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Friday Afternoon News, May 1

Judge Tosses Out Interview Of Neunaber

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - A judge ruled that statements made by a man charged with killing his mother can't be used as evidence.  District Judge Steven Andreasen ruled Thursday that statements made by Jonathan Neunaber were inadmissible at trial.

Neunaber, of Akron, is charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of his 80-year-old mother, Esther Neunaber. Her body and the body of her husband Donald Neunaber were found in the home they shared with their son.

Donald Neunaber died of natural causes

Jonathan Neunaber has pleaded not guilty.

The judge ruled that because Neunaber repeatedly declined to answer questions, the interview should have been stopped.

Andreasen didn't rule on a request that evidence collected after those statements not be allowed at trial.

A trial date isn't scheduled.

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Plymouth County To Hold Surplus Property Sale

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County will hold a surplus property auction Saturday morning.  The auction will begin at 10:00 a.m. from the Courthouse parking lot and Courthouse Annex.  County Auditor Stacy Feldman says the auction will be selling a variety of items including autos.

 

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Feldman says this auction will sell items of interest for those people who enjoy the outdoors, as well as those people needing office equipment.

 

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Feldman says the revenue from the auction will go back into the appropriate department.

 

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For questions about the sale items you can contact the Plymouth County Auditor's office.

 

 

 

Trial Has Been Scheduled For Hit-And-Run Suspect

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A trial has been scheduled next month for a 74-year-old Sioux City man charged with leaving the scene of an injury accident.

Thomas Scheitler pleaded not guilty on Thursday. His trial is set to begin June 30. Police say Scheitler's vehicle struck 11-year-old and 10-year-old girls on April 18 in Sioux City. Police say he left the scene but was found later that day.

Court documents say one girl suffered a skull fracture and the other a broken collarbone.

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Court Throws Out Fraud Conviction Of Ex-Attorney

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is throwing out the conviction of a former city attorney who had faced prison time for submitting fraudulent bills.

The court ordered a new trial for ex-Indianola city attorney John Hoyman, who concedes he submitted inaccurate billing statements but never inflated the number of hours actually worked.

Jurors acquitted Hoyman of theft but found him guilty of first-degree fraudulent practice. A judge sentenced him to an indeterminate term of up to 10 years in prison, but Hoyman has been free on appeal.

The court ruled Friday that the jury instructions were flawed because they didn't require proof that Hoyman intended to deceive the city.

His attorney, Mark Weinhardt, says Hoyman is thrilled and looking forward to defending himself "in a fair trial before a properly-instructed jury."

 

 

 

 

Marshalltown Deals With Teen Pregnancies

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - A coalition of entities serving youth and families in Marshall and Hardin counties has been meeting in response to 2012 public health data indicating that both counties bear some of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Iowa.

The Team Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention coalition plans several public events beginning May 6 to increase community awareness of the issue, and provide sexual health education to adolescents.

Spearheaded by Jana Enfield, the executive director of Child Abuse Prevention Services in Marshalltown, the coalition began meeting in January. The group stated their goal is to drive down teen pregnancy numbers by increasing adolescents' awareness of their sexuality and encourage healthy lifestyles.

According to the 2012 data released by the Child and Family Police Center, Marshall County ranked first in the state for teen pregnancies, with 55 births per 1,000 females age 15-19 years old. In Hardin County, the birth rate was 30.4 births per 1,000 females age 15-19.

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Friday News, May 1

Jan Wagner Real Estate To Consolidate With Spirit Lake Reality Agency

(Le Mars) -- A Le Mars real estate agency will soon be known by a different name.  Jan Wagner of the Jan Wagner Real Estate Agency made the announcement Thursday during a special Chamber coffee event that its Le Mars services will consolidate with the Carlson-Sanderson Real Estate Agency of Spirit Lake.

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Wagner explains Le Mars will retain an office.

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Wagner says the consolidation will be complete by June 1st.  The Jan Wagner Real Estate office has been dong business in Le Mars for the last eight years. Wagner says there will not be any changes with her staff, other than some expansion may take place.  She says  Exit Real Estate is a national based company with a good reputation.

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Brad Sanderson says he has been impressed with Jan Wagner, her staff, and her business, and he says those factors contributed to the merger of the two real estate companies.

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Sanderson says he is hopeful to expand the new real estate business to other communities within northwest Iowa.  Both Wagner and Sanderson indicated the housing market is showing signs of improvement.

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Starzl Awarded Distinguished Alumnus

(Le Mars) -- On Wednesday, the Le Mars Community School Foundation and the Le Mars Community School Alumni Association awarded the Distinguished Alumnus to Dr. Tom Starzl from the Class of 1944. Unfortunately, Dr. Starzl's health prevented him from traveling to Le Mars and attending the banquet and award ceremony.  Dr. Starzl was an innovator in organ transplants, especially with liver transplants.  Seventh grader Sara Meis of Le Mars conducted a research project on the work of Dr. Tom Starzl and presented an exhibit display at the banquet.  Sara's display was also used as her National History Competition project.  Both Sara Meis and Dr. Wendell Downing spoke about Dr. Tom Starzl. Sara Meis explains she chose Dr. Tom Starzl as her topic mainly through encouragement from her mother.  Meis says she learned a lot about Dr. Tom Starzl.

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Dr. Wendell Downing of Des Moines attended the award's ceremony on behalf of Dr. Tom Starzl, and is familiar with Dr. Starzl's work.  Downing says Starzl was an innovator and a pioneer with organ transplants.

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Dr. Downing says Dr. Starzl would observe Downing's father, who was also a physician and surgeon in Le Mars, and that led to his interest in medicine.

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Downing offers his thoughts about Dr. Starzl.

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Legislature Misses Its May 1st Deadline

(Des Moines) -- Today was originally scheduled to be the last day of the Iowa legislature, but it appears lawmakers will be going into overtime. Le Mars State Representative Chuck Soderberg says legislators put in a late night last evening. Soderberg says he didn't arrive home until 4:30 a.m. this morning.  Soderberg talks about the work that is left unfinished.

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Plymouth County Agriculture Photo Salute On Display At Museum

(Le Mars) – Visitors to the Plymouth County Historical Museum will have the opportunity to view a photo display paying tribute to Plymouth County Agriculture.  The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee is teaming up with the Plymouth County Historical Museum featuring a gallery of photographs showing various scenes involving Plymouth County agriculture.  The photo display is featured in the old “Study Hall” located on the fourth floor of the museum. The photos will remain on display from through the July 4th Independence Day holiday.

Paul Jacobson, chairman of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee says the display is to show museum visitors, the importance that agriculture plays in our local community. Jacobson says, “The photos show all types of agriculture from Plymouth County.” He says “It offers people a chance to view what happens on our farms.”

Jacobson says “Each of the photographs tells a story about agriculture within Plymouth County,” said Jacobson.  “Within the photo gallery, people will see the life cycle of crop production beginning with farmers tilling the soil, planting their seeds, the growth development of corn and soybeans, and finally the harvesting of those crops.”

“Other photos show the various livestock production operations found within the county including a cow-calf operation, market beef, piglets, market swine, poultry, sheep, horse, and even a modern day dairy production,” said Jacobson. “All the photographs are large enough to depict intricate details, and each photograph shows off the beauty of this area’s agriculture,” said Jacobson.  Various photos of different farms are part of the photo display, including the collection of the colorful barn quilts from through out the county.

"There are nearly 50 Plymouth County barn quilts each showing an unique quilt pattern, and many are erected on historic old time structures. “The photo gallery offers people who don’t have the opportunity to visit a farm, a chance to see how Plymouth County agriculture actually works,” said Jacobson.

 

 

More Iowa Farms Infected With Bird Flu

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Agriculture officials say five more farms likely have been affected by the deadly H5N2 bird flu virus, including an egg-laying operation with 5.5 million chickens.

Thursday's announcement means Midwest losses will top 20 million turkeys and chickens.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says more than 15 million of Iowa's 60 million egg-laying chickens are now affected with the news of it spreading to another farm in Buena Vista County.

Thursday's numbers include two turkey farms in the same county with an unknown number of birds, an egg-laying farm in Sioux County with 84,000 chickens and an unknown number of chickens on a Clay County egg farm.

Minnesota also reported three new presumed cases, adding another 35,000 turkeys to the state's total of almost 4 million birds killed or euthanized.

 

 

 

Wright County Takes Measures To Prevent Bird Flu

CLARION, Iowa (AP) - A north-central Iowa county with the state's largest chicken population has declared a state of emergency as a pre-emptive strike to keep out bird flu.

Wright County Supervisor Stan Watne says about 15 million chickens are housed in 20 locations across the county. Even though the closest confirmed bird flu case is about 80 miles west, the supervisors decided Thursday to take unprecedented emergency action in advance of a disaster.

The emergency declaration, usually used when a tornado strikes or a river floods, allows the three supervisors to set up an incident command and create an action plan. It may include road closures to reroute trucks carrying poultry from outside the county away from local chicken barns.

Watne says the bird flu could be economically devastating for the county.

 


 

 

 



 

 

 

   

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