Home News Friday Afternoon News, April 13th

Friday Afternoon News, April 13th


Get Branded 360 Wins Local “Open 4 Business” Competition

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Main Street organization held its “Open 4 Business” competition on Thursday evening. Four separate businesses competed for a grant to assist with either the start-up, or expansion of the business. The four businesses that competed include: Emma Rae’s restaurant, Iowa
Barbecue, Sugar-n-Spice, and Get Branded 360. Mary Reynolds, the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Main Street Coordinator tells what the judges were looking for during each business presentation.

Reynolds says each business had 15 minutes to offer their business plan and goals to the judges.

The judges included: Wade Druin, a professor at Northwestern College in Orange City, Renee Billings, Economic Development Specialist with Sioux City, and Denny Bixenman a certified public accountant and business consultant. Reynolds says the judges selected Tom and Lori Schuch of “Get Branded 360” as this year’s local competition winner.

The Schuch’s was presented with a check amounting to $500. They now must go through another level of competition before advancing to the regional. Each designated Main Street community across the state may submit one local business
to represent their community.

Last year the Brown’s Musical family with the Brown’s Century Theater won $18,500 and took second place at the state competition.



Hard Rock Casino To Pay Fine For Allowing Minor To Gamble

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Officials say the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Sioux City has agreed to pay a $20,000 penalty for letting an underage person gamble.
The casino’s agreement with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission says a security officer didn’t check the 20-year-old woman’s identification on Nov. 21.
She was a year younger than Iowa’s legal gambling age of 21. She walked the casino floor and played two slot machines.
The Sioux City Journal reports that the woman left after refusing to show her ID to another casino employee who asked to see it.
Casino marketing and hotel operations manager Mike Adams told the commission at its meeting Thursday in Council Bluffs that the security officer has received more training, as have other employees.



University of Iowa To Cease Construction Projects Due To Budget Cuts

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa plans to halt more than 100 campus construction projects in response to budget cuts approved by state lawmakers.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that the freeze went into effect Thursday and will last for about five months.
Most of the halted construction is maintenance related, but it also includes some larger projects such as a wrestling facility, a hospital facility and an art museum facility.
Projects that are already in the construction phrase, critical to the university or related to public safety will continue.
The Legislature cut the state Board of Regents’ budget by $11 million last month. The board responded by cutting UI and Iowa State University budgets by 2.4 percent. UI must make up a nearly $5.5 million shortfall before the fiscal year
ends in June.



Supreme Court Dismisses Two Former Sex Offenders

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has dismissed the state’s efforts to confine two men convicted for sex abuse crimes indefinitely under the state’s law allowing civil commitment of sexually violent predators.
The court concluded that Nicholas Wygle, of Aplington could not be further imprisoned because he had completed his two-year prison sentence for a sexual abuse charge and was in an Ames residential facility when the state began civil commitment proceedings.
Iowa law allows officials to further imprison those deemed sexual predators only if they’re “presently confined” or if they commit another sex-related crime.
Wygle hadn’t committed another crime and the court concluded a residential facility isn’t confinement.
In a second case, 66-year old Ronald Tripp, of Hazleton will be released from civil commitment after the court ruled his case should have been dismissed because the state lacked evidence to show Tripp committed another sex-related crime that justified civil commitment.
He’d been convicted indecent contact with a child in 2010.



Woman Settles Lawsuit Against Fellow Employees For Harassment

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Hispanic woman who says her white Iowa co-workers used images of Donald Trump to racially harass her has dropped a lawsuit against their employer.
Alexandra Avila dismissed her lawsuit against Sedgwick Claims Management on Monday, three months ahead of a scheduled trial.
Her attorney, Paige Fiedler, says the dispute has been resolved “to the parties’ satisfaction” but declined to elaborate, including on whether there’s a monetary settlement. Sedgwick’s attorney declined comment.
Avila’s lawsuit made headlines when it was filed days before the 2016 presidential election. She alleged her co-workers at a Coralville office harassed her for months after learning she was angered by Trump’s description of Mexican immigrants as rapists.
She alleged they called her an “illegal immigrant” even though she’s a U.S. citizen, repeatedly put pictures of an angry Trump as her computer screensaver, sent her racist memes and signed her up to volunteer for Trump’s campaign.