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Monday Afternoon News, May 4

Public Defender Says Neunaber Suffers From Mental Disorders

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - An attorney for a man charged with first-degree murder in the killing of his mother says his client suffers from mental disorders preventing him from understanding the case against him.

Public defendant Billy Oyadare is seeking a hearing to determine if Jonathan Neunaber is competent to stand trial in the death of his mother, 80-year-old Esther Neunaber. Her body was found last July with the body of her husband Donald Neunaber. She was beaten to death. He died of natural causes.

Oyadare says a psychologist has stated 45-year-old Jonathan Neunaber suffers from mental disorders preventing him from appreciating the charges, understanding the proceedings or assisting in his defense.

Neunaber was arrested in July. He's pleaded not guilty.

A trial hasn't been scheduled.

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Council Bluffs Woman Reports Stabbing Estranged Husband After Break-in

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A 39-year-old man is recovering from stab wounds that police say he received when he broke into a Council Bluffs home and attacked his estranged wife.

Council Bluffs police say the man was taken to an Omaha, Nebraska, hospital for treatment after a traffic stop. Officers had responded to a call around 5:45 p.m. Sunday by a woman reporting threats against her and another woman.

The officers say the man had left by the time they arrived at the home. The women reported that he'd broken in and tried to choke one of them, but she grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed him. Officers say her injuries were minor and that the other woman wasn't hurt.

Police say charges are likely against the man, but he's not yet been arrested.

 

 

 

National Parks Service Official Claims To Be "Scapegoat"

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former National Park Service official contends she was unfairly fired over illegal construction projects that damaged one of the nation's most sacred American Indian burial sites.

In an age discrimination lawsuit filed last week, former Effigy Mounds National Monument superintendent Phyllis Ewing says the park service made her a "scapegoat" to appease interest groups and protect others' reputations.

An investigation found that Ewing and a subordinate repeatedly ignored laws that required archaeological studies and input from tribes before building boardwalks, trails and a maintenance shed. The projects removed stone artifacts and impacted scenic views at the site in northeast Iowa, which contains mounds affiliated with 12 tribes.

Ewing claims she had no training on how to conduct the required reviews, and the problem "was epidemic in the agency."

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

   

Monday News, May 4

Defective Heater Causes Hog Barn Fire

(Le Mars) -- A defective heater in a hog barn was the cause of a fire that started at about 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning prompting the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department to respond.  The fire was located at 34756 160th Street.  Bob Puetz, the owner of the hog facilities, was doing chores when he could smell smoke.  He says he looked around the landscape to see who may have been burning, but didn't notice anything.  He then stepped inside his hog barn and noticed the barn was filled with smoke.  The barn was filled with small feeder pigs, but fortunately, no pigs were injured.  The fire was confined to the ceiling of the hog barn burning insulation and a wood rafter.  Fire fighters were able to extinguish the fire fairly quickly.  Damage to the facility is estimated to be at about $2000. Fire fighters were on the scene for nearly an hour and 45 minutes.

 

 

 

Fire Department Issues April Monthly Report

(Le Mars) -- 49 calls. That's the number submitted by the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department for the number of calls during the month of April.  The fire department responded to nine fires, seven rescues, and 13 investigations.  Twice, the Le Mars Fire Department offered mutual aid. Once to Oyens, and the second time was to Orange City. The fire department had 18 requests for services. Fire chief Dave Schipper says during the month of April the fire department trained 244 citizens in the use of fire extinguishers.

 

 

 

Secondary Road Crew To Replace Bridge

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced that 160th street between Sunset Avenue and county road L-22 will be closed, beginning today, and continuing through mid-August.  County road crews are replacing an aging wooden bridge and instead replacing it with a 90 foot by 30 foot concrete slab bridge.

 

 

 

Fatal Traffic Accident In Buena Vista County

(Storm Lake) -- A fatal accident happened in Buena Vista County over the weekend. The accident involved a Terra Gator fertilizer applicator and a pick-up truck. The accident happened shortly after midnight Saturday evening, going into Sunday morning, at approximately one quarter of a mile west of the intersection of 250th Avenue and county road C-49.  The driver of the pick-up truck, 40 year old David Unger of Albert City had to be extricated by rescue personnel.  Unger was transported to the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center by ambulance, and later air lifted to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.  Unger was pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center.  The passenger in the pick-up truck was 29 year old David Redecop of Albert City. He was transported to the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.  The driver of the Terra Gator was 25 year old Ethan Johnson of Jolley, Iowa. He was not injured during the accident.  The accident remains under investigation by the Buena Vista County Sheriff's office.

 

 

 

 

Woodbury County Sheriff Disappointed In Legislature

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - He's seen for himself how it works, offered to explain why it would be useful in Iowa and tried to get state legislators to approve it for statewide use.

But as another legislative session winds down with only a limited chance of action on a proposal to keep alcohol offenders out of jail with twice-daily sobriety testing, Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew is discouraged.

"This should be a bipartisan issue," Drew said, lamenting the Legislature's failure to move ahead with the so-called 24/7 sobriety program this session.

The program, in wide use in South Dakota, allows people convicted of alcohol-related offenses to continue living with their families and going to work instead of being locked up.

 

 

 

Fort Dodge Fire Department Respond To Two Kitchen Fires

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Fort Dodge firefighters have responded to two kitchen fires that happened on the same street within minutes.

The first fire was reported shortly after 3:10 p.m. Sunday, and the second fire was reported just after 3:20 p.m.

According to Chief Kent Hulett, the first fire started after the stove was accidentally turned on. Authorities say the fire was discovered by a family member who heard the smoke alarms.

Fire Marshal Doug Ostbloom says the second fire started when someone turned on the wrong burner on their stove as they were trying to cook noodles. They turned on a burner underneath a pan full of grease, which ignited and spread to a microwave and cabinets.

Both homes had fire damage in the kitchen and smoke damage throughout the house.

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Legislators Go Into Overtime With Session Due To Differences In The Budget

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - At the center of the unresolved Iowa budget is a simple disagreement on how to count the money.

On one side are Senate Democrats and Governor Terry Branstad, who support using some surplus budget dollars to balance the books. On the other side are House Republicans, who say the state should not spend more than the projected revenue for the fiscal year that starts July 1st.

The fiscal clash means lawmakers are at odds over how much to spend on individual departments, differing on key areas like education. While Friday marked the final day for lawmakers to receive daily expense payments, they cannot adjourn until they craft a budget deal.

Branstad says he hopes they can reach a budget resolution in May.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

   

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