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Saturday News, April 16th

Council Bluffs Woman Charged with Murdering Boyfriend

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A Council Bluffs woman convicted of fatally stabbing her former boyfriend has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.
A judge Friday sentenced 47-year-old Jodie Sherman in the July 2014 death of 52-year-old Douglas Richt.
Sherman must also pay $150,000 in restitution.
She was found guilty of second-degree murder in February after being accused of stabbing Richt in the throat during an argument. Richt died while being taken to a hospital.
Sherman's attorneys argued that she's not guilty by reason of insanity. The judge rejected the insanity defense but dropped the charge down from first-degree murder.

 

 

Regent Chair Hasn't Fulfilled Donation Pledge

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa powerbroker Bruce Rastetter has long used his $5 million pledge to Hawkeye football to build his image as a successful businessman and philanthropist.
But years after his 2008 commitment was touted as the largest gift to Iowa athletics, Rastetter has given less than a third of that amount. Another donor who promised $5 million that day has completed his pledge. The football complex they were supporting has been built.
Rastetter is now president of the school's governing body.
His handling of the donation contradicts public statements claiming he's given $5 million, which he's used to deflect criticism that his policies hurt the university. And it raises questions about whether the delay was part of the pressure he put on former university president Sally Mason, who resigned last year.

 

 

Supreme Court Says Man Cannot Recover Damages From Charges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says a man cannot recover damages for the time he spent in custody before his conviction for having sex with another man while infected with HIV was overturned.
The court ruled Friday that since Nick Rhoades initially pleaded guilty to criminal transmission of HIV in 2008, he cannot sue the state for wrongful imprisonment. The justices say a strict interpretation of a 1997 Iowa law prohibiting wrongful imprisonment cases when the defendant has pleaded guilty means Rhoades cannot sue even though his conviction was thrown out and charges were dropped.
Rhoades spent about a year in jail before the Iowa Supreme Court in 2014 overturned his conviction. Last May, Rhoades filed the wrongful imprisonment lawsuit.
The court's ruling upholds a district court's dismissal of the case.

 

 

 

 

Unemployment Edges Upward

(Des Moines) - Iowa's unemployment rate increased for the second straight month -- moving up one- tenth of a percent in March to three-point-eight percent. Iowa Workforce Development spokesperson, Courtney Greene, says some of the layoffs that have been announced are showing up.

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Says manufacturing saw many of the lost jobs.

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Good weather helped keep the construction industry moving ahead.

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There were other areas that also saw progress.

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The increase in the unemployment rate in February was the first increase since 2009. And while it increased again in March, Greene says things are still way ahead of last year.

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Iowa is still well below the national unemployment rate, which increased to five percent in March.

 

   

Friday Afternoon News, April 15

Wingert Announced As "Teacher Of The Year" Recipient

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District Alumni Association along with the Le Mars Community School Foundation awarded its "Teacher of the Year" honors this morning.  Ten year teacher, Tracie Wingert, who serves as the Technology Instructional Coach for the Le Mars Community Middle and High School is this year's recipient.  At the time of the presentation of the award, Wingert was in Doug Martin's classroom offering assistance to students.  Wingert says, he initially thought it was Doug Martin who was being honored.

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Wingert was presented the honor by Carolyn Vance with the Le Mars Community School Foundation Association and the Alumni Association.  Attending the award presentation was Wingert's family, his wife and two sons, as well as his parents, who came from Sioux City.  Wingert says he likes to encourage his students to push themselves harder than what they themselves believe are their capabilities. He says he was literally surrounded by education as a youngster, and that led to his interests in teaching.

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Wingert says his responsibilities include helping both students and teachers incorporate technology with the curriculum.

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The technology instruction coach was nominated by his mentor Doug Martin, High School principal Dr. Mark Iverson, and by his student Gabe Jensen.  Wingert says he is appreciative for his peers recognizing his interests, but it is extra special to have a student also submit a nomination.

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For being selected as the Le Mars Community "Teacher of the Year" Wingert will be presented with the "Chrystal Bell" during the Le Mars Community Foundation and Alumni Association banquet scheduled for April 27th.  Wingert will also receive a $500 check to be used for his teaching materials, as well as a $500 cash award for his personal use.

 

 

 

 

Le Mars Community High School Presents "Election" As Spring Play

(Le Mars) -- Attendees of the Le Mars Community High School play "Election" may ask themselves as they watch the comedy/parody is art imitating life, or is life imitating art?  The reason is because, as director Erin Ohrlend says, the scenes may appear similar to what people see on the evening news with regards to the current political campaigns.

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Ohrlend says she selected the 2011 play specifically because of the current election process, saying she thought the Le Mars Community High School students would enjoy the similarities between the action in the play, and what is happening in the real world.

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Ohrlend says the audience is able to be a participant of the play's outcome by casting their votes for their candidate of their choice.

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The play has a cast of 30 members and seven set people. Ohrlend talks about its participants.

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Admission is five dollars, and there are only two performances left; tonight and Saturday evening.  The curtain will rise at 7:00 p.m. with doors open to the High School's "Little Theater" at 6:15 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Mason City School Board Says No To Chinese Students

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Mason City school board has rejected a proposal to have students from China attend school in Mason City, citing concerns about the proposal and unauthorized use of student photos.
The board voted 6-1 Thursday against the proposal by International Educational Development Corp. The company originally proposed having about 20 students travel to northern Iowa to attend classes in Mason City and other communities. Mason City would have been designated as the proposal's lead school, with administrative responsibilities. 
Some Mason City board members expressed concerns Thursday about the amount of money the district would receive from the company, the cost of obtaining visas for the students and about their English proficiency. The proposal also was jeopardized last month when unauthorized Mason City student photos were spotted on the company's website.

 

 

 

 

State Senate Still Having To Deal With Mental Health Legislation

(Des Moines) -- Republican State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson, says one issue still facing the legislature is dealing with the regionalization of mental health services.  Back in 2013, mental health services combined to different regions within the state, as opposed to individual counties serving the needs of those seeking assistance for mental health issues.

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Anderson says the discussion has focused on at what level are counties allowed to set their tax levy levels for mental health services, since now they are part of a regional program?

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The state senator says he would like to see the middle ground be used for funding mental health services.

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Anderson says other bills that may still remain alive include fantasy sports, and fireworks.

 

 

 

Supreme Court Says Man Cannot Recover Damages For Time Spent In Custody

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says a man cannot recover damages for the time he spent in custody before his conviction for having sex with another man while infected with HIV was overturned. The court ruled Friday that since Nick Rhoades initially pleaded guilty to criminal transmission of HIV in 2008 he cannot sue the state for wrongful imprisonment.

 

 

 

 

 





   

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