Friday Afternoon News, July 11
Authorities Identify Dead Akron Couple
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo has released the names of the two elderly individuals found dead at their Akron rural residence Wednesday evening. They are 83 year old Donald Neunaber and his wife 80 year old Esther Neunaber. The bodies were removed from their home Thursday evening at about 6:00 p.m. and transferred to the State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy to be performed today. Investigators are continuing to process the scene of the deaths and hope to complete that part of the investigation by late this afternoon. 44 year old Jonathon Neunaber is the son of the deceased couple and had a warrant issued as a material witness. Jonathon Neunaber was located by officers in La Crosse, Wisconsin last evening. Agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation will travel to Wisconsin to continue their investigation in this case. The Plymouth County Sheriff and Plymouth County Attorney's office will be working on arrangements to have Jonathon Neunaber transported back to Plymouth County. Neunaber has not been charged with any crime and is being held as a material witness in this case.
Supreme Court Upholds Environmental Provisions
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld water quality regulations that business and farm groups say are costly and burdensome.
The rules require anyone with new or expanded wastewater discharges into waterways to seek permits and certification from the state.
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and others sued the Environmental Protection Commission which voted in December 2009 to adopt the new rules.
The lawsuit attempted to disqualify two of the commissioners' votes and get the regulations thrown out.
Carrie La Seur moved to Montana in July 2009 but remained on the commission. The lawsuit says her vote shouldn't be counted.
The lawsuit claims Commissioner Susan Heathcote, who worked for a nonprofit environmental group, had a conflict of interest.
A majority of the court found the votes were proper under Iowa law.
Supreme Court Rules Solar Company Can Sell Electricity
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says a solar energy company can sell electricity directly to businesses and governments, giving a boost to the burgeoning form of renewable energy.
The 4-2 ruling in favor of Eagle Point Solar could expedite the adoption of solar power generating systems that can reduce users' energy costs and environmental footprint.
Critics say the ruling could be a blow for electric utilities, who may have to raise their rates if they lose customers.
The court says companies such as Eagle Point Solar can enter into deals with customers in which they install rooftop solar panels, and then sell them the energy that is generated.
The court rejected claims that those agreements were illegal under Iowa law because they cut into the exclusive territories granted to regulated utilities.
Emerald Ash Borer Found In Henry County
MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) - Officials say larva found on a tree in Henry County has been identified as an emerald ash borer.
A team that includes officials from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said in a news release Friday that the larva was found in a tree in Mount Pleasant. Additional information was not released.
The discovery means the insect has been found in ten Iowa counties. State entomologist Robin Pruisner says the larva's discovery in July means there's no "safe time" for moving firewood in Iowa.
A statewide quarantine that restricts the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of the state into non-quarantined areas was issued in early February. It remains in place.