Friday Afternoon News, November 21
Iowa Supreme Court Dismisses Teen Harrassment Case
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says charges against a northeast Iowa girl found guilty in juvenile court of harassing another girl must be dismissed because prosecutors failed to prove harassment.
The case centers on a February 2013 confrontation in New Albin as two 15-year-old girls exited a school bus. One girl, identified as D.S. shouted obscenities which the other girl, identified as T.B., thought were directed at her. T.B. testified that D.S. had bullied her in the past and she felt intimidated.
A juvenile court found D.S. delinquent for committing third-degree harassment. The Iowa Court of Appeals reversed that decision and prosecutors appealed.
The Iowa Supreme Court says it doesn't condone the behavior but the girl's actions are not harassment because she didn't purposefully create an encounter to threaten or intimidate.
Council Bluffs To Restore Park
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Council Bluffs officials are planning a nearly $1 million restoration of the historic Fairmount Park with the help of $100,000 from a Rotary club.
Mayor Matt Walsh announced the project Thursday. The 90-acre park features a greenhouse, ice skating, sledding, a petting zoo and an old bell tower. But the Daily Nonpareil reports the park's forest is overgrown and its facilities need renovation.
Officials say the project will restore the woodlands and establish new trails to improve pedestrian access from nearby neighborhoods. The project also calls for a plaza on the site of the former Fairmount Lodge.
Mick McKinley, the former president of the Rotary Club of Council Bluffs, says the group was looking for a service project to help fund to commemorate its 100-year anniversary.
Janitor Destroys Library Computer
CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa public library janitor has been arrested after police say he stole a computer from work and destroyed it.
43-year-old Billy Matiyabo was arrested Thursday and charged with third-degree theft. He tells police he stole the computer from the Coralville Public Library after he used it to view inappropriate material in October following his shift. Police say he returned to work, stole the computer and then burned it.
The computer was valued at about $700. Police didn't say what Matiyabo used the computer to view.
Online jail records didn't indicate an attorney for Matiyabo.
Iowa Family Packs Food For Students To Take Home
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa family has begun a program that provides food for students on Fridays to ensure they have something to eat over the weekend.
The Hawk Eye reports Josh and J.J. Caston started Homeplate Iowa, a nonprofit, to feed elementary students at several schools. They are Corse, North Hill, Sunnyside, Grimes and West Burlington elementary schools.
Students receive meals twice a month. Six meals and two snacks are sent home in a bag with students. Each bag costs about $3 to stock.
Homeplate Iowa started three years ago, feeding 40 children a month at Corse Elementary School. It's grown to about 270 kids twice a month, or 544 monthly bags.
The Castons find students in need of food for the weekend with the help of school counselors.
Iowa Cyclist Dies From Accident
FERTILE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 62-year-old cyclist in northern Iowa has died after colliding with a flatbed truck.
A Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa spokesman says 62-year-old Sally Bell of Clear Lake died from injuries in the Thursday crash.
The Iowa State Patrol says Bell and the truck crashed in an intersection near Fertile in Worth County.
No other injuries were reported.
No charges have been reported. Troopers are investigating.