Home News Wednesday News, February 6th

Wednesday News, February 6th


City Council Hears Budget Requests From Department Heads

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Council held a budget workshop yesterday, and heard from each of the city’s department heads as they recited their budget requests. The city council is trying to set the city’s budget for the next fiscal year.



Goodchild Wants Comments From Local Electrical Contractors

(Le Mars) — During Tuesday’s Le Mars city council meeting, Councilman Clark Goodchild asked for electrical contractors to express their comments and opinions on the proposed National Electrical Code. Assistant City Administrator Jason Vacera informed the council that the city and state electrical code follows the national code. Goodchild mentioned that none of
the council members have any experience at electrical contracting, and he wants comments before offering the third and final reading of the proposed code.



Water Department Submits Annual Report

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars City Water Department submitted its annual report to the city leaders during Tuesday’s meeting. Rich Sudtelgte, superintendent for the water department, informed the city council the water department operates over 90 miles of underground water main, 4,662 water meters, 686 fire hydrants, over 1,743 main line valves, and two-one million gallon elevated water tanks. Sudtelgte says Le Mars pumped more than 1.036 billion gallons of water during 2018. During each of
the summer months from May through August, the city pumped more than three million gallons of water per day. The average amount of water pumped per day for 2018 was listed at 2,695,333 gallons, which according to Sudtelgte,
was down more than 32,000 gallons per day from 2017.



Sioux Center Man Sentenced To Prison For Sexual Intercourse With A Minor

(Orange City) — A Sioux Center man was sentenced today for two years in prison for the intent to commit sexual abuse with a minor. Edgar Diego, age 20, was sentenced in Sioux County District Court. Diego was reported to authorities in November of 2018 after an investigation revealed that Diego had sexual intercourse with a minor at Deigo’s residence in Sioux Center.
The Sioux Center Police investigation revealed Deigo admitted to such conduct. A search warrant was then executed on Deigo’s residence and authorities found marijuana inside his bedroom. He will serve 180 days in jail for the possession of marijuana, then the two years for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. The sentences will run consecutive. Upon expiration of his jail and prison terms, the U-S Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) will take custody of Diego and begin deportation proceedings.



Sioux Center Approves School Bond Issue

(Sioux Center) — Sioux Center voters approved the nearly $25 million dollar bond issue yesterday calling for a fourth building to be added to the school’s facilities. Sioux Center Community School superintendent Gary McEldowney says the measure got over-whelming support from the community.

McEldowney says construction for the new building will get started this summer.

McElddowney is grateful for the community supporting the bond issue. He says several people had worked hard behind the scenes informing the public of the need for expanding the school’s facilities.



School Superintendents Lobby State Legislature On Educational Issues

[DES MOINES] – More than 100 superintendents representing school districts across the state of Iowa combined forces in Des Moines Tuesday morning to rally for legislative support for education.

Dr. Tom Lane, Executive Director of Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs) says, “This event provides an important opportunity for school leaders to have productive conversations with our elected officials about the local impact of diminished funding and what’s needed to maintain quality programming for all of Iowa’s students.” The AEA system coordinated the
event at the Capitol.

Representatives from every Area Education Agency, and about 100 school districts across the state spoke with legislators about the demands of public education. Some districts talked about the extension of the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) tax, while others asked for additional state policy that provides resources for school districts to use to address the complex issues of student suicide and other serious mental
health-related issues. Unilaterally, the districts requested an increase in State Supplemental Aid (SSA) that provides adequate resources for students and teachers, is timely and equitable, and takes into account overall state revenue growth. Additionally, school leaders discussed the need for legislation to address the inequities of transportation costs for school districts with higher than average costs. Several northwest Iowa community
public school superintendents attended the capital lobbying tour including: Russ Adams, MOC-FV; Ryan Kramer, West Sioux; Kim Lingenfelter, Cherokee; Ken Slater, River Valley; Rod Earlywine, Sgt. Bluff-Luton, and Steve Webner of the Le Mars Community school district.

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Judge Extends Trial Date For Fatal Stabbing

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A judge has granted another trial delay for a Nebraska resident accused of stabbing to death a woman in northwest Iowa.
The trial of 21-year-old Melissa Camargo-Flores was scheduled to begin Feb. 19, but attorneys sought a delay because of the case’s extensive pretrial process. Woodbury County District Court records say the judge Monday set a status conference for March 29, when a new trial date likely will be ordered.
In addition to this coming Feb. 19 , her trial was scheduled to start Sept. 18 and July 10 last year.
Camargo-Flores has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the Sioux City slaying of 24-year-old Kenia Alvarez-Flores on April 8, 2018.
Court documents say Camargo-Flores admitted stabbing Alvarez-Flores.
Camargo-Flores told investigators she’d been involved in a relationship with the victim’s boyfriend.
Authorities say the two women were not related.



University of Iowa Student Re-enrolls After Being Dismissed For Plagiarism

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A University of Iowa student who was expelled for repeated academic misconduct has been reinstated after the school failed to use his written confessions against him in court.
A judge says her order that reinstated business student Pengzhen Yin now appears unjust given that he admitted to plagiarizing the paper in question after he was sanctioned for cheating twice previously. But she says the university failed to provide Yin’s emails admitting the plagiarism during his appeal and she wasn’t aware of them before ruling that Iowa lacked evidence of his misconduct.
In one email, Yin admitted to a top school official that, “In fact,
I didn’t write the paper” that he had been expelled for plagiarizing. He had earlier claimed otherwise.
Yin has re-enrolled following the December order by District Judge Karen Romano. He’s on track to graduate this spring while the university appeals. His attorney declined comment.



Polk City Administrator Accused Of Domestic Abuse

POLK CITY, Iowa (AP) – A city administrator in central Iowa has been accused of domestic abuse.
Polk County court records say 65-year-old Gary Mahannah is charged with domestic abuse assault, first offense. The records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for him. Mahannah is scheduled for a pretrial conference on March 5.
Mahannah is city administrator for Polk City. A criminal complaint
says an officer was sent around 5:45 a.m. Monday to Mahannah’s Polk City home. The officer says in the complaint that Mahannah acknowledged slapping his wife twice during a physical confrontation in their garage after they
argued about destruction of something his children had given him.  The officer also says Mahannah’s wife was upset, crying and appeared intoxicated.



Woman Accused Of Torture Of Eight Year Old Boy Recorded Images Of Confinement

ELDORA, Iowa (AP) – A prosecutor says an Iowa woman accused in the torture and basement confinement of her boyfriend’s 8-year-old son took video of his treatment.
Court records say Traci Tyler and Alex Shadlow are charged with
kidnapping. Prosecutors say the two locked the boy for at least nine hours a day in summer 2017 in a space under the basement stairs at the couple’s Ackley home. He slept on concrete and had to use a tin cup for a toilet.
A prosecutor told the judge at the beginning of Tyler’s nonjury trial Tuesday in Eldora that the recording will show the boy desperate to use a bathroom and eventually urinating.
One of Tyler’s attorneys said Tyler was following the advice of medical professionals when she had the boy ask for permission to use a bathroom, because he was having “accidents” in the house.
Police say Tyler also urged her dog to attack the boy.
Shadlow’s trial has been rescheduled to begin June 24.



Governor Reynolds To Consult With Attorney General On Sexual Harassment Case Involving Employees Of Iowa Finance Authority

(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds is asking Iowa’s attorney general about the state’s options now that two women who accused a state agency director of sexual harassment are being awarded settlements worth more than
four-million dollars.

One of the women issued a written statement on Monday, calling former Iowa Finance Authority director Dave Jamison’s conduct “horrific and appalling.”
An investigation found one former and one current Iowa Finance Authority employee had been subjected to verbal and physical harassment. Reynolds isn’t ruling out the idea the state may take some sort of legal action against Jamison to try to offset the four million dollars taxpayers are paying.

Reynolds has repeatedly said she has “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment in state government.

The state’s solicitor general says awarding cash settlements to the two women avoids what could be more costly legal action against the state.