Thursday News, August 14
Neunaber Pleads Not Guilty To Murdering His Mother
LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - An Akron man has pleaded not guilty to a charge that he killed his mother. Jonathan Neunaber entered his written plea to the murder charge Wednesday in Plymouth County District Court in Le Mars, five days before his arraignment hearing. Neunaber is being held in the Plymouth County jail pending a $100,000 bond. Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond has said Neunaber admitted to causing the death of Esther Grace Neunaber. Both Esther and her husband, Don, were found dead at their rural Akron home on July 9th.
Successful "Scoop The Loop"
(Le Mars) -- The classic cars came cruzin into Le Mars last evening for the annual "Scoop the Loop" car show and due to the nice weather, organizers believe it was one of the largest car shows.
Mary Reynolds serves as the coordinator for the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Mainstreet program. She recaps the evening's festivities.
Reynolds says cars, motorcycles, and pick-up trucks from different eras and from multiple states participated in the "Scoop the Loop" program, bringing several hundred people to the Olson Cultural Events Center all interested in the nostalgic vehicles.
Many people walked to the Olson Cultural Events Center and in so doing walked down the alleys of Le Mars, and couldn't help but notice the city's art in the alley project. Le Mars is getting a lot of attention because of its art in the alley, and for its many murals either already in place, or those in progress.
Flags Stolen At Hull
HULL, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating the theft of U.S. flags in the northwest Iowa city of Hull.
The flags were missing from homes and school property on the north side of Hull.
The Sioux County Sheriff's Office says the flags were removed from poles between 10 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday.
The sheriff's office didn't say how many flags were stolen.
Hull is a city of about 2,100 people.
Adler Discusses Le Mars Work Force During Business Builder Session
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County and the city of Le Mars have a low rate of unemployment, which according to Neil Adler, executive director with the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce and the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation can work both in favor and against a community when trying to attract businesses and enhance community economic development. During the Business Builder session held Tuesday, Adler discussed the work force around Le Mars.
Adler says more than 4,000 people live outside of Le Mars, but are employed here. On the other hand, nearly 2500 people live in Le Mars, but are employed outside the community. Adler says it is a statistic that may not be negative, but certainly bears watching.
The Chamber Executive says both the Chamber and the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation keeps an open line of communication with various businesses and industries, and are ready to assist those companies in expanding.
The last point Adler shared with the Building Business gathering was to have a positive attitude towards your community, saying you never know who you may be visiting with, and what action may occur from your visit.
Branstad And Hatch To Hold First Debate
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and Democratic challenger Jack Hatch are set to face off in their first debate.
Branstad and Hatch are scheduled to meet Thursday at the Iowa State Fair. This will be the first of three debates in the race.
Branstad is running for an unprecedented sixth nonconsecutive term and has been touting a record of job creation and tax cuts. Hatch, a longtime state lawmaker, says he could do more to boost incomes and improve services, such as education and health care.
Thus far, Branstad has looked stronger in the race. He remains popular in the polls and had more than $4 million in his campaign account in mid-July. Hatch had less than $200,000 at that time and had lent personal funds to the campaign.
Surgeon Fined For Operating On Wrong Finger Of Patient
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Board of Medicine has fined a Mason City surgeon for operating on the wrong finger of a patient.
The board issued a warning and imposed a $2,500 fine Wednesday on Dr. Rene Recinos. The board said in a news release that the 48-year-old Recinos errantly operated on the patient's right ring finger. The operation was supposed to be performed on the patient's right middle finger.
The board says Recinos realized he'd made the error. He told the patient and subsequently operated on the correct finger.
Recinos has submitted to the board a plan that outlines what he'll do to avoid such errors in the future.
Recinos has declined to comment on the case.
Vandals Hit Buchanan County Home
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) - The Buchanan County Sheriff's Office is investigating extensive vandalism at the former Buchanan County Home near Independence.
The vandalism was reported Tuesday, and deputies found that someone had entered the building and broken windows, door, toilets and mirrors. The vandals also used spray paint on walls, ceilings, windows and floors and destroyed furniture.
The three-story brick building dates to 1915.
The sheriff's office is seeking help from anyone with information about the incident.
Davenport Police Shoot Suspect
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Davenport police say a knife-wielding man shot by officers has died at a hospital.
Police say the officers were sent around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday to check a report about a man with a knife threatening another male who had barricaded himself in a bedroom. The officers entered the house and were confronted by the man with the knife.
Police say the man didn't obey the two officers' commands that he drop the knife and then came at the officers. Both fired.
Police say the man died later at Genesis East medical Center.
The names of the officers, the dead man and the man who called 911 have not been released.
County and state officers are investigating.
Old Capital Dome To Get Rennovations
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa college says it wants to renovate a building's dome that was once destroyed in a fire and then reconstructed.
The University of Iowa plans to spend about $1.5 million to repair the Old Capitol's roof and cupola. Areas of concern include the building's metal roofing and portions of the dome's interior.
The Old Capital was built in 1842 and was used by lawmakers. It became the university's first permanent building in 1857 after the Legislature moved to Des Moines.
A fire ripped through the cupola and dome in 2001. Investigators say the blaze started when workers used torches and heat guns to remove asbestos from the building.