Friday News, March 15
Plymouth County Sheriff Identified Hit and Run Driver
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Sheriff's Office has been able to locate the driver of the hit and run accident that occurred on Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Highway 140 and County Road C-60, near Kingsley. 68 year old John Jongma of Hawarden was driving a Mack semi truck and grain trailer heading westbound when he failed to make a stop at a stop sign. Jongma's trailer struck a vehicle driven by 45 year old Mark Bremer of Ocheyedan. Both Bremer and his passenger, Donald Bremer, age 83, also of Ocheyedan were injured and were transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars. The Bremer vehicle was unable to stop on the snow and ice and it hit the grain trailer near the left rear duals causing damage to the grain trailer, meanwhile totaling the pickup truck they were driving. Jongma stated he did not realize there had been an accident until he reached his destination. He then contacted the Sheriff's office to provide his information. Jongma has been cited into court for failure to obey a stop sign and leaving the scene of an injury accident. The Kingsley Fire and Ambulance Department assisted at the scene.
Le Mars Ambulance Responding To More Calls
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Ambulance Service has been busy during the past year, although the number of service runs for the quarter between December 1st and February 28th has held steady. The Le Mars Ambulance has responded to 228 calls compared to 235 from a year earlier. Year to date figures do show an increase of 21 percent in the number of service calls. From February 28 of 2012 to February 28th of 2013, the local ambulance responded to 940 calls compared to 775 during the same period a year earlier.
Relay For Life Plans Organizational Meeting
(Le Mars) -- The Relay for Life of Plymouth County is having an organizational meeting scheduled for this evening. That meeting will take place at the Sweet Sixteen bowling. Shelly Clay, serves as the Team Chair for the cancer awareness program.
Clay says the Relay For Life is moving back to Le Mars this summer, and will be held on July 19th. During the last few years, the event had taken place in Remsen. Clay says everyone knows of someone who has been affected by cancer, and she says that is a reason to get involved with Relay For Life.
Branstad Congratulates China's President
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa is fortunate to have strong ties to the new president of China, which could create business opportunities.
Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday congratulated Xi Jinping on assuming the presidency of the world's most populous country. Branstad says Xi will be "someone who is very good to work with" and he looks forward to visiting him soon.
Branstad's ties to Xi date back to a 1985 diplomatic trip that Xi took to Iowa, during Branstad's first stint as governor. Branstad visited with Xi on a trade mission in 2011.
Xi returned to Iowa last year during a trip as vice president, stopping in Muscatine to meet with those who hosted him in 1985 and in Des Moines to meet with state leaders.
Altoona Man Lied About Military Record Sent To Prison
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Altoona man who lied about his Army record has been given prison for health care fraud.
Federal prosecutors say 53-year-old Jeffrey Kepler, of Altoona, was sentenced Thursday to a year and a day. He'd pleaded guilty in September.
Prosecutors say Kepler had submitted a falsified discharge form to the Veterans Affairs medical center in Des Moines in August 2007. The form said Kepler had served between January 1977 and
August 1979 and received medals for valor, including a Silver Star and Purple Heart.
Prosecutors say Kepler received more than $100,000 in health benefits as a result of his deception. He also filed for disability benefits but was caught.
Prosecutors say Kepler served only 27 days in the Army in 1986 and was discharged for not meeting medical fitness standards.
Surgeon Disciplined For Disruptive Behavior
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Regulators have filed a disciplinary complaint against a former University of Iowa surgeon accused of pushing another doctor during a procedure.
The Iowa Board of Medicine announced its complaint Thursday against Domenico Calcaterra, who now practices at an Indiana University surgery clinic in Indianapolis.
The complaint says Calcaterra was suspended by Iowa after he allegedly shoved another doctor in the chest during a cardiac crisis in the operating room in November 2010.
The complaint accuses Calcaterra of engaging in a pattern of disruptive behavior and unprofessional conduct, which includes allegations dating to 2003 and 2007 during residency and fellowship
Calcaterra's attorney, Steven Ballard, said his client will contest the complaint and looks forward to presenting his side of the story. He says the complaint includes years-old allegations.