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Friday afternoon news, June 22

Governor Branstad To Visit Northwest Iowa

(Des Moines) -- Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to be in northwest Iowa on Monday.  Branstad will start his day at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce offices in Sioux City to hold his weekly news conference.  He then will travel to Orange City for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Prairie Winds Events Center scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Then at 1:00 p.m. the governor is scheduled to tour the Plymouth Energy ethanol facility at Merrill.


Singer Honored By Optimist Club

(Le Mars) -- The Optimist Club of Le Mars honored a Plymouth County Sheriff's Deputy with the Respect for Law Award.  The honor is presented annually to a local law enforcement official.  This year, Rick Singer, was the recipient for the honors.  Singer began his law enforcement career with the Le Mars Police Department in 1997.  In the same year, Singer received his peace officers certification through the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.  Deputy Singer began his employment with the Plymouth County Sheriff's office in 2000, receiving his sergeant promotion in 2011.  Sergerant Singer is assigned to the Plymouth County - Le Mars Police Drug Task Force and serves as the coordinator of the Northwest Iowa Drug Task Force.  He is certified with the Drug Enforcement Agency in clandestine lab work to process methamphetamine labs.  The local Optimist club presents the award to law enforcement officials with distinguished and dedicated servicing advancing the respect for law objectives.  The presentation was made during the recent Optimism Family Night Picnic held Thursday evening at the West Floyd Park.  The Optimist Club works with youth educating them on the dangers of drugs and encouraging them to "just say no."


Judge Reprimanded for Drunk Driving

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has disciplined a Cedar Falls juvenile court judge for a 2010 drunken driving arrest.
     The court concluded that 48-year-old Daniel Block had violated judicial ethics rules serious enough to warrant a public reprimand.
     Block had attended an evening charity event in Webster City in November 2010 and was stopped for speeding and erratic driving. An open beer can and a glass containing whiskey was found in the car.  His blood alcohol level exceeded the state's limit.
     The court found while he was cooperative throughout and never tried to use his position to change the outcome, he violated code of conduct rules designed to protect the integrity of the court.
     The court says Block's conduct was improper and unacceptable for a judge.


Dirt Bike Fatality

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 21-year-old motorcycle rider has been fatally injured in an accident on his dirt bike in Mason City.  Police say officers were sent to the accident scene around 3 p.m. Thursday. They found Steven Huerta Jr. unconscious and not breathing. Police say resuscitation efforts failed, and Huerta was pronounced dead at the scene.  A police news release says the Mason City man wasn't wearing a helmet when he was thrown from his bike. He'd lost control of it and ran into a fence.  The accident is being investigated.


Hog Farmer Sentenced For Bank Fraud

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa hog farmer who admitted defrauding a bank out of millions of dollars has been given eight years in a federal prison.
     Prosecutors say 59-year-old David LeClere, of Coggon, had pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. He was sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.
     He must serve five years of supervised release when he leaves prison, and he was ordered to make restitution of nearly $8.3 million.
     LeClere acknowledged that in order to borrow more money he gave Farmers State Bank in Marion falsely inflated information about the number and weight of his hogs and the amount of money that packing plants owed him. He admitted illegally cashed checks more than once
using a remote deposit scanning machine he'd gotten from the bank.




Friday News, June 22

Drug Sting in Buena Vista County Results in 10 Arrests

(Storm Lake) -- A drug sting in Buena Vista County resulted in the arrest of ten people.  Buena Vista County sheriff Gary Launderville says investigations into numerous drug cases led to the various arrests.  The arrests were made on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Those arrested include: Fabian Luna, age 19, of Storm Lake charged with possession of methamphetamine. 29 year old, Josuha Schwartz of Alta was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, failure to affix drug tax stamp and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Rebecca Schwartz, age 25, of Alta, charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, failure to affix drug tax stamp and possession of drug paraphernalia. 20 year old Christopher Summers of Marathon, charged with possession of controlled substance. Morgan Davis, age 22, of Alta charged with possession of controlled substance.  Russell Long II, age 22 of Albert City, charged with delivery of controlled substance, class C felony.  28 year old Josuha Anderson of Alta, charged with possession of controlled  substance.  James Mitchell, age 23, of Alta, charged with possession of controlled  substance.  Larry Boyd, age 41 of Alta, charged with obtaining precursor's to manufacture methamphetamine. and Trent Kay, age 48 of Rembrandt, charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. 

All of the individuals were taken into custody and booked into the Buena Vista County jail and either held on bond or released following posting of bond.  The arrests stem from several separate drug investigations that are ongoing with several more arrests anticipated.


Flight 232 Memorial Vandalized

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two men face felony charges for allegedly vandalizing a memorial to the 1989 crash of United Airlines Flight 232 in Sioux City.
    Scott Coleson, of Lehigh, and Felipe Sebastian, of South Sioux City, Neb., are suspected of pushing over a boulder at the memorial at a park early Wednesday. Both are charged with criminal mischief.
     The city says it will cost $3,000 to replace the cracked boulder. It's one of eight leading up to a statue commemorating the accident.
     United Flight 232 was en route from Denver to Chicago when it crashed at the Sioux City airport, killing 112 people.

Drowned Police Officer Tried To Rescue Daughter  

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say an Ames police officer who drowned in Geode State Park in southeast Iowa was trying to reach a boat and his daughter when he went under the water.
     Fifty-one-year-old Sgt. Howard Snider, of Nevada, drowned on Sunday.
     Snider, with his family, had been on a fishing boat. The boat was pulled to a dock and most of the occupants had gotten out, but Snider's daughter was still on board when the wind pushed it away from the dock.
     The Henry County sheriff's office says Snider's daughter was unable to get out of the boat by herself, so Snider went into the water to get both the boat and his daughter.
     Officials say Snider was reportedly unable to continue swimming and drowned.


Iowa Denied Waiver on No Child Left Behind Law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Education has denied Iowa's request for a waiver from key provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind rules.
     Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass says the state's application was denied because in a bill passed this year requires any changes in teacher evaluations to be first approved by the Legislature.
     Glass says he warned lawmakers that such a requirement would mean rejection. He says it's a missed opportunity for Iowa schools to find relief from the 2002 law. Glass says the law holds schools
to unrealistic measures and then blames them for failure.
     Gov. Terry Branstad says responsibility for the denial lies squarely at the feet of the Iowa Legislature, which did too little to improve schools despite repeated warnings.

Iowa Spending On School Education Ranks Low

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Census data show Iowa has been spending less than the national average on students in its public schools.
     Iowa's per-pupil expenditure was nearly $9,800 per student, compared with the U.S. average of just over $10,600.
     District of Columbia public schools spent the most money: nearly $18,700 per pupil. Utah spent the least, at just over $6,060 per student.
     Iowa spending has increased over the years, however. Iowa Department of Education data shows the state spent more than $5,100 per student in the 1997-98 school year.


Terms of Agreement Between U of I and Anheuser-Busch Announced

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - As part of a sponsorship agreement with the University of Iowa, beer brewer Anheuser-Busch will pay about $185,000 over four years to support the university's anti-binge-drinking programs.
     The payments will start at $43,000 and rise to $50,000 the final year.
     The university's sponsorship deal with Anheuser-Busch lets the beer giant use Iowa's Tigerhawk logo on its posters, flags, beer cups and T-shirts. Some critics say the deal conflicts with the university's efforts to curb students' binge drinking.
     Any items using the logo require the athletic department's approval and must include the message "Responsibility Matters."
     The agreement replaces a three-year sponsorship agreement with Anheuser-Busch that expired this year.






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