Home News Saturday News, November 23rd

Saturday News, November 23rd


Bank Robber Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison

(Sioux City) — The man accused of stealing money from the Iowa State Bank in Le Mars last December has now been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Phillip White, who pleaded guilty in June to two federal charges involving robbing the bank had both of his sentences to be served concurrently. White was ordered to pay restitution cost of more than $16,000 to the Iowa State Bank, and more than $5,000 to the U-Haul company. Law enforcement officials
were able to apprehend White and his accomplice, Karen Merrick, a short-time after the robbery. The pair used an U-Haul truck as their get-a-way vehicle. Merrick has also pleaded guilty to being an accomplice of the bank robbery. She will be sentenced at a later date.



Governor Reynolds Ask Iowa Supreme Court To Reverse Jury Verdict On Case Against Former Governor Terry Brandstad 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds has appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court a jury verdict that concluded former Gov. Terry Branstad discriminated against a former state commissioner because the official is gay.
A jury in July awarded former Iowa Workers’ Compensation
Commissioner Chris Godfrey $1.5 million, finding he was the victim of discrimination and retaliation when Branstad tried to force him to quit in 2011 and then cut his pay.
Jurors found against Branstad, one of his staff members and the
Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett said Friday that Reynolds made the decision after consulting with attorneys.
Branstad attorneys have argued the verdicts weren’t supported by substantial evidence and conflict with state law.
Reynolds says she believes the additional legal costs will be
minimal and winning the appeal would save taxpayers millions of dollars.
Godfrey’s attorney Roxanne Conlin says appealing is “deeply dumb” because the best outcome for the state is the Supreme Court orders a new trial.



Supreme Court Makes Ruling On “Stand-Your-Ground” Legislation

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s 2017 stand-your-ground law doesn’t apply to defendants engaged in criminal activity prior to using deadly force.
Friday’s ruling reverses an Iowa Court of Appeals’ order in May issuing a new trial to Miguel Angel Lorenzo Baltazar, of Des Moines. He is serving life in prison for the July 2017 shooting death of Jeffrey Mercado. Baltazar maintains he feared Mercado had a weapon.
The Court of Appeals said Baltazar’s trial court issued faulty jury
instructions that didn’t abide by Iowa’s new stand-your-ground law.
The Supreme Court noted the new law says there’s no duty to retreat when a person isn’t engaged in illegal activity, therefore implying those engaged in illegal activity must retreat.
Baltazar was illegally carrying a gun without a license.



Vilsack To Endorse Biden Campaign

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack plans to publicly endorse former Vice President Joe Biden for president on Saturday.
Two people close to the Biden campaign told The Associated Press on Friday that the former two-term governor, who served with Biden in the Obama administration as U.S. secretary of agriculture, and his wife, Christie Vilsack, plan to appear with Biden and his wife, Jill, at a rally in Des Moines.
The two people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plans publicly.
Vilsack has been a longtime friend of Biden’s, supporting him during Biden’s first exploration of a presidential campaign in 1987.
The news comes as support for Biden in Iowa polls has slipped behind that of Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg.



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Takes Action To Help With Propane Dilemma 

(Des Moines) — State Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has announced an alternative dispute resolution process with propane distributors. Naig says that could help ease the shipping issues created by the late harvest and cold weather.

He says the late October the demand for propane in Iowa was three times higher than it normally is, and the demand hasn’t eased a lot.

The nationwide supply of propane has been good — but Naig and others say the issue has been getting enough shipped to Iowa as the demand dramatically increased.



Iowa Farm Bureau Getting Ready For Annual Convention

(Le Mars) — The president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Craig Hill, says voting delegates and members of the Iowa Farm Bureau will gather in Des Moines December 2nd, 3rd, and 4th for the organization’s 101st annual convention.

Hill was in northwest Iowa recently, attending an award ceremony for a Woodbury County farmer. He says farmers are wondering when will Congress pass the US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement? He says the topic is sure to be discussed during the upcoming convention. Hill says upon passage of the
trade agreement, farmers’ income will immediately improve.

County Farm Bureau organizations are busy writing resolutions on issues they want to address at the state convention, as well as with the state legislators at the start of the next General Assembly. Hill says one topic that is sure to emerge from the membership is the state’s handling of mental

The Farm Bureau president says water quality will continue to be a topic of interest for farmers and landowners, as well as with legislators and environmentalists. However, he says the wet weather and flooding have made it difficult to implement many conservation methods that would help improve our water quality.



Two People Killed From Accident Near Council Bluffs

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say two people have been killed in a two-vehicle crash just southeast of Council Bluffs in western Iowa.
The Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release
that the crash happened just before 1:30 p.m. Friday. Deputies sent the scene say a pickup truck and car had collided, and two people inside the car were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names have not yet been released pending notification of family members.
The occupants of the pickup were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
The crash remains under investigation.



Zearing Man Now Faces First Degree Murder Charges For Accused Of Killing His Wife

ZEARING, Iowa (AP) – Prosecutors have upgraded charges to first-degree murder against a Zearing man accused of stabbing his wife to death.
Last week, 70-year-old Gary Pillman was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife, 62-year-old Betty Pillman.
The Des Moines Register reports that Story County investigators say Gary Pillman killed his wife after an argument in which she told him she was leaving him. Her body was found Nov. 13 outside the Pillman’s Zearing home in central Iowa.
The charges against Gary Pillman were upgraded Thursday.
He’s being held on $500,000 bond. His arraignment has been set for Dec. 2.



Grandmother Sentenced To 50 Years In Prison For Killing Boy Friend

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa grandmother convicted of the 1992 killing of her former boyfriend has been sentenced to 50 years in prison, which was the maximum allowed.
The Muscatine Journal reports that 56-year-old Annette Cahill showed no emotion when she was sentenced Friday.
Following a mistrial earlier this year, Cahill was convicted in
September of second-degree murder in the baseball bat beating death of 22-year-old bartender Corey Wieneke. Her attorney says she plans to appeal.
Police have said Cahill had been in an intimate relationship with
Wieneke and that had a heated argument about his involvement with another woman. Wieneke was found dead on the floor of his bedroom in rural West Liberty in October 1992.
The case against Cahill relied on testimony from a woman who said she was 9 years old when she overheard Cahill confess to killing Wieneke.



Deer Disease Spreading In Iowa

KEOSAUQUA, Iowa (AP) – State officials in Iowa have confirmed that chronic wasting disease has been found in captive whitetail deer on two separate farms in Van Buren County in southeastern Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship confirmed the cases Friday in a news release. Both farms have been quarantined while the department works to trace potential exposures and contain the disease.
The disease attacks the brains of deer and elk and is always fatal.
No human cases have ever been recorded.
The fatal disease first appeared in a wild deer herd in Iowa in