Home News Thursday Afternoon News, January 10th

Thursday Afternoon News, January 10th


Jeneary Is Ready To Begin Work As A New Lawmaker

(Le Mars) — The Iowa Legislature is scheduled to go back to work and begin a new general session on Monday. Newly elected State House Representative, Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars says he is looking forward to starting his new job and representing the people of the State House District 5 which involves most of Plymouth County and the northern tier of Woodbury County. Jeneary, a retired dentist and former member of the State Dental Board, says he is already watching with interest a bill that is likely to be introduced.

Jeneary will serve as the vice-chairman of the Natural Resources Committee.
He is also a member of the House Public Safety Committee, Veterans Affairs, and is also a member of the Budget Sub-Committee for Health and Human Services. Jeneary says he is looking forward to serving on the Natural Resources Committee as it relates to his hobbies of hunting and fishing.

The new lawmaker explains the general responsibilities of his other assigned committees.

In past sessions, Iowa’s Public Safety has had to either have budget reductions, or a freeze on the allocated funding. Officials say the public safety has been compromised since additional Iowa State Patrol troopers are needed to enforce the rules of our state’s roads and highways. In addition, some officials say more funding is needed to educate people about drugs, intoxicated driving, driving while texting, seat belt usage, fire safety and
investigations, and other programs that fall under the category of public safety. Jeneary says it may be time for the legislature to step up and allocate additional funding for Iowa’s Public Safety services.

We will hear more comments from Tom Jeneary about the upcoming legislative session in future news updates.



Appeals Court Overturns Murder Conviction

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Appeals Court has overturned the second murder conviction of a man who’s spent more than 10 years in prison.
Juries have twice found Kenneth Heard guilty of murder for fatally shooting of 26-year-old Joshua Hutchinson in December 2007.
The Des Moines Register reports that the court ruled Wednesday that Heard’s constitutional right to compel witnesses to testify was violated.
The appellate court says the trial court failed to determine the “extent and validity” of one witness’s assertion of his Fifth Amendment privilege against incriminating himself.
The witness testified for the prosecution at Heard’s first trial but
asserted his Fifth Amendment right at the time of his deposition before the second trial. Heard has accused that witness of fatally shooting Hutchinson.
Heard’s first first-degree murder conviction in the case was
overturned after he claimed his lawyers were ineffective.
It’s unclear whether prosecutors will seek a third trial.



Stolen Van Ends With Chase, Crash and Fatality

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a fatal crash on the west side of Fort Dodge ended the chase of a van stolen in Des Moines.
The van owner told Des Moines officers that he was uninjured when a man with a gun stole his van around 3:30 a.m. Thursday. A Story City officer spotted the van about an hour later on Interstate 35, but it didn’t stop when the officer tried to pull it over.
Authorities say the chase continued through Story, Hamilton and Webster counties until the van crashed around 6 a.m., ejecting and killing the driver. His name hasn’t been released.



Safety Workplace Inspectors Fired

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Two Iowa workplace safety inspectors were fired Tuesday in what they are calling retaliation for blowing the whistle on a hostile environment inside their agency.
The firings of Jason Garmoe and Travis Stein are the latest turmoil at the Division of Labor, which has been rocked by recent personnel turnover and accusations of cronyism and harassment.
The agency accused both men of misconduct that included leaving a state vehicle running for two hours while conducting an inspection – an allegation they call false.
Garmoe and Stein said in interviews with The Associated Press that they were singled out for harsh treatment after providing critical information about agency leaders to state investigators. Both said they feared they would lose their jobs for doing so but were assured that they would be protected.
Labor Commissioner Michael Mauro declined comment.