Monday Afternoon News, May 11
City Crews Busy Picking Up Downed Tree Limbs
(Le Mars) -- City crews have been busy Monday picking up tree limbs and branches that fell as a result of the strong winds from Sunday afternoon. Scott Kneip, city public works director, explains the schedule.
Kneip says if the tree fell on the parking area, it is the city's responsibility to remove.
The Public Works Official says if a tree is resting on the lawn between the sidewalk and the home, then it becomes the responsibility of the homeowner to remove and dispose. Kneip says he knows of four large trees, mainly located in the southeast area of town, that had toppled due to the strong winds. Kneip reminds Le Mars residents the tree, limb, branch, and leaves disposal site located on the west side of town is open Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Kneip says if residents are able to place their large tree limbs that fell during Sunday's winds, alongside the curb, then the city will assist with the disposal. City crews will travel the streets Tuesday morning finishing up on the removal of downed trees.
Assessment Crews Study Damage After Lake City Tornado
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Assessment crews have been dispatched to gage the damage caused by a tornado that tore through a central Iowa town, uprooting trees, ripping apart the roof of the local high school and leaving shreds of pink insulation strewn throughout the streets.
The Des Moines office of the National Weather Service says a survey team arrived Monday morning in Lake City to determine the extent of damage in the area.
Stephen O'Connor with Calhoun County Emergency Management says about half of the roof of South Central Calhoun High School was ripped from the building when the twister hit. He says about 100 people were inside the high school at the time, but nobody was hurt when it ravaged the structure.
Historic Home Tour Attracts 150 People
(Le Mars) -- Nearly 150 people participated on the Historic Tour of Homes that was held on Saturday. Le Mars Historic Commission Director, Linda Mayrose says the attendance was at the same from previous years. She says people took advantage of the good weather, and enjoyed viewing the four homes.
Two People Arrested On Drug Charges Following Traffic Stop
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County authorities made two drug-related arrests following a traffic stop on Saturday evening. A Plymouth County deputy stopped a vehicle on the south end of Merrill on Highway 75 for a traffic violation. As a result of the stop, 32 year old Corbin Tyndall of South Sioux City, Nebraska and 31 year old Adrienne Godfrey of Sioux City were arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia. Tyndall was also arrested for Operating a vehicle while drugged, and for not having a valid driver's license.
29 Year Old Woman Arrested For Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia
(Le Mars) -- In a separate incident, Plymouth County authorities arrested 29 year old Amanda Hiatt of Sioux City for possession of drug paraphernalia. Hiatt was arrested shortly after midnight Sunday going into Monday. She, too, was stopped on Highway 75 near Merrill.
Court Clerks To Be Given New Job Title
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - More than 725 court clerks who work at courthouses in Iowa's 99 counties are getting new job descriptions and titles.
Their duties are being updated to reflect changes in the way Iowa courts do business, especially the adoption of a paperless system that requires litigants to file their own court documents electronically.
The clerks' new title will be judicial specialists. Their new job descriptions show they may be expected to have a bigger role assisting judges with courtroom operations.
One goal of the changes is to increase service and efficiency in a system that sees 75,000 cases filed every year.
State court system spokesman Steve Davis says even with the revised job descriptions, trial courts will continue to be understaffed. He says the changes won't lead to job cuts.
Ernst To Host Republican "Roast And Ride"
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Sen. Joni Ernst is going to treat Republican presidential hopefuls to a pig roast and a motorcycle ride.
The freshman senator's political action committee on Monday announced details for a fundraiser they are calling the "Roast and Ride." The event will be held on June 6.
The confirmed attendees are Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former executive Carly Fiorina.
Ernst will lead a motorcycle ride from Des Moines to the event site in Boone for those who wish to participate. Tickets to the fundraiser are $30 for adults and $12 for children.
Ernst says she hopes to hear "fresh ideas and vision" from the candidates.
Former Juvenile Home Staff Member Must Pay Fine For Abuse
TAMA, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa Juvenile Home employee who state officials say was caught on video mistreating a teenage girl must pay a $315 fine and serve a year of self-supervised probation, after which his record will be cleared.
48-year-old Robert McFatridge was convicted Monday of assault causing bodily injury after he entered an Alford plea. He was charged following a November 2012 incident at the now-closed juvenile home in Toledo.
In an Alford plea, a person doesn't admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a likely conviction.
Security cameras allegedly captured McFatridge dragging a female resident, placing her in an isolation cell and later slamming her forehead against a cement wall.
McFatridge declined to comment following his plea and sentencing Monday.
Oskaloosa Downtown Buildings Destroyed By Fire
OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say the cause of an overnight fire in Oskaloosa is considered suspicious after a man with burns on his hands reported the blaze to police.
Fire officials responded around 2 a.m. Monday to the report of flames engulfing an Oskaloosa sporting goods store. The fire was contained by 7 a.m.
Oskaloosa Fire Chief Mark Neff says no charges have been filed in the case, though the cause of the blaze is considered suspicious. He says the man who entered the police station to report the fire is being questioned.
The man was taken to an area hospital for treatment of his burns.
Branstad Promotes Annual Iowa Preservation Summit
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is promoting an annual summit that will focus on preservation efforts around Iowa.
Branstad told reporters Monday that the Preserve Iowa Summit, now in its third year, will include sessions on best practices for community leaders to save historic buildings in the state. The event is scheduled June 25-27 and will be held in Winterset, where the community helps promote a John Wayne museum and Madison County's famous covered bridges.
The summit is being coordinated through state and local officials. It is open to the public through registration.