Friday News, August 9
City Council Discuss Removing Some Stop Signs
(Le Mars) -- The topic of removing stop signs was discussed during the recent City Council meeting. Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel says as a city grows, often times the traffic pattern will change making some stop signs no longer needed. Langel says the city is seeking comment regarding the removal of some stop signs. Langel explains which stop signs would definitely remain.
Langel says before the decision is made to remove any stop sign, city officials will examine the safety issue, and review each intersection in question.
Langel says the city's savings on the removal of the stop signs will be minimal.
Council Look At Building Pedestrian Bridge Across Floyd River
(Le Mars) -- The city council also discussed adding a pedestrian bridge to cross the Floyd River that would join the existing hiking and biking trail and extended it west. Scott Langel says the city must first cross a hurdle set up by the Army Corp of Engineers.
Langel says several trees would have to be removed in order to accomodate the bridge, which means the city needs to view several options.
Some people wonder why a pedestrian bridge couldn't be attached to the existing highway bridge, but Langel says that proposal would end up costing the city even more money. Langel says the city has decided to swap wetlands at a cost of $44,000.
Congressman King Defends His Comments On Immigration
(Le Mars) -- Iowa 4th District Republican Congressman Steve King is defending his comments regarding the immigration issue, and those about the Obama administration's decision to close some embassies due to the perceived terror threat. King stopped by the KLEM radio offices on Thursday. King says the U-S House has not established a bill on the immigration policy. He says the House will have to defer to the U-S Senate, of which Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin has formed a bill that allows Dreamers, those people who were brought into the country by their parents, the opportunity to gain citizenship. He says that would only complicate the drug smuggling trade.
King says you can't begin to address the illegal immigration problem, without first, solving the drug problem that originates in Mexico and crosses our borders.
King says for the past ten years, he has been trying to get people to listen to the situation, and they refused to listen. He says they are now listening after he made the controversial comments.
We'll hear King's comments regarding President Obama's foreign policy during Saturday's KLEM news.
Dean Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Shooting Sioux City Police Officer
(Sioux City) -- It's 25 years in prison for 22 year old Jamal Dean. The Sioux City man was sentenced Friday on a charge of attempted murder for the shooting of Sioux City Police Officer Kevin McCormick on April 29th during a traffic stop. Dean must serve 70 percent of his sentence, 17 and a half year, before he is eligible for parole. He must also pay over $9400 in restitution to the city of Sioux City.
Dean made no statement during the sentencing by Judge Jeffrey Neary in Woodbury County District Court. The courtroom in the law enforcement center was filled with members of Dean's family as well as several officers from the Sioux City Police Department.
Jamal Dean will be transferred from the Woodbury County Jail to the Iowa Prison Classification facility at Oakdale.
Sioux City Band Teacher Given Probation And Suspended Prison Sentence
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former Sioux City high school teacher has been given probation and a suspended prison sentence for stealing band instruments.
Forty-year-old Kevin Massey, of Sergeant Bluff, was sentenced on Thursday to three years of probation and five years in prison, suspended. He'd pleaded guilty to theft after prosecutors lowered the charge.
Massey has resigned from his job as band director at North High School and has paid $5,000 to the school district for the instruments. He still must make restitution totaling more than $13,000 to three pawn shops.
He said he intended to buy back the instruments, which he took to get money for his
Regents Officially Close Harkin Institute At Iowa State
AMES, Iowa (AP) - After two years of controversy, the Iowa Board of Regents has voted to close the Harkin Institute of Public Policy at Iowa State University.
The regents approved a plan Thursday during their meeting in Ames to shutter the institute, a move that had been expected for months after a messy public spat between Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin and university leaders.
Harkin announced earlier this year that he was backing out of his pledge to give the
papers from his 30-year congressional career to Iowa State. Instead, he announced plans in
May to donate them to Drake University, which is establishing a similar institute in his honor.
The move came after Harkin and his backers chafed at what they called restrictions on
the research that could be conducted at Iowa State.
Regents Give University Presidents Salary Raises
AMES, Iowa (AP) - The presidents of the University of Iowa and Iowa State University
have been awarded four percent raises after the regents praised their performance.
The Iowa Board of Regents approved the raises on Thursday during a meeting in Ames,
bumping UI President Sally Mason's salary to $513,000 and ISU President Steven Leath's to
The salary adjustments came after the regents met behind closed doors to evaluate their performance Wednesday.
Board President Bruce Rastetter told reporters the raises were a reflection that the
presidents achieved the goals the regents set for them last August. They were higher than
the 2 percent awarded last year.
University of Northern Iowa President William Ruud didn't receive a raise because he
just started about two months ago.
Complaint Against State Auditor Dismissed
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board has dismissed a
complaint against the state auditor.
Auditor Mary Mosiman's lawyer says the board approved a memorandum of understanding
Thursday in which it declines to make a finding on the complaint because the law
surrounding the issue isn't clear. The board intends to write an advisory opinion to give
guidance to future candidates.
Iowa Democrats file the complaint and provided records showing Mosiman used more than
$1,000 in from her campaign account to pay for training sessions and reimburse herself for
travel costs in 2012. That was after she resigned her elected position as Story County
auditor and started working for the secretary of state.
Gov. Terry Branstad appointed Mosiman auditor in May. She's a Republican.
Iowa Sets Record With Biodiesel Production
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says the state has set a record for biodiesel production.
The industry group says Iowa's plants produced 56.7 million gallons of biodiesel during the second quarter of 2013. The plant's production of 99.5 million gallons during the first six months also was a record.
The group says Iowa Department of Revenue records show nine of Iowa's 12 biodiesel plants reported production.
The fuels association credited the federal renewable fuel standard and the reinstatement of federal biodiesel blender tax credits for the increased production.
Biodiesel is primarily produced from soybeans.
Casino Mogul To Donate $25 Million To University of Iowa Clinics
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn is donating $25 million to the
University of Iowa to accelerate the search for cures to rare eye diseases such as the one
that hampers his own vision.
The billionaire chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts Limited will pay the gift over five
years to support the university's Institute for Vision Research, which was renamed Thursday
in his honor.
The institute is a leader in genetic testing for eye disease and is seeking to develop
gene and stem cell therapies that could someday restore vision for patients.
Wynn has retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that affects one in 4,000 people and causes
night blindness and weakness in peripheral vision. The 71-year-old says he's thrilled with
the scientific progress that's been made in the field.
Iowa To Feature New Type Of GED Program
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa is shifting to a new high school equivalency diploma test.
The state Department of Education announced Thursday it would replace the GED with a
test developed by the nonprofit ETS.
The agency says the nonprofit's test, called HiSET, will be aligned with statewide
standards for Iowa students and will be cheaper.
Iowa officials begin considering moving to a new test after GED Testing Service
shifted from a nonprofit to a for-profit organization in 2012. That move prompted other
assessment vendors to being offering services.
A selection committee comprised of officials at community colleges and the Iowa
Department of Education chose the new test.
The new test will cost $50 and can be taken in a paper or online format.