Tuesday Afternoon News, April 22
Hawarden Man Sentenced To Prison For Burglary, Marijuana
(Orange City) -- Sioux County Attorney Thomas G. Kunstle has announced that Matthew Wayne Zinnel, age 19, of Hawarden, IA, was sentenced on Monday, in Sioux County District Court for the crimes of Burglary in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony, Burglary in the Third Degree (automobile), an Aggravated Misdemeanor, and Possession of Marijuana – 1st Offense, a Serious Misdemeanor. The first case arose on September 14, 2013, when a rural Rock Valley resident reported a stolen 4-wheeler. The second case arose on September 23, 2013, when the Sioux Center Police Department received a report of a stolen vehicle. A Sioux County Sheriff’s deputy noticed a vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle in a field driveway about three-quarters of a mile from Defendant’s residence. The deputy’s K-9 was deployed to the location to track footprints which led from the vehicle to the Defendant’s residence. The tread on Zinnel's shoes matched the footprints found on the gravel road. Defendant admitted that he took the 4-wheeler and showed officers where it was hidden.
Defendant further admitted that he committed two other burglaries and that he had marijuana inside the house. Zinnel was sentenced to five years in prison on the felony burglary charge and to two years in prison on the aggravated misdemeanor burglary charge. Defendant was also sentenced to 180 days in jail on the possession of marijuana charge.
Le Mars Community Foundation Still In The Running For Charity Grant
(Le Mars) -- There's still time to vote for the Le Mars Community School District Foundation as a benefactor of the Helmet to Hope charitable campaign. Voting ends on Thursday, and at the present time Le Mars Community School District Foundation is in fifth place with only a few votes that separate Le Mars school with the sixth place charity. The voting is happening nationwide with the top five charities that focus on K-12 education to receive $25,000 from NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson Foundation with collaboration of Wells Blue Bunny. In order to vote, log on to www.helmettohope.org.
Iowa State Has Breach Of Data
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University has reported a data breach that exposed the Social Security numbers of nearly 30,000 people enrolled at the school over a 17-year period.
The university said Tuesday that five information technology servers on the Ames campus were hacked. They contained the Social Security numbers of people who took certain classes at the school between 1995 and 2012. The servers also had university ID numbers for nearly 19,000 additional people.
Officials say an unknown person or persons intended to generate enough computing power to create the virtual currency bitcoin. But officials do not believe the personal information was a target. There is no evidence that any of those files were accessed.
Officials have notified law enforcement. Individuals with exposed Social Security numbers will be offered free credit monitoring.
Legislature Fails To Adjourn Before Deadline
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers have work to complete before adjournment, but they'll be finishing up without daily payments for their expenses.
The session has no specific end date, but Tuesday, the 100th day of the session, marks the last day lawmakers will receive their per diem payments. Pages will be sent home and Capitol staff will be reduced, but lawmakers must stick around to wrap up budget bills and finish work on other measures.
The key task is approving budgets. Those measures have bounced back and forth between the House and Senate, but only two have cleared both chambers.
Gov. Terry Branstad's four main priorities remain alive. They deal with school bullying, veterans programs, broadband expansion and apprenticeships.
But time is running out, as legislative leaders hope to adjourn within days.
Government Oversight Committee Makes Demands
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Senate Government Oversight Committee is proposing a bill that would make sweeping changes in some state government practices.
The bill would make all personnel settlement agreements subject to review by the attorney general, prohibits confidentiality provisions, and posts all agreements on a state website.
It requires the state auditor to conduct an examination of all settlement agreements issued since Gov. Terry Branstad began his current term.
It also requires the state to disclose any bonuses over $200 paid to executive branch employees and offers new whistleblower protections for state workers reporting abuse of authority or other issues.
It also would revise state hiring and firing practices requiring job openings to be posted publicly. Fired workers would have new appeal options if they're placed on a do-not-hire list.
House Rejects Senate Plan To Re-Open Juvenile Home
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa House has rejected a Senate amendment to the health and human services budget that would have reopened the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo. The House action Tuesday morning sends the bill to a conference committee where members of both parties will work out the differences in the bill.
The Senate Monday evening passed it along party lines with only Democratic support. The Republican-led House rejected it on a voice vote only.
Democratic House Minority Leader Mark Smith says it's important to provide the services to some of the state's most troubled youth.
Rep. David Heaton, a Mount Pleasant Republican, says the funding in the bill may be inadequate to reopen the home, which was closed by Gov. Terry Branstad following allegations that delinquent girls were being mistreated.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Doctors at the University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center say they are worried by a spike in injuries from anhydrous ammonia, a chemical used to fertilize corn crops.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the center usually sees one or two cases of burns in a year. In 2014, there have been at least five cases in a matter of weeks.
Medical personnel say there's no clear reason for the jump in cases, which have been farm- or industrial-related accidents. Officials say people familiar with the chemical can sometimes become lax with following safety precautions.
Alice Fagin, a surgeon at the UI burn center, says people need to be careful with the fertilizer.