Sheriff’s Office Releases Autopsy Report On Death Of John Koley
(Le Mars) — The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office has released a report pertaining to the death and subsequent autopsy of John Koley of Le Mars. You may recall in mid-December, the sheriff’s office called the death suspicious in nature, and called for the state medical examiner to conduct the autopsy. The toxicology report determined that Koley, age 57, died as a result of acute
methamphetamine intoxication. The manner of death is determined to be accidental. The Plymouth County Sheriff and investigators are focusing their attention to finishing a forensic examination on computer and surveillance equipment seized from the residence. Any and all information gained will be
carefully evaluated to determine its relevance to the case. Koley owned several properties within the Le Mars downtown area, as well as several land parcels.
Le Mars Fire Department Updates Status of Landfill Fire
(Le Mars) — Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper has issued a statement regarding the status of the Plymouth County Landfill fire. Schipper says the fire is now being controlled. Several tons of debris have been removed and segregated into a large pile that will burn for quite some time. The main Cell with the fire in it has almost been completed extinguished. Crews have been excavating since Saturday for 24 hours continuously. The smoke from the fire can be seen from quite a distance and people will smell it in Le Mars when the wind is right.
Burlington Man Pleas Guilty To Shooting Man
FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) – A 35-year-old Burlington resident has been imprisoned for shooting to death another man.
Court records say Joseph Mayorga Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month and immediately was sentenced to 50 years. Prosecutors had lowered the charge from first-degree murder in exchange for Mayorga’s plea. Mayorga also was ordered to pay $150,000 to his victim’s family.
Police say he killed 47-year-old James Nelson on Feb. 10 last year. Mayorga told investigators that he shot Nelson as they were sitting in Mayorga’s car inside Mayorga’s garage. He says Nelson said something offensive about Mayorga’s wife, so he shot him in his left eye.
Nelson’s body was discovered the next day at Indian Park Path near Wever.
New Venue Site Chosen For Teenager’s Death
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) – The trial of a second man accused of fatally shooting a gender-fluid Iowa teenager will be moved to another county.
The Hawk Eye reports that a judge Thursday granted a request from the attorney for Jason Purham, of St. Louis. The attorney cited in part the extensive media coverage of the case in Des Moines County.
The trial will be held in Washington County and is scheduled to begin Sept. 25.
Purham has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in the slaying of 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson, whose body was dumped in a Burlington alley on March 2, 2016. Purham’s cousin Jorge “Lumni” Sanders-Galvez was convicted in November and sentenced to life in prison.
New Battery Manufacturing Plant Coming To Oelwein
OELWEIN, Iowa (AP) – Officials say the expansion of a battery company facility will bring 350 new jobs to northeastern Iowa.
East Penn Manufacturing Co. executives joined city and state officials Friday at a celebration of the new battery manufacturing and distribution plant in Oelwein (OHL’-wyne).
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the expansion was aided by $3.1 million in state tax credits and $1.75 million in direct financial assistance approved by the Iowa Economic Development Authority in 2015.
The company has operated a smaller distribution center in Oelwein for about 10 years.
Non-Profit Organization Proposes New YMCA For Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A nonprofit wants to build a YMCA and community center in a low-income neighborhood near downtown Des Moines to provide the area with access to the same resources as those offered in the suburbs.
Pillars of Promise’s proposal includes an 87,000-square-foot (8,080-sq. meter) YMCA, outdoor recreational fields and a community center to offer health services and educational opportunities in the King-Irving neighborhood.
The Des Moines Register reports that the City Council approved the group’s letter of intent last week to provide a 99-year lease for the city-owned land at $1 per year.
Pillars of Promise can now begin fundraising for the project. The group will need to decide which local organizations will offer services at the community center.
The city’s letter expires within a year. The council will consider other projects should the nonprofit’s plans fall through.
Iowa Agency To Reduce Medicaid Requirements In Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa health agency is proposing to roll back requirements in its oversight of the state’s privatized Medicaid program, a move that comes amid growing public scrutiny over the department’s plans to improve the program.
The Department of Human Services requested a bill be filed last week in the Legislature that would reduce how often it must report performance data on the health care program for the poor and disabled. The legislation would also remove some consumer protection metrics and eliminate a requirement that the agency report its expected savings under the privatized system.
The department insisted the bill will not worsen transparency and is aimed at more flexibility in presenting data to the public.
The wide-ranging proposal surprised lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat, who worked to enact oversight provisions in 2016 when the program was turned over to private insurance companies.
Man Charged With Selling Fraudulent Life Insurance
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa man has been charged with selling fraudulent life insurance policies and keeping the money.
The Des Moines Register reports that 59-year-old Roger Duane Goodwin is facing seven federal charges of mail fraud.
Prosecutors say that between 2013 and August 2016, Goodwin recommended life insurance to several clients and then deposited their premium checks in a personal bank account.
Authorities say the Windsor Heights, Iowa, man used part of the money for his personal expenses and some of it to repay other clients or make payments to insurance companies on behalf of other clients.
Goodwin’s case is tentatively scheduled for trial on April 2. His attorney didn’t immediately respond to a message Sunday afternoon.
Plane Makes Emergency Landing On Ice Covered Clear Lake
CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a small plane made an emergency landing on ice-covered Clear Lake and took off again before authorities reached the lake.
The plane landed on the northern Iowa lake Saturday afternoon and taxied closer to the shoreline.
No injuries were reported, and the plane did not appear significantly damaged. Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s deputy Jeff Bryant says the plane was gone by the time he reached the lake from Mason City. He believes the pilot made repairs.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane is a Tylorcraft fixed wing single-engine manufactured in 1943. The army green plane has a U.S. military symbol on the side.
Former Iowa Workforce Development Employee To Receive Unemployment Benefits
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A former Iowa Workforce Development worker who’d once described her boss as rude has been awarded unemployment benefits.
The Des Moines Register reports that Trudi Snyder was fired after complaining to colleagues last August that agency director Beth Townsend was “obnoxiously rude” and later comparing the agency management to “the Gestapo” – the World War II Nazis’ secret police.
Snyder reportedly told her superiors at a subsequent conduct hearing that, as a staff trainer, she didn’t realize it was her job to “put a happy face on everything.”
The agency eventually challenged Snyder’s application for jobless benefits because she’d been fired for job-related misconduct. In many cases that disqualifies a person from collecting the benefits.
Last week Administrative Law Judge Amanda Atherton ruled against Workforce Development and awarded Snyder the benefits, saying: “That employees complain about work, their co-workers and their managers is a fact of life.”