Home News Friday News, July 12th

Friday News, July 12th


Pat Murphy Reflects On His Time As A School Board Director

(Le Mars) — Earlier this week, Patrick Murphy announced that he would not seek re-election to the Le Mars Community Board of Education. Murphy has served on the local school board for the past 24 years. KLEM news sat down with Murphy and asked him to reflect on the time he served as a director with the Le Mars Community School District. Murphy explains he was asked by others to initially seek a position with the school board.

Murphy says he is very proud of the Le Mars Community School District, and proud of its state-wide reputation as being a good school district.

Murphy has served on the school board with three different superintendents, Roy “Red” Messerole, Dr. Todd Wendt, and now Dr. Steve Webner. He says each have done a great job leading the local school district.

The attorney continues his comments about the present-day school superintendent, Dr. Steven Webner.

On Saturday, we will continue our conversation with Pat Murphy as he reflects on his past 24 years as a member of the Le Mars Community School District Board of Education.



Iowa Supreme Court To Hear Appeal Of Judge Selection Process

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lawsuit challenging a new state law that changed the way some judges are selected in Iowa.
A state court judge last month dismissed the lawsuit filed in May by a group of lawyers and Democratic lawmakers against Gov. Kim Reynolds, saying they didn’t have legal standing to challenge the law.
The new law gave the governor an additional appointment to the 17-member state judicial nominating commission, meaning the governor will appoint the majority of members.
The lawsuit alleged the vote of the commission’s lawyer members was diluted and that the law is an unconstitutional overreach by the legislative branch into the judicial branch.
The commission nominates justices for the Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Supreme Court Justice Bruce Zager signed an order Tuesday denying a request to halt enforcement of the new law until the case could be considered on appeal. However, Zager says the court will hear the appeal.



New Waukee Splash Pad To Close For UpgradesĀ 

WAUKEE, Iowa (AP) – Officials say they’ll have a nonskid coating applied to help avert falls and injuries at the new splash pad in the Des Moines suburb of Waukee.
The city shut down the pad at Fox Creek Park last week for a safety review. Several slips and falls had been reported since its grand opening on June 25, and one person required an ambulance ride to medical care.
Waukee officials say the pad’s concrete surface meets or exceeds
splash pad standards, but the coating will be added anyway.
The pad will be closed through July so the rubberized coating can be applied and cured. The goal: reopen Aug. 1 and operate through September, weather permitting.



Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Police

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a man who says his rights were violated by police while he was taking video of cars parked illegally at the Des Moines police station.
Daniel Robbins said in his September lawsuit that three officers
violated his constitutional right to be free from retaliation and false arrest. Robbins said the officers accused him of suspicious behavior, patted him down and took his cellphone and camera to search them. He was not charged and was eventually let go.
The Des Moines Register reports that U.S. District Judge Charles
Wolle said in his ruling that Robbins’ actions taking video of cars outside the station “created reasonable suspicion among the officers that he was engaging in criminal activity,” adding that Robbins was given “ample opportunity to allay the officers’ suspicion.”
Wolle says that because Robbins’ rights were not violated, the police under the law are immune from such a lawsuit.



Jury To Decide On Grinnell College Sexual Misconduct Complaints

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal judge will let a jury decide a lawsuit against Grinnell College that challenges the way the Iowa school handles sexual misconduct complaints.
The lawsuit was filed in March 2017 by a male student identified only as John Doe, who was expelled in 2016 after he was accused of sexual misconduct.
Judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger concluded in a ruling filed Tuesday that he has adequately shown that gender bias could have been a motivating factor in his dismissal and he may not have received a fair and impartial review of his appeal.
The student had sex with a female student. She said she willingly
participated in the sex and didn’t initially pursue a complaint but the college launched an investigation and later sought her participation.
Doe, who lives in the state of Washington, is seeking emotional and psychological damages, damage to reputation, past and future economic losses, loss of educational and athletic opportunities and loss of future career prospects.
He also wants a court order preventing Grinnell from violating federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination when it considers future sexual misconduct complaints.
A trial is set for Sept. 18.
Grinnell College spokeswoman Debra Lukehart says the judge’s decision only means there will be a trial and there was no finding the college violated the law. She says the college looks forward to sharing its “robust processes that uphold the rights of all of our students at trial.”



Army Corps Of Engineers Approves Of Levy To Be Built Near Hamburg

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, Nebraska, says it has awarded a nearly $2.8 million contract to repair a Missouri River levee in southwestern Iowa.
The contract is build up the elevation of levee that was breached near Percival and Hamburg during historic flooding in March. The breach near Percival was closed last month and work to close the one at Hamburg is expected to be closed within days.
The contract to raise the levees from 2 to 4.5 feet goes to Weston Solutions Inc. of Chester, Pennsylvania.
The Corps says more than 500 miles of levees on the Missouri, Platte and Elkhorn rivers, as well as other tributaries, have experienced significant flood damage this year.