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Thursday News, August 22

Le Mars Police Investigate Burglaries

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Police Department is investigating four burglaries to local businesses.  The first burglary was committed sometime Tuesday evening, August 13th at the Bear Cave.

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The three other burglaries occurred sometime Sunday night to Monday morning.  Le Mars Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga says the burglaries took place at the Family Table Restaurant, Klassy Kloset, and Frydaze.  Dekkenga says police have reason to believe the three burglaries may have been committed by the same perpetrator(s).  In each instance a glass window or glass door was broken to gain access inside.  Dekkenga says with the Family Table Restaurant, the subject also entered an office area, presumably to look for cash.  Other than the damage done to the front door and office door, nothing else was reported missing.  Dekkenga says nearly the same incident occurred at the Fry Daze restaurant.  The Police Chief says the front door had a window broken, but nothing was reporting missing.  At the Klassy Kloset, entry was gained through a side door facing an alley.  An undetermined amount of cash, and the cash register, was stolen.  Dekkenga says a gasoline service station provided additional information relating to the suspected subject, and he believes the subject may reside outside the Le Mars area.

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He says other nearby communities have also reported numerous burglaries that occurred within the similar time frame.  Dekkenga reminds businesses to make frequent and daily deposits to insure the money is safe.  He is also asking the public to be on the lookout for a pink colored bicycle.  If you have information relating to any of these burglaries, you are asked to contact the Le Mars Police Department.

 

Students Return To School Today

(Le Mars) -- It's back to school time for both the Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic. 
Today, marks the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. Students are returning to classes
following the summer break.  Dr. Todd Wendt, superintendent of schools says this year's Kindergarten class has several students which will help with overall enrollment.

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At Clark Elementary, many parents were escorting their children and taking photos of their children in front of the building.  Many of the students were equipped with a backpack full of the various school supplies needed for the year ahead.  Some students were seen carrying boxes of tissue paper. Others, presumably Kindergartners and perhaps First Grade students, were carrying padded floor mats for their afternoon naps.  Some students were seen carrying a lunch box featuring a comic book super hero, or a Disney character princess.  Some of the teachers from Clark Elementary greeted their students in the doorway and welcomed them back to school.

Jeff Alesch serves as the principal for Gehlen Catholic Schools.  He describes the first day back.

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Gehlen has seven new teachers for the junior high and high school this year, and Alesch says both the teachers and the students are ready for classes to begin.

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Johnson Dad Given Probation After Son Brought Gun To School

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Johnston man whose 8-year-old son took a gun to school has been
given probation and a fine.  Louis Friestad IV was given three years of probation and fined $940 last month. He'd pleaded guilty to charges of child endangerment and making a gun available to someone under 21. Prosecutors had lowered the original charges against Friestad in return for his pleas.
Friestad's son took the gun to Lawson Elementary School on May 7. Authorities say they didn't believe the boy intended to use the weapon, but he was suspended from school. His father was arrested the next day.

 

University of Northern Iowa To Partner With Korean University On Degrees

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — The University of Northern Iowa has partnered with a Korean university to offer a double-degree program.
UNI says in a news release that the partnership with Kyungpook National University is aimed at students training to be teachers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and physical education.
The double-degree program will allow participants to graduate with a teaching qualification from both UNI and KNU. The National Research Foundation of Korea is supporting it through a $3 million grant.  At least 60 KNU students will study at UNI for two years with their tuition covered by the grant. UNI students will study for one year at KNU.  KNU students will begin arriving at UNI in the spring of 2015. UNI students will arrive on the KNU campus in the spring of 2014.


9-1-1 Recording Of Escaped Inmate's Killing Released

BEDFORD, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released a 911 call in the fatal shooting of an escaped inmate who broke into an Iowa couple's home.
In the call, 66-year-old Carolyn Mauderly quietly tells a dispatcher that an intruder is in her Bedford house. She gives her address before the call is cut off.
A dispatcher calls back and Mauderly says her husband, 71-year-old Jerome Mauderly, has shot Rodney Long. She says Long is lying in the middle of the kitchen floor.
The Taylor County Sheriff's Department released the recording Wednesday.
Long broke into the couple's home Monday night and held them against their will for several hours.
Authorities say Long escaped from a Clarinda prison Friday and was suspected in the
shooting of a sheriff's deputy on Sunday. The deputy survived.

 

Wells Fargo To Layoff 2,300 People

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Wells Fargo is laying off more than 85 employees in the Des Moines region as part of a nationwide move.
The layoffs are in the bank's mortgage unit called Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, which is based in West Des Moines.
The company, which announced more than 2,300 layoffs around the country Wednesday, says
consumer demand is down for mortgage refinancing.
Spokeswoman Angie Kaipust says the employees have been given two months' notice of the
layoffs. She says the company will try to find openings for the employees in the business units.
Wells Fargo is the largest private employer in the Des Moines region, with more than 13,500
positions. The company has more than 270,000 employees around the world.

 

National Organization On Marriage Wants Ethics Board Chair Removed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board will not remove its
executive director from an investigation into whether the National Organization for Marriage violated state law by not disclosing campaign donors.
A complaint filed in June alleges NOM did not disclose donors or all of its contributions when it funded campaigns against Iowa Supreme Court justices up for retention in 2010 and 2012.
The complaint claims NOM spent $635,000 in 2010 and about $100,000 in 2012 to defeat Iowa
justices who decided in 2009 that Iowa's law prohibiting gay marriage was unconstitutional.
Three were forced from the court in the 2010 election.
NOM wants Ethics Board Executive Director Megan Tooker removed from the investigation
claiming she's biased. The board unanimously voted Wednesday to allow her to investigate
the matter.

 

 

   

Wednesday Afternoon News, August 21

Hinton House Fire (Updated)

(Hinton) -- A house in Hinton was destroyed by fire last evening.  At about 10:19 p.m. several 9-1-1 emergency calls were received at the Plymouth County Communications Center advising of a house on fire located at 1520 Mercury Drive in Hinton.  Hinton Fire Chief Chad Beck describes the scene.

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The house was fully engulfed when fire officials arrived at the scene.
Beck says four adults, and two children under the age of five, were in the home when the fire started, but fortunately, all were able to escape the blaze.  Beck says there were no injuries to any of the family members or to the fire fighters.  Both the Hinton and Merrill Fire Departments responded to the house fire and battled the blaze until nearly 5:00 a.m. this morning.  Beck says the State Fire Marshall arrived to investigate the fire.  It has been determined the fire was accidental in nature, but the cause is still undetermined. The house was a total loss and Beck estimates the damage at $215,000.

 

Le Mars Beauty School Ask City For Consideration Of CDBG Grant

(Le Mars) -- Representatives of the Le Mars Beauty School College met before the city council on Tuesday to formally request assistance for the cosmetology school be included as part of the Community Development Block Grant.  Stacy Anderson says the school has done a lot of recent renovation and hopes to one day have the building designated as part of the National Historic Registry.

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Anderson says with the renovations, the building can still serve today's needed functions in terms of both the beauty school and the dance studio.

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In addition to the restoration efforts, the Le Mars Beauty School College recently had a transfer of ownership.  Rod and Sheila Anderson have sold the business to their son Todd Anderson.

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Anderson says the school is expanding its services to include skin care and products, as well as, nail care services and products.

 

Report Shows Governor Did Not Play A Role In Agent's Firing

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A review commissioned by Gov. Terry Branstad has concluded that the
governor's office played no role in the firing of a criminal investigator who had complained about the governor's speeding SUV.
Former Chief Justice Louis Lavorato said in a report released Wednesday that Branstad
took a "hands off approach" toward the investigation and termination of former Division of
Criminal Investigation special agent Larry Hedlund.
Lavorato says he found no direct evidence that Hedlund's superiors retaliated against
Hedlund in putting him on administrative leave in April, days after Hedlund warned the governor's speeding was a safety risk.
But Lavorato says he reaches no conclusion on whether there was retaliation or whether Hedlund's firing is justified. He says retaliation is seldom established directly and "in most cases must depend on circumstantial evidence."

 

Dean Returns To Iowa

ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) - Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says Democrats must focus on winning legislative seats and called on union members to knock on doors frequently and get to know voters personally.
He says in a speech Wednesday to the Iowa Federation of Labor's annual convention in Altoona that statehouse campaigns need to run as if every legislative candidate were running for president.
He says it's important as Democrats counter Republican efforts to change voting rules and other measures.
Dean encouraged union members to recruit strong candidates now and volunteer to knock on doors so frequently that they get to know voters personally.
If Democrats do that well, Dean predicted the party would do well in the 2014 election.


Court Rules In Favor Of Iowa State University Whistle blower

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An appeals court says a former Iowa State University employee was the victim of an outrageous and vicious harassment campaign by his superiors, but he failed to prove that it was because he reported his boss for financial misconduct.
The Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected a jury's finding that former ISU College of Engineering marketing employee Dennis Smith was the victim of whistleblower retaliation, and threw out a judge's landmark $784,000 damage award in his favor.
But the court says Iowa State did intentionally inflict emotional distress on Smith through the actions of his superiors, which included repeated false accusations that Smith was a security threat and unfair attempts to force him out. The court is upholding the jury's $500,000 award for Smith on that violation.

 

 

 

 

   

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