Thursday News, December 12
Gehlen Dance Team Places High In State Dance Contest
(Le Mars) -- Gehlen Catholic’s Dance Team earned a pair of high ratings from the judges at the Iowa State Dance Team Association Championships, conducted last week at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The Gehlen Catholic Dance Team received in Class I 3rd place in Kick and 2nd place in Hip Hop. Once again this year, the Gehlen Catholic Dance Team received an Academic Award of Excellence for their GPA average of 3.00 to 3.49.
Gehlen Catholic Dance Team Moderator, Nicki Rydell, said, “I have a great group of girls. I could not be more proud of them, as well as all of the hours they have put into practice and achieving the same goal.” Gehlen Catholic dancers include Seniors: Jordn Nilles, and Tiffany Gengler; Juniors: Josie Schipper, Maggie DeRocher and Trisha Langel. Sophomore: Josie Galles, and Freshmen: Breanna Richardson and Madison Schroeder.
Attorney Discrimination Lawsuit Continues
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Department of Justice legal counsel says she consulted regularly with a U.S. attorney about disciplinary problems involving a former prosecutor who is now alleging she was the victim of discrimination.
Kimya Jones, an assistant general counsel at the General Counsel's Office, testified Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City. Jones says she consulted regularly with then-U.S. Attorney Stephanie Rose and Teresa Baumann, who was first assistant U.S. attorney, about prosecutor Martha Fagg.
Rose is now a federal judge.
After increasing discipline and a forced move from Sioux City to Cedar Rapids, Fagg was fired.
Fagg alleges Rose discriminated against her because of her mental and physical conditions. She also alleges Rose discriminated against older employees.
The trial is expected to conclude Thursday.
Attorney General Wants FDA To Reconsider Painkiller Approval
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is one of 28 state chief legal officers to warn the Food and Drug Administration that a new, powerful painkiller approved in October is going to result in more prescription drug abuse.
The new medication called Zohydro is a narcotic painkiller that will come in doses five to 10 times more powerful than traditional hydrocodone products such as Vicodin.
Miller and the other attorneys general say it doesn't make sense that the FDA would approve such a potent narcotic without requiring it to be made in a form that discourages abuse.
They say it could be formulated in a gel-like consistency that would discourage abusers from chewing the pills or crushing them for snorting or injecting.
The medication is expected to be available next year.
Health Centers To Receive Grants
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than a dozen community health centers in Iowa will get nearly $800,000 in federal funding to expand efforts to enroll residents in health insurance.
Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin announced the funding Wednesday. The dollars come from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and will be distributed among 14 health centers across the state.
Harkin says the funding will boost efforts by the centers to enroll uninsured Iowa residents in health insurance options available under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The centers are expected to hire additional workers to help with the enrollment push, as well as expand hours.
Records Shows Juvenile Home Isolated Children
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State records show the Iowa Juvenile Home continued to keep children in isolation cells for extended periods despite concerns raised by advocacy groups and several investigations.
Youths at the Toledo, Iowa facility spent a total of 365 hours in seclusion in October. That's more than four times the 80 hours logged in September.
Disability Rights Iowa, which first investigated the home's practices a year ago, says it visited the facility in October and found a youth had been in seclusion for 111 hours.
Amy Lorentzen McCoy, spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Human Services, declined to comment Wednesday.
Governor Terry Branstad announced Monday that state officials will close the facility by January, transfer the children and lay off the staff.