Saturday News, October 19
Galles Selected As "Employee Of The Month"
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has honored the October Employee of the Month.
This time the honor is given to Barb Galles, an employee of Ameriprise Financial Services.
Michael Ruhland nominated Galles for the award, saying she does a terrific job every day.
As the only employee, Barb wears many hats and yet is able to prioritize her daily tasks and
deliver exceptional results. Whether it is tracking business being processed at the home
office or following up on beneficiary changes, Barb continues to monitor various activities
on an ongoing basis. And our clients really appreciate the job she does. Often times Barb
is the individual that the clients will depend upon for follow up service issues. Barb's
occupational responsibilities are challenging but also very rewarding. Barb sees the fruits
of her labors being rewarded by the appreciative clients that she has helped serve for
nearly 12 years. She greets the clients with a friendly smile and she always conveys a
positive attitude. Our congratulations to Barb Galles for being named the October Employee
of the Month.
Nilles Wins Poppy Poster Contest
(Le Mars) -- Aubree Nilles, the 7th grade daughter of Lee (’94) and Angela Nilles, was
recently notified that she had the “Best Poppy Poster in Class III in the Central Division”
at the “2012-2013 National Poppy Poster Contest” held in Phoenix, AZ. She initially created
the poster for the Le Mars American Legion Auxiliary Unit #241, where she won the local,
district, and state contests before going on to compete at the national level.
Aubree created her poster in her Gehlen Catholic 6th grade art class. She depicted a bald
eagle head surrounded by four extra-large poppy flowers. The poster reads “He Always
Stands, Never Falls.” Aubree says “Since the beginning of 4th grade, she has tried to excel
in my artwork. Aubree says she used the bald eagle in her poster design because it is a
symbol of the United States that shows strength and courage. The poppy flower represents
freedom for me. She says she is proud that God gave her the ability to be creative.”
Sioux City Man Rejects Plea Offer For Shooting Woman
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man charged with murder in the 2012 shooting death of
a woman has rejected a plea agreement that would have let him avoid a potential lifetime prison sentence.
35-year-old Fernando Jaimes-Martinez was offered a chance to plead guilty to second-degree murder and be sentenced to 50 years in prison. If he's convicted of first-degree murder, Jaimes-Martinez would face a life sentence.
Through an interpreter Friday, Jaimes-Martinez rejected the offer, telling Judge Jeffrey Poulson, "I'm not going to accept 50 years."
Jaimes-Martinez is accused of firing a gun into a crowd on Sept. 22, 2012, and killing
27-year-old Karla Gonzalez.
Besides first-degree murder, he's charged with intimidation with a dangerous weapon,
willful injury and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Investigation Into Robberies Leads To Arrests And Gun Siezure
(Sioux City) -- The last of nine suspects was recently sentenced in federal court in a criminal conspiracy involving weapons trafficking, robbery and drugs in Sioux City and South Sioux City. The robberies included Seoul Foods in South Sioux and Sarge's Mini Mart in Sioux City. U.S. Attorney Tim Duax says the suspects were prosecuted under the Hobbs Act.
Duax says a total of 33 guns were seized in the case, which started with an investigation that led to the arrest of David Johnson.
Around 20 grams of crack cocaine was also seized.
The suspects were sentenced from five to over thirty years in federal prison for their roles in the crimes and ordered to pay restitution to their victims.
Iowa State Patrol Receives Grant For Driving Simulators
(Le Mars) -- The Iowa State Patrol has been given a gift consisting of a computer driving
simulator. State Farm Insurance made it possible through a grant, and according to Trooper
Vince Kurtz, the highway patrol hopes to use the simulator for education purposes.
Kurtz says the driving simulators are more than just a computer game.
The State Patrol trooper says the driving simulator can be adapted to any particular driving
experience and conditions.
Kurtz says the driving simulator will be available for anyone, but it is targeted towards the beginning driver.
State Tourism Office Hosting Photo Contest
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state tourism office is hosting a photo contest to find the
cover of the next Iowa Travel Guide.
The tourism office says people have until Sunday to upload a photo on Travel Iowa's
Facebook page. The top three photos will be selected and then the public will get to vote on
The winning photo will be announced Nov. 12.
A similar competition last year drew 600 photo entries. Jessica Rilling, of Cedar
Rapids, took the winning image, which was featured on the 100,000 printed copies of the
guide and digitally on www.traveliowa.com. She did not receive any financial compensation
for the photo.
A recent study showed that Iowa tourism generated $345 million in state tax receipts in
Civil Rights Commission Reaches Settlement With Apartment Complex
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Civil Rights Commission says it has reached a settlement
agreement the owners and builders of a newly constructed Grimes apartment complex to make
numerous changes that will comply with handicapped accessibility requirements.
The commission says it checked Meadowlark Place Apartments, which includes four
apartment buildings with 30 apartments each to ensure it met requirements of the Iowa Civil
Rights Act and the Federal Fair Housing Act.
The inspection found 325 deficiencies including inadequate space around kitchen islands
for wheelchairs, bathroom faucets too close to the walls, doors requiring too much force to
open, and hallways within units that are too narrow.
The agreement means the property Hubbell Apartments; Hubbell Construction Services, and
Hubbell Property Management must make required improvements along with the architect Wells &
Casino Tycoon Steve Wynn Donates $25 Million To University Of Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Las Vegas casino tycoon Steve Wynn says he gave $25 million to the
University of Iowa after becoming convinced that its researchers were leading the world in
the search for a blindness cure.
Wynn tells The Associated Press that researchers "are knocking on the door" of a
discovery that was once unthinkable.
He spoke in an interview after the university celebrated the naming of the Stephen A.
Wynn Institute for Vision Research during a ceremony Friday afternoon.
The chairman of Wynn Resorts Ltd. says that when he learned he had a genetic defect
that would slowly compromise his vision decades ago, "there was no hope." He says he now
believes that scientists will one day be able to restore vision by using stem cells to
replace diseased cells.
Maquoketa Middle School Teacher Selected As "Teacher Of The Year"
MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) - A Maquoketa (muh-COKE'-ih-tuh) middle school teacher is Iowa's 2014
teacher of the year.
Gov. Terry Branstad announced Friday that Jane Schmidt won the award. Schmidt, an
eighth-grade literacy and language arts teacher at Maquoketa Middle School, has worked in
education for 33 years.
Besides teaching in the classroom, Schmidt is a teacher mentor and began a new role
this fall in which she works on curriculum and gauges the effects of teaching practices
across the school district.
Schmidt says teaching has "always been my passion, and it's always given me purpose."
The finalists were Aaron Maurer, of Bettendorf Middle School; Kari Murray, of Carlisle
High School, Jon Parrott, of Urbandale Middle School; Kristi Wickre, of Smouse Opportunity
School in Des Moines; and Elaine Wolf, of Central Campus in Des Moines.