Saturday News, October 20
Paul Ryan To Visit Northwest Iowa
(Le Mars) -- Wisconsin Congressman and Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan is scheduled to make an appearance in Sioux City on Sunday, and possibly a visit to Le Mars. Republican officials are still trying to work out the specific details, but we do know that Ryan is scheduled to appear at the Radius Steel Fabrication, although the time has not yet been announced. Ryan has appeared in eastern and central Iowa, but this would be his first visit to western Iowa. Mitt Romney did appear at an Orange City rally in September.
Sheriff's Department Investigates Suspicious House Fire
(Le Mars) -- You may recall yesterday when KLEM news reported that the Hinton Fire Department responded to a fire at an abandon house located at 23019 Glacier Road in southern Plymouth County. Both the Merrill and the Sioux City fire departments assisted Hinton with that fire. Now the Plymouth County Sheriff's office is involved in the investigation and are calling the origin of the fire as suspicious. The structure was an abandoned house and is listed as a total loss. The fire has been deemed as suspicious with no known cause at this time. Anyone with information on this fire or who may have seen a small red passenger car in the area around 1130 AM on October 18th, is asked to call the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office at 712-546-8191.
Ex-Employee Charged With Theft From Welding Shop
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman has appeared in court in Nebraska on 20 felony counts of theft for allegedly taking money from her former employer.
The Sioux City Journal reports 35-year-old Rebecca Bottjen of Osage has appeared in Dakota County Court.
Court documents accuse Bottjen of stealing just over $67,000 from her former employer, New Ideas Fabrication, a Dakota City, Nebraska welding shop.
Sheriff's Investigator D.W. Johnson says in court documents that Bottjen, the company's bookkeeper, wrote checks to herself and transferred money out of the company's accounts without
authorization from October 2010 to February.
Bottjen's next court appearance is November 15th. Online court records indicate an attorney has not yet been assigned to her case.
Jill Biden Pushes Education at North Iowa Campaign Stop
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, spoke about advances in education, women's rights and veterans benefits during a Mason City event.
The Globe Gazette reports Biden spoke Friday to about 100 people at Democratic Party headquarters in Mason City. She also spoke in Charles City.
In praising President Barack Obama, Biden noted the administration had increased Pell grant funding and put greater emphasis on community colleges.
She also questioned whether the election of Republican Mitt Romney would lead to Supreme Court appointments that would endanger abortion rights.
Biden told the audience, "We don't want our daughters and granddaughters to fight the battles we had to fight."
Biden's visited Iowa two days after Obama spoke in Mount Vernon. Romney's last Iowa visit was October 9th.
Former Teacher Charged With Having Sex With Students
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 24-year-old female high school teacher in rural Iowa has been charged with having inappropriate sexual relationships with four male students during last school year.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation announced Friday that former Aplington-Parkersburg High School math teacher Ashley Anderson is charged with four counts of sexual exploitation by a
Anderson turned herself into authorities Friday and was released from the Butler County jail after posting bond.
A complaint says that Anderson engaged in sexual misconduct with students aged 16 to 18 between fall 2011 and last spring. The complaint says she sent students nude photographs of herself and had intercourse with one student at his home.
Anderson resigned her teaching position this fall.
No phone number for Anderson could be found.
Mother Outraged Over Students Told To Spit On Her Son
SHENANDOAH, Iowa (AP) - A western Iowa mother has complained to school officials that one of her son's fourth-grade teachers told other students they could spit on him.
Alexandria Kindopp told television station KETV that another teacher at Shenandoah Elementary School told her about the incident, which her son, Jaxon, later confirmed.
Jaxon told the station he'd been doing a "raspberry" at a classmate on Monday. He says his teacher asked how he'd like it if someone did that to him. Jaxon says she gathered his classmates
around him and told him they could "spit away." Jaxon says some of them spit on his head and shoulders.
District Superintendent Jeff Hiser and school principal Tiffany Spiegel say they can't comment on the specific incident, but Hiser later acknowledged that the teacher had been suspended.
Florida Man Upset Iowa Official Gave Him Phony Marriage License
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Florida man says he's angry that an Iowa court official duped him and his same-sex partner into paying for an invalid marriage license.
In a phone interview Friday, Joab Penney told The Associated Press that Grundy County Deputy Clerk of Court Brigitte Van Nice's actions were wrong. He says the case illustrates the difficulty
facing same-sex couples who cannot get married in their states.
Van Nice was charged Wednesday with two counts of forgery and one count of perjury for allegedly filing false documents claiming she married Penney and his partner in February. Her attorney says she'll plead not guilty.
Penney says Van Nice told the couple they didn't have to come to Iowa, which isn't true. Penney discovered the fraud after contacting an attorney for a divorce.
Man Sentenced To Prison For Fire Bombing Apartment Complex
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 26-year-old man has been sentenced to 22 months in prison for his role in the fire-bombing of a Des Moines apartment complex.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says Jeremy Cardell Dennis of Des Moines was sentenced Friday for malicious use of explosive materials.
U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Longstaff also ordered Dennis to serve two years of supervised release after his prison term.
Dennis had earlier pleaded guilty to joining with Gregory Harris on January 3rd, 2011, when they threw three Molotov cocktails at the leasing office of the Deer Ridge Apartment Complex. The fires
damaged the leasing office and two nearby vehicles.
Harris pleaded earlier to arson.
Two other men also pleaded guilty to charges in the case and are awaiting sentencing.
Coe College Selects New President
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An administrator at a Pennsylvania college has been chosen as the new president at Coe College in Cedar Rapids.
The college's board of trustees on Friday voted to appoint David McInally as the 15th president of the private school, which has about 1,300 full-time students.
Coe says in a news release that McInally is now executive vice president and treasurer at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He has worked at Allegheny since 1986.
McInally will begin work at Coe on July 1st, 2013. He will replace James Phifer, who will retire next year after 18 years as the college's president.
Scarville City Clerk Pleads Guilty To Theft From City Funds
SCARVILLE, Iowa (AP) - The former city clerk of Scarville has pleaded guilty to theft and tampering with city records.
Thirty-four-year-old Jolene June Carter will be sentenced December11th in Winnebago County District Court in Forest City.
She had reached plea agreements with prosecutors.
The charges followed a special investigation by state Auditor David Vaudt, which found Carter and Scarville Mayor Michelle Hermanson had taken city money.
The 42-year-old Hermanson, who is charged with theft, felonious misconduct in office and falsifying public documents has a plea change hearing set for November 13th.
The audit said Hermanson misused thousands of dollars of grant money meant to renovate the city's basketball and tennis courts to pay her personal bills.
Carter issued 20 paychecks to herself totaling nearly $8,000.