Fire Department Responds To Car Fire
(Le Mars) — Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched Friday afternoon to Floyd Valley Healthcare for a car that had caught on fire. The car had just been driven and was parked at the parking lot. Within minutes firefighters were
able to extinguish the flames. The call came in at about 3:15 p.m. There were no reported injuries. Fire chief Dave Schipper says it appears the vehicle’s engine fan was not operating correctly, and the engine was hot and ignited rubber hoses and electrical wiring that was touching the engine.
Ebert Wants Trial Away From Plymouth County
LE MARS, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa woman accused of intentionally crashing her vehicle into another wants her trial moved to another county.
Court records say Melissa Ebert is charged with attempted murder, driving under the influence and other crimes related to the collision Sept. 9, 2015, on county road C-38 in Plymouth County. Prosecutors say Ebert threatened to kill
herself and her passenger before purposely veering her vehicle into the path of an oncoming car.
She’d made a plea deal with prosecutors and was scheduled to be sentenced on three charges this past January. But she withdrew her pleas, and a trial on all seven counts has been scheduled to begin June 6.
Her attorney cited pretrial publicity in seeking a change of venue. A hearing on the motion is set for April 10.
Hull Man Arrested For Vandalism
(Orange City) — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a Hull man for vandalism and violating a court-ordered protective order, plus other charges.
36 year old Nathan Raman was arrested Thursday afternoon. The arrest stemmed from a Sheriff’s Office investigation into a report of vandalism that occurred at a Hull residence. Upon further investigation, Raman was suspected of using spray paint to deface the victim’s garage door. Deputies also discovered there
was a protective order in place between the victim and Raman when Raman had made prior threats toward the victim. Raman was charged with violating a protective order, stalking, harassment, criminal mischief, and trespassing.
Orange City Man Sentenced For Sexual Abuse
(Orange City) — Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle announced that Axel Reyes, age 19, of Orange City, Iowa, was sentenced on Friday in Sioux County District Court for the crimes of Assault With Intent To Commit Sex Abuse. Kunstle prosecuted the case, in cooperation with the Orange City Police Department, on behalf of the State of Iowa.
This case arose in November 2016, when police received a report of a possible sexual assault. Police learned that, in September 2016, Axel Reyes provided alcohol to a 14 year old victim, who became intoxicated, and then had sex with Reyes. After the police completed their investigation, Reyes was arrested on February 3, 2017. While Reyes remained in custody in the Sioux
County Jail, another separate 14 year old victim reported to authorities that, in January 2017, Reyes forced himself on her and sexually assaulted her against her will. Police charged Reyes with a second count of sexual abuse after completing their second investigation.
On Friday, (March 31) Reyes was sentenced to two separate two-year prison terms to be served concurrently. Reyes will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, and is subject to electronic monitoring for a period of at least five (5) years. The Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle, coordinating with US Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement (ICE),
confirmed Reyes will begin deportation proceedings at the expiration of his prison terms.
American Civil Liberties Union Lobbyies Against 911 Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa is opposing a bill moving quickly through the Legislature that would block public access to 911 calls involving injuries.
The nonprofit registered against the bill Friday, one day after The
Associated Press reported about the legislation.
The bill would declare that audio, video and transcripts of 911 calls involving injured victims of crimes or accidents are confidential medical records and exempt from the Iowa open records law. Calls involving minors would automatically be confidential.
Republican Rep. Dean Fisher says the bill was crafted after the AP sought 911 calls that shed light on gun violence in an Iowa county. Fisher says medical privacy outweighs the public’s right-to-know.
ACLU legal director Rita Bettis says 911 calls provide accountability on law enforcement and private organizations.
Feenstra Introduces Bill To Eliminate “Bottle Deposit Bill”
(Des Moines) — A key senator introduced legislation this past week that would get rid of Iowa’s popular “bottle bill,” but Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman Randy Feenstra of Hull, says it’s just a conversation starter and will not be voted upon by ANY senate committee this year.
Feenstra’s goal is to have “stakeholders” convene over the summer to come up with some alternatives.
Earlier this month, supporters of Iowa’s “bottle bill” financed a
survey that indicates 88 percent of Iowa voters consider the deposit and redemption system for beer and pop containers is “good for the state.” Critics say the empty containers are filthy and grocery stores should not be required to accept the empty cans and bottles. Four weeks ago, a bill was tabled in the Iowa
House that would have repealed the 39-year-old “bottle bill” and raised money to set up expanded recycling efforts. Supporters of that bill say it’ll take “a few years” to come up with a workable alternative.
Several Bills Fail To Move Pass Procedure Deadline
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A bill that would have prohibited so-called sanctuary cities in Iowa and legislation that would have banned most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected are among measures not advancing beyond a procedural
deadline in the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature.
The deadline Friday required policy bills to have secured several
procedural votes. Some bills have been selectively kept alive and their futures are unclear.
Bills moving forward include proposed restrictions on how authorities can seize money from people suspected of illegal activity. Other legislation would dismantle Des Moines Water Works, moving the water utility’s oversight to local
Gov. Terry Branstad recently signed into law a ban on local governments raising the minimum hourly wage and reductions in compensation for workers injured on the job.
Alliant Energy Starts Up Electrical Generator Station
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) – Alliant Energy will begin supplying energy this weekend from a $700 million natural gas-fired plant in Marshalltown that’ll produce enough electricity to power 500,000 homes.
The Times-Republican reports the Marshalltown Generating Station is the biggest economic development project in the community’s history and one of the largest ever in central Iowa.
Alliant officials say the economic impact has been chart-busting over the past two and a half years, with $47.3 million spent in the Marshalltown area by contractors and workers as of Feb. 13.
Joel Schmidt, vice president of regulatory affairs for Alliant Energy in Cedar Rapids, says the project will make Iowa’s air cleaner for decades while creating good jobs in the state.
Company officials say they plan to file an electric rate only increase with the Iowa Utility Board due to the construction price of the facility.
Two Children Escape Injury After Car Crashes Into Home
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Two young children in Des Moines escaped serious injury when a car crashed through their bedroom wall and landed on the bed on which they were sleeping.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/2oI1Cz1 ) that the crash into the ground-level apartment happened Friday morning. The driver told police she went to back out of a parking spot, but put the car in drive instead of reverse, sending her into the building.
One child suffered a scrape on the face, likely from debris. The other child wasn’t injured.
Police say the crash appeared to be accidental and that charges aren’t expected.
Council Bluffs Woman Charged With Theft From Employer
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A Council Bluffs woman has been arrested and charged after being accused of stealing more than $20,000 from her employer.
The Daily Nonpareil reports (http://bit.ly/2oHWg78 ) that 22-year-old Sierra Scheid was arrested Thursday afternoon at Bed Bath & Beyond in Council Bluffs after being confronted by a regional investigator for the business.
Police say Scheid told to the investigator and officers that she had stolen more than $20,000 during the past year.
Scheid was released from the Pottawattamie County Jail after posting $10,000 bond.