Tuesday Afternoon News, August 11
Grassley to Hold Town Hall Meeting In Le Mars
(Washington) -- U-S Senator Chuck Grassley has announced he will be holding a town hall meeting in Le Mars scheduled for Wednesday, August 26th. The town hall meeting will be held at the Floyd Valley Hospital conference room beginning at 4:00 p.m. and will continue until 5:00 p.m.
Governor Bobby Jindahl To Campaign In Le Mars
(Le Mars) -- Louisiana Governor and Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindahl has announced he will make a campaign stop in the "Ice Cream Capital of the World". Jindahl plans to stop in Le Mars on Tuesday, August 18th beginning at 12:00 noon. Jindahl will appear at the 4 Brothers restaurant.
School Superintendent Suspended
TREYNOR, Iowa (AP) - State officials have suspended the license of the Treynor schools superintendent for 30 days, saying he should not have let his son work unsupervised as a custodian for the district after the boy was accused of inappropriate sexual conduct.
The Board of Educational Examiners also ruled last week that a letter of reprimand would be given to Superintendent Kevin Elwood.
Elwood was accused of two violations of Iowa Educational Code, including failing to make reasonable efforts to protect the health and safety of students. His attorney didn't return a call Tuesday.
In September 2013 Elwood's son, Kreighton Elwood, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and one of false imprisonment. He was sentenced to 14 days in jail, two years of probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.
Des Moines School District And Former Superintendent Reach Settlement
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines Public Schools and its insurance company will pay a former superintendent $350,000 to settle a lawsuit over sexually explicit emails sent by the superintendent.
District spokeswoman Amanda Lewis said Monday that the district expected to win the lawsuit filed by Nancy Sebring, but its insurance company wanted to settle to avoid additional litigation expenses.
Half the money will go to Sebring's attorneys. The district's insurance company will pay the majority of the costs.
Sebring filed a lawsuit after sexually explicit emails sent from her district-issued email account and electronics were made public in May 2012. Sebring's invasion-of-privacy lawsuit argued the emails were personal and not subject to Iowa's open records laws. The district said they were public records.
Work Release Escape
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Officials say they have arrested a man accused of failing to return to a residential work release facility in Council Bluffs.
Twenty-eight-year-old Andrew Eugene Maybee was arrested Monday in Omaha.
The Iowa Department of Corrections says it placed Maybee on escape status Saturday after he failed to return to the work release facility from a job.
Maybee is serving a 25-year sentence for several convictions, including willful injury causing serious injury and going armed with intent. He was transferred to work release on June 4.
Fatal Aircraft Crash
DAKOTA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating what caused a small helicopter-like aircraft to crash in Iowa, killing the pilot and injuring his passenger.
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office says the gyrocopter was traveling near the small community of Dakota City around 7 p.m. Sunday when it crashed. Its wreckage was found in the front yard of a residence.
The pilot, 58-year-old Larry Erickson, of Humboldt, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. A passenger in the aircraft, 65-year-old Mike Chapman, also of Humboldt, was taken to a hospital in Des Moines.
A gyrocopter is an experimental aircraft that resembles a helicopter. Authorities say an initial investigation indicates the aircraft suddenly lost altitude, hit a tree and crashed.
The National Traffic Safety Bureau is investigating the crash.
Tall Corn Responsible For Accident
SUMNER, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say tall corn growing near a northern Iowa city may have contributed to a fatal, two-vehicle crash.
The Bremer County Sheriff's Office says the two cars were traveling in different directions Monday morning when they collided at an intersection about five miles outside of Sumner.
One driver, 44-year-old Dawn Novak, of Sumner, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver, 47-year-old Logan Huebner, also of Sumner, received minor injuries along with a passenger in his vehicle. Both were taken to a local hospital.
Authorities say tall corn may have contributed to the collision, but they did not release additional information. The crash remains under investigation.
Alliant Energy Looks At Solar
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's second largest power company has abandoned a stance that critics say improperly slowed the adoption of solar energy across the state.
Over the last year, Alliant Energy had told schools and municipalities that it would not allow net metering for rooftop power generating systems financed by third-party solar companies.
That meant customers would not be credited for excess energy generated during peak sun times and returned to the grid, which made many of the projects economically unfeasible. In response, customers delayed, downsized and shelved solar projects meant to reduce their energy costs and impact on the environment.
Alliant changed course in a legal filing last week after critics told the Iowa Utilities Board the utility's position was illegal.
Solar advocates say the change means many projects can move forward.
Fire Fighters Find Body
BELLEVUE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say firefighters have found the body of a 94-year-old man during a blaze at his home in eastern Iowa.
The fire was reported about 8:15 a.m. Monday in Bellevue. Firefighters were told when they arrived that someone was still inside, so they went in the smoke-filled house and soon found the homeowner's body. Fire Chief Kent Clasen says attempts to revive the man failed.
Authorities identified the man as Spencer Peck.
The fire cause is being investigated.