Monday News, April 15
District Drainage Meetings Scheduled
(Le Mars) -- Two district drainage meetings have been scheduled for the public to comment on a proposed tax levy increase for the construction cost of two bridges. The first meeting will be held at the Hinton Community Center and is scheduled for Thursday, May 9th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The second meeting will be held at the Westfield community Center on Thursday May 16th, again with a start time of 5:30 p.m. and concluding at 7:00 p.m. At issue is a proposed increase of $100 per parcel for five years to replace two bridges. There are more than 430 parcels within the Hinton Drainage District.
"Train To Nowhere" Author To Visit Le Mars Public Library
(Le Mars) -- "A Train To Nowhere" is a book written by former Des Moines Register news reporter Colleen Krantz, and it depicts the stories of eleven immigrants wanting to seek a better life in America, but who tragically were all found dead inside a rail car at Denison, Iowa. Krantz will be visiting the Le Mars Public Library on Thursday, April 18th at 5:30 p.m. to discuss her book. You may recall the incident as it happened in October of 2002, but what you may not realize the Latino immigrants were sealed in the rail car for a period of four months before being discovered.
Krantz performed extensive research after the discovery of the bodies and says the journey of the undocumented immigrants was supposed to have ended in Texas.
The former journalist, now author, says family members back in the nations of origin were left in the dark about their relatives for the four month duration.
Ida Grove Building Collapses
IDA GROVE, Iowa (AP) - The collapse of a downtown building left quite a mess in the northwest Iowa town of Ida Grove.
Assistant Fire Chief Scott Van Dusen says the vacant building on 2nd Street started to collapse Saturday evening when a side wall caved in.
After that wall fell in around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, the building's roof collapsed and the other walls were pulled down.
The building had been empty for about three years and wasn't insured. The current owners had been trying to sell it.
No one was injured in the collapse, and the neighboring business's building appears to be OK.
It wasn't immediately clear how old the building that collapsed was, but the building next door was constructed in 1902.
Lawmakers Still Undecided As To What To Do With State Financial Surplus
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - What should Iowa do with the extra money sitting in the state's bank accounts?
It's a key point of debate in ongoing budget negotiations as GOP Governor Terry Branstad, House Republicans and Senate Democrats push different ideas for dealing with a surplus estimated at more
than $800 million.
If lawmakers can't reach a deal, as has happened in the past, that money could just stay put.
Department of Management Director Dave Roederer calls the discussion over whether to use funds for tax cuts or spending an "age old argument."
State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says surplus general fund dollars are invested in a conservative fashion, along with the rest of the state's money. The current interest rate on those dollars is
less than half a percentage point.
$600 Million Devoted To Road Construction This Year
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Roughly $600 million worth of road construction work is planned across Iowa this year.
That will make 2013 one of the busiest years for road construction in the state.
There are about 800 crashes every year in construction work zones and an average of six deaths every year.
So the Iowa Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to stay alert when they encounter road construction and buckle up.
Traffic safety engineer Mark Bortle says some road projects are already underway.
Oklahoma Woman Sentenced To 50 Years For Killing Infant Son
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - An Oklahoma woman convicted of killing her newborn son has received the maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.
Hillary Tyler, of Mulhall, Okla., was sentenced on Friday.
Tyler was convicted earlier this year of drowning her son in the bathtub of a Fort Dodge motel room on Sept. 19, 2011. Tyler had been staying in Fort Dodge for temporary work.
The 32-year-old Tyler didn't testify at sentencing or at her trial.
The father of the boy Tyler killed, Rodney Cyphers, asked Tyler at sentencing why she never told him she was pregnant.
Prosecutors say Tyler was pregnant with another man's baby when she met Cyphers and had an abortion.
Tyler was ordered to pay $150,000 restitution to the Cyphers family.
Four People Charged With Bank Fraud
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Four people have pleaded guilty to mortgage scheme in the Des Moines area.
Federal prosecutors say 35-year-old Jamie Bowers-Danielson and her husband, 35-year-old Matthew Danielson, pleaded guilty to bank fraud. Bowers-Danielson also pleaded guilty to bank fraud
conspiracy. They're from Ankeny
Prosecutors say Bowers-Danielson used her position as a loan originator between 2003 and 2007 to falsify loan applications for herself and others.
Forty-three-year-old Bobbi Jo Wojewoda pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy, and her husband, Des Moines Police Lt. Wade Wojewoda, pleaded guilty to receiving proceeds obtained under false
pretenses. They're from Grimes.
Prosecutors say Bobbi Jo Wojewoda inflated home values, including that of her own house, when she appraised them.
The four are scheduled to be sentenced in July.