Saturday News, January 26
Arrests Made On Ireton Woman For Drugs
(Le Mars) -- On Thursday afternoon, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle at K22 and 265th Street for operating without license plates. While talking to the driver, the deputy could smell a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming form the vehicle. After an investigation at the scene, the driver, Sadie Ann Nelson, age 32 of Ireton, Iowa, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance marijuana, a Class D Felony possession of drug paraphernalia, a Simple misdemeanor OWI drugged, a Serious misdemeanor. Nelson was taken to the Plymouth County Jail and held to see a judge. The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Hinton Police Department.
Harkin Says He Won't Seek Re-election
CUMMING, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says he will not seek re-election in 2014.
The 73-year-old Harkin tells The Associated Press in an interview, "It's just time to step aside," because by the time he would finish a sixth term, he would be 81.
Harkin said it would also allow a new generation of Democrats to seek higher office.
The announcement comes as a surprise, considering he had $2.7 million in his campaign war chest and was planning a fundraiser next month.
Harkin played a lead role in urging the Senate's more liberal members to back the 2010 health care bill.
No Iowa Republicans have taken formal steps toward seeking the seat. Harkin's decision eases the burden on the GOP, who have to gain six seats to win the majority.
Soderberg Says Republicans Have Set Legislative Priorities
(Des Moines) -- The Iowa Legislature is setting its priorities by introducing several bills during the second week of the general session. State representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars says in the Republican controlled Iowa House two specific priority bills have been introduced.
Governor Branstad has stated his top two priorities are to reform the property tax policies, and to help fund education. Soderberg says he is relieved to know the Governor wants to fund those programs with existing revenue.
Soderberg says the state would find itself with some financial woes if the budget was to be balanced with one-time funding.
The Le Mars representative says he will attend a legislative forum scheduled for Saturday at the Sioux City Museum. That forum begins at 10:00 a.m. and is open to the public.
Lawmaker Wants Death Penalty Reinstated
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Republican lawmaker was backed by the parents of slain children as he called for the reinstatement of Iowa's death penalty.
Milo Senator Kent Sorenson announced Friday he would introduce a measure that would establish capital punishment for the first time since the 1960s.
The death penalty would be limited to people convicted of first-degree murder in which a victim was kidnapped or sexually abused or if the victim was a child.
Among those standing with Sorenson were Heather and Drew Collins, whose daughter Elizabeth was killed after disappearing last July with her cousin, Lyric Cook.
Sorenson says he'll also propose four other measures dealing with kidnapping and sex offense convictions.
The chairman of a Senate panel says he won't consider the bill, but Sorenson says he'll seek public hearings.
Legislator Wants Schools To Be Tested For Radon
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines legislator is backing a bill requiring all Iowa school districts to test for the cancer-causing gas radon and make buildings safe if the gas is found.
Democratic Sen. Matt McCoy filed the bill this week, saying it's needed to protect students. The bill is similar to national legislation filed recently by Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley.
The bill would require all public and nonpublic districts to test every room of each school. If high levels of radon are found, districts would need to have ventilation system installed to make
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that leaks through cracks in building foundations. It's the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. All of Iowa's 99 counties lie in the
government's highest risk zone.