Monday News, August 24th
Schools Across The State Start Today
(Undated) -- Today marks the first day of school for many school districts across Iowa since the state legislature and Governor Branstad compromised last spring on the starting date. Branstad had wanted school to start after Labor Day. He wanted to have schools start after the conclusion of the Iowa State Fair. Both Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic will start classes on Thursday, August 27th.
Le Mars School Board To Meet This Evening
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education will meet this evening at the Education Service Center. The school board is expected to discuss Pride Night, which is scheduled for Thursday evening beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Jim Lorenzen Field. The school board will also discuss the upcoming school board election. Fred Zenk is running unopposed in District 5. Three candidates are seeking the two openings for the At Large positions. They include: incumbent Patrick Murphy, former school board member Mark Hemmingson, and new comer Angela Catton. No one filed nomination papers for District 3. All positions are voted by all eligible voters in the school district. The school board will also discuss the new teacher and administrator introduction to the district, which is scheduled for Monday, September 14th at 6:30 p.m. The school board will act upon at least four contracts and five students wishing to open enroll at Le Mars Community. The school board will also review each of the principal's achievement reports from the last school year.
Sioux City School Board Member Resigns After Sexual Harassment Scandal
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City school board member accused of sexually harassing a district employee has resigned.
Paul Speidel resigned Friday. Earlier last week he acknowledged sending inappropriate texts but said he'd remain on the board. He said the communications had stopped.
With the resignation letter he sent to the board, Speidel included a copy of an apology he'd sent to the employee, who was not named.
Speidel says he'd exchanged texts with the woman for years and was surprised that she did not tell him she was offended by his communications.
State Education Officials Ready To Unveil New Computerized Tests
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa education officials are close to adopting new computerized exams for students in the state's 336 school districts, but critics question whether the new tests are worth the cost.
The state Board of Education is likely to drop multiple choice tests with paper answer sheets in favor of Smarter Balanced's adaptive computerized tests.
Critics question the value of the $8.3 million tests because of the potential for technical problems, and the fact that school districts may have to upgrade their wireless networks to administer them.
But supporters say the computerized tests provide valuable information because they can change the difficulty of future questions based on a student's answers.
Des Moines Police Investigate Hit-And-Run Fatal Accident
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities are investigating after a 21-year-old man's body was found in the road early Sunday.
West Des Moines Police said Daulton Holly's body was found shortly after 2 a.m.
An autopsy will be performed, but police say the preliminary investigation suggests Holly was hit by a vehicle that left the area.
Holly is from Troy, Tennessee.
Man Accused Of Murder Ask For Reduced Bond
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The attorney for an Iowa man charged with murder in a 1995 homicide is trying to get his $1 million cash bond reduced or eliminated.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports 54-year-old Steven John Klein's attorney asked a judge Friday to release his client until trial because so little evidence links him to Susan Kersten's death.
Attorney Quint Meyerdirk says prosecutors haven't shown any new evidence linking Klein to Kersten's death.
Authorities have said Klein was romantically linked to Kersten and was responsible for her death.
Kersten's charred remains were found inside her burning vehicle in a field near a highway in September 1995. An autopsy determined the 38-year-old woman died of blunt force trauma to the head sustained before the fire.
No decision was made Friday on Klein's bond.
Inmate Missing From Work Release Program
CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Iowa authorities are searching for an inmate who walked away from a prison work release program for the second time in less than two years.
The state Corrections Department says 26-year-old Anthony David Kendricks was reported missing Sunday when he didn't return to the Hope House Work Release Facility in Coralville.
Kendricks walked away from the same work release facility in April 2014, and he was missing for four months before being found.
Kendricks is serving a five-year prison sentence for grabbing a woman and pointing a gun at her in 2013.
Two Iowa Men Arrested In Boston For Making Threats At Convention
BOSTON (AP) - Two Iowa men suspected of making violent social media threats to people attending the Pokemon World Championships in Boston have been arrested on gun charges.
Boston police said Sunday that convention security reported the threats on Thursday and the suspects were stopped as they were about to enter the event hours later.
Police said they released the men, but seized their car after learning they might have guns inside.
Police said a warranted search of the car Friday found a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 rifle, several hundred rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife. Police said 18-year-old Kevin Norton, of Ames, and 27-year-old James Stumbo, of Boone, were arrested at their hotel in Saugus, north of Boston.
They are being arraigned on firearms charges Monday. It's not immediately known if they have attorneys.