Wednesday News, August 20
Donald Neunaber Found To Have Died From Natural Causes
(Le Mars) -- Autospy reports on Donald Neunaber of rural Akron have been returned from the State Medical Examiner's office. Donald Nuenaber, along with his wife Esther, were found dead in their rural Akron home on July 9th. Jonathan Neunaber, the son, has been charged with first degree murder in the death of his mother, and is currently in the Plymouth County Jail under a bond of $100,000. His trial has been scheduled for December 9th. Autopsy results show Donald Neunaber died from natural causes. The Plymouth County Sheriff Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Plymouth County Attorney's office are working cooperatively to investigate the case.
City Council Holds Second Reading Of Proposed Speed Limit Change
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council heard the second reading of the proposed ordinance to change the speed limits from 45 mph to 35 mph and 55 mph to 45 mph on Business Highway 75. The council voted to hold another reading of the proposed ordinance before officially voting on the measure during its next council meeting scheduled for September 2nd. Many of the council members reported receiving public comments both in favor, and against the measure. The city council is considering the lower speed limits as a way to cut down on accidents that have occurred on Business Highway 75. According to the Le Mars Police Department, there have been 72 reported accidents on Business Highway 75, with 29 personal injury accidents during the last three and a half years.
City Council Hears From Archetech For Downtown Buiding Facade Rennovation Project
(Le Mars) -- In other action at the city council meeting, the city council heard an update from the archetech overseeing the Community Development Block Grant downtown facade program. Peter Franks informed the council he has met with 29 building owners. 19 of the properties will remain within the original cost estimate submitted with the application. The other ten want to do more than the original cost estimate, providing if the cost-share program match applies. Franks told the city council that the plans, estimates, and timetable will be submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office for their review. The council has set September 16 as the date for a hearing.
Vehicle Hits Goodwill Industries Building
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was called at about 1:45 p.m. to the Goodwill Industries Building located at 1116 Holton Drive to assist with an accident. A car was unable to stop and struck the north door of the building causing some damage to the door and to cement blocks that were knocked out of formation. No injuries had occured. The fire department assessed the damage to the building and determined it was still structurally sound. Goodwill Industries is able to continue to conduct business.
Fire Department To Test Pumps
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department will be conducting fire pump tests on their fire trucks beginning today and continuing through Friday. Pump testing is conducted on an annual basis, and according to Fire Chief Dave Schipper, it helps with the City's insurance rating. The Le Mars Fire Department will assist surrounding towns with the testing of their pumps on their fire trucks.
County Supervisors Hear About Hinton Trail
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors heard today a report from a Hinton citizen informing them about a proposal to expand a trail lined with flag poles. Nancy Smith appeared before the county supervisors and explains the plan.
Smith says her intention was to meet with the supervisors to inform them of the plan, but to also ask for their support in terms of a letter of resolution. The county supervisors approved the letter of support. Smith says now her committee will explore different fund raising opportunities.
Smith says the proposed trail would be two blocks long and hopefully would feature a flag every six feet along the trail.
Sioux City Man Convicted Of Murder
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 27-year-old Sioux City man has been found guilty of killing two people and trying to kill another.
A Woodbury County jury returned the verdicts of first-degree murder against Juan Nino-Estrada on Tuesday evening in Sioux City. He was convicted of shooting to death Michael Delgado, of Sioux City, and Yolanda Valdez, of Orange City, and wounding Luis Sanchez, also of Sioux City. The shootings took place Nov. 7 at Sanchez's house.
Public defender Mike Williams told jurors in final arguments that Nino-Estrada shot the others because he feared they would hurt him. Woodbury County Attorney Terry Ganzel argued that Nino-Estrada was angry, having accused Sanchez of having sex with his girlfriend.
A first-degree murder conviction in Iowa carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
Woodbury County Sheriff Requests Nurses For Jail
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Woodbury County officials are considering whether to add more nurses to treat inmates at the jail, after its sheriff pleaded for more support.
The county board met Tuesday to consider the proposal. They will look into costs before making a decision in September.
County Sheriff Dave Drew told board members he needs the additional personnel to properly oversee inmates at the jail. The jail has two full-time nurses and a part-time nurse. Drew said that staffing level is not sufficient for the inmates' medical needs.
Board Chairman George Boykin said there's no money to add nurses in the current budget, which runs through the end of June 2015. He said a budget amendment would be needed to add any nurses.
Law Enforcement Agencies Remind To Drive Safe Around Schools And Buses
(Le Mars) -- With the start of school it means school buses will again be on the streets and roads picking up and dropping off students. Area law enforcement agencies want people to be thinking about safety. Iowa Highway Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz says every year an accident occurs involving a motorist that did not stop for a school bus or look at a crosswalk.
Kurtz reminds motorists that they need to stop in both directions for a stopped school bus.
The Highway Patrol officer reminds people to be extra cautious and to drive without distractions.
Clear Lake Boating Accident
CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A 28-year-old man has been charged with boating while being intoxicated in connection with an accident that injured 10 people on Clear Lake in northern Iowa.
The Cerro Gordo County sheriff's department says William Nicholas, of Clear Lake, also is charged with reckless use of a watercraft and violation of right of way rules. Authorities say Nicholas was operating a boat that slammed into a public dock on Aug. 3. Four people were hospitalized and six others were injured.
Nicholas didn't immediately return a phone message left by The Associated Press on Wednesday. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.
Trial Set For Body Found On Road
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A November trial has been scheduled for a 36-year-old Waterloo man accused of killing his former girlfriend.
Online court records say Shaun Hogan on Tuesday filed a written plea of not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. He's accused of killing 29-year-old Crystal Marie Gaffney, also of Waterloo. She was the mother of Hogan's infant daughter.
Hogan's body was found in July in the middle of a road near Walker in Linn County. An autopsy determined that she died of head trauma.
Court records show Hogan and Gaffney were involved in a child custody matter. His murder trial is set to begin on Nov. 17.