Tuesday News, September 3
Roads Department To Close Road For Culvert Repair
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth county Secondary Road Department has announced it will be closing Marble Avenue from County Road C-70 to 320th St. located in the southern portion of the county. That road closure begins today and is expected to be closed until next Wednesday, September 11th. The county roads department is replacing a bridge with a culvert.
Autopsy On 5 Year Old Boy Not Released Yet
LOGAN, Iowa (AP) - The cause of death of a 5-year-old boy found in a western Iowa ravine
has not yet been released.
An autopsy on the boy's body was completed Monday but the Iowa medical examiner's
office is conducting further laboratory tests before a definitive cause is released.
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Mitch Mortvedt says an official
release of the boy's name also is not expected until after Monday.
The boy, who was found dead Saturday in a rural Harrison County ravine, has lived with
a foster family near Logan for nearly three weeks.
A 17-year-old boy in the same foster home for nearly three years has been charged with
first-degree murder in the 5-year-old's death.
Sioux City School Superintendent Gets Pay Raise
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A new contract giving the Sioux City school superintendent an
$8,000 raise has boosted his salary to the third highest in the state.
Superintendent Paul Gausman will be paid $212,482 in the current school year. That's
behind the Des Moines superintendent's $260,000 and Cedar Rapids' at $220,972. The state's
third largest district, Davenport, will pay $195,868. The Sioux City district is the fourth
largest in Iowa.
Sioux City school board member Doug Batcheller says the pay raise is meant to keep
Gausman. Batcheller says Gausman has been approached four times about jobs elsewhere.
Batcheller says an increase in student performance, improved graduation rates and
declining dropout rates were key factors in the decision.
Gausman is entering his sixth year in Sioux City.
Ombudsman Says Attorney General Interfering With Her Work
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's ombudsman says Attorney General Tom Miller's staff has been
trying to interfere with her office's authority to investigate complaints about state and
Ruth Cooperrider says that state attorneys have taken steps that "strike at the heart of our authority."
Cooperrider also says recent decisions by the attorney general could affect her office's inquiries into whistle-blower complaints.
Miller's spokesman, Geoff Greenwood, says some of Cooperrider's concerns were "a reach."
Deputy Attorney General Julie Pottorff says whistle-blowers can go to the ombudsman's
office to air their concerns without the attorney general being involved.
The ombudsman's office has the legal powers to investigate serious disputes and make
recommendations on improving how government works.
Iowa Businesses Will Save On Unemployment Tax
(Des Moines) -- Iowa businesses will save next year on the amount of money they have to pay
in for unemployment benefits. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Kerry Koonce, says
they set the rate based on a tax table each year.
The table moved to a higher number which actually means the rates are lower.
She says the average rate paid by businesses will be one-point-six percent in 2014, down from two-percent this year. Koonce says this is the third straight year the tax amount has dropped -- which she says is an indication the economy is improving.
The rate is in place for one year, and Koonce says there shouldn't be any worry about paying benefits if the unemployment rate should start going back up again.
Workforce Development information says Iowa has one of the lowest unemployment insurance
rates in the country.
Des Moines Boy Recovering Better Than Expected After Accident
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines boy given little chance to survive after being struck
by a car two weeks ago has defied all odds and is recovering.
Six-year-old Francisco Flores had darted out into the street when he was hit Aug. 20.
He was in intensive care fighting severe head injuries and doctors told his family the
outlook was bleak.
Doctors feared permanent brain injury but he was walking within days and has now returned home.
He has staples in his head which doctors expect to remove soon and they've told his
mother to keep a close eye out for anything unusual but they see no signs of permanent
Newton Police Officer Dies
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) - The death of a 48-year-old police lieutenant has stunned his fellow officers in Newton.
Pat Richardson died Sunday at a Des Moines hospital. He'd been flown there after
falling ill during a jog near his home. Richardson's death was blamed on a heart attack.
Officer Randy Camp says he didn't believe the news at first. He says the tragedy is "just unreal."
Newton Police Chief Jeff Hoebelheinrich says that Richardson won't be forgotten because "everybody just loved working with Pat."
Richardson was a 23-year veteran of the department.
Davenport Man Mistakenly Released From Custody
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A man mistakenly released on bond after he was convicted of making
methamphetamine in a Davenport child daycare center, is back in custody.
Dale Sammy Blumer was returned to jail Saturday.
Blumer, who is 35, shouldn't have been released while awaiting an appeal of his
Judge Nancy Tabor had sentenced him on Thursday morning to 25 years in prison after he
entered a plea agreement. That afternoon he posted bond and was released.
Later Thursday, Tabor amended her sentencing order revoking bond on a charge of child
endangerment/meth exposure, a felony for which no bond is allowed on appeal.
Blumer's attorney is appealing his conviction saying Blumer was not told at his plea
hearing the possible maximum penalties he would face.