Friday Afternoon News, March 1
Bicycle Helmet Presentation Postponed Until March 15
(Le Mars) -- Opportunities Unlimited was originally scheduled to present bicycle helmets to Gehlen Catholic's second graders this afternoon, but Gehlen officials have notified us to say that presentation will now occur on March 15th. Apparently, Bishop Walker Nicklass of the Sioux City Diocese is visiting the Opportunities Unlimited facilities this afternoon.
New Le Mars Stores Open For Business
(Le Mars) -- Two new businesses have open their doors today in downtown Le Mars. Bad Habit Boutique, which is a women's boutique and Sugar and Spice, a children's clothing store. Both stores are located on the 100 block of Plymouth Street SW.
Le Mars Fire Department Issues February Report
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department has released its February monthly report. Last month, the Le Mars Fire Department had a total of 31 calls. There were seven fire calls, four rescue calls, and seven investigation. The Le Mars Fire Department was asked to offer mutual aid once during February, and the fire department had 12 requests for services.
Le Mars To Utilize Mobile Warning Siren To Help Locate Future Siren Sites
(Le Mars) -- It won't be long before we will be looking to the skies in anticipation of severe weather, and city officials are wanting to make certain Le Mars citizens will always be given proper warning in advance of any pending storm. Next Wednesday, a mobile unit equipped with a weather siren will be in Le Mars to help city officials determine the precise location for future warning sirens. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper explains.
With Fedder's Marine and RV already positioned at the junction of Highways 60 and 75, there is speculation that the city will continue to expand on the north side. Schipper says the mobile siren unit will move around to different locations focusing its attention to the residents and businesses located the north side of town.
He says the warning sirens are primarily designed to alert people who are participating in outdoor activities.
In addition to the city's expanded growth, Schipper says there are plenty of outdoor activities on the north side that need to have the early warning system including the golf course, the municipal park, the hiking trails, and even the Plymouth County Fair. Schipper says sometimes when people hear the siren sound twice, they are confused believing the second siren is an "all clear" signal. The fire chief says that is not the case for Le Mars.
Branstad Selects Local People For State Boards and Commissions
(Des Moines) -- Governor Terry Branstad announced his choices for state boards and commissions today. Dr. Thomas Jenery of Le Mars has been selected to serve on the Board of Dentistry, Larry Den Herder of Sioux Center will serve on the Board of Economic Development Authority, and Dr. Allison Schoenfelder of Akron has been asked to be on the state board of medicine.
Lang Retained As Chairman of Regents
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is appointing Board of Regents President Craig Lang to another 6-year term on the board that governs Iowa's public universities.
Branstad announced Friday that he wants Lang, a Brooklyn dairy farmer and former president of the Iowa Farm Bureau, to stay on the board when his term expires April 30.
Branstad also appointed Grimes businessman and Republican activist Robert Cramer and Webster City doctor Subhash Sahai to the board. They'll replace David Miles and Jack Evans.
The appointments need confirmation from the Democratic-controlled Senate, where lawmakers have accused Lang and President Pro Tem Bruce Rastetter of exerting too much influence.
Lang acknowledged Friday he needs "to do some work" to shore up his support. He says he wants to continue efforts to make education valuable and affordable.
Iowa Improves On Its Healthiest State Status
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has jumped to ninth in a national health ranking of states.
Officials say the state jumped seven spots last year in the yearly Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
The state ranked 16th last year, 19th in 2010 and fifth in 2009.
Gov. Terry Branstad launched the Healthiest State Initiative in 2011 in an effort to make Iowa the nation's healthiest state by 2016.
On Thursday Branstad hailed Iowa's progress and says the ranking "proves our efforts are working." However, Democrats are critical of Branstad's decision not to expand Medicaid. In a release, the state democratic party believe Iowa's new position as being the ninth healthiest state in the nation is in jeopardy, unless Branstad expands the Medicaid program. Democrats note of the top ten healthiest states, only two have not expanded the Medicaid program. Branstad says the expansion of the healthcare program would be too costly for the state's finances. He, instead advocates the continuation of IowaCare.
Milk No Longer Tested For Aflatoxin
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa agriculture officials are no longer requiring that milk received in the state be tested for a poison-producing fungus.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says milk will not be screened or tested for aflatoxin beginning Friday.
Aflatoxins are a group of chemicals produced by certain mold fungi. They occur more frequently in hot, dry summer conditions.
The milk began being tested at the end of August. Since then, four loads of milk tested positive for aflatoxin. The last load tested positive in November.
The agency has been monitoring the prevalence of aflatoxin through a corn sampling program. It also blends aflatoxin with some corn for animal feed.
Former Investment Broker Sent To High Security Federal Prison
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa investment broker convicted of orchestrating a $200 million fraud scandal has been moved to a high-security federal prison in Indiana.
Authorities say Russell Wasendorf Sr. was transferred Wednesday to the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute. His release date is scheduled for Feb. 2, 2056.
Wasendorf has been in the Linn County Jail since he was arrested in July. He pleaded guilty in September to misspending investor funds over a 20-year period at his former Cedar
Falls-based brokerage, Peregrine Financial Group Inc.
Wasendorf was sentenced in January to 50 years in federal prison.
Lawyer Suspended For Using Crack Cocaine
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court has suspended the law license of a Cedar Rapids attorney for 60 days in the wake of his conviction for possessing crack cocaine.
The court on Friday suspended defense attorney Stanley Roush, who was sentenced to 15 days in prison last year.
Agents found drugs in Roush's car during a sting in November 2011, which came after one of Roush's clients told investigators that the attorney routinely smoked crack with a female
Roush said his drug use was tied to his alcoholism, and that he's getting treatment. He says he always remained competent to practice law.
The court says Roush demonstrated a pattern of drug use since a 2003 marijuana possession conviction, and his behavior -- quote -- "shows disrespect for the rule of law."
Des Moines Burglary Suspect Blames Snow Pants For Capture
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police say a burglary suspect thinks there's a good reason he was caught: His bulky snow pants slowed him down.
Police arrested Martin Thicklen Thursday following a car and foot chase. A woman had earlier reported that Thicklen burglarized her house.
Police reports say the woman confronted Thicklen outside the house before he rammed his truck past her car and fled. His car later hit a power pole and Thicklen was arrested on foot.
Police say the 49-year-old Thicklen later told them he would have run faster if he wasn't wearing his thick snow pants.
Thicklen's charges include second-degree burglary, driving while suspended and reckless
driving. He remains in the Polk County Jail.
Online records do not list an attorney for him.