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Thursday Afternoon News, October 9

Former Monona County Auditor Could Face Additional Charges

  ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa county auditor convicted of a drug charge last year has been accused of embezzling money through credit card purchases.
     State Auditor Mary Mosiman says in a report released Thursday that 29-year-old Brooke Kuhlmann used a Monona County-issued credit card to make more than $7,000 in improper charges. They included 10 purchases of $100 debit cards from Wal-Mart and more than $700 from the WinnaVegas casino in Sloan.
     Kuhlmann pleaded guilty in late December to possession of a controlled substance, after authorities said she bought methamphetamine from an undercover Iowa State Patrol officer in July 2013.
     Kuhlmann resigned in December. Officials taking over her duties contacted the state auditor's office after identifying unusual credit card statements.
     The report has been sent to local and state law enforcement agencies.

 

University Of Iowa Employees Doubt Consultant's Plan Will Save Much Money

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - University of Iowa employees say they fear that a consultant's cost-cutting plans will have a negative impact on the institution and not save as much as projected.
     Employees also told representatives of Deloitte Consulting during a forum Thursday that the plans were too vague to be properly evaluated by the Iowa Board of Regents.
     Deloitte is recommending that Iowa's three public universities restructure their human resources, information technology and finance staffs. The consultant says the schools cut could up to 250 jobs through attrition and retirements in coming years, saving tens of millions of dollars.
     Deloitte is also recommending saving money by using fewer desktop computers and printers, in favor of thin-client machines and network printers.
     The regents are expected to vote next month on which plans to implement.

 

Braley Tries To Curb Women's Support Away From Ernst

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - With just weeks left in a tight Senate race that he started with an advantage, Democrat Bruce Braley is trying to raise concerns among women voters about his Republican opponent, Joni Ernst, and take some of the sheen off the farm-raised, military veteran who rose from relative obscurity to GOP stardom during the campaign. 
     The four-term congressman and Democratic supporters are running ads and holding events questioning Ernst's position on abortion rights. He is also attacking Ernst on the minimum wage, another issue the campaign thinks resonates with female voters.
     Iowa has never elected a woman to Congress or as governor. Ernst has stressed her background as a mother and female veteran as she has made her case to Iowa voters.

 

Iowa Could See Modest Growth In Tax Revenues

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A panel of state budget experts predicts modest growth in Iowa's tax revenue during the current fiscal year.
     The Revenue Estimating Conference met Thursday to project state revenue. The three-member panel includes the governor's top budget adviser, the financial adviser to the Legislature and an independent member, Mason City economist David Underwood.
     The group predicts net state revenue - made up of taxes and other sources - will come in at just over $6.7 billion in the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. That represents a 6.7 percent increase over the previous year and the growth is expected to continue.
     The panel will meet again in December to set the revenue projection that Gov. Terry Branstad must use to craft his next budget.

 

Veteran's Home Investigation

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Five employees at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown were fired earlier this year after a sexual harassment investigation.
     A spokesman for Gov. Terry Branstad confirmed the terminations Thursday but declined to offer details, calling it a personnel matter. The firings were first reported by the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
     The investigation became public because several fired workers had hearings related to their eligibility for unemployment benefits. Decisions in those cases were made public.
     Documents say the investigation was into a complaint of sexual harassment made against a food service worker.
     A call to the home's Commandant Jodi Tymeson was not immediately returned. Branstad expressed support for Tymeson's leadership on Thursday.
     More than 600 veterans and their spouses live in nursing home and assisted living facilities at the Iowa Veterans Home.
 

 

Lottery Authorities Still Trying To Find Mysterious Winner

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities trying to answer the longtime question of who bought an unclaimed multimillion-dollar lottery ticket in Iowa in 2010 have released video of the mystery person in the hopes of finally identifying him.
     The video released Thursday by the state Division of Criminal Investigation shows a hooded man at a Des Moines gas station buying a Hot Lotto ticket that later won a $14.3 million prize.
     A New York lawyer in 2011 waited minutes before the one-year deadline to try to claim the ticket. He signed it on behalf of a newly created trust and said he didn't know the winner's name.
     Lottery officials refused to pay the jackpot and the lawyer withdrew the claim. Since then, officials have been trying to find the mystery man.

 


 

 

 

   

Thursday News, October 9

Plymouth County Secondary Road Crew To Replace Bridge With Culvert

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced that 190th Street from County road K-22 to Hedge Avenue will be closed, starting today and will remain closed until October 22nd.  The purpose for the road to be closed is so work crews can replace a bridge with a culvert.

 

Chamber To Sell Holiday Dollars

(Le Mars) -- It may only be mid-October, but the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce is getting set for the Christmas holidays with the sale of Chamber Holiday Dollars.  This year a total of $204,000 will be sold to enhance shopping locally.  As in the past, the Chamber Holiday Dollars will be available in three separate categories with Hy-Vee, Fareway, and Wal-Mart as the first category, participating restaurants that include: 4 Brothers, Archies Waeside, Bob's Drive In, Dairy Queen, Habitue Coffeehouse and Bakery, La Fiesta Charra, Mr. P's Pizza and Sports Grill, Pizza Ranch, Subway, and Taco Johns.  The final catergory consists of retail businesses.  They include Bomgaars, Cellular Connection, Claussens, Emily's Home Furnishings, Fashionette, Hardware Hank, Hotopp's Jewelry and Gifts, ICON Ag and Turf, Jobas, Premier Communications, Rust's Western Shop, Sugar-N-Spice, Sunshine Foods, The Education Station, Toy Depot, and Verizon-Wireless World.
Chamber Holiday Dollars will go on sale on Saturday, November 1st. beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Le Mars Convention Center, lower level.  People will receive a ten percent discount for the purchase of Chamber Holiday Dollars in the Hy-Vee, Fareway, and Wal-Mart category with a maximum purchase at $300.  Both the restaurant and the retail categories will offer a 15 percent discount with a $500 maximum per person per category.  This year the holiday dollars will be in $10 increments rather than $5 as was the case with past holiday dollar promotions.  All Chamber Holiday Dollars must be used by December 24th.  Cash and personal checks will be accepted for the purchase of Chamber Holiday Dollars.  Credit and Debit cards will not be accepted.  Local banks of Le Mars helped underwrite a portion of the discount on the dollars.

 

Ohm Continues Recovery In Hospital

(Sioux City) -- A Sioux City police officer who was shot in the chin last Friday while responding to a disturbance call remains hospitalized. Sioux City Police Chief Doug Young says officer Jill Ohm, a native of Le Mars, is continuing her recovery.

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Young says he has not been able to speak with Ohm yet about the incident.  The Chief says police have  also not been able to speak with the suspect in the shooting, 27 year old Noah Ironshell, who remains hospitalized in Omaha with a self inflicted gunshot wound.

 
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An arrest warrant is pending against Ironshell for attempted murder.  Young says there's reasons Ironshell has not been officially charged yet.

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That expense could mean posting armed guards outside Ironshell's room as he recovers at the Nebraska University Medical Center in Omaha.

 

Authorities Release Name Of Victim In Fatal Construction Accident

CORRECTIONVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a construction worker killed after he was pinned under a piece of equipment in northwest Iowa.
     Maj. Todd Wieck with the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says 49-year-old Daniel Lewis Uhl of Anthon was killed Tuesday at a construction site near Correctionville.
     Uhl was at the site when a large piece of "earth-moving equipment" pinned him. He was airlifted to a Sioux City hospital but was pronounced dead before the helicopter landed.
     The circumstances of the death are under investigation.

 

Madrid Nursing Home Fined

 MADRID, Iowa (AP) - A central Iowa nursing home faces federal fines of at least $64,000 for care problems found during inspections.
     The state inspection reports that led to the fines suggest many of the issues cited stem from staffing shortages at the Madrid Home for the Aging.
     A lawyer for the nursing home denied the allegations and says the owners are appealing the fines.
     Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals spokesman David Werning says the nursing home was hit with unusually strong punishment because inspectors had found similar problems there within the past year.
     In August the home was sued by a woman who says she found her 74-year-old mother naked and soiled on the floor of an unfinished room at the facility. Her mother has since died.
     ---

 

Deloitte Consulting To Hold Open Meeting At University Of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - University of Iowa President Sally Mason says she expects employees will ask lots of questions during a forum to discuss a consultant's sweeping cost-cutting recommendations.
     The university is holding the meeting Thursday morning with representatives of Deloitte Consulting.
     Deloitte last week released recommendations to the Iowa Board of Regents on how Iowa's three public universities might be restructured to save money. The plans call for cutting the number of employees who work in such areas as human resources, information technology and finance. The plans also call for universities to use fewer printers and desktop computers.
     The regents are gathering feedback on the proposals and are expected to vote on them next month.
     Mason says the university needs more information "to know exactly how all of this would play out."

 

Maryland Governor To Visit Iowa

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is set to visit Iowa this weekend to help Democratic candidates.
     O'Malley spokeswoman Lis Smith says he will be in the state Saturday and Sunday. This is the fourth trip the potential 2016 presidential candidate has made to the kickoff caucus state this year.
     O'Malley will attend a series of public events and private fundraisers for Democrats. On Saturday he'll speak at a get-out-the-vote event in Des Moines and he'll appear at a Young Democrats event in Iowa City on Sunday. He is also set to appear at fundraisers for Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley and Congressman Dave Loebsack, who is running for re-election in the 2nd Congressional District.

 


 

 


 

 

 

   

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