ThursdayAfternoon News, February 5
Monsanto To Award LEEP $2,500 Grant
(Le Mars) -- On Friday evening at the Le Mars Community School new gymnasium, between the girls and boys varsity games, officials with the Monsanto agricultural company, along with Julie Bietelspacher of Le Mars, will be making a presentation to school officials. It's all part of the "America's Farmers Grow Communities" program in which farm families apply for a grant through Monsanto and then direct it to a local cause. Bietelspacher says Monsanto is doing more to expand their outreach and wanting to give back to local communities. She explains how she first learned of the grant program.
Monsanto is awarding a $2,500 grant in each county throughout the midwest growing area. Bietelspacher completed the application on-line and designated the Le Mars Enhanced Educational Project or LEEP, as the benefactor. Monsanto notified Julie and her husband Wayne, in January, that they are the winning farm family representing Plymouth County. Bietelspacher has had a long relationship with LEEP, serving as a founding board member. She says many of the school's students will benefit from the grant.
Bietelspacher says Monsanto requires the applicant to be a farm family and the chosen charity or organization meets the requirements of being a non-profit enity.
Woodbury County Sheriff To Announce An Arrest Connected To Sloan Murder
(Sioux City) -- Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew will be holding a brief press conference today @ 2:00P @ the Law Enforcement Center, Sheriff's Office, Drew will be announcing an arrest in the Dustin Taylor Wilder homicide that occurred at Sloan, Iowa on January 9th.
Onawa City Administrator Charged With Assaulting Son
ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - The city administrator in a western Iowa town has been charged with assaulting his 15-year-old son.
Court documents say 45-year-old Bradley Hanson, city administrator in Onawa, got into a fight with his son at their home. A criminal complaint with the Monona County Sheriff's Office says Hanson slapped his son, who slapped him back, and Hanson then took him to the ground and slammed his head into the floor.
Records show Hanson's wife called police as the fight occurred.
The sheriff's office says the teen had minor injuries, but didn't require medical treatment.
Hanson was arrested Jan. 28.
Hanson has since bonded out of jail. A court hearing is set for Feb. 11.
Legislators Hear Condition Of The Guard Address
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The head of the Iowa National Guard says that overseas requirements for the unit continue to decline.
Major General Timothy Orr addressed the Iowa General Assembly Thursday. He says they currently have about 150 soldiers and airmen deployed around the world. Thousands have served in combat and combat support roles over the past 13 years in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Orr said the guard is focused on training, so that the guard is ready for military duties and emergency response in the state. He said the guard is "mission focused and warrior ready."
There are about 9,200 National Guard soldiers and airmen in Iowa.
State Senators Give Preliminary Approval For Changing Election Rules Involving Primaries
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Senators have given preliminary approval to legislation that would change primary election rules in Iowa so voters decide certain contested races, rather than political party delegates.
The bill got subcommittee-level backing Thursday and now goes to a Senate committee for review. Under the proposal, if no candidate receives 35 percent of the primary vote in certain races, there would be a runoff election between the top two vote-getters.
Currently, when no candidate meets the primary threshold, party delegates pick a nominee. The legislation would impact races for Congress, the Legislature and statewide office.
Sen. Brad Zaun, an Urbandale Republican, proposed the measure. Last year, he received the most votes in a six-way Republican primary for the 3rd Congressional District. But he didn't reach the threshold and lost at the convention.
Lake Mills Man Charged With Trading Securities Without License
LAKE MILLS, Iowa (AP) - A Lake Mills man accused of trading securities without a license has been fined $100,000 and ordered to make restitution of more than $454,000.
Randall Finer was cited by the Iowa Insurance Division for dealing unregistered securities, being an unregistered agent, making untrue statements, omitting facts and not complying with orders from investigators.
They are civil violations of the Iowa Uniform Securities Act, not criminal.
The newspaper says Finer disputed the allegations in a Jan. 16 letter to investigators. He said had sought money from people in order to trade futures contracts for himself. He said he always made it clear that he was seeking a personal loan and that he was not a broker or financial planner.
Train De-Railment At Mississippi River
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Railroad officials say it's unclear how much ethanol has leaked into the Mississippi River following a train derailment in eastern Iowa, but that they're working to monitor the environmental impact and offload fuel from the train.
The cars went off the tracks Wednesday morning in a remote area about 10 miles north of Dubuque.
Canadian Pacific spokesman Jeremy Berry says eight of the 14 derailed cars carrying ethanol appear to be leaking. He says some ethanol has reached the river, but it's unclear how much.
Federal and state environmental agencies are working with Canadian Pacific to set up ethanol monitoring sites downriver.
Local authorities say three cars caught fire and three others plunged into the river. Fires from the accident had been extinguished by Thursday morning. No injuries were reported.
Church Burglaries Prompts Bishop To Hold Mass To Sanctify Church
CUMMING, Iowa (AP) - An early January robbery at a historic church in suburban Des Moines compelled a bishop to conduct a special service meant to sanctify it.
Bishop Richard Pates and Father Dan Kirby led a congregation of about 75 people Monday through the 147-year-old church at St. Patrick's Irish Settlement in Cumming, flinging holy water up the walls in an effort to bless the sanctuary following the theft.
Kirby says the robbery was more spiritually detrimental than financially. The thief or thieves stole a chalice containing wafers that become the literal body of Christ for Catholics during mass and several Bibles and prayer books.
Pates says the wafers are "the most sacred element" in the Catholic faith, so their disappearance made the so-called mass of reparation necessary.