Home News Friday Afternoon News, November 30th

Friday Afternoon News, November 30th


Former Sioux Center Christian School Teacher Pleas Guilty To Sexual Abuse of Minors

(Orange City) — A former teacher with the Sioux Center Christian School has pleaded guilty to the charges of sexual contact with minors. The Sioux City Journal is reporting that 37-year old, Curtis Van Dam of Sioux Center appeared in Sioux County District Court Friday morning before Judge Steven
Andreasen. Van Dam was charged with one count of second-degree sexual abuse, five counts of third-degree sexual abuse, and one count of sexual exploitation by a school employee. Van Dam could be sentenced to serve 80 years in prison. Under the terms of the agreement, Van Dam will register as a sex offender with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry. He will be on parole
for life once he is released from prison. Van Dam was accused of having sexual contact with at least 13 children, all under the age of 13.



Le Mars Police Reminding Residents To Follow The Odd/Even Parking Ordinance

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Police Department is reminding residents that the odd/even parking ordinance will be enforced this weekend. On-street parking for tonight after 5:00 p.m. should be on the odd side of the street.



Associate Judge Robert Dull Reflects On His Career On The Bench

(Le Mars) — Associate Judge Robert Dull will hang up his robe and put down his gavel as today is his last day serving as a judge for the 3B District of Iowa. Dull says he was appointed to be a judge back in September of 1993.
He talks about what he will remember most about the job.

Dull recounts one of his more humorous cases involved a man from Texas waiting for extradition.

Dull says the court system has become more efficient due to the paperless court filing. However, he says it is becoming burdened with an overload of cases, especially with the juvenile case load.

The retiring judge notes how the court system has had to endure some budget cuts, resulting in fewer people handling court cases.

There is a retirement reception planned for this afternoon in honor of Judge Dull to be held at the Plymouth County Courthouse on the third floor beginning at 3:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend that reception.



St. John’s Lutheran Church To Offer Christmas Tour Of Homes

(Le Mars) — St. John’s Lutheran Church of Le Mars will be hosting a Christmas Home Tour scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Tour coordinator Hope Majeres says there will be four homes featured.

Majeres says the homes are decorated for the holidays, and she explains what people will see on the home tour.

Majeres says people should initially go to the St. John’s Lutheran Church located on 1st Avenue Northwest, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The tour itself will be from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Maps will be distributed guiding people to the featured homes.

Majeres says the Christmas Home Tour serves as a fund raiser to help the church’s youth group.

Tickets are $20 a piece and can be purchased at the church, or from Hope Majeres, or from the youth minister, Kirsten Radke.



Drake University Reporting Additional Racism Incidents

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say charges are pending against a student who reported that a racist note was shoved under her dormitory room door at Drake University in Des Moines.

University officials say two minority students reported earlier this
month that racist notes were left under their dorm doors. The notes and robocalls with racist messages prompted a campus anti-racism rally Nov. 14 .

Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek (puh-REE’-zihk) said Friday the same two students reported Wednesday that a similar third note was left, but investigators determined it was not received in the manner that was reported. One of the students admitted to being responsible for the note.

Parizek says charges are pending. He did not release her name.

He also says the investigation into the first two notes is continuing to determine their authenticity.




Union Pacific Railroad Official Accused Of Shooting

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a Union Pacific Railroad officer shot a man near a railroad crossing in northern Iowa’s Mason City. Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says details from the Thursday afternoon shooting are still unclear. A Union Pacific spokeswoman said Friday that the railroad special agent was treated and then released from a Mason City
hospital. She says the man shot also was taken there. The names of the agent and the wounded man have not been released.



Soil and Water Conservation Official Charged With Stealing $20,000

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) – An investigation has found that a former secretary at an Iowa soil and water conservation district embezzled roughly $20,000 by writing unauthorized checks to herself. State Auditor Mary Mosiman says the case marks her office’s fourth investigation into misspending at one of the
state’s 100 water districts in the last five years. The latest focused on Jessica Rutter, who was an office assistant for Jasper County’s district until her June resignation.



Grinnell College Students Wanting To Form A Union

GRINNELL, Iowa (AP) – Students at a private liberal arts college in central Iowa have voted overwhelmingly to expand a union for dining employees to include other student workers, but the college is asking a federal board to overturn the move. The Des Moines Register reports that the Tuesday vote would expand Grinnell College’s dining employees union to include more than 700 student workers across campus. Grinnell officials plan
to ask the National Labor Relations Board to overturn the decision.