Monday Afternoon News, July 22
Motorcycle Accident Injures Le Mars Man
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a motorcycle accident with injuries early Sunday morning. The accident happened near the Bo-Dean's waffle factory at about 1:20 a.m. early Sunday morning. According to a police report by the Le Mars Police Department, there were four motorcycles riding in a group heading southbound on Lake Avenue southwest in the 2000 block. The third motorcycle in the group was being driven by 20 year old Ryan Kuiken of Le Mars. As the group approached a slight turn or bend in the roadway, Kuiken, without warning left the roadway. He continued through the ditch until striking a tree. Kuiken was thrown from his motorcycle, sustaining a head trauma. He was transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital. The other three motorcycle drivers were not involved with the incident.
Woodbury County Officials Investigate Possible Drowning
(Sioux City) --The Woodbury County Sheriff's Department says boaters discovered a body in the Missouri River at about 10:30 Sunday morning. The body was retrieved by the Weedland Boat access south of Sergeant Bluff. Little is known about the victim at this point. Authorities say they have not identified the individual and no information about how the person came to be in the river. Reports of an empty boat are also being investigated, but at this time, there is not known association between the drowning victim and the boat. The investigation is continuing.
Sioux City Wants To Control Odor Issues
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City officials are considering a plan to strengthen the city's odor ordinance.
The City Council will take up the issue Monday in an effort to reduce odors from private companies and the city's sewer facilities.
Officials have been working on the plan for the past year.
Among the proposals are plans to require the city to investigate if there are seven complaints within a 30-day period. Currently, the requirement calls for at least 10 complaints in a six-hour period.
An Odor Control Committee also could review compliance plans and recommend enforcement action.
Failure to deal with problems could result in initial penalties of $750 and up to $1,000 for each following offense.
Three council votes are required before the proposal could take effect.
Iowa Offers Driver's License Renewal Online
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa drivers can now head to the state department of transportation website and renew their licenses online.
Gov. Terry Branstad says Monday that a new online renewal system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He says it will give residents more flexibility when they have to renew their
Nearly 284,000 Iowa drivers will be eligible to renew a license or identification card on the new system. The system is available, with some restrictions, to those who are at least 18, but younger
This online system does not apply to commercial drivers. And drivers can only renew online every other time they need a new license. Officials said they thought it was important for safety
reasons to have that limitation.
Former Casino Employee Files Lawsuit
OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) - A former employee at an Iowa casino is accusing its general manager of making inappropriate sexual comments to employees and patrons.
Gail Wilson, a former guest services manager at Lakeside Casino in Osceola, alleges in a lawsuit that she was fired in November 2011 after speaking up about some of the incidents.
Wilson also alleges that the casino's human resources manager gave favorable treatment to subordinates she slept with, according to reports.
The lawsuit says general manager Bob Thursby cracked jokes about prostitutes and once told a patron he didn't recognize her without her clothes on. Thursby and human resources manager Carol Eckels both deny the allegations.
A jury trial has been set for March 3 in Osceola.
Ottumwa High School Won't Feature "Laramie Project"
OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Ottumwa High School administrators have halted plans for a student production of "The Laramie Project," but the show will go on at a local performing arts center.
Principal Mark Hanson decided to cancel the performance. Hanson says he agrees with the play's message, but would rather see more family-friendly productions on the high school stage.
Ottumwa high school drama teacher Natalie Saunders is working with a local theater director to show the play at the Bridge View Center in October.
The play was inspired by the events that led to the 1998 murder of a 21-year-old gay man, Matthew Shepard, outside of Laramie, Wyo.
The debate has played out in schools across the country, including West Des Moines' Valley High School in 2006.
Cupola Returns To Top Old Ottumwa Naval Station
OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - Workers have installed a cupola atop the old Naval Air Station Ottumwa administration building.
Workers used a crane Saturday to lift and swing the cupola onto the building.
It's unclear when the cupola was removed from the building, which dates to World War II when pilots were trained at the site.
Stephen Black, who is working with other volunteers to restore the building, speculates it came down after a 1962 storm that destroyed a hanger.
Volunteers built the cupola based off original plans as part of the restoration effort. They have cleaned out the building and have a number of other projects planned, including restoring a second
floor office used by President Richard Nixon when he was stationed in Ottumwa as a Navy lieutenant.
Barbara Mack Honored By Iowa State University
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University's journalism school is honoring a media law professor and lawyer who died last year.
The Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication announced Monday that Barbara Mack was the winner of the 2013 James W. Schwartz Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Communication.
Mack died on Aug. 23, 2012, at age 59.
Mack was an Iowa State graduate and former general counsel for the Des Moines Register and Tribune Company.
She also helped found the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.
A ceremony honoring Mack is set for Nov. 8 at Iowa State's Reiman Gardens.
Anne Mack, who teaches English at the University of Missouri, will accept the award on behalf of her sister.