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Tuesday News, February 17

Traffic Stop Leads To Three People Arrested

(Le Mars) -- A traffic stop led to the arrest of three individuals with charges with possession of a controlled substance.  The incident happened on Saturday when Plymouth County officials stopped a vehicle for speeding on Highway 75.  As a result of that stop, 20 year old Garrett Schoen, the driver of the vehicle was found with drug paraphernalia and an open container.  Also arrested was 20 year old Faith Niebaum of South Sioux City, Nebraska.  Niebaum agreed to be searched at the Plymouth county jail where she was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.  She was charged with introducing drugs into a correctional facility.  A third person, 24 year old Dioncio Hernandez of Le Mars was arrested when authorities spotted a small baggie of a crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine was located exactly where Hernandez was sitting in the car.  All three were arrested and taken to the Plymouth County Jail.

 

Woodbury County Authorities Investigate Police Imposter

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they're investigating a man who has been posing as a police officer and making traffic stops in western Iowa.
     The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says two traffic stops were conducted late Saturday night and early Sunday morning near Correctionville and Anthon, Iowa. No threats were made during the fake traffic stops.
     According to a news release, the vehicles were pulled over by a seemingly new Dodge Charger with red and blue lights in the dash. The release says the man driving the Dodge identified himself as a member of law enforcement. Those who were pulled over later reported the incidents to police.
     The sheriff's office says officials making traffic stops will be dressed in complete uniform and can display their credentials upon request.

 

Fire Reported At Hubbard Feed Plant

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Fire department officials in Sioux City say they're investigating what started a small fire at a feed plant. 
      Someone called authorities early Tuesday and reported seeing smoke near the Hubbard Feeds, Inc. plant in Sioux City. 
     Assistant Fire Chief Brad Robinson says crews found a small, smoldering fire had broken out in the facility's cooling tower down in the basement. 
     Robinson says the fire was extinguished and damage was confined to one cooling box of feed pellets.
     ---

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry Makes Stop In Sioux City

(Sioux City) -- Former Texas Governor Rick Perry was sounding like a presidential candiate Monday evening in Sioux City.  Perry, who is expected to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016, made it clear he plans on spending a lot of time in the Hawkeye state in the next year. 

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Perry finished fifth in the Iowa Caucuses in the last GOP Presidential race with just over 10 percent.   He regrets that he didn't spend a lot of time campaigning in the state in 2012.     

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The former governor spoke Monday evening at a town hall meeting at Morningside College in Sioux City.

 

Health Care Vendors Wanted To Help Modernize Medicaid 

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Human Services has announced an initiative seeking bids from health care vendors as the state moves to modernize its Medicaid program.
     A news release issued Monday says the so-called Iowa Quality Health Care Initiative aims to find two to four health plan providers to support Gov. Terry Branstad's Medicaid modernization efforts. Selected providers are expected to aid in the improvement of health care quality and coordination in the state's Medicaid program.
     According to the release, the initiative's objectives include establishing a more sustainable Medicaid budget and promoting outcome accountability.
     Charles Palmer, director of the Department of Human Services, says the initiative will allow Iowa to better manage its Medicaid program and ensure that Iowans are receiving the care they need when they need it.

 

Senate Democrats Introduce Bill To Allow For Production Of Medical Marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Senate Democrats say they plan to introduce legislation this session that would allow for the production and distribution of medical marijuana in Iowa.
     Sen. Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, discussed the legislation Monday after a group of residents spoke of their support to two Senate committees.
     The bill would create a program that monitors the production and distribution of medical marijuana. It's similar to legislation last session that failed to garner enough support. Bolkcom says he expects resistance this year in the Republican-controlled House.
     Gov. Terry Branstad signed a bill into law last year that allows for the use of oil derived from marijuana to treat chronic epilepsy. Critics say that legislation doesn't address legal hurdles in bringing the oil into Iowa, such as crossing state lines.

 

Senate Committee Wants To Expand Pre-school to 4 Year Olds

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Senate committee has approved a bill that would expand public preschool for 4-year-olds in Iowa.
     The Democratic-majority education committee voted 9-5 in favor of the bill. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
     The bill would provide extra funding for school districts that expand preschool programs. Democratic Sen. Herman Quirmbach, the bill's sponsor, says the funding would be offered for three years. He estimates it could cost the state more than $7 million to enroll 6,000 more students.
     Sen. Brad Zaun, a Republican from Urbandale, says he is concerned about the bill's potential costs. The committee voted along party lines.
     A similar bill failed to win full legislative approval last year.

 

Ankeny Kindergarten Teacher Caught Drinking Beer At School

 ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - A kindergarten teacher at a suburban Des Moines elementary school has been accused of drinking beer in her classroom.
     Police say 40-year-old Jennifer L. Rich, of West Des Moines, was arrested Friday at East Elementary School in Ankeny after testing positively on an initial breathalyzer test. She was charged with public intoxication and child endangerment.
     An Ankeny School District human resources representative says Rich submitted her resignation Monday.
     According to a news release, police responded to a report from a parent claiming that Rich was spotted at the school with a can of beer. Authorities say they found a bag in her classroom containing two empty cans and four full cans of beer, and that Rich's eyes were bloodshot and watery.
     Rich is not being held in police custody.

 




 

   

Monday Afternoon News, February 16

Police Imposter Stopping Traffic

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they're investigating a man who has been posing as a police officer and making traffic stops in western Iowa.
     The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says two traffic stops were conducted late Saturday night and early Sunday morning near Correctionville and Anthon, Iowa.  No threats were made during the fake traffic stops.
     According to a news release, the vehicles were pulled over by a seemingly new Dodge Charger with red and blue lights in the dash. The release says the man driving the Dodge identified himself as a member of law enforcement. Those who were pulled over later reported the incidents to police.
     The sheriff's office says officials making traffic stops will be dressed in complete uniform and can display their credentials upon request.

 

Iowa Corrections Department Being Investigated For Abusive Penalties

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A state watchdog agency says Iowa Department of Corrections officials unfairly lengthened an offender's sentence by excessively punishing him for bumping a guard.
     In a report called "Neither fair, nor impartial," the Office of Ombudsman says the case of Randy Linderman highlights systemic problems with inmate disciplinary hearings.
     The report says Linderman's punishment of 180 days in isolation and 180 days of lost earned time was harsher than allowed under department policy. Investigators say a prison judge issued the punishment after being privately pressured by the warden for a stiff sanction, and revised her decision after-the-fact when investigators noted it violated policy.
     The report says department officials gave "dubious and contradictory answers" in seeking to justify the punishment.
     Corrections officials are rejecting the report's recommendations and standing by their actions.

 

Transition Of Farmland Depicted In Play

  LYTTON, Iowa (AP) - Farmers and their families reflected on the ways the transition of farmland ownership has affected them following an Iowa play depicting such situations.
     During Sunday's performance of the play titled "Map of My Kingdom" at The Friendship Center in Lytton, Angela Martin, portrayed by Elizabeth Thompson, told the audience how her grandmother's decision to sell the farm without consulting the family affected her and how similar situations affected other families.
     Darsi Haddleson, of Lytton, says she related to the story because her husband's father sold their family farm in a similar manner.
     Theresa Opheim, executive director of the Practical Farms of Iowa, says such transitions will likely become more common since 35 percent of farmland is owned by people over 75 years old.
     ---

 

Hard Rock Casino And Hotel To Expand Outdoor Facilities

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A new downtown Sioux City casino has announced plans to convert a grass-covered outdoor spot into a hard surface that will be used for outdoor events, such as concerts, as well as more parking. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in downtown Sioux City plans new landscaping, decorative street lamps, a beer garden, an expanded restaurant patio and a barrier to control concert noise also are part of the $850,000 project awaiting city approval.

 

Branstad Says He Is Open To Working With Illinois On Medical Marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says he's open to establishing a system that would allow residents to travel to neighboring Illinois to access some form of medical marijuana.
     Illinois lawmakers passed legislation last year for a pilot program that allows companies to manufacture and distribute medical marijuana in the state. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, who took office in January, recently awarded licenses to businesses.
     Branstad on Monday mentioned a future dispensary in Rock Island in the Quad Cities that could help Iowa residents. Branstad's spokesman says the governor needs to discuss potential changes with Rauner.
     Branstad signed a law last year that allows the use of oil derived from marijuana to treat chronic epilepsy. Critics say the legislation didn't address other legal hurdles in bringing the oil into Iowa.

 

North Liberty Property Owner Loses Condemnation Hearing

  NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) - At a condemnation hearing, North Liberty has won access to land it says it needs to run a sewer line to a new high school.
     Johnson County compensation commission ruled Friday that the city must pay landowner Gary Weinman $80,000. Of that total, $70,000 is for a permanent easement for about three-quarters of an acre. Construction on the line to Liberty High School is expected to begin next month.
     A lawsuit Weinman filed against the city is pending. The lawsuit says among other things that the city didn't properly analyze how the project could affect the endangered Indiana bat and ornate box turtle. City officials have said they conducted proper analyses.

 

Waterloo Care Center Worker Given Probation

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A former Waterloo care center worker has been given probation for submitting fake bills for services.
     31-year-old Renae Minikus was granted a deferred judgment, meaning the case will be removed from her record if she successfully completes probation. She'd pleaded guilty to fraud and forgery charges.
     Officials with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals Medicaid Fraud Unit say Minikus, who had worked at the Respite Connection, had submitted false records about providing two months of care for a client.
     Respite Connection provides services for caregivers of people with brain injuries and disabilities.
 
 

 


 

   

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