Monday Afternoon News, March 9
Concrete Is Being Poured At Floyd Valley Hospital North Addition
(Le Mars) -- Several changes are occuring at the Floyd Valley Hospital. Hospital Administrator Mike Donlin reports construction on the new north addition continues as work crews are pouring concrete this week.
Donlin says as people drive by the hospital campus they will see the progress being made with the framing of the new addition, however, Donlin says it won't be long before crews will be focusing their work on the inside.
Another change at the hospital is a new face. Donlin says the hospital has hired a new physician.
Donlin says Oden is a native of northeast Nebraska.
Storm Lake Police Arrest 9 Men On Prositution Ring
STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Police say they used social media to arrest nine men in an online prostitution investigation over the weekend in Storm Lake.
The Storm Lake Police Department conducted its investigation throughout the day Friday. Of the nine men arrested, eight are from Iowa and one is from Minnesota.
Police say the investigation was geared toward those soliciting prostitution. They say the men connected with an undercover officer through social media and later met with the officer at a Storm Lake motel, where they were arrested.
All men face charges of solicitation of prostitution.
Iowa Drivers Slow To Convert To REAL ID
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Many licensed drivers in Iowa have not converted their identification to a version that is designed to help reduce identity theft and fraud.
Two years after Iowa implemented the REAL ID program, only about 250,000 of Iowa's 2.1 million licensed drivers have switched to identification that may be needed in the future to enter some federal buildings or board a plane.
Mark Lowe, the director of the Iowa Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division, says he is not surprised by the low number, and that the department needs to continue its awareness campaign to increase conversion.
REAL ID was adopted in 2005, in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, to help states verify the identities of people applying for driver's licenses and cut down on identity theft.
Iowa residents are not required to get a REAL ID driver's license.
Branstad Says He Will Restore Broadband Internet Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he will try to restore state funding to his broadband bill that was designated for a grant program.
Branstad said Monday the grant program could receive the money again through other funding mechanisms in the legislative process, including a bill or amendment.
A House committee recently voted to remove the $5 million in state funding for the program, which is aimed at assisting service providers with the cost of establishing broadband, also known as high-speed Internet, in Iowa. Lawmakers expressed concern about the sustainability of the funds.
The program remains in the bill, but it designates funding through federal and private dollars. Information about how the money will be secured has not been released.
Branstad Announces Financial Literacy Summit For College Students
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad wants Iowa students to learn how to make good financial decisions, particularly when it comes to college loans.
Branstad announced Monday that the state will hold a financial literacy summit for students, parents and educators. Branstad said he wants the May 5 event in Des Moines to help prepare students and parents for college borrowing decisions.
Branstad expressed concerns about the debt load assumed by many students and said students must learn "not borrow money for things they don't need."
Iowa school districts are expected to teach certain financial lessons to K-12 students. A group formed by the state Department of Education last year recommended revising the current standards to provide more clarity to districts and establishing ways to measure if school districts are meeting the goals.
Defense Rests In Trial Involving Killing Of 5 Year Old Girl
WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) - The defense has rested in the trial of a man accused of killing his former girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter.
Attorneys called just three witnesses to the stand Monday in its defense of 35-year-old Casey Frederiksen, who is charged with first-degree murder and sexual assault. Prosecution failed to offer physical evidence in their case against the man. Prosecutors allege Frederiksen sexually abused Evelyn Miller and stabbed her to death while baby-sitting her in 2005.
The girl's body was found in the Cedar River five days after she was reported missing.
Before testimony began, a judge denied the defense's request to acquit Frederiksen. Defense attorneys say the prosecution failed to offer physical evidence in its case against the man, but prosecutors disagreed.
Closing arguments are expected Tuesday.
Suspect In Amber Alert Arrested
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 48-year-old man accused of abducting his 9-year-old stepdaughter in Solon will be returned to Johnson County to face domestic abuse, weapons and other charges.
The abduction of Brianna Crane on Saturday prompted officials to issue an Amber Alert. The Iowa Public Safety Department says the girl was dropped off safely to law enforcement by a third party around 1:30 a.m. Sunday through an arranged meeting.
Her stepfather, Kenneth Johns, was arrested about 9:35 a.m. Sunday after holding officers at bay for about 2 1/2 hours at a residence in Davenport. Online court records don't list the name of an attorney who could be contacted for comment about the case.