Thursday Afternoon News, June 6
Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Hears Penn National's Appeal
(Osceola) -- The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission today refused to reconsider it's April 18th approval of a land-based casino license for Sioux City. Penn Gaming, the company which operates the current casino boat in Sioux City, lost its bid for the land-based license and the company's attorney, Mark Weinhardt, addressed the commission at it's meeting in Osceola.
Weinhardt says the Argosy Riverboat should have had the first opportunity to get a land-based license and giving the license to another company deprived the company of due process.
Weinhardt says the winner of the land-based license, Sioux City Entertainment, was allowed to change its proposal, while the others who sought the license were not. He also listed several other concerns about the license process. Penn Gaming has filed a lawsuit to try and reverse the awarding of the land-based license, and Weinhardt asked the commission to resolve the situation by reconsidering their decision.
Weinhardt's arguments failed to sway the commission, as there was no response when commission chair Jeff Lamberti asked if there were any motions on the issue.
Lamberti commented on the issue after the meeting.
The plans for the new land-based casino will continue to move ahead barring any court rulings that would say otherwise.
Attorneys Present Closing Arguments In Levin Trial
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Closing arguments have begun in the case of a northwest Iowa man accused of killing his mother and kidnapping another woman.
The Messenger in Fort Dodge reports (http://bit.ly/11uUG92 ) attorneys gave closing arguments Thursday in Webster County. Both sides finished presenting evidence Wednesday.
Kirk Levin, of Early, is charged with first-degree murder in the January death of Marilyn Schmitt. He also faces third-degree kidnapping for allegedly abducting 21-year-old Jessica Vega, a
woman he met online.
Jurors have heard testimony for several days, including from Vega and a law enforcement official who later found Schmitt's body.
On Wednesday, prosecutors showed two videotaped interviews where Levin confessed to killing his mother and kidnapping Vega but also denied it.
Levin declined to testify on his own behalf.
Public Safety Department Does Not Pay Psychics
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Public Safety wants to make it clear: it doesn't pay psychics to help solve cases.
Spokesman Rob Hansen said Thursday that Commissioner Brian London did ask investigators whether they'd tracked down any tips from psychics related to the kidnapping and slaying of two cousins.
Hansen said London made the inquiry in December, the day the bodies of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins were found in a wooded area in northeast Iowa. Since then, he says London's faced questions at one meeting about whether the department pays for psychics and "corrected the record" that it does not.
Hansen said investigators should follow every lead, including those from psychics, particularly when other leads dry up. But he says the department isn't using psychics "as some sort of philosophy."
Reports Show Klunder Told Parole Board He Was No Longer A Threat To Society
DAYTON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities plan to resume their search by river for a teenager in central Iowa abducted last month.
Dayton Police Chief Nick Dunbar says the state Department of Natural Resources will deploy boats on the Des Moines River this week to search for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard.
The search will include new and old areas in the investigation.
Authorities halted their search for Kathlynn last week, which included more than 250 square miles in the Dayton area. Flooding also affected their efforts.
Police suspect Michael Klunder abducted Kathlynn and her 12-year-old friend on May 20 in Dayton. The younger girl was able to escape. Klunder was later found dead. Klunder told the state Parole Board in his three bids
for release that his treatment in prison had made him worthy of parole.
Michael Klunder argued in his appeals that he no longer was dangerous and that parole would help him adjust back into society more than being released without supervision.
He eventually was released in 2011 under provisions of the state's time-served law.
Some of Kathlynn's blood has been found, dampening hopes of finding her alive.
Des Moines Police Investigate Shooting
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Homicide investigators are on the scene of a shooting in Des Moines.
The shooting occurred just after 2 a.m. Thursday at a business park on the north side of the city.
Police say a woman had reported a man being assaulted. Officers who responded found a man's body. It had a gunshot wound to the chest.
Police spokesman Jason Halifax says the woman is being interviewed.
The names of those involved haven't been released.