Wednesday Afternoon News, November 26
Rejoice Community Church Preparing For Thanksgiving Meal
(Le Mars) -- Imagine having to cook 48 turkeys, baking 25 pumpkin pies, and serving 600 people. That's the task at hand for the 100 plus volunteers preparing the Community Thanksgiving meal to be served at the Rejoice Community Church of Le Mars on Thursday. Pastor Tony De LaRosa talks about how the idea got started.
Originally, the meal was provided for the elderly and to shut-ins, but DeLaRosa says it soon evolved to include anyone and everyone.
DeLaRosa says he is thankful for all the volunteers and area businesses that contribute in someway with the Community Thanksgiving meal.
The Community Thanksgiving meal is free to the public, and will be serving between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. with home delivery beginning at 10:30 a.m. The Rejoice Church pastor says if you are needing transportation, the church is willing to assist with those needs.
DeLaRosa says if you find yourself with nothing to do on Thanksgiving, he has some suggestions.
For additional information regarding the Community Thanksgiving meal, you can call the Rejoice Church at (712) 548-4430.
Heated Exchange Between Woodbury County Supervisors And County Officials
(Sioux City) -- There was some heated debate during the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors meeting over the county's Emergency Management Commission's failure to meet regularly. Emergency services director, Gary Brown says he was surprised by the issue being brought up as a non-agenda item at last Tuesday's supervisor meeting that he wasn't asked to attend.
Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew had previously sent an email message to supervisors saying the commission meetings were required under Iowa Code, but he had never been invited. Brown presented a letter from State Emergency Services Director Mark Schouten stating the county was in compliance with all current planning and training requirements and relevant grants. Brown says its time to divest the commission from his duties as Emergency Services Director.
Supervisor Matthew Ung, who brought up the issue last week, told Brown the issue wasn't about personalities, but about what was required under state code.
Sheriff Dave Drew defended Ung and the process about making the lack of commission meetings public.
Drew also got into an exchange with Supervisor Chairman George Boykin over the process.
At the end, the Board of Supervisors decided to wait for Brown to meet with Drew to start to put a plan in place for the commission.
Court For Mentallly Ill
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - The 4th Judicial District is planning to launch a court for nonviolent offenders with mental illnesses.
In September, Pottawattamie County was awarded a $250,000 federal grant to start the project. Officials say the purpose of the mental health court is to decrease re-arrests and divert the offenders from correctional facilities to treatment programs.
Officials hope to launch the court in late January.
For a person to be eligible for mental health court, they must not have committed a violent felony. They also must have had a mental health diagnosis in the past six months or have a history of mental illness.
A mental health court team will be formed to collect information and decide whether to admit a person. Court sessions will be held at least once a month.
Appeals Court Upholds U Of I Professor Firing
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An appeals court has upheld the firing of a University of Iowa radiology professor who engaged in harassing behavior toward colleagues.
The Iowa Court of Appeals rejected Malik Juweid's appeal Wednesday, saying University President Sally Mason and her attorney didn't have conflicts of interest.
Mason agreed in 2012 with a faculty panel that recommended terminating Juweid for violating policies on harassment, disruptive behavior and ethics. He sent hundreds of unprofessional and confrontational emails to numerous colleagues.
The Board of Regents upheld the firing last year.
Juweid appealed, arguing that Mason and assistant attorney general George Carroll had conflicts because they were fighting Juweid's whistleblower lawsuit during the disciplinary proceedings.
The court ruled 3-0 that Juweid failed to overcome "the presumption of honesty and integrity" that Mason and Carroll are entitled.
"Happy The Clown" Happy To Be Alive
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Mason City clown who was in a coma for more than a week following an August car accident is on the road to recovery.
As Happy the Clown, Anne Grady has been putting smiles on the faces of children and adults for the past 30 years. She was in a coma for 12 days after a multi-vehicle wreck on Aug. 27 near Sheffield.
Grady then moved to the IOOF Home and Community Therapy Center, where she stayed for rehabilitation for part of October.
Grady tries to maintain her positive attitude in her personal life despite the recent challenges caused by the car accident. She still visits the center twice a week for speech and physical therapy. She tells the Mason City Globe Gazette (http://bit.ly/1yg37oU ) that she's lucky to be alive.
Police Chief Resigns Post After Caught Passing Stopped School Bus
FAYETTE, Iowa (AP) - A northeast Iowa police chief who is accused of illegally passing a stopped school bus has quit his post.
Fayette Mayor Andrew Wenthe says Chief Brad Alan Gardner voluntarily resigned on Monday.
Gardner was placed on administrative leave after he was ticketed earlier this month. A bus driver for North Fayette Valley School District reported that the chief went around his bus while it was stopped and disabled students were getting off.
Wenthe told the council on Monday that Fayette County sheriff's deputies will assist the one remaining Fayette police officer. The community has about 1,300 residents.
Gardner said in his resignation letter that he was leaving to pursue other employment. Gardner joined the department on July 1, 2013.
Heroes To Be Honored During Iowa-Nebraska Football Game
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska bank president and an Iowa teenager who kept their cool and saved others will be honored during halftime of the Nebraska-Iowa "Heroes" football game on Friday.
Gene Willers is president of Midwest Bank in Pilger (PIHL'-gur), and on June 16 he saved eight people from an EF4 tornado that tore through the northeast Nebraska community. Willers put the eight inside the bank vault, but he couldn't get in because the vault couldn't be opened from the inside. He locked them in, took shelter beneath the building and survived without injury.
Eighteen-year-old Austin Benson, of Winterset, Iowa, will be honored for helping a friend who'd been thrown from a horse on the Fourth of July. Benson used his shirt in applying pressure to his friend's bleeding puncture wound.