Home News Thursday Afternoon News, June 20th

Thursday Afternoon News, June 20th


Le Mars Police Release 2nd Quarter Statistics Report

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Police Department has released its second quarter report for the period between March 21st and June 19th. The local police department responded to 3,654 calls for service which compares to last year’s 3,302 during the same time frame. The number of complaints that were investigated fell from last year. This year, 235 complaints were
investigated, where as last year the number was at 289 complaints. The number arrests made during the second quarter had increased by 28 additional arrests to a total of 165. Last year, the police department had 137 arrests.
Traffic accidents were close to the same number last year with 58 accidents reported this year compared to last year’s 54 accidents. Parking tickets were down from 72 in 2018 to 42 in 2019. Traffic citations had increased from 141 in 2018 to the 2019 figure of 248. Community police contacts were
nearly the same as last year. The Le Mars Police Department had 579 community contacts during the second quarter of 2019. Last year, the contacts equaled 588.




Hotel Employee Given Probation On Theft Charges

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – One of two hotel workers accused of a Sioux City scam using guests’ credit cards has been given three years of probation.
19-year-old Ethan Ehlers pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft. A charge of credit card fraud was dismissed in return. He also was given a suspended prison sentence of 10 years and ordered to pay restitution.
Court documents say that from May 14 through Sept. 8 last year, Sandra Lalumendre and Ehlers fraudulently overcharged guests’ credit cards at the Howard Johnson hotel in downtown Sioux City. They’d then force refunds and split the money. The documents say the total was more than $32,700.
The 36-year-old Lalumendre has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.



Reynolds Appoints Kurtenbach To Head Administrative Services

(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds has appointed a former state legislator who once served as the Iowa G-O-P’s co-chair to lead the state agency responsible for handling personnel issues in state government.
Jim Kurtenbach (KURT-en-bawk) will begin his new duties as director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services on July 1st. Governor Reynolds says she chose Kurtenbach because of his “depth of experience” and because of his “distinguished career in public service.” Kurtenbach, a Waterloo native
who lives in Nevada, served two terms in the Iowa House from January of 2003 until the beginning of 2007. Kurtenbach recently served in a variety of roles at Iowa State University. He resigned from his role as an I-S-U vice president two years ago and returned to teaching accounting.
In 2014, Kurtenbach was hired by then-Iowa State University president Steven Leath (LEETH) to serve as chief information officer on campus. Kurtenbach led an effort to modernize I-T systems and reduce the workforce by about 30
full-time positions. Kurtenbach also was Leath’s flight instructor for some of the final hours of training Leath needed to earn a certificate that allowed Leath to pilot a plane by himself. The state auditor later found Leath had misused a university-owned plane for personal reasons.

(photo contributed.)



Branstad Trial To Be Moved

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A civil trial alleging former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad discriminated against an ex-state official because he’s gay has been moved 35 miles east to Newton.
An order entered by Judge Brad McCall on Thursday says attorneys for both sides agreed to move the trial to the Jasper County Courthouse. The trial began June 5 and is expected to last a month.
The order says the same Polk County jury will continue to hear the case.
Former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey is suing Branstad , the state and two of Branstad’s former staff members. Godfrey alleges discrimination and retaliation based on sexual preference and political affiliation.
The order to change locations doesn’t say why but Godfrey’s lawyer, Roxanne Conlin, has complained about the air quality in the historic courthouse, which is under renovation.
Her son, JB Conlin, was arrested on June 10 on charges that he resisted an officer’s request to leave the courtroom, where he was attempting to test the air quality.