Home News Friday News, December 21st

Friday News, December 21st


Wednesday’s Accident Results In A Fatality

(Le Mars) — Wednesday’s two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Highway 75 and County Road C-38 resulted in a fatality. Three people were injured as a result of the accident. They have been identified as 86-year old Nadine Binneboese and 90-year old Harold Binneboese of Le Mars, who were in a silver
four-door Mercury Montego sedan. The driver of the white Ford F-150 pickup truck was 28-year old Stephan Goodvin of Whiting. Nadine Binneboese was driving the car traveling westbound on C38, and Goodvin was heading south on Highway 75.
The sedan vehicle sustained heavy damage to the passenger compartment and the pickup truck had front-end damage. All three individuals were transported to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City for treatment. During late evening of December 19th, officers had learned that Harold Binneboese had died as a result of the injuries sustained during the accident. Nadine Binneboese was held at Mercy for observation due to some minor injuries, and Goodvin was released with minor injuries. The investigation is continuing.



Formal Charges Filed Against Bank Robbery Suspects 

(Le Mars) — An arraignment date has been set for the two suspects arrested last week after the robbery of the Iowa State Bank of Le Mars. 32-year old Phillip White and 35-year old Karen Merrick, both of Sioux City, are each charged with second degree robbery, first degree theft, and conspiracy to commit robbery and theft. Merrick is also charged with eluding and
accessory counts. Their arraignment is set for January 14th in Plymouth County District Court. Court documents state that White entered the bank, told a teller that he had a gun, and wanted money. White then fled outside to a waiting 2012 U-Haul box van driven by Merrick. All of the stolen money was recovered from the vehicle. White and Merrick each remain in custody on
a $20,000 dollar bond in the Plymouth County Jail.



Denison’s Mayor Places Three City Officials On Administrative Leave

DENISON, Iowa (AP) – The mayor of a western Iowa city has placed three of the city’s highest-ranking employees on paid administrative leave.
Denison Mayor Jared Beymer and other city officials haven’t
explained why the action was taken Tuesday against City Manager Terry Crawford, Fire Chief Cory Snowgren and City Clerk Lisa Koch. Beymer says he can’t comment about the matter because it’s a “personnel investigation.”
Koch said Thursday that she, Snowgren and Crawford were surprised by the mayor’s action and so far haven’t been given reasons for being placed on leave.



Authorities Were Looking At Four Suspects In Molly Tibbetts Murder

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Before they arrested a farmhand in the death of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts, investigators scrutinized four other potential suspects during their five-week search.
Newly unsealed search warrants show they included a neighbor seen washing his SUV hours after Tibbetts vanished, a Nebraska man who ditched his vehicle in Iowa days later and an acquaintance who told police he’d recently “wiped” his cellphone data.
Of perhaps most interest was a farmer with a history of stalking
women. He lived 200 yards (182 meters) from where Tibbetts’ cellphone dropped off the network.
All have been eliminated as suspects.
The documents provide details about how Tibbetts’ July 18
disappearance stumped agents for weeks. The suspect charged didn’t come on their radar until shortly before he allegedly led them to her body in a cornfield.



Man Charged With Starvation and Murder Of Daughter Reaches Plea Agreement

ADEL, Iowa (AP) – A man charged with murder and other crimes in the starvation death of his 16-year-old adopted daughter has reached a plea deal with Iowa prosecutors.
Dallas County District Court records say a plea hearing is scheduled Friday afternoon for 43-year-old Marc Ray. He and his wife, 40-year-old Misty Bousman-Ray, already have pleaded not guilty in the May 2017 death of Sabrina Ray in their Perry home. Authorities say the girl weighed just 56 pounds when she died.
The records don’t outline what his plea deal includes. The records
don’t show that Misty Bousman-Ray has reached any deal. Her trial is still scheduled to start Feb. 4 in Sioux City. The trial was moved to Woodbury County because of pretrial publicity in Dallas County.



Fort Dodge Man Pleas Guilty To Arson And Criminal Mischief

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – A man has been imprisoned for setting fire to a vehicle in the parking garage of Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge.
The Messenger reports that 22-year-old Terrell Adams had pleaded guilty to arson and criminal mischief. He was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison.
Adams admitted at the sentencing hearing that he set fire to the
vehicle of an acquaintance that was parked in the garage on Sept. 4. That fire led spread, damaging at least 10 vehicles and causing structural damage to the garage.



Judge Sets Bond At $5 Million For Murder Suspect After Being Arrested 39 Years Later

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A $5 million bond has been set for a northeast Iowa man charged with murder in the 1979 killing of a Cedar Rapids high school student.
A judge set the bond for 64-year-old Jerry Lynn Burns on Thursday during his initial appearance in Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids.
Police arrested Burns, of Manchester, on Wednesday, charging him with first-degree murder 39 years to the day after the killing of 18-year-old Michelle Martinko. Her body was found early the next day inside her family’s car parked at a shopping mall.
She had stab wounds to her face and chest.
Police say they matched a blood sample from the crime scene with a sample taken from the suspect.
The next court hearing is set for Dec. 28.



Judge To Decide Whether 29 Ballots Should Be Counted In State House Race

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa judge is considering whether to order election officials to count 29 mailed absentee ballots that could change the outcome of an Iowa House race or dismiss a lawsuit claiming voters have been disenfranchised by officials who refuse to count them.
Judge Scott Beattie heard arguments Thursday in a case that could flip the winner of the race, in which incumbent Republican Michael Bergan leads Democrat Kayla Koether (KAY-tuhr) by nine votes in the northeast Iowa district.
The ballots were not postmarked but carry a postal bar code that
confirms they were mailed by the state-mandated deadline.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate and Winneshiek County Auditor Ben Steines, both Republicans, say they can’t legally count the ballots because they were not postmarked and don’t carry a special bar code auditor’s use to authenticate ballots. They’ve asked Beattie to dismiss the lawsuit.
They say state law requires such election challenges to be taken to the Iowa House and not the courts.
Koether’s attorney argued that the judge should order Steines and Pate to count the ballots.



Iowa Public Information Board May Have Violated “Open Meetings Law”

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Government investigators say a board created to enforce Iowa’s open meetings law violated legal requirements by twice refusing to explain its votes in a high-profile case last year.
The Iowa Public Information Board has set a goal of being the most transparent government body in Iowa and setting the standard for those it regulates.
Yet a report released Thursday by the state ombudsman’s office says the board went into closed session on shaky legal footing during two meetings last year to discuss a case.
The report says the board then took votes in open meetings that were so vague that the public had no idea what actions were taken. The Open Meetings Law requires that decisions be “easily accessible to the people.”
The report says the board refused to provide minutes and audio
recordings from its closed sessions despite a state law that grants the ombudsman access.
The board denies any wrongdoing.