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Wednesday Afternoon News, April 24

Dog Shooter Gets Jail Time

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man who was accused of fatally shooting his two dogs has been given two days in jail.
Fifty-one-year-old Jon Holloway had pleaded guilty to reckless use of a firearm and discharging a firearm inside city limits. Prosecutors dropped two counts of animal cruelty in exchange for Holloway's pleas. He was sentenced on Tuesday.
Police say Holloway used a rifle to shoot his two dogs on Feb. 12 in his backyard. Police say Holloway had been arguing with his sister about the dogs being aggressive.


Band Director's Trial Set For July

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A July trial has been scheduled for a former Sioux City high school band director accused of stealing school instruments.
Online court records say 39-year-old Kevin Massey, of Sergeant Bluff, will go on trial July 23. He's pleaded not guilty to felony theft.
Massey has resigned from his job at North High School and has agreed to pay $5,000 in restitution to the school district.
School officials became aware of the matter after another teacher shopping for musical instruments online noticed some that looked familiar.
Sioux City police say Massey took the instruments to cover gambling debts. Police have recovered more than five dozen instruments from three pawn shops.


Ottumwa Seeks Quiet Zone For Trains

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Officials in Ottumwa are beginning to study whether they can quiet the train horns that sound in the southeast Iowa city's downtown more than 1,000 times a day.
The Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation has established a contract with SRF Consulting, of Minneapolis, to study the possibility of establishing a quiet zone in the city. The company has worked with Burlington and Fairfield to implement similar zones.
The Ottumwa Courier reports ( ) Wednesday that an average of 43 BNSF trains pass through Ottumwa daily, and they're required to sound their horns four times at each of
downtown's seven crossings.
To qualify for quiet zones, such crossings must be deemed safer than the average of crossings where horns sound. Options for achieving that include larger crossing gates and changing street


Senate Confirms Nomination of Kelly

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of public defender Jane Kelly of Cedar Rapids to join the federal appeals court that decides cases from Iowa and several
other states.
The Senate voted 96-0 on Wednesday to confirm Kelly to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in St. Louis.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Kelly has served since 1994 as a federal defender in the Northern District of Iowa. She recently represented notorious white-collar criminal Russ Wasendorf Sr.
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin recommended Kelly to President Obama to fill a vacancy on the appeals court.
Harkin says Kelly has fought to protect the constitutional rights of hundreds of indigent clients who she's represented, and she will bring a "critically important perspective" to the court.

Online Encounter Turns To Stabbing

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa man has been accused of kidnapping and severely stabbing a woman he met online.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department says 21-year-old Bryan Roche, of Marion, was arrested Tuesday in connection with reports Sunday of a 20-year-old woman found stabbed in a stairwell.
Investigators say Roche choked the woman, tied her up, sexually assaulted her and stabbed her. Authorities say Roche then left, and neighbors found the woman in a stairwell.
The woman was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police say she is in more stable condition, and was able to provide authorities with details about Roche.
Roche has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree sexual abuse and attempt to commit murder. He is at the Linn County Jail. Records do not list an attorney.

Bridge To Honor Women

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines City Council has named a downtown pedestrian bridge the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge.
The Des Moines Register reports ( ) the council approved the name Monday after hearing it was agreed to by the Des Moines Riverfront Development Authority and groups that
have funded the Principal Riverwalk project. The bridge, which spans the Des Moines River, is a key part of the Riverwalk project.
Scott Cahill, of the Riverfront Development Authority, says the group plans to add plaques to the bridge each year that will recognize deceased Iowa woman who have made "outstanding contributions, achieved prominence or advanced the well-being of fellow citizens."


Body Recovered

ELKADER, Iowa (AP) - Officials have released the name of an elderly man whose body was pulled from a river in northeast Iowa.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says ( the Clayton County Sheriff's Office identified him as 74-year-old James Halverson, of Elkader.
Deputies took a report early Sunday morning about Halverson being missing. Deputies later found tire marks going into a ditch and then into the Turkey River near Ten Mile Bridge on Chariot
Road. A vehicle and the body were found in the water about 250 yards from the tire marks.


Court Of Appeals Upholds Ruling

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld a $32.8 million jury award against Cooper Tire and Rubber Co., affirming it is in line with the evidence.
The case involves a 2007 crash near Bondurant that left a Des Moines woman dead and a man paralyzed.
Jurors found Cooper's manufacturing design caused the van's left rear tire to lose tread. The company appealed claiming the jury should not have heard evidence relating to tires substantially
different from the one involved in the accident.
At trial Cooper attorney Terrance Miller questioned the tire's use and said the driver may have been speeding.
The appeals court, ruling Wednesday, says it won't overturn the jury's verdict "simply because it is larger than Cooper would like."
The company did not immediately return a call.

Attorney General Miller Warns Flood Victims To Be Aware Of Scams

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says residents of counties hit by recent flooding should beware of scams.
Miller says in a press release that contractors known as "storm chasers" may try to convince people to hire them for clean-up work. He says people should be wary of contractors who show up at
the door and should seek out established businesses instead.
Miller also advises people to get written estimates for any work, to seek references and to avoid paying up front.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms in eastern Iowa have caused limited flooding and property damage.



Wednesday News, April 24

Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau Teach Le Mars Students About Safe Driving

(Le Mars) -- The Governor's Traffic Safety Commission along with the Le Mars Police Department was at the Le Mars Community High School Tuesday instructing students of the dangers of driving distracted, such as using cell phones and writing text messages, and the dangers of driving intoxicated.  Denny Becker explains the purpose for the instruction.
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Students had the opportunity to use a driving simulator that presented everyday common driving hazards such as a slow driving tractor, a deer jumping in front of the car, or even vehicles that fail to stop at stop signs.  Students wore special goggles that would distort their vision and make it seem as though they were of .07 to .1 percent alcohol.  Students were also shown sobriety tests including trying to walk a straight line, and maintain their balance, again while wearing the special goggles.  Becker says the statistics are high with regard to the number of teen drivers involved with auto accidents as a result of using their cell phone or texting while driving.

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Becker says the education efforts are beneficial as students are less likely to be involved with an accident if they have had the training.

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The Traffic Safety official says they are focusing on students during this time of year when many students will be involved with proms and graduations.

Local Firefighter Joins Fort Dodge Fire Department

(Fort Dodge) Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 -- A fifth generation fire fighter with local ties has been hired by the city of Fort Dodge.  20 year old Devan Schipper, the son of Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper and grandson of the past Le Mars Fire Chief Wayne Schipper was sworn into office  Monday evening when the Fort Dodge city mayor administered the oath.  Schipper is weeks away from graduating from Iowa Community College with an associate's degree in Fire Science.  He is a certified fire fighter. The younger Schipper served as a volunteer fire fighter with the Le Mars Fire Department since high school. Devan becomes one of five Schipper family members to service in the fire service starting back in the late 1800’s.

Pictured with Devan on the left is Asst. Fort Dodge Fire Chief Woody Wolfe and on the right of Devan is Fort Dodge Fire Chief David Luers.




Gehlen Gym To Be Named In Honor of Steve Shea

(Le Mars) -- Friends of Gehlen announced on Saturday evening that the Gehlen High School gymnasium will be named in honor of Steve Shea, the physical education teacher that passed away earlier this year.  Dr. Jeremy Bollin tells how the efforts were organized.

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Bollin says it was only fitting that the gym be named for the former physical education instructor.

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A total of $7200 was raised in honor of Shea.


House Approves Justice Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa House has approved a spending plan of nearly $535 million for the state justice system.
Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House voted to approve the plan Tuesday. The proposal includes funding for the state attorney general, state police and state prisons.
The House version of this plan offers less money than the bill passed in the Democratic-majority Senate. The Senate plan provided more funds for the state attorney general's office and victim
assistance services.
The bill will now move back to the Senate and will likely end up in a joint committee where lawmakers from both chambers try to reach a compromise.

Agriculture Budget Given The Green Light By House

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa House has approved an agriculture budget that allocates less money than the Senate version.
The Republican-majority House on Tuesday approved a plan with about $36 million from the state general fund and roughly $88 million from other funds. That's less general fund money than in
the budget passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The Senate plan included additional funds for water quality and soil conservation efforts.
The amended plan will now go back to the Senate. Given the differences between the proposals, the bill is likely to end up in a joint conference committee where lawmakers from both chambers and
parties try to work out a compromise deal.

Beef Products, Incorporated To Pay Fine For Employee Deaths

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Beef Products Inc. has agreed to pay a $450,000 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of Clean Air Act regulations from a 2007 incident at a now-closed Waterloo
packing plant which killed a worker and injured another.
In the accident more than 1,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia was released into an area occupied by workers and two became trapped. The EPA determined in an investigation that the company failed to implement its risk management plan.
The company says it is working with EPA to resolve past concerns about its refrigeration systems and that includes enhancing existing controls and procedures.
The company has agreed to conduct audits of its compliance with risk management regulations at the South Sioux City, Neb., facility and correct any identified problems.


U-S and China Agriculture Trade Examined

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A national commission will hold a hearing at Iowa State University to examine the opportunities and barriers for U.S. agricultural producers seeking to do business in China.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold the hearing Thursday at the Curtis Hall Auditorium.
The commission was created by Congress to monitor the United States' economic relationship with China and give advice to Congress and the executive branch.
It picked Iowa State as the location for its annual field hearing outside Washington because of its strengths in agriculture and other fields.
Testimony is expected to examine the future of China's agricultural and food processing industries, and some of the safety and public health issues that plague them. Trade barriers and
business opportunities for U.S. firms will also be explored.




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