Tuesday News, November 20
Jury Finds Jandreau Guilty on Seven Counts
(Le Mars) -- It took the jury just short of an hour to deliver a guilty verdict on all seven counts against Matthew Jandreau. The trial ended at almost 9:00 p.m. Monday evening following five days of testimony. The jury, that consisted of five men and seven women, found the 20 year old Jandreau guilty of burglary in the first degree, guilty of kidnapping in the third degree, guilty of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse causing bodily injury, guilty of attempted burglary in the second degree, guilty of operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent, guilty of criminal mischief, guilty of operating while intoxicated. The jury also decided the value of the criminal mischief for repair or
replacement was more than $500 but not more than $1000. Jandreau could face more than 25 years of prison time. On March 2nd, Jandreau started his string of criminal activities by starting at the J and J Cafe (Truck stop) and stealing a banana cake dessert bar. He then tried to steal a van, but left the van parked in the middle of the street and had stolen a women's purse that was left in the van by the owner. Jandreau then tried to break in a home by kicking the back door. He then continued a few blocks away and entered a home by breaking down the door. It was at this location that an eleven year old female juvenile was home alone from school as she was ill. Jandreau assaulted the young girl, disrobed the girl tried to place the young girl in both a dishwasher and broom closet, and finally threw her down a flight of stairs to the basement and kept assaulting her. The young girl sustained numerous injuries including a separated shoulder. It was at this address that law enforcement officials responded to a 9-1-1 emergency phone call which only screaming was heard on the phone. Through out the duration of the trial, Jandreau showed no expression of emotion, many times sitting in the chair with his hand holding up his head, as if giving the impression he was bored. While entering the courtroom, none of the jury members looked at the defendant, nor at either of the attorneys. During the reading of the verdict, Jandreau continued to show no emotion. A specific sentencing date was not scheduled, but Judge Neary did indicate it would take place within the next thirty days.
Briar Cliff Foreign Exchange Student Shot In Sioux City
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City police say a 20-year-old foreign exchange student is recovering after being shot at a local bar.
Police identified the gunshot victim as Briar Cliff University student Natacha Butera. She was listed in fair condition at a hospital Monday.
Police say Butera was shot in the arm and chest early Sunday in the first-floor bar of Mac Behr's.
Police say 24-year-old Soloman Harris fired a pistol at a man he had been fighting with, and the bullet instead hit Butera, piercing her liver and lung. Police say Harris did not know Butera, who
happened to be standing nearby. Harris has been charged and is being jailed.
Briar Cliff officials issued a statement saying its community "is very saddened about this unfortunate situation."
State House Candidate Calls For Recall Vote
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Democrat who lost an Iowa House seat by just 22 votes on Election Day is seeking a recount of the votes.
The District 43 seat representing and area of suburban West Des Moines was won by Chris Hagenow, a Republican incumbent. He defeated Democrat Susan Judkins, of Clive.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/Qq3x9x ) that Judkins requested the recount Thursday.
A date for the recount hasn't yet been set but it must be completed by Dec. 3.
The district includes Windsor Heights and portions of Clive and West Des Moines in Polk County.
A spokesman for the Iowa Secretary of State's office said Monday that recounts also have been requested in one other House district
and a Senate race.
Agriculture and Business Organizations Call For Gas Tax Increase
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A coalition of farm and business groups is forming to push Iowa legislators for a 10-cent increase in state taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.
Scott Newhard, of the Associated General Contractors of Iowa, told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/SYNxXM) that he's expecting support for the idea from the Iowa Farm Bureau, the Iowa Bankers Association and several other agriculture and business groups.
Newhard says the fuel tax increase is needed to address a $215 million annual funding shortfall for critical maintenance and improvements needed by Iowa's road system.
Spokesman Tim Albrecht for Gov. Terry Branstad says Branstad would look favorably on raising tax revenue for roads and bridges only if the proposal were contained "within a broad, overall tax
reform package that reduces taxes on all Iowans."
College Scientists Claim Drought Due To Global Warming
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than 130 scientists from Iowa colleges and universities say this year's drought is consistent with a warmer climate predicted as part of global climate change
and more droughts can be expected.
Scientists and researchers from 27 Iowa colleges and universities signed the Iowa Climate Statement released Monday. It says a warming climate causes wet years to be wetter and dry years
to be hotter and dryer. Those extremes lead to more flooding and drought, and Iowa has experienced both in recent years.
The state was hard hit this year when drought spread across two-thirds of the country.
The scientists say warming will continue as global emissions increase and greenhouse gases accumulate, and they expect a growing number of droughts as soon as the 2020s.
Homeowners Receive Mortgage Relief
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than 570 Iowa homeowners have received mortgage relief including loan modifications and refinancing worth more than $19 million as part of a settlement with the nation's five largest mortgage banks.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says another $7 million will go to Iowa borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between January 2008 and December 2011 if their loan was serviced by one of
the five providers.
The relief is part of a $25 billion national settlement with JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial.
Miller released the figures Monday as part of a progress report on the settlement with the banks.
UNI President Search Continues
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - The committee searching for the next University of Northern Iowa president will hear an update on the process.
The committee meets Tuesday at UNI's Gilchrist Hall to discuss the timeline of the search, the status of candidates and the next steps.
Applications and nominations are currently due Dec. 14, and the panel is expected to recommend a slate of finalists to the Iowa Board of Regents.
The university is looking for a successor for President Ben Allen, who has announced plans to step down next year. Students, employees and alumni have been following the search closely because it comes amid a tight budget that caused Allen to make deep cuts to academic programs.
Former Police Officer Arrested
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former Des Moines police officer who was given probation on a weapons charge in violation of his probation in a drug case has been recaptured.
Police say Brandon Singleton was arrested just after 7 p.m. Monday at a residence in east Des Moines. Iowa Corrections Department spokesman Fred Scaletta says Singleton's electronic tracking bracelet had been removed in violation of Singleton's probation terms. Scaletta said Singleton's family reported him missing on Friday.
Singleton was fired after he was caught with drugs in his patrol car last April. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and given a year of probation.
Singleton was arrested on the weapons charge a month later. On Nov. 1 he was given three years of probation and 30 days in jail on an unrelated charge.
Ankeny City Council Changes Mind Over Casino
ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - The Ankeny City Council has reversed itself and opted out of an agreement with a company that wants to build a $150 million casino near a new Interstate 35 interchange in town.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/Q7kZxY) that the council voted unanimously Monday against going forward with Wild Rose Entertainment.
Wild Rose officials said Friday that they would give Ankeny leaders the chance to opt out of the memorandum of understanding signed Oct. 29. The memorandum said the city would support efforts
by Wild Rose Entertainment to acquire a state license.
Wild Rose spokeswoman Jamie Buelt says the company still plans to pursue the license and build the casino.
NAACP Asks Branstad To Allow More Felon Voting
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Leaders of the NAACP are lobbying Gov. Terry Branstad to soften a policy that has made it difficult for thousands of Iowans convicted of crimes to get their voting rights
The Des Moines Register reports that NAACP President Benjamin Jealous and other officials from the group met Monday with Branstad.
NAACP officials say they focused much of the meeting trying to convince Branstad to change a cumbersome application process that has resulted in less than 20 felons getting their voting rights
back since January 2011.
Branstad's office has told applicants on the application form that they must pay all court costs and restitution before applying. But spokesman Tim Albrecht said Monday the office will allow anyone
who is current on restitution payments to seek their rights back.