Thursday Afternoon News, April 2
People Are Split Over Whether Log Cabin Should Be Saved (Updated)
(Le Mars) -- The status of the Joy Hollow log cabin was discussed last evening during an informational meeting held at the Plymouth County Historical Museum. The log cabin currently sits at the Plymouth County fairgrounds, and fair board officials would like to see the cabin either torn down, or moved off the premises. Members of the "Friends of the Joy Hollow Log Cabin" have started a fund raising campaign in hopes to raise enough money to move the cabin to the museum grounds, and second to begin restoration of the 115 year old cabin. Two preservationists who have restored numerous log cabins spoke at last evening's meeting. Mark Johnson of Artisan Restoration from Kasota, Minnesota believes efforts should be taken to save the cabin.
Butch Bouvier of Council Bluffs is another log cabin preservationist, and he agrees with Johnson, the cabin should be saved. Bouvier says he has looked at the cabin and believes it is in better condition that what many have been lead to believe.
Johnson informed last evening's gathering the estimated cost to fully restore the aging cabin could run around $35,000. Area boy scouts wanting to earn their Eagle Scout badge are encouraging museum officials to adopt the log cabin. The boy scouts hope to participate in the restoration process. However, the Museum board of directors are split over whether or not to take on the challenge to preserve the deteriorating cabin. Wayne Marty, a longtime volunteer, and a past president of the museum board of directors, says he would like to see the cabin restored, but he doesn't believe the museum should take on the task. He says the county museum is growing to the point where it is already difficult to keep up with the needed maintenance for the building and its artifacts.
Marty says he is concerned the museum may not have the funding for such a project. He also spoke of many unfinished projects already at the museum. Marty says adding the Joy Hollow cabin as part of the museum's responsibility will consume precious amounts of time.
Marty says if given more time, a more suitable location for the log cabin may be identified. He offers some suggestions as to how the cabin can be saved, and where it may serve as a useful service to the community.
Cost estimates for moving the log cabin is set at $9,000, and officials indicated last night they have raised around $7200 within the past week in pledges.
County Burn Ban Again In Effect
(Le Mars) -- Due to the continued dry and windy conditions, and the fact that Plymouth County received only minimal amounts of rain Wednesday evening, Plymouth County is again under a burn ban , and will remain in effect until further notice. In recent days, there have been a rash of grass and field fires, not only in Plymouth County, but also neighboring counties of Sioux and Woodbury County with one grass fire that got out of control and destroyed a Sioux City home.
Wiccan To Offer Opening Day Prayer At Legislature
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A member of the Wiccan faith will give the opening prayer in the Iowa House of Representatives next week- a break from tradition that has raised some eyebrows in the state Capitol.
Representative Liz Bennett, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, said Wednesday she had invited Deborah Maynard, a Wiccan from her district, to address lawmakers on April 9th.
Bennett said this would be the first time, to her knowledge, that a Wiccan gives the invocation, typically handled by religious leaders or citizens invited by lawmakers.
The Wicca religion is shaped by pagan beliefs. A message left for Maynard at a church where she is a member was not immediately returned.
Republican Representative Walt Rogers, of Cedar Falls, said he is a Christian but supports Bennett's choice to invite Maynard.
Re-sentencing Trial Set For Former Teenager Charged With Murder
CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - The resentencing of a Floyd County man who was a teenager when he killed his 3-year-old cousin has been postponed.
Sentencing for Edgar Concepcion Jr. had been set for Thursday but has been delayed until July 22 in Floyd County District Court in Charles City.
Concepcion was convicted of first-degree murder and other crimes for the July 2009 death of Krystel Banes. Concepcion was 14 at the time of the slaying.
Concepcion was sentenced in November 2010 to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Iowa Court of Appeals later upheld his convictions but overturned his sentences.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that such life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional, so Concepcion must be resentenced.
Utility Board Member Upset With Governor Branstad
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa Utilities Board member has bluntly told Gov. Terry Branstad that his decision to remove her is improper and being done to placate a powerful energy company that complained about a recent ruling.
Sheila Tipton told Branstad in a March 18 letter that his decision to replace her and demote chair Elizabeth Jacobs is an inappropriate attempt to influence the board to favor utilities.
She says Branstad made the changes "to appease MidAmerican Energy," which complained to him about a ruling requiring the company to use some proceeds from a wind energy development to reduce rates. Tipton says that decision was correct and fair to MidAmerican and its customers.
Tipton said Branstad's shakeup threatens the board's independence and sends a message to "get in line" and favor utilities.
Naked Woman Driving Car Involved With Accident
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say they responded to a car crash to find a naked woman behind the wheel of a car that had rear-ended another vehicle through a Des Moines intersection.
The Des Moines Police Department arrived at the scene of the collision around 12:25 a.m. Thursday. 25-year-old Jesse William Jeffries, who fled in nothing but shorts and shoes, was later arrested on a public intoxication charge.
Charges against the naked woman present at the scene are pending.
Police say the couple's vehicle, which they believe reached about 80 miles per hour, rammed into a car stopped at a red light. An accident report notes the naked woman's eyes appeared bloodshot, but that she says she wasn't driving.
Only minor injuries were reported in the collision.