Home News Friday Afternoon News, May 4th

Friday Afternoon News, May 4th


Then Feed Just One Food Packaging Program Reaches Milestone

(Le Mars) — Hundreds of volunteers ranging from 4 years of age on up are helping package meals for the “Then Feed Just One” program. The food packaging program is taking place today at Gehlen Catholic School. Carolyn Bickford helps with the coordination of the annual meal packaging event. She
says the 1 millionth meal was packaged earlier this morning.

Bickford says the packaged meals consist rice, dried vegetables, soy texturized protein, and vitamins and minerals. The meals have a final destination of Honduras.

Bickford has visited Honduras on many occasions through the Mission Honduras program, so she has witnessed the start of the “Then Feed Just One” meal packaging to when the Honduran children actually consume the packaged meals.

Today’s event is scheduled to end at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon. Bickford says if anybody wants to help, they are welcome, to participate, or you can view the packaging event.



Opportunities Unlimited Donate Bicycle Helmets To Gehlen Catholic Second Graders

(Le Mars) — Gehlen Catholic second grade students were given a gift from Opportunities Unlimited of a bicycle helmet. The presentation of the helmets was done Thursday afternoon. Opportunities Unlimited Jennifer McCabe says they give the bicycle helmets to instill the idea to young children that they
need to protect their heads.

The students were excited based on their reaction to receiving a free bicycle helmet. McCabe says the students earned the free helmet.

Susan Vondrak helps coordinate the helmet give-away program. She says corporate sponsors and grants help pay for the helmet expense. Vondrak say if one brain injury can be prevented, then the program is worth it for Opportunities Unlimited.

The O-U officials hope the students form a habit when riding their bicycles to always remember to wear their helmet.

A total of 42 Gehlen Catholic students received the bicycle helmets.



Governor Reynolds Says She Will Sign Abortion Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says she’ll sign a six-week abortion ban into law, setting the state up for a lengthy court challenge.
The Republican governor announced in a news release that she’ll sign the legislation Friday afternoon in her formal office at the state Capitol.
The Iowa affiliates of Planned Parenthood and the American Civil
Liberties Union warned earlier Friday at a rally that they would sue Reynolds if she signed the bill, which the Republican-controlled Legislature approved earlier in the week.
The legislation would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks of pregnancy.
Similar legislation passed in other states has not gone into effect
after they were challenged in court over their constitutionality.



Winnabago Industries To Expand Into Indiana

MIDDLEBURY, Ind. (AP) – A recreational vehicle maker is kicking off a more than $12 million expansion in northern Indiana.
The Elkhart Truth reports Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago Industries held a groundbreaking Thursday in Middlebury on the Winnebago Towable Campus near its current facility. Officials say the expansion could bring up to 125 new jobs to the area by 2019.
Michael Happe, president and CEO of Winnebago Industries, says the company is “confident in the growth in this business. He says it’s a “fantastic opportunity for this business to expand its product line over time and continue to meet rising demand.”



DNR Fines Dairy Farm For Manure Spill

NEW VIENNA, Iowa (AP) – A dairy farmer has agreed to pay more than $24,000 in restitution and a penalty for manure runoff that Iowa authorities say killed more than 60,000 fish.
The fish kill was reported Oct. 9 after carcasses were spotted in two creeks in Dyersville. Officials searched the area upstream and determined that the fish kill was caused by manure from the dairy farm, which sits about 3 miles (5 kilometers) east of New Vienna.
An Iowa Natural Resources Department settlement signed last week says farm owner John Hoefler and the department agreed that he would pay a $2,000 penalty and restitution and investigative costs of more than $22,400 and take steps to ensure the spill doesn’t recur.
Among the dead fish were minnows, white suckers and creek chubs.



Supreme Court Upholds Decision On Sexual Assault

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld the felony conviction of a man who tricked a woman into having sex with him by claiming he was an old high school classmate.
Investigators say 23-year-old Michael Kelso-Christy set up a Facebook account in April 2015 under the name of the woman’s classmate. Through messages, he convinced her to agree to a sexual encounter while blindfolded and restrained.
She discovered the next day the man wasn’t her high school friend but Kelso-Christy.
Kelso-Christy was initially charged with sex abuse. That charge was dropped and he was instead convicted of burglary, a charge that can include entering a home with intent to commit sexual abuse.
Kelso-Christy appealed, arguing he didn’t commit sexual abuse because the meeting was consensual.
Supreme Court justices upheld the conviction Friday, saying people are entitled to choose sexual partners on their own terms.



Planned Parenthood Plans To File Lawsuit If Abortion Bill Is Signed By Governor Reynolds

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa affiliate of Planned Parenthood says it plans to file a lawsuit challenging a six-week abortion ban if the state’s Republican governor signs it into law.
Representatives for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced Friday during a rally outside the Iowa Capitol that its organization and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa will sue Gov. Kim Reynolds if she signs the so-called “heartbeat” legislation approved earlier this week by the
Republican-controlled Legislature.
Reynolds hasn’t said if she will sign the bill but has emphasized her anti-abortion views.
The bill would ban most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks of pregnancy. If enacted, it could become the nation’s strictest abortion regulation.
Similar legislation approved in other states has been ruled



Police Investigate Racist Graffiti

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) – Police in an eastern Iowa city are investigating racist graffiti that was left on a bus belonging to a predominantly black church congregation.
Senior Pastor Jerry Drake of Bethel AME Church in Clinton told the Clinton Herald that he found the graffiti April 27 on a door of the bus and on the seats inside. He says the discovery of what he called a hate crime has made the church members more cautious.
Clinton Police Capt. Steven Kopp told The Associated Press on Friday that the church building wasn’t the only structure in the area vandalized with racist language or neo-Nazi messages.
Kopp says there have been no arrests so far. He says officers
interviewed one person who admitted several of the acts of vandalism, “but the church vandalism wasn’t one of them.”



Mercy Medical Center To Construct Mental Health Facility

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Mercy Medical Center wants to build a $31 million psychiatric hospital in the Des Moines area to respond to an extreme shortage of mental health services.
The Des Moines Register reports that the new hospital would have 100 beds. Mercy currently has 34 psychiatric beds in its downtown facility.
Mercy spokeswoman Laura Vanden Bosch says the facility would be in Polk County, but the specific location hasn’t been determined.
Vanden Bosch says officials hope to have their project proposal before the state Health Facilities Council in July. The council decides whether health care projects are needed or if they’d inflate costs and duplicate available services.
Gov. Kim Reynolds recently signed a mental health bill that hopes to address the lack of mental health resources in the area.



Supreme Court Justice To Retire

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Supreme Court Justice Bruce Zager has announced his plans to retire later this year.
Zager has served on the state’s high court since 2011, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Terry Branstad. Zager was one of three appointments made to fill vacancies created when three other justices were voted off the bench for their role in a unanimous 2009 decision that legalized same-sex
marriage in Iowa.
On Friday, Zager announced his plan to retire effective Sept. 3. Zager did not give a reason for stepping down in his written remarks announcing his retirement.
Under Iowa law, the governor appoints justices to fill vacancies on the high court. The governor will choose from three nominees submitted by the State Judicial Nominating Commission.



Kitchen Rags Responsible For Bowling Alley Fire

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Investigators have determined that kitchen rags self-ignited to start a fire that engulfed the Plaza Lanes bowling alley in Des Moines.
The Des Moines Fire Department said in a news release Friday that more than two dozen people from various agencies were involved in the investigation, which concluded the Dec. 18 fire was accidental.
Fire experts say spontaneous combustion can occur when heat generated through rapid oxidation causes various materials to catch fire. A Consumer Product Safety Commission study found that oil residue as low as 3 percent in fabrics can lead to ignition.
Plans for a new alley complex include a larger arcade, laser tag and a sports restaurant and bar.