Monday News, December 17
Sentencing Scheduled For Monday For Matthew Jandreau
(Le Mars) -- Sentencing is scheduled today for Matthew Jandreau. Jandreau, you may recall, was found guilty by a jury in November of kidnapping, attempted sexual assault, burglary and operating a vehicle without permission, along with operating vehicle while intoxicated. Jandreau could face up to a minimum of twenty-five years in prison. Sentencing will take place at 2:00 p.m. at the Plymouth County Courthouse.
Plymouth Co. Veterans Affairs Office Makes Adjustments
(Le Mars) -- Due to the death of Plymouth County Veteran Affairs director, Eugene Shultz, the Plymouth County Veterans Affairs office will be open on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the remainder of December and into January. The Veteran's Affairs office is temporally being staffed by Martin Balmer, who previously to Shultz, was the Veteran Affairs Director for Plymouth County for many years. The Veteran Affairs Commission is meeting on Thursday to determine a plan to fill the vacant position, and additional information will be provided following that meeting.
Informational Wellness Meeting Scheduled for Monday
(Le Mars) -- When you see that Iowa has 29 percent of its population as being listed as obese, compared to the national average of 27.9 percent. One in four Iowa adults are physically inactive, one in 12 people in Iowa suffer from diabetes, and slightly more than 20 percent of the state's population smokes cigarettes, it is easy to see why Iowa's Healthiest state ranking dropped four positions to number 20. Because of these startling statistics, organizers within Plymouth County are wanting to recruit at least 2300 people to team up, get active, eat well and live healthy with the Live Healthy Iowa ten-week Wellness Challenge. Plymouth County Extension Coordinator Carol Schneider says Plymouth County ranks low within the state as far as being healthy. She says the program, Live Healthy Iowa, has been around for ten years.
Schneider says the 2300 participant goal represents ten percent of the Plymouth County population.
Schneider says there is an entry fee of $20 for the ten-week healthy wellness challenge with
a five dollar coupon, making the cost of the program an affordable $15. Schneider says the
program will begin in late January, but she encourages people to sign up early.
An informational meeting is scheduled for today from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. at the Floyd Valley Hospital Conference rooms. A complimentary lunch will be provided. Floyd Valley Hospital, Le Mars YMCA, and the Plymouth County Extension and Outreach are sponsoring the local wellness challenge. Interested participants can enroll at either the Le Mars YMCA or at the Plymouth County Extension.
Branstad's Actions On Director's Pay Being Questioned By Legislators
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Some Iowa lawmakers are questioning whether Governor Terry Branstad has overstepped his authority by signing off on bonuses paid to two state directors, raising their
pay beyond state salary caps.
The Gazette of Cedar Rapids reports that Courtney Kay-Decker, director of the Iowa Department of Revenue, has received an $800-per-pay-period housing allowance for her first year on the job. That makes her annual compensation more than $175,000.
The maximum salary set by law for the revenue director is $154,300.
Public Safety Commissioner K. Brian London reportedly received a more than $16,000 recruitment bonus, making his annual pay $145,000. The cap is set at just under $129,000.
Democratic Senator Jeff Danielson of Cedar Falls says Branstad shouldn't be using bonuses to circumvent pay ranges established by the Legislature.
Gallup Papers Turned Over To University of Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Groundbreaking pollster George Gallup may be known for founding the survey organization that tracks people's opinions on the President of the United States. But he began his
career with a more personal concern: getting his mother-in-law elected to statewide office.
Ola Babcock Miller was a huge underdog in the 1932 race for Iowa Secretary of State. Gallup conducted an informal poll of voters for her and learned that highway safety was a top concern. Miller
campaigned successfully on the issue and went on to found the Iowa State Patrol.
That campaign is recounted in a collection of papers that Gallup's family recently donated to the University of Iowa documenting the life of the father of modern political polling.
The papers are expected to be used by researchers studying early polling on elections and marketing.
Des Moines City Council Sets Limits On Door-to-door Sales
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines City Council is set to consider restrictions on door-to-door peddlers of everything from magazine subscriptions to vacuum cleaners.
The Des Moines City Council is set to vote on the matter Monday night.
The move comes months after Councilwoman Christine Hensley first suggested restrictions after several residents complained of aggressive door-to-door peddlers.
The restrictions would include rules that would limit door-to-door solicitations to between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., as well as requirements for peddlers to acquire a city permit. Getting a permit would require a $400 bond and background check asking whether applicants are registered sex offenders.
Court of Appeals Dismisses Lawsuit
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by a former Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial director against the city.
The Gazette of Cedar Rapids reports that the appeals court rejected Gary Craig's motion last week.
Craig was charged with felonious misconduct in 2010, but those charges were dismissed by a judge after the state couldn't prove its case. Craig then sued, saying the false allegations and charge damaged Craig's reputation.
A Linn County District Court dismissed the lawsuit, and Craig appealed.
The appeals court found that probable cause existed to arrest Craig, so he could not have been falsely arrested or maliciously prosecuted. The appeals court also ruled that any alleged defaming
statements made against him were protected speech.
Three People Charged With Murder
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Two men and a woman have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man whose body was found in a Davenport field.
Robby Kohn's body was found December 8th.
The Quad-City Times reports that one of the men charged - 20-year-old Barry Bernard Hamilton of Chicago, Illinois - had bailed Kohn out of jail before Kohn was killed.
Hamilton paid $200 on December 4th to get Kohn out of jail on a public intoxication charge. Police say Hamilton, 20-year-old Jessica Loerzel of Davenport, and 21-year-old Darious Johnson of Chicago, drove the 41-year-old Kohn to a field two days later and shot him.
Hamilton and Loerzel were arrested in Chicago last week and are being held on $500,000 bail each.
Police are searching for Johnson.
Fire Destroyed Recycling Building
HOPKINTON, Iowa (AP) - Firefighters say fire has destroyed a building at Bacon Recycling in the eastern Iowa town of Hopkinton.
Fire Chief Craig Wilson tells Cedar Rapids television station KCRG-TV that the blaze began around 5 a.m. Saturday. He says it had consumed the building by the time crews arrived at the scene.
Wilson says the building was made of aluminum and was storing cardboard and plastic for recycling. Wilson says the heat of the flames caused the walls to collapse.
Fire crews from Delhi and Monticello also responded. Wilson says about 60 firefighters battled the blaze.