Wednesday Afternoon News, September 17
Project Architech Gives Timeline For Downtown Facade Rennovation
(Le Mars) - The Le Mars City Council has set the date of October 30th when it will open bids from contractors interested in working on the downtown facade historical rennovation project. The project is part of the Community Development Block Grant that allows cost-share funding from the state, the city, and building owners. The proposed plan is being submitted to the state's historical preservation office for a review. During Tuesday's city council meeting, Project Archetech Peter Franks spelled out the timetable for the project.
Franks says the timetable allows city officials to make any changes if necessary, prior to the opening of the contractor bids.
The estimated cost for the downtown facade rennovation project is $675,000.
Hamann Arrested For Sexual Abuse And Distributing Marijuana To A Minor
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police Department has completed a sexual abuse investigation that began on August 24th. 20-year old Donovan Hamann of Le Mars was charged with two counts of third degree sexual abuse, a class C felony. Hamann was also charged with two counts for distributing a controlled substance, that being marijuana, to individuals under the age of 18, which is a Class B felony. Hamann was arrested for those charges on Tuesday and was transported to the Plymouth County Jail. His bail was set at $100,000.
Sioux City Woman Arrested For Possession Of Marijuana Following Traffic Stop
(Le Mars) -- A Sioux City woman was arrested for possession of marijuana on Monday evening following a traffic stop. Plymouth County deputies stopped 23 year old Olivia Lesko for an equipment violation on Highway 75 near county road C-70, south of Hinton. During the traffic stop, the deputy noticed a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Lesko was found to be in possession of marijuana. She was arrested and jailed at the Plymouth County jail with bond set at $1,000.
Judge Rules Agent's Firing Was Justified
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The firing of a state investigator who reported Gov. Terry Branstad's speeding SUV wasn't a wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, a judge ruled Monday in dismissing one of four claims in his lawsuit.
Former Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund had a duty to enforce traffic laws but that is "too vague and general" of a public policy to be a legally protected activity, Judge Dennis Stovall ruled. Hedlund didn't show a "compelling need" for protection from wrongful discharge since he had other job safeguards, including the ability to administratively appeal his firing, the judge ruled.
Hedlund's claims of wrongful discharge under state law, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Branstad and three superiors can proceed, Stovall ruled.
Hedlund initiated a pursuit in May 2013 after reporting an SUV zipped past him doing "a hard 90" mph on a state highway. A deputy clocked the vehicle traveling 84 in a 65-mph zone, but a trooper ultimately declined to issue a ticket after seeing it was a fellow trooper who was driving Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.
Hedlund complained to then-DCI Director Chari Paulson that the vehicle should have been stopped, saying the incident jeopardized public safety. The agency removed Hedlund from duty days later.
Hedlund's attorney, Tom Duff, said Wednesday he disagreed with the ruling and was considering an appeal. He said it might have "a chilling effect on other peace officers," if they are reluctant to enforce laws that could jeopardize their jobs.
Biden Tells Iowans To Vote For Democrats
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden is preaching a populist theme during a visit to Iowa - an important early-voting state in the presidential nominating calendar.
He's telling voters to elect Democrats who support raising taxes on companies.
Biden is hitting an election-year theme of restoring what he calls "basic fairness."
The vice president spoke to about 200 Democratic activists on the steps of the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. Bide joined a group of a dozen or so nuns who are starting a nationwide bus tour to urge people to vote.
Biden's considering running for the top job in 2016, and his trip to Iowa follows Hillary Rodham Clinton's high-profile appearance Sunday at retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's big annual fundraiser.
Chiropractor Told He Can Again Practice
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa chiropractor accused in the past of inappropriately touching female patients can resume practicing, a state board announced Wednesday.
The Iowa Board of Chiropractic's decision to reinstate Stuart Hoven's license is contingent on several conditions. He is on permanent probation and will need a female chaperone present when treating patients who are women. He must also submit to polygraph testing every six months.
Hoven, of Winterset, had been accused multiple times of inappropriately touching his patients' breasts. Two women reported incidents in 2012. Other patients reported incidents in 2004 that included alleged inappropriate comments of a sexual nature.
His license was suspended indefinitely in January 2013. Hoven later expressed interest in returning to work, but the board ruled in September 2013 that he wasn't ready.
A document filed by the board this month said Hoven has fully complied with requirements for seeking reinstatement. That includes completing individual and group therapy, as well as finishing a coaching program on professional sexual misconduct.
Hoven previously had clinics in Winterset and Osceola.