Friday Afternoon News, Oct. 12
Fire Officials Ask Public To Be Careful During Dry Season
(Le Mars) -- Thursday's grass fire tells us that conditions are still dry, and area fire fighters are reminding people to use caution, and that the burn ban is still in effect for nearly every county in northwest Iowa. Le Mars Fire chief Dave Schipper says although local fire departments have been busy, in comparison, last year at this time was much more hectic. Schipper attributes the fewer fires to the awareness of the burn ban.
Schipper says another reason for fewer calls this year is because farmers are taking steps to be more careful.
The local fire official says he worries every time the weather forecast calls for strong winds along with low humidity levels.
With the colder weather setting in, Schipper wants everyone who uses space heaters and candles to be careful.
Catholic Daughters Celebrate 100 Years
(LE MARS) -- "To be helping hands where there is pain, poverty, sorrow and sickness." This is the charge of the Catholic Daughters of the America's. The Le Mars Court Santa Maria 179 of the Catholic Daughters commemorates their 100 year anniversary this year and will be celebrating with with a Mass and dinner coming up on October 22nd.
Janet Manning has been involved with the Le Mars chapter for the last 50 years. She says that the group fund raises and then invests their time and resources into the community.
They also sponsor poster contests where kids create something around the theme of Christian values. Manning said the group also backs their beliefs by promoting family values and beliefs through political demonstrations.
Manning said she went to a DC march about 10 years ago and was also there for a rally in 1990. She added that the camaraderie of the group as well as the educational aspects are the
reasons she stays involved.
Membership numbers have dwindled over the years for the Le Mars chapter of Catholic Daughters which is made up of women from 6 area Catholic churches. At it's height there were over 600 members in the group, now they have about 300.
Catholic Daughters was started in 1903 for women by the Knights of Columbus.
The 179 in the title of the Le Mars Court Santa Maria 179 signifies that they were the 179th court to organize. According to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas Website there are now over 1,200 courts in existence in 45 states across the country, and in Puerto Rico, Mexico,
Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
The 100 year celebration of the Le Mars Court of the Catholic Daughters will take place in the new St. Joseph Church Monday, October 22nd with mass at 5:30 and dinner to follow at the KC Hall. The group meets monthly throughout the school year and are always accepting new members.
Audit Reveals Missing Funds From Power Plant
NEW HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - An audit says the former general manager of a municipal power plant in northeastern Iowa misused more than $50,000 in proceeds from the sales of scrap metal over
the last decade.
State Auditor David Vaudt released a report on Friday that faulted Brian Geschke, who resigned in August from his 18-year job leading the New Hampton Municipal Light Plant.
The report says Geschke did not deposit at least $55,000 the power plant made from selling excess scrap metal to a private company dating back to 2001.
It says he gave $1,000 cash to 8 employees after one sale last year, and kept thousands more in a cabinet in his office.
Geschke told auditors he kept the money to use for expenses like office Christmas parties and buying flower arrangements.
Prison Guard Charged With Providing Contraband and Sex To Inmate
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A former prison guard at the state prison in Fort Dodge is accused of providing contraband to an inmate and performing a sex act on him.
35-year-old Rhiannon Quintana, of Fort Dodge, is charged with providing electronic
contraband and sexual misconduct with an inmate. The alleged incidents happened on July 15.
The inmate is not identified in a criminal complaint filed with the Webster County attorney's office.
Quintana, who no longer works at the prison, made an initial court appearance on Thursday. Her preliminary hearing is Oct. 26.
There is no defense attorney listed for Quintana on the online court system.
Police Conduct Prostitution Raid
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Several people have been arrested during a prostitution bust at a motel in western Iowa.
Authorities say the operation began just before 1 p.m. and ended with the last arrest at 10:25 p.m. Wednesday. The name of the motel in Council Bluffs wasn't disclosed.
The Council Bluffs Police Department says its officers worked on the investigation with deputies from Pottawattamie, Mills and Harrison counties and the FBI's Great Plains Innocence Lost Task
The Innocence Lost Task Force targets juveniles involved in prostitution.
Five women from Omaha, Neb., were among those arrested, as well as a Lincoln, Neb., man. Police say he solicited an undercover officer for sex.
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