Friday News, August 17
Le Mars To Set Up Additional Waste Water Treatment Facility
(Le Mars) -- During the last Le Mars city council meeting, the council approved plans to proceed with a new water treatment facility to be located two miles west of town. Scott Langel, city administrator says people will hear a lot about the new water treatment plant in the months ahead.
The city official explains the second stage for the new treatment facility.
Langel says the third portion of the project will be to create a new waste lagoon.
Langel says the fourth stage is the construction of the new facility. He says it is needed for the expansion of both Wells and Dean Foods. Langel says the financing of the waste treatment facility will be paid for by the two industries.
The city administrator says a final cost will be calculated in the weeks to come, but a preliminary figure is $16.7 million for all contracts. Langel says the city may not be able to obtain grants for the new wastewater treatment facility, but it may be able to obtain a low interest loan through the state and federal government's revolving fund.
Congressman King To Hold Townhall Meetings In Northwest Iowa
(Washington) -- Iowa Congressman Steve King has announced he will hold three townhall meetings in northwest Iowa. King, a republican, will be at the Le Mars Convention Center Upper Level Conference Room on Monday, August 20 between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. King will then hold a townhall meeting for Sioux County at the Sioux Center Public Library between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. and he will be at the Forster Community Center at Rock Rapids for a Lyon County townhall meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and continuing until 3:00 p.m.
Penn National Gaming Suing Iowa Gaming Commission
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The owner of Sioux City's riverboat casino is going to court over a decision by state regulators not to accept a deal that would have extended an operating agreement with
a nonprofit partner that holds the gambling license.
Penn National Gaming Company has asked a Polk County judge to review last month's decision by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Penn claims the board violated state and federal laws
and constitutional protections when it refused to approve a contract with the Missouri River Historical Development that would have run through March 2015.
The commission instead approved an extension through March 2013, saying it would better fit plans to seek bids for a land-based casino.
Mark Monson of the nonprofit group declined to comment.
Trial For James Kroll Delayed
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Trial is delayed for a Sioux City man charged with bludgeoning two people in their sleep with a crowbar.
23-year-old James Kroll Junior was scheduled to stand trial next week in Woodbury County District
Court. A judge on Wednesday delayed it until November 13th.
Kroll is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and first-degree burglary. Police say he beat 54-year-old Jeffrey Moravek to death and seriously injured 54-year-old Mary Tope after
breaking into Tope's home in June.
Police say Tope's daughter, Emily, was in the house at the time and identified Kroll, her former boyfriend. Court papers say Kroll was distraught that their relationship had ended.
Rembrandt Man Faces Additional Sexual Abuse Charges
(Storm Lake) -- Last week we told you of a Rembrandt man that was charged with sexually assaulting a 15 year old girl. After further investigation, Buena Vista County Sheriff, Gary Launderville has announced additional charges against 36 year old Cory Wernimont. Wernimont is being charged with 60 additional counts of sexual abuse in the 3rd degree a class C felony. The additional charges stem from the alleged sexual assault of an additional female minor over the an extended period of time. Wernimont is currently being held in the Buena Vista County jail on a $50,000 cash bond only. Assisting with the investigation is the Iowa Department of Human Services and the Buena Vista county attorney's office.
Midwest Economy Is Hurting From Drought
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - An economic index for 10 Midwest and Western states has dropped again, and an economist says the drought is "dampening economic activity across the region."
The Rural Mainstreet Index dropped further into negative territory this month, hitting 47.1, compared with 47.9 in July and 56.7 in June.
The index is compiled after a survey of rural bankers in the states of Nebraska, Iowa, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Wyoming and the Dakotas. It focuses on communities with
1,300 residents, on average.
Survey organizers say any score below 50 on the index, which ranges from 1 to 100, suggests economic contraction in the months ahead.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss in Omaha, Nebraska says the drought "is dampening economic activity across the region" and that companies with farm ties are experiencing
Iowa's Unemployment Rate Increases
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's unemployment rate edged up to 5.3 percent in July.
State labor officials say the preliminary rate was two-tenths of a point higher than June's revised rate of 5.1 percent. The rate was 6 percent in July 2011.
Iowa Workforce Development says in a report issued Friday that the state gained 2,300 jobs in total nonfarm employment last month after two months of decreases. The state says the gains occurred only in the sectors of wholesale and retail trade, other services,
local government and health care.
The number of unemployed people in Iowa was estimated at 88,200 in July, compared with 85,300 in June. A year ago, an estimated 99,100 people were unemployed in Iowa.
The national jobless rate rose a tenth of a point in July, to 8.3 percent.
One Killed, One Injured At Iowa City Drug Shooting
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say one person has been killed and another injured during a shooting involving two undercover officers in Iowa City.
The Iowa Public Safety Department says in a news release Friday that neither of the officers was injured. They work for the state's Division of Narcotics Enforcement and are assigned to the Johnson
County Drug Task Force.
The department says the officers were conducting an operation around 7 p.m. Thursday at a trailer in the Breckenridge mobile home park. An altercation erupted. The department says shots were fired, killing one person and injuring another, who was taken to a hospital.
It's unclear whether the people were armed or fired any shots. Details about the shooting and the names of those involved have not been released.
Clear Lake Man Charged In "Murder-For-Hire" Scheme
CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - The trial of a Clear Lake man charged in a murder-for-hire case has been delayed.
Alan Cannon faces two counts of solicitation to commit murder, one count of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of attempted murder.
His trial, which had been set for Aug. 21, has been postponed until Sept. 25 in Cerro Gordo County District Court.
Cannon is accused of trying to hire two people in December to kill a teenager who says he sexually assaulted her. A jury in June convicted Cannon of a simple misdemeanor assault charge and supplying alcohol to a minor in that case. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $500.