Monday News, February 25
Disabled Train Blocks City Streets
(Le Mars) -- An Union Pacific Train became disabled blocking many of the intersections in Le Mars on Sunday. It was several hours before u-P officials was able to get the train operative. The train stretched across town blocking every street intersection from 1st Street NE to nearly 12th Street SW near Business Hwy 75 and Hy Vee.
School Board To Meet
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community Board of Education is scheduled to meet this evening. The board will gather at 5:00 p.m. at the Education Service Center which is an earlier time than normal. The local school board will hear a report from Middle School Principal Steve Shanks, as well as middle school teaching staff discuss the Character Education Program. Building principals will share the mid-year progress reports with the board. Following the regular meeting the board will meet in closed session to conduct a negotiation strategy session.
Soderberg Doubts An Educational Bill Can Be Passed Before March 1st
(Le Mars) -- This past week the Iowa Legislature worked on educational bills, with the Iowa House passing a two percent allowable growth rate for school financing and the State Senate earlier passed a four percent allowable growth rate. State representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars says its hard to determine where the two chambers will compromise on education funding.
The legislature is supposed to release the numbers to the school districts before March 1st.
Soderberg doubts if the bill in the final form can be passed within this week.
Legislature Looks At Raising Fuel Tax
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Education spending and property tax cuts have been the focus so far in Iowa's legislative session, but some people think another change that could emerge this year is an
increase in the fuel tax.
Iowa's fuel tax is now 22 cents per gallon including all fees. It hasn't been raised since 1989.
Lawmakers have for years proposed raising the tax, and a commission appointed by Governor Terry Branstad in 2011 recommended an increase of 8 to 10 cents to boost funding for the state's
network of bridges and roads.
An effort to raise the tax by 10 cents failed in the Legislature last year. But House Transportation Committee chairman Rep. Joshua Byrnes says he thinks similar legislation would have a stronger
chance this session because it isn't an election year.
Des Moines Boy Accidentally Shoots Friend
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say an Iowa boy accidentally shot his friend in the shoulder while they were playing with a handgun.
Des Moines police say both the boys are 13-years-old. The boy who was hurt, Alec Osborn, was conscious when officers arrived and was initially listed in fair condition.
The boys were at the home of another boy's family friend in south Des Moines on Saturday. Police say the boy who shot Osborn didn't think the .22-caliber revolver was loaded when he pulled the
Police seized eight guns from the home where the incident happened. Prosecutors are considering filing child endangerment charges against the gun owner, who gave the boys access to several
The gun owner, 65-year-old Dennis Yohe, declined to comment on the incident.
Missing Girl Now Found
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Police say a 12-year-old Des Moines girl who went missing after her mother drove her to school earlier this month has been found safe.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/WdpbQU ) that 18-year-old Sergio Lopez faces two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and is jailed without bond in Polk County. He's also charged
with violating a no-contact order involving the girl.
Lopez was wanted for failing to appear in court on one of the sexual abuse charges.
The girl went missing after her mother drove her to school Feb. 8. She was found Sunday and Lopez was arrested Sunday night.
Police had said in announcing the girl's disappearance that they believed she was with Lopez.
Attorney Disbarred Due To Gambling Addiction
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A Cedar Rapids attorney with a gambling problem has been disbarred.
Documents filed last week with the Iowa Supreme Court say Susan Hense had taken $800,000 from client accounts for her "gambling addiction."
Hense had been in practice since September 1996. She admitted to the misconduct and didn't fight disbarment. Hense says in an affidavit that she regretted "beyond my ability to describe, my
theft of funds belonging to my clients."
Hense admitted to her gambling problem and said she hadn't gambled since entering treatment in October.
No criminal charges have been filed against Hense so far.
International Custody Battle
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A hearing is planned for Monday in federal court in Des Moines in a child custody case involving a Swedish man who claims his ex-wife illegally moved with their
daughter to Iowa.
A judge has ordered Raina Anderung to appear with her 3-year-old daughter Monday morning. Anderung must hand over the girl's passport and she cannot remove the child from the Southern District of Iowa or she'll be arrested.
A complaint filed February 14th alleges Anderung, who lives in Pleasantville, traveled to Iowa last May for a 90-day visit and refuses to return to Sweden.
The girl's father, Magnus Anderung, claims she is violating a 1980 international agreement known as the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
She claims they agreed on the move.
11 Year Old Raises Money For Charity Through Bake Sale
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - An 11-year-old northern Iowa boy organized a bake sale and raffle so a sick friend gets a chance to live a long life, too.
Tyler Arndt raised nearly $2,300 from the bake sale Saturday at a Mason City grocery store. The money will go to a foundation started by the family of Hayden Despenas. The foundation supports
research into a cure for Friedreich's ataxia. Hayden has been diagnosed with the degenerative neuromuscular ailment, which can be fatal.
Tyler made posters advertising the bake sale and also hit his goal of selling $1,000 in raffle tickets for a donated painting.
Tyler told the Mason City Globe Gazette that he thinks Hayden might not live as long as other people, "so I want to raise money so we can help him."