Wednesday Afternoon News, April 8
Yockey Honored As Chamber Emploee Of The Month
(Le Mars) -- During this morning's Chamber coffee event held at the American Bank, Chamber officials presented Sharon Yockey the "Chamber Employee of the Month". Yockey has been an employee with American Bank for 12 years and carries a wealth of knowledge that she shares on a daily basis with the entire bank. In the nomination of Yockey as submitted by Cassie Madsen, Jenny Kayser, and the operations staff of American Bank, they write, Sharon Yockey serves as the teller supervisor at American Bank. Sharon's amazing customer service has made her a major asset to the bank. Many customers have come to recognize and appreciate her friendly personality and know that she will get their business taken care of without fault. It is this same personality and attitude that her co-workers look to for support and answers on a daily basis. Sharon has stepped up to be a great leader and role model for her department, demonstrating the importance of going above and beyond within the workplace. It is this example that she leads by that raises the expectations for the entire bank. Congratulations go to Sharon Yockey for being named this month's Chamber "Employee of the Month".
Property Owners Notice Higher Assessment Values
(Le Mars) -- Property owners of Plymouth County perhaps have noticed recently that their assessed value for their homes have increased. Plymouth County Assessor, Bob Heyderhoff says the rate has increased between five and ten percent across the county.
Heyderhoff says each home in Le Mars, and the rural areas have increased by ten percent, but those homes in Remsen, Kingsley, and Akron increased in assessed value by only five percent. Does having a higher assessed value mean taxpayers can expect to pay higher taxes for their property?
Heyderhoff says the county re-evaluates the value of each property every two years. He says home owners could probably sell their home at a higher price because of the higher assessed value. The Plymouth County Assessor says the county decided to conduct the assessment themselves, which probably saved the county some money, and prevented an entire across the board assessment.
Governor's Brother Entitled To Recover Attorney Fees
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals says Gov. Terry Branstad's brother is entitled to attorneys' fees for successfully challenging the state's calculation of how many fish were killed by pollution from his cattle-farming operation.
Overturning a lower court, the court ruled 3-0 Wednesday that Monroe Branstad is the prevailing party in his battle with the Department of Natural Resources.
Branstad, of Forest City, has acknowledged that sweet-corn silage leached unintentionally discharged from a containment basin on his farm into the Winnebago River in 2008.
The DNR estimated 31,000 fish were killed, and ordered Branstad to pay $62,000 in damages. But a judge later ruled the DNR improperly calculated the fish kill estimate, and damages were reduced to $5,300.
Wednesday's decision means Branstad can be awarded up to $70,000 for attorneys' fees.
Des Moines Man Hit By Train
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a man was taken to a hospital after he was hit by a train in Des Moines.
Medics and other rescue workers were sent to the scene around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
It's unclear why the man was near the tracks when he was struck by the southbound train. His name hasn't been disclosed.
People March For Medical Marijuana
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Advocates seeking expanded access to medical marijuana in Iowa held a march at the state Capitol.
More than 50 supporters of a proposal to expand the use of medical marijuana participated Tuesday. They support legislation that has won committee-level approval in the state Senate and could soon come up for a floor vote.
The legislation would make medical marijuana available to people with certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Those approved by a doctor could purchase marijuana products produced in Iowa and sold at state-licensed dispensaries.
Last year, the Legislature approved a law allowing some residents with epilepsy to use oil with an ingredient derived from marijuana for treatment. But the law did not establish an in-state program for the production and distribution of the oil.
More Trains To Carry Crude Oil
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The number of trains carrying at least a million gallons of volatile crude oil across Nebraska and Iowa has increased significantly this spring.
BNSF railroad has told emergency management officials in both states that it's now hauling 20 to 30 trains loaded with oil from North Dakota's Bakken region through the area each week on average.
That's up significantly from last summer when federal regulators began requiring railroads to notify state officials about trains carrying at least 1 million gallons of oil.
Railroad shipments of crude oil are facing additional scrutiny and tougher regulations because there have been several fiery derailments involving the commodity in recent years. The worst one happened in July 2013 and killed 47 people in a small Canadian city just across the U.S.-Canada border from Maine.
Shooting Occurs Near Drake University
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - One man has been injured in a shooting near Drake University in Des Moines.
The Des Moines Police Department responded to a report of a shooting around 3:40 p.m. Tuesday near 30th and Clark streets, on the northwest corner of Drake University.
A 25-year-old man was taken to Methodist Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his leg and rear. His name and condition haven't been released.
Authorities say they're looking for a gold Honda car in connection with the case. No arrests have been made at this time.
House Approves Gun Legislation
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The House has passed legislation that would make sweeping changes to Iowa's gun laws, a vote that drew criticism from some lawmakers.
The House voted 73-25 Wednesday for the bill, which would allow children younger than 14 to use a handgun under a parent's supervision.
The House voted for the changes through another bill earlier in the session, but the Senate failed to take it up for a vote.
The bill Wednesday adds back many of the proposed changes through a separate, more limited gun bill. A provision that would have taken away a de factor three-day waiting period on a permit to acquire a handgun was removed.
Rep. Matt Windschitl says the legislation respects the Second Amendment rights of Iowa residents. Some lawmakers criticized the age limit removal.