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Monday News, April 18

Gehlen Ball Raises $243,679 - Mike And Joan Driscoll Honored As Gehlen Award Recipients

(Le Mars)-- $243,679 was the amount of money raised during the 29th annual Gehlen Ball held Saturday evening at the the Le Mars Convention Center.  The amount represents a new record besting last year's amount by nearly $9,000.  The Peter J. Gehlen Spirit Award was presented to Mike and Joan Driscoll of Le Mars.  Reverend Kevin Richter read the following narrative when announcing this year's Gehlen Award recipients.

"This year's Peter Gehlen award winners are one of those quiet couples in the background always willing to help, to serve, to contribute.  They are both graduates of Catholic schools, he from Gehlen in 1968; she from Algona Garrigan in 1969.  He spent time in the U-S Air Force before going on to college at Iowa State.  After that, he returned to the Le Mars area to farm.  They were married in 1975 at St. Cecilia parish in Algona.  She then taught either Kindergarten or 2nd Grade at Gehlen from 1975 to 1985.  Since then, she has also spent time tutoring for Gehlen.

They were very active members of their rural parish of St. Joseph Neptune until moving to Le Mars and joining St. Joseph parish.  Now, they are active members of the All Saints Parish.  He is a 4th degree knight in K of C.  She has served on the parish Faith Formation Committee and is active in the parish choir.  They are part of Perpetual Adoration.  It was in 1998 that they started their business, which is called..."Drico Products".  Through this business, they have been enormous supporters and benefactors for Gehlen Catholic School.  They were one of the instrumental couples in establishing the Donor Wall at Gehlen.  Each year, there have been many awards, plaques, trophies quietly provided to Gehlen and the parish at significantly reduced or even at no cost.  In addition to the contributions through their business, they have both been active in the school by volunteering in

many capacities:
* Past Gehlen Ball chairs
* Football and Fine Arts Concession chairs
* Parent coordinators for the volleyball team
* They have helped with serving breakfasts and lunches
* Served as judges for speech contests
* Supported their children and now their grandchildren through many of the fine arts and sporting events.

Their daughter said the following about them: "I think that Mom and Dad just really believe in supporting the school and students.  They believe in Catholic education and the difference it can make in our lives".  Another daughter added the following:

"I always think of Mom saying to us each day when we left for school - make someone smile today, or make someone's day better.  And I think that's an attitude that they have - it's the day to day, sometimes seemingly small contributions that add up to help someone out, help a struggling student, support those are things that make Gehlen a good school and and a good family".

As mentioned, Mike Driscoll is a Gehlen alum. He says he enjoys supporting Gehlen Catholic School as a way of giving back.

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Joan Driscoll says she was honored and humbled by the recognition.

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Both of the Driscolls believe a Catholic education is beneficial for students to be better prepared for life after school, and they are proud that both there children and now their grandchildren were able to receive a quality Catholic education.  The Driscolls say Gehlen's reach goes way beyond the walls of the school building, and beyond this community.  They say Gehlen Catholic School provides a purpose of helping others.

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Neary Tells Lunch And Learn Gathering About Judicial System

(Le Mars) -- At last week's Lunch and Learn session, Judge Jeff Neary presented an educational session regarding the local judicial system.  Neary, who resides in Merrill, informed the group that Plymouth County is part of the third judicial district.

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Neary says judges have jurisdiction only in their judicial district.

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The judge says on occasion there are exceptions to the rule of presiding over a case in another judicial district.

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Neary says the counties that make up District 3-A include: Cherokee, Buena Vista,  Osceola, O'Brien, Lyon, Emmet, Dickinson, Clay, Palo Alto and Kossuth.  Neary says there are many people who perhaps don't fully understand all the responsibilities and services that district courts provide to the public.  He says a majority of cases are family law related.

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Neary informed the group the courts are starting to offer specialized services. Two examples are a community organized drug court in Plymouth County, and a second is a veterans-based court in Woodbury County.

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The judge offers more of an explanation of the new veterans court.

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KLEM news will feature additional comments from Judge Jeff Neary regarding the judicial services in future news updates.

 

 

 

 

Legislature May Not Be Able To Reach Agreement On Funding Water Quality Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Despite all the attention on water quality initiatives at the Iowa Legislature this year, it appears unlikely lawmakers will reach consensus before adjournment over how to pay for it.
Leaders in the split Legislature have fundamental differences over whether to use existing funds or to generate new dollars to deal with longstanding issues over Iowa's polluted waterways. There is no indication they will reach a compromise soon.
Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House propose a plan that would use special infrastructure money and a tax on water use. Gov. Terry Branstad backs the plan, though it differs from his proposal to use money from an education infrastructure fund.
Leaders in the Democratic-majority Senate have floated ideas that would use surplus dollars from the budget or increase the sales and use tax.

 

 

 

Prestige Farms Seeking An Environmental Permit For Proposed New Hog Processing Facility

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Prestage Foods is working to obtain the environmental permits it needs to build a $240 million pork processing plant in Mason City. 
The company will need to secure final approval from the city and environmental regulators before it can build the plant. 
The environmental review process will address how much water the plant will need, how its wastewater would be treated and what effect it might have on air quality.
Many of the roughly 200 people who attended a hearing on the project earlier this month urged city officials to reject it.
The City Council is planning hearings on April 21 and May 3 before deciding whether to approve the development agreement with Prestage.
The company hopes to have the plant operational by mid-2018.

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Nurse Accused Of Having Sexual Relations With Patient

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 56-year-old nurse has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a woman he was caring for.
Police started investigating the relationship last month after the administrator of a rehabilitation facility reported it.
The facility administrator told police that she didn't think the woman was mentally capable of consenting to sex because of her mental health issues.
Police say the sexual relationship began in December while the woman was staying at the care facility. The relationship continued after the woman was discharged.
The nurse has been arrested on suspicion of abusing a dependent adult. It wasn't immediately clear if he would face additional charges.
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Saturday News, April 16th

Council Bluffs Woman Charged with Murdering Boyfriend

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A Council Bluffs woman convicted of fatally stabbing her former boyfriend has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.
A judge Friday sentenced 47-year-old Jodie Sherman in the July 2014 death of 52-year-old Douglas Richt.
Sherman must also pay $150,000 in restitution.
She was found guilty of second-degree murder in February after being accused of stabbing Richt in the throat during an argument. Richt died while being taken to a hospital.
Sherman's attorneys argued that she's not guilty by reason of insanity. The judge rejected the insanity defense but dropped the charge down from first-degree murder.

 

 

Regent Chair Hasn't Fulfilled Donation Pledge

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa powerbroker Bruce Rastetter has long used his $5 million pledge to Hawkeye football to build his image as a successful businessman and philanthropist.
But years after his 2008 commitment was touted as the largest gift to Iowa athletics, Rastetter has given less than a third of that amount. Another donor who promised $5 million that day has completed his pledge. The football complex they were supporting has been built.
Rastetter is now president of the school's governing body.
His handling of the donation contradicts public statements claiming he's given $5 million, which he's used to deflect criticism that his policies hurt the university. And it raises questions about whether the delay was part of the pressure he put on former university president Sally Mason, who resigned last year.

 

 

Supreme Court Says Man Cannot Recover Damages From Charges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says a man cannot recover damages for the time he spent in custody before his conviction for having sex with another man while infected with HIV was overturned.
The court ruled Friday that since Nick Rhoades initially pleaded guilty to criminal transmission of HIV in 2008, he cannot sue the state for wrongful imprisonment. The justices say a strict interpretation of a 1997 Iowa law prohibiting wrongful imprisonment cases when the defendant has pleaded guilty means Rhoades cannot sue even though his conviction was thrown out and charges were dropped.
Rhoades spent about a year in jail before the Iowa Supreme Court in 2014 overturned his conviction. Last May, Rhoades filed the wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.
The court's ruling upholds a district court's dismissal of the case.

 

 

 

 

Unemployment Edges Upward

(Des Moines) - Iowa's unemployment rate increased for the second straight month -- moving up one- tenth of a percent in March to three-point-eight percent. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Courtney Greene, says some of the layoffs that have been announced are showing up.

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Says manufacturing saw many of the lost jobs.

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Good weather helped keep the construction industry moving ahead.

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There were other areas that also saw progress.

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The increase in the unemployment rate in February was the first increase since 2009. And while it increased again in March, Greene says things are still way ahead of last year.

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Iowa is still well below the national unemployment rate, which increased to five percent in March.

 

   

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