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Friday News, October 12

Major Grass Fire Along Highway 20

(Sgt Bluff) -- A major grass fire occurred  Thursday afternoon near Highway 20 consuming more than 45 acres.  Several fire departments, including the Hinton Fire Department was called to offer assistance to battle the blaze.  Farmers also helped with the fire by tilling the ground to help keep the fire from spreading.

 

Teacher Taskforce Advocates Higher Salaries

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A $150 million school improvement proposal includes higher salaries for beginning teachers.
The recommendations by the state's Task Force on Teacher Leadership and Compensation will be the centerpiece of Gov. Terry Branstad's education proposal to legislators in 2013.
The task force report was released Thursday.
Iowa Education Department Director Jason Glass says the proposal is aimed at retaining effective teachers while making the profession more appealing to the state's "best and brightest."
The proposal's salary component for first-year teachers would take the minimum salary from $28,000 to $35,000, over the next three years.
The proposal also would require teachers to begin their careers with a residency year that would include intensive supervision and mentoring.
The task force was created last spring by the Legislature and included teachers and administrators.

 

Oxford Junction Woman Guilty of Fraud Against FEMA

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman has been sentenced to four months in prison after admitting that she lied to get federal disaster benefits after the historic flood of 2008.
Jessica Hines of Oxford Junction learned her sentence Thursday during a federal court hearing in Cedar Rapids. She has been told to surrender to begin serving her sentence next month.
Prosecutors say Hines admitted that she submitted a false application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in July 2008 that claimed that her home and personal property were damaged by
the flood. In reality, she didn't live at the home she claimed and was not a flood victim.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade ordered Hines to pay $7,155 in restitution to FEMA and to be on supervised release following her prison term.

 

Grave Marker Found In Recycling Bin

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Police are asking Iowans to help officers return a grave marker that was found in a recycling bin.
Council Bluffs Police Captain Terry LeMaster says that workers at the Council Bluffs Recycling Center found the marker last week.
The name on it is Megan Alaine Kjellberg, a 6-month-old child who died January 2nd, 1986. The inscription on it reads: "Now you have the sun and stars to play with."
LeMaster says area cemeteries and funeral directors have been checked, as well as funeral and obituary databases and reports about stolen items.
LeMaster thinks someone might have stolen the marker thinking it was solid copper. When it turned out to be only copper coated, it was tossed into a recycling bin.


Two Women Charged With Forged Prescriptions

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two northern Iowa women face multiple charges in an ongoing investigation into forged prescriptions.
Gina Splitt and Melissa Ricke, both of Algona, were arrested by Mason City police on Wednesday.
Splitt faces ten charges, including four counts of prohibited acts of forged prescriptions and insurance fraud. Ricke is charged with eight similar counts.
Online court records list no attorneys for the women. They face court hearings on October 26th.

 

Numerologist Dream Comes True

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - What might be a digital dream for numerologists has come true in the delivery room of a Des Moines hospital.
Laila Fitzgerald was born.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/RlH4Zw) that Laila weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces. She came into the world on Thursday, which, numerically speaking, was 10/11/12. She arrived,
militarily speaking, at 1314, which would be 1:14 p.m. for civilians.
So the numbers associated with her birth are 8-9-10-11-12-13-14.
Laila's mother, 26-year-old Katie Deremiah, of Des Moines, says she had a feeling Thursday would be the day, despite the due date of Oct. 19.
She says Laila arrived without inducements to speed her arrival.
Laila's father, 26-year-old Ryan Fitzgerald, told The Register that he would be buying a lottery ticket as soon as he could leave the hospital.

   

Thursday Afternoon News, Oct. 11

Part 2 of Plymouth County Drug Court

(Le Mars) -- We continue our series focusing on the Plymouth County Drug Court.  Today we hear the perspective of the local community drug court from the Honorable Jeff Neary, a judge for District 3.  Neary oversees the activity with the local drug court.  We learned that Plymouth County is unique because it is one of the few drug courts set up as a community panel, and according to Neary, that makes for a better program.

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Neary says the Plymouth County Community Drug Court assists people from around the region, not just from Plymouth County.  He says the drug court panel meets with the clients each month for a period of 12 to 14 months, helping the offenders to change their life.

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Neary says on occasion an offender takes a step backward with the program, and he uses his authority as the district judge to place the person in jail for short term period.  Neary says many times the offender comes out of the short jail sentence with a better perspective.
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The district judge says an important part of a drug court's graduate program is being able to get a job and build confidence and self-esteem and maintain some order and stability with their lives.  Neary suggests employers take a risk and hire the drug court's graduates.

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The Plymouth County Drug Court is looking for volunteers to serve on the drug court panel.


Plymouth County Sheriff's Department Complete Sex Offender Registry

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's office recently completed its annual sex offenders registry.  Plymouth County has 29 subjects listed and on October 11th, the checks had been completed.  Of the 29 subjects listed, only one was found not to be in compliance.  A warrant was issued for that subject and his whereabouts is unknown at this time.


Doris Kunkel Named Chamber Employee of the Month

(Le Mars) -- The October Chamber Employee of the Month has been announced.  This time the honor is awarded to Doris Kunkel of Park Place Estates.  The nomination submitted by Judith
Roddy says working with our senior population at Park Place Estates takes time and patience. Doris Kunkel has an abundance of both of these attributes.  Doris always has a smile and has a way of making all the residents feel very special.  Doris loves to sing and the residents never know when she will break out in song while serving dinner.  You may not always know the song she is singing, but you can count on her arrangements to be entertaining and make you laugh.  Doris loves to dress up for the holidays and her creativity makes us smile.  Her sense of humor is contagious.  Being a strong advocate for the residents care, Doris always reports anything of significance to the RN and may make suggestions on how their care can be improved.  Doris is a team player and is a positive role model for the younger staff.  She willingly steps in to help her co-workers if they need assistance covering a shift.  Doris
demonstrates a high level of respect toward the residents, her co-workers, and supervisors at Park Place Estates.  Her attitude communicates her desire to provide quality care and service to the seniors for whom she is caring.  Our congratulations to Doris Kunkel for being named the Chamber of Commerce's October Employee of the Month.


Principal Embarrassed With Girls Wrestling in Jell-O

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa school principal says a YouTube video that showed dozens of his students at a Jell-O wrestling event is embarrassing.
Several girls were shown competing in a low pool containing Jell-O that was erected at Birdsall Park on Oct. 4, during homecoming week for Cedar Falls High School.
It's not a school-sanctioned event, and school officials have discouraged students from participating in what some see as harmless fun.
Principal Rich Powers says the "demeaning" behavior shown on the video, which has since been removed from YouTube, is "not the type of behavior our community wants, our schools want, our parents want."
Powers says he'll discuss the "less-than-desirable" activity via email and a school newsletter. Police and school administrators plan to discuss the events, too.


Experts Tell Farmers Not To Till Soil

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Soil experts are advising Iowa farmers to let their drought-degraded soil rest this fall.
The Gazette reports that (http://bit.ly/PykrRX) the experts say tilling the soil soon after harvest will further dry the topsoil and raise the potential for erosion.
Decorah farmer Paul Johnson, who used to head the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Iowa Department of Natural
Resources, told The Gazette farmers "all remember the black
ditches that used to be common in the winter when we did a lot of
fall plowing. We need to be careful this year."
Jason Johnson says fall fertilizer application could be
counterproductive as well. He says that because of the drought,
crops didn't use all of the applied nitrogen. He says disturbing
the soil will just help waste the leftover.
---

 

USDA Lowers Crop Estimate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has slightly lowered its projection for the size of this year's corn crop for a fourth straight month.
The USDA released its monthly crop report Thursday in which it estimates that farmers will harvest 10.71 billion bushels of corn.  That's down from last month's estimate of 10.73 billion bushels.
The estimates change as the harvest progresses and the impact of this summer's widespread drought becomes clearer.
The average yield is about 122 bushels per acre. That's down from last month's estimate of 122.8 bushels.
Corn supply is now estimated at 11.77 billion bushels. That's down from last month's estimate of 11.98 billion bushels.
The tightening supply likely will push corn prices higher short-term but analysts expect prices to now stabilize.

 

   

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