Thursday News, January 15
Life Skills Training Center Told It Will Need To Change Its Focus
(Le Mars) -- Earlier this week the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors heard a report from Shelly Thomson of Life Skills Training Center. Thomson explained to the county governing board the funding of Life Skills has changed drastically within the last five years, and its focus will also be changing.
Thompson says Life Skills provides a secure work environment in both laundry and janitorial services for up to 70 mentally challenged adults. Thomson informed the county supervisors the federal government is mandating a change as to how the Life Skills Training Center will operate in the future.
Thomson explains what those changes will ultimately mean to the Life Skills clients, and to the community.
The Life Skills official says the agency will need the support from the entire county in order to make for a successful transition.
Chamber Of Commerce Schedules Annual Awards Banquet
(Le Mars) -- Reservations can now be made for the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet and Awards program. This annual event recognizes the 2014 "Employees of the Month", and "Bosses of the Quarter" along with the "Citizen of the Year" and the "Le Mars Business of the Year" is scheduled for Saturday, January 31st to be held at the upper level of the Le Mars Convention Center. The Le Mars Community High School Show Choir, "Crimson and Black" will provide some entertainment with their dance and musical tunes routine. Social hour begins at 6:00 p.m. with the dinner to start at 7:00 p.m. Again, this year, the event will prove to be fun as satarical comedic videos featuring many of the community's leaders will be shown. Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased at the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce office.
Authorities Call Suspicious Death As Homicide
(Sioux City) -- Woodbury County authorities are now calling the suspicious death of a Sloan man as a homicide. Last week, law enforcement officials went to Sloan to investigate an incident. When they arrived, they found 29 year old Dustin Taylor dead at the scene. The Woodbury County Sheriff's office has developed a person of interest in the homicide. The investigation is continuing.
Man Gets 30 Years For Robberies
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A western Iowa man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after admitting to breaking into and stealing from two residences.
25-year-old Dewayne Hendershot pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree robbery and two counts of second-degree burglary. Hendershot must serve a minimum of seven years in prison to become eligible for parole, as outlined in his plea agreement
Hendershot confessed to breaking into a home and robbing a resident at gunpoint in Dec. 2013. He also admitted to breaking into a home in November 2013 and stealing guns. Charges from another robbery were dropped as part of Hendershot's plea agreement.
Branstad Proposes To Close Two Mental Health Institutions
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has proposed the closure of two of the state's four mental health institutions.
Amy Lorentzen McCoy, an Iowa Department of Human Services spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Branstad didn't include funding for the Clarinda and Mount Pleasant facilities in his budget proposal released this week. Money to the facilities will be cut off July 1.
The institutions have experienced a population decline for decades, with only 24 residents currently at Clarinda facility and 47 in Mount Pleasant.
McCoy says a 2009 taskforce previously recommended closure under Gov. Chet Culver, but the proposal was dropped. Branstad also discussed consolidating mental health services last month, but said there were no immediate plans to do so.
Facilities in Cherokee and Independence will remain open.
Iowa To Receive Federal Money For Conservation Programs
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa is slated to receive federal money to support conservation projects in the state.
The U.S. government announced Wednesday that Iowa will receive $3.5 million and Cedar Rapids will receive $2.1 million as part of $370 million in federal funding for a national conservation program. The 115 proposed projects across the country are expected to garner $400 million in partner contributions.
Money allocated to the state will go toward the reducing nitrogen contaminants in state rivers. The money granted directly to Cedar Rapids will fund an initiative among farmers and landowners to improve water and soil quality and aid with flood prevention.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the projects are meant to improve national water supplies and the environment.
House Votes To Deny Money For Obama's Immigration Policy
(Washington) -- The U.S. House has passed legislation to overturn President Barack Obama's immigration actions and remove protections for immigrants brought illegally to the country as children. The measures were part of a $39.7 billion spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The vote was 236-191.
Iowa's 4th District Republican Congressman Steve King voted for the measure:
The legislation faces tough prospects in the Senate and a veto threat from the president, but King says Republicans had to act against what he calls an unconstitutional overreach by Obama:
The legislation would roll back executive actions Obama announced in November to extend temporary stays of deportation to around 4 million immigrants in the country illegally. It also would undo an earlier program that provided work permits and deportation protections to more than 600,000 immigrants who arrived illegally in the country as children.