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Saturday News, May 2

Branstad Declares State Of Emergency Due To Bird Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has declared a state of emergency due to a bird flu outbreak that's forcing farms to kill more than 17 million chickens and turkeys.

Branstad's proclamation announced Friday will remain in effect until May 31st unless it's terminated earlier.

The proclamation activates disaster response and recovery procedures for Iowa's homeland security and emergency management programs. It authorizes use of state money, supplies and equipment to track and monitor bird flu, establish restrictions around affected farms and rapidly detect cases.

It also allows more time to dispose of poultry carcasses.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says it's important to step up the response as the disease spreads.

Northey announced four more farms infected - three turkey operations and a 1 million-chicken egg-laying operation in Madison County.

 

 

 

Northey Comments About the Bird Flu

(Le Mars) -- KLEM news visited with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey about the Avian Bird Flu.  As of late yesterday afternoon, Northey says Iowa has confirmed 21 cases of the Avian Bird Flu.

 

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Northey says it may still be too early to see if the bird flu has created a rise in egg prices, but he adds it probably will happen within the next few weeks.

 

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The Iowa Agriculture Secretary says those 16 million hens infected with the bird flu represents nearly 25 percent of Iowa's poultry industry. Northey explains how the poultry industry will go about the process of disposing all the infected birds.

 

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Northey says the process is a bit different for the disposal of chicken laying hens.

 

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Two Iowa Residents Plea Guilty To Trafficking

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Two Iowa residents have pleaded guilty in a federal sex trafficking case in Virginia.

Laura Sorensen and Aldair Hodza entered the pleas Friday in federal court in Richmond to sex trafficking and transporting a person across state lines for prostitution.

Court records show Sorensen and Hodza held a 20-year-old woman captive on a trip in December to Virginia and forced her to have sex with men who answered online ads.

Prosecutors say the defendants tortured the woman with lit cigarettes and other heated objects, pierced her feet with nails and poured bleach into her wounds.

 

   

Friday Afternoon News, May 1

Judge Tosses Out Interview Of Neunaber

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - A judge ruled that statements made by a man charged with killing his mother can't be used as evidence.  District Judge Steven Andreasen ruled Thursday that statements made by Jonathan Neunaber were inadmissible at trial.

Neunaber, of Akron, is charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of his 80-year-old mother, Esther Neunaber. Her body and the body of her husband Donald Neunaber were found in the home they shared with their son.

Donald Neunaber died of natural causes

Jonathan Neunaber has pleaded not guilty.

The judge ruled that because Neunaber repeatedly declined to answer questions, the interview should have been stopped.

Andreasen didn't rule on a request that evidence collected after those statements not be allowed at trial.

A trial date isn't scheduled.

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Plymouth County To Hold Surplus Property Sale

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County will hold a surplus property auction Saturday morning.  The auction will begin at 10:00 a.m. from the Courthouse parking lot and Courthouse Annex.  County Auditor Stacy Feldman says the auction will be selling a variety of items including autos.

 

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Feldman says this auction will sell items of interest for those people who enjoy the outdoors, as well as those people needing office equipment.

 

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Feldman says the revenue from the auction will go back into the appropriate department.

 

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For questions about the sale items you can contact the Plymouth County Auditor's office.

 

 

 

Trial Has Been Scheduled For Hit-And-Run Suspect

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A trial has been scheduled next month for a 74-year-old Sioux City man charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident.

Thomas Scheitler pleaded not guilty on Thursday. His trial is set to begin June 30. Police say Scheitler's vehicle struck 11-year-old and 10-year-old girls on April 18 in Sioux City. Police say he left the scene but was found later that day.

Court documents say one girl suffered a skull fracture and the other a broken collarbone.

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Court Throws Out Fraud Conviction Of Ex-Attorney

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is throwing out the conviction of a former city attorney who had faced prison time for submitting fraudulent bills.

The court ordered a new trial for ex-Indianola city attorney John Hoyman, who concedes he submitted inaccurate billing statements but never inflated the number of hours actually worked.

Jurors acquitted Hoyman of theft but found him guilty of first-degree fraudulent practice. A judge sentenced him to an indeterminate term of up to 10 years in prison, but Hoyman has been free on appeal.

The court ruled Friday that the jury instructions were flawed because they didn't require proof that Hoyman intended to deceive the city.

His attorney, Mark Weinhardt, says Hoyman is thrilled and looking forward to defending himself "in a fair trial before a properly-instructed jury."

 

 

 

 

Marshalltown Deals With Teen Pregnancies

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - A coalition of entities serving youth and families in Marshall and Hardin counties has been meeting in response to 2012 public health data indicating that both counties bear some of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Iowa.

The Team Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention coalition plans several public events beginning May 6 to increase community awareness of the issue, and provide sexual health education to adolescents.

Spearheaded by Jana Enfield, the executive director of Child Abuse Prevention Services in Marshalltown, the coalition began meeting in January. The group stated their goal is to drive down teen pregnancy numbers by increasing adolescents' awareness of their sexuality and encourage healthy lifestyles.

According to the 2012 data released by the Child and Family Police Center, Marshall County ranked first in the state for teen pregnancies, with 55 births per 1,000 females age 15-19 years old. In Hardin County, the birth rate was 30.4 births per 1,000 females age 15-19.

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