Wednesday Afternoon News, July 8
Casey Named Chamber's July "Employee Of The Month"
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce recognized its latest recipient of the "Employee of the Month" award during last evening's After 5 event held at Cork-It. Katie Casey was presented the plaque for being named the July Employee of the Month. Katie Casey was nominated by her employer, Kathy Schwader. Schwader says of Casey: "Tough, kind, unfiltered, understanding, loyal, opinionated, intelligent, fine sense of humor and these are just the beginning. Katie walked into my life in 2009. I didn't remember her until 2012 and then it was a blast of fresh air. She has been at my side at Cork-It for the last several years and I don't worry when she is in control.
Katie can figure it out. She is more than an Employee, she is a Cork-It Person. Her great passion for beer has made this store a Point of Destination in Northwest Iowa. She has sat with Jake Leininkugel in Wisconsin to find out why we don't have Big Eddy beer. Well we will now. Thanks Katie!!
We all here at the store love you". Our congratulations go to Katie Casey for being named the July "Employee of the Month."
Judge Rules Illegal Immigrant Can't Serve Shorter Probation
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge has ruled that a man brought to the U.S. illegally as a child can't serve a shorter probation term for a misdemeanor conviction to allow him to be admitted to the New York bar.
Cesar Vargas, a native of Mexico, is trying to become one of the first immigrants illegally living in the U.S. to practice law.
But he was convicted of trespassing and sentenced to a year of probation after disrupting a speech by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during an event in January in Des Moines, Iowa.
An Iowa judge on Wednesday denied Vargas' request to end his probation early even though he's completed all requirements. That could delay his chance becoming a lawyer because New York generally doesn't grant law licenses to people on probation.
State Senator Rob Hogg Exploring Possibility To Run For U-S Senate
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democratic lawmaker Rob Hogg says he is forming an exploratory committee for a possible 2016 U.S. Senate bid.
The 48-year-old state senator from Cedar Rapids announced his plans Wednesday. The seat is currently held by popular Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican who has served in the Senate since 1981.
Hogg says he will start meeting with voters and raising money. He says he'll be talking about climate change, economic growth and reforming the campaign system. He has not set a timeline to make a decision.
Hogg, who works as an attorney, is currently serving his third term in the Iowa Senate, where he is chairman of the Government Oversight Committee. He previously served in the Iowa House. He authored a book about climate change that was released in 2013.
Sioux City Man Pleas Not Guilty To Stabbing Girl Friend
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A September trial has been scheduled for a 35-year-old Sioux City man accused of fatally stabbing a woman in her Sioux City apartment.
The Sioux City Journal reports that Isack Abdinur filed a written plea of not guilty Tuesday in Woodbury County District Court. His trial is set to begin Sept. 15.
Abdinur is charged with killing 43-year-old Cornelia Stead as he punched and stabbed her on June 23. Police say five children who belong to Stead's niece were in the apartment when Stead was stabbed but were not injured.
Police have said Stead and Abdinur were in a romantic relationship.
Judge Refuses To Dismiss Jury Based On Lack Of Diversity
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa judge who agreed to dismiss a jury pool earlier this year because of a lack of racial diversity has declined to do so the second time around.
Tyrone Washington Jr. is charged with murder in the 2013 stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend, Justina Smith, in Northwood.
District Judge Colleen Weiland had granted the defense's motion in May to dismiss a jury pool after all but one of the prospective jurors were white. Washington is black. His defense attorney argued the lack of diversity hurt his chances of a fair trial.
The Globe Gazette reports that three blacks were among the more than 200 prospective jurors who showed up in court on Tuesday. The judge declined the defense's request to strike the jury pool a second time.
Emerald Ash Borer Found In Lee County
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say an invasive insect that kills ash trees has been confirmed in the southeast Iowa's Lee County, bringing the state total to 26 counties.
A news release from the Iowa Agriculture Department said Wednesday that the emerald ash borers were confirmed in Fort Madison.
The larva of an emerald ash borer cuts off an ash tree's flow of nutrients when deposited below the bark. Once infected, trees typically die within five years.
The insects are native to Asia and were first spotted in the U.S. in 2002, when they showed up in the Detroit area. They devastated ash trees in Michigan and have spread to at least 21 other states.