Saturday news, February 22
City Reviews Ordinances Involving Irrigation Sprinklers
(Le Mars) -- On Friday, we informed you about the proposed city ordinance change that would prohibit any overnight parking on Le Mars streets, avenues, or alley right of ways during the months of December 1st to April 1st. Another city code ordinance under review by the city council members involves irrigation sprinklers. Le Mars City Enforcement Code officer, Jason Vacera, says the liability for the irrigation units located between the sidewalk and the street on the right-of-way will solely rest upon the homeowner. Vacera says in the past, the city was inconsistent with its policy.
The code enforcement officer says if work needs to be done along the right-of-way, every effort possible will be made to notify the homeowner prior to the work, but the responsibility rests with the homeowner.
This past autumn several Le Mars residents were notified by the city that they needed to prune their trees due to limbs that were either hanging too low above sidewalks, or were interfering with utility power lines, or were creating a nuisance in the streets. Vacera says the city is considering new policy regarding trees.
Vacera says the city wants to focus on those trees that are on city-owned property instead of consuming so much time with homeowner trees.
A public hearing to review all of the proposed ordinance changes is scheduled for March 18th at the city hall council chambers.
Woodbury County Inmate Found Unconsious In Jail Cell
(Sioux City) -- Woodbury County Sheriff's office is investigating an incident where an inmate was found unconscious in his cell. On Thursday morning, at approximately 6:30 a.m. , a 56 year old, male inmate, was found unconscious in his cell in the long term holding area of the Woodbury County Jail. The inmate was treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital.
Following Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office protocol, the Iowa DCI was called in to conduct an investigation into the incident. The investigation is on-going. The name of the inmate will be released pending the appropriate notifications.
Suspect Thought To Have Robbed Convenience Store Is Arrested
(Battle Creek) -- Ida County authorities believe they have the individual responsible for an armed robbery at a Battle Creek convenience store that occurred on February 14. Ida County Sheriff Wade Harriman says a 17 year old teen from Webster City was arrested in Harrison County in connection with a separate armed robbery incident at Stanhope, Iowa. Harriman says charges will be filed against the juvenile. Harriman says after working with other county sheriff's offices they noticed several similarities between the two robbery incidents. The Ida County sheriff says the vehicle was the same description, and the physical description of the suspect was the same. Ida County deputies interviewed the teen on Tuesday at the Eldora State Training School for Boys, which is where the teen suspect is being held. During the interview, the boy confessed to the robbery. Harriman says the Ida County sheriff's office still needs to corroborate the confession with evidence. The Ida County sheriff says he has no doubt that they have the right person, and charges will be filed next week.
Attempted Child Abduction Reported In Storm Lake
(Storm Lake) -- Storm Lake police are investigating what appears to be an attempted abduction. Police are searching for a man suspected of trying to lure a child to his car. Officers were dispatched at 3:45 p.m. when a seven year old girl says she was approached by an unknown man who told her to "get into the car". The girl ran to a neighbor's home where the police were notified. The man is described as an older, white man, with a grey beard and glasses. He was driving a large silver vehicle and had a large black dog with him. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Storm Lake Police Department.
State Supreme Court To Hear Branstad's Appeal Involving Girls Juvenile Home
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court will review whether Gov. Terry Branstad had the power to close the troubled Iowa Juvenile Home.
The court announced Friday that it would hear an appeal from Branstad, who petitioned the court about two weeks ago.
Branstad closed the home in January following allegations that teens were improperly treated and denied a proper education. Four lawmakers then sued Branstad to keep the home open.
A district court judge has ordered the state to reopen the home and use funds the Legislature approved to operate it. The 21 girls who had been living at the home now live elsewhere.
No hearing date has been set. The order from the Supreme Court puts the lower court ruling on hold.
Corrective Measures Taken In Glenwood Facility
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa health officials say corrective measures have been taken in response to an incident involving a resident at a state-run care facility in Glenwood who wandered away.
The state Department of Human Services says in a news release Friday that corrective action in connection to the Dec. 19 incident included personnel action and increased supervision on the resident at the Glenwood Resource Center.
The resident was on 15-minute supervision checks when he left a home on the campus. Officials say he was located within minutes on the facility grounds. He was cold and injured, with an abrasion to the scalp from falling on ice.
The agency says it will file additional corrective action in the coming days with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.
DCI Agent Acted Appropriately During Casino Incident
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - The Division of Criminal Investigation says an agent acted appropriately when he fired at a suspect who was speeding at him in Burlington.
The DCI said Friday that shots fired Feb. 12 in the parking garage of Catfish Bend Casino by agent James Jenkins were justified and "intended as a defensive response to protect himself and others" from suspect David Cross. Its findings have been reviewed by the Des Moines County Attorney's Office.
Jenkins responded after receiving a report of a suspect breaking into vehicles. Cross allegedly stole a casino employee's car and sped toward Jenkins when he tried to stop him, causing Jenkins to fire three shots.
Cross allegedly struck Jenkins' patrol car and sped away. He was arrested the next day and charged. No one was injured.
State Senator Wants To Finance And Repair Former Governor's Grave
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The 115-year-old mausoleum of former Iowa Gov. Samuel Merrill is in danger of collapsing, prompting a state senator to propose funding its restoration.
Grinnell Sen. Dennis Black says he's appalled by the condition of the mausoleum in Des Moines' Woodland Cemetery.
An oak tree has toppled onto the mausoleum, the concrete roof is crumbling and raccoons are living inside.
Black, a Democrat, is seeking $100,000 for a restoration.
Merrill was born in Maine in 1822 and lived in New Hampshire before moving to Iowa in the 1850s. He served in the Civil War and later was president of a bank in the eastern Iowa city of McGregor before beginning two terms as governor in 1868. During his tenure, lawmakers approved construction of the current Capitol.
He died Aug. 31, 1899.
Reynolds To Take On Leadership Role
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will take on a leadership role with the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association for the second year in a row.
The appointment was announced Friday. Reynolds will serve on the 2014 Executive Committee for the Association. She has held the same position over the past year.
The Association says the committee focuses on supporting Republican lieutenant governors. Lieutenant governors from 12 states serve on the committee.
The Republican Lieutenant Governors Association raises money to support Republicans running for lieutenant governor positions.
Animal Group Assist With Animal Rescue
DRAKESVILLE, Iowa (AP) - A nonprofit animal group says it's assisting authorities in the recovery of hundreds of animals from a small southeast Iowa city.
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa said Friday that nearly 300 living animals and more than 50 dead animals have been taken from Drakesville in Davis County. Many are barn animals and include 30 different species.
Stephanie Filer with the rescue league says the situation appears to be in connection to a hoarder. Additional information was not released.
The rescue league says on its official Facebook page that the animals are being brought to the group's main campus in Des Moines. They say the development will put a huge strain on its operations. They are seeking monetary donations.