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Wednesday Afternoon News, November 12

Iowa Pipeline To Produce $1 Billion For State's Economy

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An analysis by a West Des Moines company says a proposed oil pipeline across Iowa would provide an economic impact of $1.1 billion to the state during two years of construction.
     The analysis was prepared by Strategic Economics Group for Energy Transfer Partners, of Dallas, which wants to build the 1,100-mile underground pipeline across Iowa and three other states. The pipeline would carry up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, where it could be redirected.
     The analysis says construction would create enough work to keep 7,600 people fully employed in Iowa for a year. Energy Transfer has promised to hire at least half of the workers in Iowa from the state.

Reports Of More Vehicles Passing A Stopped School Bus

(Le Mars) -- The number of instances of motorists passing a stopped school bus while children are boarding is rising, and officials call it, alarming. It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and stop sign arm is extended.  Still, people are doing it without much regard to the danger facing the children.  Iowa Highway Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz talks about the number of reported violations from a one day survey.

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The Le Mars Community School District reported an incident to authorities last week when a motorist chose to pass a stopped school bus. Two years ago, the Iowa legislature strengthen the exisiting law when it passed Kayden's law.

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The Highway Patrol officer explains the penalties of passing a stopped school bus.

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Kurtz says enforcing the law is difficult, especially when law enforcement officials often times do not witness the vehicle passing a stopped school bus. He says schools and law enforcement have to rely upon the bus driver to give a accurate description of the vehicle, driver, and license plate number.

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Kurtz says many schools are installing cameras on the school buses to record violators who pass stopped school buses.


Branstad To Defend Policy Of Not Granting Voting Rights To Felons

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A spokesman says Gov. Terry Branstad intends to defend the state's policy of disenfranchising convicted felons during a lawsuit challenging the practice.
     Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers said Wednesday the governor's office believes the Iowa Constitution requires felons to lose their voting rights. He notes that Branstad restores them to felons who apply after completing their sentences and paying restitution.
     The Iowa Constitution says anyone convicted of an "infamous crime" loses voting rights. 
     A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union argues that language should apply to a small number of very serious crimes, not all felonies. The Iowa Supreme Court split on that question earlier this year.
     The lawsuit filed Friday seeks to restore voting rights to thousands of former offenders, such as those convicted of drug crimes.


Viet Nam Memorial Dedicated In Fort Dodge

 FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - More than 100 people have gathered for the dedication of a Vietnam War memorial in Fort Dodge.
     The memorial, called "Gone but Not Forgotten," honors not only the 19 Webster County residents who died in the war but all others killed in the conflict.
     The memorial is located on the west side of the Fort Museum Opera House. The dedication ceremony was held Tuesday.
     According to local Vietnam veteran Ray Witzke, many soldiers weren't treated well when they returned to civilian life. He said many of them were "spat on" and called "baby-killers."
     Witzke says the memorial serves as a reminder of the sacrifices veterans made during the war.


Council Bluffs School Board Approves Free Wi-Fi Plan

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - The city of Council Bluffs and school district are pursuing citywide free wireless Internet services.
     The school board of the Council Bluffs Community School District approved a partnership agreement with the city Monday. 
     The agreement establishes the Council Bluffs Area Wi-Fi Consortium, which will study the feasibility of expanding Wi-Fi around the southwestern Iowa city. 
     The plan calls for the city and school district to create public Wi-Fi hotspots that can be used by computers, tablets, smartphones and any other Internet-ready device.
     The  partnership will last for at least five years. 
     The City Council also unanimously approved the partnership with the district Monday.


Officials Euthanize Giraffe At Blank Park Zoo

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials say an aging giraffe at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines was euthanized due to health complications.
     Chad Comer, the zoo's animal curator, says 21-year-old Shani had severe ligament and joint problems that were depleting her quality of life. The giiraffe was euthanized earlier this month. Zoo staff held a private memorial for the animal.
     Shani was one of four giraffes at the zoo. She was part of an exhibit that allowed zoo visitors to feed giraffes.
     The animal was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1993. She was moved to Des Moines in 1996. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums says female giraffes typically live about 16 years.


Vehicle Has Accident With School Bus

 MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Mason City man faces multiple charges after police say his car struck three vehicles, including a school bus.
     Police say 23-year-old Eric Sombright was behind a school bus Tuesday morning when his car slid on ice and hit the bus.
     Sombright is accused of driving around the bus and fleeing the scene. Police say he then ran a stop sign and struck two other vehicles.
     There were no students on the school bus at the time. There were no injuries reported in the other crashes.
     Sombright faces multiple charges, including having no driver's license and failing to obey a traffic control device. Court records do not list an attorney.




Wednesday News, November 12

Akron Fire Department Responds To Chimney Fire

(Akron) -- Akron Fire Department responded to a chimney fire late Tuesday afternoon.  The fire was reported at 5th and Main Streets shortly after 5;00 p.m.  The fire department was on the scene of that chimney fire for approximately 45 minutes.


Council Bluffs Child Trades Bullet For Trading Cards On School Bus

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in western Iowa say an elementary school student traded a bullet for Pokemon cards with another student on a school bus.
     Titan Hill Intermediate School Principal Kent Stopak says officials are deciding whether the second grade student will be disciplined. He says the children made the trade on Friday. The parent of the child that received the .22-caliber bullet called the school on Monday. 
     Stopak says the Lewis Central Community School District considers age and intent when determining disciplinary action. He says he believes the child made an innocent mistake and no student was threatened or harmed.
     Council Bluffs Police tell WOWT-TV the law doesn't require parents to keep children away from ammunition.


Neighbor Shoots At Robbers At Neighbor's House

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police say no one has been seriously injured after a man exchanged gunfire with a group of men who robbed his neighbor's home.
     Three or four men entered a family's home on Tuesday night and ordered a man and a woman to lie on the ground. The man tells police he was struck in the head with what he thinks was a pistol before he ran to his neighbor's house. 
     Police say the neighbor and the burglars exchanged gunfire before the group left. 
     The man was treated at the scene and the woman was uninjured. 
     Police say two guns were stolen from the home. They are searching for the suspects.


Three People Arrested Following Lockdown At Fort Dodge

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say three people have been arrested in connection to a lockdown at a community college campus in Fort Dodge.
     The Fort Dodge Police Department says the three people each face one count of aiding and abetting second-degree robbery. Court records do not indicate formal charges have been filed.
     Authorities are looking for a fourth suspect. 
     Iowa Central Community College was placed on lockdown for about three hours Monday after a student reported that an armed man entered her dorm room.
     Police say the student reported that several males entered her room while she and others were inside. She said at least one of the males displayed a firearm. The males soon left the room.
     No shots and no injuries were reported.



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