Saturday News, August 1
Santorum Visits Plymouth County Fair
(Le Mars) -- Republican Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum visited the Plymouth County Fair early Friday evening. Santorum, a former Senator from Pennsylvania, won the Iowa caucus four years ago. Santorum says since Iowa has dropped the straw poll, things have changed from four years ago when he was seeking the position of president, and he has to work even harder this time to win the support of Iowans.
Santorum, a staunch pro-lifer, says the recent undercover video showing officials of Planned Parenthood describing how they sell organs from aborted fetuses, has made him sick.
This time around, Santorum is trailing in the polls, and may not be included in the initial Republican debate. The republican candidate says he is not worried about the polls, but rather would like to spend time visiting with Iowans on a personal basis.
During the last election, Santorum was able to win the support of Iowans by going door-to-door and establishing a personal relationship with the voters. He says that is still his philosophy in order to again win Iowa.
Ethanol Forum Held At Fairgrounds
(Le Mars) -- An ethanol forum was held at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds Friday afternoon. Iowa 4th District Congressman Steve King spoke at that forum. King says the E-P-A extended their timetable for accepting comments on the Renewable Fuels Standard. He says the Environmental Protection Agency is not following the law as stipulated by Congress.
King says if farmers and the ethanol industry don't have the renewable fuels standard, then ethanol may be shut out of the fuels market.
King says the E-P-A's delay in the final decision of the renewable fuels standard is costing several investors millions of dollars.
Investigators Still Looking For Clues 21 Years After Murder
GRINNELL, Iowa (AP) - The mother of a Grinnell College student slain nearly 23 years ago says she's trying to remain optimistic that investigators will solve the case.
Twenty-one-year-old Tammy Jo Zywicki's body was found in September 1992 near Springfield, Missouri, a month after her car was found in Illinois. She'd been driving back to the central Iowa school from her New Jersey home.
Her mother, JoAnn Zywicki, told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that she'd been hopeful since enlisting the aid of the Philadelphia-based Vidocq Society, which is known for its interest in cold cases. But she says budget cuts are making it difficult for the investigation to progress in Illinois.
Illinois State Patrol Master Sgt. Jeff Padilla says the budget hasn't been cut and that the Zywicki case remains a high priority.
Patrol Trooper That Negotiated Contract For Hand Guns Hired By Gun Company
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Department of Public Safety employee who helped draft a proposal to buy handguns for officers was soon hired by Smith & Wesson, which later won the contract.
Ken Paradise is a central figure in a messy effort to buy new handguns, which has become a two-year headache for the department.
Emails obtained by The Associated Press under the open records law show Paradise was involved in 2013 in formulating a request for proposal for the contract. He tipped off a Smith & Wesson salesman about when the proposal would likely be released.
A spokesman says the solicitation was removed from the website within 24 hours after the department learned Paradise had a pending job application with the vendor.
The company hired Paradise soon after he left state employment.
Lottery Tickets Stolen
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 25-year-old Clear Lake man has been given five years in prison for stealing Iowa lottery tickets.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that Tyler Meuer was sentenced on Tuesday. Court records say he'd pleaded guilty to theft, unauthorized use of a credit card and to a weapons charge. Prosecutors dropped other charges in exchange for Meuer's pleas.
The charges stem from crimes committed on May 10 in Clear Lake.
Veterans Affairs To Get More Money For Veteran Care
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Department of Veterans Affairs officials say funding of adult day care and other skilled and nonskilled services for Nebraska and western Iowa veterans has been bolstered by belt-tightening and will continue through Sept. 30, past the scheduled cutoff.
The VA's Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System said Friday that it will pay for all current authorizations for those services for eligible veterans enrolled in VA health care.
Because of funding shortfalls, the system had planned to stop paying for those services provided by community agencies as of Saturday. But the system says its fiscal management team found ways to control expenses so the system could continue paying for the services. In addition, President Barack Obama is expected to sign a new funding bill covering the VA shortfall.
Presidential disaster signed for Iowa June storm damage
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nineteen Iowa counties will be getting federal help in their recovery from severe storms last month that delivered high wind, tornadoes, heavy rain, hail and thunderstorms
A statement from the White House released Friday says President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration to help share the cost of emergency work, repair and replacement of facilities including roads and bridges with state and local government agencies and some nonprofit organizations.
The counties included are Allamakee, Appanoose, Butler, Clayton, Dallas, Davis, Des Moines, Guthrie, Howard, Jefferson, Lee, Lucas, Marion, Mitchell, Monroe, Warren, Wayne, Winneshiek, and Wright.
A state preliminary damage assessment found the weather system in Iowa June 20th through 25th caused more than $5 million in damage.
Judge Wants Suspect To Undergo Psychiatric Evaluation
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge wants a Sioux City man charged with first-degree murder to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
District Judge Steven Andreasen has ordered 35-year-old Isack Abdinur to be evaluated to determine if he has a mental disorder that would keep him from understanding proceedings in the case. The judge says he based his order on information provided by county jail staff and Abdinur's attorney.
Abdinur has pleaded not guilty in the fatal stabbing of 43-year-old Cornelia Stead in her Sioux City apartment in June. Police say the two were romantic partners.
The Sioux City Journal reports Abdinur's trial was set to begin in September but the evaluation order will push back the date.