Home News Wednesday Afternoon News, June 20th

Wednesday Afternoon News, June 20th


Former Supreme Court Justice Visits Le Mars

(Le Mars) — A former Iowa Supreme Court justice was in Le Mars Tuesday visiting with fellow attorneys, and greeting others at the Plymouth County Historical Museum. Justice Bruce Snell, Jr. served on Iowa’s highest court between 1987 and 2001. Justice Snell followed his father, Bruce Snell Sr. as being the only father-son combination to both serve on the Iowa Supreme
Court. His father was on the high court bench during the 1960’s. Justice Bruce Snell Jr. was first appointed to the Iowa Appeals Court by then Governor Robert Ray, and later was appointed to the Iowa Supreme Court by Governor Terry Branstad. Snell didn’t want to comment on any specific cases, but he says the Appeals Court was created due to the backlog of judicial cases.

The Iowa judicial branch today is still facing a backlog of cases, and clerks and judges have not been given any pay increase for a number of years. Snell says there are also several positions that remain open and no one has been appointed to serve on the bench. Several district courts have been forced to close early as a result of furloughs. Snell says it is a problem that
deserves due attention.

Judge Snell continues to comment on the large case load situation facing courts.

Snell says the judicial branch should be above politics, but he admits that politics are entering the courtroom, and he points to the case of same-sex marriage ruling as an example of how politics got involved with the courts, with the result of some justices being voted off the bench.

The former Iowa Supreme Court justice believes some of the types of cases that may emerge in the future may deal with the rights extended to illegal immigrants.



Students Learn Scientific Experiments At Mad Science Camp

(Le Mars) — Nearly a dozen children were learning by discovering during the “Mad Science Camp” held this week and sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Plymouth County and Floyd Valley Healthcare. Ann
Schoenrock with Plymouth County Extension Services says the Mad Science Camp helps younger students make discoveries through scientific experiments.

Schoenrock says the camp is designed to offer 3rd through 5th grade students “hands-on” work and introduce them to science and technology through various means.

Once a student completes the first part of Mad Scientist Camp, Schoenrock says they have the option to return the following year for an advance version.

The Extension Official says often times she has witnessed children being wide-eyed and enthusiastic about conducting the experiments.

Schoenrock says the Mad Scientist Camp has been popular over the years it has been offered. She says the camp helps prepare the students for science, technology, and mathematics classes that they will encounter at school.



Iowa Lottery Officials Wants To Coordinate Sports Betting

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lottery officials are looking at how they could offer sports betting if Iowa lawmakers legalize it next year.
The Iowa Lottery Board discussed sports betting Wednesday at a meeting in Clive. The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for states to expand sports betting last month, and Iowa lawmakers will likely consider legislation next year to bring sports betting to Iowa.
Lawmakers declined to approve a bill last session to allow sports
betting at Iowa casinos, including online wagers.
Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer says several large retailers expressed interest in offering sports betting options. Delaware is allowing limited sports betting through its lottery. Neubauer says offering convenient access would help reduce illegal gambling.
Lottery officials will continue researching sports betting, but board members didn’t indicate if they’d support expanding into sports betting.



Baby Girl Is Identified After Being Pulled From Lake

POLK CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have released the name of a toddler who died at a Des Moines hospital after being pulled from a central Iowa lake.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office identified her in a news release
Wednesday as 2-year-old Celeste Sandoval-Ramos, who lived in Perry. She died Tuesday morning.
The sheriff’s office says Celeste was with her family Saturday at Big Creek State Park, just north of Des Moines, when she was pulled from the lake just before 9 p.m. First responders performed CPR on her, and she was flown to the hospital.
An investigation is continuing.



9 Year Old Boy Dies After Being Found In Lake

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Officials say a 9-year-old boy who was found underwater Sunday at a central Iowa lake has died.
The Des Moines Register reports that Landyn Short, of Tama, died Tuesday at a Des Moines Hospital.
The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says the boy was reported missing in the water at Rock Creek State Park, near Grinnell, around 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
The boy was given medical treatment after being found underwater around 2:15 p.m. and was later flown to a Des Moines hospital.



Man Sentenced For Phone Calling Scam On Seniors

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – An eastern Iowa man has been sentenced for participation in a phone call scam that victimized more than 250 elderly people across the country.
Court records say 27-year-old Cody Richey, of Zwingle, Tuesday was given 57 months in federal prison and told to pay more than $26,000 in restitution. He’d pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids to wire fraud.
Prosecutors say the scheme consisted of phone calls to elderly people across the country, telling victims that relatives were jailed and that money should be wired to free them. Several other people involved in running the scam already have been sentenced.
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