Friday Afternoon News, October 31
Le Mars Officials Remind Residents Of Odd/Even Parking
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars city officials want to remind residents about the ordinance involving the odd/even parking through the winter months. The city council approved the ordinance this past summer. The Le Mars Police Department has already started issuing warning citations, and according to Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga, tickets will be issued to violators of the ordinance after November 1st. Dekkenga says the ordinance calls for vehicles are to be parked on the correct side of the street regardless whether or not there is snow. Dekkenga admits there has been confusion with the old ordinance. He says residents should park their cars for the following calendar day, with enforcement to begin after midnight. Violators of the parking ordinance will face a fine of $25. The odd/even parking ordinance is effective beginning November 1st and continues through April 1st.
Cherokee Police Arrest Man After 6 Hour Stand-off
CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) - A Cherokee man is in jail after a six-hour standoff with police.
35-year-old Joshua Lee Allender faces several charges including intimidation with a weapon, assault while participating in a felony, assault on a police officer and reckless use of a firearm.
Police say officers responded to a home in Cherokee just after 9 p.m. Thursday to a report that someone was threatening suicide. When they arrived, Allender refused to come out and fired a gun from an upstairs window.
After six hours a tactical unit fired tear gas into the home and Allender was arrested shortly after 3:30 a.m.
He remains in jail on $25,000 cash bond.
Ernst Bus Hits Deer
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst had to send her campaign bus for repairs this week after it hit a deer in southeast Iowa.
At a campaign stop Friday in West Des Moines, Ernst said the bus hit the deer Wednesday night as they were driving into Bloomfield. Sen. John McCain was on the bus as well as Ernst.
No one riding on the bus was hurt, but the vehicle was damaged. Ernst said she hopes to get it back on the road soon.
Ernst said she immediately knew what had happened, noting she had "hit a deer before."
Ernst has been touring the state in the bus as she competes with Democrat Bruce Braley for Iowa's open Senate seat.
Niederbach Speaks To KLEM News About Running For State Auditor
(Le Mars) -- KLEM news was contacted by Jon Niederbach, the democratic candidate seeking the office of state Auditor. Niederbach says he has a real passion for trying to improve state government. He has been involved with state government for nearly 15 years and explains his background and reasons why he is seeking the position of state auditor.
Mary Moisman, the current state auditor who is a Republican, claims in her political ads, that she is the only candidate for state auditor who is a certified public accountant. But Niederbach says having a CPA is not a requirement of the state auditor's position.
Niederbach says there is a huge difference in philosophies between himself and his opponent when discussing the role of the state auditor.
Prior to being appointed to the State Auditor's position, Moisman was the deputy Secretary of State under Matt Schultz. Niederbach says there have been issues from that office that have raised eyebrows as to the accountability of her performance.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A class-action lawsuit has been filed accusing the city of Des Moines of not properly handling an extended bedbug infestation at a housing complex.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday. It claims the city's public housing agency put Royal View Manor residents in bad living conditions by not eradicating the bugs or warning residents about them. The suit says the pests were found in 2007 and were reported several times to the Des Moines Municipal Housing Agency.
A message was left with the Des Moines city attorney on Friday. He told the newspaper on Thursday that he couldn't comment on the case because he hadn't received the lawsuit yet.
The suit involves 55 current and former residents. The apartment complex has 200 units for low-income elderly and disabled people.
Campaign Finance Report Shows Ernst In Better Financial Shape Than Braley
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Joni Ernst is concluding the Iowa Senate race with a significant cash advantage over Democrat Bruce Braley.
Campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Ernst pulled in about $1.4 million between Oct. 1 and Oct 15. She had $2.2 million in cash at the end of that period.
Braley reported raising about $840,000 in that time period and had $707,000 left in cash. Both candidates have raised millions and attracted massive outside spending during the competitive race.
Ernst said in an emailed statement Friday that the fundraising numbers reflect the "encouragement I have gotten across the state." Braley spokesman Jeff Giertz said they were confident about their resources, noting that they have "built the campaign we need to talk about Bruce's message."
Branstad Delays Announcement Regarding Construction Problems At New Penitentary
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad's administration waited for weeks to announce a second construction problem at the long-delayed new Iowa State Penitentiary.
Records suggest that Branstad aides saw the $165.5 million maximum-security prison in Fort Madison as a potential issue as he prepared for re-election.
Branstad has been waging an all-out effort to win Tuesday in Lee County, where the prison's delayed opening has frustrated workers. The first delay was caused by a flawed geothermal heating system.
The Department of Corrections drafted a Sept. 15 press release to announce that the smoke evacuation system failed tests and needed repairs.
But Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers said the release wasn't sent because it wasn't certain whether the problem would cause additional delay. He says the news was announced after that became clear Oct. 8.
Three Iowa School Districts Receive Grants For English Language Program
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Three Iowa school districts have been notified they'll receive grants from the state to boost the literacy skills of students who don't speak English.
The Denison, Des Moines and Postville districts will receive grants. The recipients were announced Friday by Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck.
The Iowa Legislature approved the program, which provides $500,000 this year with the possibility of $1.5 million over three years.
More than 25,000 English Language Learners enrolled in Iowa's public and nonpublic schools this year.
Denison will focus on kindergarten through 12th grade while Des Moines will partner with the Diocese of Des Moines to pilot a program for Carver Elementary and Hiatt Middle School and six nonpublic Catholic schools.
Postville will design a K-12 newcomer program.