14 p.m. for civilians.
So the numbers associated with her birth are 8-9-10-11-12-13-14.
Laila's mother, 26-year-old Katie Deremiah, of Des Moines, says she had a feeling Thursday would be the day, despite the due date of Oct. 19.
She says Laila arrived without inducements to speed her arrival.
Laila's father, 26-year-old Ryan Fitzgerald, told The Register that he would be buying a lottery ticket as soon as he could leave the hospital.