Fire Reported At Le Mars Senior Center
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to an alarm from the Le Mars Senior Center this morning located at 110 6th Avenue northeast. The fire was reported at about 9:20 a.m. Apparently, a ceiling light fixture had caught on fire, then it had quickly spread to the ceiling tiles. Fire Chief Dave Schipper says when firefighters had arrived on the scene, thick black smoke was coming from the Senior Citizens Center.
Schipper says the fire doors did help protect the fire from spreading into the Floyd Valley Apartment complex. However, he says the conference hall sustained enough damage to prevent future activities, at least for the next few weeks
The Le Mars Fire Chief estimates the damage to exceed $10,000 and possibly may go higher.
Schipper says firefighters were able to contain the fire rather quickly. He says they were on the scene for approximately 45 minutes.
Man Dies After Being Hit By Train
(Sioux City) — One person is dead following a rail car accident at Sioux City’s Big Soo Terminal. Emergency responders were sent to the terminal located at 4101 Harbor Drive around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday morning. Sioux City Police say the male victim was apparently run over by a rail car at the terminal and died from injuries sustained in the accident. Police say the victim was attempting to do a routine switch operation on the track when the accident occurred. The victim’s name has not been released pending notification of next of kin.
Le Mars Man Given Probation For Using Counterfeit Cash
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Le Mars man has been given two years of probation for using counterfeit cash at a Sioux City casino.
Woodbury County District Court records say 27-year-old Kurt Jones pleaded guilty Tuesday to forgery. He was fined $750 and given a deferred judgment, which will allow his conviction to be removed from court records if he successfully completes the terms of his probation.
Police say Jones, Brittany Derby and Jackelen Hartsock made several cash transactions Aug. 5 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Police say the bills were later found to be counterfeit.
Derby and Hartsock also have been given probation.
Court Administrator To Investigate Judges Actions
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The State Court Administrator in Iowa has ordered an independent investigation of a retired judge who admitted that he allowed the attorney on the winning side to ghost-write opinions in at least 200 cases.
Administrator Todd Nuccio issued Wednesday an administrative directive appointing a senior judge and a retired court administrator to review allegations that retired northwest Iowa judge Edward Jacobson requested opinions from
attorneys on one side of cases without the knowledge of the other side.
The directive says a report with recommendations is due June 2.
Jacobson shocked the legal community in November by admitting in a deposition that he allowed the ghost writing repeatedly in his 16 years on the bench.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady admonished judges and attorneys to avoid such one-sided communications.
Jacobson declined to comment.
State Legislature Passes Bill Requiring Schools To Have Emergency Plan
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Legislature has approved a bill that will require schools to have emergency plans in case there’s a shooter on campus.
The House voted unanimously Wednesday for the legislation, and follows a similar unanimous vote in the Senate earlier this month. It now heads to Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds.
The bill requires authorities who oversee public and private schools to have a “high-quality emergency operation plan” that includes responses to active shooters and natural disasters. The plan must be in place by June 2019. The measure also requires an annual drill, which may involve students.
A version of the bill was drafted before a Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida left 17 dead. The shooting has reignited a national debate over gun violence and community safety.