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Wednesday Afternoon News, November 26

Rejoice Community Church Preparing For Thanksgiving Meal

(Le Mars) -- Imagine having to cook 48 turkeys, baking 25 pumpkin pies, and serving 600 people.  That's the task at hand for the 100 plus volunteers preparing the Community Thanksgiving meal to be served at the Rejoice Community Church of Le Mars on Thursday.  Pastor Tony De LaRosa talks about how the idea got started.

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Originally, the meal was provided for the elderly and to shut-ins, but DeLaRosa says it soon evolved to include anyone and everyone.

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DeLaRosa says he is thankful for all the volunteers and area businesses that contribute in someway with the Community Thanksgiving meal.

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The Community Thanksgiving meal is free to the public, and will be serving between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. with home delivery beginning at 10:30 a.m.  The Rejoice Church pastor says if you are needing transportation, the church is willing to assist with those needs.

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DeLaRosa says if you find yourself with nothing to do on Thanksgiving, he has some suggestions.

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For additional information regarding the Community Thanksgiving meal, you can call the Rejoice Church at (712) 548-4430. 

 

Heated Exchange Between Woodbury County Supervisors And County Officials

(Sioux City) -- There was some heated debate during the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors meeting over the county's Emergency Management Commission's failure to meet regularly.  Emergency services director, Gary Brown says he was surprised by the issue being brought up as a non-agenda item at last Tuesday's supervisor meeting that he wasn't asked to attend.

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Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew had previously sent an email message to supervisors saying the commission meetings were required under Iowa Code, but he had never been invited.  Brown presented a letter from State Emergency Services Director Mark Schouten stating the county was in compliance with all current planning and training requirements and relevant grants.  Brown says its time to divest the commission from his duties as Emergency Services Director.

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Supervisor Matthew Ung, who brought up the issue last week, told Brown the issue wasn't about personalities, but about what was required under state code.

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Sheriff Dave Drew defended Ung and the process about making the lack of commission meetings public.

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Drew also got into an exchange with Supervisor Chairman George Boykin over the process.

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At the end, the Board of Supervisors decided to wait for Brown to meet with Drew to start to put a plan in place for the commission. 

 

Court For Mentallly Ill

  COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - The 4th Judicial District is planning to launch a court for nonviolent offenders with mental illnesses.
     In September, Pottawattamie County was awarded a $250,000 federal grant to start the project. Officials say the purpose of the mental health court is to decrease re-arrests and divert the offenders from correctional facilities to treatment programs. 
     Officials hope to launch the court in late January. 
     For a person to be eligible for mental health court, they must not have committed a violent felony. They also must have had a mental health diagnosis in the past six months or have a history of mental illness. 
     A mental health court team will be formed to collect information and decide whether to admit a person. Court sessions will be held at least once a month.
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Appeals Court Upholds U Of I Professor Firing 

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An appeals court has upheld the firing of a University of Iowa radiology professor who engaged in harassing behavior toward colleagues.
     The Iowa Court of Appeals rejected Malik Juweid's appeal Wednesday, saying University President Sally Mason and her attorney didn't have conflicts of interest.
     Mason agreed in 2012 with a faculty panel that recommended terminating Juweid for violating policies on harassment, disruptive behavior and ethics. He sent hundreds of unprofessional and confrontational emails to numerous colleagues.
     The Board of Regents upheld the firing last year. 
     Juweid appealed, arguing that Mason and assistant attorney general George Carroll had conflicts because they were fighting Juweid's whistleblower lawsuit during the disciplinary proceedings.
     The court ruled 3-0 that Juweid failed to overcome "the presumption of honesty and integrity" that Mason and Carroll are entitled.

 

"Happy The Clown" Happy To Be Alive

  MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Mason City clown who was in a coma for more than a week following an August car accident is on the road to recovery. 
     As Happy the Clown, Anne Grady has been putting smiles on the faces of children and adults for the past 30 years. She was in a coma for 12 days after a multi-vehicle wreck on Aug. 27 near Sheffield. 
     Grady then moved to the IOOF Home and Community Therapy Center, where she stayed for rehabilitation for part of October. 
     Grady tries to maintain her positive attitude in her personal life despite the recent challenges caused by the car accident. She still visits the center twice a week for speech and physical therapy. She tells the Mason City Globe Gazette (http://bit.ly/1yg37oU ) that she's lucky to be alive.
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Police Chief Resigns Post After Caught Passing Stopped School Bus

  FAYETTE, Iowa (AP) - A northeast Iowa police chief who is accused of illegally passing a stopped school bus has quit his post.
     Fayette Mayor Andrew Wenthe says Chief Brad Alan Gardner voluntarily resigned on Monday. 
     Gardner was placed on administrative leave after he was ticketed earlier this month. A bus driver for North Fayette Valley School District reported that the chief went around his bus while it was stopped and disabled students were getting off.
     Wenthe told the council on Monday that Fayette County sheriff's deputies will assist the one remaining Fayette police officer. The community has about 1,300 residents.
     Gardner said in his resignation letter that he was leaving to pursue other employment. Gardner joined the department on July 1, 2013.

 

Heroes To Be Honored During Iowa-Nebraska Football Game

  OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A Nebraska bank president and an Iowa teenager who kept their cool and saved others will be honored during halftime of the Nebraska-Iowa "Heroes" football game on Friday.
     Gene Willers is president of Midwest Bank in Pilger (PIHL'-gur), and on June 16 he saved eight people from an EF4 tornado that tore through the northeast Nebraska community. Willers put the eight inside the bank vault, but he couldn't get in because the vault couldn't be opened from the inside. He locked them in, took shelter beneath the building and survived without injury.
     Eighteen-year-old Austin Benson, of Winterset, Iowa, will be honored for helping a friend who'd been thrown from a horse on the Fourth of July. Benson used his shirt in applying pressure to his friend's bleeding puncture wound.

 


 

 

 

 

 

   

Wednesday News, November 26

Le Mars Businesses To Celebrate "Small Business Saturday"

(Le Mars) --  Le Mars businesses are encouraging area shoppers to “Think Small”® this Thanksgiving weekend.   Small business Saturday activities include the arrival of Santa Claus by fire truck, cookie decorating, and discount offers all over the “Ice Cream Capital of the World.”
   Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. First observed in 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.   Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. 
    Santa Claus is scheduled to arrive at Piece of Cake on Central Avenue in Le Mars at 11 a.m. Saturday, special delivery by the Le Mars Fire Department.   Piece of Cake owner Michelle Bomgaars is planning cookie decorating for kids while they give Santa their wish lists from 11 a.m. till 1 p.m.  Several Le Mars businesses are getting into the Small Business Saturday Spirit including Northwest Bank providing popcorn, Floyd Valley Hospital supplying apples, and Piece of Cake offering cookies.
   Le Mars merchants will roll out the red carpet all weekend, offering discounts, promotions,and many providing refreshments and drawings for prizes. 
   This year’s events are sponsored by local merchants with support from the Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau and Le Mars Main Street. 

 

Eight People Indicted For Assisting Jamal Dean To Flee

(Sioux City) -- Eight people have been indicted by a federal grand jury for assisting Jamal Dean from leaving Sioux City after shooting a Sioux City police officer last year.  A total of 17 charges have been levied against the three men and five women.  All eight face a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing or interfering with governmental functions.  Following Dean's shooting of a Sioux City police officer Kevin McCormick, the eight people were involved in hiding and transporting Dean with the hopes of going to Mexico. Dean was arrested just 70 miles from the Mexican border by a Texas Highway Patrol officer.  Those indicted include Dean's father, 55 year old Lavon Dean Sr, his uncle, 53 year old Steffan Dean, 50 year old Kimberly Smith, 21 year old Monica Rocha Contreras, 34 year old Evette Morris-Hernandez, 24 year old Anna Baker, 26 year old Ingmar Hernandez, and Esterban Hernandez.

 

Governor Branstad To Give Deposition Regarding Firing Of State Employee

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad will have to answer questions under oath about his administration's treatment of a gay former state administrator.
     A spokesman confirmed the governor will be deposed Wednesday by an attorney for Chris Godfrey, the former workers' compensation commissioner.
     Godfrey has filed a lawsuit against Branstad and aides alleging he was singled out for harsh treatment because he's openly gay. 
     He contends that Branstad demanded his resignation in 2011, and the governor cut his pay by $40,000 when he refused to quit.
     Godfrey had been confirmed by the Iowa Senate for a six-year term. He argued his job was independent from political pressure so that injured workers could get fair hearings.
     Branstad has denied discrimination. His lawyers say the resignation request was routine and the pay cut was legal.

 

High Speed Car Chase

 PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say two men have been arrested after a car chase through Polk County that reached speeds of 100 mph. 
     A Sheriff's deputy says the SUV driven by 28-year-old Brian Palm of Des Moines sped off on Tuesday after the deputy pulled him over for a traffic violation. Pleasant Hill police say the SUV drove through backyards and onto a trail during the chase before the driver crashed into a fence. 
     Palm's charges include driving while barred, eluding and drug possession.  Thirty-four-year-old passenger David Kirsch of Des Moines was charged with drug and drug paraphernalia possession. 
     Authorities say Palm was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries. Kirsch was taken to the Polk County Jail.
     It wasn't immediately clear if they have attorneys.

 

Fort Dodge Teen Given Five Years For Drive-by Shooting

  FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A Fort Dodge teenager has been given five years in prison for his involvement in a drive-by shooting.
     Eighteen-year-old Xavier Rhone was sentenced Monday in Webster County District Court on a charge of going armed with intent. Judge Kurt Wilke said he would reconsider the sentence if Rhone undergoes counseling and shows improvement.
     The Fort Dodge Messenger reports Rhone admitted earlier this year to firing two shots from a .22-caliber revolver in August at the home of a person who had allegedly threatened him. No one was injured in the shooting.
     Rhode pleaded guilty to the going armed with intent charge as part of a plea deal that dropped several other charges.

 

Turkey Federation Answers Questions About Everything Turkey This Time Of Year

(Ames) -- This time of year it is no surprise to learn the Iowa Turkey Federation headquartered in Ames, Iowa receives numerous phone calls and email messages inquiring everything about turkeys.  Katie Olthoff serves as the Communications Specialist for the Iowa Turkey Federation, but she is also a turkey producer.  She says her family utilizes turkey meat in a variety of ways beyond the traditional Thanksgiving meal.

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Iowa ranks ninth in turkey production, but fifth in the nation for turkey processing.  Olthoff says turkey consumption has been on the rise for many of years, and she says besides your holiday meal, Iowa turkeys are found at your favorite fast food sandwich shop.

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The turkey official says the Iowa turkey industry was given some good news last week when the Hillshire Brand turkey processing plant, based in Storm Lake, was again able to resume production following a devastating fire last March.

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As for the questions relating to how you should cook a turkey, Olthoff says the answers to most questions may be found at the iowa turkey.org website.

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