Thursday News, January 3
Gehlen and Spalding Catholic High Schools Decide To Merge
(Le Mars) -- At a joint school board meeting held Wednesday evening, officials from the Gehlen Catholic and Spalding Catholic schools voted unanimously to merge the two Catholic High Schools beginning next school year of 2013-2014. Gehlen Catholic school board president Brian Kolbeck and Spalding Catholic school board president Jeanne Jungers appeared together to make the formal announcement.
Kolbeck told reporters that many, may have thought the unification of both schools was a done deal once the idea was proposed. But he says officials from both schools organized different committees to analyze the proposed merger.
Kolbeck continues to explain how everyone's concerns were carefully considered before reaching the final decision.
According to Jungers, The merged Catholic schools will be called Gehlen Catholic High School and will be located in Le Mars. Jungers showed her emotion as she discussed the history of Spalding Catholic High School.
A Spalding Catholic school board member told KLEM news that there are 72 students between the 8th grade and 11th grade currently attending Spalding Catholic School. He said that a survey was sent to each family with children attending Spalding Catholic School asking them if they are considering sending their children to Gehlen. The school board member said the survey showed that at least 70 percent of the families would transport their children to Gehlen Catholic High School. Spalding Catholic will have three representatives, one from each parish, that will be members of the new Gehlen Catholic school board.
Pedestrian Killed While Crossing Street
(Sioux City) -- A pedestrian was hit by a vehicle while crossing Gordon Drive in Sioux City, leaving him dead at the hospital. The accident occurred at 5:52 p.m. on Wednesday. According to police reports, the victim, identified as 54 year old Daniel Leighninger of Bradenton, Florida was crossing Gordon Drive near the Hy-Vee supermarket when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Gail Meinen of Sioux City. Police found Leighninger lying in the roadway, unconscious but breathing and had sustained blunt force to his head with severe bleeding. Leighninger had crossed the busy street where there is no designated pedestrian crosswalk. He was transported to Mercy Medical Center where later he had died. Police do not suspect alcholol or drugs to be a factor in this accident.
Sioux County Hog Confinement Fire
(Orange City) -- The Sioux County Communications Center received a report of a structure fire at 4142 Jay Avenue, two and one half miles northeast of Orange City, IA. That fire occurred at about 5:50 a.m. Wednesday morning. The Orange City Fire Department, Orange City Ambulance, and Alton Fire Department responded to the scene of a hog confinement building on fire.
Damage to the building is estimated at $50,000; no animals were in the confinement at the time of the fire. The building was currently undergoing construction improvements. The cause of the fire has been determined as accidental in a joint investigation by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, the Orange City Fire Department, and the Iowa State Fire Marshal.
Four Individuals Arrested in Sioux County
(Granville) -- Sioux County authorities arrested four individuals for possession of drug paraphernalia after a report of illegal activity occurring at midnight Wednesday at the Granville Event Center. The four have been identified as Michael Wolff, age 19, of Emmetsburg, IA, Zackery Fay, age 19, of Spencer, IA, Ryan Dodge, age 20, of Spencer and Corey Vergith, age 18, of Spencer.
Medical Helicopter Crashes Killing All On board
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have identified two of three people who were killed when a medical helicopter crashed into a northern Iowa field.
Witnesses told deputies that the helicopter burst into flames when it went down around 9 p.m. Wednesday just north of Ventura in Cerro Gordo County. The aircraft was affiliated with Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa and had been headed to Emmetsburg to pick up a patient.
The hospital identified two of the victims: nurse Shelly Lair-Langenbau and paramedic Russell Piehl.
The pilot was not identified. The helicopter was operated by a Lewisville, Texas-based service company, Med-Trans Air Medical Transport. Company officials didn't immediately return messages
left Thursday by The Associated Press.
Sheriff Kevin Pals says the crash cause is being investigated.
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Awards Grants
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials have awarded more than $90,000 in grant money to a dozen Iowa cities supporting historic preservation programs.
The state Department of Cultural Affairs says the grants are from the Certified Local Government program. It's a partnership between local, state and national governments.
The grant money for the cities is between about $2,000 and about $11,000.
Participation in the program that grants the money offers resources like expert advice from the National Park Service and participation in a preservation network.
Hearing Scheduled For Today On Voting Rules
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday on a proposed new rule that establishes a process for removing voters from registration rolls if they can't prove
Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is pushing the rule saying it's needed because he believes people who are not U.S. citizens are registering to vote in Iowa.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa plans to speak against the rule. The group, joined by other civil rights organizations, says the rule intimidates minority voters especially Latino immigrants. The ACLU also says Schultz doesn't have the legal authority to pass the rule himself, instead it should be
considered by the Legislature.
The public hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Lucas State Office Building.
Iowa Supreme Court To Review Job Protection For Health Employees
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court will review whether to give greater job protections to health care employees who report potential misconduct internally.
The court announced Wednesday it will review an Iowa Court of Appeals ruling, which found an assisted-living center employee was wrongly terminated after she alleged that 2 colleagues falsified
The decision concluded that companies that operate such facilities cannot fire employees who internally report potential violations of regulations meant to protect patients. Otherwise, the
court says employees would be hesitant to raise concerns.
The case involves Karen Dorshkind, who was fired in 2008 as marketing director at Oak Park Place in Dubuque. A jury awarded her $357,000 in damages. The court found the ruling for Dorshkind was
appropriate, but $178,500 in punitive damages shouldn't have been allowed.