Thursday News, November 15
Jurors Hear Opening Statements and Testimony On Jandreau Trial
(Le Mars) -- Jurors for the Matthew Jandreau case heard opening statements from the attorneys, as well as the first three witnesses for the state's case. Prosecuting attorney Darrin Raymond told jurors he intends to show how the defendant caused a series of criminal events on March 2nd. The defendant's attorney, Mike Williams, told jurors that his client was intoxicated with alcohol at the time and there was no intent with any of the said charges. The prosecution brought to the stand three witnesses during the first day of the trial. Jurors heard from Plymouth County Communications supervisor Curt Hadding as he described the multiple 9-1-1 emergency calls that came into the Communications center on the morning in question. Hadding said it was a "chaotic morning" The first 9-1-1 call was from a woman that said somebody was trying to break into her home through the back door. Hadding said while he was dispatching officers to the address a second, and even a third 9-1-1 calls were received, all related incidents. The third call came from the home of 126 2nd Ave. Southwest. Only screaming from what appeared to be from a juvenile female was heard on the third 9-1-1 call. Sgt. Rick Singer was the second witness for the prosecution. Singer reported how he had entered the home and screams led him to the basement to find Matthew Jandreau with a female juvenile. Singer testified saying the defendant, Jandreau was on his knees with his pants down to his ankles and what appeared that he was holding the juvenile around the waist. Singer also testified that the female juvenile was screaming and appeared naked from the waist down. Singer also testified about a van that was parked in the middle of the street. Later it was learned the van had role in the investigation related to Jandreau. The third witness was Walter Hesselink who resides at 126 2nd Ave. Southwest. Hesselink testified he saw the defendant at the J and J Cafe truck stop. Hesselink says Jandreau appeared was "walking strange and acting strange." Hesselink said of Jandreau that "he looked like he was talking to himself". He characterized Jandreau's actions as being "fidgety." As a twisted part of fate, it would be nearly twenty minutes later that Jandreau would be arrested after having entered Hesselink's home and be seen with Hesselink's eleven year old granddaughter, while the granddaughter was screaming. The trial continues today beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Branstad Says Iowa Not Ready For Federal Health Care Act
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad plans to tell the federal government Friday that Iowa still doesn't have enough information to move forward with a state-based insurance marketplace that is required under the federal health care law.
The federal government has imposed a Friday deadline for states to confirm whether they will create their own health exchanges for consumers and small businesses. States don't have to provide
specific details about their plan until next month, but those that don't declare their intention by the deadline will have to move forward with a state-federal partnership or a federal takeover - at
least for now.
Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the federal government has set arbitrary deadlines for the states without answering basic questions that would help Iowa officials choose the best option.
Counterfeit Bills Passed In Des Moines
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say more counterfeit bills have been passed at businesses in the Des Moines area.
The rash of cases began Monday, when two fake $100 bills were passed at a fast-food restaurant.
On Tuesday a bank discovered a counterfeit $50 that had been deposited Monday by a different restaurant. Also Tuesday, someone tried to pass a fake $50 at another restaurant but left after an
employee determined the bill was a counterfeit.
Authorities say there have been a total of five cases in the past four days.
Des Moines Police Department spokesman Jason Halifax says counterfeiting is not unusual in the area, but the occurrences usually are more sporadic than the recent spate.
Investigators aren't sure whether the cases are related.
Investigation Shows Bus Driver Did Nothing Wrong
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines officers have concluded no charges are warranted against a school bus driver accused of shoving students and yelling at them during their ride home.
A group of parents whose kids attend South Union Elementary School filed a police report that said the driver physically assaulted several students on Monday afternoon and used profanities when addressing the children and their parents.
The parents also contacted district officials and asked that the driver be fired. District officials said they investigated the incident and found no merit to the parents' allegations.
Police Sgt. Jason Halifax says that detectives made their determination after reviewing a security video from the bus.
Gay Rights Groups Host Seminar
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gay rights groups are hosting a panel discussion to discuss the future of the LGBT movement in Iowa after they claimed major victories in last week's elections.
One Iowa and Lambda Legal will host the event Thursday at the Pappajohn Education Center in Des Moines.
Speakers will discuss the impact of voters' decisions to retain Justice David Wiggins on the Iowa Supreme Court and keep Democrats in control of the Iowa Senate.
Wiggins participated in the 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa, and he defeated an attempt by social conservatives to oust him. Renewed Democratic control of the Senate means that attempts to amend the constitution to ban gay marriage will fail.
Panelists include One Iowa executive director Donna Red Wing and Iowa Democratic Party Chair Sue Dvorsky.
Mortgage Broker Convicted of Fraud
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal jury has convicted the former president of the Iowa Association of Mortgage Brokers in a fraud scheme that prosecutors say almost cost some homeowners their homes to foreclosure.
The U.S. attorney's office says Paul Kramer, of Granger, was convicted of 18 counts of wire and bank fraud on Wednesday in Des Moines. Kramer owned a mortgage brokerage and closing company.
The jury also convicted Lane Anderson, of Altoona, on two counts of conspiring with Kramer to commit bank and wire fraud.
Kramer and Anderson worked together to obtain $1.5 million in mortgage loans using the name and credit score of a contractor who didn't qualify for the loans. Kramer eventually took funds from the
closing company for his mortgage brokerage. Those funds should have paid off mortgages.