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Tuesday Afternoon News, Sept 25

Budget Cuts Hurt Local CSADV Organization

(Le Mars) -- Officials with the Council for Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence are worried as to what will happen with victims as a result of funding cuts to the program.  Margaret Sanders and Cathy Van Maanen met Tuesday with the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.  Sanders, the executive director with CSADV informed the supervisors that the state has now gone to six different regions with region one serving 20 counties within northwest Iowa.  Sanders believes victims will now have fewer options.

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Sanders says Region One, or northwest Iowa will try to serve the needs of the victims by dividing up between urban needs and rural needs, with Plymouth County falling into the urban needs area.  Sanders says her agency has already felt the sting of budget cuts with employee lay-offs and more may be anticipated.

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Board chairman, Jim Henrich, summed up the thoughts of each board member, when he said, "Twenty counties is a big area for a quick response."


School Board Learn About District's Computer Network

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School Board heard a report during last evening's meeting  regarding the computer and technical aspects of the school district. Bruce Ludwig told the school board that the district owns 858 computers with 28 servers, which equates to a ratio of 2.44 students per computer.  He says Le Mars is much better than the national average which is about 4.3 to 5 students per computer.  Ludwig says many of the district's computers have come second hand from Wells Enterprises, which has saved the district several thousands of dollars.  Ludwig told the board of education about a message board system using Premier Communications' Channel 76.

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He says the system is free to the school district, and only the school district has access to the channel.  He says the system provides updates on a continuous basis to the big screen television sets located throughout the schools.

 

Murdered Sioux City Woman Now Identified

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a 27-year-old woman who was killed when gunfire erupted during a Sioux City neighborhood dispute.
She was identified as Karla Gonzalez, who was visiting friends in the area.
Police say witnesses reported that several people were stabbed when the fight started early Saturday morning, and then gunshots rang out.
Thirty-three-year-old Fernando Jaimes-Martinez has been charged with first-degree murder. He remains in Woodbury County jail, pending bail of $1 million. Jaimes-Martinez also faces felony charges of intimidation with a dangerous weapon and of willful injury. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.
The names of the people who were stabbed have not been released.

 

Anderson-Erickson Workers On Strike

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - About 300 workers at Anderson Erickson Dairy in Des Moines are striking after the workers represented by the local Teamsters Union voted not to accept the company's latest
contract offer.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/ULRimt ) the strike began early Monday morning after workers rejected the proposal the night before.
Mike Klootwyk, the vice president of Teamsters Union Local 120, says the contract would have required workers to accept a pay freeze and to pay significantly more for health care insurance.
Several dozen picketers with "On Strike" signs are walking around the dairy's building on the city's east side.
The previous four-year contract expired in March and the last negotiating sessions were held last month.
Klootwyk says the union remains willing to talk.

Jarrod Otta, Plant Manager of Dean Foods in Le Mars says the local milk processor was asked to fill part of the void left to customers around the Des Moines area as a result of the strike.  Otta says Dean Foods had to supply milk to some schools that were under contract with Anderson-Erickson, but without milk.


University of Iowa Fraternity House To Close

(Iowa City) -- A University of Iowa fraternity is being closed following allegations of hazing.  The national headquarters says cited the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter for hazing and said it failed "to comply with our standard, guidelines, and policies."

The university administration says it is investigating the allegations and supports the action taken by Sigma Alpha's national leadership.  Around 90 members of the UI chapter have been expelled from the fraternity.  They have ten days to move out of the frat house.  The president of the UI chapter, Mike Weaver, declined to comment.


ACLU Suing Des Moines School Board

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit seeking records related to a closed Des Moines school board meeting called to discuss the resignation of the superintendent who was caught sending sexually explicit e-mails.
The ACLU's Iowa chapter filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of former board member Graham Gillette, who has been seeking an audio recording and other records related to the board's May 10 meeting.
The school board met in closed session for 80 minutes before publicly accepting the resignation of Superintendent Nancy Sebring, who had exchanged sexually explicit emails with a lover using the
district's computers.
The lawsuit says the meeting should have been open, and the records should be public. After the meeting, the board president told reporters that Sebring had resigned for personal reasons.


Iowa Could Save Money By Overhauling Benefits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report says Iowa could save nearly $116.3 million a year if it overhauled state worker benefits.
The Des Moines Register says (http://dmreg.co/SjFKpJ ) the report by consultant Aon, released Monday, suggests that Iowa change its benefits along the lines of businesses and other states selected for comparison.
The report conclusions include a suggestion that 29,000 state employees pay higher deductibles and 20 percent of their health care premiums.
State employee union leader Danny Homan says comparison states and businesses were purposely selective and the data skewed to benefit Gov. Terry Branstad's administration just before union
contract negotiations begin.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says the study is not a bargaining ploy.

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Bridge To Be Dedicated To Honor Troopers


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - State legislators and police officers will gather to dedicate another bridge in honor of a trooper who died in the line of duty.
A Cedar River Bridge on Interstate 380/Highway 20 will be dedicated Wednesday to honor trooper Charles Whitney.
Whitney died June 16, 1985, when he was hit by a vehicle whose driver had fallen asleep. The 55-year-old Whitney was handing a driver a ticket when he was struck.
He had served with the Iowa State Patrol for 24 years.
The ceremony will be at the state patrol district 9 office in Cedar Falls.
The dedication is part of a statewide effort to honor the 10 troopers who died while serving the state during the patrol's 77-year history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Monday Afternoon News, Sept 24

Mercy Medical Center Celebrates "Mercy Day"

(Sioux City) -- Mercy Medical Center of Sioux City is celebrating "Mercy Day" today, and Jim Wharton, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development says it is a day to honor Mercy's founder, Sister Catherine McAuley, and to perform services of "mercy".  Wharton says it is a big day for the people of the Sioux City hospital .
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The hospital held a dedication ceremony this morning to officially bless and dedicate the new patient courtyard area.
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The hospital official says nearly all of Mercy's employees get behind the effort and show their support for Mercy Day.

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Wharton says several hospital employees are also taking advantage of Mercy Day by volunteering for various community events throughout the Siouxland area.

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Fourth "Cash Mob" Scheduled For Thursday


(Le Mars) -- Thursday, will be the fourth and final "Cash Mob" as sponsored by the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce.  For the last cash mob, participants are asked to gather in front of the Chamber offices at 12:00 noon.  Mary Reynolds of the Chamber office says for the final "cash mob" a food establishment located outside the downtown area will be selected.
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Reynolds says the "cash mob" consists of a mob of people visiting one particular business and agreeing to spend at least $20 at that business.
Those businesses that were selected for the first three cash mobs were the Rust Western Shed, Cork-It, and Fareway.  Reynolds says the cash mob was a new promotion idea for the community.  She says overall, the campaign proved to be successful.  She reminds shoppers to start with Le Mars first.
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Reynolds isn't certain whether the Chamber will host a "cash mob" campaign for next summer, but she is getting ready for the holiday campaign.

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Heroin Dealer Given 16 Years

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A 31-year-old Chicago man has been given more than 16 years in a federal prison for conspiring to sell heroin within 1,000 feet of a school in Cedar Rapids.
Walter Dixon was sentenced last week to 194 months in prison and eight years of supervised release after he leaves custody.
Prosecutors say that at his sentencing, Dixon acknowledged that the heroin he distributed caused the death of one person in June last year and nearly killed another of his customers a month later.
Prosecutors also say Dixon had sold heroin near Polk Elementary School and Coe College in Cedar Rapids.


Campaigns For Judge Retention / Removal Started Today

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The campaigns for and against Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins launched competing bus tours at the state Capitol.
Social conservatives seeking to oust Wiggins in a November retention vote were led Monday morning by former candidate for governor Bob Vander Platts and former Republican presidential
candidate Rick Santorum. They gathered in front of the Capitol by two buses with "No Wiggins" logos.
Once that event ended, another backed by the Iowa State Bar began.
Speakers included Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's niece, Christine Branstad, an attorney. They called for retaining Wiggins, who angered social conservatives when he joined in a unanimous 2009
ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Iowa.
Wiggins supporters say Vander Plaats claims his effort is a grassroots movement, but it's funded by out-of-state groups opposed to gay marriage.


Iowa Inmate Dies

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 53-year-old inmate assigned to the Iowa Medical & Classification Center in Coralville has died while in the prison hospice program.
The Iowa Corrections Department says Paul Blakey Jr. died Monday of melanoma.
Blakey had been serving a maximum of five years after being convicted in Scott County for violating the law regarding registration by sex offenders. He'd been sentenced on March 4 last year.


   

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