Monday Afternoon News, June 8
City Officials Will Pick Up Tree Limbs On Tuesday
(Le Mars) -- The City of Le Mars will be picking up branches tomorrow (Tuesday) starting at 7:00 A.M. and covering the town one time, all branches must be placed along curb for pickup. The tree and grass site will also be open today from 10:00 A.M to 4:00 P.M.
Branstad Undecided If He Will Sign Budget Bills
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is not saying whether he will sign off on the $7.3 billion spending plan approved by the Legislature last week.
Branstad said Monday he needs to review all the budget bills backed by the Republican-led House and Democratic-controlled Senate. He declined to say how he will act on the compromise plan, which includes $7.17 billion in ongoing spending, as well as $135 million in one-time expenditures.
Branstad criticized lawmakers for failing to approve K-12 education funding for the 2016-2017 school year before they adjourned but did not say if he would try to call lawmakers back in a special session to resolve the issue. He also would not commit to a compromise plan struck to keep open two mental health institutions slated for closure.
Northey Says He Hopes Bird Flu Cases Will Stop
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials are optimistic after the growth of bird flu cases in the state slowed last week.
Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says he's hopeful the disease has been contained in the state.
But officials are still working to dispose of millions of chickens and turkeys that were killed to limit the spread of the disease. Northey estimates that will take several weeks, if not months to complete.
It's important that poultry and egg producers remain vigilant about biosecurity measures at their farms. It's possible that migratory birds could bring another round of disease outbreaks this fall when they pass through the region again.
Northey talks about how devastating the bird flu will be on the local and state's economy, having a rippling effect.
Man Arrested In Minneapolis For Emmet County Shooting
ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have arrested a man in Minneapolis in the shooting death of another man in northern Iowa.
The Emmet County Sheriff's Department announced Monday that police arrested 18-year-old Lee Samuel Christensen in Minneapolis and charged him with first-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Thomas Bortvit. Both men are from Estherville, Iowa.
The sheriff's office says officers found Bortvit's body in a rural area of Emmet County late Sunday afternoon.
Later Sunday, Christensen was arrested in Minneapolis and accused of using a firearm to kill Bortvit on Saturday.
Christensen is being held in the Hennepin County Jail, and authorities plan to return him to Iowa to face charges.
Online court records weren't available to indicate whether Christensen has an attorney who could comment on his arrest.
Fake Actor Faces Charges
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) - A San Diego man accused of posing as an actor from the "Twilight" movies has been given 10 years in an Iowa prison for sexual abuse.
34-year-old David LaVera was sentenced Monday in Newton.
Authorities say that while LaVera was in Jasper County last spring, he posed as "Twilight" actor Kiowa Gordon and visited two Newton schools. Prosecutors say LaVera inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl and lured her into his vehicle.
The newspaper also reports that a federal judge on Friday rejected a plea deal LaVera made with U.S. prosecutors, saying the punishment wasn't severe enough.
In March LaVera pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges. The plea deal called for more than five years in prison, plus 10 years of supervised release.
Man Finds Class Ring 50 Years After It Was Lost
THORNTON, Iowa (AP) - A man has found and returned a class ring lost in Mason City nearly 50 years ago.
It was found by Tom Teeter, of Mason City, with his metal detector last month in a field near Hoover Elementary School.
Terry Long told the Mason City Globe Gazette (http://bit.ly/1RXX1Ch ) that he'd given it to his girlfriend to hold while he was coaching at a Little League game in 1967. She'd placed it on a blanket on the ground and forgot it was there when they went to a car to leave. He remembered, though, and they went back to check. No luck.
His luck changed when Teeter found the ring and called. Teeter had tracked Long using his initials and the Meservey-Thornton High School initials on the ring.