Home News Wednesday News, November 27th

Wednesday News, November 27th


Le Mars Gets Its First Major Snowfall Of The Season

(Le Mars) — Northwest Iowa has received its first major snowfall of the season dropping nearly six inches of a blanket of snow on Le Mars. Iowa Department of Transportation officials report most roads and highways are completely snow covered, with white-out conditions. Plows are on the highways trying to open up a path. Visibility is greatly reduced with the blowing snow that is occurring. Highway 20 from Moville to Cushing is
closed, and Woodbury County has issued a no towing provision. All roads including Highway 75, Highway 60, Highway 3, Highway 10, Highway 12, and the county roads are snow covered. Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office reports they
have received numerous reports of vehicles that have gone into the ditch.
Plymouth County Engineer Tom Rohe offers an update
regarding the condition of the county highway system.



School Board Gets Update Status Report On New Track

(Le Mars) — During Monday evening’s Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting, school board members inquired about the completion date regarding the track at the new stadium. School superintendent Dr. Steven Webner informed the board he is frustrated with the delays, but offered the latest
update status.

Webner says there are some options to consider.

Webner admitted he never thought it would have taken this long of time to complete the entire stadium project, including the track.

The school board did not take any action on the proposal as it was merely information for the board to consider.



Police Arrest Suspect Accused Of Kidnapping Infant

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) – Police have captured a man suspected of kidnapping a toddler from her mother’s home in Ankeny.
Polk County court records say 22-year-old Cato Gephart is charged with kidnapping, child endangerment and other crimes. The records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for him. Jail records say Gephart remained in custody Wednesday, pending $100,000 bail.
Court documents say Gephart had texted the mother that he was going to kill her and also said he’d leave the child’s body in a cornfield.
Officers made contact with Gephart on Monday night and persuaded him to return to the mother’s home with the child. He did so but then ran from officers. They soon shocked him with a stun gun and caught him.



Ethics Board Selects New Director

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A state board responsible for enforcing Iowa’s ethics laws for state elected officials and employees and ensuring political campaigns follow the law has named an attorney who was once secretary of the
Iowa Senate as its new executive director.
The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board said Tuesday Mike Marshall will provide leadership for the board and serve as legal counsel succeeding Megan Tooker who is leaving the job after nine years.
Marshall was secretary of the Iowa Senate for 18 years. He is
currently the chief of the bureau of professional licensure at the Iowa Department of Public Health.
The six-member ethics board is an independent agency of state
Chairman James A. Albert, a Drake University law professor said in a statement that Marshall was chosen because of his reputation for bi-partisanship and many years of experience dealing with state ethics and campaign laws.



Lottery Association Claims It Is A Private Entity

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa-based nonprofit governed by dozens of state lotteries says it is a “private entity” and not subject to the open records law.
The Multi-State Lottery Association said Tuesday that a legal review has determined it does not have to disclose its recent settlement of a lawsuit that sought millions of dollars in damages. The group helps run the Powerball game and others.
The Associated Press requested a copy of the association’s agreement with Larry Dawson, an Iowa man who won a $9 million Hot Lotto jackpot in 2011. Settlements involving government bodies are public records in Iowa.
But lottery association general counsel Patricia Lantz says the
group “has operated as a private entity” since the 1980s. She says it provides the public information when possible but that the settlement agreement is confidential.
Dawson’s lawsuit contended that his jackpot would have been $16.5 million bigger if the association’s information security director, Eddie Tipton, hadn’t rigged the previous prize. Tipton is serving prison time for rigging several jackpots worth millions of dollars dating back to 2005.



Second Patient Accuses Director At Sexual Offenders Of Improperly Close Relationship

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An attorney says a second patient at a program for Iowa’s most dangerous sex offenders is accusing its former treatment director of encouraging an improperly close relationship.
Attorney Jason Dunn said Tuesday that he’s representing Daniel Roe, a convicted rapist who is a patient at the Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders in Cherokee.
He says Roe fell in love with Shannon Sanders, an unlicensed
psychologist who was the program’s treatment director until September.
Roe is alleging that Sanders encouraged those feelings during
treatment, including allowing him to write sexually explicit stories that featured a character based on her. Dunn says Roe feels victimized.
Dunn also represents sex offender Jeffrey Goodwin, who has alleged that he was willing to kill for Sanders. He says he intends to file suit on their behalf.
The Iowa Department of Human Services forced Sanders to resign in September after an investigation found that she violated numerous policies.
The Cherokee police department has said that it’s investigating.
Sanders declined comment last week, and didn’t immediately return a message Tuesday.



Farmers Receive Another Payment From Trade Dispute

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa farmers are set to receive the most government payments to offset damage from the U.S.’s ongoing trade war with China.
The Des Moines Register reports Iowa farmers will receive $767
million in payments from President Donald Trump’s $16 billion trade assistance program this year. The Agriculture Department announced a second round of payments under the program earlier this month.
The USDA shows that the other states getting the most federal
assistance in this year’s program are Illinois, at $707 million; Minnesota, at $519 million; Texas, at $497 million; Kansas, at $474 million; and Nebraska at $466 million.
Iowa Soybean Association board president Tim Bardole says the
additional payments will be helpful, but they won’t cure all the problems farmers are having this year.