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Thursday Afternoon, News, July 9

Good Samaritan Society Of Le Mars To Help Install Safety Features In Seniors Homes

(Le Mars) -- Good Samaritan Society of Le Mars and The Le Mars Rotary, along with various local businesses, will again be partnering together in giving back to seniors living within our community by installing grab bars, raised toilet seats, improved lighting and other equipment to help reduce the risk of seniors falling in their homes.

The project day is scheduled for Saturday, October 3rd and is in conjunction with the Good Samaritan Society’s Founder’s Day Service Project. The Le Mars center is joining Good Samaritan Society locations nationwide that have organized similar projects to mark the anniversary of the organization’s founding on Sept. 29, 1922.

Amy Harnack, marketing development director for Good Samaritan Society of Le Mars, says "The volunteers had such a great experience last year, we felt it was important to do it again!”  Assessment of homes will again be completed in the months of July and August. Materials will then be purchased with donations.”

Good –Samaritan Society Le Mars would like to select three to six homes this year for improvements and are looking for qualifying senior homes to complete projects.
Individuals and organizations who would like more information about qualification, want to make a donation, or to volunteer should contact Harnack at (712) 546-2125.





Sioux City's Welcome Arches Come Down

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The three giant Gateway Arches that for 35 years told travelers that they were in Sioux City have come crashing down.
Each 40-foot-tall, 36-ton structure was pushed over on Wednesday after dirt was dug from the base beneath them. Now they're no longer in the way of a new Nebraska Street exit to be built as part of the ongoing Interstate 29 project 
The estimated $165,000 cost of moving and installing the arches elsewhere in the city ruled out proposals to save them.
Joanne Grueskin led the community drive to build the arches in 1980, and she says they helped spur development of the Anderson Dance Pavilion and the riverfront bike trails. She says the arches well-served their purpose.






Groups Opposing Oil Pipeline Submit Letters Of Petition

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Groups opposing plans to build an oil pipeline across Iowa say organizers have submitted more than 2,600 written statements against the project.
Representatives for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition gathered Thursday morning outside the offices of the Iowa Utilities Board to submit the paperwork 
The board is scheduled later this year to decide whether to approve the pipeline, which would transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution center in Illinois.
The groups say the pipeline will affect the rights of landowners and hurt the environment.
The project was proposed by Dakota Access, LLC, a unit of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners. A Dakota Access spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment Thursday.





University Of Iowa Health Care Services Doctor Improperly Billed Insurance Companies


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The state auditor's office says a former doctor for University of Iowa Health Care improperly billed insurers and diverted nearly $1.9 million in collections into his personal bank accounts.
The office said in a news release Thursday that the university had requested a special investigation into actions by Dr. Brian Adams. He worked in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation from December 1992 until resigning last August.
Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Adams by phone and email were unsuccessful. It's unclear whether he has an attorney. Online court records don't show any charges against Adams. 
The auditor's office filed copies of its report with law enforcement, including Johnson County prosecutors. A representative for the prosecutor's office didn't immediately return a call.




University Officials Implement Program To Pronounce Names Of Chinese Students

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa has implemented a new program to help the increasing number of Chinese students feel like a part of the university community by teaching professors how to pronounce their names.
The program pairs Chinese-speaking student tutors with faculty and staff in one-on-one sessions at the start of every semester.
One student, Ya Qiong, chooses to go by the English name of Irene because it's easier for her professors and classmates to pronounce. She hopes the program will help because she wants to be known by her real name. Qiong said that being able to pronounce her name correctly is a way to show respect and feel cared for.
Kevin Den Adel, an accountant lecturer, said that he still does not pronounce names perfectly, but he can see students' appreciation for his effort.





Judge Rules Apartment Company's Lease Terms Are Illegal

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa judge has ruled this week that an apartment rental company's lease provisions were illegal.
District Judge Chad Kepros approved on Wednesday the certification of a class action lawsuit filed by Iowa Tenants Project against Apartments Downtown.
Apartments Downtown was accused of charging illegal fees and withholding unreasonable amounts from security deposits. It's Iowa City's largest off-campus student housing provider.
Kepros had granted the plaintiff's request for a partial summary and declaratory judgment, meaning that his ruling is based on existing facts in the case without it going to trial.
An attorney for the tenants' rights group says that ex-tenants who rented under the lease in question will be owed damages.



Thursday News, July 9

Union To Celebrate 100 Years

(Le Mars) -- The township of Union will be celebrating its 100th anniversary this weekend. The celebration will be held on Sunday afternoon.  Bob Bohnenkamp and Hallie Evans serve as the event organizers, and they review the afternoon's activities.

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Also included for the afternoon activities will be a toy tractor pedal pull.  Bohnenkamp says at one time in history, the people of Union were believing the railroad would be built to pass through the small village.  That never happened, but what did happen was the consolidation of one-room school houses to one school building.

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The parade is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. and Bohnenkamp says there will be several entries.

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Hallie Evans says people from great distances have indicated an interest in returning for the centennial celebration.

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Union is located on county road C-44.  From Le Mars, it is six miles south following county road K-49 and five and a half miles east.  From Remsen, travel south for eight miles on highway 140, then head west four miles.   For additional information go to their website,





One Year Has Passed Since Neunaber Deaths

(Le Mars) -- One year ago today, the bodies of Donald Neunaber and his wife Esther were found dead in their rural Akron home.  Autopsy reports would later show that Donald died from natural causes, but Esther, it was ruled by the Iowa Medical Examiner's Office had died as a result of blunt force trauma.  Law enforcement agencies quickly named son Jonathon Neunaber as a person of interest in the death of his parents.  Neunaber was located a day later in La Crosse, Wisconsin by the La Crosse Police Department.  He was transported back to Plymouth County and was placed in custody in the Plymouth County jail.  A year has now passed, and still Neunaber has not been to trial.  Neunaber's defense attorney has asked the court to have his client tested for a psychiatric examination.  According to Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo, Jonathon Neunaber remains in custody at the Plymouth County jail.





Escaped Inmate Had History Of Violence

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa inmate repeatedly fought with correctional officers and destroyed property in the weeks before he managed to escape from a maximum-security prison.
Prison records obtained by The Associated Press underscore the safety risk posed by convicted armed robber Justin Kestner, who escaped from the Iowa State Penitentiary early Sunday.
Authorities say they're fortunate Kestner was captured in Illinois without violence hours after his escape.
The records show Kestner injured an officer June 12 by kicking him in the chest with both feet. And in April, Kestner destroyed many of his cell's fixtures during an outburst in which he ended up being sprayed with chemical agents.
A prison judge had sentenced Kestner to one year of disciplinary detention days before the escape, citing his "history of violence."




Branstad's Request For Disaster Area From Bird Flu Is Denied

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad's request for a federal disaster declaration to respond to the bird flu outbreak has been denied.
The governor had sought a major disaster declaration from President Barack Obama for the four counties most impacted by the virus. In a letter from federal authorities dated Tuesday, the request was rejected.
The letter said the damage was "not of such severity and magnitude" that it could not be handled by the state.
The virus has infected more than 31.5 million birds in Iowa, mostly egg-laying chickens, making the state the hardest hit in the nation.
Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers said the administration was gathering information to assess whether an appeal would be effective.





New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Returns To Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Chris Christie is returning to Iowa for the first time since he declared he was running for president.
Campaign spokeswoman Samantha Smith said Wednesday the Republican New Jersey governor planned to make two trips to the kickoff caucus state. He'll be in Iowa on July 24 and 25 and again on July 31 and Aug. 1.
Smith said Christie will headline a fundraiser for Sen. Chuck Grassley in the Fort Dodge area and attend a summer party hosted by prominent Iowa businessman Bruce Rastetter. He'll also hold town hall meetings and other events to meet with Republicans.
Christie has made five trips to Iowa this year, but in recent months he has spent more time in New Hampshire. He announced his presidential bid on June 30.





Hogg Says He May Run For U-S Senate Seat

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democratic lawmaker Rob Hogg says he is forming an exploratory committee for a possible 2016 U.S. Senate bid.
The 48-year-old state senator from Cedar Rapids announced his plans Wednesday. The seat is currently held by popular Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican who has served in the Senate since 1981.
Hogg says he will start meeting with voters and raising money. He says he'll be talking about climate change, economic growth and reforming the campaign system. He has not set a timeline to make a decision.
Hogg, who works as an attorney, is currently serving his third term in the Iowa Senate, where he is chairman of the Government Oversight Committee. He previously served in the Iowa House. He authored a book about climate change that was released in 2013.





Texas Man Wanted For Stabbing Arrested In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have arrested a man in Iowa in connection with a stabbing death in Texas.
The U.S. Marshals Service says 23-year-old Noe Lopez Trevino, of Abilene, Texas, was arrested Wednesday near an apartment complex in Des Moines.
The Abilene Police Department says Trevino stabbed 49-year-old Lewis Maston in early April at a local night club. Maston later died of his injuries.
U.S. Marshals assisting police say they developed information that Trevino may have fled to Des Moines to stay with family and friends. The agency's local taskforce arrested Trevino without incident.
Trevino is at the Polk County jail on a charge of arrest without warrant. Records do not list an attorney.





Lawyer For Iowa Man Accused Of Robbing Motel Says Case Should Go To Federal Court

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The lawyer for the Iowa man accused of robbing a Fargo, North Dakota hotel and shooting at police says the case could be moved to federal court.
Thirty-year-old Eric Webb of Cedar Rapids, Iowa appeared in court Wednesday.
Defense attorney Patrick Rosenquist says it would be "inappropriate" for him to comment why federal prosecutors could choose to indict Webb, but Rosenquist adds it has been related to him that that could be the case.
Webb was injured in a shootout with police on June 4th, after authorities allege he robbed a hotel. Webb is charged with robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon. 
About two weeks after the incident, a newspaper reported receiving a letter from Webb admitting to shooting first at police. Authorities believe the letter is authentic.





Judge Overturns Conviction Of Sexual Assault Case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former University of Iowa student is out of prison days after a judge overturned his conviction in a high-profile sexual assault case.
Evan Pfeifer was released from custody in Iowa City after his father posted a $10,000 cash bond Wednesday, which a judge set a day earlier.
The 22-year-old had been serving a 10-year term after a jury in November 2012 found him guilty of third-degree sexual abuse. 
Prosecutors contended that Pfeifer had sex with another student against her will in 2010. Pfeifer has contended the encounter was consensual.
Judge Douglas Russell vacated his conviction last week, saying it was tainted by prosecutorial misconduct and errors by Pfeifer's defense lawyer. He ordered a new trial.
After the ruling, Pfeifer was transferred from the Fort Dodge prison to Johnson County.



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