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Friday Afternoon News, Oct. 12

Fire Officials Ask Public To Be Careful During Dry Season

(Le Mars) -- Thursday's grass fire tells us that conditions are still dry, and area fire fighters are reminding people to use caution, and that the burn ban is still in effect for nearly every county in northwest Iowa.  Le Mars Fire chief Dave Schipper says although local fire departments have been busy, in comparison, last year at this time was much more hectic.  Schipper attributes the fewer fires to the awareness of the burn ban.
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Schipper says another reason for fewer calls this year is because farmers are taking steps to be more careful.

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The local fire official says he worries every time the weather forecast calls for strong winds along with low humidity levels.

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With the colder weather setting in, Schipper wants everyone who uses space heaters and candles to be careful.

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Catholic Daughters Celebrate 100 Years

(LE MARS) -- "To be helping hands where there is pain, poverty, sorrow and sickness." This is the charge of the Catholic Daughters of the America's. The Le Mars Court Santa Maria 179 of the Catholic Daughters commemorates their 100 year anniversary this year and will be celebrating with with a Mass and dinner coming up on October 22nd. 
Janet Manning has been involved with the Le Mars chapter for the last 50 years.  She says that the group fund raises and then invests their time and resources into the community.

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They also sponsor poster contests where kids create something around the theme of Christian values.  Manning  said the group also backs their beliefs by promoting family values and beliefs through political demonstrations.

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Manning said she went to a DC march about 10 years ago and was also there for a rally in 1990. She added that the camaraderie of the group as well as the educational aspects are the

reasons she stays involved.

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Membership numbers have dwindled over the years for the Le Mars chapter of Catholic Daughters which is made up of women from 6 area Catholic churches.  At it's height there were over 600 members in the group, now they have about 300.

Catholic Daughters was started in 1903 for women by the Knights of Columbus. 
The 179 in the title of the Le Mars Court Santa Maria 179 signifies that they were the 179th court to organize. According to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas Website there are now over 1,200 courts in existence in 45 states across the country, and in Puerto Rico, Mexico,
Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

The 100 year celebration of the Le Mars Court of the Catholic Daughters will take place in the new St. Joseph Church Monday, October 22nd with mass at 5:30 and dinner to follow at the KC Hall.  The group meets monthly throughout the school year and are always accepting new members.


Audit Reveals Missing Funds From Power Plant

NEW HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - An audit says the former general manager of a municipal power plant in northeastern Iowa misused more than $50,000 in proceeds from the sales of scrap metal over
the last decade.
State Auditor David Vaudt released a report on Friday that faulted Brian Geschke, who resigned in August from his 18-year job leading the New Hampton Municipal Light Plant.
The report says Geschke did not deposit at least $55,000 the power plant made from selling excess scrap metal to a private company dating back to 2001.
It says he gave $1,000 cash to 8 employees after one sale last year, and kept thousands more in a cabinet in his office.
Geschke told auditors he kept the money to use for expenses like office Christmas parties and buying flower arrangements.


Prison Guard Charged With Providing Contraband and Sex To Inmate

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A former prison guard at the state prison in Fort Dodge is accused of providing contraband to an inmate and performing a sex act on him.
35-year-old Rhiannon Quintana, of Fort Dodge, is charged with providing electronic
contraband and sexual misconduct with an inmate. The alleged incidents happened on July 15.
The inmate is not identified in a criminal complaint filed with the Webster County attorney's office.
Quintana, who no longer works at the prison, made an initial court appearance on Thursday. Her preliminary hearing is Oct. 26.
There is no defense attorney listed for Quintana on the online court system.

 

Police Conduct Prostitution Raid

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Several people have been arrested during a prostitution bust at a motel in western Iowa.
Authorities say the operation began just before 1 p.m. and ended with the last arrest at 10:25 p.m. Wednesday. The name of the motel in Council Bluffs wasn't disclosed.
The Council Bluffs Police Department says its officers worked on the investigation with deputies from Pottawattamie, Mills and Harrison counties and the FBI's Great Plains Innocence Lost Task
Force.
The Innocence Lost Task Force targets juveniles involved in prostitution.
Five women from Omaha, Neb., were among those arrested, as well as a Lincoln, Neb., man. Police say he solicited an undercover officer for sex.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Friday News, October 12

Major Grass Fire Along Highway 20

(Sgt Bluff) -- A major grass fire occurred  Thursday afternoon near Highway 20 consuming more than 45 acres.  Several fire departments, including the Hinton Fire Department was called to offer assistance to battle the blaze.  Farmers also helped with the fire by tilling the ground to help keep the fire from spreading.

 

Teacher Taskforce Advocates Higher Salaries

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A $150 million school improvement proposal includes higher salaries for beginning teachers.
The recommendations by the state's Task Force on Teacher Leadership and Compensation will be the centerpiece of Gov. Terry Branstad's education proposal to legislators in 2013.
The task force report was released Thursday.
Iowa Education Department Director Jason Glass says the proposal is aimed at retaining effective teachers while making the profession more appealing to the state's "best and brightest."
The proposal's salary component for first-year teachers would take the minimum salary from $28,000 to $35,000, over the next three years.
The proposal also would require teachers to begin their careers with a residency year that would include intensive supervision and mentoring.
The task force was created last spring by the Legislature and included teachers and administrators.

 

Oxford Junction Woman Guilty of Fraud Against FEMA

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman has been sentenced to four months in prison after admitting that she lied to get federal disaster benefits after the historic flood of 2008.
Jessica Hines of Oxford Junction learned her sentence Thursday during a federal court hearing in Cedar Rapids. She has been told to surrender to begin serving her sentence next month.
Prosecutors say Hines admitted that she submitted a false application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in July 2008 that claimed that her home and personal property were damaged by
the flood. In reality, she didn't live at the home she claimed and was not a flood victim.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade ordered Hines to pay $7,155 in restitution to FEMA and to be on supervised release following her prison term.

 

Grave Marker Found In Recycling Bin

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Police are asking Iowans to help officers return a grave marker that was found in a recycling bin.
Council Bluffs Police Captain Terry LeMaster says that workers at the Council Bluffs Recycling Center found the marker last week.
The name on it is Megan Alaine Kjellberg, a 6-month-old child who died January 2nd, 1986. The inscription on it reads: "Now you have the sun and stars to play with."
LeMaster says area cemeteries and funeral directors have been checked, as well as funeral and obituary databases and reports about stolen items.
LeMaster thinks someone might have stolen the marker thinking it was solid copper. When it turned out to be only copper coated, it was tossed into a recycling bin.


Two Women Charged With Forged Prescriptions

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two northern Iowa women face multiple charges in an ongoing investigation into forged prescriptions.
Gina Splitt and Melissa Ricke, both of Algona, were arrested by Mason City police on Wednesday.
Splitt faces ten charges, including four counts of prohibited acts of forged prescriptions and insurance fraud. Ricke is charged with eight similar counts.
Online court records list no attorneys for the women. They face court hearings on October 26th.

 

Numerologist Dream Comes True

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - What might be a digital dream for numerologists has come true in the delivery room of a Des Moines hospital.
Laila Fitzgerald was born.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/RlH4Zw) that Laila weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces. She came into the world on Thursday, which, numerically speaking, was 10/11/12. She arrived,
militarily speaking, at 1314, which would be 1:14 p.m. for civilians.
So the numbers associated with her birth are 8-9-10-11-12-13-14.
Laila's mother, 26-year-old Katie Deremiah, of Des Moines, says she had a feeling Thursday would be the day, despite the due date of Oct. 19.
She says Laila arrived without inducements to speed her arrival.
Laila's father, 26-year-old Ryan Fitzgerald, told The Register that he would be buying a lottery ticket as soon as he could leave the hospital.

   

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