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Wednesday Afternoon News, Feb 13

Man Arrested For Council Bluffs Shooting

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A western Iowa man has been arrested on suspicion of shooting a 22-year-old woman and her toddler son.
Council Bluffs Police Sgt. Chad Meyers says 30-year-old Ronald Farr Jr. was arrested at his home in Harlan without incident on Tuesday. Farr is accused of shooting Heather Wilson and her son,
Tyson Underwood.
Authorities say Wilson was putting the boy and another child into a car just before 6 a.m. Tuesday when the gunfire erupted at the apartment complex on the east side of Council Bluffs. Wilson
was hit several times. Tyson was hit once in an arm.
They are being treated at hospitals in Omaha, Neb.
Online records say Farr remained in Pottawattamie County Jail on Wednesday. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.



Dubuque Legislator Says He'll Run for US House

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democratic state Rep. Pat Murphy says he's running for the Iowa congressional seat that will be vacated by U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley.
Murphy, from Dubuque, announced Wednesday he would run in next year's election for Iowa's 1st Congressional District, which covers the northeastern part of the state. Murphy has served in the state
House since 1989 and was speaker from 2007 through 2011.
Murphy says he will focus on issues like jobs, education and health care. Other possible Democratic candidates include state Sen. Liz Mathis and state Rep. Tyler Olson.
The 1st District seat will be open because Braley, of Waterloo, has opted to run for Senate after four terms in the House. The Senate seat will be vacant because incumbent Tom Harkin has decided
against seeking re-election.



Northern Iowa City May Take Over Country Club

GARNER, Iowa (AP) - The City Council in the northern Iowa city of Garner has agreed to discuss taking over operation of an ailing country club.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that the Garner Golf and Country Club is $140,000 in debt. Membership has declined from 210 to about 140, and the club is looking for a partner.
The president of the club's board of directors, Doug Cox, told the council on Tuesday night that the course and club are assets to the community.
Mayor Ken Mick agreed and said the council should study the idea of taking over the operation.
Garner council members asked for an accounting of the club's finances and its assets.



Western Iowa Principal Plans to Fight for Job


GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) - The principal of Glenwood Community High School in western Iowa says she's been wrongly accused and intends to fight for her job.
The school board voted Tuesday to begin the process of firing Kerry Newman, who's been on paid administrative leave since Jan. 18.
The board cited four reasons: an inappropriate relationship with a district employee, poor judgment, inappropriate use of resources and being an ineffective role model.
District officials have not elaborated on the allegations. Newman says the allegations are false.
Newman has been principal at the school since 2007.


North Liberty council OKs chief's resignation deal

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) - The North Liberty City Council has approved a resignation package that includes nearly $37,700 in salary for former Police Chief Jim Warkentin.
The Gazette reports that the package approved unanimously Tuesday night extends Warkentin's benefits through March 31. It also includes a confidentiality clause and bars him from filing any
employment claims against the city in court.
Warkentin has said personal reasons led him to resign, but he hasn't elaborated.
North Liberty Mayor Tom Salm and City Administrator Ryan Heiar have declined to comment on Warkentin's resignation.
Warkentin worked for the department from Aug. 9, 1999, until Feb. 6.
Lt. Diane Venenga has been named acting police chief.



Iowa Town Ends Contract With Sex Offender

CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) - The city of Centerville has terminated the contract of a convicted Iowa sex offender it had hired as temporary city administrator.
Thirty-seven-year-old Kevin Stocker, of Elkhart, was hired by the City Council earlier this month. The city said in an email from Councilman Edwin Brand on Wednesday that Stocker's contract was
terminated as of Tuesday. The email said the council would have no further comment.
Mayor Jim Senior had said he'd known about Stocker's past but didn't share the information with the council before Stocker was hired.
The Iowa Sex Offender Registry says Stocker was convicted of enticing a minor in August 2006 in Black Hawk County. The girl was between the ages of 14 and 17. The judge gave him probation and a
suspended prison sentence of two years.



   

Wednesday News, February 13

Le Mars Mainstreet Reviews 2012 and Sets Goals For 2013

(Le Mars) -- The division chairs of the Le Mars Mainstreet organization met last evening to review 2012 and to set their goals for 2013.  Jenni Smit, Vice President of the Mainsteet says overall the activities from last year were successful, and she says the Holiday Dollars program was enormously successful.
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Le Mars Mainstreet coordinated a tour of downtown buildings last year, and Smit says there are many downtown buildings that have great potential.

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Smit says Le Mars did well when put to the test of recruiting new businesses to the community.
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Smit says the Design Committee will oversee one of the major projects for the upcoming year.

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As for Smit, herself, she will no longer be volunteering for Chamber and Mainstreet activities as she soon will be leaving the ice cream capital of the world for Bentonville, Arkansas.

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Plymouth County Supervisors Approve Budget

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have finished their work for the upcoming fiscal year's budget.  The budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 is an increase of two million dollars more than last year's budget.  Plymouth County Auditor Stacey Feldman says the budget for expenditures is set at $24,032,962.  A year ago, the budget expenditures was set at $22,553,852.  Feldman says a major reason for the increase is the bridge and road construction projects that were approved for the Plymouth County Ethanol Urban Renewal project near Merrill.  A public hearing has been scheduled for March 5 at 10:00 a.m.

 

Lawmaker Wants Names of Gun Permit Holders To Be Private

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The names of Iowans with permits to acquire or carry guns would become private information under legislation proposed by a Republican lawmaker.
Rep. Matt Windschitl, of Missouri Valley, sponsored the bill, which was debated by a House subcommittee Tuesday. Currently the names of permit holders are a public record.
Windschitl says he was concerned that public permit information could put Iowans in danger by leading criminals to guns or giving them information to target homes without guns.
The state Department of Public Safety says about 144,000 Iowans have permits to carry a firearm. Statewide data was not available on the number of permits issued annually to allow people to buy
handguns.
A lobbyist for the Iowa Newspaper Association argued against the measure, saying that government actions should be publicized.


Des Moines Lawyer Wants To Evict Homeless

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines' lawyer says he'll recommend that the City Council appeal a ruling that lets three homeless people stay in their camp.
City Attorney Jeffrey Lester said Tuesday that he will urge the council to take the hearing officer's ruling to a district court.
Eviction notices were posted Jan. 17 at five makeshift camps, warning the homeless residents that city officials would forcibly remove or arrest individuals who remained by the end of the month.
But late Monday, hearing officer Cassandra Webster decided it was safer for the individuals to stay in their camps.
The ruling affects only the three people named in the appeal.
Other appeals have been filed, but it was unclear Tuesday how many camps and people were involved.

 

Bremer County Recorder Arrested For Theft

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) - A county recorder in northeast Iowa has been accused of stealing office funds.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation arrested Bremer County Recorder Donna Ellison on Tuesday. She has been charged with a felony count of misconduct in office and third-degree theft.
Authorities say Ellison took more than $500 from office funds between May and February. Investigators also say she altered records to disguise her activity.
The 59-year-old Ellison has been Bremer County's recorder since 1995. The office retains files on deeds, mortgages, contracts and other miscellaneous documents.
Court records to not list an attorney for Ellison.

 

Conservative Law Professor Arrested For OWI

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A conservative scholar embroiled in a lawsuit with the University of Iowa has been arrested for drunken driving.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icp-c.com/Z8OmVr ) reports Teresa Wagner was arrested Monday night after authorities found her inside a parked vehicle. She told police she had driven a short
distance.
Police say Wagner failed field sobriety tests and a preliminary breath test showed her blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit. She faces a drunken driving charge.
Wagner filed a lawsuit against the University of Iowa in 2009, claiming she was passed up for jobs because of her conservative views.
Wagner is seeking another trial after a federal jury found the university did not discriminate against her. The jury declared a mistrial on the second count after failing to reach a verdict.
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