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Tuesday News, December 18

Jandreau Sentenced To 45 Years

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County District Judge Jeff Neary handed down the sentence of 45 years to Matthew Jandreau.  Jandreau was found guilty in November of burglary, kidnapping, and attempted sexual assault of an eleven year old female juvenile.  Throughout the sentencing, Jandreau sat quietly.  When given the opportunity to address the court, Jandreau said he is not a violent person, and that he can't honestly say why he committed the crimes.  Jandreau told the court that he wished he could go back to the evening prior to the series of crimes, and just go home, instead of choosing to become intoxicated and committing the crimes.  Jandreau said that "nobody cares what I have to say. I just want it to be over.  I know, no matter what I say, it won't make a difference and I will go to prison."  Judge Neary said he has sentenced people who have committed murder and he said "this comes dangerously close to that because of what could have happened".  Neary said before delivering the 45 year sentence that he is doing so to protect the community, and he fears that there is potential for Jandreau to committing these crimes again.  The family of the 11 year old female victim attended the sentencing. Jandreau's mother who testified during the trial, did not appear at the sentencing.

Hospers Elementary Schools Placed On Lockdown

(Hospers) -- The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint that a 22 year old male from Hospers, IA had made threatening comments on Facebook. The complainant reported that the suspect made the comment, “I want to shoot a bunch of people, my family and myself.”
Officers were immediately dispatched and two schools, located in Hospers, were put on lockdown. The two schools were: Spalding Catholic Elementary school (3rd and 4th grade students) and MOC Elementary (K-5th grade students).  At 1:44 pm sheriff’s officers located the suspect walking near his home in Hospers. He was taken into custody without incident.
The suspect will be evaluated by medical personnel.  The case remains under investigation and criminal charges are pending.  The Iowa State Patrol assisted with the incident.

Hospers Woman Sentenced To Drug Court For Meth Possession

(Orange City) -- A Hospers Woman has been ordered to complete drug court program for possessing methamphetamine with a third offense.  40 year old Pauline McDonald of Hospers was sentenced on Monday in Sioux County District Court.  She was convicted of possessing methamphetamine on a third offense, a class D felony.  The case arose on May 30, 2012 when a concerned citizen contacted the Sioux County Sheriff's Office to express concerns that the defendant was using illegal drugs.  Officers responded to McDonald's residence and found methamphetamine and placed McDonald under arrest.  Drug court is a special court given responsibility to handle cases involving substance-abusing offenders through comprehensive supervision, drug testing, treatment services and immediate sanctions and incentives.  Drug court offers individuals facing criminal charges for drug use and possession the opportunity to enter a substance abuse recovery program in lieu of straight jail or prison time.

Granville Man Sentenced To 5 Years For Burglary

(Orange City) -- Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister has announced that John Nelson, age 37 of Granville was sentenced on Monday in Sioux County District Court for the crimes of burglary in the third degree, a class D felony, and theft in the fifth degree, a simple misdemeanor.  Nelson was sentenced to serve five years on the burglary charge and 15 days in jail for the theft charge.


Remsen Fire Department Responds To Trailer House Fire

(Remsen) -- The Remsen Fire Department responded to a trailer house fire at the Beck Trailer Court on Monday afternoon.  That call came in at about 3:15 p.m.  Fire officials were able to quickly get the fire under control within a half hour, but they did make a return trip to the scene in order to help ventilate the house from the fire.


Plymouth County Supervisors Have Full Agenda

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have a full agenda for today's meeting.  It is expected the county governing board will approve an amendment agreement with the city of Le Mars for the Joint Urban Renewal project.  The supervisors will also hear from the Compensation Board as they offer their county employee salary recommendations.  The supervisors will hear a report from Dick Sievers of Mid-Sioux Opportunity as he delivers a budget request.  County engineer, Tom Rohe will update the county supervisors on the various road projects, and the supervisors will be given an update from John McCurdy of JEO Consultants regarding the County Comprehensive Plan.  County Conservation Director Dennis Sohl is also expected to appear before the board.


Historic Preservation Commission Wants To Celebrate Downtown Listing

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Historic Preservation Commission wants to throw a party.  The local organization wants to celebrate the listing of the Le Mars Downtown Commercial Historic District as it is now part of the National Register of Historic Places.  The celebration will occur on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 on the second floor of the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.






Monday News, December 17

Sentencing Scheduled For Monday For Matthew Jandreau

(Le Mars) -- Sentencing is scheduled today for Matthew Jandreau.  Jandreau, you may recall, was found guilty by a jury in November of kidnapping, attempted sexual assault, burglary and operating a vehicle without permission, along with operating vehicle while intoxicated.  Jandreau could face up to a minimum of twenty-five years in prison.  Sentencing will take place at 2:00 p.m. at the Plymouth County Courthouse.


Plymouth Co. Veterans Affairs Office Makes Adjustments

(Le Mars) -- Due to the death of Plymouth County Veteran Affairs director, Eugene Shultz, the Plymouth County Veterans Affairs office will be open on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the remainder of December and into January.  The Veteran's Affairs office is temporally being staffed by Martin Balmer, who previously to Shultz, was the Veteran Affairs Director for Plymouth County for many years.  The Veteran Affairs Commission is meeting on Thursday to determine a plan to fill the vacant position, and additional information will be provided following that meeting.


Informational Wellness Meeting Scheduled for Monday

(Le Mars) -- When you see that Iowa has 29 percent of its population as being listed as obese, compared to the national average of 27.9 percent.  One in four Iowa adults are physically inactive, one in 12 people in Iowa suffer from diabetes, and slightly more than 20 percent of the state's population smokes cigarettes, it is easy to see why Iowa's Healthiest state ranking dropped four positions to number 20.  Because of these startling statistics, organizers within Plymouth County are wanting to recruit at least 2300 people to team up, get active, eat well and live healthy with the Live Healthy Iowa ten-week Wellness Challenge.  Plymouth County Extension Coordinator Carol Schneider says Plymouth County ranks low within the state as far as being healthy.  She says the program, Live Healthy Iowa, has been around for ten years. 
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Schneider says the 2300 participant goal represents ten percent of the Plymouth County population.
Schneider says there is an entry fee of $20 for the ten-week healthy wellness challenge with
a five dollar coupon, making the cost of the program an affordable $15.  Schneider says the
program will begin in late January, but she encourages people to sign up early.
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An informational meeting is scheduled for today from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. at the Floyd Valley Hospital Conference rooms.  A complimentary lunch will be provided.  Floyd Valley Hospital, Le Mars YMCA, and the Plymouth County Extension and Outreach are sponsoring the local wellness challenge.  Interested participants can enroll at either the Le Mars YMCA or at the Plymouth County Extension.


Branstad's Actions On Director's Pay Being Questioned By Legislators

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Some Iowa lawmakers are questioning whether Governor Terry Branstad has overstepped his authority by signing off on bonuses paid to two state directors, raising their
pay beyond state salary caps.
The Gazette of Cedar Rapids reports that Courtney Kay-Decker, director of the Iowa Department of Revenue, has received an $800-per-pay-period housing allowance for her first year on the job. That makes her annual compensation more than $175,000.
The maximum salary set by law for the revenue director is $154,300.
Public Safety Commissioner K. Brian London reportedly received a more than $16,000 recruitment bonus, making his annual pay $145,000. The cap is set at just under $129,000.
Democratic Senator Jeff Danielson of Cedar Falls says Branstad shouldn't be using bonuses to circumvent pay ranges established by the Legislature.

Gallup Papers Turned Over To University of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Groundbreaking pollster George Gallup may be known for founding the survey organization that tracks people's opinions on the President of the United States. But he began his
career with a more personal concern: getting his mother-in-law elected to statewide office.
Ola Babcock Miller was a huge underdog in the 1932 race for Iowa Secretary of State. Gallup conducted an informal poll of voters for her and learned that highway safety was a top concern. Miller
campaigned successfully on the issue and went on to found the Iowa State Patrol.
That campaign is recounted in a collection of papers that Gallup's family recently donated to the University of Iowa documenting the life of the father of modern political polling.
The papers are expected to be used by researchers studying early polling on elections and marketing.

Des Moines City Council Sets Limits On Door-to-door Sales

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines City Council is set to consider restrictions on door-to-door peddlers of everything from magazine subscriptions to vacuum cleaners.
The Des Moines City Council is set to vote on the matter Monday night.
The move comes months after Councilwoman Christine Hensley first suggested restrictions after several residents complained of aggressive door-to-door peddlers.

The restrictions would include rules that would limit door-to-door solicitations to between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., as well as requirements for peddlers to acquire a city permit. Getting a permit would require a $400 bond and background check asking whether applicants are registered sex offenders.

Court of Appeals Dismisses Lawsuit

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by a former Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial director against the city.
The Gazette of Cedar Rapids reports that the appeals court rejected Gary Craig's motion last week.
Craig was charged with felonious misconduct in 2010, but those charges were dismissed by a judge after the state couldn't prove its case. Craig then sued, saying the false allegations and charge damaged Craig's reputation.
A Linn County District Court dismissed the lawsuit, and Craig appealed.
The appeals court found that probable cause existed to arrest Craig, so he could not have been falsely arrested or maliciously prosecuted. The appeals court also ruled that any alleged defaming
statements made against him were protected speech.


Three People Charged With Murder

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Two men and a woman have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man whose body was found in a Davenport field.
Robby Kohn's body was found December 8th.
The Quad-City Times reports that one of the men charged - 20-year-old Barry Bernard Hamilton of Chicago, Illinois - had bailed Kohn out of jail before Kohn was killed.
Hamilton paid $200 on December 4th to get Kohn out of jail on a public intoxication charge. Police say Hamilton, 20-year-old Jessica Loerzel of Davenport, and 21-year-old Darious Johnson of Chicago, drove the 41-year-old Kohn to a field two days later and shot him.
Hamilton and Loerzel were arrested in Chicago last week and are being held on $500,000 bail each.
Police are searching for Johnson.


Fire Destroyed Recycling Building

HOPKINTON, Iowa (AP) - Firefighters say fire has destroyed a building at Bacon Recycling in the eastern Iowa town of Hopkinton.
Fire Chief Craig Wilson tells Cedar Rapids television station KCRG-TV that the blaze began around 5 a.m. Saturday. He says it had consumed the building by the time crews arrived at the scene.
Wilson says the building was made of aluminum and was storing cardboard and plastic for recycling. Wilson says the heat of the flames caused the walls to collapse.
Fire crews from Delhi and Monticello also responded. Wilson says about 60 firefighters battled the blaze.








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