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Saturday News, October 19

Galles Selected As "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has honored the October Employee of the Month. 
This time the honor is given to Barb Galles, an employee of Ameriprise Financial Services. 
Michael Ruhland nominated Galles for the award, saying she does a terrific job every day. 
As the only employee, Barb wears many hats and yet is able to prioritize her daily tasks and
deliver exceptional results.  Whether it is tracking business being processed at the home
office or following up on beneficiary changes, Barb continues to monitor various activities
on an ongoing basis.  And our clients really appreciate the job she does.  Often times Barb
is the individual that the clients will depend upon for follow up service issues.  Barb's
occupational responsibilities are challenging but also very rewarding.  Barb sees the fruits
of her labors being rewarded by the appreciative clients that she has helped serve for
nearly 12 years.  She greets the clients with a friendly smile and she always conveys a
positive attitude.  Our congratulations to Barb Galles for being named the October Employee
of the Month.

 

Nilles Wins Poppy Poster Contest

(Le Mars) -- Aubree Nilles, the 7th grade daughter of Lee (’94) and Angela Nilles, was
recently notified that she had the “Best Poppy Poster in Class III in the Central Division”
at the “2012-2013 National Poppy Poster Contest” held in Phoenix, AZ.  She initially created
the poster for the Le Mars American Legion Auxiliary Unit #241, where she won the local,
district, and state contests before going on to compete at the national level.
Aubree created her poster in her Gehlen Catholic 6th grade art class.  She depicted a bald
eagle head surrounded by four extra-large poppy flowers.  The poster reads “He Always
Stands, Never Falls.”  Aubree says “Since the beginning of 4th grade, she has tried to excel
in my artwork.  Aubree says she used the bald eagle in her poster design because it is a
symbol of the United States that shows strength and courage.  The poppy flower represents
freedom for me.  She says she is proud that God gave her the ability to be creative.”

 

Sioux City Man Rejects Plea Offer For Shooting Woman

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man charged with murder in the 2012 shooting death of
a woman has rejected a plea agreement that would have let him avoid a potential lifetime prison sentence.
35-year-old Fernando Jaimes-Martinez was offered a chance to plead guilty to second-degree murder and be sentenced to 50 years in prison. If he's convicted of first-degree murder, Jaimes-Martinez would face a life sentence.
Through an interpreter Friday, Jaimes-Martinez rejected the offer, telling Judge Jeffrey Poulson, "I'm not going to accept 50 years."
Jaimes-Martinez is accused of firing a gun into a crowd on Sept. 22, 2012, and killing
27-year-old Karla Gonzalez.
Besides first-degree murder, he's charged with intimidation with a dangerous weapon,
willful injury and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
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Investigation Into Robberies Leads To Arrests And Gun Siezure

(Sioux City) -- The last of nine suspects was recently sentenced in federal court in a criminal conspiracy involving weapons trafficking, robbery and drugs in Sioux City and South Sioux City.  The robberies included Seoul Foods in South Sioux and Sarge's Mini Mart in Sioux City.  U.S. Attorney Tim Duax says the suspects were prosecuted under the Hobbs Act.

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Duax says a total of 33 guns were seized in the case, which started with an investigation that led to the arrest of David Johnson.

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Around 20 grams of crack cocaine was also seized.

The suspects were sentenced from five to over thirty years in federal prison for their roles in the crimes and ordered to pay restitution to their victims.


Iowa State Patrol Receives Grant For Driving Simulators

(Le Mars) -- The Iowa State Patrol has been given a gift consisting of a computer driving
simulator.  State Farm Insurance made it possible through a grant, and according to Trooper
Vince Kurtz, the highway patrol hopes to use the simulator for education purposes.

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Kurtz says the driving simulators are more than just a computer game.

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The State Patrol trooper says the driving simulator can be adapted to any particular driving
experience and conditions.

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Kurtz says the driving simulator will be available for anyone, but it is targeted towards the beginning driver.

 

State Tourism Office Hosting Photo Contest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state tourism office is hosting a photo contest to find the
cover of the next Iowa Travel Guide.
The tourism office says people have until Sunday to upload a photo on Travel Iowa's
Facebook page. The top three photos will be selected and then the public will get to vote on
a winner.
The winning photo will be announced Nov. 12.
A similar competition last year drew 600 photo entries. Jessica Rilling, of Cedar
Rapids, took the winning image, which was featured on the 100,000 printed copies of the
guide and digitally on www.traveliowa.com. She did not receive any financial compensation
for the photo.
A recent study showed that Iowa tourism generated $345 million in state tax receipts in
2012.


Civil Rights Commission Reaches Settlement With Apartment Complex

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Civil Rights Commission says it has reached a settlement
agreement the owners and builders of a newly constructed Grimes apartment complex to make
numerous changes that will comply with handicapped accessibility requirements.
The commission says it checked Meadowlark Place Apartments, which includes four
apartment buildings with 30 apartments each to ensure it met requirements of the Iowa Civil
Rights Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act.
The inspection found 325 deficiencies including inadequate space around kitchen islands
for wheelchairs, bathroom faucets too close to the walls, doors requiring too much force to
open, and hallways within units that are too narrow.
The agreement means the property Hubbell Apartments; Hubbell Construction Services, and
Hubbell Property Management must make required improvements along with the architect Wells &
Associates.

 

Casino Tycoon Steve Wynn Donates $25 Million To University Of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Las Vegas casino tycoon Steve Wynn says he gave $25 million to the
University of Iowa after becoming convinced that its researchers were leading the world in
the search for a blindness cure.
Wynn tells The Associated Press that researchers "are knocking on the door" of a
discovery that was once unthinkable.
He spoke in an interview after the university celebrated the naming of the Stephen A.
Wynn Institute for Vision Research during a ceremony Friday afternoon.
The chairman of Wynn Resorts Ltd. says that when he learned he had a genetic defect
that would slowly compromise his vision decades ago, "there was no hope." He says he now
believes that scientists will one day be able to restore vision by using stem cells to
replace diseased cells.

 

Maquoketa Middle School Teacher Selected As "Teacher Of The Year"

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) - A Maquoketa (muh-COKE'-ih-tuh) middle school teacher is Iowa's 2014
teacher of the year.
Gov. Terry Branstad announced Friday that Jane Schmidt won the award. Schmidt, an
eighth-grade literacy and language arts teacher at Maquoketa Middle School, has worked in
education for 33 years.
Besides teaching in the classroom, Schmidt is a teacher mentor and began a new role
this fall in which she works on curriculum and gauges the effects of teaching practices
across the school district.
Schmidt says teaching has "always been my passion, and it's always given me purpose."
The finalists were Aaron Maurer, of Bettendorf Middle School; Kari Murray, of Carlisle
High School, Jon Parrott, of Urbandale Middle School; Kristi Wickre, of Smouse Opportunity
School in Des Moines; and Elaine Wolf, of Central Campus in Des Moines.

   

Friday Afternoon News, October 18

Grassley Calls "Obamacare Computer Program" A Failure

(Council Bluffs) – People across the nation have been attempting to  sign up for the new
Affordable Healthcare Act which provides health care insurance to everyone.  There’s just
been one problem…the computer system that handles the participation has been so overloaded,
that few people have been able to obtain additional information, much less able to
participate in the insurance exchange program.  Iowa Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley says
the whole program is a failure.

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Grassley says a petition has been circulating in the nation’s capital asking for Secretary
of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebilius’ resignation because of the problems
associated with the launching of the Affordable Health Care program.  Although, Grassley
says he may not sign that petition.

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Sioux City Man Accused Of Assault Declared Incompetent To Stand Trial

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 25-year-old man won't be prosecuted on charges that he shot a
foreign exchange student outside a Sioux City bar last year.
Authorities say Solomon Harris has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.
Harris had yet to enter pleas to the charges, which included assault. Harris is accused
of shooting 20-year old Natacha Butera, who is from Rwanda. Police say Harris fired the gun
while arguing with another man on Nov. 18, but the bullet struck Butera in the chest and an
arm.
Harris' attorney, Greg Jones, says he and prosecutors met with a district judge on
Thursday to discuss where Harris should be committed for treatment and safekeeping. Another
judge has ruled that Harris poses a danger to the public.
---


South Dakota Attorney General Says No Foul Play Suspected With Missing Women Case

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota's attorney general says a mechanical test points away
from foul play being a factor in the 1971 disappearance of two girls whose car was found
last month.
Marty Jackley says the 1960 Studebaker was in high gear. If it were in neutral, that
would indicate foul play.
He also says a forensic pathologist in Sioux Falls confirmed that skeletal remains
inside are consistent with being from two different people.
The bones have been sent to the University of North Texas for identification using DNA
testing.
Vermillion High School students Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson were last seen in the
car on their way to a party at a nearby gravel pit.
The car was found upside down in an embankment in Brule Creek in southeast South
Dakota, near Vermillion.

 

Spirit Lake Attorney Suspended For One Year

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A veteran northwest Iowa trial lawyer will have his license
suspended for one year for mishandling cases while struggling with alcoholism.
The Iowa Supreme Court imposed the punishment Friday on Spirit Lake attorney James
Clarity III.
The court says Clarity was a zealous advocate for clients during an unblemished
three-decade career, but that changed after his sister died in 2009 and he became an
alcoholic. He neglected client matters, mismanaged fees and ignored requests, resulting in
the dismissal of one appeal and the jailing of three OWI clients.
The court says Clarity's efforts to seek treatment are a mitigating factor, and a
one-year suspension is more appropriate than the three years sought by regulators.
Clarity's attorney, Edward Bjornstad, said the court made a fair ruling in a sad case.

 

Scientists Report Agriculture Has Changed Due to Climate Changes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than 150 scientists in Iowa have signed on to a report that says extreme weather patterns caused by climate change are affecting farming in the state and updated practices designed to prevent soil erosion are needed to adjust to the new reality.
This year and last year Iowa saw heavy spring rain which this year may have prevented 900,000 acres of Iowa farmland from being planted. The heavy rain before crops are in the ground also contributes to significant soil erosion. The drought that followed last year significantly cut corn and soybean production.
Researchers and professors from 36 Iowa colleges and universities say in their 2013 climate report released Friday that erosion prevention measures installed 30 years ago need to be updated to handle new weather patterns.

Computer Company To Add Jobs In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A software company with offices in Ames and in California says it plans to add 700 jobs as part of an expansion which includes construction of a new building in Ames.
WebFilings develops applications to help businesses file complex regulatory financial reports.
The company received approval Friday for $5 million in loans from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The company also gets $500,000 in tax credits from the state and 10-year property tax abatement worth $2.7 million from the city of Ames.
The company says it plans to spend about $15.5 million for the expansion.
WebFilings was founded in 2008. In addition to offices in Ames and Mountain View, Calif., the company is in eight other U.S. cities, and has locations in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.


Iowa Sister State In China To Send Delegation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than 150 government and business leaders from China will come to Des Moines next week to celebrate a sister state relationship and sign agreements for the purchase of Iowa goods and products.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority announced Friday the delegation from Hebei Province would be in Iowa on Monday and Tuesday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Iowa sister state relationship.
An event is planned for Tuesday afternoon at the Principal Financial Group, where Chinese officials and company executives will sign cooperative agreements in trade, agriculture, tourism and education that the state estimates have a value of more than $1 billion.
The state says China is Iowa's fourth-largest trading partner.
Hebei Province is in northeast China. It has a population of about 70 million people.

 



 

 

   

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