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Monday Afternoon News, Oct. 1

Sheldon Man Sentenced To Prison For ID Theft

(Orange City) -- A Sheldon man was sentenced on Friday in Sioux County District court for identity theft, a class D felony; and three counts of Forgery, Class D felonies.  39 year old Juan Ozuna-Contreras, will serve at least five years in prison.  The case arose on January 24th when a special agent with the U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement went to Golden Crisp in Sioux Center to investigate a tip that a person was working under an assumed name using fraudulent or fictitious documents.  Ozuna-Contreras is a native of Mexico, and is not legally authorized to be employed in the United States.  The case was prosecuted by Sioux county attorney, Coleman McAllister.


Le Mars Community School District Sets 2012-2013 Goals

(Le Mars) -- With one month of school already in the books, school officials presented their goals for the 2012-2013 school year during the last Board of Education meeting.  Le Mars Middle School goals was presented by Middle School principal Steve Shanks.  Shanks says the Middle School teachers are implementing was is referred to as SMART goals as part of their teaching assessment.
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Shanks says the Middle School teachers will focus specifically on reading, mathematics, and science proficiency. Larry Johnson serves as the high school principal.  He says the high school's faculty goals are to work on the student's inferences.

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Floyd Athay spelled out the goals for the elementary schools.

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District wide, school officials indicate that Le Mars is in better shape than many Iowa schools, but more emphasis will be to encourage students to become efficient in the three core areas of reading, math, and science.


Highway 20 New Four-Lane Segment May Open By Thanksgiving

(Sac City) -- The latest stretch of four-lane Highway 20 in northwest Iowa is expected to open this fall, likely in November. Shirley Phillips, president of the Highway 20 Corridor Association, says it's taken more than two decades to get the east-west thoroughfare to this stage.

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Phillips says the latest 26-mile stretch of road should be open in time for Thanksgiving travelers.

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Phillips details how many miles will be needed to finish the four-lane project.

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Phillips says the goal is to have the entire four-lane project finished within five years. Phillips has been involved with the Highway 20 project for the past 24 years.


Sioux City Teen Asks Date For Homecoming Using Billboard Sign

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City student has found a unique way to ask someone to Saturday's homecoming dance. He put his invitation to Maria Flores on a billboard in downtown Sioux City.
Sam Avery, a senior at North High School, told the Sioux City Journal (http://bit.ly/Pk8c6d ) that teddy bears, roses or balloons just wouldn't do. He needed something bigger and better.
Avery says he thought about asking a girl to the dance via a billboard for some time especially since his father owns a sign company.
Avery and Flores, also a senior at North High, first met in eighth grade. She moved to Texas two years ago and returned to Sioux City this summer.
Avery surprised Flores with the billboard a few weeks ago - and she said yes.


Des Moines Ordered To Refund Money To Utility Customers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The city of Des Moines must refund millions of dollars to utility customers after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal request in a lawsuit involving the
collection of fees on gas and electricity utility bills.
The court's decision announced Monday upheld the Iowa Supreme Court, which in turn upheld lower court decisions that declared the collection of between $30 million and $40 million an illegal tax.
Iowa courts have ordered the city to repay the money.
The city appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court in July.
The decision means the case returns to Polk County District Court, where an exact refund will be determined for 100,000 Des Moines utility customers.
The case is about permissible use of franchise fees intended to maintain city right of ways used by utilities.


Supreme Court Rejects Meatpacker's Appeal

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a 27-year prison term issued to a former kosher slaughterhouse executive convicted of financial fraud following a
huge immigration raid at the Iowa plant.
The Supreme Court declined Monday to consider an appeal filed by former Agriprocessors Inc. vice president Sholom Rubashkin.
He was convicted of a scheme to cheat the Postville plant's lender out of $27 million by submitting fake invoices that made its finances appear healthier than they were. His arrest came after immigration authorities raided the plant and arrested 389 illegal immigrants.
Rubashkin had argued that U.S. District Judge Linda Reade could not be impartial because she met with investigators to plan the immigration raid. He also argued his prison term was too long for a
first-time, nonviolent offender.

 

Woman Wants Native Prairie Grass - City Claims It To Be Weeds

BUFFALO, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa woman is fighting with city officials to retain prairie grass the she says has taken her a decade to grow.
KWQC-TV reports (http://bit.ly/QEwqMM ) Jeanne Hedges of Buffalo says she's worked hard to grow the native grass because she "wanted to recreate a small prairie of my own."
But a city inspector told her had had to cut the grass. Hedges says the inspector called it a bunch of weeds and noted the city code required grass to be cut when it grows over 10 inches high.
Mayor Doug Anderson says the city isn't trying to bully the woman, but it must enforce the city laws. He says the City Council will decide if prairie grass is a nuisance or a garden.
A meeting is set for Monday.
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