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Saturday News, July 14th

Convenience Store Robbers Arrested

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police have arrested four suspects they believe were responsible for the robbery at a convenience store on the West side.  Sarg's Mini Mart located at 2329 W. 2nd Street in Sioux City was robbed on Friday morning at about 9:45 a.m.  No one in the business received any phyisical injuries, although it was reported the suspects were armed.  Police are not looking for any other suspects in the incident.  The investigation continues and suspect names and photographs are being withheld at this time pending detectives showing photograph lineups to witnesses.


Sioux City Man Guilty of Vehicular Homicide

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man is charged with vehicular homicide and drunken driving in an accident that killed a passenger last winter.   Eighteen-year-old Oscar Ramirez was charged on Friday.  Authorities say he was driving an SUV that crashed on Jan. 30 in Sioux City.

A passenger, 18-year-old Nino Segura, of Sioux City, was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene.
Ramirez appeared in Woodbury County District Court on Friday. An arraignment is set for July 27.
A telephone call to his attorney, Priscilla Forsyth, was not returned Friday afternoon.
Sioux County Fair Begins On Saturday

(Sioux Center) -- The Sioux County Youth Fair gets underway today at Sioux Center.  Judging of 4-H Static exhibits and fashion revue will start at 8:30 this morning.  The Northwest Iowa Horse show is slated to start at 9:00 a.m. The Open Class exhibits will be entered at 11:30 a.m.  The 4-H Cow-calf show and 4-H feeder calf show will begin at 12:00 noon, and later this afternoon is the Open Class Beef Show and the Open Class Lamb Show.  Meanwhile at Cherokee, its the third day for the Cherokee County Fair.  Today is Lady's Day and Kid's Day on the Midway.  Tonight's entertainment will be the Two-wheel and Four-wheel Drive pickup truck pull.  Also today, is the second day of the Merrill Pioneer Days. Some of the events scheduled include the Antique Tractor Ride, the downtown
sidewalk flea market, horse rides, and sand volleyball.
Man Arrested For Using Electric Cattle Prod on Girl

VINTON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an eastern Iowa man has been arrested for allegedly using a cattle prod on a teenage girl.
The Gazette ( ) says the Benton County sheriff's office says 50-year-old Eric Kolsrud, of Shellsburg, is charged with assault causing bodily injury and contributing to the
delinquency of a minor.
Kolsrud is accused of a using a shocking device that's used on cattle on a 16-year-old following a dispute. Authorities say he also told a 15-year-old girl that she had to lie to officers if she
was asked about the incident.
Kolsrud's case is not on the online court system, and it's unclear if he has an attorney.
Grassley Calls For Courts To Change Hawaiian Retreat
HONOLULU (AP) - Political controversy persists over a conference planned for federal judges on Maui, with two Republican senators calling for the event to be canceled or at least scaled back.
Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa question the need to hold the August conference at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, with optional activities offered
including surfing lessons, snorkeling, yoga and Zumba dancing.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has said the gathering will be for serious business meetings and the venue is within the circuit's jurisdiction. The senators continue to say holding a conference in a "far-flung island paradise" is extravagant during a time of government budget cuts.
A spokesman for the circuit didn't immediately respond to the senators' latest letter on Friday.
Financial Investment CEO To Face Prison

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A federal prosecutor says the chief executive of an Iowa-based brokerage firm carried out a $200 million fraud scheme that could land him in prison for years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan said Friday that Peregrine Financial Group Incorporated CEO Russell Wasendorf Senior could face "a wide range of criminal charges" for the scheme. Wasendorf allegedly falsified bank records to embezzle customer funds for 20 years.
Deegan made the comment during Wasendorf's initial federal court appearance in Cedar Rapids on charges that he made false statements to financial regulators. Another hearing is scheduled for
Wasendorf appeared healthy during the hearing. He'd been hospitalized after attempting suicide outside the company's headquarters on Monday.
Investigators say he admitted in a suicide note to carrying out an elaborate embezzlement scheme.
State Auditor and Treasurer Say IPERS Needs To Change

(Des Moines) -- The state's top two financial officials say it's time to re-establish upper limits or "caps" on the pension checks government employees draw from the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System. The system is commonly called IPERS (EYE-perz) and State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald is a voting member of the system's board of directors.
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In 1998, the legislature and the governor agreed to get rid of the limits or caps on pensions for teachers, local government workers and employees in state government.
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Fitzgerald advocates a cap that would limit a yearly IPERS pension to 60-thousand dollars. State Auditor Dave Vaudt (VOWT) supports that kind of a move and, in addition, Vaudt suggests some of the state government surplus should be used to shore up the pension system.
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Vaudt is quick to say "in the short term," the system is o.k., but it's time for state officials to start making plans for the future.
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Any changes in IPERS benefits must be approved by the legislature and the governor. Republicans in the House and Governor Branstad have talked about reducing taxes next year rather than using the state government surplus to shore up the state pension system as the auditor, who is a Republican, suggests. Vaudt and Fitzgerald, who is a Democrat, made their comments during taping of the "Iowa Press" program which airs on Iowa Public Television.



Friday, July 13th News

Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Schedules Second "Cash Mob"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has announced two upcoming events.  The first, is another cash mob scheduled for Tuesday, July 31st. People are asked to gather at the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce offices at 12:00 noon, and the name of a Chamber member business, outside the downtown district, will be selected.  The gathering of people will then go to that business with the idea that each person will spend at least $20.  Rust Western Shed was the first selected business that was "mobbed".  The second event scheduled by the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce is a mystery dinner theater set for Thursday, September 6 at 6:00 p.m. The dinner theater, Who Killed one of the Miss Perky Pout contestants, will be held at the Le Mars Convention Center upper level.  Tickets are $25 per person.


Sioux City Police Warn Public About Dangers Of Leaving Child in Hot Car

(Sioux City) -- Over the last week, Sioux City Police has responded to three separate incidents of children being left in cars.  Fortunately, none of these incidents have resulted in serious injury, but should serve as a reminder to never leave your children unattended in a vehicle during the hot summer.

Leaving a child in a car can and does lead to tragic circumstances.  Since 1998 in the United States, 537 children have died from Hyperthermia (over heating) after being left in a vehicle.  Heatstroke occurs when a person's body temperature exceeds 104 degrees and the body's ability to regulate temperature is overwhelmed.  A core body temperature of 107 degrees is considered lethal as cells are damaged and internal organs shut down.  A child's ability to regulate their body temperature is not as efficient as an adult.  Childrens body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult.  Temperatures inside a vehicle can easily reach 150 - 200 degrees and it doesn't take long.  One study showed on a 80-degree day the car internal temperature went to 123 degrees in one hour.  The Sioux City Police remind people to never leave a child unattended in a car, even if it is for just a few minutes.


Gaming Applications Due November 1st for Sioux City Casino

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State gambling regulators have set a Nov. 1 deadline for accepting applications for a land-based casino in the Sioux City market.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission on Thursday also agreed to make a decision on a new license by April 2013.

Chairman Jeff Lamberti expects there will be a strong interest.  The board voted last month to allow other operators to submit applications after the two partners in the Sioux City riverboat casino couldn't agree on a new contract. Penn National Gaming then accepted a previous offer from its nonprofit partner, Missouri River Historical Development, to extend the current contract until April 2015.

The commission voted to limit the duration of the extension to March 2013.   Penn National operates the casino. The development group jointly holds the license.


Branstad Orders Flags To Be Lowered For Skalberg

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Flags are to be lowered in Iowa to honor a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan last month.

The honor is being rendered this weekend as services are held for 25-year-old Army Sergeant James Skalberg Junior.

Skalberg was killed on June 27th when an improvised explosive device detonated near a vehicle he was in.

Governor Terry Branstad is ordering that flags under control of the state be flown at half-staff from 5 p.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Monday. The funeral for Skalberg is scheduled for Saturday morning in Red Oak, where his wife and son live.

Skalberg originally was from Emerson. He graduated from Nishna Valley High School in 2005 and attended Peru State College in Peru, Nebraska. He joined the Army in 2007.


Iowa Supreme Court To Hear U of I Case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court will decide whether the University of Iowa violated the state's open records law by withholding documents about its investigation of a 2007 assault involving football players.

The court plans to rule Friday in a case that's been closely followed by the news media.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen filed the lawsuit in 2008 after the university refused to release hundreds of records related to its handling of an assault of a female athlete by former Hawkeyes Abe Satterfield and Cedric Everson.

A judge ordered the records released in 2009. The university appealed, contending they are confidential under federal student privacy law.

Both players were convicted of misdemeanor charges. An investigation faulted the university's response, which cost the school's top lawyer and dean of students their jobs.


Drought Across United States May Benefit Canadian Farmers

OTTAWA - Drought conditions across large swaths of the Midwestern United States and parts of Europe are causing concern about a food price shock later this year.

But while consumers brace to pay higher prices for everything from corn flakes to bread to beef, many Canadian farmers hope to reap rewards from historically high grain prices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that U.S. farmers will see just a fraction of the corn they expected in the spring when the ground was seeded.

That prediction has sent the price of corn through the roof and is pushing almost all grain commodity prices higher.

Myron Krahm, vice-president of the Manitoba Corn Growers Association, says if the weather holds in most corn-growing regions of Canada over the rest of this month, farmers will cash in.







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