Monday Afternoon News, May 20
Burglaries Go Up As It Gets Warmer
(Le Mars) -- Now that the weather has warmed up and the days are getting longer, the Le Mars Police wants to remind residents this is the time of year that burglaries are typically on the increase. Le Mars Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga says they have had a rash of calls recently indicating stolen items from garages being left open.
Dekkenga says they also have received several reports of cars being burglarized, and he reminds people to always make certain you have locked your car.
The Le Mars Police Chief says the warmer weather allows for extra activity to take place. He says other frequent complaints during the spring and summer ususally involve driving complaints, loud motorcycles, and barking dogs.
Council Bluffs Doctor Charged With Sexual Abuse
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A Council Bluffs doctor is in jail on a charge of second-degree sexual abuse after a child alleged he touched her inappropriately on numerous occasions.
Dennis Seaborn Jones turned himself in to authorities after a complaint and an arrest warrant were issued for him.
The 68-year-old pediatrician is alleged to have had inappropriate sexual contact with a 5-year-old girl outside of his medical practice. The child disclosed the contact to a parent saying she no longer wanted to see Jones because he "tortures" her. Court documents say further interviews indicated the child was the subject of inappropriate touching.
Jones' attorney Mike Winter says Jones is not guilty, is devastated by the claims, and expects to be found not guilty.
An initial court appearance was set for Monday afternoon.
Branstad Urges Senate To Investigate Sexual Harassment Allegations
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says the Iowa Senate should investigate claims of sexual harassment made by a former staffer for the Senate Republican caucus.
Kirsten Anderson told WHO-TV in an interview that aired Sunday that she was fired Friday, hours after complaining about harassment from lawmakers and staffers. She had been communications director for the caucus.
Branstad says Monday the Senate should investigate to determine "whether these allegations are true or not."
Ed Failor Jr., an assistant to Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix, says Anderson was fired for substandard work and that GOP leaders do not tolerate sexual harassment. He did not respond to
questions about whether GOP leaders would seek an investigation.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat, says if a complaint is filed they will "deal with it."
Storm Damage Aftermath
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Crews are restoring power to about 14,000 homes and businesses following severe weather across Iowa.
Tornadoes touched down near Huxley and Earlham west of Des Moines Sunday. They damaged at least six mobile homes, toppled semitrailers and blew over a barn, killing some animals inside. No
people were hurt.
The twisters were the first ones in Iowa in nearly a year. The state had gone 358 days without a confirmed touchdown.
A tornado warning forced Ankeny school officials to interrupt a high school graduation ceremony at Drake University in Des Moines.
Graduates and audience members were moved to shelter for more than a half-hour as tornado sirens wailed.
Branstad Names New Veteran Affairs Director
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Retired Col. Robert King will serve as the next head of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs.
Gov. Terry Branstad announced the appointment Monday. King will replace Gen. Jodi Tymeson who has been named chief operating officer at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.
King served in the Iowa National Guard for nearly 36 years before retiring in 2004. For the last fifteen years of service he handled media relations.