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Tuesday News, September 24

Plymouth County Board Of Supervisors Take The Week Off

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will not meet this morning.  The next meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday at the Courthouse Board Room.

Sanborn Man Sentenced To Five More Years For Possessing A Controlled Substance

(Orange City) -- A Sanborn man has been sentenced to five additional years for possessing a controlled substance while confined in a residential treatment facility at Sheldon.  22 year old Zachery Buckwald was found guilty for the crime of Prisoner Possessing a Controlled Substance While Confined, a Class D Felony.  On May 6, 2013, RTF staff searched Buckwald’s room at the RTF facility and discovered a pill hidden in a ball cap under the brim of the cap. Officers determined the pill was clonazepam, a controlled substance, which substance is only available by prescription. Buckwald did not have a prescription. Clonazepam is a commonly abused prescription drug and is often traded or sold by drug users.


Akron Fire Department Responds To Pole Barn Fire

(Akron) -- The Akron Fire Department responded to a pole barn that had caught fire.  The alarm was sounded at about 1:20 p.m. at 18592  235th Street.  Fire officials were on the scene for more than an hour.  No report as to the damage caused, or the cause and origin.

Plymouth Energy CEO Says Keep Renewable Fuel Standard

(Merrill) -- Plymouth Energy’s Eamonn Bryne, CEO, of the Merrill-based ethanol plant, is among the latest renewable energy spokespersons to call for the continued support of the Renewable fuel Standard and continue to “get the facts out” on the benefits of ethanol.

The Merrill operation  which this past year produced some 50 million gallons of ethanol and an additional 160,000 tons of ethanol co-products is part of Iowa’s 41 refineries in the state’s renewable fuels network.  Annual production capability  at these plants is 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol according to figures available through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA).

Further indication of Iowa’s ethanol leadership Byrne said is evidenced by the IRFA’s recent statewide launch of a new E15 promotion program with the blend now available at eight Iowa locations with pending registration for several additional outlets.

Bryne says the moves to repeal RFS, as evidenced this week by the efforts of the American Petroleum Institute (API) in Congressional meetings must be stopped,” he continued. “Repealing the standards as the API is demanding would be detrimental to the ethanol industry,”

The Merrill-based ethanol leader says “There’s no longer any subsidy given to the renewable fuel industry. The one thing we have is the RFS, and it’s in place and working. Byrne recently returned from his own Washington visit and conference with Congressional leaders.  Bryne informed Congressional leaders its imperative ethanol leaders not let down their guard with explaining all that the industry offers to consumers as well as agriculture.

Bryne says "at the end of the day, the ethanol industry has created 400,000 jobs in what is now a $40 billion industry. The ethanol industry currently supplys 10 percent of the nation’s fuel,” he said. “It’s a fuel good for the environment, good for families because it puts money in their pocket books and on-the-farm crop production.  I think rational, level-headed people understand this."


Woodbury County Settles Law Suit Against Deputies

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Woodbury County has settled a lawsuit that accused two sheriff's deputies of excessive force and false arrest.
The county has paid $280,000 to settle the lawsuit filed by nine people after an incident on Oct. 5, 2008, in Sloan.
Final lawsuit dismissal papers were filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City.
In September 2010 the lawsuit was filed against deputies James McCrystal, Todd Trobaugh and Woodbury County. The plaintiffs said they were attending a benefit party in Sloan when McCrystal and Trobaugh responded to a disturbance call. McCrystal was accused of using excessive force while arresting one of the nine.
The suit says the deputies filed charges and made false statements against the other eight plaintiffs to cover up McCrystal's actions.

Destroyed Mailboxes

SHELDON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating the vandalism of more than two dozen mailboxes in northwest Iowa.
The Sioux County Sheriff's Office says 26 mailboxes were smashed or ripped from their posts near Sheldon between Friday and Saturday.
Many of the mailboxes were hit with a blunt item. Others were pushed over or thrown in the roadway.
Authorities say no arrests have been made. Similar incidents have been reported in Lyon and O'Brien counties.


Grocery Stores To Help With Bullying Summit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Hundreds of grocery stores in Iowa have promised to help raise money next month to fund an anti-bullying campaign promoted by Gov. Terry Branstad.
The president of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association says 260 stores will ask customers to donate $1 to help prevent bullying in schools and elsewhere.
Michelle Hurd appeared with Branstad as his weekly news conference Monday and says large chain stores including Hy-Vee, Dahls, and Fareway will begin taking donations Oct. 1 as well as smaller independent stores.
Branstad says the goal is to raise enough money to cover most of the $90,000 cost of the Governor's Bullying Prevention Summit scheduled for Nov. 4 in Des Moines.
Branstad says any leftover funds will help set up a bullying prevention education fund for Iowa schools.


State Republicans Schedule Convention

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Republican State Central Committee has voted to hold its state convention in June, a month earlier than previously scheduled.
The committee voted Monday to hold the convention June 14 after initially voting to hold the event in July.
The decision to change the date came after complaints that a July convention could delay the selection of a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, giving an edge to the Democrats. A number of Republicans are seeking the GOP Senate nomination while Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley has no competition for his party's nomination.
The committee also agreed to hold the 2014 caucuses on Jan. 21, the same date the Democrats have agreed to.


Civil Rights Groups Sue Secretary Of State

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two civil rights groups will proceed with their lawsuit challenging Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz's authority to pass emergency voting rules months prior to an election.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa are suing Schultz claiming he violated the law in using emergency rulemaking procedures to pass new rules in July 2012, a few months before the November General Election. The groups say he lacked legal authority to make the emergency rules and that the rules chilled the exercise of the right to vote.
Schultz had asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit but Judge Scott Rosenberg in documents filed Saturday denied the motion saying the lawsuit may move forward.


Biden To Campaign For Mowrer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden is planning a fundraiser for Iowa congressional candidate Jim Mowrer.
The White House says Biden will attend the private event Tuesday at a home in Washington.
Biden has been raising money for Democratic committees, but it's rare for him to hold fundraisers for individual House candidates.
This isn't Biden's first event benefiting Iowa Democrats. He traveled to Iowa last week for a major annual fundraiser that frequently attracts potential presidential candidates.
Iowa's caucuses kick off the presidential primary season every four years. Biden hasn't ruled out a third run for president in 2016.

Branstad Organizing Campaign But Yet To Announce

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - He has a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and he is inviting supporters to a campaign office opening this weekend, but Gov. Terry Branstad still isn't officially running for re-election.
He says he and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will wait until next year to announce whether they're running for sure.
Branstad says he's focused on his job as governor and he has a lot of things to
At his weekly news conference, Branstad says he has a good team of people committed to putting the groundwork in place in the event he decides "to blow the whistle in 2014 and go forward."
That team is kicking into high gear with a grand opening of a campaign headquarters on Saturday in Urbandale.


Monday Afternoon News, September 23

Iowa Red Cross Volunteers Assist With Colorado Flooding

DES MOINES, IA, – Volunteers from across Iowa continue to assist the recent victims of
devastating flooding in Colorado. Since last Monday, 21 Red Cross disaster workers from Iowa have deployed to Colorado. All are expected to spend up to two weeks providing food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort as people across Colorado begin to clean up and recover.  Here’s a breakdown of where the volunteers are based: 10 live in central Iowa (Des Moines metro, Marshalltown, Ottumwa); five live in northwest Iowa (Sioux City, Spencer) and six live in eastern Iowa (Cedar Rapids, Waterloo.)
More than 850 Red Cross volunteers are deployed to the region where they have served more than 33,000 meals, handed out more than 46,000 relief items and provided as many as 4,700 health and mental health services. Sunday night, more than 200 people stayed in seven Red Cross shelters across Colorado.  As people begin to return home, the Red Cross is distributing personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, lanterns, tents, sleeping bags, rakes, tarps, shovels, flashlights, gloves, coolers and insect repellant at Disaster Assistance Centers and from the 24 response trucks traveling throughout the
affected area. Access to some communities remains challenging, but as areas begin to
re-open, the Red Cross will be there to support a recovery effort that will take weeks and months.


Fatal Detainment

NORTHWOOD, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in northern Iowa are investigating the death of a man who was being detained on suspicion of beating a woman.
The Worth County Sheriff's Department responded to a report Sunday night of a possible domestic assault at a home in Northwood. A deputy says he entered and saw a man severely beating a woman.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says additional deputies arrived to subdue the man. While the man was handcuffed, he became unresponsive. He was later pronounced dead.
The woman was airlifted to a hospital in Minnesota for stab wounds and blunt force injuries.
The Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office is conducting an autopsy. The names of the man and woman have not been released. Authorities say they may have been involved in a personal relationship.


Pharmacy Robbery

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say they've detained two people in connection with a robbery at a Des Moines pharmacy.
Des Moines police says the robbery happened Monday morning at Medicap Pharmacy after a man passed a note demanding drugs from a pharmacy worker. Police say the man left with several bottles of Oxycontin.
Officers later stopped an SUV after a witness reported a suspicious car and its license plate. Two people were taken into custody and are being interrogated.
Detectives say charges are pending. The names of the suspects have not been released.


Kosher Packing House Court Case

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge says defense lawyers working for imprisoned former kosher slaughterhouse manager Sholom Rubashkin violated a court rule by contacting jurors who convicted him of bank fraud in 2009.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade ruled Monday that Des Moines attorney Guy Cook and Kansas City attorney James Wyrsch violated a rule that bars attorneys and their investigators from contacting jurors without court permission.
Reade says she will decide how to punish them at a future hearing.
Reade called Monday's hearing after jurors reported being contacted by private investigators working for Rubashkin as he prepares an appeal of his 27-year prison term.
In one case, Rubashkin's daughter made an emotional appeal at a juror's home.
An inquiry into the contacts revealed Cook's law firm also contacted jurors in December 2009.

Demolition Begins With University of Iowa Building

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Crews have begun tearing down a flood-damaged historic building at the University of Iowa.
KCRG-TV reports (http://bit.ly/18lbBya ) the demolition of Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City began Monday morning with a wrecking ball striking the building. Officials say the demolition will be completed by the end of the year.
The Hancher Auditorium originally opened in 1972 as part of the Hancher-Voxman-Clapp complex. It was damaged during flooding in 2008.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is helping replace the building with a nearby structure that's scheduled to open in 2015. The site of the old Hancher building will become green space.

Iowa Woman Found Guilty Of Young Girl's Death

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A Cedar Rapids woman has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of her ex-boyfriend's young daughter.
Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports (http://bit.ly/1fcigjK ) a Linn County jury returned the verdict Monday for Amy Parmer, who was also found guilty of child endangerment resulting in death.
Parmer was accused of causing the March 2010 death of 17-month-old Kamryn Schlitter. Investigators say the little girl suffered head injuries and had bruising on her neck, chin, underarms and chest.
Parmer's former boyfriend and Kamryn's father, Zyriah Schlitter, was convicted in the case last year. He was sentenced in February to 50 years in prison.


76 Year Old Man Convicted Of Child Porn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A 76-year-old Iowa man has been convicted of enticing boys into sexual behavior so he could create child pornography.
A federal jury in Cedar Rapids also found Benton Stong guilty of four counts of possessing child pornography. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says (http://bit.ly/15lAo18 ) Stong was convicted last week, after a day of testimony and arguments.
Prosecutors say that in June and July last year, four boys, ages 10 through 12, spent time and stayed overnight at Stong's apartment in Oran, where he ran a computer repair business.
Fayette County sheriff's deputies searched Stong's home at the behest of some of the boys' parents. The deputies found child pornography, including videos of the boys.
State charges in the case were dismissed this past June when Stong was indicted in federal court.




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