Monday Afternoon News, May 2
Le Mars Community Teacher Nominated For "Teacher Of The Year"
(Le Mars) -- A Le Mars Community High School teacher has been nominated for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award. Mrs. Jeanne Rust was awarded the Senior Division (grades 9-12) Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award for the state of Iowa, which now qualifies her for the national honor. The National Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award is awarded to one junior division and one senior division teacher who has shown outstanding creativity, commitment, and inspiration in developing student interest in history education. Each of the 56 affiliates of National History Day awards one teacher in each division (middle school and high school) $500 and nominates that teacher for the National Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year Award. Jeanne Rust is the senior division winner from Iowa and is now nominated for the national award. The winners of the national award receives $10,000 in honor of their outstanding efforts to encourage and support history education. The two national winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 16th.
Remsen Municipal Utilities Changing Electrical Lines
(Remsen) -- The power in Remsen has been switched to the temporary service and Remsen customers did not experience a power outage during the transition. Work now continues throughout the day to replace the wiring. Remsen residents and businesses may experience a power outage when service is switched from the temporary service to the new wire. Remsen Municipal Utility officials say the switch should occur late this afternoon or early evening.
Volunteers Install 600 Smoke Detectors
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Organizers say volunteers installed more than 600 smoke detectors in Sioux City homes during a fire safety blitz.
More than 100 volunteers teamed up to visit around 1,600 homes Saturday in an area that accounted for 7 percent of Sioux City's fires in 2015 although occupying just 1 percent of the land inside city limits.
As one volunteer on each team installed a detector, other team members talked to residents about fire safety.
Lawmakers End Session On Friday - Holz Disappointed Water Quality Bill Not Passed
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers put aside philosophical differences to adjourn the legislative session Friday, because at one point their disagreements on the multi-billion dollar state budget came down to less than $15 million.
The Republican-controlled House wanted to stop giving state dollars to family planning facilities like Planned Parenthood that provide abortions. The state funding in question totaled less than $500,000, and the proposal was ultimately dropped.
Lawmakers were also at odds over $9.7 million for salaries to the Iowa Department of Transportation. House Republicans said the agency shouldn't get additional money for salaries amid a recent increase in the state fuel tax. The Democratic-majority Senate challenged that, and lawmakers agreed to provide half the requested money.
Differences on medical marijuana and water quality couldn't be resolved this session. State Representative Chuck Holz of Le Mars says he is most disappointed that his fellow lawmakers could not reach an agreement on a water quality bill.
Holz just completed his first year as a state legislator. He says he learned fairly quickly to rely on those people who are most familiar with the issue, and are an expert in the area.
The Le Mars republican says he learned the pace in the legislature is slower than he had realized, with some issues getting resolved while others remain embedded in controversy and difference of opinion.
Branstad And Legislature Blame Each Other For Failure To Pass Water Quality Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad and Democratic lawmakers are blaming each other for failing to pass legislation on water quality initiatives.
The Republican governor said Monday he's disappointed the Democratic-controlled Senate didn't approve a water quality funding bill passed in the Republican-majority House. The Legislature adjourned Friday.
Branstad, Republicans and Democrats proposed different bills amid a lawsuit by the Des Moines water utility that put a spotlight on farm runoff. Democrats criticized a GOP plan to use existing state dollars. Republicans shot down proposals by Democrats to raise the sales tax or use surplus money.
Branstad's own plan to use money from an education infrastructure fund wasn't supported by Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said in a statement Monday the GOP plans would have diverted money from education funding.
Council Bluffs Doctor Accused Of Shifting Assets To Avoid Compensation To Victims
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A lawsuit filed for more than a dozen people alleges a former Council Bluffs doctor shifted assets to his wife so he wouldn't have to pay compensation to victims of his sex crimes.
Dennis Jones was sentenced to 10 years in prison after his 2014 convictions. Prosecutors say Jones had an estimated 1.2 million images of child pornography and 9,300 videos of child pornography in his possession - some of those being of his young patients. Several of the families involved sued in 2014.
A new lawsuit filed last week names Jones and his wife, Marianne, and says he's transferred more than $1.4 million in real estate and other assets to her. Their attorney didn't immediately return a call Monday from The Associated Press.
Mason City Fatal Fire
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 24-year-old man has died in a Mason City house fire that was started by unattended food cooking on a stove.
Mason City Fire Department officials say Ackhasenh Cavan died as a result of the accidental Sunday morning blaze.
Firefighters found Cavan outside the house when they arrived. He was given medical aid before being taken to a Mason City hospital, where he was declared dead.
The fire damage was contained to the kitchen and living room, with some smoke damage throughout the rest of the house.