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Monday news, August 27

Le Mars School Board To Hear Superintendent's Annual Report

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board is scheduled to meet this evening. On their agenda will be District Superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt as he offers the board his annual report.  Assistant superintendent, Mr. Steve Webner will present the board information regarding the district's status related to requirements of No Child Left Behind.  The school board is expected to review submitted bids for two school buses, and make a decision on the purchase of two buses.  The school board will also review the Pre-school handbook for 2012-2013.  There are no resignations to consider, but the board is expected to act on three contracts.


Merrill To Discuss 5th Street Improvements

(Merrill) -- The city of Merrill will be holding an informational meeting on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Merrill City Hall, Kissinger Community Center to focus on the improvements for 5th Street.  The meeting will inform the public of the proposed plans and construction schedule for the utility and street reconstruction project which is being done in conjunction with the Plymouth County K-42 road project.


Tickets On Sale For Bishop's Dinner

(Le Mars) -- Tickets for the sixteenth annual Bishop's Dinner for Catholic Schools are now available for purchase.  The Bishop's Dinner is scheduled for Sunday, October 14th at the Sioux City Convention Center beginning at 4:00 p.m. with a social hour and the dinner to start at 5:00 p.m.  This year's key-note address speaker is the famous well-known actor Jerry Mathers, who starred in the popular "Leave It To Beaver" television series.  Mathers is a Sioux City native, and still has many relatives living in the Sioux City and Kingsley area. Gehlen Catholic Schools Foundation Board Member Rick Kneip of Le Mars says the dinner benefits Gehlen Catholic schools.  Kneip says not only does Gehlen receive money through ticket sales, the school is also the recipient of funds through "Education Enhancement Grants" made possible by corporate and individual sponsors of the dinner.  Last year, more than $200,000 was raised at the Bishop's Dinner.  The Bishop's Dinner is the largest fundraiser conducted by the Catholic School Foundation.


Sioux City Girl Dies From Being Thrown From Pickup Box

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 15-year-old Iowa girl died after she was thrown out of the bed of the pickup truck she was riding in.
Authorities say Alexi Vaul, of Sioux City, died Saturday after an accident in Dakota Dunes, S.D.
Vaul was riding in the back of the Chevrolet truck and talking through a window to 16-year-old William Murray, who was driving when the accident happened. The truck hit a curb
and left the road, and the impact sent Vaul flying.
Vaul suffered fatal injuries. The driver and two passengers riding inside the truck's cab were not hurt.
Murray is from McCook Lake, S.D.


Iowa CCI: Rude, Loud, and Abnoxious, And They Will Remain That Way

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement admit they're loud and occasionally rude, but they argue that when officials won't listen, activists must demand
The group has a history of confrontational tactics dating to the 1970s, but recent incidents gained more attention, especially when members heckled then-Iowa caucus candidate Mitt Romney at the 2011 state fair.
Iowa CCI members also shouted during this year's state fair for likely Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan to answer whether he intended to cut Medicare. And last week, group members
interrupted a state ethics committee meeting to force a discussion of alleged violations by Regents member Bruce Rastetter. The allegations were dismissed.
Hugh Espey, the group's executive director, says Iowa CCI has used confrontational tactics since the mid-1970s and won't stop now.


Expect Traffic Jams For Farm Progress Show

BOONE, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa State Patrol is warning motorists to expect slow traffic along roads near the 2012 Farm Progress Show that starts Tuesday in Boone.
Organizers expect 200,000 people to attend the three-day event and that 20,000 vehicles will travel to Boone County each day.
Roads where heavy traffic is likely include Interstate 35 near Ames, U.S. Highway 30 between Ames and Boone, and state Highway 17 near Boone.
The state patrol says traffic will likely be heaviest from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Iowans Help Florida Hurricane Victims

(Des Moines) -- As Hurricane Issac bears down on the Florida Keys and the coastal region, a group of Iowans representing the American Red Cross have already headed south to help Florida residents.  At least nine Iowans are among the volunteers that are at the Gulf Coast in anticipation of Hurricane Isaac. Linda Sutherland of Marion is among the Iowans with the American Red Cross who left for Tampa, Florida. Sutherland was packing her bags, not knowing if she'll be in Florida for a few days or a few weeks.

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She compared the process to the TV show Amazing Race.   Other Red Cross staffers from the Sioux City, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines areas are bound for Florida to provide disaster services. Sutherland wasn't notified she'd be making the trip until Thursday morning.

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The trip to Florida will be Sutherland's 7th trip with the Red Cross. The disaster that struck eastern Iowa four years ago motivated Sutherland to get involved with the organization.

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Iowa Medical Board To Investigate Doctor

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines doctor whose pain-treatment clinic was closed in June could lose his medical license, if state regulators have their way.
The Iowa Board of Medicine has accused Doctor Daniel Baldi of incompetence and unethical
practices. The board alleges that Baldi prescribed large quantities of narcotics and other addictive drugs without properly assessing patients' need for the medications. A hearing on Baldi's license
has been set for October 11th.
Baldi helped run an Iowa Health System pain-relief clinic near Iowa Lutheran Hospital that Iowa Health leaders closed in June.
Baldi's lawyer says the doctor denies any wrongdoing and will fight to keep his license.

Animal Rights Groups Watch Trial Of Des Moines Man

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Animal rights activists have turned their attention to an Iowa case of a man charged with causing the heat-related death of a German shepherd.
The Des Moines Register reports that about 20 animal rights activists rallied outside the Polk County Courthouse on Friday morning, pushing for the maximum jail sentence for an Urbandale man
charged with animal abuse.
Urbandale police say 18-year-old Luis Angel Lara-Leyva failed to provide his dog with water on a 90-plus degree day in June, causing the dog's death.
The Des Moines-based Saint Francis Foundation for Pets organized Friday's rally, collecting nearly 1,000 signatures in addition to 1,000 already collected for a petition demanding that Polk County
Attorney John Sarcone seek the maximum of a year in jail.
Lara-Leyva's trial is set for October 24th.





Saturday News, August 25

Merrill To Hold Informational Meeting On 5th Street Improvements

(Merrill) -- The city of Merrill will be holding an informational meeting on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Merrill City Hall, Kissinger Community Center to focus on the improvements for 5th Street.  The meeting will inform the public of the proposed plans and construction schedule for the utility and street reconstruction project which is being done in conjunction with the Plymouth County K-42 road project.


Bev's On The River Wants Casino

(Sioux City) -- The owners of the Hilton Garden Inn and Bev's On the River are making
suggestions that they would like to host the Sioux City downtown casino.  Jessie Miller, the
Chief Operating Officer for Midwest Franchise, which owns and operates the riverfront
restaurant and hotel says "the city has been talking about it for a while now, and we think
we have the best location for it." Miller says some potential casino operators have already
expressed interest in the site.


Pickup Trucks Collide At Intersection

(Sioux Center) -- The Sioux County Sheriff's Department is investigating an auto accident that occurred Thursday evening about three miles southeast of Sioux Center at the intersection of 420th Street and Ibex Avenue.  Thys De Hoop, age 21, of Sioux Center, IA was driving a pickup truck eastbound on 420th Street.  Christian Whitaker, age 28, of Sioux Falls, SD was also driving a pickup truck northbound on Ibex Avenue. The vehicles collided in the intersection.
De Hoop, Whitaker and a passenger in Whitaker’s vehicle, Russell Wichers, age 38, of Boyden, IA were
transported to the Sioux Center Hospital by Sioux Center Ambulance for treatment of their injuries. De Hoop and Whitaker were later flown to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD by the Sanford and Mercy Air Care helicopters. Wichers was transferred to Mercy Hospital in Sioux City, IA by the Sioux Center Ambulance.  The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sioux Center Ambulance, Sioux Center Fire Department, Sioux Center Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol.
The accident remains under investigation.

West Nile Virus Detected in Plymouth County

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Health Department is reporting that it has confirmed five cases of West Nile virus in the state and is investigating several more cases.
The agency on Friday announced confirmed cases in Grundy, Linn, Lyon, Page and Plymouth counties. All those sickened by the virus have recovered.
In Nebraska, officials say 20 human cases have been confirmed, with no deaths reported.
The cases in Iowa and Nebraska come amid one of the largest national outbreaks of West Nile. More than 1,100 illnesses have been reported across the country.
Iowa health officials say state figures are typical for this time of year, but they urge people to use mosquito repellent when they are outdoors to protect against the virus.


Police Investigate  Homicide After Stand-off

ALBURNETT, Iowa (AP) - Police have removed a man from a rural Iowa home after hours of negotiations that followed the discovery of an apparent homicide victim on a nearby road.
Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner told KGAN-TV that a body was discovered Friday morning northwest of Alburnett along the Wapsipinicon River, about 20 miles north of Cedar Rapids.
He says police received a 911 call about 9 a.m. Friday. A responding officer found the body in the middle of a rural road.
Members of a police SWAT team surrounded a house that's located deep inside a wooded area and began negotiations with someone inside.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports authorities used chemical irritants to force a man out. After a struggled, officers used a Taser to restrain him.
His name wasn't released.


Father of Missing Girl Wants Change of Venue For Trial

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - The father of one of two missing Iowa cousins is asking for his trial on drug charges to be moved.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Daniel Morrissey's attorney says his client cannot receive a fair trial in Black Hawk County.
Morrissey is the father of 10-year-old Lyric Cook, who disappeared with her 9-year-old cousin, Elizabeth Collins, while riding bikes in Evansdale on July 13th.
Morrissey and his associates have come under scrutiny from investigators because of his criminal history. He was scheduled to reach a plea bargain to meth charges the day before the girls'
disappearance, but changed his mind.
Defense attorney Kevin Schoeberl says a hearing on the change of venue request will happen later. He said Thursday his client's legal problems are unrelated to the disappearance.

Former Pastor Convicted Of Sexual Exploitation

ADEL, Iowa (AP) - A former Pella pastor has been convicted by a jury of sexually exploiting women in his congregation.
The Des Moines Register reports 42-year-old Patrick Edouard will be sentenced in October on four counts of sexual exploitation and of having a pattern, practice, or scheme to sexually exploit.
The maximum penalty is nine years in prison.
The jury, which returned its verdict on Friday, acquitted Edouard on three counts of third-degree sexual abuse.
Four women in his former congregation at Covenant Reform Church in Pella say he coerced them into having sexual relations. Documents say the incidents occurred from 2003 to 2010.
Edouard quit his job at the church after the women complained.


Church Fire Raise Questions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A fire that Des Moines police call suspicious burned for hours on Friday, causing significant damage to a church near the state Capitol.
The fire at the Lighthouse Full Gospel Baptist Church was reported at 3:24 p.m. yesterday. Smoke from the fire was visible hours later in downtown Des Moines.
KCCI-TV reported the fire caused significant damage to the church.
Des Moines police called the fire suspicious and detained a man near the church. Police say they were questioning the man.
All those in the building escaped and no injuries were reported.


Undercover Agent Shooting Justified

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa prosecutor says a state agent had a gun pointed to his head during a botched undercover drug operation, and was justified in killing the man and injuring
Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness said Friday that Division of Narcotics Enforcement agent Daniel Stepleton won't be charged in the Aug. 16 shooting that left Ivan Hardemon dead and Demarco Dudley injured.
Lyness says Stepleton and another undercover agent showed up at a trailer to purchase drugs as part of an investigation. Two men appeared from a back room with their faces covered and holding
clubs, and Hardemon pulled a handgun that he put to Stepleton's head.
During an altercation, Stepleton managed to pull his gun from his back waistband and shoot four times, striking Hardemon and Dudley.






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